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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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bruising after surgery???
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Forum Posts: 37
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4 November 2011 - 11:02 am
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Charlie pooped last night!!!  Woof woof!!!  It was my first day back to work.  Charlie's dad and little sister and Grammy and Grampy were with him…great support team!  When I came through the door, he hopped over smiling and wagging his tail like things were the same as they have always been.  Prior to my arrival, he was lying down (begging) under his little sister's high chair…the way it should be! 

This morning, when I said goodbye to him, he got up pretty fast and yelped…could this be an example of phantom pain …like he was trying to use the amputated leg to get up and it hurt him?  Or is he just sore from the surgery?

Still a little confused about phantom pain !  Any suggestions about weening off pain meds.  His surgery was 10/31 in the afternoon.  We were giving 50 mg of tramadol every eight hours until yesterday afternoon when we went for a stretch of 10 hours.   Our follow-up to remove sutures is 11/14 and he doesn't have enough pain meds to get him that far.  Does he really need them or should we start stretching it out 12 hours until they are gone?  I know we can call the surgeon…just wanted to see if anyone had any ideas…

Once again….thank you!

knoxville, tn
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4 November 2011 - 11:28 am
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congrats on that wonderful poop charlie!!!!!  something we all celebrate!  as for pain meds, seems we started weaning gayle off of hers after the first week, stretching out the time like you are doing.  make sure it's ok with your vet, but you'll know if he's doing ok.  as for phantom pain – thank goodness we didn't have that to deal with, but others like gus and sammy did, maybe they can give you a better description of their experience.  i don't think it lasts long, but it must be very scary when it 'hits'.   you can always try to put a little ice (wrapped in a towel) on the amp site to see if that is soothing.  glad charlie is doing better, paws crossed for continued healing!!

 

charon & gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends

http://etgayle

San Diego, CA
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4 November 2011 - 12:21 pm
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Hooray for the happy hoppy poop dance!

I think we also started to wean off the meds at a week. I can’t remember exactly but I think we were doing 12 hours. Best to check in with the vet.

Abby also yelped horribly one day when she jumped up too quickly. Don’t know if it was a phantom pain thing or regular ol’ pain. She had been sleeping and tried to get up when “Daddy” came home. It was like she thought the leg would be there to help her get up, and it wasn’t and she started to yelp. It was pretty awful, but luckily it only happened that one time. Hopefully Charlie will only have it happen once as well. If it continues, I know others have mentioned that Gabapentin (sp?) is a good drug for that.

Hope he continues to improve quickly!
Jackie, Abby’s mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

krun15
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4 November 2011 - 2:10 pm
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Yea for first poop!

I think we are the only community who celebrates first poop so much!!

 

Maggie was on tramadol for two weeks total (I think) but we were tapering down the second week.

 

Here is a link to info on Phantom Limb Pain.  I did not experience it with my pug Maggie.

 

I hope Charlie keeps making progress!

 

Karen and the pugapalooza

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5 November 2011 - 7:57 am
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OK…so I know everyone including Charlie's surgeon said the bruising was normal but, he had his right front leg amputated and the bruising goes a little bit up his neck and all the way back to his bottom.  It is only at his underside/abdomen and is bright purple/reddish.  He was up all night last night, panting and didn't want to sleep until about 2:30 this morning.  He is sleeping like a baby now.  He went out this morning to pee and ate his breakfast.  The incision still looks OK…no swelling, pussing, dripping, etc. 

Can any of the pain meds cause him to pant like that?  Although, he doesn't pant during the day like that.  We're pretty sure everything is OK…just not sure what is normal. 

Here and Now


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5 November 2011 - 10:39 am
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Heavy panting is a common side effect of Tramadol. Sounds like Charlie is doing great!

The Rainbow Bridge



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5 November 2011 - 10:45 am
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Also, we've noticed that lots of new amputees and dogs dealing with advanced cancer will pant more in the evening. We've talked to vets about this, who don't have an explanation other than the dogs are probably tired by the end of the day, and all of their activities are catching up with them. I wouldn't worry too much about that, sounds like a pretty normal recovery.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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5 November 2011 - 9:31 pm
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Hi Charlie and Family! I just wanted to post some post-op pictures of Cadence to show you her bruising. The first picture is two days post op. Her surgery was on a Friday afternoon about 3 PM and the first picture is on Sunday. There was nothing really remarkable on Saturday when we went to pick her up. Just redness. The second picture is Monday, 3 days post op. The next two are 8 days post op. Obviously she was feeling much better and way too sexy for her leg. winker  After that, it just turned the yellowish/brown color and disappeared. Sorry about the close ups of her privates. Maybe I should have photoshopped a fig leaf there to cover it up. laugh

 

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Cadence Faye: Born 10/30/04, stepped into our hearts 12/23/2004. Rear leg tumor found 7/24/11 by mom and dad, Xray on 7/25/11, Osteosarcoma suspected 7/26/11, amputation 7/29/11, Carboplatin started 8/23. Met free so far! 

Morgantown, WV
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5 November 2011 - 11:24 pm
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Woo, would you look at Miss Cadence posin all sexy!  🙂  Poodles are so awesome.  Now, did you do ice packs on her?  Katy's 4 days post-op and she's still a lovely shade of merlot, I try so hard to ice her down a few times a day but she's awful sensitive and just does not like it one bit.  She's a front amp and she's bruised from her chest to her belly, down her whole left side.  🙁

I'm Crystal, but you can call me Katymom.  :)  I'm Triproud of my Tripawd!

Katy Sue Sarcopski – born approx 2/03, found "the lump" 9/7/11, suspected soft tissue sarcoma (most likely liposarcoma) 10/11, became a Tripawd 11/1/11, official diagnosis of infiltrating lipoma 11/23/11

Follow her "tail" at katydidit.tripawds.com!

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6 November 2011 - 6:19 am
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Cadence…thanks for letting us look at your post-op pictures!  We love how you are smiling in every picture…a true beauty!!!  Charlie's bruising does look like that but, there is so much of it.  Finally this morning, MAYBE it is going down a little.  But, he had his right front leg amputated and the bruising goes up his neck and the whole underside of him from his chest all the way back to his rear is deep purple in color.  Really deep around his “pee pee”.  We're just going to hope it goes down.  Around his incision has gone down a little…we think.

Katy…sounds more like your bruising.  Is Katy sleeping OK at night?  Charlie seems to pant a lot at night.  We're trying 50 mg of tramadol every 8-12 hours instead of 100mg.  We've been told the tramadol can really make them pant.  He's so pooped in the morning!  Overall, I think he's doing OK.

Thanks again for all of the information about your super-doggies!!! It helps so much to hear from other “pawrents”.  big-grin

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6 November 2011 - 6:38 am
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Look at Miss Thang, I mean Cadence! What a sweetheart.

Bo’s bruising was a deep purple/blue too. It was mostly in the flabby part of his neck and mid underbelly. I guess that just where gravity takes over. We did lots of ice therapy. Actually, Bo enjoyed eating ice cubes too, which he never did before surgery. That seemed to help the panting. Bo was one of the few who tolerated tramadol really well, but the gabapentin made him nutty. It can be a struggle to find the right combo for your pup. Hang in there! Sounds like Charlie and Katy are doing great!!

Morgantown, WV
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6 November 2011 - 4:24 pm
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Katy is doing very well  🙂  She sleeps quite a bit, through the day and night.  She's on Tramadol 50 mg 3x a day, and she pants a little, I'm not sure if that's from the drug itself or just the effort she exerts in getting around sometimes.  She's taken to jumping on and off our bed now, silly girl, and that's harder to reach than the couch.  Her bruising seems to have gotten a little better, now it's mostly in the hangy-down part of her chest.  She really hates ice packs though, even wrapped up in the softest towel I can find she winces and is just so uncomfortable.  🙁  Other than that she's peachy!

I'm Crystal, but you can call me Katymom.  :)  I'm Triproud of my Tripawd!

Katy Sue Sarcopski – born approx 2/03, found "the lump" 9/7/11, suspected soft tissue sarcoma (most likely liposarcoma) 10/11, became a Tripawd 11/1/11, official diagnosis of infiltrating lipoma 11/23/11

Follow her "tail" at katydidit.tripawds.com!

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 November 2011 - 9:50 pm
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Oh yay! Pawesome news. The sleeping is good, it means she is healing.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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7 November 2011 - 12:29 pm
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We asked the panting questions multiple times and got the same response – Ajax panted more than normal in the evenings for many months, though I haven't noticed it so much anymore.

I never wanted to leave him for one second after his surgery but later concluded that when I was gone, he completely rested, so that was a good thing.  Sounds like everything Charlie is going through is normal.  Ajax was wacky on Tramadol so we actually only did one or two days of that and then just did Rimadyl after the Fentanyl patch came of.

Here is my “cautionary tale”:  We doted som much on Ajax that he trained us during the 2 week recovery period!  When we went to our post op checkups, I said to the surgeon/vet that Ajax had taken to rumbling or barking unitil I got down on the floor and gave him a massage.  I asked if that meant he was in pain or if we were letting him use his remaining leg too quickly.  She said “no, it means he's trained you.”

I report that 1 year and 4 mos later, he STILL barks until I massage him every night.  Not that I would change it, but beware …winker

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7 November 2011 - 5:23 pm
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Thanks for the info…THIS IS SOOOOOOOO HARD!  Charlie had a great day yesterday.  Out 3 times to “use the bathroom” and then he really has been resting…100%.  As of this past Saturday morning, which was day 5, we cut the tramadol down to 50mg every 12 hours.  When he is sleeping, his breathing is so rapid and he is just out of it!!!  I called the surgeon today, who was away, so got word from another vet that the rapid breathing/panting is not a side effect of tramadol and that he is just exerting more effort to walk on 3 legs…well, sorry, but, he is not exerting any energy when he is sleeping for 6 hours at a time.  I really feel like he is not reacting well to the tramadol.  My husband & I decided to refill the prescription earlier in the day so he came home with 40 more 50mg tablets at the advice of the “other” doctor at the vet hospital.  When I talked to Charlie’s regular vet yesterday, she was 100% confident that it is a side effect of tramadol…the rapid breathing.  We are getting mixed messages and don’t know what to do.  We decided tonight that we would stop the tramadol and just keep on the Rimadyl 2X daily, hoping it would be enough for any pain. 

Well, he rolled onto his back off of his bed (which was on the floor) and tried to get up and really yelped.  He cried walking over to me.  Then I tried to get him onto another larger bed that he has and he really cried getting down onto it.  His last dose of tramadol was 7:30 this morning (50mg).  We immediately gave him 50 more mg of Tramadol and the Rimadyl he was scheduled for. 

I know every dog reacts differently to this surgery and to the pain meds and we don’t want him to have a bad reaction to the tramadol but, we definitely don’t want him to be in any pain.  He is resting/sleeping comfortably as we speak but, I’m nervous about his night and for him to get up again.

I feel like we are almost back to day 1.  I don’t know if he could have stretched anything internally when he rolled onto his back and tried to get back up. 

Does anyone know of a substitute for tramadol that is a little more milder but, still helps with the pain.  I unfortunately have to go back to work tomorrow but, my husband will be with him and will call the surgeon in the morning.

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