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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Tramadol and excessive panting
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Member Since:
3 December 2011
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13 December 2011 - 11:30 pm
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My Max is 5 days post-op amputation of left front leg due to fibrosarcoma.  He's doing well in all respects except with this sudden onset of sporadic, excessive panting.  Just removed Fentanyl patch last night and he was prescribed Tramadol 50mg 2 tabs 3 times a day as needed.  I contacted vet this a.m. and they said to reduce it to 2 tabs 2x per day.  However, I'm still afraid to give it to him.  He was playful on Sunday, but it also seems like a personality change.  Has anyone out there experienced this with their dogs?   Need some guidance and reassurance here.  Thanks!

knoxville, tn
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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14 December 2011 - 8:33 am
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sorry about the diagnosis, but glad max made it through the surgery well.  tramadol is a good pain medication, but many of us found that it made our dogs 'wacky' and caused them to pant alot. there are other pain meds available (gabapentin is one), but know that this panting  is just a temporary response to the meds while max heals.  we did wean gayle off of it around the five day point, as i remember and she came back to her 'normal self' pretty quickly. 

the first two weeks of recovery are often called 'hell weeks' because of the fluctuations in our pups moods and healing..and your lack of sleep.  good luck, hope others will offer their advise or suggestions too.


charon & spirit gayle

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


San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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14 December 2011 - 9:14 am
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Welcome to you and Max. This is the site nobody wants to join but everyone is glad they did!

Many of us have had the experience of our pups not being their usual selves until the stitches are out and the pain meds are done. I think it's better to err on the side of helping w/ the pain, (and enduring the weird side effects a little longer) but it is hard to know how much to give/when to give it since we can't just ask them if they want a pain pill.

Abby really didn't start acting more like her old self until I think around day 10 - 12. She was VERY aloof (not normal) for a good chunk of her recovery period.

Hang in there! Hope Max does well,
Jackie, Abby's mom

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!

Member Since:
22 August 2011
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14 December 2011 - 9:25 am
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Another thing to note, dogs do pant when they are in pain. When Cadence broke her toe several years ago she panted in pain and that was before we got Rimadyl from the vet. How in the world does one tell if their dog needs more pain meds or they are panting because they are having a side effect from the pain meds? Our surgeon told us to use the lowest possible therapeutic dose because the pain meds do have side effects. I weaned her off the orals over the course of the first week and took off the Fentanyl patch on the day it is supposed to come off. Cannot remember if that was day 5 or day 7. 

Cadence's Mom. 

Cadence Faye: Born 10/30/04, stepped into our hearts 12/23/2004. Rear leg tumor found 7/24/11 by mom and dad, Xray on 7/25/11, Osteosarcoma suspected 7/26/11, amputation 7/29/11, Carboplatin started 8/23. Met free so far! 

Chicago, IL
Member Since:
5 March 2011
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14 December 2011 - 6:27 pm
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Is it pain or is it a side effect?  Boy oh boy we all struggled with that.  I was beside myself, Tate would withdraw and pant for hours.  I just had to ignore it, there was nothing I could do for him and he didn't want anything to do with me anyway.  He was on it for 13 days but he had a hemipelvectomy and had a lot of healing to do.  It was a crummy time, hang in there.
August 16, 2006 to November 28, 2011
TATE ~ Forever in our hearts.

Member Since:
14 April 2010
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15 December 2011 - 6:24 am
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Welcome to the family. We found Gus didn't get along with Tramadol, panting, restless, wacky, so we stopped it after a couple days. He had trouble with phantom pain about 5 days after surgery so we started gabapentin at that time ,andhe was still on the rimidyl, and that seemed to work good for us. Paws up, Spirit Gus and Dan

My buddy Gus had a left front amputation on April 7, 2010 and lived a great life until July 26,2010

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