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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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Updates for Chaco
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Member Since:
6 June 2022
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20 June 2022 - 8:29 pm
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Hi!

We've had a meh day over here. Not sure if it's because the house got significantly louder once the human brothers got home, or if it's just the surgery catching up to him, but our sweet Chac Chac hasn't shown us the energy he's been showing us the past couple of days. He's hasn't drank nearly as much water as he has been--still drank a few bowl fulls over the course of the day, but turned it down more than he accepted it. He's yelped a few times changing positions while laying down & also while walking in the grass outside. Doesn't seem in any extra pain in those moments, so we're not sure what's going on. Still on 1800mg of gabapentin, 200mg of carprofen, and 300-400mg of trazadone (attempting to wean him off this) per day.

On a brighter note, he does seem to be his happiest when outside. We're going to try to make time to sit on the patio with him in the morning & evenings & see if this brings his normal goofy self back to us soon.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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20 June 2022 - 9:24 pm
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Five days out from MAJOR surgery is still very, very early.   You me tioned he jad a stumble the other day, plus the kids were coming home and would be causing  some "excitement".  

His "walks" outside still need to be controlled and leashed and just for the purpose pf potty breaks right now.  But yes, laying down outside can be very therapeutic  for dogs, whether in. the grass on . the patio.

Obviously not giving Vet advice, but would try and continue to  taper the Traz the sooner the better.  That may help perk him up a bit. when off that.  1,800 mg Gaba is a pretty hefty dose too and "can" be a little bit of a sedation.....sometimes,  not always. 

We do talk about  bit of a crash around this time now that all hospital meds are out of their system.  They sometimes do a little too mich at first and then dont  feel quite so frisky and the sore muscles set in.

Try every  yummy food you can think of....bacon and cheese eggs, warm rotisserie chicken, etc.  Assuming he is on an a antibiotic,  sometimes  that can ees with his appetite too.  Of course, keep uour Vet in the loop.

Yoi can maybe try adding a little bone broth to his water to e tice him to drink.  Aybe even a little goat milk added.  I had to add a scoopm ice cream to my Happy Hannah's water the first week or so to get her to drink.

Continue  with lots of massages up and down hos spine, arou d his neck and shoulder.  His muscles  are tight now while adapting  to his new gait.  That could explain why he yelps a litte while changing  positions.   Also could be a stitch stick or pull too.

His happy goofy self will indeed return!  We know all too well it's hard to be patient.  He's just not up for running a marathon quite yet after this big surgeru.

And be sure and get some rest yourself! You have a ,ot on your p,ate with kids, dog recovering  from surgery  and being pregnant!!

Hugs

Sally  and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge


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20 June 2022 - 10:54 pm
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Aww Chaco is getting there. I know it feels like his recovery is taking forever but I promise you this is all very normal for just a few days out of recovery. That energy will come back in time. Recovery is hard work!

See if you can spike his water with some no salt broth, or Gatorade. 

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21 June 2022 - 8:13 pm
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Well, we flopped last night. My husband thought I gave him his meds, I thought he gave them. Chaco woke us up around 1am with a yelp, and we noticed he was panting & seemed distressed--it took us about 5 seconds to realize what had happened. It had only been 3 hours since we should had given him his next dose of everything, but he was in so much pain it was heartbreaking. We gave him the meds & took turns sitting in the floor with him while he panted & shook & yelped for the next two hours. Ended up calling the vet around 2:45am to see what else we could do to relieve his pain & they told us it would kick in soon--and thankfully it did. So today has been back to just making sure he was comfortable all day long. He's still eating great & drinking a little more than yesterday.

He is impressing us with how fast he can move when he wants to--we had him in our room while some friends came over today, and when I let him out after they left he basically ran to the door to get outside to potty. He got to sit outside with the boys while they played for a bit, and while he's not himself when outside, I keep telling myself it's helping lift his spirits. 

He just sat up & panted for a second, so we went ahead & gave him his meds for the night a few minutes early--I think we're both traumatized by last night. Hoping we can all get some good rest tonight.

Gerica

Livermore, CA




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21 June 2022 - 8:30 pm
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Years ago when my Dad used to take care of my Pugs he would insist on some type of checklist so he could be sure he did all the meds right.  I would roll my eyes and think to myself 'how hard can this be?'

Fast forward to just after Maggie's amp and the beginning of her treatment....and yep, I had to make a spreadsheet so I could check off that I gave all the meds at the right time smiley4.

I'm sorry this happened- you guys don't need any more stress right now.  Put it behind you and keep moving forward- from everything I've read Chaco is on a good recovery path.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Virginia




Member Since:
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21 June 2022 - 8:53 pm
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Nope, not the first time we've seen this type of ....rr..... issue".  

You've already learned from it and, as Karen said, put it behind you.  Chaco has no clue what happened  or why.  All he k ows is he fi ally got his pain meds and lots of loving all night long from his hoomans.

Glad he enjoys bei g outsid.and he will soon enjoy it more and more.🤞

Try and get some rest tonight.  I know you both are exhausted. And give that sweet boy a big smooch for us 🥰

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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23 June 2022 - 7:01 pm
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Hello!

Not much change over here. Slow & steady. We’re trying to let Chac tell us when he wants outside, and when he needs to go, he is FAST on three legs!

We’re starting to wean off the trazadone & just save it for when we’re going to be gone & bed time—he’s still sleeping in the cone at night & I feel like he doesn’t get good rest in it. I also think he really wants to sleep on that left side & give his hips some relief, but it’s still painful/tender. Will he ever be able to sleep on both sides again? Aside from that, he spends most of his day cone free in the living room with us—mostly sleeping as long as we’re leaving him alone. 

This may be a vet question, but hoping some of y’all have some advice. He sometimes randomly whines for seemingly no reason. He got up just now & laid closer to us on the couch, and after he was laying down I was rubbing behind his ears & he yelped like something was hurting. We’ve noticed this a couple of times over the past day or so. Any clue what could be going on? 

Also, when can we expect to not need the sling every time we take him out? We’re not supporting him at all—just using it just in case he gets tripped up. But sometimes I get afraid I’m going to trip him up because I can’t keep up with him getting out the door. We have a harness for when his stitches are removed next week, but definitely don’t want to use that until we’re cleared by the vet. 

Thanks!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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23 June 2022 - 7:53 pm
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Yes, he will get more and more comfortable  sleeping on the incision  side.  The "soreness" level kind of varies dog to dog, especially while stitches are still in. .  It did take my Happy Hannah several  weeks (a rear legger), but many dogs do 'it sooner.  

I'm sure once he can sleep without  the dreaded cone, overall he will be more comfortable. 

If he is walking without assistance AND you can keep him on a leash so he doesn't try and Robin off, he should be fine. Many dogs (like Happy Hannah) just will not tolerate  assistance  with a sling.  And yes, tripawds do have a faster pace as that helps them maintain  valance and steady fluid gait. Usually with phantom  pain a dog will suddenly  jump up and help loudly  and try and "run away" from the pain jolt.  It usually  lasts less than a minute, but it can spook them for a bit afterwards.  So this does sound severe enough to be phantom limb pain.  Which, btw, is treated with Gabapentin 

Not sure why rubbing behind  ears made him yelp. Maybe pulled near his stitch area?  Maybe sore ears/neck from wearing the cone???.. 

Chac really is doing well.  Really!  I know it seems lijd recovery will never end, but it doesn't  last furever!!!!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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24 June 2022 - 11:34 am
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Yay for slow and steady Chaco! So glad things are progressing well.

 He sometimes randomly whines for seemingly no reason. 

When does it happen, like soon after walking around? Or when he's just sitting there? Also, what pain meds is he on? How often and how much? I agree that a stitch could be the issue, that's a thing that sometimes happens. Or it could be his nerves randomly firing and startling him. Gabapentin really helps with calming angry nerves. Definitely mention it to his vet.

Also, when can we expect to not need the sling every time we take him out?

See how he is now when you don't use it. Chances are he will be fine. Good for you to wait to clear it with your vet before using the harness! You guys are fantastic pet parents.

Member Since:
6 June 2022
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24 June 2022 - 11:56 am
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Thanks!!

The whines are confusing. Usually not too long after I’ve given the gabapentin—600mg 3x/day. This morning he did it a few times & then fell asleep. Not sure if it’s from laying on the rug/harder floor—he seems to sleep more soundly on his bed after we make him get on it, but he’s always preferred a hard/cold floor. But he’s doing it right now & he’s been on the bed for an hour or so, so not sure. Could weaning him off the trazadone/him being more aware of everything be a cause? 

We’ve gone outside sling free today & he’s done great just on the leash! 

The Rainbow Bridge


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24 June 2022 - 11:58 am
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Hmmmm. That is interesting. I'm wondering if maybe the meds are wearing off sooner than the time he's getting them? Is Gabapentin the only thing he's on?

The stitches could be poking him when he lays on the hard floor. In time he'll be comfortable laying on the incision side.

YAY for being sling-free! More pawgress is wonderful!!!!

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6 June 2022
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25 June 2022 - 8:41 am
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We think we found the source of the whining—his elbow on the right front leg is callousing & bleeding from laying on it. We’ve got him back on his soft bed for now, but he usually prefers to lay on the (white, of course) fluffy rug in our living room. Any tips for treating his this & convincing him the bed is better than the floor? 🙈

Mon a happy note, we let him sleep without the cone last night & he seemed to rest more!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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25 June 2022 - 9:11 am
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CONE FREE !!!!!!   Iknow that had to feel good and prompted a good sleep!

Yeah. elbow sores do happen.  I think it's also called a hygloma (??)   You can do a search .to find some helpful tips.  An elbow sleeve with padding, also ther is a homemade  cabbage  poultice  you can try,

This link may, or may not, lead you to it.    Simple Cabbage Poultice Heals Wounds

Keep us posted.  

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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14
25 June 2022 - 2:35 pm
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Ouch poor Chaco! It's good you found the hygroma. We do have some info about it, and a leg wrap that will help protect that area. Our vet also recommended a silver sulfadiazine salve applied daily.

Good move to care for it now so it doesn't get worse. Poor Sheldon developed a really bad one shortly after surgery (came on fast and his peeps jumped at caring for it, so he's now almost healed). 

YAY for no cone! That's wonderful!

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26 June 2022 - 2:54 pm
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Chaco’s elbow seems to be hurting him worse today. He’s whining & panting & sometimes shaky. We’re forcing him to stay on the bed bath the floor, but it’s a bit of a struggle. Gave him a carprofen in hopes that it could help—we’ve been off of them for 3 days. We’ve applied neosporin, but it’s still red/bleeding/cracking. I hate seeing him in obvious pain like this & not knowing what to do—of course these things happen over the weekend when the vets are closed. Any immediate pain relief remedies for these things?

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