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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Hello, I am a new user and I am happy I found this website I have a rottweiler (Brandy) who will be 3 years old on June 16th. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma 2 weeks ago and had her front left leg amputated on May 18. This has been so hard because she is so young.
It is 1 week post op and she has alot of oozing coming from some loose stitches in one area. The rest of her stiches look good. Her doctor says this is normal and when she has her stitches removed next week, we should anticipate a hole where the stitches are currently loose. The vet says the wound will heal from the inside out so the hole will repair itself eventually. My problem is the oozing. Has anyone had this problem? The oozing is a thick pink fluid that comes out even when she is at rest. Also, there is chunks of tissue flowing out with the ooze. I am constantly applying warm compresses and cleaning up after the mess. When she gets up to walk it flows out like a waterfall. She needs to wear the “lamp-shade” at all times because she wants to lick the area so bad. When we take her out to use the bathroom, and the ooze is flowing, she just stands there and licks at it. Because of her obsession with licking at it we have been keeping her in and letting her out only to use the bathroom. I know she wants to get out there and lay in the sun or hang out in the grass but we cannot let her out due to her wound. I am not sure what to do? One great thing is how her personality is starting to come back and she seems to be a little friskier today
My dog just had surgery and they left a small hole for the wound to drain. I don’t know about the chunks of tissue. They will bleed at rest and while they are up. You might try letting her wear a tshirt. My vet told me my dog was not supposed to be outside unless to use the bathroom. The stitches could get infected if they are outside because of all the germs. My dog’s wound took almost 2 weeks to heal up so 1 week post surgery it is normal not to be healed yet. You can tie the tshirt up with a rubber band or scruchie to make it fit. My dog did not have the cancer part so he healed faster. You can always call your vet if u are concerned. I called everyday with a new question. If not there are a lot of people on this website ready to help. They are all a great support system. Jessica
My problem is the oozing.
It’s called a seroma, perfectly normal indeed. Pink is OK, but if the fluid turns blood red and won’t stop be sure to see your vet.
You’ll find much more information and advice in Jerry’s top ten cancer amputation concerns blog posts. Try putting a t-shirt on Brandy to help protect the surgery site from licking and dirt.
Glad to hear she is on the mend, best wishes for a speedy, compelte recovery. Welcome, and thanks for joining!
Thank you so much for the information, I feel better knowing that this is normal. We did try a shirt on her, however, because there is so much fluid flowing out of the wound, the shirt is soaked as soon as she stands up. I will just make sure to clean and dry the area very good when she lays back down after a potty break.
Brandy goes into the vet tomorrow because 2 stitches just came out. All that fluid is keeping her skin so soft at the stitches.
One more thing, is there any good ways to get your dog to take medicine? We have tried everything we could, favorite foods, cream cheese, peanut butter…She just won’t take it anymore! We have resorted to prying her mouth open and pushing the pill back behind her tongue however she bit down pretty hard last night when I tried to push her antibiotic down. Any suggestions would be appreciated
22 December 2009
Welcome to our little “club” … it’s a club no one wants to be part of, but you will find tons of great information and support here. I can’t help you with the seroma issue, as we thankfully didn’t have to deal with one. One thing I was told was to smell the incision, if it smells funky, then it needs to be looked at.
So sorry to read about Brandy … so young. Glad to hear her personality is coming back. The first two weeks are commonly called the “Two Weeks From Hell” around here. Lots of ups and downs those first two weeks, but then things seem to level out and there is much improvement after.
Best of luck, and we look forward to hearing stories about Brandy for a long, long time to come!!!
Amputation on 11/10/09, due to Histiocytic Sarcoma in left elbow. Angel Harley earned his wings on 06/24/10.
One more thing, is there any good ways to get your dog to take medicine?
You’d be surprised at the wealth of information available in these forums when using the Search button.
Giving Pills to Your Dog: How Do You Do It?
Desperately need tips on getting Yoda to take his meds!!!
14 April 2010
Good morning and welcome to the family, this is a great place to be. Can’t help with all the oozing, but I wrapped Gus’ pills in balogna and he never even knew they were in there. The one thing with that is the balogna is slippery, so I had to make sure the pills didn’t slip out, good luck
My buddy Gus had a left front amputation on April 7, 2010 and lived a great life until July 26,2010
28 October 2009
I’m so sorry to hear that Brandy had to go through this at 3 years old! But, you have done the right thing and hopefully she will not have it come back and will have a long healthy life as a tripawd. Rottie’s are my love.
My Raven had a seroma battle that lasted the first month. Take a look at his blog from the begining and read the progression of how it developed and what we did. It may help you to know when and when not to worry about showing your vet.
His started with weeping. Then after two weeks, when normally the stitches would come out, they started to fall apart because the flesh was giving way since it couldn’t scab over and dry out. We put a drain in to allow the fluid to go somewhere specific, rather than weep out the incision. Then I put towels under a wrap to absorb it and draw it out a bit. I had to change the towel 4 times a day. When the stitches actually gave way, it was a weekend and I couldn’t get to the vet, so I made a makeshift “butterfly tape” to hold it together and not stress the other stitches until we could restitch it closed. It was a good temporary fix. Basically, I took surgical tape long enough to go across (perpendicular) the stitches and twisted it in a spiral in the entire middle of the tape so that it *wouldn’t* stick to the wound, but would bridge over it and would only stick to the skin/fur on either side of it. This held it closed.
Please keep us updated!
Rottie Raven, osteosarcoma at 8-1/2 years old, amputation in October '09 and in February '10 due to liver mets he went back to heaven where he came from. raven.tripawds.com
Now I have Miles, rottie mix amputee from a shelter and traveled 1500 miles to find his way here through the Rescue Railroad thanks to tripawds.com. miles.tripawds.com
14 August 2009
I can’t offer any information but I did want to give you a warm welcome. My heart goes out to you and Brandy but you have found a wonderful place that will hopefully make your journey a little easier.
Since Brandy is friskier – she was in a lot of pain. Bone cancer is unbelievably painful. So ease your mind in knowing you did a wonderful thing!
Comet - 1999 to 2011
She departed us unexpectedly January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.
She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.
23 May 2010
I am new to this site also–Daisy’s front left leg was amputated last Wednesday. This morning I awoke to the sound of her licking vigorously. I thought she had licked the surgical site because it was healing = itching and, in the process, torn a couple stitches, but it turns out she was licking because the wound was oozing. We are using a pad called a surgical dressing that we bought at Walgreen’s and then wrapping an Ace bandage around her body to hold it in place, changing it as often as necessary. The pad has many layers, similar to what we might use for a lighter menstrual flow. My vet said the oozing should only last a couple of days, and I certainly hope that is the case. Good luck.
Daisy, 12 years young, had left forelimb amp on 5/19/2010 due to osteosarcoma. She left her body behind and joined the other spirit tripawds on 7/16/2010.
So grateful for each day with her!
Lexi (Daisy's momma)
2 June 2009
when jack first had his surgery, his wound was oozing a lot. I wanted to take him home but didn’t want the mess…so the techs were nice enough to put a pressure bandage on and covered it with stockinette. This made me discover that he was really cute in shirts, so I started making him clothes which, miraculously, covered the incision! Just ask your vet for some stockinette…its a tube of stretchy fabric that you just cut a hole in for the leg – works perfectly. Also, the bandage eased my mind about him licking which made it easier to sleep during the night not having to worry 🙂 Good luck!
<3 Laura and The Jack Man
12 February 2010
welcome to both brandy and daisy. when gayle had her surgery, they told us to take the dressing off after a day, and use the ‘t-shirt method…to let air get to the healing incision. is there any problem in keeping it wrapped too ‘air tight’ or too long?? (might be a pam question…). don’t want anyone to add to the list of ‘first two week heebee jeebies…’ but, wondering..
Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included). She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.
Love Never Ends
13 September 2009
Hi Brandy and Daisy,
Welcome to our Tripawds family… I’m sorry to hear about your diagnoses… but you have come to the best place for information and awesome support!!
My Jake had a pressure bandage wrapped around his wound after surgery… It had alot of padding that helped to absorb the draining fluid. His bandage was changed every 3 days. If you don’t have a pressure bandage on now… then using a maxipad with some vet wrap, can help to absorb the drainage… You’ll have to change it often… Some dogs only drain for the first week or so, some others drain longer. You definitely have to keep the area clean so it doesn’t get infected. No licking… so use of a T-shirt and an E-collar (cone) will also help. It does get better eventually, once the sutures/staples come out within 2 weeks.
If you haven’t already, you should look into getting a sling for the initial recovery… then a Ruff Wear harness for afterwards. It really comes in handy!!
Good luck to both of you… Wishing your doggies a speedy recovery!!
Angel Jake’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!
Thank you all for the useful info and words of encouragement! Brandy is feeling really good today, just oozing alot. Unfortunantly she was able to remove the sock we had placed on her back foot to keep her from scratching the wound. We woke up to a real mess! She had torn out another stitch and now the oozing is coming from a few more places. After a good clean-up of the wound, the damage was not as bad as it originally looked but still needs to be looked at.
We are taking her into the vet this afternoon to have them check out things and fix the stitches. I think alot of our problems are due to how she was stapled shut. For some reason they only put 4 staples where the wound turns and has the most pressure. She has lost 3 of the 4 so it is a pretty big opening at the moment. If anyone else is taking there dog in for surgury, please make sure the put in enough stitches! I will start my blog so everyone can see her progress! I hope you all have a nice day