Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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First, I want to thank everyone here. Your site had helped us a lot for the last 3 weeks, when my husband and I learned that our dog had bone cancer in his front-left leg. Oslo, our 8-years-old newfoundland had his leg removed 12 days ago. Up to yesterday, we tought he was recovering pretty well. But then he started tremoring and having spasmes. It seems to be really painful and he is yelping. We went to the vet with him yesterday night, but they could not find anything wrong. So we tought it was not a major problem. Today, the tremoring/spasming is not resolved and Oslo seems in pain all the time. So we do not know what to do.
Has anyone's dog ever encountered the same issue?
Thank's a lot for your support
Thank you for the kind comments, glad you find the site helpful! Sorry to hear about Oslo's setback, but I'm certain it is temporary. If you don't hear from TazzieDog, consider getting her professional opinion in the Ask A Vet forum.
Perhaps the spasms may be related to phantom pain . Check out this post with suggestions for treating phantom limb pain in dogs. A warm compress has been known to help with healing too. The Bella's Pain Relief Pack is a great, safe heating pad for dogs if you think that might help.
Thanks for the update and best wishes...
22 August 2008
I would try gabapentin for phantom pain . Some dogs need this medication for up to 3 weeks post-op. My Mastiff Tazzie still tremors a lot in her rear legs when she is laying down but it is not painful. I think the giant breeds do have it a little harder with muscle recovery but most do just fine!
Pam and Tazzie
My dog didn't have pain symptoms until about 3-4 days after surgery. His surgeon put him on gabapentin for phantom pain and he's been great ever since!
26 November 2008
Oslo and Suzanne,
We are very sorry to hear of this setback. Unfortunately, all we can contribute to this discussion is moral support. Cherry did suffer tremoring and having spasmes but her condition occured from the start, got worse for a few days, and disappeared as soon as we removed the pain killers. As you can see, each one of these precious companions respond differently but it appears that you have a plan of action. We sincerely hope that your vet will be able to help.
Keep us posted and all the positive thought we can send from Northern California
Bob & Cherry
This is probably a ridiculously simplistic idea, but Tazzie seemed far more comfortable as long as he had a cloth touching his incision site. Usually that was a t-shirt and sometimes the terry cloth towel we used for a sling. He started to pant and seemed uncomfortable if the skin was bare.
29 July 2009
I'm glad the warm compress seems to help. It's about 4 days since my dog had the surgery and he tremored for a while yesterday. The specialist thought it might be the nausea or pain causing it. She didn't seem too concerned. I think everyone on here as well as the doctors agree that it's something that will pass. Hope your little boy, er big boy, isn't bothered with it much longer. Hugs to him.
just to let you know that the next post will be written by my husband (using my account. His name is Marc-Andre). We are both french canadian but he does a lot better than me in english I want him to talk to you because more than a week later, Oslo is still in pain with tremors and spasms and we do not know what to do. The pain is way more frequent and worse. (spasm + crying every 15-30 minutes) My husband will be better than myself to talk about symptoms and meds. Our vet does not think it is phantom pain …so Oslo is not on gabapentin. We are kind of exhausted and only want to help Oslo being comfortable.Besides this pain, I think Oslo is doing pretty good (eating well, walking, playing etc)
Thank's a lot for your support.
20 August 2009
I am Suzanne's husband and Oslo's daddy.
Here is a summary of where things stand with Oslo Today:
-20 days post-op
-On rimadyl 137.5 mg B.I.D. since day two post-op and still on it.
-No pain symptoms until day 8 or 9 post-op. It started as spasms and yelping a few (5-10) times a day
-around day 13-14 we went to the clinic because pain was intensifying (longer spasms and louder yelping). Our regular vet wa son vacation and the other vet was reluctant to change the medication before our next rendez-vous scheduled for day 17
-Our regular vet added tramadol 75 mg B.I.D on day 17 and he has been on it since then.
-Pain is now more frequent and stronger (every 15 min or so).
-We contacted the vet this morning and he wants to confer with a reference specialist before suggesting any change
At this point, I am wondering the following (Tazziedog, I would particularly appreciate your thoughts on this):
-Would it be a good idea to increase tramadol to 100 mg T.I.D. since the orginal dosage seems much lower than standard guidelines?
-Should we and could we add gabapentin to the mix?
-is there anything else we could try?
Any comments from anyone will be appreciated.
Thanks a LOT to all of you. This site and forum have been and continue to be sources of comfort, courage and support that is simply not on a mesurable scale.
Marc-Andre a.k.a oslodaddy
We're so sorry to hear Oslo is still having pain issues. I hesitate to add any kind of medication advice here because we aren't vets, but it does seem like an awfully long time for him to still be on so much painkillers. Your vet sounds good, judging by the fact that he's contacting a specialist. Put some pressure on him to hurry that along, and you'll probably have some answers within a day.
Meanwhile, a good hot pack and doggie massage may help. Good luck, keep us posted.
You could ask your vet about switching to gabapentin. Jack had the same symptoms with screaming and shaking, and continued them while on bed rest at the surgeon (he was too active at home). The gabapentin got rid of the symptoms. Why does your doctor think it's not phantom pain ? Just curious 🙂 Hope Oslo gets to feeling better soon because it's sooooo hard to see our little guys in pain 🙁
20 August 2009
i'm sorry, i'm completely new to this forum thing, so please be patient. My Horacia (beautiful great dane) has had an amputation of her left foreleg on wednesday aug 13th after osteosarcoma diagnosis. We are experiencing some problemns now with tremor and stiffness in her hind legs. she came back home from surgery on saturday and sunday was wonderful with her hopping all over the place. Monday she had a fever and wouldn't move much, then tuesday the temperature was normal again but although she is attentive, she doesn't want to move very much. She eats and drinks well, getting up is no issue, but moving is and i have the feeling that she is getting stiffer.. She is on tramadol 75 (3 pills a day) and rymadyl 2 pills a day. Can anybody tell me is this stiffness normal and how do we get rid of it? should i encourage her to move or just let her be?
Thank you for your thoughts!
Spirit Horacia, Castaño, Olympia + human family Cecilia, Georg and Julia - - - Hori first diagnosed 8/6/09, ampu 8/12/09, run over the bridge 9/10/09 – We miss you every day dear girl!
Hello Oslo's mom and dad
Sorry to hear that Oslo is still having a lot of pain. I can't find the location of the pain from your posts - does it seem to be at the surgery site and is that where the tremors are? If not, do you or the vet know where the pain is (hind leg, back, fore leg)? I assume a vet, preferably an orthopedic vet, checked him out from nose to toe for possible problems.
A newfie dog - cool
Where do you live? I ask since I'm in Winnipeg (or will be as of this weekend)
Susan and Tazzie 2 (note - This is a different Tazzie than tazziedog the vet)
My dog, Tazzie 2 (Tazzie 1 is the very famous mastiff on this website), is one month before you, with amp on July 15. At 32 kg, an 8 yr pyrenees x collie cross, he is much smaller than a dane. Like Horacia, he bounded out of the vet clinic and the vet was certain it would be hard to hold him back. Not exactly the way things went.
For the next two weeks, he mostly lay around, although he did seem reasonably alert (days 3-5 were the worst for bruising pain). When he stood, he was hunched into a curve with tail curled under to his tummy - a posture that normally means he is in pain or depressed (at the vet) and did not want to walk.
He started to come out of this in the 3rd week, probably partly due to less pain med (he was not on very strong meds) but mostly it seemed that he needed to learn to walk. He experimented with a few gaits - drawing enormous curiosity from the vet who had not seen these gaits - but now seems to have mostly accepted the tripawd hop. Thank goodness - we were not getting anywhere when he was walking on 3 legs, keeping one foot on the ground at all times.
In any case, the back posture and tail position are more relaxed, he will hop or run a few hundred yards, and he does not have the stiffness that made me think he might be in pain. At that time, the vets kept poking to see if he was in pain, but could not find anything. Maybe Horacia will need to go through some of this process.
I think Tazzie still needs to develop better muscles for 3-legged life, but it is coming along.
Susan & T2