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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Hi, I have a new tripod (as of 8/6/08) who has been home for 3 days now. She is about to celebrate her 14th B-Day, and is an Aussie Cattle Dog.
Anyway, starting today, she developed a large area of swelling around the shoulder site (front left leg removal) that has grown during the day and is painful. I don’t think this is seroma , but not sure what it is from? Is it normal? The area is red and the swelling is tight, not squishy, like I think seroma is. I have iced it a few times this afternoon and evening.
She is on Rimadyl, Tramadol, and Cephalex as an antibiotic. She was on Cipro before the surgery for the treatment of her tumor (malignant nerve sheath tumor).
Anyone have any words of wisdom?
Hi Mate, thanks so much for joining our community. We hope we can be of help to you as your pal recuperates.
You’re right, a seroma is squishy. Is there discharge? How is your Aussie girl behaving? Does it seem like she’s in pain from it?
I personally haven’t heard of a hard swelling like this, so if it were my Mom, it would make her feel better to call the vet. If it doesn’t seem like your gal is in pain, you might want to call for some phone advice, and then have them take a look at it during her next follow up visit if it’s within the next day or so. Keep an eye on it, for sure.
It’s so awesome to hear about a 14 year old Tripawd. When you get a chance, post some pics and more of her story so that others can see how senior dogs do great coping with amputation. Thanks!
Just got back from the vet, paiful swelling of the surrounding tissue due to falling, bumping, sleeping on surgery site??? Pretty painful, wouldnt even eat hot dog with her meds when we got home! We had to crush tramadol pills and squirt it with juice into her mouth! Mate is very bummed right now, our vet is going to put her on an injectable pain med, Buprenex. She was on this following surgery, and switched to Tramadol when she came home. So, for a couple of days she’ll be on Buprenex. Have you had much experience with this drug?
I think the tramadol we squirted into her mouth is working because she is sleeping now next to me. Pretty big setback, very scary. We also were told to use warm compress 3X a day to loosen the swollen tissue to settle it down. The vet also put her on a once a day subcutaneous fluid drip 1X a day, so she wouldnt get dehydrated. Basically a whole IV bag with fluid goes into her tissue under her skin around her spine (she has alot of loose scruff around her neck and back)
Anyway, pretty scary stuff this post op business! I know she can take it, and I feel she is pretty much cancer free, if she can just pull it off. She lost her leg in a battle with a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tissue on her left carpus. We had some success with Neoplasene, made by Dr. Fox of Buck Mtn Botanicals, first go around we killed the tumor. Then a year later it came back on the other side of her carpus, and proved much more difficult to deal with. The tumor was angrier, and took tendons, a major artery, and bone with it this time. Our best case scenario was killing the tumor, at the expense of the use of her leg, so we decided to get rid of it for good!
When the surgeon took the leg, he couldn’t find the lymph node, as it was too small to find. So, I am hoping that this was a good sign that the tumor had not metasticized(sp?). Pre surgery x-rays showed nothing, and this type of tumor has a <20% met. rate, SO we are hoping for the best!
I just hate to see Mate in pain, when she has come so far! I know that when the pain of this is through, she will be floating around without any issues. After all, she has been pretty much using her bad leg only for a kickstand for months, and many days leading up to surgery she was going on 3 legs already!
We appreciate the website you have Jerry, it is a real relief to find so much support for something you think you are dealing with all alone. The posts and resources are great, and I hope all Tripawd families can easily find it!
If you are ever in Hawaii, dude, Mate can show you some of the best beaches in the world! (only about 40 hops from her house!)
16 February 2008
Wow, Mate is a warrior! Indeed she has come this far, she definitely can pull this one through. Don’t worry, she is on her way to a full recovery, but just a slow start that’s all.
Glad that Tramadol is helping, get her lots of rest. By the way, did she actually fall or bump into things? or the vet was just guessing?
Hang in there.
Hug hug Mate for me.
Hey Matey Girl, we just got back from a campout, and are so glad to hear that your vet is taking some prompt, thorough action on the pain. The course of treatment sounds very acceptable and seems like it should work. How are things today?
You guys all sound very optimistic and hopeful, we are glad to hear you’re pawsitive perspective on this little setback. We always try to tell people that not all dogs have a perfect recovery, but that as long as pawrents stay on top of things like this, most anything can be overcome with time, patience and great vet care.
We aren’t familiar with Buprenex, but it sounds like good, strong stuff that will keep Matey Girl calm enough to allow healing to occur.
Hope that things are going well for you today, keep us updated. And thanks for the kind words about Tripawds, you are so kind.
Buprinex is a morphine derived drug, and very effective for pain. However, Mate was not handling this drug very well, and we put her back on tramadol at noon today. One of the many side effects is lack of appetite, so we could not get her to eat food, or get any antibiotics or rimadyl into her belly, which she really needs. She is also coming down off a really not so euphoric high, and was generally not very calm on this medication. Lets just say that none of us are getting much sleep these days!
We have gone to a once a day antibiotic, and rimadyl in a shot form so we can cut down on the awful tasting med. syringe feedings, which we now do every 6 hrs for the tramadol alone. We
are hoping that her appetite will come back soon, as she has not eaten a thing, voluntarily, all day. Actually, I take that back, she has just shared some tortilla chips with us as I was writing this! Hopefully this is the start of her appetite returning.
Anyway, It is a scary road to go down, having such a major operation with our 14 year old furry child, I was hoping it would be much smoother! I dont know how many times you hear that, but I hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon. I just keep thinking of how much Mate is going through, the pain and discomfort I cant even imagine… We just want it to be OK.
Well I am still trying to figure out how to get a picture on the blog so you can see Mate, but I havent had much time to do anything else! I’m not super with it right now. Thanks again for the awesome support, Jerry, and Jessie and Connie and Radar! We really appreciate it!
Wish us luck…
Matey girl and family
Ooooh yeah, that is definitely one strong drug. Sorry she wasn’t handling it so well.
I suppose you’ve tried all the usual tricks to get the Tramadol in her system? Anything to avoid the syringe squirts. Poor thing!
One thing my Mom and Dad do to get me to take some of my meds is they smoosh peanut butter all over them. It usually works. Otherwise they just crank open my jaws and shove those pills in the side of my mouth, way in the back. It sucks, but it’s quick.
The appetite will more than likely return as the drugs wear off and she’s done being stoned. The tortilla chip munchies are a great sign!
Everything you’re going through is so normal. Humans tend to beat themselves up and worry a whole lot more than necessary, but it’s only natural. Hang in there, things will perk up soon, we know it. We’re here for you. Keep us posted.
Poor Matey, hang in there girl!
One thing I’ve learned on this forum is that in many cases, the side effects of the drugs are worse than the benefits. Individual dogs may also react differently to drugs. Time and rest are the best things for healing.
there are some tricks you can try to get her to eat. One time tested trick is to get a can of cat food, the stinkiest you can find. Mix a small amount with her regular food and see if that gets her interested. For the medicine, we put the pills in a small pat of butter – even on those occasions when we have had to put it in the back of Radar’s mouth by hand. It slides right down and the kids love it.
Best of luck to Mate. I know she will turn around.
Connie & Radar
28 July 2008
I’m part Australian Shepherd, maybe were related. I’m 13. I also had a nerve sheath tumor that returned after treatment. I had my left rear leg amputated two weeks ago. I got my staples out this morning. I’m sorry to hear you’re having a tough time, but just take it easy and things will get better. I keep telling myself that.
I’ve had good days and bad. The last few days I’ve had a really upset stomach. My humans were really worried that something was terribly wrong, but the vet said I was super. He thinks it’s the medicine that is making me sick, so no more medicine for me. I’ve hardly eaten anything in two weeks and when I do eat I just get sick. I was worried I was getting too skinny and weak, but the vet isn’t concerned at all. Maybe I can be a super model. Now my humans have to fix me special meals, but I deserve it. The vet said to just eat a little bit at a time and we’ll see how I feel. My ground beef and rice sure beat that dry stuff I usually eat.
The vet said I should be back to my old self within a month. Just be patient. It’s going to take longer than we want. But think of all the belly rubs you’ll get while you recuperate. Soon it will be play time again.
Hope you’re feeling better soon.
For the medicine, we put the pills in a small pat of butter – even on those occasions when we have had to put it in the back of Radar’s mouth by hand. It slides right down and the kids love it.
Now that is original! Great tip, thanks!
I’m part Australian Shepherd, maybe were related. I’m 13. I also had a nerve sheath tumor that returned after treatment. I had my left rear leg amputated two weeks ago. I got my staples out this morning.
Awesome news Sandy! And some wonderful advice too. It’s too bad we all go through this recovery thing, but thank Dog that good folks like you are out there and we’re all supporting one another. Thanks!
Glad to hear things are looking up. Please keep us posted.
We had a slight downturn of events last nite. Mates swolen area started to drain last nite, which caused her alot of discomfort . After a long nite of no sleep , we headed off to the vet where she had her wound examined. She was getting infected, and needed to be drained and a tube installed. That went well, and she is staying the nite at the vet with an awesome vet tech named Jacie, who will moniter her progress all nite. She is in better care than at our house, as we are limited to what we can do, and we want to get a jump on any infection.
So she is recuperating from that, and having some antibiotics and meds in an IV, which will give her a better chance at kicking the infection before it gets out of control. (that horrifies me!)
So, we are trying to catch up on a rather sleepless last 3 days, to get ready for her 2nd return home!
She is one incredibly determined animal, I hope the pain and discomfort end soon… I hate seeing her like that.
As always, your thoughts are greatly appreciated, I read them to her every day!
Mate and family
Wow, we are so glad that Matey was able to get to the vet so quickly. What a scare!
I’ll bet she can’t wait to be home again.
Hang in there guys. We’re rootin for you all.