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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Roger’s Amputation
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Member Since:
10 July 2024
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10 July 2024 - 7:41 pm
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Hello.  My 10 year old yellow lab rescue was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma  on 6/18/24 after a biopsy.  I have had Roger for three wonderful years.   I was extremely surprised by the diagnosis and everything just started happening very quickly.  It was just the end of May that he just kicked his back right leg out a little more than he usually did when he would sit down.    I was shocked when the doctor said the treatment was amputation of the right back leg.  
On 7/1/24 Roger had the amputation.  I was able to pick him up late 7/2/24.   He has never whined about pain.  He never even whined about the two and a half weeks after the biopsy when he had to move around in a full leg cast.  
He immediately ate and drank water and went to the restroom.   He isn’t quite his usual self.  On 7/7/24 the Jackson Pratt drain was taken out and the bandage was taken off of his leg.   The doctor said things are looking pretty good.  On 7/14/24 we have another doctor appointment and they may take out his sutures.  
I appreciate this site for helping make things a little less scary.   I am posting this to help other people in the same position to know that it is scary and a big decision but sometimes just what you have to do to give your dog some more time if they appear to still be having fun.   I am hoping after 2 or 3 weeks that I can see that Roger is still having a great time.  It appears so now but he just isn’t quite himself.   

The next hurdle is getting back the information after the amputation to determine what grade cancer he had in his leg.  The doctor thinks we caught it early but cannot tell for sure until we get this test back.   

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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10 July 2024 - 8:55 pm
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Roger is clearly a well loved boy and very lucky to have you as his furever hooman♥️

Yoir post jas been approved and we appreciate the pupdate on Roger.

 

    I am posting this to help other people in the same position to know that it is scary and a big decision but sometimes just what you have to do to give your dog some more time if they appear to still be having fun.  

 We very much value   you sharing Roger's recovery so far.  It's always help when member can offer reassurance  from first hand experience. 

Roger just had MAJOR surgery and still needs a bit mpre time to get his full sparkle back. Sounds like he's well on hos way  though.

When you can, will you share the pain protocol he's on....dose, frequency, his weight?    

Keep us posted and let us know as he continues  to make more and more progress.  We want to celebrate each victory with you and Roger😎

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!

Member Since:
10 July 2024
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10 July 2024 - 10:08 pm
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Before surgery Roger weighed around 52 lbs.   I don’t know what he weighs now.  He is a pretty slim guy who is in really good shape.  I feed him fresh food and will continue to do so to make sure his weight remains good.  
For pain protocol the doctor instilled nocita injection at the time of closure of the wound  to provide a sustained release of 72 hour bupivacaine blockade.  He received 7 days worth of galliprant (NSAID) once a day.  7 days of the antibiotic Simplicef (Cefpodoxime Proxetil) which he has now finished. 7 days of Neurontim (Gabapentin) twice a day.  He hasn’t seemed in pain so he has one pill left.   He also received a large amount of trazadone to keep him calm if necessary.   I have not used any trazadone in two days but will give him 50 mg on Sunday morning when we go back to the doctor.   
He also had his right front paw and leg get swollen from the catheter they put in higher up his left front leg.  The swelling finally appears to have gone down but now he keeps licking at that wound so I have to keep the plastic cone on him.   I was having great success with a surgical shirt I bought for him for dogs with amputation surgery.   Unfortunately, the surgical shirt does not keep him from being abe to lick the front leg catheter spot. 
thank you for your positive thoughts and advice.  For Roger everyday for the most part has shown improvement.  There are days were he seems less active or happy then he was the day before but then he seems to come back the next day with more energy.  

The Rainbow Bridge



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11 July 2024 - 11:56 pm
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Roger sounds like he is doing so well, and you do too! I love that you are so informed about his recovery meds and care. Sounds like Team Roger is pretty darn pawesome!!

As for the wound area he is licking, I'm wondering if you can cover that with some gauze and vet wrap?

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12 July 2024 - 12:30 pm
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We went to the vet yesterday for the wound on Roger’s upper left leg.   It had gotten much worse.  They removed some dead skin and put a full leg bandage on him covering his paw up the entire length of his leg.  It is difficult for him to get around.  We have to go in for daily bandage changes. The good news is that the testing came back.  They confirmed grade 2 soft tissue sarcoma.  They confirmed not bone tumor.  The lymph node they took out was clean and the doctor said with the amputation they got very large margins.  So it was really some of the best news we have received. Now we just need to get this wound fixed.   We just had our second bandage change and there is improvement but we are still on daily bandage changes.  The amputation site is healing great and Roger seems to have forgotten about it.  

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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12 July 2024 - 9:44 pm
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If I'm reading this right, his amputation surgery site is healing fine but the leg that they put the catheter in is the one causing the problems? That's a real bummer and quite unexpected.that it escalated to the point it has.  Glad the Vet is staying on top of it. 

Yes, all things considered, Roger did get pretty darn good test results back.  Something  to celebrate!!!!!  

Okay Roger, let's  get that front leg of your handled  and you'll be good as new!  A true tripawd  RockStar!

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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15 July 2024 - 11:44 pm
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Thank you for the responses and encouragement.  

You absolutely read correctly.   It is now the sore in his front left leg causing all the problems.  He now sometimes walks on two legs.  

Sunday we got another bandage but the doctor did something different and now have more antibiotics so bandage change every three days.  So we have a bandage change on Wednesday.   The sutures should be taken out on Wednesday from his amputation site but I think we will still have the front left leg bandage for awhile.  

Roger is getting better but I think the bandage on top of the amputation is a lot.  The strange thing is he is not sleeping in any of his usual places.  He used to sleep in his bed right next to my bed every night.   He doesn’t even come into my bedroom anymore at all and he doesn’t sleep in any of his beds.   Is that normal?   Will that change?

Thanks. 

Greece
Member Since:
15 July 2024
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16 July 2024 - 2:49 am
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Hello (again) Amy!

It is so frustrating to hear about the catheter issue. I would be mad even if I know that things like this may occur during a surgery…my cat always changes the place he sleeps when something serious is bothering him, usually when he feels sick. Also he doesn’t like company when he feels that way and prefers to be alone. 
Maybe another trauma makes Roger feel frustrated or maybe he is in pain ? Is his overall behaviour the same and the only weird thing is not sleeping where he used to?
I would suggest monitoring him for one day or two and speak to the vet if nothing changes. 

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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16 July 2024 - 10:06 am
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As Anma said, it could be that he feels vulnerable and maybe in pain  becaise of everything going on.  In the "wild" animals will "hide" if they are "wounded" so they can heal.

Seven days worth of Gabapentin  is on the low side from what we see around here. Generally a ten to fourteen day supply  is provided.   My Happy Hannah needed her pain meds foing I to week three.  He has a double whammymofmthe sore leg and the surfery recovery. 

Also, if he's laying  on hardwood or vinyl  it may be because  it feels cooler.  Cooler areas feel good during recovery.

Leep the Vet in the loop.  This may not have been a scenario  that requires a culture to make sire the right antibiotic  is prescribed.   For example, of MRSA infection is imvolved, it requires a very specific antibiotic  protocol. 

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!

Member Since:
10 July 2024
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16 July 2024 - 1:10 pm
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Thank you both for the suggestions.  

I don’t think he is in any pain.  Definitely discomfort from his front leg bandage.  However, we have our vet appointment for bandage change and possibly amputation sutures to be taken out.  I will ask the vet what he thinks and see if we need some more pain meds.  

Also, I do trust my vet and he has been saying the front leg wound is healing but I will definitely ask a few more questions about it tomorrow to make sure that there isn’t anything going on with the wound.  That is a good suggestion.  

He just had a friend over to visit him.  He was out on the patio in the sun enjoying the  weather. Then he was happy to see his friend and her owner.  Now he is laying on his side in a deep sleep on the carpet after I gave him a nice neck and back massage.  

I will update after tomorrow’s appointment.  

Thanks again for all the good advice and support.  The amputation was two weeks ago yesterday so I think we are moving along.  

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