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12 year old lab - amputation surgery scheduled for Tuesday.
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30 December 2017 - 6:01 am
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Hello all,

Raven, our 12.5 year old Labrador Retriever has been diagnosed with osteo sarcoma on 12/26.  It was quite a grueling process getting to the diagnosis.  On 12/6 a bone biopsy was done because of the feared diagnosis of bone cancer.  We were ecstatic when the results came back negative.  In fact we couldn’t believe what we were hearing.  However, that was short lived because Raven still had a large lump on her right front shoulder and her limping was continuing to get worse.  Took her back to the vet and he decided we now needed to biopsy the bump.  The biopsy was done (2 weeks post bone biopsy) and we got the results the day after Christmas.  We have now decided that amputation on January 2, followed with chemotherapy is the route that we will be taking.  We have a lot of hesitation and anticipation regarding these treatments.  

My biggest fear is that Raven will not recover well from the amputation.  I don’t really know why that’s my fear, but it is.  She is a remarkably healthy 12 year old (other than this tumor).  She LOVES to play fetch, swim, eat and sleep.  When I look in her eyes they still sparkle and she still wiggles with excitement every time we get home or when it’s meal time.  She still “talks” to me when I’m cuddling with her and she still loves being in the company of her doggie sister and brother.  She is a very mild mannered lab though.  She is really, really clam and super sugary sweet.  She is the type of dog that would let kids pull her tail and ears or lay all over her without ever moving or complaining.  I guess I’m worried that her laid back attitude will hinder her recovery in some way.  Or that because we have already put her through 2 biopsy surgeries within a months time that this third (and very major) surgery will somehow “break” her.  I’m worried that the time we do have left will be traumatic and hard for her.  

We do not have the support of my family either.  I think that is also playing into my hesitations.  I have always been the type of person who needs validation that I’m doing the right thing and to not have it from my family really hurts.  We have had 2 family dogs in the past diagnosed with cancer and on both occasions they said their goodbyes within weeks of the diagnosis.  I just don’t have it in my heart to do that to Raven.  When I look at her, I just know that the time is not right.  

I have very much loved browsing through the pages of posts.  They are comforting and bring me to tears to hear about the amazing stories of all the brave doggies out there.  I have been having trouble sleeping since the decision has been made, and this page has definitely calmed me during those sleepless nights.  My biggest hope is that Raven can also be added to those wonderful stories soon.  

The Rainbow Bridge

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30 December 2017 - 7:11 am
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Hi Raven and family, welcome. You have come to the right place to be with people who understand, people who will help give you confidence during the journey and beyond.

Many of us were in your shoes, not haveing support from folks in out lives we once thought were animal lovers. What many of us learned was that those folks had never experienced the depth of the kind of love that certain animals bring into our lives. You have that with Raven, and only you know her best, so don’t let anyone tell you what’s best for her.

I’m on my phone but will be back in a bit with more thoughts. Stay tuned for feedback from others ok?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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30 December 2017 - 7:47 am
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YOU ARE NOT ALONE NOW!!!   WE UNDERSTAND LIKE NO OTHERS CAN.!  Getti g to this poi t is agonizing and sgressful and exhausting!!   We  all know those emotions far to well.  But we also know how happy you and Raven will be with that bum leg gone!

Some members who jzve done the biopsy for their dogs say that seemed ro hurt more than the actual amputation!   Besides, she'll jave some good pain meds to help her thrpugh.  Is she on anything now?  Gabapentin maybe?

No, you aren't "breaking her".' Your adding quality baxk into her lofe.

Very few understand why we do what we do here unless they also have done the research.  You are armed with information that your family doesn't have.  And as Jerry said, you have a depth of love for  Raven and an understanding of who Raevn  is and what SHE wiuld want, that others donr have..

Yes, itxw MAJOR surgery and  the recovery is no picnic for a couple of weeks.  We will remind you iften dury recovery you are doing this FOR Raven and not TO her!    But you are giviw Raven a chance at a pain free life!  She doesn't care about days on a calendar.  She does care about pain free quality time for more loving and spoiling and chill time with you!

I know you've been doing your research and hzve studied the forums.  Tell us what questions you might have. 

Also is this an overnight clinic with an Orthopedic Surgeon doi g the surgery?  Obviously they feel she's a good candidate for amp, and Raven appears to sgree!

STAY CONNECTED!!   We are right by your side the whole way!!  And we would love to see pictures of your special Raven! 🙂

Lots of 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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30 December 2017 - 9:28 am
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Hi Raven and Family

We are very sorry that you have been given the horrifying diagnosis of 💩 Osteosarcoma! Especially after getting your hopes up that he rinitial test had come back negative! 

We understand your fears completely!!! When Stewie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma back in July, Paul and I were terrified of the thought of amputation! Then we got onto Tripawds and a whole new world opened up to us... Stewie is a front left leg amputee and our fear was that his remaining front leg wouldn’t be able to support him. Boy, did he prove us wrong! We also thought that putting Stewie through major surgery like this, was more for us than it would be for him... once again he proved us wrong! He was back to his old hoppy self within a month or so and he hasn’t looked back! (Dogs do that really well don’t they?!) 

After surgery, we could see immediately that Stewie was in a different place with his pain... no longer was he suffering from the deep, bone crushing pain (literally!) ... he was in pain from recovery and with a lot of love, patience, steaks, chicken, sleepless nights, medications and bed rest, more treats, a few complications (nothing our vets couldn’t handle), lots of hand feeding, more bedrest and more lovin’... he was up and about telling us he was ready to lead a super hoppy life, no matter how long he had with us!

We had also previously lost two of our fur babies to 💩 cancer and when we saw that we could do for Stewie what we couldn’t do for them, we jumped at the opportunity. It was super scary, but after reading all the success stories here, we figured Stewie was up to the challenge, so why not us?!

There are never any judgements made here as to why somebody should or shouldn’t go ahead with amputation... Many of my friends and family have told us that they would never go ahead with a surgery like this and I’m okay with that. We now have their full support, mainly because Stewie showed them that he is okay with everything we have done for him! 

Raven sounds like a true gem and you will all do great! Just remember to stay calm and pawsitive and stay in touch. We will be here as your support system, we have been there and want to help you through your fears. 

Take care and give snuggles to all of your fur babies.

Petra, Stewie and his Pride of kittens.

Sloppy kisses from Stewie & cuddles from Petra, Paul & his Prideful Pack Spike, Chester, Miss Lily & Mr. Ted. Super Stu was diagnosed with OSA July 5th. He became a Super Tripawd July 10th 2017. He did brilliantly through 6 rounds of Carboplatin & continues to bring Joy & Hoppiness to his family and friends. But most of all he teaches us all to continually “live in the moment!“  Check out Stewies journey at  http://stewie20.....pawds.com/ 

Livermore, CA
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30 December 2017 - 1:44 pm
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I just don’t have it in my heart to do that to Raven. When I look at her, I just know that the time is not right.

Make copies of that statement and hang them all over your house!  You know her best, you are making decisions for her because you love her so much!

The recovery period after surgery can be full of ups and downs so you will need to remember why you chose to amputate!  You will probably think you made the wrong decision at some point- almost all of us did! Most pups get their sparkle back in two to three weeks- sometimes the more 'mature' pups take a little longer.  Don't get discouraged!

My Pug Maggie lost her left back leg to a mast cell tumor.  She was 7.5 years old at the time of her surgery and was hopping on her own the day of surgery, although she didn't get far.  We had no medical complications, everything healed just fine.  However Maggie was more of a block of cement than her old happy self for about 6 weeks! She wouldn't play with me and spent most of her time in bed.  Yes- I spent those 6 weeks SURE I had made a big mistake.  In hindsight Maggie was a stubborn Pug who HATED any change to her routine so it actually made sense that she took longer than most to get back to herself- but she did and hopped happily through life for almost 4 years.

There is no way to know how much time Raven will get- cancer is a sneaky bastard.  But you are giving her a chance for quality time with you and the pack- pain free quality time!  I know that every day I got with Maggie was a gift (her prognosis was 6 to 9 months).

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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2 January 2018 - 1:42 pm
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Thank you everyone.  We have followed through & Raven is a new tripawd.  She is about 45 minutes out of surgery & the nurse has said everything is stable.  We are able to go see & sit with her for a little bit at 3pm.  I am so nervous & anxious.  Just want her to be ok.  Nurse said that surgery took a little longer than expected, so anxious to hear from the doctor what that actually means.  Thank you for all of the support.  This is one of the toughest roads we've ever travelled.  

~ Kristen

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2 January 2018 - 2:09 pm
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kford0515 said
I am so nervous & anxious...

This is totally normal, and to be expected. But please do not let it show in any way around Raven. She will sense your emotions and follow your lead. We often suggest not visiting, as some dogs will get more stressed out when seeing their people show up and then leave. Of course, everypawdy is different...but it is why we say Be More Dog - and that is not just some silly saying.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Virginia
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2 January 2018 - 3:04 pm
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YAAAAAAAAAY!!   SURGERY IS DONE!!!!

She should be still really out if it when you go see her.  If she is awake, don't even glance at that surgery site in fro t of her.  She just wants you to look i to her druggy eyes and tell her what a good girl she is!!   BTW, whever you do glance at the incision, just remember Surgeons get really clipper happy when it comes to shaving the dogs!

As Admin said, have a strong upbeat and confident energy when you see her!  That's really important.  Again though, I imagine she'll be pretty out of it.

Let us know hiw yiurew doing!  Raven is still seeing pink elephants so she's feeling pretty darn high righ now!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS...Surgeries taking "a little longer than they thought" is pretty common jargon.

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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2 January 2018 - 4:40 pm
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kford0515 said
We have followed through & Raven is a new tripawd.

Well done! One hurdle out of the way

 She is about 45 minutes out of surgery & the nurse has said everything is stable.  We are able to go see & sit with her for a little bit at 3pm.  I am so nervous & anxious.

As Jerry’s Pack said, please don’t go in with the anxious nervous energy, Raven very much needs you to be strong for her right now! I completely agree with Sally, go in with pawsitive energy, calm energy and tell her she did an excellent job! I know it’s tough Mum, but you have finally gotten rid of that bad, painful leg! That took a lot of courage!!! Now you need to be strong and not feel sorry for her... you need to tell her that you are there to give her what she needs!

 I Just want her to be ok.  Nurse said that surgery took a little longer than expected, so anxious to hear from the doctor what that actually means.  Thank you for all of the support.  This is one of the toughest roads we've ever travelled.  

~ Kristen  

Raven is going to do just fine!  I was freaked out also when Stewie’s surgery took longer than they had expected, but they also had t anticipated how long it would take to shave him down. Even for a short haired girl like Raven, it takes time that isn’t always accounted for when they tell you how long to expect for the surgery. The most important thing is that she is breathing in her own and is stable! That’s excellent news!

She has made it through and she will be looking forward to getting home and getting right comfy! You’ve all done great! Stay in touch with any concerns, but never feel bad about phoning your vet, that’s what they are there for.

All the very best 

Petra, Stewie and his Pride 

Sloppy kisses from Stewie & cuddles from Petra, Paul & his Prideful Pack Spike, Chester, Miss Lily & Mr. Ted. Super Stu was diagnosed with OSA July 5th. He became a Super Tripawd July 10th 2017. He did brilliantly through 6 rounds of Carboplatin & continues to bring Joy & Hoppiness to his family and friends. But most of all he teaches us all to continually “live in the moment!“  Check out Stewies journey at  http://stewie20.....pawds.com/ 

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2 January 2018 - 5:59 pm
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Bubba's surgery and recovery in the recovery took a little longer due to being on oxygen.  Once they moved him to his bed for the night he responded very well and was up, eating, and relieving himself early the next morning.  Trust in Raven and let her be your guide.  

We brought Bub home at 10 the next morning and to our surprise he came bouncing out with the vet tech wagging his tail and beyond excited to see us.  He is an extremely vocal boy and he certainly had plenty to tell us about his experience.  I wanted more than to just baby him because I felt so guilty, buts that's not what he needed nor did I baby him or prevent him from getting up and moving around.  Raven will surprise you because these dogs are pretty resilient. 

Keep a positive attitude and keep the energy up and your Raven will respond more favorable.  Live for the moment and don't think about tomorrow.  

Bub had his amputation 2 weeks ago today and his recovery exceeded all our expectations. We treated him from the get go as if nothing changed and he was and is still our goof ball.  

Let Raven be your cue and she is going to need you to be her rock that she can lean on.  Always reach out if you need anything or just to share your feelings.  

xoxoxoxoxo Bubba and Barb

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