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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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Post op recovery—shaking
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Member Since:
6 December 2021
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18 December 2021 - 5:27 pm
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Hi all,

koko had her left forelimb amputated on Thurs. on Friday she was already doing sit to stand on her own. (I was told thats good?) she is home now and ohhh so sleepy. She gets excited when i come into the room and quickly falls asleep. My ? Is about shaking. Once i get her to stand up she does ok. Maybe a hop or 2. But within a few short minutes she starts shaking and her back legs start bending to sit or lie back. Is she shaking out of fear/anxiety from feeling so dependent and unable to move? Or from pain from her surgery? She looks so good and then when that happens i feel so bad because i see her struggling. Its so not how she is naturally. She is a happy gently but strong dog usually. I hope she can get her old self back so she can fight to gain her strength back. Like people, i know how debilitating fear can be. Can i help with these things somehow is there anything people have done that they care to share? Thank u!

Virginia




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18 December 2021 - 7:48 pm
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No worries, okay?

Couple of points.  The strong hospital meds are starting to wear off and this is when the pain may be more evident.

Try not to get her up except when she shows signs she may need to potty.  So showing excitement  when you come home is a good sign, but need not try and get her to stand at that point.

It's not unusual at all for her to be weak when trying to stand or hop.  It takes a lot of effort, especially  after just hav MAJOR surgery.  And being a larger dog, getting her sea legs takes a bit longer than some.  She's using her muscles nin different  ways now as she adapts to three.  She'll get stronger and more certain, no worries.

Are you using any sort of towel sling to help her?  Some dogs freeze up with that kind of help.  Some find it helpful. 

So, our usual question..what pain meds is show on.,..the dose....the frequency?.  Shaking can certainly  be a sign of pain.  So update us in the meds when you can.

Drinking peeing okay?  

Remember  to always put forth a strong,  confident, pawsitive   pack leader mentality. She'll definitely  feed off your energy.  She still is a Hapoy strong doggy...,just happens to be recovering  from a big surgery right now while adjusting  to three and, hopefully  while on some good pain meds.

Rem, this is very, very early in recovery  from MAJOR surgery.  We know it's hard to be patient,  but she'll  recover  at her own pace and in her own way.

Hugs

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!

On The Road


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18 December 2021 - 8:35 pm
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Sally hit on all the things I wanted to say. It's so early in recovery that her shaking is likely due to weakness and relearning how to balance.

Remember she is used to walking on four and now she needs time to strengthen and balance. It's not struggling, just learning. This is so early in recovery that as Sally mentioned, she should be doing very little right now other than going to potty, even if she appears to want more.

Keep an eye on her pain signals . It's not unusual to have to re-adjust pain med dosages during the first week. Keep on schedule with the meds, your goal is to stay ahead of pain because it's much harder to bring it down once it starts up.

Keep her entertained with interactive brain games so her body has time to rest and heal.

Let us know how things are going!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
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19 December 2021 - 7:00 am
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Hi Sally/Jerry

thank you for those pointers they all make sense. She does not appear to be uncomfortable except for early morning like between 4-7am. Id like to adjust her meds. Right now the dr has her on Rimadyl 75mg q 12 hrs, Gabapentin 300mg q 8 hrs. I had to beg her for codeine she didn’t want to give it. Im giving her codeine q 8hrs. As a RN i feel the codeine just takes the edge off. The gaba probably helps the most since she is having mostly neuropathic and bone pain. They took off the cancerous leg but she still has to heal from her chest/shoulder being surgically cut into. Ouch. So should I up the gaba dose or give more frequently? Or just up her evening dose…i also have other meds on hand from her ortho dr. Muscle relaxer methocarbamol and CBD. Today she will start w heating pad instead of cold packs. She pants when she whines though and seems to always, “run hot”. 

On The Road


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19 December 2021 - 12:39 pm
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Oh my gosh you are a great advocate for her! As a nurse you totally understand pain and how it affects people. The codeine and Gaba can work well together for many dogs to address different pain pathways, your instinct is right about the meds. 

Honestly I can't give you vet advice about the pill dosages and frequency. Generally, 300 mg 3x daily can be a starting dose for most dogs after surgery. My non-vet opinion is you want to keep the dosages consistent.

It's nice that you have a vet who also prescribed the methocarbomol and CBD. Our Wyatt Ray found lots of relief through that medication. What CBD product did your vet prescribe? Just curious?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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19 December 2021 - 1:44 pm
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I just looked at your gorgeous Wyatt. Im getting koko used to her stroller too. She is 3 days post op and already pooping and peeing outside. Great spirits. How long did Wyatt take to rehab post op?

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19 December 2021 - 1:46 pm
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My vets didn’t prescribe the cbd. Most vets do not recommend it.  I definitely think it helps. I use Honest CBD with turmeric. 

On The Road


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19 December 2021 - 5:00 pm
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koko said
Most vets do not recommend it. 

Find out why in our Tripawd Talk Radio discussion with veterinary cannabis expert Stephen Cital...

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
25 November 2021
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20 December 2021 - 10:10 am
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Hi - My dog Harley just had his front left leg amputated on the 10th.  We picked him up on the 11th and he was doing really well the rest of the day and on Sunday.  Trying to do too much IMO but Monday, he had a very bad day (3 days after surgery) and we think it's because the long-acting pain block wore off.  We had already doubled up his pain meds based on what the surgeon had prescribed which were the dosages he was getting before the surgery.  What the surgeon had prescribed was lower and it didn't make a whole lot of sense to us.  By the end of the day Tuesday (day 4 post op), Harley was feeling a lot better and we were managing his pain better.  We staggered the Gabapentin/Codeine and the Carprofen so he wasn't getting everything all at once.  We also added the CBD oil about 6 days post op (Honest Paws).  Three days ago (8 days post op) I started to reduce the pain med dosages because he was showing fewer pain signals and he's adjusted well.  Our problem now is that he is trying to be too active.   We are down to 300mg Gabapentin and 15mg Codeine TID, and still 75mg Carprofen BID.  I am going to bumped him down again in a day or two to Gabapentin and Codeine BID until the Codeine runs out.  

Shaking - yeah.  I've seen that with Harley also.  Some days/some times of the day he's way more stable but there are times where he's not as stable and his hind end is wobbly.  

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20 December 2021 - 1:02 pm
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Wow about Harley. Sounds exactly the same. Thank you so much. If you don’t mind me asking how old is Harley and how much does Harley weigh? And did Harley have osteosarcoma or something else?

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21 December 2021 - 10:08 am
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koko said
Wow about Harley. Sounds exactly the same. Thank you so much. If you don’t mind me asking how old is Harley and how much does Harley weigh? And did Harley have osteosarcoma or something else?

  

Harley will be 10 on January 3rd, he's a Lab and he did weigh 88 pounds before surgery.  Not sure what he weighs now.  He's tall and lanky.  Pathology on the bone/tumor was an aggressive Osteosarcoma.  Lymph node was clear but probably doesn't mean anything.  He also has geriatric onset polyneuropathy so he has mild Laryngeal Paralysis and weakness in his hind end.  Some days his left rear leg is quite spastic while other days, it's much more coordinated.  The Surgeon recommended PT to try and bolster his hind end and slow down the deterioration from the Polyneuropathy.  We've now lowered his pain meds to 300mg of Gabapentin TID and 15mg of Codeine BID.  Carprofen - 75 mg BID and the CBD oil in his afternoon meal.  Every day he gets a bit more comfortable in his new normal.  He is also getting a bit more stable on his feet and can actually do a full body shake while standing now.  

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21 December 2021 - 9:37 pm
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May I ask what you used as a harness or assistive device to help Harley walk? Her help em up harness is digging right into her incision site making it tender to touch. Incision was perfect yesterday, today pink and a bit of dried blood from the harness squeezing on it...Id like to use something softer and more gentle...

Virginia




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21 December 2021 - 11:40 pm
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Others can chime in, but generally harnesses aren't used until after the stitches are out because of irritation to the incision. Are you able to use a sling towel?

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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22 December 2021 - 8:11 am
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Im so upset because they sent her home in the help em up harness and told me to use it. Now 5 days later i see it has been counterproductive and has been digging into her incision site. She was doing so well before this

Virginia




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22 December 2021 - 9:09 am
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Bummer about the harness.  At the very least and pading and a tee shirt covering  should have been suggested.  And then, only used at a bare minimum to help them up to potty.  Good for you tjough for ident thenproblem and putting a stop to it.

Did they send you home with a cone?  Now that the incision is irritated, Koko will sign at it more and that could be a real prob.  Last thi g you need now is incis pulled apart.  Ugh!  Anyway, make sure the cone is on at all times now.  If you are absolutely watching  Koko like a hawk, you could take it off then.   

I would def let the Vet know the directions for the harness were inadequate  and caused problems with the incision. 

Let us know how things are going.  Sorry for the hurdles, but you're doing a great job of handling  them

Hugs

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!

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