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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 pawrent: anxious and looking for advice :)
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Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
18 October 2019
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19 October 2019 - 10:49 am
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Hello!

This site has been mega helpful to us so far in adjusting to our new tripawd dog!  We have a beautiful Springer named Dexter who is 6.  We found a swelling on his front left paw right by the joint, they are convinced its a tumour but the biopsy didnt give us anything back but he had so much damage done to the bone an amputation was the best option. 

He got this done on Wednesday and was kept in till Friday. Hes home and eating and drinking, We keep the collar off during the day and use an old tshirt and he gets a bit destructive around the house with it on and at meal times. Hes taking his meds okay but he hasnt went for a poo yet? Its now Saturday. He has peed which is good.  We have had a few yelps from him at random times and there seems to be some swelling in front leg.  Is this normal? 

We live in a second floor flat so we are limiting him to one or two trips down to the garden each day.

Im so worried and i dont want to constantly be phoning my vet for every little thing 🙁

Any help of advice would be amazing!  

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 October 2019 - 11:55 am
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Hi Kimberley and Dexter, welcome. We are so glad that we could be there for you, sorry that you even had to join this club though!

Dexter’s recovery sounds pretty typical. The poopicon will happen! Some dogs take several days before they have another movement, the pain meds will do that. You can speed things along by adding canned pumpkin pulp or steamed squash to his meals. Even a bit of olive oil or bran flakes will help too, anything that’s fiber rich.

As for the swelling…it’s good to let your vet know about it, but from our experience it’s not that unusual. Fluid build-up after a leg is removed is common, and often turns into a harmless seroma . But just to be safe, don’t hesitate to call your vet. Remember that’s why you paid them for th surgery, and they would rather hear from you now than if things get scary. 

Yes it’s smart to keep his activity contained. Watch that incision though: we’ve seen many dogs destroy stitches in seconds when they weren’t wearing a cone of shame .

Keep us posted on recovery!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 3
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19 October 2019 - 3:53 pm
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Thanks Jerry!

Yeah i phoned the vet and i was told to cold compress the leg and then keep an eye on it and his breathing tomorrow, and limit his movement even more which is so hard as he was always on the move before the amputation!

The tshirt was just for when we were around and eating but he always had it on at bedtime:) he seems to flop more when he walks with it but we are leaving it on now.

Thanks for your help, i feel like im being paranoid over everything, its very overwhelming. Espcially when they are yelping and crying and you dont know how to help.  Is lying on the wounded side normal? It seems to be healing very well and hes sleeping fine on it.

Kim 🙂

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 October 2019 - 4:48 pm
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Glad you got in touch with the vet, sounds like a good plan. As for keeping him calm, have you tried any interactive brain games with him? Even simple things like obedience refreshers and hiding healthy treats under blankets are easy ways to tire his mind, which is as effective as tiring his body. Here’s a couple of blog posts about games:

https://amazon……pawd-dogs/

https://amazon……pawd-dogs/

Don’t worry, you aren’t being paranoid. You are being observant and a great nurse! You’re already helping him by calling the vet and staying in touch. As for laying on the incision..that is a GREAT sign! Seriously, if he’s comfortable enough to lay on it, that means he’s feeling better. Some dogs take weeks to do that.

You’re doing awesome, keep it up! smiley_clap

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Livermore, CA




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19 October 2019 - 7:23 pm
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Hello and welcome.

That cloak of paranoia gets us all I think when we start down the cancer path.  Never be afraid to call the vet though- it is important for you to be strong for Dexter so if getting reassurance from the vet helps you then call.  I swear there were times with the Pug Girls that I didn’t have to give my name when I called the vet- all the receptionists knew my voice smiley4

My Pug Maggie didn’t poop for 6 or 7 days.  I went through recovery alone (Mag’s amp was before Tripawds) and I didn’t think about adding something to her food.

And a paranoia story that I hope brings a smile:

Maggie had mast cell cancer which presents as lumps you can feel.  She had her first tumor about 6 months before the one that led to her rear amputation.  After the amp surgery I was constantly checking her for new lumps…dogs that have more than one tumor are prone to have more.  Anyway- I was checking her one day and felt a lump on her belly.  My heart was in my throat as I turned her over to inspect the lump only to find it was one of her tits icon_lol.  And by the way- I did this more than once!

Sounds like Dexter is doing pretty well.  If the yelping continues talk with your vet about changing the dose or dosing schedule for the pain meds.  Sometimes a little tweak will bring more comfort.

Karen and the 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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22 October 2019 - 11:53 am
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My Westie, Duffy, is 4th day post-op.  Yesterday he started screaming, which obviously put Daddy in hysterics.  Called the Vet this morning and they are doubling his Gabapentin med to help with nerve pain.  Add that to Tramadol, Rimadyl and Trazodone.  He’s been great at walking outside (short distance) and going pee and last night had his first poop, which was a welcome site.  He’s drinking ok, but not eating a lot, and I’m not too concerned due to all his meds.  It is a whirlwind issue to go through and I have had so much input and relief from the tripawds organization.  

Here and Now


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22 October 2019 - 1:00 pm
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phxraljr said
My Westie, Duffy…  

Welcome and thanks for chiming in! Your future forum posts will not require moderation. Please consider starting a new topic to share your story, or ask any questions about Duffy. Start here if you ever need help finding the many other Tripawds resources.

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24 October 2019 - 10:36 am
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Thank you everyone!

Karen your story about the tit is ringing so true to me haha, i was panicing i was finding them along his stomach but it was just his nipple haha!

Im sorry to hear about Duffy.  Dexter is going through the exact same thing right now, he has recently started crying and whining for a good 30 seconds and then becomes really clingy, we have been told to up his gabapentin to 3 a day as they think its nerve pain aswell 🙁  He is also breathing strange, very shallow breaths and drooling but im assuming thats maybe due to the pain or the meds, keeping in touch with the vet via email and they have been great!

I dont know what i would of done without this website 🙂 

Virginia




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25 October 2019 - 10:21 am
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Hello to Dexter and his hooman.  A little late to the “welcome pawty”, but you’re  gotten grest input.

Recovery  is no picnic fot about two weeks.  As you already know, rest, rest, rest, short potty breaks and more rest.  Tweaking the pain meds can be tricky, but it sounds like you are on rhe eifht track with increased Gabapentin.  Is he on Tramadol, Rimadyl  and an antibiotic  also?  Yeah, sounds like some phantom pain .  

While the drooling could be pain and/or meds, do you think it’s a possibility  he is nauseated?? The meds can upset their tummy sometimes.

And this journey makes us all appear to be paranoid!  The truth is, we  simply love our pups/cats so deeply and this recovery  stuff is scary and new and we have no idea what’s  “normal” and what’s  not!  The first hand knowledge we all gain on this site and share with each other really is INVALUABLE!!   

We have to remeber, it is MAJOR surgery and recovery  doesn’t  happen overnight.  But when the sparkle starts to come back, it gets better and better from then on.

You’re  doing a great job!!

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!

B2bewild
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18 November 2019 - 7:39 pm
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h e l l o 

Today   is  the day that my dog (Jack Russell ) gets his back leg Amputated,  as he had  lump on his back  paw  inbetween  his toe, it  was Only meant to be  a  toe that was suppose to come off but  it came back as cancer  and the surgern basically Confirmed it  needed  to be the hole leg.  I basically  decIdEd to  go  ahead WIth it,  I  feel selfish as  to put him through this surgery as to I’m not  ready to  let  him  go. Just  yet.  His  My   dog  that I  have  ever  owned.  His also  9 years old.  The nurse and surgern  said his pretty healthy  for his age.  

My question  is am I doing the right  thing  by  putting  my  dog  through  the  surgery  to  give him hopefully  more  years  to  come?  Or  am I just being selfish? 

also how did  you  ladies  and gentlemen  handle this?  I’m freaking  out massively.  

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 November 2019 - 10:34 pm
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B2bewild said
My question  is am I doing the right  thing  by  putting  my  dog  through  the  surgery  to  give him hopefully  more  years  to  come?  Or  am I just being selfish? 

also how did  you  ladies  and gentlemen  handle this?  I’m freaking  out massively.  

  

Hey there. Please do start a new topic so we can give 100% to helping you and your pup OK? Oh and consider registering so that your future posts won’t need approval.

My best advice for now is this: No you are not being selfish. Your dog has a cancerous tumor growing and if amputation will get rid of it, then why not? There are no right or wrong choices here as long as the decision you make is made with your dog’s best interests at heart. It sounds like he is getting great vet care and you have a supportive team. That means so much!

How did we handle it? We learned to Be More Dog .

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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