It may sound overwhelming and radical to you when your vet talks about amputation but dogs mostly cope with losing a limb, whether it be from a disease such as cancer or an accident. They don’t seem to experience the same mental sense of loss as humans do and most dogs adjust to life on 3 legs, they get along with their day as they are busy being a dog!
Amputation involves a major surgery and your vet will only recommend this procedure if they feel it will give your dog a better quality of life and release them of pain and suffering.
Initially after surgery it may not be easy for your dog to move about like he/she used to although if they didn’t use the leg before surgery they may just adapt very quickly. There will be an adjustment period of your dog getting used to balancing and walking about on 3 limbs but in time they will compensate and distribute weight to find a comfortable way of mobility.
After surgery your dog will be sent home on pain relief and possibly a course of antibiotics. Your vet may place a cone around your dog’s head to prevent licking or chewing at the surgery site. Your dog will probably be quiet for a few days and you will need to assist toilet breaks by supporting your dog to walk with a towel slung under their belly or a harness. Check for any swelling, inflammation, discharge, infection or blood and contact your vet if you are concerned. There will be a follow up check-up a few days after surgery then stitches will come out from 10 – 14 days’ post-surgery.
Amputation is a very difficult decision for you so discussing in detail with your vet about the process, the post-surgery, recovery and prognosis will help you come to your decision. Large and heavier dogs may not adapt as well as a smaller lighter dog and dogs that are having an amputation for cancer still may not be cured but by removing the limb you may be extending your dog’s life and making life more pain free.
Ways To Help Post-Surgery
There are many ways of assisting your dog in the recovery and rehabilitation of amputation and the following points will speed on recovery, keep your dog’s mind stimulated and promote health and happiness in your mate.
Trista gets about just fine on 3 legs and swims like a fish.
How K9 Swim Can Help
K9 Swim can help you with the recovery and rehabilitation of your dog after amputation.
Our Hydrotherapy Centre has an indoor heated pool with easy access for dogs that have mobility issues. Hydrotherapy is a wonderful therapy for muscle development, calming down inflammation, easing aches and pains in sore bodies and limbs and exceptional for mental stimulation and burning of energy. It is safe and controlled and we are experienced in handling post-surgery patients.
Our Wellness Centre has our Osteopath Dr Samantha Sherrington that can speed on recovery and release connective tissue and tightness. We can offer herbal and natural remedies for phantom pain, anxiety or depression and we also have our Post-Operative Day care for those owners that can’t be at home every day with their recovering dog. We can care for your dog in a secure and safe place, toilet them regularly and give them lots of kisses and cuddles!
Call us on 1300 787 064 to discuss your needs.
You may also be interested in reading:
Caring For Your Dog Post-Surgery
Call Us 1300 787 064
Hi I'm Sharon Osmond the owner and founder of K9 Swim. The Splash Blog is where I share tips and information on dog's health and safety and some fun facts and stories.