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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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It's all happening so fast- so many emotions
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Livermore, CA




Member Since:
18 October 2009
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18 May 2022 - 1:47 pm
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Hi Shannon,

You know, Bailey's recovery sounds really good so far!  And those eyes!  I don't see how you can ever tell her no smiley4.

I think a big part of why people care is easier than pet care is that you can explain what you're doing and why to people, and people can tell you how they feel.  With our pets we are guessing at a lot of things, no  matter how well we know them.

On the other hand, our pups don't know they are sick or that there is a prognosis. They live in the moment without a care about what tomorrow may bring.

And don't forget to keep us updated on Bela- I know you have a lot on your plate.  But once you are here you are family and we care about all of you, no matter how many paws!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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18 May 2022 - 6:33 pm
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Hello Bailey and family,

My Brody was not even 4 yet when last December we got diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his back right leg.  Brody has been amazing us ever since.  
I think it is much harder on us as caregivers as our human brain “thinks” too much.  We don’t sleep, we feel anxious with everything that happens and our pets just keep living life and amaze us.  They don’t know they have cancer.  
Brody had his surgery and then 6 treatments and is becoming a local hero.  He has a fan club and a #. #BeMoreLikeBrody.  
Bailey will amaze you daily as recovery continues.  Dogs are amazing at finding their new norm.  
Meds are tricky.  Brody and Trazadone was good and bad but helped him for the most part.  
You will have a great support group here and we all help each other with our experiences.  

Hugs and ❤️,

Brody and family.  

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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18 May 2022 - 7:32 pm
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You are so sweet for sharing Brody's story and offering your wisdom, thank you!

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19 May 2022 - 5:09 am
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Good morning all,

Brody's family, thanks so much for chiming in!. It really does help so much to hear other's experiences and perspectives. I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone who has taken the time to respond to my posts. 

Bailey had a good night. We moved from the living room back to our normal sleeping arrangements in the bedroom. I made her up a nice comfy, easy to get in and out of doggie bed. I was so proud of my work! Bailey came in, looked at that spot, and then promptly settled herself onto the hard floor! Go figure...lol. But, I figured she must know what feels comfortable, so lights out and sleep.

It felt so good to sleep for an hour or two at a time. I was beyond exhausted after the last few days. At about 2:00 am when I sat up to check on her, I could see she was awake. When I went to pet her, she had a light shiver going on. I didn't think it was pain related, so I covered her with a light blanket, and she laid her head right back down.

She's still eating well, peeing great, poop has been absent for 24 hours, so giving a little pumpkin to keep things moving along. Started her on omeprazole, as she had a couple of symptoms of acid reflux.

Today is my last day off from work. My husband and son will have caregiver duty tomorrow. I'm nervous,  but I  know we have to get back to routines. I'll update soon.

Shannon ❤

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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19 May 2022 - 11:18 am
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WHEEEE! Shannon, you've got this under control! I knew you would get there. PAWESOME! Just so wonderful that all the signs like elimination and eating are progressing so well. 

I love that Bailey laid down on the floor. Too funny icon_lolShe knows what she likes, that's for sure.

Your husband and son can do this too. Strength is contagious, you are a pack, you've all got what it takes to help Bailey get better.

Keep us posted.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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19 May 2022 - 8:01 pm
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More French fries and belly rubs are the best therapy for recovery.   And yes, I'm talking about Bailey, not her hoomans......although......😂🤣

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!

Member Since:
14 May 2022
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20 May 2022 - 3:15 pm
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Quick update on Bailey, 

Yesterday started off great, but by noon we had a set back. Lots of panting, heavy breathing, shivering, restlessness. I talked to the vet and they weren't overly concerned, but offered to let me bring her in for a quick check. Everything looked and sounded normal, so they recommended a dose of Trazadone to help her rest. They felt it was likely the long lasting Nocita had worn off and she was having some increased pain. They wanted to stay away from Tramadol as it's effectiveness is not really that great in dogs, and stick with the gabapentin  x 3 daily and Carpofen x 2 daily. 

Well, the Trazadone was a disaster. With 35 minutes, she was so knocked out she couldn't stand, hold her head up or barely keep her eyes open. We had to carry her out potty and into the bedroom, where as earlier in the day she was walking by herself everywhere. She pooped in the bed, without even being aware. Scared the damn heck out of me! Another sleepiness night of worrying and heartache. 

She was a little better this morning, though still pretty groggy, ate breakfast, took meds and peed. I left for work at 7:00. My husband texted at 8:00 to say she had vomited all her food. She had not previously vomited at all since surgery. So, I left a message for the vet to discuss the Trazadone disaster and nausea. Vet decided to stop Trazadone and prescribe Cerenia for nausea. I  can tell she's hurting some still, even after her dose of gabapentin at 1:00. She's just not as perky as previous days, a bit restless and panting. 

At this point, I'm at the end of my rope. The anxiety, worries, and lack of sleep are taking their toll on me. Every day since our 1st rough night home on surgery day (5/16), I pray that we will start turning the corner and feeling better. And every day, it's another worry. I don't know how I can handle another possible week or two of recovery. My mental and physical health is suffering. My family tries to help, but they don't know anymore than I do in trying to get her over the hump. It's so hard to see a happy, tail wagging, mobile dog, get lethargic and uncomfortable and just not be herself. 

I keep reminding myself that this is a huge surgery so recovery isn't going to be a snap, but I just desperately want her to feel better. I have done lots of massages, petting, consoling, and love, but nothing really seems to help.

Any thoughts or other suggestions for getting through this? I'm. So. Tired. My heart breaks for her, though I'm always happy and up beat in her presence. I wish I knew how to let go of some worry. I literally analyze her every movement, breath, and symptoms. 

Praying for better days soon.

Shannon

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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20 May 2022 - 6:47 pm
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Okay, hold on to us, okay?  We just added extra length to your rope so you can climb back up and get on solid ground!-

Seriously, we understand  your emotions and, most significantly,  your exhausruon!!  And that is your biggest enemy eight now....your biggest "hump".   You. are saying AlL the right things to yourself,  major surgery, etc....and all true! But you are not absorbing it into your "belief system".  You had an expectation that's a little bit unrealistic  at this point as far as how quickyBaiey will snap back full throttle.    Bailey  just had MAJOR SURGERY!!! This  is day four.  Some dogs are OFTEN kept in an overnight clinic for two nights and days, and sometimes more.

Bailey is earing and pooping and drink and mobile. Many dogs have not reached many of those milestones  by day four.

I know you referenced "getting over  the "hump".  If you can reframe that and remind yourself she IS recovering at her own pace,in her own way and on her own timeframe.  This part of recovery does have somewhat of a "roller coaster" trait to it.andthat is expected and"normal". 

And FWIW, I am soooo glad you are not giving  her Trazedone  anymore.  It does nothing for pain and it does whack a lot of dogs out like not did your Bailey.

We often talk about the lessons our dogs teach us on this journey.   PATIENCE  is often at the tioemodnthe lost.  That, along  withBe More Dog..live in the now with no worries  about the tomorrows.  Stay focused on the present.

It's hard, but accept where Bailey is now and TRUST that Bailey is on the path fora good recovery.  It may take some med tweaking with the Gaba. You can ask about Amantidine as an additional  pain med inbetween theGaba doses. Just a thought. Yeah, most Vets now dont seeTramdol  to be effective 

FWIW I joined this community  on day six of the amputation  exhausted scared and sure I had made a horrible decision I wasn't sleeping, Happy Hannah was restless and  not sleeping,etc etc. Patience,  the support and knowledge of this group', a  little  tweak with the paain meds and more PATIENCE AND SLEEP and things became brighter....slowly but surely.   The thump thump tail wag....getting me at the door all routines and habits slowly returned.  And they will for bailey too.

Now, specific help..you MUST have a family me,ver gove you a reprieve so you can get kn uour own bed, away from Bailey and SLEEP!!!   ...AND, going back to work is probavly healing to you and Bailey both.  Jiat like you, Bailey  wants some "normalcy" and not feel like she is being  watched every second.

GeezI sure am rambling..just take all this with a grain of salt. However, cannot stress enough you need someone  else to look after Bailey  for a day or two...night or two...so you can rest!!

((((()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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20 May 2022 - 8:09 pm
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Shannon, I'm so sorry! This must have you incredibly worried. Please know you can call the Helpline any time OK? 844-TRIPAWD. Leave a message and we will call you back asap. 

Your vet is wonderful, and so spot-on quick to try something else I can't even begin to tell you how impressed I am. The Cerenia idea was brilliant. Is it helping?

Her appetite will return, her stomach will get better. She's on a lot of new things right now and she feels like crap. You know this, I don't need to tell you.

As for Traz, it's so hit or miss with dogs. I didn't like the way it affected our Wyatt Ray and he was a maniac on pain meds, it really worked him over. What about Amantadine? It's a good pain reliever and isn't quite as zonky, something to give at night that can help her relax and feel better.

Your sleep exhaustion is taking a toll and that's normal. Please try to focus on the big picture. She will get there and you will get your routine back too. The way you get there is one step at a time, one nap at a time. Do your best to share the caregiving with everyone else, don't try to do this all yourself OK? You are a great nurse but you need a break so you can be even better. This is the best way to help her in addition to staying in contact with your vet. Get rest so that you can do more of that OK? You can do this!

Please keep us posted.

Member Since:
14 May 2022
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24 May 2022 - 7:19 am
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Good morning Tripawds family!

Sorry for the absence the last few days, but I had to step back and take a break from all things cancer and amputation. I was losing my mind with worry and emotions. 

Bailey had her post-OP check up yesterday. The vet is very pleased with how she is healing and moving about. We still have some weird breathing stuff going on, but they are attributing it to laryngeal irritation and stress. Lung sounds are clear and everything else is normal. Did anyone else's pet get winded/pant a lot during amputation recovery? I feel it's probably due to all the extra effort needed for getting around, but she does it when just laying around too. I don't think it's pain. The vet felt all over at her check yesterday and didn't feel any muscle tensing or other pain responses. He felt like her pain is well controlled. 

We still have ups and downs throughout each day. I can tell she gets pretty stiff after a short walk around. No previous arthritis issues. Thursday is Oncologist day. Hopefully I get a referral for the rehabilitation therapy as well.

Bela also saw the vet yesterday for the seizures. Of course, there's no easy answer. They took blood, which we will get the result today. Otherwise, of it is some kind of lesion in the brain, there is not much to be done except control symptoms. I don't have the financial resources right now to pursue MRI, and she hasn't had a seizure now in almost 2 weeks, knock on wood. The vet wants me to continue CBD oil, as they've been having good results with it and seizures. We need to just keep watch for any other new symptoms, like weakness in a limb, confusion, behavior changes, ect.

So, still lots of unknowns in this household, but I'm learning that this is a common thread. I'm trying to keep calm, get on with normal daily routines and celebrate each good hour. 

I'll update again soon.

Thanks as always for the support, wise words of advice and comfort!

Shannon 

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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24 May 2022 - 12:32 pm
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Oh gosh do not apologize at all, it's good to take a break. Excellent self-care move on your part! Did you catch up on some sleep?

I'm glad you're back though, that is fantastic news about Bailey! She's doing really well and I'm glad the vet checked her for pain signals .

Yes, many dogs do the panting behavior during recovery. Our Jerry sure did! It's a ton of work getting around on 3 and even when a new amputee is resting, they're trying to ground themselves.

So glad you are seeing the oncologist this week. Yes definitely ask for a referral to rehab.

About the seizures. Oh gosh I'm sorry, they are such a mystery! And yep MRIs are incredibly expensive. Sometimes it is best to just wait and see as you are doing. Regarding the CBD for seizures. Can I ask what brand you are using? The cannabis products used to control seizures in people are very specific types of CBD isolate products. I'm a certified veterinary cannabis guide and I'm happy to help steer you to one of those products if you're not already using it.

Your attitude sounds really, really good. Yes, many people start this journey with all sorts of unknowns. Keeping the upbeat, taking things day-by-day outlook is key to maintaining your sanity and helping Bailey see that life is normal again. It's all great medicine! Good job! smiley_clap

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14 May 2022
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24 May 2022 - 6:41 pm
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Jerry,

I am using Innovet PURCBD full spectrum oil. I have the 3000mg bottle and use 8 drops for Bela. She is 69.5 pounds. 

If there is another product you recommend instead, please let me know. I tried to do a ton of research, but it's always so hard with these types of things. 

Thanks for you input!

Shannon 

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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25 May 2022 - 9:34 am
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Hi Shannon,

Thanks for the product name, it's a new one to me. I like to talk about this kind of thing in Eating Healthy, so I'm continuing the topic here in this new post OK

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13 May 2022
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25 May 2022 - 5:47 pm
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If I missed it, I apologize but cold compression has been the best thing when my dog seems overly exhausted. Panting/stiff.. I slip it under the blanket/under his sutures or just nearby and he seems to benefit. 

Just something small to try. I worried cold compression would be counterintuitive for muscle strain but he clearly enjoys it. 

Also, massaging the muscles. I can feel the tension sometimes when he tries to do more than he should at this level. Almost 2 weeks post op for rear limb amputation. 

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14 May 2022
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25 May 2022 - 6:03 pm
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Cloud23,

Thank you so much for the suggestions! I tried ice therapy numerous times since surgery but it makes her really agitated, so I stopped. I definitely do massages throughout the day and I know it sounds weird, but I also play soothing native flute/nature sounds music for her. I'm not sure if there's been any studies/evidence that music therapy is helpful, but I figure it helps soothe my stress and helps me relax. I'm beginning to think the panting/increased respiration is a combo of surgical recovery, medication and learning to get around on three legs. Hopefully the farther out from surgery we get, the more improvements we see!

Oncology appointment in the morning! I'm having a combination of relief, worry, fear and hope for this appt. I don't know if chemotherapy will be financially possible, but I'm praying that we can figure it out. I'll update tomorrow afternoon. 

Shannon 

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