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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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One week since amputation highs and lows
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Forum Posts: 13
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5 August 2015
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11 August 2015 - 9:18 pm
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Well it has been 1 week today since Louie my huge mastiff (172 pounds) had his left front leg amputated. Although we have reached some milestones we have also experienced some lows. On the good side he is almost back on his normal diet. Prior to this he would only eat Boars head turkey breast or roast beef 🙂 but at least I was able to get his meds into him easily. He is managing the ramp to the yard fairly well. Going up is great, going down he lies down and rests halfway. When he pees he starts out squatting but then can’t seem to hold himself up and lies down and pees or sometimes pees with his butt in the air and his front end on the ground. He has NOT pooped in 9 days and I am afraid he just can’t figure out how. He wants to go to his poop spot but he still can’t walk too far and mostly lies down outside sometimes for a half hour or more. He just gets so exhausted trying to walk or stand for more then a few strides.

Also worrisome to me is that his only front leg buckles every so often at the wrist while he is walking and he collapses down on it while it is bent. I have to pry it out from under him or he can’t move it. I am so afraid he will break his leg or severely injure it the way he falls on it so hard and the way it gives out on him. Also today someone knocked on the front door and he woke up and jumped up barking. He must have been half asleep and crashed to the ground right on his amputation site and screamed for almost a minute! I thought he broke his leg! I was literally sick to my stomach it was so gut wrenching!

So we have moved forward somewhat and in others ways  we have gone down hill but I suspect this is the roller coaster first 2 weeks I have heard others on the list mention. My husband is still under the impression that I made the wrong decision to amputate. I’m just hoping things improve greatly or I would have to agree with him.

So that is my first week experience. Oh and for the people who asked, Louie is on Tramadol, Carprofen,and an antibiotic. He gets the tramadol twice a day and was supposed to get the carprofen twice a day also but I cut it to once a day in between his tramadol doses as he seems to do better this way.

My heart goes out to everyone on this list who has gone or is going through this process with their beloved pet.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19877
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11 August 2015 - 11:11 pm
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It is sooooooooo good to hear from you! I have been stalkingnyour other post and just hoping everydw to get some news.

And the news is…there IS improvement!!! YAY FOR LOUIE!!! Earing better AND,s@owly but surely, walking better!

The feelings of doubt and second guessing are soooooo normal at this point!! Yeah, there are a few pups who seem to sail through recovery with very few “hurdles”. But for many of us we feel like we’ve msde a horrible decision for the first few weeks!! We can all tell you from our own experiences, although the doubt and fear are so scary right now, once Louie’s sparkle starts ro come back, all those negative emotions will melt away.

I know a week seems like an eternity when you are watching your boy struggle. We’ve all said this, but it’s worth repeating…..this IS major surgery and it does require some good solid recovery time. The surgery site itself is painful. Then, in top of that, the dogs need time to adjust to life on three legs…ESPECIALLY big dogs! Right. Ow, every muscle in his body probably feels sore and stiff snd strained. He just doesn’t feel like having a pawty yet!

The fact that Louie felt good enought and alert enough to want to get up and see who was knocking on the door was a good sign…even if he did stumble. I know hearing him cry was hard.

Louie, I don’t mean to chuckle, but the visual of you with your butt up in the air and peeing while doing a doggy yoga pose is pretty darn cute. You’re doing a good job of figuring things out…even if your solutions are…err….unique!

Now, as far as not pooping for nine days….OWWWEEEE!! Time for a lottle intervention! Pumpkin seems to do the trick for a lot of dogs arou d here after surgery. I didn’t have that issue with Happy Hannah, so ithers will have to tell you the amount. With a dog Louie’s size, I woukd think several tablespoons at least. If he doesn’t go after that, see what your vet can offer to help him.

How do you feel about whether Louie is having any pain? Yes, adjusting to three legs is very exhausting, but lain can also make them not want to move much either. A lot of dogs here are on Tramadol AND Gabapentin. The combo seems to work bettet sometimes than just the Tramadol by itself.

As far as the leg buckling at the ankle, I don’t have any real insight. I can certainly understand your concerns though! We have links here for support “wraps/braces” and I don’t know if that would help or not. Do you have a Rehabilitation Vet anywhere near you? I woukd think they coukd help give you some direction.

When you think about how Louie wouldn’t even walk at the vet’s a week ago…this is progress!! Eating is progress. Goi g up a d down the ramp (even if he rests) is lrogress. Really looking forward to all of us doing the Happy Poop Dance! That will be
Rogress! We love to celebrate first poops around here!

STAY CONNECTED! You and Louie WILL get through this and Louie WILL get stronger and his sparkle WILL come back!!

Cheering for you Louie…loudly, really loudly! Sending you hugs snd love too!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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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12 August 2015 - 8:14 am
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Thank you Sally your constant encouragement has been a blessing. This is one of the hardest roads I have ever had to travel.

Sue


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12 August 2015 - 9:25 am
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My English Mastiff weighed about 190 pounds prior to amputation of her RF leg due to OSA.  I kept her in the hospital for 4 days to give her extra time to recover and once we got her home she slowly regained her strength.  It took her a good 2 weeks to be able to hop around the yard normally.  These big dogs take extra time to heal and it is harder to lose a front leg.  I would consider a Ruff Wear harness and walk next to your dog in case he needs help pooping.  Tazzie did a couple of face plants until she got the hang of it.

I had to hand feed Tazzie and put her water bowl in front of her for at least 2 weeks post-op.  By 3 weeks she was strong enough to get in the van and have her first chemo injection.

I also bought her a Ruff wear boot for her LF foot which helped her with traction although that might confuse your dog at first.

Pam

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12 August 2015 - 10:01 am
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Thank you Pam. It’s great to hear from someone who has gone through this experience with another giant dog. I did order a harness but it is too small and I need to reorder the next size up. This whole thing is quite a learning experience. I will try the boot. Thanks for your advice!

 

Sue and Big Lou 🙂

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19877
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12 August 2015 - 10:26 am
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Okay, now you’ve heard from a 190 lb. Mastiff who took awhile to recover. Tazzie is definitely one of our heroes here. And she brought us her mom, which makes it even more special!! Actually, for one week out, ,Louie…BIG LOU…is really doing well!!

Patience is soooooooo hard….so darn hard right now. And it’s hard to see the tiniest improvement as HUGE!!

Sahana and her husband were owned by a magnificent Dobie named Leland. They had to help him up and down and walking around for several weeks. Once he got everything worked out and fully recovered, there was no holding him back.

Stay strong and confident. Big Lou will feed off of you’re energy. He WILL adapt and he WILL get his sparkle back!

In the meantime, I hope you can figure out how to post pictures. I cannot wait to see Big Lou!!!! Having been owned by Bull Mastiffs I know how loveable big dogs are. With 175 lb. Louie, you have all that much more to love!!! Pure joy!!

Sending hugs to you and Big Lou! And give yourself a pat on the back….really…right now…pat yourself on the back…you deserve it!!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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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12 August 2015 - 7:11 pm
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Sally I tried to post pictures. Just can’t seem to do it! I tried clicking and dragging and when that didn’t work then I tried uploading. No luck 🙁  Wish I could figure it out. At least I managed to change my avatar!!

 

Sue

Virginia




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12 August 2015 - 8:03 pm
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LOOOOOK. AT THAT. SMOOOOOOCHABLE. MUG!!!! I cannot stop grinning…ear to ear grin!!!

I bet Big Lou’s slobber when he’s getting ready to have a treat is enough to fill a gallon bucket! Mastiff slobber…pure gold!!!

I am nooo help with how to post pictures. There are links on how to post photos. Jerry or Admin will chime in to help. You’re way ahead of me…it took months before my Happy Hannah had her avatar picture.

Still grinning over here everytime I scroll back up to look at Louie’s avatar photo!

Okay, have to ask…any luck in the poop category? Can’t wait to do the Hoppy Poop Dance for Big Lou!!

SMOOCH THE MUG FOR ME, OKAY!!! SMOOOOOOCH!!

Love!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19877
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12 August 2015 - 8:05 pm
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Just a PS on the pictures. If you nave a tavlet, the instructions don’t work and our screen is different from people with a “real” computer.

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!

Westminster, MD
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12 August 2015 - 8:59 pm
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It sounds to me like Louie is right on target for a extra-large breed, and you have gotten some great advice from other extra-large breed owners….Plus, in addition, Dr. Pam is a double expert with her valuable experience and knowledge as a veterinarian. 

Louie is eating well, and trying to potty, so that is a great thing, and yeah, those face plants will happen. My angel Polly was a front amp, and she went down a few times, and popped right back up. She was much smaller being a 60 lb Lab, but front amps do have a little bit more difficult time adjusting compared to a rear amp.

Continue to hang in there, and you should see a much improved Louie before too long, just takes some patience and time….. You will get as much support as you need here as well.

Sending my positive thoughts your way,

Bonnie, Angel Polly, and new pups

Here and Now


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12 August 2015 - 9:44 pm
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sreuschen said
I tried to post pictures…Wish I could figure it out.

Sue, here are detailed instructions for adding photos to forum posts . If you do not already share photos online somewhere, you can start a free Tripawds blog and upload them to your Media Library.

Hope that helps! If you need further assistance send us a PM and we can schedule a time to walk you through it in the chat room .

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