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May have no choice but to amputate at this point
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13 September 2017 - 7:10 am
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Hello,

I'm new here as I stumbled on this site in doing my own research. My dog, Harry, was struck by a car on July 4th. He got spooked by fireworks and pulled right out of his leash and collar. Luckily it was just a glancing blow and caused no internal injury or broken bones. He did, however, suffer radial nerve injury to his left front leg. He's had no ability to move it since. I was waiting to see if the injury would heal and he'd eventually regain mobility as it sometimes can happen. But now it's been over 2 months with no improvement. Actually things have gotten worse because he's now self-mutilating his foot. I've read that's quite common with these types of injuries. 

Yesterday was the worst. He somehow got around his cone of shame and was able to chew his foot once again. To the point I see exposed bone. I'm bringing him to the vet in 15 minutes to see what the next step is and I'm almost certain it will have to be amputation of the leg.

Wish us luck.

Chris

The Rainbow Bridge

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13 September 2017 - 9:49 am
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Chris and Harry, welcome. If you're still here I'm in the Tripawds Chat room for a bit, hop on over!

Geez I really don't like fireworks for this reason. I'm so sorry about the accident but what a relief that the damage wasn't any worse (usually there are internal injuries that complicate things). Harry's a lucky dude in a lot of ways. I know it may not seem that way when your dog may lose a leg, but if you've spent some time here you can see that they can go on to live great lives. 

My question to you is, has any rehab therapy been done for Harry during the last two months? If so, how extensively? Oftentimes that's what these injuries need to heal and avoid amputation. Not always, but we've seen it. If you haven't seen a canine rehab specialist I would do that, as well as get a second opinion from an orthopedic vet before going forward with amputation. 

For more information about how to choose a canine rehab specialist, see:

http://download.....b-therapy/

Also, if amputation is necessary, then talk to an orthopedic vet about whether or not Harry qualifies for a prosthetic. If that vet doesn't know anything about prosthetics, or dismisses the idea, then find one who is more up on the latest developments. We can help you do that if necessary.

Oftentimes these sorts of injuries mean that much of the leg can be saved, enough to attach an artificial limb. If you are willing to make the time and financial investment in a prosthetic, it will make a world of difference for Harry as he ages. I wish every dog had the ability to wear one, but that's not always the case. Click on "prosthetics" for more articles about these devices.

I hope this helps. Please let us know what the vet says OK? And stay tuned for feedback from others.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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13 September 2017 - 10:56 am
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Thank you for the welcome jerry and it was nice chatting for a bit.

The verdict is he will have an amputation (left front) of the leg on Friday. The doctor was very nice and impressed with how much he has already adjusted with the use of 3 legs as he has no feeling or mobility in his bad leg. His said it may be hard to believe but that's the worst part and Harry has already got through that so he will be just fine.

Chris

Virginia
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13 September 2017 - 5:10 pm
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Already Harry!   Sounds like you are ready to get rid of thst bum @eg and get on with living life to the fullest!!   Sorry it's gotten to this point, but sometimes amputation teally can be a GOOD solution to ensure a good quality of life! 🙂

The first couple of eeeks of recovery can be a vit rough at first.  It is MAJOR surgery and it does hurt!   He'll most likely come home with Tramadol, Gabapentin, Rimadyl and an a antibiotic.  He'll spend the first night at the clinic.  Some dogs stay another night or two....just depends.The first few nights he may be very reetless and whiny...OR...some dogs are just very zonked.  Every dog is different.

It's important to just do short potty breaks and then rest, rest, rest.   No jumping, no stairs, just lots of rest.

He may not poop for a few days and he may not jave much of an appetite.  Drinking and peeing are very important t though.

If you jave hardwood floors, you'll need non slip scatter rugs for tractiin.

Okay, that's a starting point for you on what to expect.  Ih, and when you go pick up Harry, don't even bother to look at his incision (they shave a lot of fur!).  Jist look I to his druggy eyes and tell him what a good boy he is and he's going home!!!

Can't wait to see pictures of Harry!  Love the name!!   Update when you can!    adding images

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!

The Rainbow Bridge

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13 September 2017 - 5:27 pm
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Ah OK then, surgery it is! We'll be thinking of Harry on surgery day. Let us know if you have any questions OK? Be sure to check out Jerry's Required Reading List for answers to common questions about recovery and life on three legs. Update when you can!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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13 September 2017 - 6:44 pm
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Better days

Just testing the image of Harry. Not sure if this will come through or not.

Virginia
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13 September 2017 - 7:53 pm
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Yeh, it took me to google phot....AND HARRY IS ADORABLE!!!!   I looooove that picture of him!!   So does he actually dive into the water to get his BASKETBALL?   Most dogs like tennis size balls, but Harry likes BASKETBALLS???  Love it!! 🙂

And "better days" are still ahead! 🙂

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!

Livermore, CA
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13 September 2017 - 10:22 pm
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Hi and welcome. What kind of dog is Harry?

I'm sorry to hear about the car accident- that must have been terrifying! I'm feel lucky that my current pups are OK with fireworks- but Tripug Maggie was in-consolable when they went off.

My current Tripawd is a little pug mix named Elly who was hit by a car at 7 months old and lost her right rear leg as a result. I adopted her when she was 10 months old, she is getting close to 3 years old and has been on three for over 2 years.  She lives a pretty normal life for a dog her size and age.  She did have some fear of moving cars when I first got her, but she has overcome that for the most part.  She doesn't like loud trucks or motorcycles but she isn't as fearful as she used to be. 

For most of us the first two weeks after surgery were full of ups and downs so don't get discouraged if Harry isn't himself.  Stay positive and know that you are doing the best thing for him to be able to get back to a fun life.

I bet Harry will be much happier with the bum leg gone.  Of course it would have been better if it could have been saved, but once he is healed up I think the 'better days' will be in front of you!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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14 September 2017 - 5:36 am
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Thank you all. Harry is a 7 year old Portuguese Water Dog so where there is water there is Harry. He loves going into the pool, lakes, creeks, puddles...

He has been around fireworks for the past 5 years but never reacted so severely as he did this time. Normally he would have jumped a little and then just lay down next to us. This time he bolted in terror pulling out of his collar. Myself, my wife and 3 kids were all chasing him but he was just too fast. The police were even trying to chase him down on bikes. Once it happened we put him in the truck and drove an hour to the nearest animal hospital open for emergencies. Was one of the worst nights for my family. 

My plan was to wait 6-8 months to make this decision but now that he is self mutilating the foot and starting to move up the leg, I unfortunately had to heed the advice of 3 doctors I've seen now including a neurologist. 

He hates wearing the cone as I'm sure most dogs do and he would have to continue wearing this for the foreseeable future if we don't go with the surgery. Not to mention he really did a number on his foot to the point it probably has permanent damage.

Cone misery

The Rainbow Bridge

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14 September 2017 - 9:24 am
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Ohhh he sure does look miserable! Poor guy.

I'm glad to hear you've worked with specialists on the situation. Clearly you've done the homework and looked at every possibility. I'm sorry for the ruff time you've all gone through, but when that bad leg is off you'll all be able to put it behind you and move on with your handsome pup. And yes, he will be able to swim again!

Stay strong and let us know what questions you have OK? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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15 September 2017 - 4:31 pm
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Hello,

Surgery was successful and he's home. Have him lying in his doggy bed but he's whimpering. I feel really bad for him. He's drugged up but still appears to be in a lot of pain. I hope this stage doesn't last too long. I don't know what I can do for him. The incision is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. He has almost 70 staples. I feel just terrible.

Livermore, CA
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15 September 2017 - 8:28 pm
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He just had surgery today, right?  What pain meds is he on?

Dogs coming off surgery meds tend to be very vocal- did the vet talk to you about that?  When they come off the surgery meds they are very wonky- it may not be pain.

Putting an ice pack on the incision might help. Use a towel between the ice pack and skin and don't get the incision wet.

Here is a post on Signs of Pain which might help determining if Harry is in pain.  It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between pain and the side effects of pain meds.  How did Harry deal with the pain from the car accident? Can you compare how he acted then and now?

Hang in there- you didn't have a choice but to amputate to give Harry relief from the bum leg.  The amputation recovery is temporary- that leg was never going to get better.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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15 September 2017 - 9:59 pm
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Honestly I just don't know what is hurting. He actually gets up and wants to move when he really gets crying so I take him for small walks every few hours. He did have a long pee too. Seems to help so lays back down and has a small nap and then starts up again. I wonder if it could be gas pains? He didn't eat at all today so his stomach is just air and I believe surgeries introduce air into the body. He has burped a few times.

His surgery was indeed today. I believe they finished up around 3 ish. I was surprised they felt he was good to come home already but I was all to eager to get him to the comfort of his own home. He was completely zonked when I picked him up but he has come out of that. They gave me Tramadol 50mg, Rimadyl 100mg and Clavamox 375mg. The doctor said I could give him a Tramadol tonight which is the pain one so I did. These things say to give with meals but he has shown no interest in food so I kind of shoved it down with some water I gave him. It did go down and seemed to help with the crying. He's more quiet now, kind of on and off. It's going to be a long night for me as it's midnight here now. Deja vu for me as this is exactly what happened on the 4th.

Virginia
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15 September 2017 - 10:03 pm
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Okay, bringing him home the same day of surgery is going to be extra rough, so just preparing you for that!  ,It's better to have him home though if the Bet wasnw a 24 hr clinic where he could be monitored.

As Karen said, a dog coming off of the anesthesia and strong dose of hospital meds can be very vocal and very whiny.  When a dog spends the first night at a 24 hr clinic, the humans are spared seeing what you are seeing!  And if Harryhas a Fentanyl latch on, he may even be more vocal and sort of disoriented!

Did the Vet send you home with Gabapentin, Tramadol, Rimadyl and an antibiotic?   What are the doses and how often?  When is he due for his first dose of pain meds tonight?  It can be a bit tricky sometimes getting the pain meds balanced.  

Even though my Happy Hannah did spend one night at the Vet, she was very, whiny and restless and uncomfortable for the first three nights.  I don't think she (and I) got more than three hours sleep those first few days.  I had NOT found this site yet and I was sure I had made a horrible mistake!!   It took me three weeks before I could say I did this FOR my Happy Hannah and not TO her!

Hang in there and stay connected, okay?

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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17 September 2017 - 7:30 pm
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I'm happy to say Harry was much better yesterday and even more so today. He's more energetic in fact than I'd like him to be. Jumping up quickly when interested in food and even wanting to play. He's hopping up on the couch and even jumped up on me on his two hind legs. I'm trying to keep him as calm as I can.

The only issue I've had so far is that while sitting he scratched his neck/ear area and must have disturbed a pocket of blood/fluid which proceeded to leak out. Was a pretty decent amount. It oozed for about 10-15 minutes but has since stopped. It didn't appear to cause any pain to him as he was wagging his tail as I was gently cleaning up. I understand the use of the cone to keep him from licking the wound which he has not done yet so I removed the cone for now to provide more comfort to him. I will continually monitor this. But what do I do about his hind legs coming up to scratch an itch on his neck like this which is right next to the wound area? The cone would be useless to prevent this.

Chris

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