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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 tripawd here, any sage advice or wisdom?
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Forum Posts: 1
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16 February 2020
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16 February 2020 - 7:20 am
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I’m new here and I’m still trying to manage and adapt to all the changes and challenges ahead, but I’m ready to follow this wherever it may go.  I’ve voraciously explored this forum and I feel like I have a good game plan on how to move ahead. Moreover, I am hoping for any additional wisdom or sage advice from other tripawds that might not be present in the forums…

Quick Synopsis of my tripawd–A 5 year old, 100lb, Bernese Mountain Dog (leg amputated on his 5th birthday 2/15/2020icon_cry). Front left leg amputation from a grade 2, non-metastatic, soft tissue sarcoma.

  1. What were your biggest challenges?
  2. Your tripawds’ biggest challenges?
  3. Any home modification/yard tips?
  4. Things you wish you would’ve figured out sooner?
  5. Mistakes you’ve learned from?
  6. Post-op care tips?

Thanks for being part of this great resource!sp_hearticon2

Here and Now


Forum Posts: 12268
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16 February 2020 - 11:31 am
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Welcome and best wishes for your pup! What’s his name?

Search these forums and the blogs and you will find most of your questions have been answered, or consider downloading the Tripawds e-books to save time spent searching.

There are various Tripawds News blog posts all about what to expect, as well as numerous recovery posts.  One specifically addresses preparing your home for recovery.

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!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation. Meanwhile, start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs.

new hampshire
Forum Posts: 249
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16 February 2020 - 4:31 pm
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Hi there and welcome,

Life on 3 can certainly take a bit of getting use to. (For the silly humans more than the pups) that said you have a great attitude, thats a major hurtle out of the way. Lets see if i can answer a cew questions.

  1. What were your biggest challenges?                                   For me it was getting over the blame game and that mom with a new baby fear. I had to learn to let roane do things on her own, in her own way without having a painic attack.
  2. Your tripawds’ biggest challenges?                                         Roane healed well but had a bit of a crash after we tried to tapper off pain meds. It was kind of a duh moment. She was a big girl 130 pound and alot of dog to haul around on 3 legs. Turns out she was having some joint pain so our vet did a daily dose of rymadyl to make her more comfortable.
  3. Any home modification/yard tips?                                                     What kind of flooring do you have? We have tile in the kitchen which is tricky for tripawds. We got some cheap 6 by 12 foot rugs, cut them in half and stuck them down with double sided carpet tape to make a nice wide runway.                                               Roane was a rear leg amp so up the stairs got a bit challenging somedays. We kept a close eye on her and used a canvas grocery bag as a sling to help her. There are also some great harness options.
  4. Things you wish you would’ve figured out sooner?                           Nothing comes to mind.
  5. Mistakes you’ve learned from?   Nothing here either
  6. Post-op care tips?                        Go with your gut and follow thier lead. Every dog is different. Watch for anything out of the norm and dont be afraid to call the vet 300 times. If your not getting the answers you feel are right get a second oppinion.                               Try to keep the first few weeks low key even if they feel spunky. Rest, rest, rest, short leashed potty breaks and lots of yummy food, water and spoiling

Im sure some of the others will have some insight. Hope this helps. Keep us pupdated when you can we’ll be routing you and your guy on!

❤ Bev, Moe cat, autumn angel Roane & angel dog Gypsy 

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

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16 February 2020 - 9:03 pm
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Brownie is also a front leg tripawd. He can go upstairs fine, but going down is a challenge. Brownie is a senior and now having arthritis . I would suggest talking to your vet about joint supplements. I regret not starting them earlier. It’s good to massage your dog around the neck and down the spine. Also a rehab vet is a great idea. It helps to make the core strong.  Brownie was doing the underwater treadmill. Brownie  be 13 soon, and he has been a tripawd for almost a year. So the supplements, and massages are very important. Your pup only being 5 I think rehab would. be great. There is also equipment you can purchase to do exercises at home. Also, weight management is very important. At time of amputation Brownie was over weight and would get out of breath quickly. Once he loss weight he got around much easier

Hope this helps and good for you to ask the questions ahead of time! 

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

Forum Posts: 2
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26 March 2020 - 3:13 am
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Hi Joey, 

We have a 4 year old bernese mountain dog (5 in August) who is currently 14 days post front right arm amputation due to also having a soft tissue sarcoma. 

I was wondering how your bernese recovered the first 14 days? The first few days for us were great. He seemed to adapt really well and was hopping around the house like nothing had changed for him. He was on 3x Gebapentin and paracetamol twice daily with Loxicom for the inflammation. After around day 4/5 his mood would be low (which we expect). He was on strict rest but then the vet told us he was ok for a short 5 min walk once his drain was out (4 days post surgery). We did this and he took it in his stride and seemed to lift his low mood slightly. 

Around day 7 his pain started to get worse, especially at night. So our Vet advised us to increase his dose of Gebapentin if he seemed in pain. When we did this he was completely out of it for hours and de motivated to get up to even go to the toilet. So after a couple of days we reduced his gebapentin. For the last 4-5 days his pain seems to have gotten much worse. All night he is crying out in gut wrenching pain and you can see his wound tensing when he cries. The Vet advised this is most likely to be Phantom pains. We expected the phantom pains but we are quite shocked at how often these pains are occurring. (he is in pain all night) and now he’s also having these pains even when he gets up to go to the toilet, which 5 days ago he was fine with. 

When he is on his walks, hes amazing. No pain whatsoever and rolling around like a puppy again. Which is lovely to see, but also very confusing as to why the pain kicks in so much at home for simple mobility. 

The vet has told us to go back on the Gebapentin twice a day to see if this helps. Up to now he’s still the same. 

You seem to be a little ahead of us post surgery. Our bernese had his surgery on 12th March. So I was hoping for your insight of your dogs recovery and if its similar to ours. Any tips also welcome with pain and motivation?

Thank you in advance for your help. I hope your beautiful bernese is on the road to recovery. 

Tilease 

The Rainbow Bridge



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26 March 2020 - 1:15 pm
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Hi Tilease and family, welcome. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away. 

Sorry your pup is having difficulty. What’s his name? Please start a new topic so we can follow along closely and he’ll you better ok?

It sounds like his pain management needs some fine tuning. There is to be some aches and pains expected but what you are describing sounds like it needs an additional modality. Whether that is another pain medication like Amantadine or the addition of some acupuncture and physio therapy I don’t know so it would be good to have your vet and a physio evaluate him, if possible. I know the pandemic situation is making things tough but if you can’t your vet know that his pain is that bad, they may consider his case a priority and get him in.

In the meantime I would scale back any kind of activity other than going out to potty. Play some brain games and food puzzles with him to keep him from getting bored. 

I hope this helps. Hang in there and let us know how things are going in your new topic. We will be waiting! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




Forum Posts: 19148
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26 March 2020 - 1:58 pm
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Yeaah, as Jerry said, pain management   is probably the key.  Not a Vet and not giving  Vet advice, but phantom pain is usually short burrs of yelping snd rhe sog often gets up to try and move away from the pain.  It’s  intense but, thankfully, short lived.  Maybe a minute or so.  

Staying on pain meds consistently during recovery and not ever letting the pain get ahead start is crucial.  And even thpugh dogs appear to be ready to go for a romp, the first two weeks should just be SHORT potty breaks and back in for resr.  Often dogs come home with Tramadol as well as Gabapentin.   They seem to compliment each other.  The Gaba and Tramadil can be staggered so  pain meds are constantly  in your pup’s system.  And as Jerry said, Amandatine is something to check into also.

A couple of other thoughts.  It’s possible  that a staple/stitch could be poking him when he’s in certain positions  or makes certain moves.  Try massaging  AROUND the incision.  Try massaging  up  and down his spine, his neck, his shoulder  and see if he has any tense spots.

Sometimes, thankfully not often, a nerve from the surgery  can still be left “open”, not closed off (my non professional terms) and can cause a lot of havoc is nerves are left dangling.

Also, send your Vet a video of what’s going on.  Maybe post a video  here of these episodes and possibly  we can offer insight.

Update when you can, okay??   We’re here for you and we’ll figure out how  to get over this temporary  hurdle, okay?

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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27 March 2020 - 7:09 am
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Hi Jerry & Sally, 

Thank you so much for your replies, they have been incredibly helpful. We took Junior (thats his name) to his Vets yesterday to have his stitches taken out (14 days post op). 

I sent over the video of him crying out to the Vet prior to our visit. He examined him and his heart rate was high and heavy panting so he advised he is in a lot of pain. He has thank fully upped his dose of Gebapentin back to 3x daily (2x 300mg). He has also prescribed Amantidine alongside the Gepapentin in the evenings too. We had a much better and settled night last night! Junior was completely out of it, the Vet is keen to keep him on high dose for at least the next few days to help him rest as he needs it! 

He is doing much better today, he is still experiencing the phantom pains but they are less frequent now. 

I will keep you guys updated after the weekend let you know how he is getting on. 

Again thank you for the help! 

Have a great weekend! From Tilease smiley4

The Rainbow Bridge



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27 March 2020 - 8:59 am
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Oh I love your vet! That’s terrific, I’m so glad that you found the right combo to help Junior get some relief. Good for you, you are a terrific advocate for him smiley_clap

I hope your weekend is restful and easy. Keep us posted!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19148
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27 March 2020 - 10:02 am
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YAY!!  😁So happy to know things are improving!!   Even if he’s zonked out a bit, that’s  okay.  His body needs time to tecover while not fighting pain too.  Amd good for you and your Vet embracing pain meds as a way to help Junior.  

My Happy Hannah was on them for three weeks and was able to taper down duri g rhe ene pf thise three weeks.  Some dogs need meds less time, some.more, whatever works!

Thanks for the update!!!   

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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