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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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New amputee and he doesn't seem the same. So worried!
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Forum Posts: 1
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18 December 2017
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18 December 2017 - 6:19 pm
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Hi all.  My dog Harley had his leg amputated last Monday after he broke his leg. We don’t know how or why he broke it, but his we are getting a biopsy on it.  

Harley is a 3 year old (we think) lab/gsp mix.  Before his accident he was a fun loving and happy dog.  Since he came home last Tuesday he is a totally different dog.  He had his drain removed on Friday and stitches will be out on Jan 2.  The vet says he looks good, but he seems so depressed.  He isn’t on pain meds anymore.  

He doesdnt have much of an appetite but I know that will come back in time.  He just lays on his bed or hops into a corner to lay down.  His tail doesn’t wag anymore and He looks so sad.  My family is so worried about him and I’m scared.  Is this normal? What can I do??sad

Livermore, CA




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18 December 2017 - 7:42 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry you are dealing with this with Harley- since his leg broke do they suspect osteosarcoma? Did he lose a front or back leg?

So his surgery was a week ago? Based on your description of how he is acting my first thought is that he is in pain.  Most pups here are on pain meds for at least two weeks.  The most common combo of meds is tramadol, gabapentin and an anti inflammatory.

Here is a blog post on recognizing signs of pain in animals.

and Here is a blog post on Current Pain Management Protocols.

Remember that dogs are good at hiding their pain so it’s hard to tell sometimes, and some vets still don’t seem to follow the current pain management protocols. 

Most pups start to show their ‘sparkle’ around the two week mark, often after the sutures come out.  Don’t get discouraged! You made the best choices you could for Harley.  You should call your vet if you think Harley is in pain so you can get him comfortable through the rest of his recovery.

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 December 2017 - 7:44 pm
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harleysmom2018 said
What can I do?

The most important thing you can do is to Be More Dog . And that’s not just some silly saying. Harley will follow your lead. What he needs most right now is for you to be a strong balanced pack leader to help show him that life is good, and will only get better. Remember to be upbeat and strong around Harley. Listen to the Be More Dog podcast when you have time for more information.

Next, he may be overdoing it, or experiencing pain. Learn how to identify pain symptoms many people miss, or see the many pain management posts, interview videos and podcasts. Confinement, rest and moderation are key right now. Nothing more than short leashed potty time is recommended until those stitches come out. Then you can focus on some core conditioning and strengthening exercises before any walks or running around.

One week is still very early in the recovery and rehab process. Seems a bit early to be off all pain meds. The Tripawds Nutrition blog has lots of helpful tips for stimulating appetite. Many others have shared their tips here in the forums too.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

And welcome! Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Virginia




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19 December 2017 - 9:55 am
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As you can see, you have come to the right place for support, understanding and information!!

YOU ARE. NOt ALONE!   We understand this recovery process all too well!   He will get his sparkle back slowly!!!

And ABSOLUTELY get uim baxk on pain meds!!  This is sooooo early and its MAJOR SURGERY and it hurts!!   Most here come home with Tramadol, Gabapentin, Rimadyl and an antibiotic.  He NEEDS pain meds and complete and total rest!  Just short potty breaks and back to bed.

F this Vet won’t accommodate you, find another who will.   Please update as soon as you can avout the pain plan.  

We also have a TRIPAWD HELPLI E.   1’844 TRIPAWD

STAY CONNECTED!

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!

Schofield, WI
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19 December 2017 - 2:11 pm
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I agree with the others one week seems too soon to be off pain meds.  It’s still very early days and by the end of two weeks I think you’ll see some sparkle come back in Harley and once more become your happy boy.  Think about it this way.  It takes new muscles to get strong to enable your boy to get along.  It’s like you starting a new fitness regime.  Remember how tired and sore you get?  Well that’s Harley right now with a surgery to boot under his belt.  So pain control is important at this stage of the game and needed.  I think his depression is pain signals .  As he gets feeling better you’ll cut back but right now he needs them for both surgery and new gait muscle pain.  Hang in there!  By the time the stitches come out most of us see a much happier dog.  Hugs!

Ali
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20 December 2017 - 6:09 pm
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We’re experiencing the same thing with our dog.  He had osteosarcoma and had his front left leg amputated last Tuesday.  He sleeps constantly and has to be coaxed to get up, drink and go out to toilet.  We’re so worried and have been broken hearted that this should happen to our lovely boy.  He is on pain meds and because he had some phantom limb pain we’ve been advised to continue with a high dose for another week.  Perhaps it’s a combination of the drugs and surgery recovery and we’re expecting too much too soon.   I think we’re so scared after the shock if the cancer that he may be more seriously ill but his wound is not hot or weepy and he has no swelling.  Likely doesn’t  help that we’re sad too.  Just wanted to post so that others know they’re not alone.  I found it helpful to read that what we’re experiencing is normal and things will get better.

Here and Now


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20 December 2017 - 7:29 pm
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Ali said
We’re experiencing the same thing with our dog…

Thanks for the feedback! Please consider registering to take full advantage of everything Tripawds has to offer. For starters, your forum posts will not require moderation

Virginia




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20 December 2017 - 9:15 pm
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And ALI, you aren’t alone either!  We would love to hear more about your boy!

Gabapentin can make them drowsy, ESPECIALLY if he’s in a strong dose.  Actually rest and potty breaks are pretty much all he should be doing now anyway.   Itsw MAJOR SURGERY and it hurts.  Plus he’s adapting all his muscles to usi g three legs now.

It IS important to keep your energy upbeat and confident!  Dogs DEFINITELY pick up on our energy.  Maybe have a friend he likes come over and bring him some treats.  Get all excited when they come in and make a vig deal out of it.

Looking forward to more updates.

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



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21 December 2017 - 11:31 am
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We’re experiencing the same thing with our dog.  He had osteosarcoma and had his front left leg amputated last Tuesday.  He sleeps constantly and has to be coaxed to get up, drink and go out to toilet.

Ali, what I like to suggest is to put yourself in his paws. How would you be if you had just gone through a major surgery like amputation? It’s likely your dog is doing much, much better than any human. Since they don’t have the emotional burden that we would carry about losing a limb, they handle recovery like champs. Now, of course he’s not back to his normal self yet. The body takes a huge whallop after a surgery like this, and the pain meds (which sound like they are doing their job) make many dogs sleepy. Remember though, sleep is medicinal and you want him to rest lots right now so his body heals properly.

We thank you for sharing your story. Please consider registering as a member, then starting a new topic so we can help you and your pup on your journey. Best wishes to you both.

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London, UK


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22 December 2017 - 4:45 am
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Hi there, and welcome! Just wondering how you are getting on and how young Harley is doing. Update when you can, we are thinking of you!

All best,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 11, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


Ali
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24 December 2017 - 9:52 am
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Since I last posted we’ve had Wilson to the vets again but there’s no heat, his temp is fine and he seems generally well.  The most distressing thing is even on the pain meds, he screams with pain whenever he stands up.  This lasts for maybe 20-39 seconds and he’s quite clearly in agony.    He is still sleeping much of the time and as you say this is to be expected so that he can heal and rest up.  I haven’t read much about this type of pain but I’ve a feeling that this is still the phantom limb pain.   I’m hoping that this is something which will go and soon as it’s agony for him and I can’t seem to do anything to make this better 

Here and Now


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24 December 2017 - 10:04 am
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Ali said
I haven’t read much about this type of pain…   

You will find many helpful posts about phantom pain here in the forums and in the Tripawds Blogs . Review the many pain management posts and podcasts too.

Register and your forum posts will not require approval.

Virginia




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24 December 2017 - 7:45 pm
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Sorry your sweet Wilson is having pain. If it is phantom pain , Gabapentin should help.   How much does Wilson weigh?  Whats his pain protocol? 

Before he gets up perhaps you can gently massage him allmover, do gentle stretchw, etc.   Massage up and down his spine and neck and shoukder areas.  You can even puta warm towel on him while doing this.

Keep us posted.  Hopefully you and Wilson can get a bitnofrest over the holidays.

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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