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Skyla is Slowing Down/Painful? - Almost 3 Months Post-Op | Ask A Vet!

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Skyla is Slowing Down/Painful? - Almost 3 Months Post-Op
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8 September 2017 - 8:43 pm
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Good evening!

I'm hoping to get some advice/insight on how to help my sweet Skyla. For those not familiar, she's an 11 year old Rottweiler mix who had a front leg amputated due to osteosarcoma on June 19th. She recovered beautifully and had been doing amazingly well! Over the last month or so, but especially the last week, Skyla has really slowed down. Her enthusiasm to go out for walks or potty breaks has diminished. I have to bring treats on walks, and even that hardly motivates her. She used to hike for miles pre-op, and she was doing over 1/2 mile walks (with a few breaks) at her best. Now, she doesn't have any interest. 

A few thoughts: I have been gone a lot, and she may be feeling a little down from that. I'm back now, but my partner had to take off on a trip too, so the family hasn't been "complete" much in the last few weeks. We've also had poor air quality due to the wildfires, so it's been smoky, hot, and unpleasant for all. However, I feel most strongly that she is in pain. Possibly her other shoulder/leg? Hard to say since limping isn't an option! I gave her Vetprofen starting last night, and it seemed to help a bit. Today I'm not so sure. She's a 70 lb girl, back to getting one tab twice a day. We haven't been on any pain management since a few weeks post-op. I also have Tramadol on hand I could try as well. I'm waiting to hear from her vet about getting her in next week.

Any thoughts? Pain med trial for now? Should I be rechecking chest x-rays early? We were shooting for 6 month post diagnosis. She had clear lungs end of May. My heart is breaking at the thought of her declining like this. 

Thanks for reading, friends!

Rae & Skyla

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8 September 2017 - 8:53 pm
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Where do you live?  I am near Seattle and many dogs have become lethargic and gone off their food due to the abnormally hot weather and increased amount of ash in the air from the surrounding wildfires.  It is cooler now so that might help!

My dog Tazzie was a large Mastiff and she just never returned to her pre-op activity level.  I tried to take her to the park and while she liked riding in the van she just did not want to do excessive exercise.  She was fine hopping around the yard with our other dogs.

Has your vet done any follow-up xrays or bloodwork?  The 3 month point is when you can sometimes see mets.

Pam

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8 September 2017 - 9:06 pm
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It does sound like it could be pain related.  Have you taken her to see a rehab vet?  When we took Murphy to see the chiropractor, she also showed us some exercises to do with him to help strengthen his core.  It definitely helped.  Massage always helped, too.

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  

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9 September 2017 - 8:25 pm
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tazziedog said
Where do you live?  I am near Seattle and many dogs have become lethargic and gone off their food due to the abnormally hot weather and increased amount of ash in the air from the surrounding wildfires.  It is cooler now so that might help!

My dog Tazzie was a large Mastiff and she just never returned to her pre-op activity level.  I tried to take her to the park and while she liked riding in the van she just did not want to do excessive exercise.  She was fine hopping around the yard with our other dogs.

Has your vet done any follow-up xrays or bloodwork?  The 3 month point is when you can sometimes see mets.

Pam  

Hi Pam!

Thanks so much for your insight. We are in Bend, Oregon, where our air quality has improved but we've been under smoke for about 6 weeks now. Our air quality hasn't been "healthy" since July. It could definitely be playing a part in this. 

I think Skyla may be like your Tazzie; she wants to get out of the house, but seems so hesitant to move around. Did Tazzie's mobility decline, or was it pretty consistently low after surgery? 

We were aiming for the 6 month mark for follow up films, but I'm going to get her in sooner now. Just in case. No coughing, heavy breathing, etc, so I'm hoping for more clear lung films!

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9 September 2017 - 8:27 pm
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midnighter94 said
It does sound like it could be pain related.  Have you taken her to see a rehab vet?  When we took Murphy to see the chiropractor, she also showed us some exercises to do with him to help strengthen his core.  It definitely helped.  Massage always helped, too.

Donna  

Hi Donna!

I agree: I think there is pain. She seems a little better today too, and I've been giving the Vetprofen twice a day. I will ask our regular vet (who is heavily Eastern medicine-based) about whether he thinks acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, rehab, etc would be beneficial. We haven't done any rehab professionally. She was doing SO well post-op! 

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10 September 2017 - 9:15 am
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Tazzie moved around well until her last day when she had spinal mets but that was about 14 months post-op.  We never did let her do the steep deck stairs and she got tired after about 5 minutes on her feet.

Pam

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