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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Our 7 month old lab mix had front left leg amputation last Wednesday and has been recoveringsince. Starting last Friday he became really lethargic and it is a challenge to get him to eat, I don't think he would eat if I didn't bring his bowl over to where he has been resting.
He is scheduled to get his stitches out either Monday or Tuesday of next week. I have read that the removal of the stitches is often a turning point for the dog, we are hopeful that is the case for our dog.
Due to his current hatred for his food I was curious if anyone has any success with giving their recent amputee an alternative diet (possibly some boiled chicken and rice) and that possibly improving upon their moods.
I am hopeful he will turn the corner after this weekend as it is very difficult seeing a playful puppy in such a depressed state.
I greatly appreicate any feedback and advice anyone can provide.
Hi Bodhi & Family,
Thanks for joining us her (sorry you had to). Can I ask why he needed an amputation? Poor kid, he's so young.
My first question is, was he eating before he became lethargic? Is he moving around, peeing and pooping? Does he show any signs that his healing other than not wanting to eat? Loss of appetite is very common, however you want to be sure this is the problem, and not that there is some internal infection or something going on. Have you talked to your vet about it?
Yes, feeding real foods to our dogs after surgery can get them eating. Most dogs will turn their noses up at kibble. It's dry and unappealing after going through so much. So yes, as far as homemade food, everything from like you said, boiled chicken and rice to homemade stews and dog forbid, stinky liverwurst can help stimulate appetite. Also try putting some no-sodium chicken broth or even water from a tuna fish can in their water to get him to drink, that works well too.
I hope this helps, and we hope his appetite perks up. Please let us know how he's doing.
Thanks for the reply,
He needed the surgery because he broke the growth plate in his leg and it was going to require numerous complex surgeries and even that would not assure that he would be pain free in that leg for the rest of his life so after much thought we decided amputation was the best way to go.
To answer your first question I honelstly think the lethargy and not wanting to eat occured about the same time. Prior to his surgery he always ate his food the second it hit the bowl. He moves around but only if he needs to pee or poop, which he is doing both of regularly, or if we try and get him excited.
It was starting the second or third day after his surgery is when he started becoming lethargic and not all that excited about his dry food. He will eventually eat it if i combine it about 50/50 with some wet food thevet gave us called AD but that still requires me bringing the food to him and sometimes helping him get the food to his mouth. He has also been drinking a ton of water compared to what he usually did prior to his surgery, he has drank the entire water bowl a couple of times in the past few days in one sitting.
We also took him off his meds Weds morning as the Vet thought that could causing some of the depression.He has been back to the vet 3 times since his surgery to get re-bandaged as he had some post op leakage but each time the vet said the incision looked good and it was healing nicely.
Hey Bodhi, please consider registering (see Yellow Button above) so that your posts dont' need approval and appear right away.
Sounds like your pup has been through a lot but at least he's on the road to recovery now. You probably did spare him a ton of surgeries.
Yes, meds can definitely make dogs depressed and not want to eat. Have you tried any home cooked foods at all? I'll be those will help tremendously. If he's drinking that's good but if he's drinking a lot like that it makes me wonder why. Did you talk to your vet about it? Excessive thirst can indicate something weird is going on.
But let me ask you something; do you think you might be babying him too much and now maybe he's playing you? Lots of parents do tend to baby their Tripawds (it's only natural) and lot of Tripawds turn into masters at training their humans. Our friends at CARE have something to say about it that might help, check out these video interviews with them.
The no appetite and excessive thirst should definitely be mentioned to your vet though. Don't be afraid to call again, it's what you pay them for.
I have not reported the excessive thirst to my vet yet as I have just noticed it over the past day or so. I will report the excessive thirst issue to his vet when we go in early next week for the removal of his stitches. I haven't tried any homemade food but I will definitly give that a try tonight.
To your point on babying him too much, I am sure I am babying him too much, like you said its tough not to when you see your previously energetic dog in such a down mood.
I will let you know how the change in food goes and also how he recovers once his stitches are out.
thanks for the support
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16 July 2010
My Great Dane, Alexander was amputated the day before your pup. He is going through the same thing….I am actually using an apetite stimulant in order to get small amounts of food in him. We have tried everything, from dogfood to McDonalds.
I think they just recover on their own time, and try to make us a bit crazy while doing it. We pulled his meds yesterday to see if he would be more like himself, and he is coming around slowly, we actually got a tail ag from him last night.
Don't give up, just try and stay pawsitive, Lord knows that's what I have to keep telling myself…..
Alexander The Great Dane
Suspected Osteosarcoma July 12
Diagnosed Officially 7/16/2010
Became Spirit Xander 2/20/2011
Thank you for the post, we are going to see if the chicken, rice and veggies meal works for him tonight, hopefully he will enjoy it. It is strange because it is not as if he wont eat he just acts like its something he would really rather not be doing.
Its funny you bring up wagging the tail as we have become amused over the past few days as instead of sitting up and wagging his tail when we get home from work, he stays on his stomach and wags his tail, I guess that is better than nothing.
Very best of luck to you and your dog as well in the recovery and hopefully you start to see a lot more tail wagging in the days to come.
I will let you know how the meal goes tonight.
13 September 2009
I'm sorry to hear about what Bodhi has been going through… Poor baby, he is so young. What kind of medications was he on? Is he on anything right now? Is he on any NSAIDs like Rimadyl, Previcox, etc? Sometimes those drugs will cause stomach upsets and a pepcid AC daily can help. But always check with your vet before giving any over the counter drugs.
My Jake didn't loose his appetite, but I would still cook a weekly stew made of chicken or turkey, with veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes) and some brown rice. I'd store all the portions in a bunch of tupperware containers in the freezer, and thaw out what I needed for 2 days at a time. I'd warm up a portion and add it to the dry food (Blue Buffalo Holistic diet)… Both Jake and Wolfie loved it!
Good luck with Bodhi's recovery! Sending you both a big fat hug!!
Angel Jake and Wolfie's Mom
Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!
Just got done feeding Bohdi and he licked his bowl clean in about 2 minutes. Afterwards he ran outside to go to the bathroom as well, I know it cant change his down mood that quickly but those are two good signs.
I wasnt exactly sure on the proportions though and was wondering if anyone had a good estimate of how much of each I should feed him. He usually eats one cup of dry food so i portioned one cup off food off with 1/2 brown rice and 1/2 chicken and veggies mixture.
Hopefully he will continue to scarf down his food and keep on the up and up.