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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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Tip on phantom pains I just got from a human amputee
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Forum Posts: 22
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26 May 2012
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7 June 2012 - 5:15 pm
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I was stopped leaving the vet hospital the other day by a woman with a double leg amputation (turned out she was the other vet at the clinic that I’d never met). She told me that the best advice she could give was to stimulate the surgical site as soon as possible and as often as possible to help with the phantom pains. When she was in the hospital the nurse/rehabber would tap at the site with her fingers in a kind of “irritating” manner is how she put it ‘little-devil‘. 

She said to do it as much as the dog will tolerate and even massage the site as well. I hadn’t seen anything like this in the ebook (I could have missed it) but I’ve been doing it pretty regularly and Wolf’s phantom pains do seem to be getting better (he did start the Gabbapentin as well so could be the drug or could be a combination of both).  Just thought I’d put that out there for others. Eileen and Wolf

San Diego, CA
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7 June 2012 - 7:30 pm
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Wow – that’s interesting. I’d never heard of anyone doing that to their pup before. Kinda sounds worse than “irritating” (I mean, I don’t think I’d like the sound of someone doing that to me – but obviously this was the voice of experience!). Anyway, I’m glad to hear it seems to be helping with Wolf!


Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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7 June 2012 - 7:37 pm
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Excellent info!  It certainly makes sense!


One of old members who is a nurse practitioner said that letting them lay around was bad too. With people amps, they are in rehab the next day.  It keeps the muscles from getting weak.

Her Retired AvatarComet - 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.

Here and Now

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7 June 2012 - 9:24 pm
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Wolfgang Amadeus Dog said
She said to do it as much as the dog will tolerate and even massage the site as well…

Thanks for sharing this info! We’ll consider adding this link to the e-book revision we currently have in the works.

On page 63 of Three Legs and a Spare we do recommend gentle stimulus and include a number of links for further reading including the Tips for Managing Phantom Limb Pain in Dogs document in the downloads blog from a member who mentions:

“One way that we might be able to help the brain re-map itself is to increase circulation
and provide gentle stimulus. Check with your vet, of course, and I wouldn’t use these
techniques until the incision is healed.”

The Rainbow Bridge

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8 June 2012 - 8:40 pm
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This is great to hear that it’s working for Wolf. Thank you for taking the time to share!

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