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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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dixiedog
1
25 August 2009 - 9:32 pm
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Dixie had her surgery this morning. She had a soft-tissue carcinoma on her front left elbow. The plan all along was to have her come home the same day of the surgery. Our vet didn't expect anything else. (They prefered her to be home where she would be supervised. They don't have anyone tending to the animals over night.) Her pain was pretty bad. They had her on a drip to maintain it. They sent her home with us around 5:45pm. She was very whiny, whimpering and breathing fast, then slow, then sometimes not at all! We decided to take her to the emergency hospital nearby, about 30 mins after we got home. Dixie yelped SO loud when we picked her up to put her in the car. It was so awful!

At the emergency vet, they decided that she needs to continue pain managment through shots or IV. I felt much much better having her there, being monitored. However, bringing her home, seeing how upset she was, then bringing her to a new hospital — this was SO upsetting to us. They seemed confident that she would be okay with the appropriate amount of pain killers. Then they had us sign a do or do not resuscitate order. THAT blew us away. They said they don't anticipate anything to go wrong, but you never know. So we signed to resuscitate.

We got to say bye to her before we left. She looked pretty scared and was still whining. Tonight is gonna be a long one. I don't know how much sleep we are going to get worrying about her. All I want is to NOT get a phone call from the hospital. We will probably call at least once to check up on her.

Just needed to vent. Maybe someone can make me feel better?

Livermore CA
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25 August 2009 - 9:48 pm
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Oh, Emily, that's so scary.  But, as you said, they seemed confident that she would be okay with the appropriate amount of pain killers.  Once they have that adjusted, she'll get some rest.  The other thing is probably standard procedure.

There are lots of stories here about how our dogs get weirded out with their medications right after surgery.  I'm hoping, with you, that that's all it is.

Give yourself a couple drops of Rescue Remedy and try to rest.  Dixie will need you to be strong tomorrow.

Hugs and prayers and good thoughts

Mary

Cemil and mom Mary, Mujde and Radzi….appreciating and enjoying Today

Cemil's blog

macsmom
3
26 August 2009 - 6:57 am
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Emily, I hope you were able to get some sleep last night.  When McGwire had his surgery, we paid one of the vet techs $200 (our discretion) to stay overnight with him because our vet doesn't have anyone there 24 hours either.  She said afterwards that it was a good idea because he had to have his morphine adjusted throughout the night.  She also said that Mac wouldn't settle down unless she laid down next to him so she slept on the floor next to him!  Best $200 we ever spent!!!  How is she doing today?  Mac came home the day after the surgery on deramaxx and did GREAT!  I hope she will be doing the same!

zoes4life
4
26 August 2009 - 9:45 am
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Emily,

It sounds like you guys have been through alot.  I often wonder about regular vets doing this procedure.  My vet acted like I was crazy or he was offended by the fact that I preferred that a surgeon at a 24 hr hospital to do the procedure.  My regular vet doesnt have anyone there overnight either, what if something happens?  It sounds like you did the right thing.  In my opinion, this would be a major surgery for a human, why wouldnt it be for a dog?  The fact that they want to send them home with little to control their pain, kinda blows my mind.  That has been one of the hardest things for me through this whole ordeal is that I can't stand to see my dog in pain.  Anyway, I hope Dixie is doing better.  My baby, Zoe had her surgery last Friday afternoon.  She came home Sunday night.  She was making some weird noises at first, but I'm not sure if it was from pain or from her being too gorked out on pain meds.  We are 4 and 1/2 days post op now, she is becoming more and more like herself everyday.  So please believe me when I say, it does get better.  Keep us updated on Dixie and hang in there,

Karin and Zoe

The Rainbow Bridge



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26 August 2009 - 10:28 am
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zoes4life said:

 I often wonder about regular vets doing this procedure.  My vet acted like I was crazy or he was offended by the fact that I preferred that a surgeon at a 24 hr hospital to do the procedure.  My regular vet doesnt have anyone there overnight either, what if something happens?


You are SMART! Not crazy!

We can't all do everything, and any vet who is hesitant to encourage a client to seek specialty help isn't the kind of vet I want around.

It is SO important to select a vet who has all of the appropriate technology, protocols and staff on hand to handle major surgeries like this. And the ability for a dog to be monitored overnight, either at a clinic or at a 24/hour clinic, is critical. You were so right to be cautious about taking your baby to surgeon. We all live and learn, it's so hard to learn on the fly though.

In the book “Vet Confidential,” it talks about how to find the right care in situations like amputaiton surgery. In our review of this book, we discuss the types of things to look for in a practice.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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26 August 2009 - 10:29 am
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dixiedog said:

However, bringing her home, seeing how upset she was, then bringing her to a new hospital — this was SO upsetting to us.


I can't even imagine, we are so sorry you went through this. We hope everything is OK, and chances are, she's fine. Many dogs have reactions like this after surgery.

Please let us know how things went, OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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26 August 2009 - 10:56 am
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Emily, I am so sorry that you and Dixie had to go through this.  I imagine that all the dogs go through that kind of reaction to pain if the hospital is not being proactive with pain management .  Don't beat yourself up about it because there was no way for you to know it would be like that.  I do hope though that others reading your post are better informed because of what you had to go through about finding a vet with 24 hour care or hiring a vet tech like McGwire's parents did.  My own vet, bless her heart, encouraged us to go with the veternary hospital instead of having the surgery done at her practice for that exact reason.  Your vet should have been kinder to Dixie and to you and suggested a facility with 24 hour care.  Shame on your vet.

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

dixiedog
8
26 August 2009 - 11:30 am
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Thank you, all of you. Last night was tough; I barley got any sleep. I called the hospital twice and each time it sounded like she was improving.

We went this morning to see her, and WHOA! She was standing her kennel, wagging her tail! When we opened the door, she tried to escape, “Let's bounce!” I was pretty much brought to tears I was so happy. You are all right, it does get better. She showed off how she could walk on the leash, go potty and lay down/get up. She can even get in and out of our VW Beetle. This is amazing to me seeing as she didn't have pain walking on all fours before. I thought it might take her longer to adjust to three. Dixie is so strong willed; she won't let anyone or anything hold her back.

I'll keep you all posted and I can't tell you enough how much your kind words mean to me and Adam, and Dixie.

If you want to see a video of her walking for us check it out here: http://dixileta…..lking.html

Alvin, TX
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26 August 2009 - 1:05 pm
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Wow, that is sooo great!  Aren't they amazing!!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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26 August 2009 - 2:59 pm
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I cannot imagine how it must feel to have to take Dixie in to the emergency clinc to be watched for the night.  Theat has to be so frightening.  It sounds like she is doing well now, which is a wonderful thing!

We'll be thinking of you guys as you head into recovery.  It's a tough process, but you'll get through it.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

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26 August 2009 - 3:25 pm
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I'm glad to hear Dixie is doing so much better!Cool

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Winnipeg
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26 August 2009 - 6:39 pm
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I just read your first post from last night. How Horrible!

I am so glad things improved today! Following amputation is one time that I was happy for Tazzie to stay at the vet a bit longer – how crazy they wanted you to take her home the first day.

dixiedog
13
26 August 2009 - 8:16 pm
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Thanks everyone for the kind words! I just wanted to give props to the emergency hospital – North Valley Regional Animal Hospital. The were SO gentle with us, and Dixie. They took a lot of time to discuss our situation and their plan of attack. They were also very patient with us. They didn't get annoyed with my “I just want to check in” phone calls. We felt like we connected with Dr. Lunt. Turns out he like snowboarding, like us, and grew up here, like I did. He also went to veterinary school with our regular vet (not the one that did the surgery) at CSU in Fort Collins. Anyway, we might start going there exclusively. Closer to home, and we just felt safe there.

Dixie update: Her drain already fell out later this afternoon. She leaking quite a bit, but we've rigged up a pretty good t-shirt and towel contraption. She's eating and drinking normally, and even giving the other dogs “tha bizness.”

Here and Now


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26 August 2009 - 8:24 pm
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Sounds like Dixie is doing well. Thanks for the update! Please consider posting your positive experience with the hospital and vet in our veterinary referral forum.

zoes4life
15
27 August 2009 - 6:11 am
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Go Dixie! Glad to hear she is doing well, (more like GREAT!)

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