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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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So anxious about upcoming surgery - help!
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Forum Posts: 104
Member Since:
24 January 2009
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31 January 2009 - 11:01 am
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I am going crazy I am so anxious about Monday when Marley goes in for surgery (left hind leg). She's still not feeling great from the side effects of Rimadyl (on for 16 days, off it since Wed) and I feel so guilty that I didn't question the symptoms sooner – loose stools, then black stools and only every 4 days or so. Thought it was the new diet (home cooked!) and vet said it might be because it's painful to squat, also constipation from meds? anyway, getting better now with pepcid, flagyl and sucralfate. Eating fine, just doesn't seem to feel great and rare bowel movements. anyone else who experienced side effects of Rimadyl – how long did it take for them to feel better?? We really can't delay the surgery any longer – she started limping back in October! (it was so off and on and seemed to come with the cold weather so assumed it was arthritis) Also, I'm due to have our 3rd child in 3 weeks!! 

I'm off to Target to get some more rugs to cover the 1st floor. 

My stomach is just in knots. Did anyone else have doubts on your decision the days leading up to surgery? I felt so good about it after meeting with the surgeon and oncologist last weekend. I know we're giving her the only chance at surviving past 2-4 months so we're definitely in for the surgery, I just look at her and think of what she'll go through this week and it's killing me!!! 

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Forum Posts: 3754
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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31 January 2009 - 1:50 pm
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I don't mean to sound condecending, but BREATHE.  I suspect you are beating yourself up over the time Marley is spending on pain meds pre-surgery and not the surgery itself.  You've made the decision and believe me, that is the tough part.  You had days to decide and prepare, I had 1 night.  You'll be nervous about your decision until you bring Marley home, it is a natural response.  After you see how much better she is without the pain, you'll know it was the right decision.

You're able to go out and prepare your house for her arrival, which means she comes home to something she has already become familiar with, wow how nice is that?

Trouble never had the side effects you are describing from the remadyl, but I weaned her off the pain meds as soon as we could, she just didn't seem to be to 'with it' on the meds.  She slept a lot and panted quite a bit. I'm thinking she was on a low dose of tramadol until after her first round of chemo, (about 4 wks) and has been off any pain meds since. She started out on remadyl, but when she ran out I had a whole bottle of tramadol, so the vet switched her over.

Everything is going to be just fine.  Marley will be a painfree dog when the recovery is over.  Don't worry, the worst part is deciding and that's done.

I'll keep the two of you in my thoughts.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 27443
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31 January 2009 - 9:00 pm
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Shanna, I like your way of thinking! You are so right. It probably is more nervewracking if you have to think about the amputation decision for weeks instead of a day or two. In my case, my pawrents had about just a day or two to decide, so they didn't get much time to change their minds even if they wanted to.

Marleyflynn, I know you've got a particularly ruff situation right now with the baby coming and all. Wow, that's a lot to deal with. But, the good news is that I'll bet by the time your bundle of joy arrives, Marley will be very much on his way to recovery and able to handle most things without much help at all. In fact, my friend Max C in Southern California, had his amputation surgery about the same time his human mommy had a baby, and everything worked out just fine. You should talk to his Mom Tiffany about that experience.

I think that pre-surgery, most pawrents here have doubted their decision to amputate. Even during recovery, some will regret the decision. It IS hard to see your loved one go through the process, and trust me, it ain't pretty to look at right afterward. But, all you have to do is look into your dogs eyes, and see the love and gratefullness he is giving back, for helping him get out of that horrible pain he was in. For as bad as amputation looks, and as ruff as the recovery can be sometimes, it is still far less worse than walking around with a leg being eaten inside out by cancer.

Don't beat yourself up. Let go of any regrets, and live each moment in the now. Your dog lives this way, and that is why he is always so happy, even when he's in pain. Be More Dog , and things will be just fine.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 28
Member Since:
2 November 2008
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1 February 2009 - 9:51 pm
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We just lost our beautiful Blackjack, and I have been thinking over all the decisions we made in the past few months, trying, of course, to think of something we could have done differently to change the outcome.  One decision I would definitely make over and over again is to amputate the painful leg.  Blackjack was a “regular dog” for the rest of his brief life after he was out of pain.  You are making the right decision.  If the vet thinks your boy will be ok now that he is off the Rimadyl, then you should trust him and go ahead.  As long as his stools are looking more normal, he should be ok.  If you want another vet's opinion, you should ask Pam and Tazzie.  Pam has been so gracious about sharing her knowledge with everyone on this site.  Hang in there.  As spirit Jerry says, our dogs are much more resilient and in the moment than we are and you will all be fine.  Good luck, and know that all of us are in your corner. 


Forum Posts: 104
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24 January 2009
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2 February 2009 - 7:13 am
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Thank you so much everyone! My husband just left to take her to the surgeon (an hour away and I have the kids…). It's out of my hands now! I am trying to stay positive… we won't hear anything til the end of the day. 

Nancy, I am still so shocked about Blackjack. Thank you so much for taking the time to post…

Forum Posts: 930
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26 November 2008
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4 February 2009 - 5:51 pm
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Cherry's dad here,

First, sorry that you were faced with this decision and I am sorry that I did not get to this before now. However, in our case, there never really was any choice. All the other choices would not have allowed the sparkle to return to Cherry's eyes and the quality and love of life that had defined Cherry for our eleven years. None of us can comprehend that we can make this choice willingly. No one knows your Marley like you do and what ever decision you made it would have been the best for it was made out of love for Marley.

You will be faced with difficult times after the amputation and through the chemotherapy treatments if you opt for them. However, as one who is only eleven weeks post-amputation, two weeks post-four chemotherapy treatments, and yet another surgery less than a week ago, it was worth getting to this point. Additionally, I fully expect that we will only see Cherry improve more as time goes on. The people who contribute to this site are a great source of strength, advice, and encouragement. Remember to stay as optimistic as possible for Marley. We have many setback and difficulties during our journey which are documented at my web site…../ but we are moving forward successfully. Remember to treat both the body and the spirit. For Cherry, her daily rides in the truck were a real source for her improved spirit. They reall do need a purpose in life.

Good Luck, Keep Us Posted, and All the Positive Thoughts We can Send From Here,

Bob, Emily, Cherry and Coal

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