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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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Forum Posts: 63
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30 June 2020 - 1:03 pm
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Well, the surgeon just called: R officially has three legs.  I can’t really wrap my head around that.  I’m going to try to brace myself for seeing him for the first time (probably tomorrow) so I don’t freak out.  I know he will be just as beautiful with three legs as four and I couldn’t love that little creature more if he had 47 legs or was a worm-dog.  

He’s awake and looking around right now.  He’ll be in ICU overnight.  Surgeon will call me before she leaves tonight and sometime tomorrow to let me know how it’s looking for bringing him home.  

(I totally did end up taking lots of breaks from working from home today to: Vacuum, wash aaaall the dog beds, wash the dog blankets, wash the dog bowls and treat Kongs, cook some plain ground beef just in case…)

Virginia




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30 June 2020 - 1:21 pm
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YAAAAAAY!!!!  SURGERY IS DONE!!!  

When you do gp tp pick R up, don even bother to look at the incision.   Jist look I to R’s druggy eyes and tell him what a good voy he is!  Let him see you smiling  and telling him he’s going  home!!  That’s  all he wants…to see you smile, tell him he’s a good voy and he’s going home!!

When you do sneak a peak after he’s uome and resting,  just know that they shave a lot of fur!!  He’ll have a crew cut for awhile and will look as handsome as can be!

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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30 June 2020 - 3:53 pm
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Whew! YAY!! I am so happy everything went well and your boy is druggy, awake, and seeing pink elephants sp_hearticon2 I ditto what Sally said.. as a former vet tech I will tell you that they want as clean a field as possible so they go crazy with shaving! That is not a bad thing, it just means that he will have a bald spot to keep him cool for a while, lol. 

Good for you for fixing the palace up for your prince smiley2 The first step is behind you, now just gotta get him recovered. Please keep him quiet. The less he does right now the better. Eat, potty, sleep, repeat. 

This was great news, I am happy for you sp_hearticon2

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 - 4:31 pm
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Yaaay! Surgery day is OVER! He did it! Welcome to the club Rearden, you’re going to be amazing on 3, I just know it!

Yep, when you pick him up just look him in the eye and tell him how proud you are. I doubt you’ll need much convincing. He’s a strong doggie and ready to take on the world. One less leg won’t stop him, just wait.

Keep us posted on how things are going! Stay strong 🙂

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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30 June 2020 - 4:58 pm
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Thanks guys!  I was super tense leading up to the ACTUAL TIME of the surgery, but now that it’s over…  It’s a moot issue now.  Can’t take it back.  So no use worrying about the actual decision anymore, you know?  Which is oddly calming.  That and I spent all day doing obsessive crazy-person things to calm myself.  

Now I’ll probably move on to worrying about the incision – time to research all the things I should obsessively worry over about THAT now – and whether or not we’ll manage to keep him around long enough for him to heal and actually get to ENJOY living on three legs for a bit.  That’s all I want out of this.  I want to feel like R had a few more months of pain free life to kiss all his buddies and run around the yard and cock his head at the sneaky squirrels on the tree-lined street around the corner.

The house is so, so prepped.  Now I’ll probably spend my evening researching recovery (because research calms the geek) and hopefully tomorrow I will bring home the fur-beast.

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30 June 2020 - 5:18 pm
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You will get through this. Plan on being OCD for about the next 2 weeks or approximately when sutures or staples are removed. Plan on being watchful 4ish days after to make sure his pain is being managed. Try to keep him on as close a schedule as you can giving him medications. 

It can take a few days for him to poopicon Between fasting, the procedure, and the meds/anesthesia, this is normal. It took Huck almost a week to poopicon

Read the blogs, forums (I know you already have and probably have whizzed through most of it, hahah!) 

A lot of people think Up and At Em right away… way too fast.. and it can set them back. Couch potato should be the focus of the day for the next couple of weeks. Gear up on your favorite things to watch and chill with your ‘fur-beast’ (I sp_hearticon2 that!!)

Please try to get some rest between now and pick up. You will need it. And of course as you are researching everything, we will do our best to help you out if you have questions/concerns. 

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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1 July 2020 - 4:30 am
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I’m actually so, so lucky in this regard.  I’m working from home right now and I actually have a ‘research’ component to my job that at the moment I can legitimately boil down to doing a whole heckbuncha background reading for a big project I need to start on soon.  So.  I literally plan to sit on a mattress in the living room for a solid first week.  I also started a trial BritBox subscription so I can watch aaaaall the murder mysteries and because I go a little crazy myself if I don’t get some form of exercise most days (R and I were always very compatible that way. He used to be a MINIMUM two hour a day run-around man) I have a Gaia subscription on my TV.  This seems like a very good time to take up yoga… in the living room.  I’ve been told being chill is important, and I don’t really do chill.

I’m a little nervous to bring him home because I know right now he’s getting awesome around-the-clock supervision, but I miss him too and I know he’d probably rather be here than in some ICU.  Letcha’all know how it goes today!

Thanks!  (I will no doubt ask lots of questions about wound healing.  Tech/etiquette question on that: Is there a way to blur an image or something in case there are people who will be upset by wound images?  Or some other common etiquette for this?  Either here or on my blog?)

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1 July 2020 - 5:48 am
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No need to blurr…..I think  most of us have seen it all here,  lol.

I was a vet tech for quite a while and when I showed my first pic of Huck’s incision i was afraid people would freak.  They didn’t.  

You got everything you need.  You are so well prepared,  your boy is a lucky pup to have such a smart and loving mama. 

Will keep an eye for your posts❤

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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1 July 2020 - 2:11 pm
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Aaaand, he’s home.  Went a little frantic hopping around the yard right when we got back looking for a potty spot.  Seemed he hopped himself to the point of that one leg starting to collapse under him before he finally found the right place.  Peed for ages.  Then inside.  Seemed a little restless for a few minutes in the living room too.  I had to kinda convince him to come lie down on my mattress with me, though that’s usually a coveted spot.  Napping now. 

Should I be concerned one of his eyes is a little swollen?  I already sent a picture to his doctor apologizing to her in advance that I’m going to be like spam email amounts of concerned emails.  Just in case it’s an allergic reaction thing or something.  

And, as I warned you all, I’m going to post incision pics, like, maybe a lot, so everyone can all be like, yeah, yeah, looks normal and I will not obsess over it as much.  Maybe not today since I assume the vet wouldn’t have sent him home if it looked bad NOW, but stay tuned.  By tomorrow I might already be worrying about it.

I tried to be super happy to see him (I was, so that helped) and talk in all happy voice about all happy things the whole ride home.  My mantra was “Be positive. Be strong. Be calm.”  Muttered it to myself the whole ride there.  Basically just chattered about how much kisses R was gonna get the whole ride back.

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1 July 2020 - 3:37 pm
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Tech/etiquette question on that: Is there a way to blur an image or something in case there are people who will be upset by wound images?  Or some other common etiquette for this?  Either here or on my blog?)

No need to blur anywhere in our network, we are always in favor of sharing these so that people are prepared. Thanks for asking!

Aaaand, he’s home.  

YEAH! That’s so sweet, I’m happy to check in and see this news. I’ve been away running errands all day so it was nice to come back and know that you and R are cuddling up together again!

Should I be concerned one of his eyes is a little swollen? 

Concerned? Well, it’s something to mention to your vet but there’s no need to worry over something that may not even be an issue. But do let them know so you can put your mind at ease.

I’m so happy he’s home!smiley_clap

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 July 2020 - 4:17 pm
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Yay for being home! I am smiling and breathing relief with you right now. 

As long as you let your vet know about the eye and maybe *cough* send a picture (I know you did, lol) It could be something really simple. 

I am thrilled that he is home and sleeping. Part of the wobbly is having three legs, but part of the wobbly is all those beautiful drugs he is on so watch him. If he seems super unsteady then you may want to use your sling to get him most of where he wants to go so that he does not hurt himself accidentally. 

I know you will sleep easier albeit probably lighter tonight now that your boy is home. 

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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1 July 2020 - 7:52 pm
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Yay for R being home!  That’s wonderful news!  I read your blog post and wanted to suggest that you can replace the plastic cone with an inflatable soft post-surgery collar, which others on Tripawds have recommended (the one I linked is just for reference – not necessarily the best one).  Griffin did not wear the hard plastic collar at all after coming home from the hospital because I was with him all the time to watch out for any issues with bothering his incision site.  He had internal stitches and never seemed to go through the itchy phase that I know other dogs have, but using a t-shirt to cover the incision has got to feel better than the dreaded cone of shame .  Good luck during your first night with R back home! ~ Stacy

Virginia




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1 July 2020 - 8:03 pm
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YAAAAAAY FOR HOME!!!!    Let the healing begin!!

Keep in mind, R is getting coming out of MAJOR surgery and is on some strong hospital meds.  He’s not gonna feel like pawtying yet!

Be PAWSITIVE!  Be STRONG!  Be CALM!!!  Great self talk….and you ARE pawsitive, strong and calm!  Good job!

And YAY for a good pee!  

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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2 July 2020 - 5:40 am
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I had anxiety dreams last night and since R was waking me up every couple hours I had one of those weird situations where I was half-awake at multiple points, unable to tell for sure if it was a dream or not.  I dreamed R’s wound had swelled up and burst open.  And then for some reason my family was trying to convince me that I could leave him at home a few more hours to attend a family dinner thing before I took him to the vet. And then I kept being half-awake and trying to sleepy think through – Have I looked at the wound? Had is split open? No, no.  It’s the middle of the night.  I can’t even see it.  Must not be.  Sleep again.  Repeat.

He spent maybe half the night on the bed with me, alternately on top of me or off on his own corner of the mattress.  Slept on the floor for maybe the other half of the night.  Tried to get into both of his beds but I had put them against walls and that was apparently a rookie mistake.  He’d whapp his cone against the wall and seemed unable to figure out how to get into the bed and turn himself around in his customary half-dozen circles to life down.  Didn’t give me time to fix it in-moment before he’d hop off to the next spot and huff down.  I’ve moved them a few feet out from the walls now so hopefully he’ll have that option tonight.

The vet forgot to give me his trazodone but said I could come pick it up today… I don’t want to leave him!  On, like, basically day one?  They said they could ship it too, but then he’ll have been off it for a few days?  Neither seem like very good options.  I might see if I can have a friend pick it up.  He actually seems less weird this morning than he did yesterday.  

He has a doughnut and a cone.  I’m not making him wear the cone when I’m literally in touching distance, like right now when he’s napping next to me on the bed, but otherwise it’s cone all the way.  I want there to be zero chance he can touch that sucker.  (He’s too good at smooshing the doughnut against his own body to reach things.)  He’s pretty good about letting me put the cone back on whenever I need to.  He’s not a fan, no doubt, but he’s such a good boy.

Virginia




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2 July 2020 - 8:44 am
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R is indeed a good boy, avery good boy!!

Unless R is extremely anxious and kind  of panicking, he prob doesn’t  need the Trazedone.   Sou ds like he’s doing very well….because he’s a good boy!

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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