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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My boxer, Amber, joined the Tripawd community yesterday after an OSA diagnosis last Saturday (we didn’t waste much time). This forum reminds me of how important Inspire.com was for me when I had my heart surgery. There’s such power and comfort in accessing caring places like this. I’m pleased to say Amber is recovering from a right rear amputation where, coincidentally, she had TPLO surgery 3 years ago…coincidence? My surgeon here in Clearwater, FL was named Dr. Malnati and he was absolutely fantastic and even came to my house to check on Amber this morning. It doesn’t get much more caring than that.
My girl has been walking around some and has gotten some of her appetite back and has been walking around the backyard. She clearly hasn’t figured out how to leverage that remaining back leg yet, but she’s also heavily medicated and tired. I can’t help but imagine she’ll get stronger and more efficient using her remaining leg. She’s a tough girl, love her to death.
Thanks for everyone who contributes here, really helpful.
Jason, Amber and family, welcome! I’m so hoppy to hear that she’s doing well after surgery. Yeah, the diagnosis is the pits but as you can see, our dogs know how to make the most of every single day and have so much to teach us when faced with adversity like this. Your pawsitive attitude is GREAT and will carry you through anytime you have doubts or feel down. Amber is gonna kick some butt, I can feel it!
As for the TPLO & osteo coincidence…well I’m not a scientist or a vet but I will tell you that you aren’t the first one who has joined us and been through that exact same experience. I’m sorry you are dealing with it, but we will be here to support you 100 pawcent. And your vet sounds pretty darn fantastic too.
Your future posts wont’ need approval so keep us updated OK?
Welcome to Tripawds. I’m sorry cancer has brought you here, but as you have seen, this is the best place to be when hit with cancer diagnosis and amputation.
Amber sounds like she is doing well so far, be sure you don’t let her do too much for a couple of weeks. I didn’t have to worry about over use- when my little pug Maggie lost her left rear leg to a mast cell tumor she imitated a slug for weeks!
Mag took some time to build up her strength, but she got back to doing just about everything she could before surgery. She never could do too many stairs, but she was little, only about 12 inches at the shoulder. Jumping almost her entire height off the one back leg was a lot to ask. She could do 2 or 3 without issue. Most bigger dogs do stairs just fine.
We of course will need some pictures of Amber!
I hope her recovery goes smoothly.
Karen and Spirit Maggie
Thank you guys for the encouraging words. We had a tough night last night, seems like the anesthesia is starting to wear off, but the pain meds aren’t keeping her entirely comfortable. For those of you who went through this, how long until the intense pain period wears off?
BTW, I tried to add a photo, but I’m not sure what the “source” is looking for?
Jason, sounds like a call to your vet is in order to get those pain meds adjusted so she’s not hurting like that. It’s just a matter of figuring out what dosage & meds work for her so do give them a call.
Adding photos is easy, here are instructions. To add pics here you need to have them hosted somewhere like a Tripawds Blog, Photobucket, Flickr, etc., then you paste the URL into the photo icon box. Let me know if you’d like some help.
Pretty common to seem to regress at home, but as you said- the good stuff from the vet is wearing off.
Maggie came home with a fentanyl patch and tramadol for pain, and I think rimadyl as an anti-inflammatory. Same pain regimen for quad pug Obie when he had knee surgery two years ago.
It is tough to figure out just the right dose, but you can do it. You have the ‘advantage’ of having seen her after a major surgery in the past. How comfortable was she after the TPLO? As Jerry said keep talking to your vet to get Amber as comfortable as possible.
3 June 2014
Welcome Amber and family!! I’m sorry to hear that Amber had an uncomfortable night. Getting the pain managed is one of the most important things at this point so they are comfortable and their body can start to heal. You’ll notice most pups here have been on Tramadol, Gabapentin, Rimadyl (or other anti-inflammatory), or Fentanyl patch. Vets have done one or a combination of meds to assist with pain management . For my Leland (108lb Dobie) we only had him on Gabapentin and seemed to do ok with that. Not all meds will agree with a pup so work with your vet on finding what works for Amber.
My Leland was also a hind leg amputee. I assisted him with a belly sling going up and down stairs until we had to let him go in June. Since Amber has already been through a TPLO procedure I’m sure you’re aware the chances for her other knee going out increases (at least that’s what our vets have always told us). You’ll want to do as much as you can to protect that remaining knee from going out. Unfortunately Leland’s remaining knee rupturing was the last issue that pushed us into letting him go. He was dealing with other health issues and his health was declining pretty rapidly but once that knee went out we couldn’t put him through a 3rd surgery within 6 weeks.
I wish you and Amber the best and hope she has a quick recovery!
Sahana and her Angel Leland
November 17, 2009 - June 30, 2014
May you finally be healthy and running free at the Rainbow Bridge. Until we meet again my sweet boy!
31 August 2013
Hi Jason and Amber,
So sorry for the diagnosis in sweet Amber, but you have definitely found the best place to be…..it sounds like overall, Amber is recovering well, and at her own pace. All our pups and kitties recover at their own pace, and none are the same for sure. My precious angel Polly recovered so quickly from her front amp, it was if she never had a leg removed…. But then there are others that take their time healing, which is completely normal….I think rear amps take a bit more time to adjust, though.
Your vet is really awesome for coming to your house to check on Amber, sometimes I think our fur-loves get much better medical treatment than us humans do! I also hope you are recovering well from your own serious surgery.
One thing to make sure of, like the others have said, is to be sure Amber’s pain meds are regulated and working well for her, that absolutely makes all the difference in the recovery period.
Best wishes for a great recovery, and keep us updated when you can,
Bonnie & Angel Polly