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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 after amputation. Is this normal?
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Forum Posts: 1014
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21 January 2020 - 4:47 am
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So happy for Mouse you have a plan. It sounds like your old vet has what I call “a big head” and set in his own ways instead of what is best for the animal. I think its a good thing you are moving on.  Brownie’s vet doesn’t have much of a bed side manner but he is up to date on current procedures. He was talking me into amputation and I was resisting until I found this site.

Do you do kitten rescue? When I lived in the country I use to trap feral cats, have them fixed then set them free.

Let us know how Wednesday goes.

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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21 January 2020 - 1:03 pm
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I sometimes forget that vets are people too. They have their own opinions, values and life experiences. I believe their jobs, while joyous at times, can be extremely demanding and stressful working with sick and dying pets while managing staff and a business. I’ve always thought that veterinarians see more death than most medical doctors and that would likely harden them somewhat. That being said, it was no reason for Mouse’s vet to not rejoice in Mouse doing so well and changing the bandage. 

Good for you for getting mad, saying goodbye and finding someone who can meet your needs. I’ve had to do this when finding a vet for my cats. I left one vet for stating that my large male black cat would be a bully. I left another when Mona peed in the corner on the floor and the vet was disgusted with her! Sadly, my cats’ vet for the past 10 years has retired and we’ve had to find a new one. I think we now have a winner because she took great delight in their uniqueness and has done excellent followup.

I hope Mouse progresses well with his healing and the new vet meets all of your needs. Mouse is obviously well-loved.

Kerren, Tripawd Kitty Mona and Eli

The Rainbow Bridge



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21 January 2020 - 2:23 pm
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I believe their jobs, while joyous at times, can be extremely demanding and stressful working with sick and dying pets while managing staff and a business.

Absolutely Kerren, well said. The veterinary profession has one of the highest suicide rates of all, and female vets are 4x more likely to die by suicide than others. It’s scary.

Good for you for advocating for your kitties! When we go through a tough time like amputation surgery, we know for sure if we’ve picked the right vet, or not. If not, moving on is best for everyone. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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22 January 2020 - 11:34 am
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No I’ve been breeding hairless cats (sphynx) for 24 years. 

sphynx-cattery dot com 

I nueter aand spay my kittens before they leave.  Most vets around here will not do early spay and nueter so my options are limited.  He had been the only vet I’ve gone to for the last 18 years so this will be a big change for me and admit am a bit nervous that my kittens do well. Him not helping Mouse isnt the only reason I have decided to leave.  There were other things leading up to this.  Since I had a meeting with him regaurding the other issues a few months ago he has had the chance that he values me as a customer and he failed to do so when he refused to do Mouses aftercare.

Mouse is having a pretty good day today.  Yesterday not so well.  We take Mouse to the new vet this evening to get his bandage changed.  Will let you know how it goes.

Kristen and Mouse

Virginia




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22 January 2020 - 5:16 pm
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This is why we call recovery a roller coaster ride.  It’s not unusual  to have a less good day at first.  Sometimes it’s from overworking  muscles that are used differently now:  sometimes pain meds fo ve tweaked s vut snd sometimes it’s just that  recovering  from major surgery is no picnic fot awhile.

Let us know how the new Vet works out.

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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25 January 2020 - 2:54 pm
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So glad that he is home and getting to hang out with his family. What a great face. Eva says hang tough, it gets easier.

Virginia




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26 January 2020 - 6:11 pm
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Update when you can and let us know how the appointment went with the new vet.

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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27 January 2020 - 11:53 pm
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The appointment with the new vet went well.  He has been there twice so far having his bandage changed.  His incision look great.  If anyone wants to see it I have photos.  We are taking him to Madison Thursday to get his staples out and his 1st round of chemo.

I have to admit I am not sure if I am paranoid or what but I’ve been so worried that it’s in his lungs now.  He pants alot and his breathing is rapid when he is awake but also when he sleeps.  Part of me thinks it is anxiety but I dont know why he would be having so much anxiety.  Today he was better.  Does anyone know if they go through withdrawals when their fentanyl patches comes off?  I am wondering If that’s the cause….withdrawal from narcotics.  It seems to start up shortly after he eats.

I’ve read so many stories about how after amputation the cancer was in the lungs in just a matter of days.

Today Robert took him in the front to pee and poop.  Someone was walking their dog and I guess he bolted all the way down the icy drive way full speed and then stopped as soon he he reached the end.  Robert said he couldnt catch him and that hes never seen him so fast in his life….lucky he didnt fall.

How long did everyone take off their handles?  Robert wants them off but I feel better with them incase he starts to slip i can grab him.  Even though I have rugs all over out floors are slippery and some times the rugs can move.  Also when going out side I liel to hang onto his rear end while going down the ramp incase he falls.

When he got sick he wouldn’t eat so I started cooking him food.  Well now he wont eat dog food at all.  Does anyone ha e reccomendationd on what I can feed him or cook for him that will be positive for his health and prevent the  cancer from growing?

He is down to 180 pounds from 220.  He lost all the build up of water he had in his skin

Sorry for all the questions. I am just so swamped taking care of him and trying to accomplish everything else that needs to get done.

Oh fyi I recieved several calls from my old vet. I did not call him back.  Then i got an email today from them saying mouse is due for his rabies and needs a physical exam to make sure he stays in good health.  In 18 years I’ve never gotten a health reminder let alone an email.

Thanks

Kristen and Mouse

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27 January 2020 - 11:56 pm
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Oh and I took six 12 week old kittens into the new vet Friday to get fixed, 4 spays and 3 nueters.  They all did really well and are making a fast recovery.  I take 5 more in on the 7th.  I am feeling pretty good about the change.

Kristen and mouse

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28 January 2020 - 6:48 am
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It sounds like the new vet is working out well for you, mouse and the kittys. I made a similar change a few years ago and found the best vet ever! Sometimes things happen for a reason. It sounds like your vet is realizing you were serious about mouses care. Definitely his loss not yours.

Mouse sounds like hes feeling super spunky! Gives you a bit of a heart attack at times but its good to see them moving around. You be careful on that ice buddy, dad cant keep up.

As for the heavy breathing your not paranoid at all. Your just keep a close eye on mouse so you can give him the best care possible. Dont panic it could be something simple. 

Is he still on meds? Antiinflamitorys? It could just be that he’s working into life on 3. Maybe hes stiff or a bit uncomfortable. New muscles working in ways they didn’t before. Do you have a physical therapist in your area? 

Eating can be a little challenging for some after surgery. Mouse clearly has a discerning palette 😉 You might have seen this one already but check out Dr Damien Dressler. His website has some good cancer diet recommendations that are fairly simple and you can make in large batches. 

❤ Bev, Moe cat, autumn angel Roane & angel dog Gypsy 

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 January 2020 - 11:18 am
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Kristen I’m so happy to hear from you! Thanks for the nudge, Sally! 

Yes we would looooove to see Mouse pictures. And hey the kitties too, why not?! 

I’ll try to answer your concerns. Don’t ever feel bad about asking them. We get it.

He pants alot and his breathing is rapid when he is awake but also when he sleeps….Does anyone know if they go through withdrawals when their fentanyl patches comes off?  

No, they do not go through withdrawals. The pain medication gradually works it’s way out of the body, so it’s not like a sudden stopping of the meds that throws their body into shock like an addicted person. What he may be experiencing is residual aches and pains from the general movement of being a Tripawd. And chasing after dogs to say hello! When you take him for his next appointment, ask them about the panting. He may just need a bit of pain medication dialed in to help him be more comfortable. As the weight comes off he should find it much easier to move around without pain.

I’ve read so many stories about how after amputation the cancer was in the lungs in just a matter of days.

I wouldn’t say it’s happened in days. But usually when the cancer progresses quickly after amputation it’s because the dog didn’t get more advanced pre-surgery work-ups like a CT or PET scan to ensure no micro-metastasis. I wouldn’t worry about that right now. Mouse is a strong boy and things are looking good. Go with it! Enjoy the victory of recovery and moving on from your last vet! You have much to celebrate instead of fear.

How long did everyone take off their handles?

We always left Jerry’s Ruffwear Webmaster harness on, all day except at night, and our Wyatt Ray ‘s too. That’s because we generally found that just when we thought we wouldn’t need to assist him throughout the day, he would do something that would call us over to help him and when we didn’t have anything to grab, it was much harder. 

Does anyone ha e reccomendationd on what I can feed him or cook for him that will be positive for his health and prevent the  cancer from growing?

Absolutely! Check out The Dog Cancer Survival Guide and also the Tripawds Nutrition blog for lots of tips.

Can’t wait to see photos of Mouse! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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