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Broken leg from tumor agter surviving over a year with nasal osteosarcoma
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London, UK
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6 January 2018 - 7:49 am
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Hi there and a belated welcome!

Just catching up. First things first.  Abby is GORGEOUS! Such a sweet expression, and your love and dedication to her welfare come shining through your posts.

Has anyone had experience with dog laying on the surgery side. I left the room for two minutes and when i came back she had flipped herself over and was laying on the surgery side. She didnt seem uncomfortable so i just left her there until she let me know that she wanted to be moved. I just worry about her hurting the incision.

Yes. My Meg, who lost the same leg, did this also. It did not present any problems for us, so I just let her lie in whatever way she found most comfortable. 

Re the difficulties getting up, Abby is just one day post op? Is that right? My Meg was still in hospital at this stage, and despite having been extremely one-sided for almost a year pre-op, she refused to walk at all for at least two days. After that she never looked back. Took to the three-legged life like a champ, and had one of the most straightforward recoveries I've ever heard of. So what I'm saying is... I really wouldn't worry. Abby will soon be getting up by herself and hopping around, no problem. In the meantime, I would keep trying with the sling and, as Karen says perhaps use a towel for extra cushioning. In our case, the harness didn't touch the incision, so Meg was fine with it, but obviously you and your vet will be the best judges of Abby's particular situation. Good idea from Petra too, re maybe lifting the blanket or bed to help her up. Do make absolutely sure that there is good traction where she is trying to stand. That really is essential.

I know dogs rely on their elbows to help hold their head up when they are laying down.

Could you give her a firm bolster cushion to rest her head on? Just see if she likes it?

Pills arent usually an issue with her but if she still wont eat tomorrow i will try the melted cheese trick. What dog refuses cheese right. Haha.

If this doesn't work, and it hopefully will, then you could also try liver paté. My girls will gulp down anything if its buried in a lump of liver paté.

Just one other thought re the eating.... You're not mixing her tramadol in with her food, are you? I did this, not realising it's extremely bitter. That's the only time Meg refused to eat. You probably know this already, but just thought I'd mention, in case.

You're not doing 'ok', you are doing an AMAZING job. Things will get easier, as Abby recovers. Stay connected. We are here for you!

Big hug,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


Virginia
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6 January 2018 - 9:52 am
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Such EXCELENT tips and advice from everyone!!!   Nothing like a little first-hand knowledge on how to address some of the "hurdles" of recovery!

Just want to add my welcome and sending best wishes to your beautiful Abby for a fast recovery! Slooooow and easy for now though!

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!

New Jersey
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7 January 2018 - 2:58 am
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Hello everyone. She is doing amazing. Sleeping a lot which i expected. I put a tshirt on her and she seems to be ok with that and it helps me feel better too. 🙂 she is eating better. She is taking her pills in hotdogs so that isnt a problem anymore. She had some pasta today as well and tomorrow i am going to try and see if she will start eating some of her regular dry dog food. I never fed her people food so she is loving that she can have whatever she wants. She is doing better getting up and moving around. It is hard not to help her every moment but i know that i kinda need to let her figure it out. Of course i am not letting her fall or struggle. How long have people experienced that it takes for them to build up the strength in their other front leg and shoulder. She was a pretty lazy dog pre op so it really wears her out to hobble around. I also plan to take a little weight off her and i think that will help. She is 66 pounds (minus a front leg so however much that took off) so she can stand to drop a few pounds. I mean, cant we all. Haha. Pain wise she seems to be doing ok. I am giving her tramadol, gabapentin, rimadyl and tylenol with codeine. I will probably stop the tylenol with codeine in a few days or maybe just give it at night. My dad came and built amazing ramps today. I will attach pictures. Does anyone have advice on getting her used to the ramps? I would imagine that going up will be easier than going down. I also got stick down carpet tiles to put in my laminate floors. I am going to create an “abby yellow brick road” for where she needs to walk. Right now i am just taking cues from her for when she needs to go out. She usually lets me know when she needs to go potty. She has a super bladder since she is used to holding it for 12+ hours when i am at work. My other dog (carter, he is an 8 year old pit mix) seems to be doing ok with her. He is a bit of a bull in a china shop so i worry about him knocking her down. Right now i am running interference when she is up and walking. He seems to know that something is going on and he was extra cuddly with me last night. Overall things seems to be going ok. I feel like each day will get easier and better. Again thank you for all the support and well wishes!

New Jersey
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7 January 2018 - 3:07 am
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I will add pictures of the outdoor ramp once it is daylight and not 5 degrees outside. Brrrr 🌬❄️⛄️

New Jersey
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7 January 2018 - 5:41 am
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Shes such a good girl thatni was trying to tell her to go pee pee by pointing to the pee pad and she went and lad on it because she thought i was telling her “spot” like when i want her to lay somewhere. Abby thats not what pee pads are for! Lol

Canada
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7 January 2018 - 6:37 am
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Hi Abby’s Mum

tell your Dad that he is a bloomin’ champion!!! Brilliant ramps he built for Abby... Brilliant!!! You are so fortunate to have a Dad that would do that for you!!! Give him a big hug from us all! We will be applauding those ramps for days!!!clap 

As far as helping Abby get used to the ramp, be sure to walk her on the railing side, as you step with her. Use those hot dogs and hamburgers she likes so much and total reinforcement of how well she is doing. Even if it’s only a front paw that she puts on there, try further later... I think either direction will challenge her at first, but eventually she will get the idea. You may need to block off the stair part, so that she can’t opt out of using the ramp.

Abby sounds to be doing great during her recovery. Keep up the good work all of you! Best of luck with the ramp training!

All the very best from Petra, Stewie and his Pride Of kittens!

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

London, UK
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7 January 2018 - 6:57 am
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I am SO pleased to see how well Abby is doing. What a trooper! Just fantastic, and the ramps look amazing. Ditto Petra's hug for your Dad.

How long have people experienced that it takes for them to build up the strength in their other front leg and shoulder. She was a pretty lazy dog pre op so it really wears her out to hobble around

This was different for us, because Meg lost her leg because of orthopaedic issues and had been one sided for a considerable time, so it wasn't a sudden adjustment. If you have a rehab vet anywhere near you, then, once Abby's staples come out, I would recommend a visit if you can. Tripawds will even pay for her first visit http://tripawds.....bursement/ so you really have nothing to lose. Meg did hydrotherapy on an underwater treadmill to help build up her strength in her remaining legs. But also, and perhaps even more important, is building core strength as it's this that really supports tripawds and helps them build stamina. A rehab vet will be able to teach you exercises you can do with Abby at home. 

Re the weight, yes it certainly is important to get that as low as healthily possible as that will greatly help Abby's mobility. But I wouldn't worry about that right now while she's recovering from surgery. Again, for us the rehab vet provided invaluable support on weightloss, and there's lots of useful info on this site too.

I haven't used ramps myself, so no specific tips. Petra gives great advice above. Abby is likely find it harder going down ramps and stairs than going up but I am sure that with encouragement and tempting food she will soon be hopping up and down.

Big hugs,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


Virginia
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7 January 2018 - 7:01 am
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Loving this update!!!   You, and Abby, are doing a SPECTACULAR job!!   Really!  You are!! 

  Just continue to take your cues from Abby.  Sloooow and easy is the name of the game right now

I chuckled at the picture of her "going to jer spot":-)  What a smart girl!!

The ramps are wonderful!   The indoor one looks like a fine piece of furniture!  When first getting her used to the ramp, try having someone  stand on each side for a sense of security.   I've forgotten what it's called, but dogs jave trouble with depth perception when there are no rails on the side and it spooks them a little.   I'm not describing it right, but something like that. Maybe you can try her on the outside ramp first, as that has side rails and that may get her used to the indoor  one.

Yes, adjusting to three legs at first IS exhausting!  Especially for front leggers.  BOTH front legs carry 60%, and now the one front leg is doing all that work.  You'll notice that once she gets past the recovery stage, she'll walk at a much faster pace to help keep her balance.

There are lots of core building exercises and exercises to improve balance you can do with her once she recovers.  Longer walks don't build up strength, but stronger core miscles do.    Use the search bar for exercises.  If possible, a couple of visits with  rehab Specialist are invaluable after she recovers.  The Tripawds Foundation will pay $200 towards  the first visit.

Enjoy yiur people food Abby!   You deserve some extra goodies!! 🙂 🙂

Love the pictures of her!  She just looks like she is so gentle and such a sweet dog 🙂

Keep these great updates coming!

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!

Virginia
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7 January 2018 - 7:03 am
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Well, by the loooong  time it took me to typo my reply, Petra and Clare already chimed in with excellent tips.  Never hurts to hear the same thing twomor three times though!  Right?

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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7 January 2018 - 12:43 pm
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LOVE the ramps! Wow! Very nice craftsmanship there. And how wonderful she is doing so well, what a great update!

Now that you've 'graduated' from the diagnosis stage, you can post updates in other forum topics OK? Just choose one and we'll you over there!

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Schofield, WI
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9 January 2018 - 8:41 am
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Abby looks wonderful!  Those ramps Dad built are awesome!  Each day beautiful Abby will gain more confidence in being a tripawd.  Give yourself a huge pat on the back you're both doing awesome!

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10 January 2018 - 12:10 pm
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Hello, Abby!  You are a cutie pie! The first couple of weeks are hard.  My Bailey was too fluffy going into surgery. I didn't start to cut down on food until she was well into recovery.  You might want to check with vet on when is good to start cutting back. I'm a tyrant on her food and treats, but it works.   It is very hard when you feel so bad that they have had to go through amputation and give you a sad look not to give more treats.  And beware of well intentioned family and friends sneaking her treats!  Bailey only gets dry treats, so I break them in half and put the amount she can have for a week in a baggies. If I'm out of town, I do treat baggies by the day (but my husband says he has to "supplement" treats and food when I'm gone...all she has to do is bark and hit her bowl and he responds).

It was stressed to me how much losing weight would help, so I'm on a mission.  After all, we want these priceless tripawds to live as long as they comfortably can. Bailey went in at 105 lbs. and left after a week in the vet hospital at 93 lbs.   At her 6 month check up Monday she was 78.8lbs.  Vet says she is losing weight at a good pace and would like her to lose more😢. 

Abby is lucky to have such a devoted family, and I know you feel blessed to have her.  Hang in there!

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