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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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22 October 2020 - 3:31 pm
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Like Jerry said, suture removal is 10-14 days post op. They don't like to wait too long after that though because the sutures can get embedded into the skin. If they have not made an appointment for you, I am wondering if they have used dissolvable sutures? Please call them and ask just in case it was an oversight. Most have sutures or staples, but a small handful have had dissolvable sutures. 

All in all it sounds like recovery is going well. You will love Jerry's video! I used the tummy sling for Mitchell who was 70 pounds and it worked very well. I am only 5'2" and have my own back issues and that sling made all the difference in the world. 

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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22 October 2020 - 5:43 pm
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We have to drive by train to the vet. So she should be fit enough. Day 15 should be ok.
We must change at one station. There are elevators, but sometimes she refuses to go into elevators. And it is almost always crowded. Which means, there will be no time to persuade her.

Yes, I love this video. At which day was that possible? Do you think I can try to let her walk downstairs now? Two small steps (to our backyard) are possible even now.

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 October 2020 - 9:59 pm
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Is there any way you can take a private car to the vet? Or maybe practice taking her into that kind of situation before the actual vet appointment? Just to minimize the stress of the event on both of you.

Jerry started walking down stairs with assistance about the time his stitches came out. We never let him use the uncarpeted stairs without help though. Carpeted ones we would, because they were not slippery. But the stairs in our home were really dangerous for him. I would always use care when she does any more than three or four stairs, and assist her with the harness handle.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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23 October 2020 - 4:43 am
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The stairs in the house and at the stations are not slippery. But of course I would never let her walk them alone but support her with a harness. Even with four legs she never went them down alone.

The strong panting - is this normal??? Maybe I should have ask the vet for an x-ray of the lungs before the operation. Why didn't I think of that..



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23 October 2020 - 7:06 am
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I would definitely run persistent panting by your doctor.  Sometimes that can simply be a sign of pain rather than what you are thinking.  

Try not to panic, this may be a simple medication adjustment,  ok?

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

Virginia




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23 October 2020 - 9:35 am
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Wont rehash  all our suggestions about pain meds, but pain signs include heavy panting.  plus it takes a lot of effort to hop on three at first.  They hopping on  one leg across the room....i takes effort. 

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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23 October 2020 - 1:54 pm
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Apart from that she is quite like her old self again. The panting only occurs if she walks. The vet says I can give her cimalgex (another pain medicament which has not as much side effects as gabapentin).
Maybe it is just the temperature. It is 15° C outside and she wears one of my thick T-Shirts the whole day. The stitches come out at tuesday. Do you think I can pull her the shirt off?

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23 October 2020 - 2:28 pm
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Yeah sounds like exertion. It's hard work being a Tripawd!

If there's any chance she will get at her stitches I would wait until they are out to take the shirt off.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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23 October 2020 - 4:11 pm
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The panting gets me down. I'm at the limit in every way. I just want my normal life back. What the hell did I do to deserve this. I just wanted to give my dog a happy life. What is this now? WHAT he fucking hell is this. 

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23 October 2020 - 4:51 pm
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Even in the sleep now she is breathing extremely as if she dreams. When I wake her up, all is normal. But if she sleeps again...



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23 October 2020 - 5:05 pm
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Leyla's mom,

(((((hug))))) I don't "know" you, don't know your name, not even sure exactly where you live or what your 'normal' life is like.

You had 2 options. Surgery or euthanasia, right? You are still early in the recovery stage. Obviously there was a reason that you chose life? The only thing I can do is give you a hug and ask you to please be patient. You have come this far, and honestly Leyla seems to be doing relatively well. This seems to be a temporary, normal recovery. So your "new" normal may be different from what you are used to but you still have your girl, and other than being out of breath she is doing well.

Please feel free to private message me and I would be happy to try and help in any way that I can. I know this is scary, frustrating, and you haven't seen the light at the end of the tunnel yet. I cannot predict your future. Unfortunately we all have different stories for different reasons. I cannot promise you that everything is wonderful. All I can tell you is that what you describe (without pictures or video) seems relatively normal. 

If the roles were reversed and you needed time to heal what would you wish for? Patience and love. 

I can tell you for sure that taking a feral cat that I never could even touch from my yard in a trap for a surgery that most people would have euthanized for was a total stretch even for me. I had no idea if I could even tame him enough to keep him or spend the money to save his life just to release him to hope he would survive. 

I can tell you that Huck did not have cancer. But I have seen so many here that DID have cancer and they beat the odds. I can also tell you that several didn't. But they had more time with their companions and it was quality time. 

I am not sure what you are looking for. I don't know what you expected. Surgery is MAJOR. This is not just a wound that is fixed and sewed up. This takes time, patience, and love. Lots of love. 

I wish for you that this all turns out well. I am glad that you are going to see your vet soon. I will keep you in my thoughts and hope for a good outcome. I am so very sorry that this happened to your furbaby. 

I wish peace for you and Leyla. Please try to breathe and step back to see how far you have come. So far you are doing really good. Baby steps.

Jackie and Huck sp_hearticon2

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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24 October 2020 - 6:53 am
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{{{ Thank you. }}} @---}----
It seems to be a bit better now with additional pain meds. But in fact she needs the meds much longer than it was planned (6 days Novalgin, 10 days Metacam). Which means that it is more complicated than expected. It is day 11 now and she walks in baby steps again. This is not what I had in mind when I made the decision. All the dogs in the videos I have seen did better than her. I still can not imagine that she can go for a walk with me ever again.

Virginia




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24 October 2020 - 11:10 am
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Jackie.♥️...uour reply was so spot on in so many ways!!  That was an excellent  question about expectations!  Therein is where we may be able to help  out more!. 

Okay, jere we go....

Yes. there are  lots or videos of dogs playing and hopping happily after amputation.  Some may even be videos of showing that after the two week mark.  Perhaps we as a community  can ppst more videos of the dogs that aren't  even mobile for the first three, maybe four days after amputation....because  that happens too....and that is "normal" for some dogs to take that long to hop at all!!  Ultimately they DO get around just fine!!    Some dogs need assistance in walking for several weeks and again, ultimately  they DO get along just fine....just like the videos you are seeing.

REALITY here in the States, MANY dogs are on EFFECTIVE pain meds for two to three weeks, and so etimes longer.  Pain meds are one of the most useful tools in a successful recovery.

 REALITY here in the States.  Dogs who do not get proper and ADEQUATE  pain medication  take longer to heal and to recover.   All their energy is used to fight off pain.

I am not a Vet and not giving  Vet advise.  It appears the meds that Leyla has been given are basically  anti inflammatory.   Not sure what the latest one is the Vet assigned.  Also, jere in the States giving  pain meds CONSISTENTLY  is very important  in healing.  

If I recall, your Vet did prescribe Gabapentin  but you were afraid of side effects, eight?  Speak to your Vet again about side effects concern as this is THE go to effective  pain med used here in the States for MAJOR surgery.  To my knowledge the only side effect we MAY see here on ocassion  is more sleeping.  Again, not a Vet and not giving  Vet advise.  I had to chuckle  a bit about "side effects".  If you've ever read the side effects on aspirin it would scare the heck out of you.

I know you're  exhausted  and scared and uncertain, especially when making comparisons to recovery  that seem to be going faster.  EVERY DOG IS DIFFERENT.  EVERY RECOVERY  IS DIFFERENT!!    Proper pain management   is an essential  element of recover, as well as patience.

UNLESS there is some  underlying  issue going on, Leyla should be able to continue  to improve at her own pace.  As we have said, it is MAJOR surgery.  It takes approximately  two, maybe three weeks for a dog to recover  from the surgery itself.   And generally, about thirty days to get their mobility  issues worked out.  

Earing, pooping, peeing, drinking all good signs.  Incision  looks good, right??  No fever?  Your Vet can give her a good check up, but, based on everything  you are saying she is doing well as far as the things I just mentioned.

Are YOU getting any rest???  What is your energy like around Leyla?  We understand  the fear and frustration  and impatience, but are you able to keep that energy away from Leyla??   Are you able to praise and applaud every little hop she makes like it was the best thing in the world??  Are you putting  forth a strong  and confident and steady energy ?    We know that's  hard to maintain during recovery,  but we know you can do it!!!   

Apologies  if I already m this, have you massaged uo and down her spine, her neck....any tenseness  anywhere?  

 Make  a  note of EVERY improvement you see.  A tail wag, a bark, extra alertness of uou offer a special  treat.  Come her and let us celebrate  that with you.

Hopefully after reading, our replies you will be able to see that "expectaions" can be a big stumbling  block for you right now.  Proper consistent  pain management   from the get go, slooooow and easy for the first two to three weeks, potty breaks and nothing more, spoiling, nurturing, care giving........walking with your girl WILL happen at her own pace and on her own timeframe!!

I'm sure I mentioned  this, but it took me at least three weeks before I could finally say I did this FOR my Happyy Hannah  and not TO her.

Try and get some good rest yourself.   Eat lots of chocolate, it helps!!!   

((((((((((((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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24 October 2020 - 11:46 am
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Ok, so Brownie was ten days before his 12th birthday before surgery. 95 lb choc lab. Brownie was on pain meds for three weeks. Thankfully Brownies vet really believed in pain meds. He had a fetinol pain patch. human grade. He was also on tramadol, and a pain medicine for phantom pain . Can't remember the name. At first I thought what have I done. Then many people on this site told me to be patient. Due to Brownie being a super senior it may take some time. Right at the three week mark Brownie was back.  He was his happy self again. Now Brownie wasn't as fast as the other younger tripawds, but he did just fine. Heck, Brownie wasn't that fast on four. He was never athletic, he was more of a investigator. Brownie is one that beat the odds. We had extra time together to do things together, and just for me to spoil him. At first I wasn't going to amputate, and the vet said three weeks. Right at the three week mark I started seeing a lump appear on Brownies ankle. I started to panic. Brownie wasn't ready to go. He still wanted to play, he just hurt. So I realized that Brownie deserved the right to fight. This journey includes us, but it is not about us. It's about our pet. The decisions we make need to be about them, not us.

I don't know what I would have done if I wouldn't of went thru with amputation. Brownie was not ready to go. I feel so blessed that we had an additional one year and eight days together. Yes there were some bad days, but there were so many great days that I would not trade for anything!

So just hang in there. It's still early. I am the most inpatient person in the world. So if I can do it so can you.

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"

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24 October 2020 - 11:54 am
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By the way, as I am sure you know our pets feed off of our emotions. I always made sure I was happy and upbeat around Brownie. I praised him for every little thing he did. When he got up in his own, his baby steps. Please remember to praise her for everything she does. Stay positive when with her. If she senses you are upset, and feeling discouraged, she will to. She will think it's her fault you feel that 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"

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