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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Hello Tripawd community. Our 10 year old Border Collie/Maremma Beezley had her right front paw amputated Monday this week. On Tuesday the clinic called to say they were having trouble getting her to walk, they said it was odd because it was her back legs that were locking up on her after two steps. My wife, knowing our dog, suggested it was just stubbornness. Beezley has always been the kind of dog that can’t be pushed out the door for a pee in the rain. So we attributed her reluctance to just that. On Wednesday morning we were delighted to get the call that Beezley was ready to come home. When we picked her up I had to carry her from the front door of the clinic to the truck. We had brought a modified fabric grocery bag with us (thanks for the tip Tripawds) but even with the support of that holding her up she couldn’t muster even a few steps. Once we got her home last night same thing. She hasnt been able to even get the strength / desire to shift positions on her bed. Is it normal for a senior dog to have no mobility in the first days / week post-op?
Hi Beezley and family, welcome. We are so glad you found us. Your future posts won’t need to wait for approval so post away.
Often what we think is stubbornness is a result of unrecognized pain. Sure, dogs can be stubborn in other times of life, but for a dog just home from surgery it’s more than likely related to a pain management issue.
What kind of medication is she on right now? Dosage and frequency?
Also, how is her water intake? Is she drinking at all?
And has she urinated at all?
In the first few days after surgery, a dog of any age can be wonky and wobbly because of pain medication. We see that a lot. But at the very least they should be able to stand up to eliminate. It’s hard to know if a dog like Beezley needs their pain control dialed back, or if they need more, so it’s best to let your vet know what’s going on asap. It’s more than likely that she’s not liking feeling so out of it, but don’t change anything until you talk to them OK? And keep us posted.
Thank you for your reply. We will call our surgeon tomorrow and inquire about the correct dosage of pain medication. My thought is that possibly she isn’t receiving enough pain medication. Since being released from hospital she is being perscribed 35kg of Metacam once a day as well as 600mg Gabapentin twice a day. The second of which we are told by the vet is a sedative not a pain killer. Beezley was being given 37.5kg of Metacam in the days immediately after her intial biopsy. Needless to say a far less painful and traumatic surgery then a limb amputation. She was then periodically given 35kg of Metacam daily over the last month on the bad days with her old paw. So in short she really hasn’t seen an increase in pain medication since having her leg amputated. The silver lining is that she was diagnosed with the extremely rare exoskeletonchondrosarcoma, a CT scan showed no progression to other parts of the body and we were told by the vet that the removal of her limb effectively rendered her cancer free.
Hey that’s good news about the lab report! I’m so glad this is curative for you guys.
Yes, please let your vet know that she’s not mobile. Has she urinated yet?
Gabapentin is a medication that controls nerve pain. Yes it can act as a sedative but it’s primary role is to calm nerves. You can see more about it in our latest pain management interview with Dr. Downing.
Typically most dogs come home with Gabapentin, an anti-inflammatory and another type of pain medication like a Nocita injection or a Fentanyl patch that addresses other forms of post-amputation pain.
Let us know what your vet says OK?
Good news update. Firstly, to address your earlier question yes Beezley went pee last night and again this morning, although we had her weight completely supported by the sling. What has us feeling excited for her tonight is that she just went pee… and poo under her own weight! It appears that the sling we were using to try and help support her might have been causing her to go limp in protest. We used the sling again to essentially drag her outside. Once outside we decided to try and encourage her to stand on her own three feet. She did! And she not only went pee but then hopped over to a clean spot and went poo and then went back inside on her own power. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few stumbles and flops but she got inside under her own weight!! We will follow up with the surgeon tomorrow. Good night!
22 February 2013
YAY!! WE LOVE 💩💩💩 We love to celebrate 💩💩 around here!!! AMD YAY for pee too!!
Yeah, my Happy Hannah basically would freeze if I tried to help her with a sling. Good for you for figuring out what works for Beezley…or not!
So glad you are seeing some better mobility, especially this early on!
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!