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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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Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 June 2022 - 3:09 pm
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Bummer!  Other than the things that have been mentioned  above, as well as things on the link, can't  think of anything off the top of my head.

Do you jave any Gabapentin  left?  Don't  know if that would help minimize the pain or not.  I would think it would help if the elbow hurts to thempoint of shaking and whining, etc

I kmow tomorrow seems like an eternity  away.  Maybe not putting anything on ot right now (other than what's  been mentioned  above) is the best way to go to tomorrow.  Guessing the Bet will give him a course of antibiotics which will help too.

Jave you been able to figure out a way to wrap it and cushion  it temporarily?

Sorry not much help. 

(((((((((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!

Member Since:
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26 June 2022 - 3:14 pm
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Yes—still getting 600mg of gabapentin 3x/day. And aside from having him stay on the bed, we’ve got nothing else. The vet was weary about wrapping it when we talked to them yesterday, and even when we’ve tried, it comes off when he moves around. It’s just perplexing to us that it’s causing that much pain even being on that much gabapentin still. 

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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26 June 2022 - 3:16 pm
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Ooooh poor guy, I'm so sorry. Have you tried a cold compress on the area? Use a cloth between the ice pack and his leg, and see if that gives him some relief. And yeah if you do have some of your Gabapentin prescription left, that may help a little too.

I hope he starts to feel better soon! Keep us posted.

Member Since:
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26 June 2022 - 3:20 pm
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How do we get him to let us try a cold compress? Meaning he’s constantly laying on it—he won’t roll over onto his side to let up on it any. 

The Rainbow Bridge


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26 June 2022 - 3:21 pm
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If you can slide it under him while he's laying on the floor, at least for a few minutes, that might work.

I'm in the Tripawds Chat right now if you want to talk.

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26 June 2022 - 4:24 pm
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Thanks! We’re going to try that tonight.

We had to leave the house for a few minutes & we laid an old comforter down on the floor & got him to lay on it & came to him finally laying on his side with no pressure on that elbow. He hasn’t moved since we got here, but better seems to be a little more peaceful & comfortable like this than he has been all weekend. 

Virginia




Member Since:
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26 June 2022 - 4:28 pm
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Oh good! Thanks for the follow up.  UYeah, if he's starting  to be more comfortable  now laying on that side it will help tremendously  in the healing!

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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26 June 2022 - 7:40 pm
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Paws crossed he continues to feel good!

Member Since:
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28 June 2022 - 7:28 pm
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Hello!

What a rollercoaster of a few days for me. Chaco seemed to be in a good amount of pain over the elbow, and there were blood stains everywhere he laid, but he wouldn’t get on his side to relieve the pressure at all. We decided to up the trazadone so that he’d be relaxed enough that we could manually roll him on his side, and that worked & we were able to get him off of it for most of the day yesterday. But after being on that much trazadone for almost two days, he was out of it this morning. Could barely hold his head up, wouldn’t eat. Had me pretty worried until the afternoon when it wore off. It’s honestly hard to tell how much of it was the drugs, his general mood, or how much he’s milking it for all it’s worth. He acted like he could barely make it outside late morning, but when I asked him if he wanted to go for a car ride to the vet, he met me at the door 🙃 He also did great going up & down a ramp into the car! 

The vet thought Chaco looked really good. Incision healed very nicely & the stitches are gone. He didn’t think the elbow was infected yet & recommended the pad/brace you guys recommended as well—that will be here in a few days! He wants us to start weaning him off of the gabapentin & trazadone—which I’m happy to start! He didn’t give us any real guidelines on getting him off the gabapentin—is there any real strategy other than lowering the number of pills we give him each time?

Thanks for all your support through all of this!

Gerica

The Rainbow Bridge


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29 June 2022 - 10:49 am
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WHEW! Soooo glad the vet had a look and thinks he's pretty much on track. I'm glad they knew about the Dogleggs too! It should make a huge difference.

Yeah it's tricky to manage a sedative with a dog who just wants to go go go. Honestly, I do not believe that dogs try to milk a situation like this. They are authentically WISYWIG, much too spot-on real-time to attempt any emotional manipulation of our own emotions about a situation. I hope that makes sense. For Chaco, I'm sure it's just that some things will get him more motivated than others, just like us. Although I do find it funny that he was so eager to go see the vet! icon_lolWhat a good boy!

As for the Gabapentin, this is not vet advice OK? So please clear it with the vet team. Also see what Dr. Pam says here.

If possible cut the dose in half for a week and see what happens. 

We've been told by vet pain experts that a gradual withdrawal is best for dogs and cats who have been on the meds for a few weeks. Otherwise an abrupt withdrawal can cause rebound pain. You can try to see how he does with less pain meds, by holding back 1 dose a day to see how he does. If he starts showing anxiety, restlessness, and other pain signals , it probably means he's not ready to cut back yet. Wait a few days and try again. 

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30 June 2022 - 4:30 pm
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Thanks for the advice on weaning! We also talked to the tech in the neighborhood & she said she wouldn’t be in any hurry to get him off either. We’re currently trying to space the dosage farther out—originally every 12 hours instead of 8, but that seemed like too much so aiming for 10. He starts breathing heavier/panting just past the 8 hour mark so we’re really just playing it by ear. Other than the panting he’s showing no pain signals —no whining about the elbow any more either. But he’s also snoozing pretty hard while the gabapentin is in his system & really only awake/aware when it’s wearing off.

We’ve noticed his other front leg is starting to swell in the same spot the tumor was in the other leg. We know this could just be from the added weight he’s carrying on that leg, but it still scares us 🙈 Our tech neighbor recommended taking photos of it now & again in a week & comparing to see if it’s bigger so that’s the plan for now.  His eating has also slowed down—not eating breakfast til late afternoon & sometimes eating his dinner, sometimes not.

I keep reminding myself we’ve done the best we could with the information & resources we had. Still just taking it day by day.

The Rainbow Bridge


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1 July 2022 - 11:38 am
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You are SO lucky to have such a great vet tech in your neighborhood! I think she has spot-on advice, especially about the photos. What a nice resource at a time like this.

I think the eating could be from just not getting his usual amount of activity. That's OK right now. His body is using energy to heal, instead of excess digestion.

And you are doing great by taking things day by day! Congrats on learning how to Be More Dog !

Member Since:
6 June 2022
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3 July 2022 - 8:01 pm
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Hello,

We’ve he quite a few setbacks since my last post.

Chaco has been gone free for over a week now, but Thursday night he started licking that elbow while we were asleep & licked it completely raw—as in he broke the skin in new areas as well as the callous to the point his tongue was also raw. We put him back in the cone Friday & aired it out all day & in the evening wrapped it in gauze for a bit while we tried out the neoprene wrap that had just arrived. After about an hour we noticed he was oozing through the gauze so we removed it & let it air out overnight. Nobody slept 😖 

Called vet first thing yesterday & got him in & they shaved it & cleaned it & sent us home with antibiotics. Gave clear directions to give with food because it can cause an upset stomach—which it did. He vomited several times last night & had diarrhea this morning. Refused his peanut butter covered pain meds We eventually got him to take them, but he has been pretty lethargic all day. He’s fallen a few times while transitioning to standing so we got the sling back out. He ate a little rice with pumpkin but nothing else. Has been drinking water okay. We have not tried the antibiotics again today—going to give his stomach time to recover & make a judgment call tomorrow on whether to try again or call emergency vet (where he had his amputation) & ask for a different one. 

He has at least stayed on the bed most today vs the floor, but the infection looks pretty rough to me—I have a light stomach when it comes to these things. Really questioning how much he’s suffering & how much more we put him through.

Gerica

The Rainbow Bridge


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4 July 2022 - 11:15 am
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Gerica I'm sorry it was such a rough day! How is he doing now? Was he able to tolerate the antibiotic? It's good that he is staying hydrated. Give that boy whatever he wants. Scrambled eggs, pumpkin, steamed squash, lunch meat, anything to keep his belly full and happy without upsetting it.

Did the vet take a culture of the wound? 

Elbow wounds are extra difficult to treat, and it takes more time than we ever want to heal. If you haven't checked out Sheldon's story, please do. His people went through the exact same thing soon after amputation and it was a real tough time for them too. PM them if you haven't already, they totally understand how you are feeling. It took a while but they came out the other side and Sheldon is doing great now. Chaco will too!

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6 June 2022
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4 July 2022 - 11:31 am
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Thanks! I’ve read through their story but haven’t thought to message them!

He seems in better spirits today. The elbow didn’t look quite as bad this morning so we tried wrapping it & using the sleeve, but he just got agitated with it so we removed it & it’s still oozing quite a bit. We just gave him a trazadone so hopefully he’ll rest & we can try to get him on his side again. 

As far as I know they did not do a culture on it. We have not attempted antibiotics yet as he just ate his first real meal since then about an hour ago, and he almost immediately had diarrhea again. Planning on calling first thing in the morning & seeing if they want to just change it or have us come in again.

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