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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18 October 2009
Yay for the chew treat!
This is the perfect place to come and talk about your doubts and concerns. Get that stuff off your chest so you can focus positive energy on Max.
A couple ideas from what you posted:
My current Tripawd is also ridiculously sensitive and doesen’t like to be picked up or held (she is little). But when I help her with her harness she doesn’t seem to mind. Since Max is so big and you are helping him up with your hands you are basically giving him a hug, right? Maybe a sling, carefully positioned and padded, would work better, not make him feel so overwhelmed with you so close.
Try using the chew treat to get him to stand. Reward even the slightest effort on his part.
Try massaging and moving his back feet and legs while he is lying down. See if you can get him to push back against you with his legs. I had a pup who had mobility issues and I used to massage her feet and move her legs to get her to push back. The theory was that it helped the brain and limbs connect. Maybe some movement with resistance will help him be more confident on his back legs.
Hang in there! You’ve seen a little glimpse of normal from him- there is more to come!
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
Even a towel, like a big beach towel where you can feel down while you’re lifting up to make sure you’re not hurting anything. Karen is right, it might make a world of difference on perspective for him.
We’re cheering you on, you got this!!
You’re seeing a little bit of light… grab on to it and run with it❤
Oh my goodness, no…. I have never heard of such a thing. Do you have, can you get staple removers as a nurse?!!?? I am so sorry, I have almost no words, shocked. This needs to be addressed after you take care of your baby. Just leave it until you can get proper removers. I’m just shaking my head here angry.
I did it. I forced myself to. I have removed staples from incisions, but these were different and I wasn’t expecting it. My beautiful awesome wonderful loving dog has forgotten about it already and I’m sure has forgiven me. I am crying because I have never hurt him. Even toilet training, everything I have trained him to do has been with love and gentleness. He is a timid dog and has been totally trusting of me. He lets me give him meds, do whatever I have to but this was so hard.
I don’t know how much more I can put him through. I am ready to call a 24 hour vet for euthanasia at this point. My heart is breaking….
You did it, good job🤗🤗 They never should have done that, I don’t understand at all but I’m sure you did a great job.
I have not been in the veterinary field for about 13 years now, and even with that I cannot find justification, sorry.
How’s he doing since he had his chewy time? Please hang in there, you’re on a roller coaster ride but it’s going to get better as the days pass. Larger dogs often take a little longer but it will happen!!❤❤
22 February 2013
Okay, another hurdles handled! Patch is removed! Yoi did think you could do it but you did!!
Now infuse yourself with that same can-do attitude and continue to stay strong for Max!!! Max is counting on you to see him through this TEMPORARY rough time!!
And please know, every single thing I’m writing, or any of is are writing, is coming from a place of experience and, at this point, because we are greatly concerned for Max! NOT because we fear he won’t get through recovery, because we know he will, but because you mentioned EUTHANASIA!!! I really, really doubt that any Bet would agree to put Max down at this point anyway.!!
I’m guessing it’s just your exhaustion self talking, and not the partner to Max who has been his best friend, and he yours, from the day you two first met. We understand the fear and exhaustion and we understand uour love is so strong for Max, you can be patient a bit longer!!
I am speaking to you from my heart AND as an advocate for Max. We need you to step into that strong can-do attitude that you just had a bit ago when uou removed those staples! You faced that fear and did it!! And you celebrated!!
And before that uour spirits soared when Max showed you his sparkle came back a bit when he went after that chew toy with joy!
Feel that happiness again! Feel that inner strength that you have again. Now push any thought of giving up on Max off the table!!! We KNOW uour love for Max is sooooo strong and you are soooo bonded to him, you would never let him down or give in!! Max is NOT giving up!!!
You made the brave decision to give him a chance by going through the surgery. No one prepared you for recovery being harder for a large, drugged, front legger sog who was sent home probably too soon. PLEASE RE-READ ALL OUR PREVIOUS POSTS!! We have tried as hard and as thoroughly as possible to “prepare you, although it is “after the fact”.
I’m really glad that patch is off. Guess the morphine will still be in his system for a bit though.
STAY CONNECTED!! Continue to lean on us. We’ll get you through this…and you’ll get Max through this!!
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!
An hour after I removed the patch, Max started shaking, panting and crying. He kept staring at me and beseeching me. He hadn’t urinated for almost 30 hours by this point. He would not let me palpate his bladder and I kept trying to express it without success.
This went on for 3 hours and I was at my wits end. I called 3 emergency vet numbers. 2 called back but they wont do house calls. My own vet never got back to me.
It was a nightmare. I retrieved the patch out of the garbage and even tried that, although, after 72 hours there is very little medicine being delivered. Finally, Max peed. He was suffering from a full bladder and did not want to pee in the house. I was elated because I thought he was in renal failure. I did not understand that my good boy wanted to be a good boy.
I am gutted. I did this to him to provide him with pain relief and he is going through hell. Please pray for my boy.
So he did have a full bladder, whew!!! I was worried more about dehydration after not going for so long and you not finding that full bladder. I must have read too quickly and thought you said it was not full. Palpating a bladder in dogs and cats is a little tricky, kinda like trying to grab jello with your eyes closed? Once you find it, it can still be a bugger to hold on to and give a squeeze.
So with all of that behind you… whew… what a day. And your poor baby is so well in tuned to going “out” to do his business, he was fighting it the whole time… man.
I am glad he finally went. How was his demeanor after that? I am still getting over how somebody could staple a fentanyl patch… bandage? yes, wrap? yes… staple brings out every 4 letter word that I know … plus some with more than 4 letters.. sigh. I am so so sorry they did that to him, BUT… you fixed that. You did not hurt your boy, you helped him. How many patients have you had to assist with a procedure that was uncomfortable but the end result was good, you are a nurse right? It happens all the time and now your beautiful boy is your patient and you are providing him with top notch care.
You got your boy to pee finally… another hoop you dove through and came out on the winning side. YAY MOM!
So, going back some to previous posts. You have a very sensitive gentle giant. Hypersensitive, shy, very emotional. My guess is that once staples are out from the surgery you are going to see a very different puppy. Until then, you are going to have to coddle him and just give him as much love as you can. I could be completely off here, and you know I am NOT a vet. This is just the voice speaking of so many stories I have read here and personal experience.
You need to KNOW something here. Even though Max is beside himself, he is a smart boy and HE KNOWS that you are doing this FOR him, not TO him, ok? Don’t doubt that for even a moment.
Just keep doing what you are doing… this will play out and Max will heal… in Max’s time.
Sending big hugs,
Jackie and Huck
Thank you for all the replies. There is a reason nurse’s don’t care for loved ones. We are generally compassionate and empathetic. It is very difficult to provide proper care for someone close emotionally exactly because of the painful, difficult things we have to carry out.
I was totally unprepared for the realities of this surgery and gob smacked that he was sent home the next day. I am also on my own here if it wasn’t for all you people on this forum. I can’t even get my vet to call me back on a Saturday. My husband is determined to find another vet. I think I agree with him.
We are going through the whining, crying shaking and panting again. He needs to pee. I praised him effusively last night after he finally peed. I took the blanket he was on and put it outside to dry. I brought it in this morning and panting and puffing, got it under him. I let him smell it and encouraged him to pee on it. So far, he isn’t doing it.
I changed my sitting arrangement and moved him close to me so that he can reach out with his chin and touch me. He had a drink of water. So day 4 begins.
Thank you again for the replies.
I think the new vet idea is a good one. I had to go through the same thing with Huckleberry. I moved 1000 miles away from all of my Veterinarian friends and nurses. I fought like a crazy woman to advocate for getting Huck proper pain meds. They gave him three days and that was it!
I moved into the nursing field after I left veterinary medicine. I got my CNA and was studying and taking classes to get my RN but a wonderful thing happened and I met my husband in KY. I decided from there that I was no longer interested in working nights, weekends, and holidays (which I did a great deal of my life) so I transferred to the lab to become a phlebotomist and eventually took an admin job. I do miss nursing people and animals. Animals was my calling, but I could not afford to pay a mortgage and finish raising my son in the veterinary field so I had to make major changes.
You are right, when the patient is a loved one it is harder. But when I put myself in the patients shoes I always knew that I would rather have somebody that has both the talent as well as the love if I were the patient. When my husband’s best friend got to the last stages of cancer, I was the one that went over with my husband and showed them how to properly turn a patient, pillow placement, and completely change an occupied bed. It was so hard but my heart and my head knew I was doing the right thing.
I am glad you moved him closer to you. He needs that comfort and reassurance right now. David and I took turns in Huckleberry’s room during his recovery. If I had to leave I would ask Alexa to play the playlist that I had made for him so that he didn’t feel totally alone. Laugh at me, I put ‘kitty tv’ on too, lol.
You are exhausted. My unprofessional recommendation to you would be to have your husband sit with Max for a while and go get yourself a nice hot shower or bath, some fresh comfy clothes, and maybe even a nap. Play yourself some soothing music, light a candle, and just take an hour to take care of you. Max feels your stress, and you are running yourself down. You are going to be much better for all of you if you take a moment to take care of you. Easier said than done, but I really think you will appreciate it if you can tear yourself away for just a little bit. ((((((hug)))))
I am exhausted. Really struggling with my emotions. I have a heaviness in my chest and so much pain in my heart. I have loved this dog from the moment our eyes met. I rescued him from a terrible situation and he has rewarded me with a bond and a devotion, a gentleness and presence unlike anything else I have experienced.
I have a very demanding job. I have 5 visits tomorrow, one of which takes a minimum of two hours due to wound care, leg wrapping and a great deal of emotional and psychological support. I midwife people to the next world and I am torn between wanting my dog to be with me, realizing that there is a new normal now. He will never be what he was before we took his leg off. Max has long, strong, agile legs and he moves like a bullet. If a dog can’t run, is he still a dog?
Tipping the scales for me is knowing that the most important thing in his life is me. He would rather be with me than anything else. He is confused, frightened and suffering. But he is not telling me he wants to leave. He would never by choice leave me.
Can’t stop crying.
Try and hang in there. I’m going through this as well at the moment and its soooo tough. I feel your pain, emotions and sadness.
I have a bernese. He was a big strong bear. Our care bear. He looks after his younger bernese brother who has epilepsy and lets us know when he is having a seizure.
He is really struggling at the moment. We’ve had ups and downs. Today is not a good day, but I try to keep in my mind that everyone on here says that this is normal and we might see some improvement after we get his staples out.
Try and hang in there.
Thank you for the response. I am sorry you are going through this with your bernese. Is this Gatsby?
I have good news to report. Max needed to have a bowel movement and he was besides himself. Wanted to go outside. He got up repeatedly. He face planted 3 times and then gave up. I praised him effusively for his efforts. He is crying again because I think its pee time now.
He has to figure it out. I have to harden my heart to his cries and use my nursing brain to figure out what is happening.
1 – he is eating and drinking
2 – he is peeing and pooping
3 – his incision is healing well and the gross swelling around the site is dramatically reduced
4 – when not plagued by the need to evacuate, he is calm and still.
I prayed and asked for prayers. These thing that I think are a problem appear to be what is motivating Max to get better. I am ashamed of thinking I needed to consider euthanasia. People on this site have tried to tell me but I just didn’t hear it. I had to emotionally accept what had happened before my brain could kick in. In nursing, the brain kicks in first because the patients are not loved ones. I love them all after the first meeting but it is different. The brain got there first.
I want to encourage you and thank you for encouraging me. Thank all of you on this site for trying to help me. I am glad you are here.
No, its Arthur’s mum. Gatsby is great dane i think.
That’s amazing news. So pleased for you. I was like you on Tuesday and needed some logical advice and sleep!
Today is not a great day, but i guess there are ups and downs ahead. I have to go to work tomorrow, so my husband will be here for Arthur. Being at work I think will give me a bit of a break I need. Living this 24/7 is hard.
Hoping Max continues. Bless him.