TRIPAWDS: Home to 19108 Members and 1962 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

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.
JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!

REGISTER   |   LOG IN

Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
Front leg Amputation Recovery sling
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 41
Member Since:
25 November 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
3 December 2021 - 8:39 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hello All - My dog Harley becomes a Tri-pawd next week - Presumptive Osteosarcoma of the left proximal humerus.    I know I have read it somewhere in these threads about slings to help front leg amputees move around in the first few days but I can't find it.  I have a help-em-up harness but am not sure if this will work.  Any suggestions?  

Also - did anyone bring their dog home on the same day of amputation (front leg) and if so, were there any complications with getting the dog out for bathroom breaks or other complications requiring you to find an ER to get the dog in?  

We have three options for surgery next week.  1.  dog goes home same day as surgery because their overnight nurse is not on that day (6th), 2.  dog goes home same day as surgery but it is not a full service clinic and if something goes south during surgery and dog needs a blood transfusion or other life saving procedures then the owner has to collect the dog and get it into an ER nearby hoping that they have the staffing to see and treat the dog (Helping Hands in Richmond, VA) and 3.  dog goes home the day after (or two days after) surgery and is kept overnight in the attached ER but that surgery date is not until the 10th.  

Cost is pretty much the same for #1 and 3 but substantially lower for #2 but, I am not too keen on the "worst case scenario" happening at a clinic that does not have the capability for life saving procedures if there is a major bleed or something else.  

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 31115
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
3 December 2021 - 9:12 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

It's good that you're getting ready now (sorry for the diagnosis!).

 read it somewhere in these threads about slings to help front leg amputees move around in the first few days but I can't find it.  I have a help-em-up harness but am not sure if this will work.  Any suggestions?  

I wouldn't use the harness on him right away, it may rub the incision area and cause problems. If you absolutely need to, a t-shirt underneath the harness can lessen the risk.

Here's a link to the DIY grocery bag sling:

https://gear.tr.....dog-sling/

did anyone bring their dog home on the same day of amputation (front leg) and if so, were there any complications with getting the dog out for bathroom breaks or other complications requiring you to find an ER to get the dog in?  

Many people have done it and survived 😉 It's not easy, and Harley may be wonky and seeing pink elephants when you bring him home. But it's better than leaving him alone in a vet clinic.

Usually the dog will be pretty out of it and may even pee inside the house on accident. Have plenty of towels and wee pads available just in case. It's hard to say if he will be able to stand to go outside during the first 24/hours, some dogs do, some don't. But you really want to make sure he urinates at least once within 12 hours. 

 3.  dog goes home the day after (or two days after) surgery and is kept overnight in the attached ER but that surgery date is not until the 10th.  

Boy that's a tough call. I'd say that if you have the ability to be his nurse by bringing him home the same day (that could include lifting and carrying him out to potty if necessary), it's a far better and safer choice than leaving him alone at a clinic without overnight care. The first couple of nights won't be easy and you probably won't get a lot of sleep.

But, if you are solo or if his pain "seems" manageable and his pain signals are minimal (I can't recall if he is on any pain relief right now?), then the 24 hour clinic is ideal. Soooo...I'd say it comes down to your comfort level with caring for him. 

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 41
Member Since:
25 November 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
3 December 2021 - 2:25 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

At the ER clinic, he won't be alone.  It is staffed 24 hours with techs and a vet so he would have care on that overnight stay.

There will be two of us managing his after care.  He's currently on 300 - 600mg of Gabapentin 2 to 3 times a day, 2 x 75mg of Caprovet (it's low for his weight which is 88 pounds) and 30 to 60mg of Codeine 2 to 3 times a day.  I watch him carefully and note his pain signals and if he's getting antsy, breathing harder, or limping more I increase his medication.  He had pretty bad break through pain last week (when he went into the ER) but it finally settled down about 3 to 4 days later and now he's walking with just a slight limp.  He's not very stoic and is a bite risk so manhandling him is not going to work.  We have a muzzle for him.  he is also a highly anxious dog that is on daily Prozac and Clonidine to help chill him out.  We were initially going to just do the palliative radiation with the bis-phosphonate injections but last week when he was in so much pain, he snarled and growled at me when I approached and likely would have bit if I had not retreated.  I watched him carefully and noted that he was getting up off the ground without using the affected limb very much so we figured that he was just stubborn enough to be able to overcome some polyneuropathy and mild hind end arthritis to undergo the amputation and chemo.  For his quality of life and for ours (bite risk)....   

Diagnosis was on 11/23 with no signs of mets in his lungs or anywhere else on body (just x-rays taken) but we're now 10 days post diagnosis and know that getting the leg off sooner rather than later is important

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 31115
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
3 December 2021 - 5:32 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

It sounds like you have great support and are really on top of his pain management , which is awesome. Poor pupperz sounds like he's really hurting but you know him so well, which will make this situation a little easier.

I didn't see that you mentioned Helping Hands. They are an excellent clinic, you're so lucky to be nearby! I really do like them for a lot of amputation scenarios and if it means he can get in sooner I have all the confidence in the world that things will go right. We haven't heard any bad reports about them ever, and many Tripawds members have gone there.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 12
Member Since:
23 November 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
3 December 2021 - 11:30 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi, my boy Franklin is also having his front leg amputated next week, on Monday.  I have a lot of questions like how you hold your dog up when it needs to relieve himself in the first 48 hours?  What happens if there is breakthrough pain on the medications?  What should we expect in the first 48 hours?  What do we need to do as far as feeding goes?  Once you get them up on their legs how far should you walk them, or should it be by time?

I think I've done a lot of pre-planning.  I bought heavy rugs with non-slip pads under them.  These I placed in my kitchen to help with his traction .  The kitchen and the hallway.  The rest of the place is carpeted.  I got another dog bed I will place by the couch, and I'll sleep on the couch the first 48 hours beside him.  I purchased a raised water and food feeding platform, so he won't have to bend down so much.  I have some old sweatshirts in case he gets cold after having his long coat shaved off.  Anyway, these are some of the things I thought of.  If you have any more ideas, it would be great to hear them.  Best of luck with the surgery next week after that we begin a new chapter in our lives.

Regards,

Joe in New Hampshire

Forum Posts: 41
Member Since:
25 November 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
4 December 2021 - 4:45 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

jerry said
It sounds like you have great support and are really on top of his pain management , which is awesome. Poor pupperz sounds like he's really hurting but you know him so well, which will make this situation a little easier.

I didn't see that you mentioned Helping Hands. They are an excellent clinic, you're so lucky to be nearby! I really do like them for a lot of amputation scenarios and if it means he can get in sooner I have all the confidence in the world that things will go right. We haven't heard any bad reports about them ever, and many Tripawds members have gone there.

  

Yeah - I was initially excited about Helping Hands but they put fear in me when discussing the potential worst case scenarios and I started visualizing racing around trying to find an open ER that was staffed and capable of handling a dog in critical condition.  Unlikely to happen but....    We live about 2 hours away from Richmond but only 45 minutes from Annapolis and I guess we could use the Annapolis ER if necessary, but it means an almost 3 hour drive from Richmond if things go south.  We've managed a Golden Retriever with a TPLO surgery (not quite a tri-pawd but he wasn't using the leg that had surgery for the first week) but he was smaller and lighter than Harley and with no stairs to manage and it was tough enough.  Harley will have 2 stairs that he'll have to manage to go in and out for potty for at least the first 2 to 3 days.  Then we will be going to our new place (still trying to get out of the old one when this cancer diagnosis happened) which has zero stairs to get outside.    When I first tried to schedule surgery I had zero options (was looking at January 10th as earliest option) but then phone calls started to be returned and now I have several good options.  Just need to settle on one and go with it.  

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 31115
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
4 December 2021 - 4:37 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi, my boy Franklin is also having his front leg amputated next week, on Monday.

Hi Joseph, we are here to help! Would you mind starting a new topic so we can closely follow your journey and help better? And that way your story won't get lost in Harley's story? I'll look for it and give input over there ok?

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: libjo, nancijj
Guest(s) 79
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Newest Members:
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1167
Members: 14127
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 17343
Posts: 242120
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG