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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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Yet another "What should I do?" post...
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28 June 2020 - 7:20 am
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Yeah.  He’s on gabapentin and an NSAID right now.  I think we’ve got most of what they recommend for prep stuff at home.  No slip rugs in the kitchen area (full path covered to front and side doors), bought a sling if we need it, large orthopedic bed (though he doesn’t like it and prefers to sleep on the floor, not sure there’s anything I can do about that), bought a waterproof liner for my mattress (the orthopedic dog bed came with a liner) which is now on the floor in the living room since he mostly prefers to hang out on that with me when we’re in that room and if he pukes or pees I can swap out the liner and an extra pair of sheets with minimal sadness, planning to block off the hallway so he’s limited to living room and kitchen (which is how we get outside for potty)…  

Anything else people wish they’d been prepped for before they got their pup home?  Really just all around.  The ‘what do you wish people had told you before your pup got home’ question…

The food is a good suggestion I hadn’t really thought of yet.  I’ve never had trouble getting R to eat.  Ever.  And he’s never really been allowed any human food.  Ground beef and chicken probably a pretty safe bet.  He likes strawberries and apples (though he usually only gets one or two bites).  I bought bone broth (the only thing I could find with pretty much no extra spices added) because somebody told me if I have trouble getting him to drink I can pour a little of that in his water?  Is that right?

I was going to take off from work the day he’s likely to be coming home and then we have July 4 weekend so I should have the first four days he’s home off to focus on him.  Did anybody feel like they should have had more time?  I figure he’s going to be super drugged out those first few days, but that also sounds like sometimes the hardest days initially trying to get pain meds fine tuned.  Also, I’ll just be sad and scared and probably want to binge watch British murder mysteries and stare at him to make sure he’s still breathing.  

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28 June 2020 - 8:40 am
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Bone broth is an excellent choice. Ground beef and chicken too. Sometimes chopped boiled or scrambled eggs. And some dogs never get finicky but some do and that would be the time you would have wished you had it on hand. 

You are all over this!! I believe you have everything covered smiley_clap 

The first several days really depend on the patient. After the first 3-4 days you have to watch closely to make sure his pain is managed and those are the days after that we see how well the oral meds are doing because it takes 3-4 days for the hospital meds/anesthesia to wear off. Try to make sure you give meds as close to the same time intervals as possible, and watch to see how he is doing. You are all over limiting his areas so yeah, I think you are really ready. How long to stay home with him… some have been able to take a week, some have only had a few days, everyone has made it work. If you have to go to work and do not feel comfortable, is there someone that can come check on him for you? Or sit with him for a while? If not then you do the best you can with what you have sp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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28 June 2020 - 11:10 am
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Hi.  I’m Stacy, Griffin’s mama (Griffin’s Journey).  It sounds like you have all the bases covered!  The only thing I didn’t see in your post was a raised feeder if you don’t already use one so R doesn’t have to bend to eat or drink.  Good luck and please keep us posted!  ~ Stacy

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28 June 2020 - 11:27 am
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We don’t have a raised feeder.  R is one of those eat-the-whole-meal-in-sixty-seconds types, so we’ve always used things to slow down his eating…  He lies down to eat sometimes with his snuffle mat (occasionally lies down to drink too, when he’s super tired after playtime).  Do you think I should still get a raised feeder too?  

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28 June 2020 - 12:15 pm
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 Do you think I should still get a raised feeder too?  

They are helpful for a Tripawd because it makes it easier for them to balance when eating. Here’s a blog post about raised feeders.

Are Raised Bowls for Tripawds Good or Bad?

By the way be sure to check out Jerry’s Required Reading List and the Tripawds Recovery Shopping List for some more ideas.

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28 June 2020 - 7:47 pm
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We’re heading in for surgery Tuesday.  (Dropping him off tomorrow morning.)  Random questions that popped into my head today:

Is it ok to have his blanket in his orthopedic bed ?  He doesn’t like the orthopedic bed , but he’s been sleeping in it today with his old blanket in it.  (It’s his blanket he’s had forever so I’m sure it’s a comfort to him.  Like, it’s been in his crate ever since he was a baby.)  

Is it ok to let him sleep in my bed with me?  After the first few days?  Later?  I’m worried I’ll roll over on him and hurt him on accident in my sleep.  He’s never been allowed to sleep in my bed before, but now it’s on the floor and when he’s been anxious occasionally these past few nights he’s literally wanted to be holding my arm while he sleeps.  So far I make him stay in his bed and just lie within reach on mine.  Just want to know where the hard line needs to be.  I want to comfort him while he’s healing but I don’t want to risk hurting him.

Virginia




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28 June 2020 - 9:35 pm
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Yes. R can have his blanket, especially  of it brings him comfort.  Orthopedic beds are food, but dogs still like to have something  to “cuddle”, to make a “nest” with.

And yes, he can certainly  sleep with you since you have the. bed on the floor and he doesn’t need to do any jumping  up and down.  Just follow his lead.  If he wants to stay on his bed, that okay.  If he feels more relaxed sleeping with uiu, that’s fine.  You won’t  “hurt” him.  I have a feeling  uoi’ll be sleeping with one eye open those first few nights.😉

You’ve got this handled.  You’ve gotten excellent  advice and you have done an excellent  job of preparation!  Good job!!  And remember, we are all jere with uou.  YOU ARE. NOT ALONE!

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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29 June 2020 - 3:57 am
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Yeah, totally agree. Both beds on the floor, nothing wrong with that. And they feed off of our emotions so you are going to have to be his rock, ok? If you are a mess, he will sense that and worry about you. Hard as that may be, you will need to be strong for him and reassuring. And we will  do our best to be reassuring for you, ok? 

You are dropping him off today (Monday) yes? How far away is the place you are taking him? And his surgery is set for tomorrow, (Tuesday) right? 

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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29 June 2020 - 5:07 pm
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I dropped him off this morning.  I hated it.  He was terrified once we got into the exam room.  I sat on the floor with him and he tried to claw his way up my body when the tech came to take him back.  

I think I gave him a good last 4-leg morning though.  We went for a walk and since we were heading in for surgery I let him play fetch with a bit more enthusiastic throws than he’s been enjoying the past few weeks.  I had mixed feelings about it.  On one hand, the morning reassured me R is NOT ready to leave this life yet.  He tried to pull my arm off wagging his tail and desperately trying to say hello to a woman putting her trash out on our walk.  And then he was so, so happy to play fetch without me doing the wimpy throws he’s been stuck with lately.  But the flip side is that that leg doesn’t seem to be holding him back yet and he’s going to totally NOT be himself for a couple weeks before we get back to running around and being happy.  (If we get enough weeks even, with the lurking lung met.)  But, but, but…  For R, enthusiastic fetch is literally the greatest joy in his life.  I think he likes cuddles and walks too, but nothing brings him more pleasure than tearing across the yard full-pent after a tennis ball.  If he was the kind of dog I thought could be legitimately happy living out his days very quietly and sedately, I might think it was the wrong choice to take the leg.  But for quality of life, R wants to be able to run, really run.  And I don’t think I could go back to playing fetch knowing any throw could be the one that shatters that leg.  So…

I feel pretty sure I’ve made the best of a bunch of bad possible choices, it just doesn’t make it hurt less.

Surgery is tomorrow, probably afternoon.  He’s at the Ohio State University vet clinic, so he’s in really good hands and his surgeon answered like twenty-seven questions today, very patiently, as I picked apart drug dosages and how much can we walk when and a whole bunch of other details that are probably more than I really need to be dwelling on.  

I’ll do the best I can to be chill when he gets home.  We’ve just been so lucky together that I don’t think really either one of us has ever really been sick or in pain in the ten years we’ve been doing this whole life thing together.  He had a lockjaw thing briefly when he was a puppy and I think I stepped on his foot once, but that’s literally it.  We’ve been so lucky.

And I do keep reminding myself of that too.  I know there are stories on here of people with young dogs fighting this and I am very grateful R and I had such smooth sailing for a decade.  We’ve been really lucky.

Virginia




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29 June 2020 - 6:39 pm
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I love that ypu threw caution  to the wind (or the fetch ball to the wind😉) and let R play full out!   It’s also a way to ensure he’ll be tired tonight and sleep well.  You, however, probably  not so much!!  We all know what that feels like.

Yes, keep reminding  yourself  during recovery why you are doing this.  I know R is all in for getting thos done so he can be the kind of Fe Tech once again!

I may be repeating  this advice already, but Karen (Krun…Pug Maggie’s Mom) always suggests writing down why you are doing what you are doing.  All the reasons you are doing whatever  it takes to give R extended quality  time.  That way, if younjave some rough spots during recovery,  you’ll be able to keep your eye on the goal a little better.  And when you start to see his sparkle come back we will be here to celebrate  with you!

Extra hugs…..and eat a lot of chocolate!  It helps!

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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29 June 2020 - 6:56 pm
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Big hugs❤ Yay for enjoying your day! Get your house the way you want it and try to rest.  You’ll have your hands full here shortly and he’s going to need you on your top game. 

We’re all here with you. Sending pawsitive vibes your way❤

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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29 June 2020 - 7:13 pm
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I think the house is pretty well set up.  We live in a ranch so no stairs.  (It’s poooooossible one of the selling points in the house was no stairs for a pup I thought might be getting old joints at some point.)  Pretty small floorpan really.  So I just plan to keep the bedroom doors shut and keep us in the living room and hallway/kitchen (which has the rugs down).  Prepping calms me, but I’m probably pretty prepped out at this point.  I’ll do one more load of laundry tomorrow so his blanket and bed are clean.  (And then because I’m an obsessive weirdo I’ll probably sit in the bed for a couple hours while I work out of some vague notion that me-smell is better than detergent smell.)  Probably vacuum since I imagine I won’t want to disturb the pup-man with that for a week or so.  Maybe cook a bit so I don’t need to do so much of that.  (Though, I actually bought some extra fresh veg in case cooking seems like a good way to pass time while I live in self-imposed living room jail.) 

I’ve been journalling every day pretty much since we started this.  I guess I could start a blog on here instead as we bring him home.  I’ve found it helpful to read others’.

Should I start a new forum thread as I bring him home and no doubt want to pester people with all kinds of questions about this and that and this other thing that happened and is this normal?…

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29 June 2020 - 7:33 pm
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Actually you are in the perfect for treatment and recovery,  no worries❤Yes! Normal and in the right place. 

I think a blog here would be totally pawsome!!! The forums are great for communication throughout your journey but the blogs are fantastic to tell your story.  

I guess I’ll laugh with you,  i think your scent on  his bedding will be very comforting.  When i was a tech i always asked pawrents to bring a well worn tshirt on surgery day so they would smell them and feel comfort. I was all about wear it,  sweat in it, make it smell like you❤

I’ll be at work tomorrow then dentist🤮🤮🤮 

I will check in as i can to see your pawgress. 

Hang in there,  you got this!

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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30 June 2020 - 5:52 am
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Sending pawsitive thoughts your way.  I know this has been an awful rollercoaster for you.  

Please stay tuned in and let us know how things go.  I know you said the leg does not appear to be malfunctioning but you’re right.  The wrong move at the wrong  time and if that leg snapped you’d never forgive yourself so hang in there! Soon this will be behind you and he will be on the road to recovery 🤗

Sending big hugs, 

Jackie and Huck❤

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 June 2020 - 10:09 am
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Awww. I know, the big day is so hard! It was all new to us too when Jerry was diagnosed, he had never had anything major happen to him medically-speaking. And then cancer, whammo. So, as sucky as this is, it will make you a smarter pet parent and actually bring you closer to your sweet guy and you go through recovery together.

Yes, a blog would be fantastic!!!

We are thinking of you and hoping for a fast and easy recovery!

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