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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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Excessive Sleeping & Behavior Changes Post Amputation
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Forum Posts: 47
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5 June 2008
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12 June 2008 - 11:47 am
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Hi,

I was wondering about changes in behavior…Today is day 8, post-amputation. For the last 2-3 days Buster’s been more remoate from me, not following me around and hiding under tables. He’s also been sleeping a lot and weaned someone from the pain meds. Is this common?

I’m thinking that even though on more pain meds initially, the pain was greater and "broke through" the meds. Now, perhaps the pain has lessened, he’s less anxious and restless, because he’s getting used to what’s happened, and is able to sleep more soundly and rest and heal. I’m hoping this is the case. Does anyone else have similar experiences?

 

 

micki z.

Forum Posts: 34
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12 June 2008 - 2:27 pm
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hi!

 

you know, I am 16 days post amp and yes, I went through long deep sleeps in those first weeks.  The body healing takes loads of eneergy as does using all those nex muscles to walk.  Try standing on one foot for a while and you’ll see how that leg gets soo tired.

Mom said just not ten minutes ago though to that it seems I sleep more soundly now.  It seems like pain free sleep has found me and I love it.

I went through a week slump that scared mom, but then, the old me started coming back a little each day.  and then, around day 10 an even better me emerged.

be patient, but if you think anything is wrong call the vet.

 

scout

lauren

Forum Posts: 47
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12 June 2008 - 2:45 pm
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Thanks, Scout.

As Buster has never had such extensive surgery before, it’s harder to read him.  I just try to be encouraging. He too jumps up every now and then with a yelp,  but he used to do that with gastro problems bfore and the pain meds have slowed his plumbing down even more, so that could be it. But I do think wounds cause sharp pains now and then too. 

I broke my ankle a year ago and couldn’t walk for 2 months. It only now feels close to normal. I had such difficulty I hated the world.  I can’t believe what a strong little felllow he is for what he went through.

And all those of you that have big dogs, my hat’s off to you. Buster’s little 14 lbs is exhausting, but not nearly as taxing as getting around as a big one would be. Harder on owners too. 

micki z.

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12 June 2008 - 3:43 pm
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Hey Buster…hang in there buddy. My behavior and personality didn’t return to "normal" until I got my bandage and stitches out 2 weeks post-amputation and until I was off the pain meds. As Scout said, it takes some time for the body to heal and for us to adjust to life on 3 legs and it surely takes our pawrents time to adjust emotionally. I’m a front leg amputee and as a result, I’ve had to learn how to use my hind ones more – as with anything major, it takes a little time to adjust and adapt our muscles. I can’t go on super long walks anymore with mom (but we can walk for 15-20 minutes at a time) and I tucker out more frequently, but other than that, things are pretty normal.

I’m a 10 year old golden retriever 9 weeks post-amputation.

Keep us posted on your progress and tell your mom that everyone is here for her to help with her questions or concerns.

Love,

Zeus

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

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12 June 2008 - 4:15 pm
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Aw, thanks Zeus, did you have cancer too?

micki z.

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12 June 2008 - 7:14 pm
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From experience, the best thing you could do for your tripawd emtionally and physically, is to encourage the same routines (more or less) you had before, i.e: the same walk routes. etc. Do not fret over your dog, the same walking routes are requisite for his sensory and physical balance. The day after Lalla’s surgery, she got me to do just that by taking her to her same routine on the beach (on the broadwalk); please remember that what you give your dog is given back twofold.

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12 June 2008 - 9:01 pm
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Hi Buster…yes, I have cancer too. Mom wrote a novel on the "share your story" forum if you want to read about our story. Mom LOVES to write and share stories back and forth with people – silly lady…don’t know why she doesn’t like to chew sticks and play ball – it’s so much more fun don’t you think? To each his own I guess…

Get some rest and sweet doggie dreams – let us know how you’re doing ok?

Licks and nudges,

Zeus

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

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12 June 2008 - 11:05 pm
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Hey Zeus,

 thanks for sharing your story with us. It is the story of my heart too..my friends raised eyebrows or say nothing…very loudly. But I’m going all the way with it too and take Buster’s lead. He has been the greatest of gifts in the world and I only want to serve him, though I could never be as consistantly faithful as he, nor with the same good cheer. He is my greatest teacher.  Loving him feels so good.

 thanks Heather.

 micki 

micki z.

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15 July 2008 - 2:10 pm
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Hi,

 My 8 year old lab retriever mix, Parker, had a right front leg ampuation 4 days ago and seems very depressed. She is not eating very well at all, finally got her to eat some prescription wet food, but we basically had to hand feed her, and she hides under the bed and wont come out.  She is even hesitant to take treats from me and sometimes wont take anything from me, even extra good treats like chicken or ham!!  She also acts scared- her tail between her legs and even shakes sometimes. Is this normal? I am very worried about her and just want her to get better. 

Tara, Parker’s Mom

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15 July 2008 - 2:37 pm
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Tara,

 4 days is not a long time in recovery. Your dog went through a major surgery..I had ankle break and foot dislocation last year and didn’t feel good for nearly 8 months and was on pain meds a long time. Mine was probably more serious than an amputation as it was such a trauma, but your dog went through trauma too.

My Buster is 5 wks. post-op and is only this last week wagging his tail and being playful again. But it still hurts if when I pick him up I pull the skin inadvertently. Your dog is probably on pain meds, or should be. Mine was on longer than the 2 wks. usually prescribed. He didn’t like the way the pain meds made him feel, but also, when I didn’t give him enough he also felt bad. Give your baby time, he’ll come around. There was someone else on this forum that said it also took a month before his dog became himself.

Just I wouldn’t worry about the food too much unless it’s many days of no food then I would call your surgeon, (not a regular vet). If he won’t drink water that’s another story. You don’t want him dehydrated. Try some broth watered down (one with the lowest sodium (I’ve never found one with no sodium). The one I like, has no fat and smells terrific, and it’s called "Imagine" Organic Free-range chicken broth. It comes in a box in the soup section.

If he’s throwing up, he may remember the food he ate and could have a later aversion. Buster is going through this and won’t even eat good ground beef, but will eat Evo’s duck out of the can. Go figure. Evo’s is high protein..around 95%. Even the dry  is high but not as high. It’s low carbs, high protein and high fats if he had cancer, as cancer feeds on carbs.

Also, when a dog is nauseous, warm food has a lot of smell that can make him sick. If it’s cold, it isn’t as strong, so serve chilled. Another thing i try is cooking either beef or turkey, freshly ground, as there isn’t as much bacteria forming on whole meats. I get it home and section it off in 2 day batches and freeze it. Then I take it out as I need it and cook it in a pan with broth on low heat so you don’t toughen the protein. There’s lots of broth when it’s done (and I cook it just to the point the pink goes away) and that’s one way to get water in your dog.

Give him time and baby him a little.

Hope this helps a little.

Micki 

micki z.

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15 July 2008 - 4:58 pm
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Hi, thanks for the info.  I guess I thought my surgeon gave me the impression that she woudl be back to her old sefl in no time. In fact, I took her in to him yesterday bc I called and expalined that she wasnt eating and was hiding under the bed and they seemed concerned. They took her temp, did a chest xray to make sure she wasnt getting pnemonia and checked her incision.  He had me up her pain meds.  I just want her to be as comfortable as possible, but as I said I was under the impression that the surgery want that big a deal for dogs, but I guess I should have known better since it is an amputation after all.  I will jsut be patient and hope for the best. Thanks for your help!!!

TARA

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15 July 2008 - 9:49 pm
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Hi Tara…thanks for sharing what’s going on. Great advice from Micki…:-)

It took Zeus 2 weeks to stop panting – his way of expressing pain and discomfort. Once he got his bandage off and his stitches removed, he was a HAPPY boy. I’m not sure what advice to offer about the food issue – Zeus never had any issues with food or water except once during his first two weeks after his operation. Zeus also did much better once he was off the pain medicine…if you think about it, pain meds make us loopy and out of sorts…so it makes sense that it may also affect our furry friends in a similar way.

Try to keep your voice positive and upbeat, happy and loving – she will pick up on all your emotions and if you’re expressing worry and concern in your voice it may be reflecting in her behavior. Try not to worry (I know it’s hard), call your vet as much as you need to and keep getting as much information as you can – knowledge is power when it comes to helping our faithful friends through this.

Love

Heather and Zeus

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 July 2008 - 11:20 pm
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Tara, my friends sure have great advice here, and it sounds like you have a very good vet. I can’t think of anything else to add really, except to just be patient, upbeat and believe. Your Tripawd will recover, it just takes time. You’ll be amazed at the difference that four weeks makes!

Keep us posted.

Love,

Jerry 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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2 August 2008 - 1:07 am
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OK, this is a questions for all you girls out there. I am a 10 1/2 year golden, Bailey. My surgery was this past Tuesday. I am eatting great and drinking water very well also. Generally I think I am doing very well. I had my left hind leg removed. Right now mom is helping me with a towel, but how am I going to keep my balance when I need to "pee" or "poop". Also right now Mom is a bit concerned as I am not peeing that much at all. But it doesn’t seem to bother me. This thing on my lower back they keep calling the "pain patch" is coming off today. So will this help me to do what it is I am to be doing when I am outside? And as a girl who now only has one hind leg, I must say, once again the boys have it easier.

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 August 2008 - 7:09 am
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Ahem, I’m not a girl, but I wanted to point out that we boys usually lift our leg when we pee, which sure makes it tricky to go after we lose one!

But where’s what I think; don’t sweat it. The act will come naturally and Bailey will figure it out. She might tip over once or twice, but that’s all it takes for us dogs to get the picture and figure out a new way of going.

When the pain patch comes off, you’ll most likely see a big difference in appetite, which means more eliminating. If she’s not going at all or having a lot of trouble after a day or so, you should give your vet a ring. But just keep an eye on her, and I"ll bet that you’ll be amazed as you watch her figure out the call of nature all by herself!

 

 

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