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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 Josie
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Greater Western Washington area
Forum Posts: 1158
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25 August 2010
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15 April 2012 - 9:52 am
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I don’t know.  All I can say is my boy had a pretty severe time of it.  His, once they started, were every few minutes.  He was terrified by the next day, he was acting like some thing was attacking him, just throwing his head back and crying for about 15 to 30 seconds.  My amputation vet didn’t believe in phantom pain (really?!) so I found a vet close to me (she also happens to post on here as tazziedog) who got me the right meds for him.

Gus (Dan is the owner) also experienced it for weeks.  If her muscles are twitching that is a classic sign, I have been told. 

Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the right front leg 8/23/10,

leg fractured 8/27/10,

leg amputated 8/30/10


I couldn't begin to say how special Sammy is to us.  Living and laughing with and loving this wonderful boy is priceless.

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 28303
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25 April 2007
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15 April 2012 - 11:02 am
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Phantom pain can come back in short bursts but usually goes away. Here is more info:

Phantom Limb Pain in Tripawd Dogs

You’ll also find lots of good info in the Forums too, just search for “phantom pain

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15 April 2012 - 11:17 am
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Glad Josie is doing better!! I’m not sure how long the phantom pains last if they have them. If she has episodes like that again and she is not on Gabapentin then maybe your vet can give you some to try. But hopefully that was just an isolated episode that won’t return!

San Diego, CA
Forum Posts: 2503
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29 October 2010
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15 April 2012 - 2:48 pm
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Our Abby had what seemed to be phantom pain only once (thank heaven, cuz the screaming was so awful. Poor baby!). Others here have had it happen several times so tried gabapentin, which is supposed to help. Hopefully it won’t happen again.

She looks like a sweet pea!

Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Las Vegas, Nevada
Forum Posts: 4344
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14 August 2009
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16 April 2012 - 12:09 am
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Hopefully Josie will continue to do well.  Gosh!  She is a puppy if she is chewing on a shoe after having a leg removed!  big-grin

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Peoria, IL
Forum Posts: 297
Member Since:
7 November 2010
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16 April 2012 - 3:05 pm
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Amy said
It was almost like a panic fit because she realized her leg was gone?? 


Your description exactly describes how Sammy experienced phantom pain . His coincided with increased activity and resumption of some of his “normal” activities. For instance, we lifted him up on the couch (his favorite place) but if he tried to get down by himself he absolutely screamed. Since he was big enough to almost walk up and down on the couch, I don’t think it was actual pain. He looked more scared than hurt. Either he was confused and frightened because his body wasn’t moving as it had before, or trying to get down triggered a response from the nerves and remaining muscles at the amputation site. He didn’t cry out when walking, rolling over, etc. — only when doing something that made him worry about his balance.

Although his screams were nerve-shattering, he seemed to recover quickly (with a lot of cuddling and reassurance) and the episodes stopped after a week or two. At the time, it seemed like forever!


Beth and Spirit Smilin’ Sammy

Smilin' Sammy, March 16, 2004 – Dec. 5, 2011
Golden retriever, diagnosed with osteosarcoma in September 2010 — right front leg amputated November 2010. He fought valiantly to stay with us; but a second diagnosis of osteosarcoma, this time in his left front leg, was more than our golden warrior could overcome. He loved his pack — and everyone else he met.

We loved him even more.
Thanks for the pennies, Sammy. They helped.

Rock Hill, SC
Forum Posts: 875
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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16 April 2012 - 4:07 pm
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Zeus came home from the vet on Gabapentin and Tramadol and did not have an issue with phantom pain .  I THINK he MIGHT have kinda had it once, but it was very minor and he only whimpered.  I believe the gabapentin really did help to avoid phantom pains.  Or maybe we were just really lucky….

Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...

Leicester, NY
Forum Posts: 422
Member Since:
11 February 2011
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16 April 2012 - 5:55 pm
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Hello Amy, Josie and Avery-No experience with Phantom pain but just wanted to say welcome to tripawds!  Cant wait to see pictures

Spirit Samson was Spirit Tripawd Daisys four legged "brother" and ruled as the self proclaimed head of the Monkeybutt Federations East Coast Division. Lady Chunky Monkey stayed from Oct 2011 and left for the bridge in Apr 2012. Miss Perdy is left and has some big pawprints to fill.
Do you have what it takes to be a Monkeybutt? Find out more at the Monkeybutt Federation

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