Poor Norris! I'm so sad this had to happen to him... but on the other hand I am kind of glad he's having his leg amputated. Like others have said, I think it's just going to be an easier recovery for him.
I've been through this once before... sort of.... so I kind of know what you're going through. My first dog, Melody, was born without a nail on her right front foot. It was fine for 5 or 6 years, but then the hole where the nail should have been became so severely infected with strep that they had to amputate the toe. They tried antibiotics, surgery, etc... nothing else worked... and her foot was so swollen she couldn't even walk on it. Now, I know this isn't nearly as severe as what Norris is going through, but I thought her story might help a little with what to expect post-surgery. They kept her foot bandaged for a few days post-surgery to keep it clean... which I don't know if they'll do with Norris... but they also gave us a plastic cover to put over her foot so we could take her outside.... so if they don't do that for you, you might want to ask for something similar. Helped a lot.
Her first night was horrible... she was in a lot of pain. I ended up sleeping on the floor with her that night (not necessary, but I'm a crazy lady with my animals
) But after she had a good night's rest, there was a big change in her the next day. She was still hurting, but you could tell she was feeling much better. By the end of the week it was like nothing happened. So I'm very confident that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Norris will have an excellent recovery.
We also put her on a glucosamine/condroiton supplement. What we found with both her, and my boss' dog, was that it was better to use the liquid supplement instead of the pills. The pills have a lower absorption rate and takes a lot longer for it to build up in their system... which also means a longer time for it to cause any benefit. The liquid has a higher absorption rate and showed huge improvements in both Melody, and my boss' dog who was on it for arthritis. I can't remember the name of the one we used, but it was in a white bottle and we got it at Sam's Club. You don't need to buy one specifically for animals... we compared the ingredients between the one for animals and the one for humans... it was exactly the same and the one for animals cost 4x as much.
I hope that helps! All fingers, toes and paws crossed for Norris' speedy recovery!