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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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ER Visit & Other Night Stay
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Forum Posts: 18
Member Since:
13 March 2019
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21 March 2019 - 10:47 pm
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I was writing and preparing the post below but now have a much different report.

While the evening was one of better nights, three trips outside for business; some movement about the house and even an interest in a treat from the cookie jar…we took a severe turn for the worst when we returned from nighttime out.  Sandpiper whimpered and starting to shake, become rigid.  I quickly went for his pain medication, thinking he wasn’t ready to be without.  I had trouble getting his mouth open (which is highly unusual).  He also left his bed in the living room and went into his x pen; again, which normally I have to ‘force’ or strongly encourage movement to the pen for bedtime.

Sand laid down and went unresponsive, his front leg was straight and rigid, his breathing was different.  I immediately called a friend for help and then began to encourage Sandpiper to hold on and begged him not to leave me.  I felt as though I didn’t have time to wait, I called my neighbors to help and they immediately came over (in the pouring rain, across our muddy yards).  Matt helped me carry Sand to the Jeep and I blurted out if one of them would drive me to the Animal ER; Joy quickly and firmly said she would.

I talked to Sand the entire ride and keep his eyes open and focused on me.  I told him of all the good we had to come, his positive test results today meant we had time to open the pool and about the beach house we rented.  We had a lot of life to live together – we are going to do this together and asked him not to go see his sister Rodanthe!  It was a tough trip, distance was about thirty minutes and we have flooding from pouring rain all day today.

As most of you might know, minutes turn to hours in a hurry when you are waiting in an animal ER.  Finally, some answers started to flow…it appears Sandpiper is dehydrated and has elevated sodium levels.  Chest, abdomen x-rays are good, blood work is good.  They requested to keep him for twelve hours to provide fluids at a controlled flow as to not decrease sodium too fast and continue to pull and monitor blood work and other vitals.  I was able to sit with Sand a bit before leaving – he actually stood up and wagged a little but then, returned to his blank state.

I do a lot of big things well but feel like a terrible fool for failing to see that my boy had enough of one of life’s basics – water!  I knew his intake was low but had no idea or did not realize how low and now I have another sleepless night, risk his life, missing another day of work and an ER bill…

It’s tough to hear people say I go above and beyond when right now, my boy is in the ER because I failed to monitor his water intake.  

Biopsy Results & Stopping Medications
We received some good news today – we were 99% sure it was cancer so no surprise that is confirmed.  The surgeon took a lymph node as well and it showed no sign of cancer.  Also, the stage was determined very early and the prognosis was positive – much different than my original vet stating I had three months remaining with Sandpiper.

The surgeon agreed with my assessment to remove the Trazodone and Gabapentin as Sandpiper remained so sedated, he was not willing to spend time trying to do big business and honestly, moving around seemed impossible.  He was sleeping 22 hours per day.  The option to return one or both medications as needed is always available.

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 March 2019 - 9:03 am
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Oh my gosh I’m SO glad things turned out well. I was so frightened for you guys! Yikes. How. Scary. I didn’t realize that’s what dehydration could look like so thank you for enlightening us.

Please don’t blame yourself. We all learn so much on this journey. Now you know. Move forward and continue the recovery, I promise you that Sandpiper will too.

Cheers to a good path report and continued recovery. You guys are moving ahead, I promise!

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




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22 March 2019 - 9:44 am
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My heart was in my throat the whole time I was reading this!  Whew!  So glad you got things figured out!!   And thankfully  it was easily (relatively speakjng) treatavle!!   For whatever reasons, some dogs just aren’t  interested in drinking after surgery.  I had to entice my Hapoy Hannah to drink by swirling  ice cream in her water!

So now is the time to CELEBRATE Sandpiper  continuing to have a good recovery AND having a great medical report!!  😁😁😁😁😁😁   And YAY for having  such great neighbors!❤

The Gaba on it’s own shouldn’t  make him too sedated  with the dose he was on.  So shoild he have pain break through, you can always add that back.     He’s  still on Tramado, so hopefully that will do the trickl

Now try and get some well deserved rest!!!

Extra 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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31 March 2019 - 1:31 pm
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As it turns out…it was not dehydration after all….Sandpiper was bleeding internally.  

The local ER was ‘releasing’ him because they were at a loss and unable to help him.  Friday afternoon I signed a transfer order and immediately traveled our two hours back to Malvern to see his surgeons and the specialist at VRC.  They stabilized him quickly and we reviewed my options and they suspected theory – while could not prove anything unless the got inside.

I opted to allow them to operate (please keep in mind, Rodanthe’s last weeks she was bleeding internally from her cancer and we didn’t know it…) and stay the course of saving his life, removing his leg and treating the cancer to give us time and quality of life.  

Sand received a blood transfusion to help stabilize him and by 5p he was on the operating table….again, one week later.  They saved him…there was a blood vessel that retracted under the muscle during the amputation and was missed being cauterized.  

The recovery was difficult and a challenge, he rejected / destroyed the first blood transfusion dropping his red blood cell number to 15; leaving them wondering…did he really destroy it or was he continuing to bleed.  They did a cross-type and match and gave a second transfusion and started a medication to help him rebuild the red blood cells.

Sandpiper was released back into my care on Monday.  He is slowly recovering from a second surgery in a week and blood and weight loss.  I am trying to recover from the similarities and the financial impact.

Billie Jo

The Rainbow Bridge



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31 March 2019 - 2:36 pm
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WOAH! Not the pupdate I was expecting when I opened this. Wow I’m so glad he is at home and recuperating. How. Completely. Scary. It must have felt like an awful time travel experience for you. I’m sorry you endured such a scary time.

But it’s a miracle too! So believe me, we are all jumping up and down and celebrating Sand’s remarkable recovery! clap

They saved him…there was a blood vessel that retracted under the muscle during the amputation and was missed being cauterized.  

This is something that has happened in the past, but it’s rare. If anything good can come from this, other than Sand’s recovery of course, it’s that we will continue to remind people to ask their vets to check for it. When you have a sec, can you remind us exactly what symptoms he was showing before the first ER trip and then just before he got back to the specialty one? 

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




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31 March 2019 - 4:38 pm
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HOLY poopicon_pngpoopicon_pngpoopicon_png Unflippin’-believable!!!   That Sandpiper sure knows how to scare the heck out of all of us…yet again!!!!   Cannot believe  all this has happened  the way it  did!   From “dehydration ”  to internal bleeding, surgery, transfusions…WOW!!!

Sandpiper IS  a miracle dog!!  He has the best pawrents in rhe world as his advocates, as well as a great Guardian  Angel Rodanthe!!!

So sorry this happened ,and si THRILLED SANDPIPER IS OKAY!!!!!  Glad Jerry asked about symptoms each time.  And yes, when you can, do recount the symptoms AND, I would love to know what “tests” they did to determine  it was “just dehydration “.   In retrospect  and using the “hindsight is 20/20” theory, did they do ANY tests that “should” have pointed   to the direction  of bleeding?  Pale gums, blood tests,etc?  

This is such an important  “heads up” for all of us.  Again, so sorry you and Sandpiper had to endure this,  but soooo relieved  everything turned out okay!

Is there any poss7 the first place who misdiagnosed  him could help with the bill….maybe reimbursement for some of their charges? Or ,aybe rhe surgeon whi dis rhe amputation  could reimburse you some.  And I’m  not saying any of this is anybody’s fault and could have veen avoided…I’m just sayin’….well….just sayin’…  maybe…..😉.

Loads of extra hugs to you  ((((((((((((((((((((((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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