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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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Worried about his mood after surgery
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Forum Posts: 2
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19 July 2019
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26 July 2019 - 10:07 am
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Hello

Our 9 year old Vizsla/Lab/Hound mix, Bruno, had his leg amputated a week ago (mast cell cancer).  He is adjusting fine physically – managing the stairs, walking, and he wags his tail when people visit him.  But I am worried about his mood and spirit.  He seems down, and I am worried we put him through too much with the surgery.  He has been off pain meds for 3 days.  How long did it take for your older dogs, for their mood to return to normal?

Thanks

Joanne

The Rainbow Bridge



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26 July 2019 - 12:21 pm
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Hi Joanne and Bruno, welcome! Sorry you had to join our club but prepare to be inspired!

Try to keep in mind that one week out is not a long time. Most humans would still be in bed at this point. If Bruno is doing all of the activities you are describing, well he’s a rock star! 

I’m not a vet so take this for what it’s worth, but based on what we’ve seen here, it may have been to early to withdraw pain meds. Most dogs and cats are on them at least 10 days, usually about 14, sometimes longer. What were the original medications he was given?

So I would let your vet know about his behavior, because anytime an animal seems depressed to us, they are actually giving pain signals that tell us they hurt. 

In the meantime, I want you to check out the story of Bart the Vizsla. He will amaze you! Vizsla’s are incredibly resilient, tough dogs and nine isn’t that old for the breed. Get that pain manageed, and know that Bruno will eventually get on track and live a great life on three. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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26 July 2019 - 12:27 pm
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Hi Joanne,

I agree with Jerry about the pain meds. One other thing to keep in mind: It’s not unusual for them to suffer a “crash” after they get the hospital meds out of their system. Rocky did really well and then about a week after his surgery, he “crashed” for a few days. Two or three days later, he bounced back and did fine after that. 

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

Virginia




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26 July 2019 - 1:01 pm
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Absolutely  ditto Jerry and Rocky.

Sounds like pain meds were stopped at day four?  Most dogs here stay on them probably  an “average” of about two weeks…some a vit less, some a vit mpre.  So yes, talk to your Vet about getting your pup back in some pain meds.  Usually  sogs arr sent home with Tramad, Gabapentin,  Rimadyl and an antibiotic.   Because  dogs are so stoic and hide their pain so well, we have to keep in mind this is MAJOR surgery  and one week is still early.

A human would not be off pain meds four days after amputation…not even close!!! Here’s  a link to pain management to share with your Vet if need be in order to get him back in pain meds.

His activity  level for the first two weeks should just be rest, short potty breaks and more resr.  If at all possible,  he should not be doing stairs yet. It’s too easy for them to strain muscles, hurt joints, etc. while adjusting to three.   Mis He does sound like he’s  doing extremely  well overall, but maybe needs pain meds fot a bit longer.

Keep your attitude  upbeat and confident,  as that helps in the healing  too.  

Bruno sounds like a wonderfully  resilient  pup. You are doing a wonderful job!   Just help him slow down a vit fot a little longer, get some pain meds for a bit longer

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!

Livermore, CA




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26 July 2019 - 1:57 pm
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Hi Joanne, welcome to you and Bruno.

Did he lose a front or back leg?

My Pug Maggie lost a rear leg to mast cell cancer- if you are interested you can read her story and about her amp and chemo, the links are in my signature below.

I agree with the comments on pain meds, and just for reference- Maggie was on pain meds for 14 days post amputation although we were tapering down the last couple. 

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

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29 July 2019 - 9:34 am
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Thank you all for your responses, I am so grateful for your help!  I called our local vet and received more pain meds for Bruno. By the next day, there was a significant difference, he was responding to us, excited to see the neighbor cat and showing signs of his beautiful personality.  So happy for this online community support!!!

Virginia




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29 July 2019 - 2:56 pm
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Good job of advocating  gor Bruno!   So happy to hear his pain seems to be controlled now. 🤗

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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30 July 2019 - 12:15 pm
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Bruno’s got such great people on his side. I’m really hoppy to see this pupdate! Super duper!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 August 2019 - 2:20 pm
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Hi, just wanted to add to all the great advice you’ve been given, my Bernese boy is 8.8 when he had his amputation back at the beginning of June. I went through some hard times. He is still in gabapentin, but much reduced and about to wean him off altogether. His confidence and demeanour did take a couple of weeks or 3 until we saw some return to his normal cheeky self. Also I am sure physio has helped him. There is a lot of muscle readjusting going  on. 

You will see more positive changes and back to self after a couple of weeks I’m sure.

stay positive.

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7 August 2019 - 8:37 pm
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Hi,

My lab was 12 when he has his front leg amputated. He had no complications. He was on pain meds for two weeks. It took about three weeks for him to be himself again.  I joined this site after the amputation because I didn’t know What was wrong. I did not know if He was mad, depressed or what. The best advise I got was “be patient” he will vet his mojo back, and he did.  And Jerry pointed out to me “where would a human be at this point of recovery”, which really got me thinking.

So I will say the same that others said to me. ” Be Patient” Bruno will get his mojo back!

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9 August 2019 - 10:04 pm
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As a 10.5 yr old forelimb amputee, We also took to the 3 weeks mark before the happy “spark” came back in his eyes and spirit in his step …. er hop. 🙂 we are still on Gabapentin, galliprant and amantadine (we didn’t add amantadine until the end of week 2 when it seemed like we were still fighting pain issues). He had been on galliprant for about 1.5 years pre diagnosis and amputation due to arthritis so I don’t plan to ever come off that and after the last 3 weeks I’m in no rush to rock the boat and get off the others any time soon 

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