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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Forelimb amputation - first poop - now back legs seem to be in pain
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Member Since:
15 May 2024
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21 May 2024 - 5:35 am
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Marvin, a 7.5 year old lab, had his right forelimb removed on Friday.  He has been doing great.  Last night he pooped for the first time and seems to now have a lot of discomfort in his rear legs.  Any thoughts?

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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21 May 2024 - 10:20 am
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Welcome ome to you and Marvin.  A

Sorry you found yourself here but this is the best place to be for support and information.  

First of all, yay for poop! We always like to celebrate poop around here!

Tell us a little bit about what Marvin's activity has been like. What are the pain meds he is on, Dos frequency and his weight?

It's Not Unusual at all for soreness and muscle weakness to show up when a dog is first adjusting to being a tripod. Also, you want to keep his Mobility to very, very short least potty breaks and then back in bed for more rest. If you have vinyls or hardwood floors you'll want non-slip scatter rugs for traction .

Have to run, but just wanted to throw out a couple of quick questions and some reassurance that you most likely are not experiencing anything unusual so very early on in recovery. He just had major surgery, he's on good pain meds hopefully, and he's using muscles in a way that he hasn't had to do before.

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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21 May 2024 - 11:35 am
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Hi Lisa and Marvin, welcome!

I'll just x2 Sally's questions, the more we know the more we can help. To add, what kind of pain signals is he showing? How is he telling you he's uncomfortable?

Yes, it's still very very early so taking it easy is super important right now. 

I look forward to learning more.


Member Since:
15 May 2024
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21 May 2024 - 11:49 am
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Thank you for the welcome.  He around 103 pounds and is currently on Gabapentin (500 mg) every 8 hours.  Then he's getting 100 mgs of Carprofen/Rimadyl every 12 hours.  He also takes cefpodoxime in the evening with dinner.  

We have five stairs to get in and out of the house, and we have been taking him out 3x a day.  He doesn't like going down them at all.  He yelps by the 3rd/4th step.  Going up them, he does fine.  We do have a ramp to get him in and out of the car which he is "ok" with, but he doesn't want to use it if we put it over the stairs.  

He hadn't pooped since surgery so we gave him pumpkin and he walked around yesterday evening outside for a bit then finally pooped.  You could tell he was uncomfortable.  When he stood back up from squatting he's back side still seemed under him (if that makes sense).  We iced not only his amputation last night, but also his hind legs hoping that would help.

Today he is yelping at time when he moves his hind legs.  And he is clearly walking on them very gingerly.  They are shaking as well.  

He is also panting and cant stay settled. When he is laying down with his legs under him, versus on his side, he whimpers.  We have a call into the VCA but wasn't sure if anyone else had this happen after pooping. 

We do have hard wood floors however we placed tons of rugs throughout the house to give him traction .  


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15 May 2024
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22 May 2024 - 7:04 am
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He has been prescribed Amantadine every 12 hours.  He did better last night however this morning he is yelping and crying when he stands up.  Breaks my heart.  

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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22 May 2024 - 11:14 am
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Is  the crying related to just the effort it takes to stand or does it continue  as he tries to hop?   Are you waiting for him to show signs he needs to go potty or are you trying to get him up periodically? Often it's best to wait for them to indictate, "ok, I'm ready to get up now."

Before he tries to stand, maybe you can gently massage him all over to help keep his muscles relaxed.   

 

It's generally harder for a front legger to go down steps (more weight on front).  You may already be dong this....have you tried helping support him maybe with a towel sling?  Some dogs just freeze up when you try to help them, but it's worth a try.  As the incision heals you could try a harness with a handle.

Not a Vet and not giving Vet advice, you still have some wiggle room to increase the Gaba to 600 mg every eight.  Of course, only with Vet approval. Hopefully adding  the Amantadine (maybe inbetween the doses of Gaba if he's crying before his next dose )

You're  still in the hard part of recovery.  Just remember  it doesnt last furever!!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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23 May 2024 - 12:13 pm
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Hey there I'm sorry that he's having a ruff time and I'm sorry I missed your earlier responses.

So Amantadine can help for sure as you've seen, and every 12 hours is a standard dose. But unfortunately pain management can be tricky for some dogs. There is a balance but you guys haven't found it yet, but you will! I'm glad you called the vet and got that Amantadine added in, that's a good sign they are open to new avenues to treat his pain.

The 500 mg of Gabapentin is kind of an odd number, we usually see it in 300, 400, 600, or 800 doses. I would ask them if you can bump it up to 600. If they give it to you in 100 mg capsules that will make it easy.

Most dogs don't like ramps, I would skip it since it's stressing him out. If he needs help with those stairs, a grocery bag sling is a good idea right now. After his stitches come out you can use a Ruffwear Flagline harness to help him around, but for now I would keep the incision area clear of any straps.

When it comes to pain, usually front-leg amputees will feel it in the neck and shoulders first. Have you tried gently massaging around there to see if he responds? Even a look back at you can indicate that he has a tight muscle there. Don't use more pressure than you would on a baby.

And if you don't see a difference by mid-day today, let the clinic know asap so the vets can get to see him in person and you don't need to pay for an after-hours visit this weekend.

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