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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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Day 1 post op - WHAT HAVE I DONE ?!
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14 October 2020 - 3:52 am
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The Operation was yesterday at 11 in the morning about 3 hours. I took Leyla home around 8 in the evening by cab (taxi) in a carrying mat which they use for op.

My neighbour helped me carrying her up the stairs. The night was ok, even if she whined a little bit. The vet says this comes from the ketamin (narcotic). They needed the mat back for another dog, so I had to leave her alone for 1 1/2 hours. Fortunately my neighbour came to look after her. Leyla loves this neighbour and tried to stand up from her bed, wanted to run to the door, then cried for pain.

She can not walk at all! 

She should come for a check to the vet tomorrow. I can’t imagine how that should work. We have to drive with U-Bahn (Subway) because I don’t have a car. Will she ever walk again? She was always a very happy dog. Now she seems depressed, staring straight ahead. Does not want to eat. She has had several operations in her life and always wanted to eat way too early. The vet called her “Stehaufmännchen” (Stand up man, like someone who is always lucky, no matter what). Now I’ve just managed to enter the pain pills with some sausage.

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14 October 2020 - 7:46 am
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The surgery was a success, yes! The other operations she had may not have been as invasive and length of being under anesthesia and pain meds given counts as far as how quickly or slowly they start to come back to being fully aware. 

It is not uncommon at all for them to take a little time to get their legs back. She has had a lot of pain meds, anesthesia, and she will have to get used to her new balance on three legs, ok?

All of the drugs can also alter their appetite briefly, this is normal. If she persists in not wanting her food, try some ground beef, scrambled eggs, something that you know she loves. 

So, if you have no vehicle, is there any chance your doctor would make a house call? If not, can you take her in another cab? That would probably be a lot easier if you can work it out.

Please breathe. This one big step is behind you now and now you move forward. Be good to yourself. You did not do this TO Leyla, you did it FOR her. 

Sending you and Leyla hugs sp_hearticon2

Jackie and Huckleberry

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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14 October 2020 - 8:38 am
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Hi, Just to let you know when my 12 Year old choc lab had front leg amputation, he was very dopey for about two full days.  On day three he did begin to walk on his own, but not very far.  Did she come home with pain medication? I also at first questioned what I had done.  But once he was back to his normal self, I knew I made the right decision.  Every recovery is different, but Brownie was back to his happy self in about three weeks.  He was a very light weight when it came to medication, and it took awhile to leave his system.  He came home with a pain patch, rimadyl, tramadol, and another medication for phantom pain , but sorry can’t remember the name.

Just give it sometime she will get there.  Just be happy, and positive when you are with her.  She will feed off of your energy.

By the way, we used the Flagline harness , and loved it!  Light weight so Brownie could wear it all day, but strong.

Sending positive thoughts your way…

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

Virginia




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14 October 2020 - 9:38 am
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Keep in mind Leyla just had MAJOR S SURGERY!!!  Cannot stress that point enough!    What you are seeing is Leyla trying to shake off anesthesia, as well have being heavily medicated from hospital meds (hopefully well medicated).

We understand why you brought her home same day, but this is why most dogs spend at least one or two nights if clinic is fully staffed overnight.

As Jackie and Nancy  said, it is NOT   unusual at allto take several days to walk or to stand!!  Not eating, not pooping…all normal.  You so want to make sure she drinks and pees.

For now, just donor best to keep her pain managed and let her rest, rest, rest.  No worries about not hopping yet or not getting up on her own. Perfectly  normal at this point in recocery!!

Agree about trying to find an alternative  way to get the check up.  Talk with your Vet, but unless there is a compelling  reason, maybe you can delay the check up for several more days.  As long as incision looks ‘okay”, no drainage, etc , the Vet may say a delayed appointment  is okay.

I joined this community  on day six after my Hapoy Hannah’s amputation.   My title was something  like, “HELP!  It’s day six and I fear I’ve made a HOREIBLE decision!”     This community  through me a lifeline full of information  and reassurances explaining  how to navigate through  recovery!

The first two weeks are rough!  A human would be in a hospital on a morphine drip!!   Ao TRY and be patient  and make sure Leyla’s pain is managed  consistently.    Most dogs her come home with Gabapentin,  Tramadol,  an anti inflammatory and an antibiotic.  

ATAY CONNECTED!!  We are here with you, okay?  And, although  it feels like it, recovery doesn’t last furever!!   Soon you will be saying you did this FOR   Leyla and not TO her!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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14 October 2020 - 9:48 am
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Another idea! I am kinda old fashioned in some ways and as I was reading Sally’s post I thought… “virtual visit?!”

Can you guys do your visit from the comfort of your home on video? OR… can you send photos and/or videos so that you can update your doctor and get advise?

Telemedicine is becoming so popular now with the pandemic and maybe this could be to your advantage.

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 October 2020 - 12:21 pm
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Yay for surgery being over! Don’t furget to celebrate that big accomplishment! smiley_clap

Unfortunately you’ve been put in the toughest scenario for a Tripawd recovery. Bringing home a pet the same day is the hardest spot to be in, but you are doing this and you CAN do this! We know you can! 

So, I agree, a telemedicine consult with your vet clinic would be a great thing to inquire about. 

What kind of pain medication is she on? Dosage and frequency?

Hang in there, this isn’t easy but you’ve got it in you to help Leyla heal. Stay strong, advocate for her without hesitation, and you will put this behind you before you know it. We’ll be here with you every step of the way.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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14 October 2020 - 1:37 pm
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Now she is eating normally. Of course I cooked for her (as I always do) and added some pumpkin (an advice from this page – against opstipation). Drinking is no problem.

As long as she only wants to lay on her bed I can’t even take her downstairs for peeing. But because she is incontinent she lose water in the sleep, so the bladder will not be too full.

Daily medication is: 1 x Melosus (Meloxicam), 2 x 2 Novalgin and Clavuzill (Amoxizillin) as of tomorrow.

The vet will not make homevisits because of corona. But virtual visit is possible and I will send them a picture from the wound.

sp_hearticon2Thank you all for your kind support! sp_hearticon2

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14 October 2020 - 1:43 pm
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Another victory! If she is not ready to get up yet, have you got some puppy pads or can you get some incontinence pads to put under her? That will save you a lot of clean up time. They are easy to get, I found the adult flat ones cheaper and easy enough to get on Amazon. 

Disposable incontinence pads

You are doing a great job! I am thrilled that the virtual visit is possible sp_hearticon2  Please keep us posted!

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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15 October 2020 - 11:02 am
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The vet said, the pictures look good. I should only bring her in to pull the stitches (when?).  🙂

Yes, I put changing pads from the drugstore (for children) on her bed, then a bathmat and a cozy blanket on top.

My neighbour carried her down the stairs today for peeing. After that, she wanted to run back home and could walk the stairs up with some help. Is that too much for the second day? Are there some physical exercises that would assist her now?

Virginia




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15 October 2020 - 11:44 am
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Glad everything  looked good for Leyla’s virtual appointment.   Generally. stitches come out around the two week mark or a few days before.

Bummer that you have to deal with stairs.this early on.  But yes, if poss continue  to have your neighbor help carry.  Otherwise, the only other choice is to continue  to help her very slowly, one step  at a  time.   Not sure how far she had to walk to pee, but as short a distance  as possible  right now.  Day two many dogs are still in   the clinic, so continue  sloooow and easy!  You’re  doing a good job!!!👍👍👏👏

Tried to research the pain med she was on, Novalgn…couldn’t  fi d much, but it seems to be   mostly  an anti inflammatory, maybe??   Anyway, just keep a check on any pain signals .  The hospital  meds should be out of her system today or tomorrow and pain may rear its ugly head and she may need something  stronger.

Did  either of you get any sleep last night?  I think it took three nights at least before I slept for a couple of hours.   

Remember,  it does get better, slowly but surely!!

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS. For now, don’t  try any “exercises” this early on.  Just do lots of gentle massages all up and down her spi e, her shoulder neck, to help loosen muscles that are probably  a little tight eight now.

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 October 2020 - 3:20 pm
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Aww glad to see that she’s doing better. I agree with Sally, don’t let her do too much too soon. Right now, until stitches come out, she should only be going outside to eliminate, that’s it. Try to keep her mind occupied inside with interactive mind games instead. 

I did look up that medication Novalgin (Metamizole), and it’s an older one (from 1922!) not one commonly used in veterinary medicine (at least that I’ve read about). Watch her closely for pain signals and if you see any please let your vet know. She may need a stronger medication like Gabapentin to help with nerve pain. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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15 October 2020 - 5:38 pm
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Translation from netdoktor.de:

“Novalgin is a strong pain reliever and antipyretic agent. It is used after operations, for spasmodic pain and tumors.” “When is Novalgin used? The drug is only used for very severe pain, such as those that occur after operations, for colic (severe, cramping pain, e.g. with kidney stones) or in cancer patients. If you have a fever, Novalgin should only be used if other antipyretic drugs are not effective enough.”

Sometimes she cries because of a false movement. The vet says, pain cannot be completely removed after such an operation.

Yes, sleeping is not easy for me since the day before the OP. 

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15 October 2020 - 6:57 pm
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Forgive me, I should have said that it’s not commonly used in veterinary medicine in the States. Thanks for looking it up!

About her pain: see if your vet will read about this phantom limb pain study by an Italian researcher.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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15 October 2020 - 7:13 pm
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Glad you got the pads,  they are so helpful.  Sutures/staples are generally removed 10-14 days after surgery.  If you call them to schedule,  they will make sure it’s in the proper timeframe. 

Im glad everything looks good! I totally agree with Sally and Jerry in limiting her movement.  It can cause complications that you don’t need right now.  

If you have a large beach towel,  you can slide it under and make your own sling to help her up and down stairs.  It may also help to stop her from going too quickly.

If you are staying home with her right now,  try resting when she rests.  You need to take care of you too!❤

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 October 2020 - 9:44 pm
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paws120 said
If you have a large beach towel,  you can slide it under and make your own sling to help her up and down stairs.  It may also help to stop her from going too quickly.

Oh yeah! And you can also try a grocery bag sling.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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