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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Zeus my dog just got his R Leg amputated on 8/27/19
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29 August 2019
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29 August 2019 - 11:38 am
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Hello everyone, 

I have a Johnson American Bulldog named Zeus, he just turned 2 years old this month (Aug). He got an infection in his right paw about 2 weeks ago. I took him to the vet and they put him on antibiotics. The vet at the time said she did not see any signs of cuts, puncture wounds or bits, but did find a few scuff marks on the bottom of his paw. 

about 3 days later the infection got worse and his whole arm became swollen, to the point where fluids were seeping from his paw. I immediately took him to the emergency vet and they drained his paw and put in 3 tubes, and upped the dosage of his antibiotics. His pay started to show some decay. About 4 days later his paw started to show improvement and the swelling started to go down, but he had a big section of black dead skin. On the 4th day after he had received the tubes for draining, the top of his paw split open, along where the dead skin and good skin were. I immediately took him into the vet again and this time the Vet stated there were only two options for him

1. Try a skin graft and see if it would help but that would be a 50/50. and the cost would be between $7-$9 thousand. I didn’t have that type of money and I tried to apply for credit but was denied. They wouldn’t even see him at the emergency center unless I put down $3000 just to start. 

Option 2, would be to amputate his entire right leg. It was the hardest thing for me to do, but I had no choice, if I wouldn’t have done it he could have died. 

Zeus had his surgery on 8/27/19 two days ago from me writing this blog. He seems to be doing well, he is eating good, and using the restroom. He has walked a little on his leg, but today he has a little bit of swelling around where his surgery was, is this normal? 

Also not sure what to expect, but I will do anything and everything for him, he is my best friend and I love him dearly. 

Alex C

The Rainbow Bridge

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29 August 2019 - 12:34 pm
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Alex we are so sorry about Zeus! Oh my gosh talk about making your head spin, what a terrible ordeal. But at least he is on the mend and no more infection. Yikes. Did they ever say what might have caused it? 

For starters, the swelling around the incision area may be a seroma . Basically it’s an accumulation of fluid left over from the missing limb. Does the area feel puffy? Watery inside? Is it leaking? Or warm to the touch? You should mention it to your vet but don’t panic, seromas are usually harmless and the fluid will reabsorb into the body. Sometimes they need draining but it’s a quick procedure and done in the exam room, no big deal.

As for what to expect, check out our series. Also, our ebook Loving Life On Three Legs is a good one to start checking out, as well as Jerry’s Required Reading List .

We’re glad you joined us but sorry you had to! Keep us posted on how he’s doing.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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29 August 2019 - 2:40 pm
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He has walked a little on his leg, but today he has a little bit of swelling around where his surgery was, is this normal? 

Welcome! Fellow newbie here myself – my buddy Chomp had his front leg amputation two weeks ago today. I wanted to address your question about swelling as I was concerned at first too.  Chomp came out of his surgery with two areas of swelling, his lower belly and his shoulder (tumor site). I was assured these were seromas and they were not to be of too much concern.

His belly seroma gradually improved over the course of a week and is no longer present. His shoulder seroma was drained a bit yesterday when they removed his staples to help improve the healing process. As Jerry mentioned, that draining process was nothing to be worried about – it was simple and over within a few minutes. Keep an eye on the swelling in case of any issues, but my guess is you’ll start to see it dissipate much like we did. 

In general, happy to answer any other questions you might have in the next couple of days. I’m a nervous person by nature, so the post-surgery process has been hard for me. I have appreciated a place to read comments and leave my own concerns, and I’d love to help you any way I can. I’m happy to hear Zeus has been moving alright and maintaining an appetite since surgery. That was our experience with Chomp too, and those “little” things have been bright spots to look on during rough times. 

The Rainbow Bridge

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29 August 2019 - 3:30 pm
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Aww that is so nice of you Chomp & co! Thanks for jumping in, much appreciated.

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29 August 2019 - 8:56 pm
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We know all too well how hard it is to grapple with the idea of amputation  veing a “good thing” for our dogs and cats.   You put your fears and concerns aside and proceeded  with the best possible plan to give Zeus a pain frre life.  

I was astounded to find out how quickly  Zeus’s “condition'” worsened so  horribly.  Good for you for stay on top of things!

Did they do a culture  of the infection and check ,for MRSA , etc, or figure out what caused it in the first place??

What kinds  of pain meds is he on? 

Recovery iis no ,picnic for about two weeks, but Zeus will start to get his sparkle back slowly but surely.  Right now it’s all about rest, rest, rest, short potty breaks and more rest.

It’s still very early in recovery  and this is major surgrry.  The fact that he is eating and his mobile enough to potty is GREAT NEWS!!!

You got some good feedback from Chomp’s hooman (love the name) and Jerry as far as seroma .  You could also send an email picture to your Vet for reassurance too.  

Stay connected snd keep us updated.  Do hesitate  to ask any questions, okay?


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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