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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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Buddy's pain
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maria
1
28 October 2008 - 8:11 pm
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Our 9 yr old golden is in his second day of post amputation surgery –front leg/ cancer.  Rimadyl (2x daily)and Tramadol (4 caps 4x daily).  The pain is seemingly unmanagable.  He cries loudly with every breath.  He has eaten and will drink but will not move.  Does not sleep.  Hasn’t peed since early this morning — 12 hours ago.  How long can we expect this to go on?  How much can a dog take?  What is reasonable?  Help…please.

maria
2
28 October 2008 - 10:29 pm
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So…I can see people are reading this but no responses yet.  I could really stand to hear from someone who has been through this even if your dog’s reponse was not the same as ours.  Buddy has settled down a bit — had to pee (for hours I am assuming) and refused to do it in the house because he is so respectful.  We couldn’t get him outside, so he eventually went anyway.  He is resting now better than I have seen him rest since surgery.  I am hoping the night is more of the same and not more of what was just a hour ago.

This is absolutely the best animal I have ever known.  Honestly, I don’t feel very worthy of him right now and feel that this amputation was a mistake.  The coming months will tell one way or the other I suppose. 

Edmonton
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29 October 2008 - 12:48 am
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Hi Maria,

I am sure everyone in the forums would love to offer you support and encouragement, unfortunately your posts cannot be viewed through the forums before approved by the administrator.  I use feed reader to catch the contents of your posts.

Have you called the vet yet?  Most of the recovery stories are that the tripawds sleep a lot the first few days post-op because of the anaesthetic, pain patch, and oral pain meds.   Does Buddy still have a pain patch at his back?   Perhaps check with the vet again with the pain meds, to see if they are adequate for Buddy.  From your description, there is definitely discomfort since he didn’t want to sleep, and cried. 

Every case is different, some take a few days, some take longer to become their oldselves.   Some hop here and there right away, some just want to quietly rest, not much action for the first few days.

Good to know that he finally peed.  Don’t be too worried if he doesn’t have bowel movement for the next couple of days.  Most of us just cheered for joy when our tripawds pooped the first time after surgery.

Please keep us posted on Buddy progress and wish him have a speedy recovery.

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 October 2008 - 1:44 am
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maria said:

Rimadyl (2x daily)and Tramadol (4 caps 4x daily).


Wow. That’s heavy duty. You may find the howls are actually reactions to the side effects of such medicaiton and not actually cries of pain. More meds might make it even worse. Talk to your vet, but we have heard plenty of stories in these forums about dogs reacting negatively to Rimadyl and other major medications.

I was only on Tramadol (2 tabs, 2x daily) after my surgery and never cried out. I was almost nine years old, and about 75 lbs. Please consult with your vet to see if the meds maybe aren’t too much for Buddy, or tune into the Ask a Vet chat tomorrow at and ask Pam.

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29 October 2008 - 2:45 am
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Hi,

   This is only his 2nd day of a major surgery which probably took about 3hours to perform. It required alot to sedate him and now that he is home you may need to contact the orthopedic surgeon who performed it for some feedback to asses the pain management . Here is a link for you to check out… it has pain issues to mention. Hope he feels better with some new meds…

Ps according to the site below the worst pain is 2-3days following surgery.

http://www.vets…..cancer.htm

Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

maria
6
29 October 2008 - 4:08 am
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Thanks for the feedback.  Very helpful to know that people know, care, have an interest in someone(s) out of thier reach.  It is 2:00 am and Buddy woke up about an hour ago.  His meds are not due for another hour.  I know it seems like a lot of funk to put in his system.  The site that the last responder pointed me towards indicates this amount of tramadol is not out of the oridnary.  I don’t have a stinkin’ clue.  All I know is that I have this dog who deserves better.  I will ask the vet team tomorrow about a "patch".  We don’t have one, nor do we have something called "metacam" which I am reading a lot about on this site…??

I am beginning to wonder if a lot of his problem is that he simply does not want to pee in the house.  He is crying now…similar to how he cried before when he had refused to go.  I can’t figure out how to get him up and outside, so I have just surrounded him in towels and such.  Once he allows himself to go, he seems to be able to rest better.

How can I better manuver him so that I can get him outside?  Tried the towels under his belly.  He is so tender that he hollers and tries to snap.  Totally out of the ordinary for him. Any suggestions?

Thanks again.  I am grateful for any time you have to give. 

Edmonton
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29 October 2008 - 10:13 am
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The pain patch is actually an adhesive patch full of pain killer which is to put on the dog’s back.  Vets usually put on the patch a day prior to amputation surgery, so that the meds seeps into the bloodstream and readily in effect after the surgery.  Not sure if that would do Buddy any good by applying now.  It wouldn’t hurt to ask the vet.   Metacam is also prescription meds.

The most important thing is to have the vet assessed what is going on with Buddy’s crying… is he not getting enough pain killer?  or too much?  or is it the pain from the surgical site (which is common as Kim has pointed out). 

Wrap a bath towel under his chest as a sling to help him hop/balance the first few days, as a protection and peace of mind.  If his confidence level right now is low, basically, you will have to constantly lifting the bath towel to share his weight.  And if he lost a step, you are there ready to prevent him falling.  Gradually, he will know he won’t fall, and starting to get used to the new way of walk/hop, then his confidence will be back.

Hope that Buddy feel better soon!

Maria, if you registered as a member, your posts would be viewable instantly, so other members can response sooner.

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29 October 2008
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29 October 2008 - 10:58 am
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Thanks for the great info.  I registered just this morning…new to this.  Appreciate the tip.

When I try to even get a towel under him, he hollars.  I am coming to the conclusion that his suffering is mostly due to his unwillingness to get up to potty — with or without assistance…so he holds it for a couple of hours before just giving in.  I have used every towel in my house and going to work on the blankets at this point.  It may be my own confidence level as well at not hurting him while trying to help him out.  My husband built a ramp last night, but we haven’t come close to using it.  I spoke with the vet this am, and he basically told me the same thing you did about the towel help.  How do I get the towel under him in order to help him stand?  He just fights it.

Hanging in there,

Maria and Buddy

Edmonton
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29 October 2008 - 11:31 am
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Is he not willing to get up AT ALL in the house? 

If he is already in a lying position, it will be a challenge to slip a towel underneath if he doesn’t even want to be helped.

umm… try this … when he finally has to go pee later on in the day, capitalize this opportunity, wrap the towel under his chest right away, and tie a knot (or do something to the towel) so it can be kept on.  So you have the towel on him at all time readily to serve.

While assisting him hopping with the towel sling, be sure your lifing rhythm is in sync with his gait so that the sling could keep in contact with his chest.  Otherwise, there were chances that the sling would slide to his belly, and if you happened to lift at that moment, you would be lifting weight off his rear, and actually put more of his weight to the front.  Rhythm is very important.

I cut up a canvas bag on both sides, retained the handles, and wrapped that under Genie’s chest.  Tied up the handles at her back, and left that on her all the time.  Whenever she needed assistance, it was there.  I couldn’t afford a few seconds looking away from her to find the towel, and ended up having her falling on her face.

When the staples are removed in a couple of weeks, a harness would be very helpful to help him get in/out of vehicle, stairs, or even for walks.  But prior to that, we don’t recommend to use the harness especially for front-leg amputees.

Yes, hang in there.  I know you are worried, and it is perfectly normal.  I was too after Genie’s surgery, and so would eveyone.  But don’t let Buddy sense that.  Being a pack leader, you have to demonstrate "everything is under control and will be ok and how brave of a boy he is" to him.  It actually will be fine before you know it!

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29 October 2008 - 12:08 pm
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Genie said:

I cut up a canvas bag on both sides, retained the handles, and wrap that under Genie’s chest.


The canvas bag idea is great!  I will work on that.  I have cut back on the meds already and he seems to be doing fine.  Once we get this whole potty thing fidgured out, I think we’ll be in good shape.  So hard to watch him suffer.  Really hard.  Thanks for the help.

Maria

Metro Kansas City
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22 October 2008
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29 October 2008 - 1:54 pm
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Hi Maria!

My Calamity is 5 days post-amp and having quite a lot of pain also. I think what Buddy & you are experiencing is normal and I know how tough it is as I am there right now too.

I wish I could give you tons of advise, but since we’re in this boat together, all I can offer is support & encouragement.

Maybe when Buddy is laying down, try applying some heat to his incision area? A good way to provide a flexable heat source is to put rice in a bag and microwave it for a minute or so, until it is warm, wrap in a dish towel & voila – it will form around the body where you need it. If you choose cold, a bag of frozen corn works wonders.

Hang in there, I know the stress can be overwhelming, but in a couple of weeks, we’ll both be smiling once again.

Janie

Janie & Calamity http://www.trix.....gspot.com/

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29 October 2008 - 3:58 pm
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Maria and Buddy

Alot of this may be the reaction to the medication. I know Titan would walk like he was drunk. He would stay up all night pant, pant and panting….alll night. I know it hurts you but this hump will be over soon. I noticed most dogs on here were much better after they were off their meds. I don’t know if you saw but there will be a live chat on her w Tazzie’s mom she is a vet

Hang in there

Heidi and Titan

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29 October 2008 - 4:06 pm
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Hi Maria,

I have not been through the amp surgery as of yet with Belle but we are scheduled for next week.  If it helps any, our vet told us that the first week after surgery will be the most difficult and most painful but it should get much better after the one week mark.

I also just wanted to give you support and wish the best for you.

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29 October 2008
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29 October 2008 - 4:19 pm
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Thanks for that.  I took Genie’s advice and cut a reusable market bag down the sides and then used that as a sling for Buddy.  A charm!  Got him outside fairly easily, and he is resting peacefully after he peed twice.  A relief.  We have a had a very hard few days but this afternoon things seem to be coming together a bit better.

Good luck to you next week.  I hope by then we will be feeling that this was, without a doubt, the best thing for our dog.  It is so hard to know and a big decision to make for someone else that’s for sure — even if that someone else is canine. 

Thanks for the support all.     

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29 October 2008 - 4:24 pm
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Titan said:

Maria and Buddy

Alot of this may be the reaction to the medication. I know Titan would walk like he was drunk. He would stay up all night pant, pant and panting….alll night. I know it hurts you but this hump will be over soon. I noticed most dogs on here were much better after they were off their meds. I don’t know if you saw but there will be a live chat on her w Tazzie’s mom she is a vet

Hang in there

Heidi and Titan


I did see that.  Thanks for the reminder.  I have backed off on his meds and he seems to be doing fine, so you are probably right about that.  Maybe I am the one who really needs them…Wink  I have a lot to still learn from this brave guy.

Thanks for responding and for the support.

Maria and Buddy too!

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