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Here we go....
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Member
Forum Posts: 143
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7 August 2016 - 8:59 am
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My sweet lab/sharpei rescue will have his front left leg amputated tomorrow.  He is approximately 8 1/2 years old and first presented in March with a limp.  X-rays showed osteosarcoma in the center of his ulna and an ulnectomy was recommended vice amputation.  Three months after the ulnectomy I noticed a small lump in his leg at exactly the spot where the ulna was removed.  Biopsy showed it is osteosarcoma spread to the soft tissue.  Darn.  He is in pain and I've made the agonizing decision to amputate, that I wish I had made in March.  Oh well - it is what it is.

I'm nervous.  I've spent hours on this site over the last week and feel right about the decision - just a little exhausted by the "what next"....  I have runners for the house; I have t-shirts to cover his incision; I have a ruff wear harness on the way; I have elevated food bowls; I have a ramp for him to easily get into the truck/SUV;  I've got a thick memory foam mattress topper cut into three good-sized beds and sheets/doggie pads to go on them; I've got scheduled time off and am planning to sleep on the couch for as long as it takes to care for him.  Oh yeah, and I have wine..  Is there anything I've forgotten?

This is a great site and I'm so very thankful to have found it.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!

Wanda

Michigan
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7 August 2016 - 9:23 am
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It sounds like you have it pretty well covered!  Make sure you sleep tonight - he may not sleep well the first couple of nights.  Write out a schedule of his medications so that you have them spaced out for adequate coverage.  Murphy came home on Tramadol, Rimadyl & Gabapentin.  Some come home on a Fentanyl patch and some with antibiotics.  Some don't eat so well - for Murphy, I cooked up some rice and poured chicken broth over it, then added some chunks of chicken to it.  He took his meds with peanut butter. 

Keep in touch with us if you need anything.  Even in the middle of the night.  There's the chat room, although there's not always someone there, and there's the help line that is always staffed.  Many of us are on facebook, too, if you're on there.

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  

Donna.png

Schofield, WI
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7 August 2016 - 9:41 am
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Welcome!  It does sound like you've got all your bases covered.  Well done!  Might want to boil up some chicken or some other tasty food you know he likes to hide the pills in.  We also used flavored cream cheese to hide the pills in.  He loved the salmon one.  But then he got smart so we had to wrap them in chicken.  As Donna said sometimes it can be a challenge to get them to eat.  We ended up mixing a 1/2 can of low sodium tuna in with kibble and Max loved it.  You might need some chocolate to go with that wine too! 😉  Keep us posted we'll be right here when you need us.  Hugs!

Linda, Riley & Spirits Mighty Max & Ollie

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7 August 2016 - 11:01 am
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Thank you both for your responses.  Very good suggestions.  He loves cheese and bread....no problem getting him to take meds!  fingers crossed.

Wanda

Minneapolis, MN
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7 August 2016 - 11:25 am
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Hello:

Sorry for the spread of his osteo, but you have come to the right place for advice and support.

You really do sound like you have it covered and there is really great advice above.  I would add to make sure you have a frank discussion on the pain meds before he comes home.  Talk to them when they call you post surgery to make sure they are covering the bases with meds.  Different meds address pain in different ways (modalities) and while there is not a universal right way to approach since every dog is different, I think it is better to have the bases covered when you come home and not have to go back to pick up an additional med because what you come home with is inadequate (unless the pharmacy/vet is very, very conveniently located).

Donna mentioned Tramadol (an opiod narcotic which works on the brain blocking pain receptors), Rimadyl (an NSAID helping pain by reducing inflammation) and Gabapentin (works on nerve pain).  Not every amputee has phantom pain, but a lot will.  Some vets seem very conservative about meds - starting out just with one or two of the above or just a Fentanyl patch.  Pofi was only on Fentanyl, which is a really powerful opiod , in the hospital post up via IV.  We had been using the combination of the other three oral meds above prior to amputation and continued as soon as he was weaned off the IV Fentanyl in hospital and we had a smoother time with pain management than some.  Granted, that may be just him, but I've felt bad for others who have come home with a less robust pain management plan and had sleepless nights with pets in pain until they get another modality on board or increased frequency or dosage. 

Best thoughts!

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His Daddy and I miss him terribly along with his canine sister, Mia, and two feline siblings, Lucia and Cliff.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

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7 August 2016 - 11:46 am
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Lisa,

Thanks so much.  I will definitely follow up with the vet on pain management.  She has been so good to us and Ted has been so stoic through all of this.  She was very surprised that the Vet Surgeon we returned to when the soft tissue growth showed up didn't give us anything for pain and we left her office with the Tramadol after that visit.

So right now he is on a very low dose of Tramadol (50 mg - two per day).  We have a little farm near Charlottesville, VA that we go to every weekend and he got to run around a lot today so he's happy, tired, and the leg is sore - so I may give him a second dose later this evening.  I worry about having him under anesthesia for a second time in 4 months.  He was pretty out of it when I brought him home from the ulnectomy the day after, so I will definitely speak with the vet about not overmedicating him tomorrow and make sure I've got what I need to keep him comfortable when he gets home (guess I need to check my cheese supply!).  After everything I've read here I'm not too keen on a Fentanyl patch. However, I will ask for additional Tramadol, Rimadyl, and Gabapentin.

Deeeeeep breath.  

Wanda

The Rainbow Bridge

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7 August 2016 - 12:10 pm
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Hi Wanda, Ted and family, welcome.

I second what everyone else has advised, and it really does sound like you are set! I think you have a great, strong attitude and you will get through this with flying colors. Watch Ted closely, he will be your inspawration the whole time!

I can't recall too many folks coming here after the ulnaectomy procedure. Don't have any regrets, you were trying your best to save that leg, who can blame you. Who is your surgeon that did it? I think the procedure could make a great informative article here.

Whatever we can do to make this journey easier just bark. We'll be sending our best to you on surgery day and ever after!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Minneapolis, MN
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7 August 2016 - 12:31 pm
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Wanda:

I so hear you on anesthesia.  Pofi is going to be 12 in September.  And he had a terrible reaction to reversible, injectable anesthesia in the past and is part sight hound (Greyhound or Saluki) so I fret terribly about it.  But....

He has had GA now 8 times in 13 months....... (4 surgeries, 1 ultrasound, 1 MRI and 2 CT scans - LONG STORY)

And is fine.

But - I would just, for your own peace of mind confirm when you are dropping him off that they have reviewed the GA protocol that worked before and hopefully plan to replicate.  I had the anesthesiologist for his leg amputation consult with my regular vet / surgeon who had performed prior procedures to hear exactly what had worked in detail.  She ended up agreeing with his approach and replicated and they stick to that now (we just had the second CT on Monday).  And I put on the pre-surgical sign off every single time, "NO DEXDOMITOR" because that was what caused a terrible reaction in the past.

Will be thinking very good thoughts for Ted and you tomorrow.

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His Daddy and I miss him terribly along with his canine sister, Mia, and two feline siblings, Lucia and Cliff.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

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7 August 2016 - 7:58 pm
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Yikes Lisa, that's a lot of GA...  Thanks so much for sharing with me and for your good thoughts.  I will post his progress tomorrow/Tuesday.

Wanda

Virginia
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7 August 2016 - 8:09 pm
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A quick note....CHOCOLATE!!! You forgot chocolate to vo with your wine!

I see you're in line now. I love West of Richmond..a rural area called Powhatan. I'm originally from Gordonsville, just outside of C'ville.
Small world!

Be back in a minute!

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!

Minneapolis, MN
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7 August 2016 - 8:11 pm
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mysweetted said
Yikes Lisa, that's a lot of GA...  Thanks so much for sharing with me and for your good thoughts.  I will post his progress tomorrow/Tuesday.

Wanda  

Indeed it is Wanda.  He's had more GA in the last year than he had combined over the previous 11....not ideal, but what can you do?  

I'll be watching for your update when Ted is out of surgery.

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His Daddy and I miss him terribly along with his canine sister, Mia, and two feline siblings, Lucia and Cliff.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

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8 August 2016 - 5:57 pm
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So, Ted had surgery this afternoon and he did really well.  The vet doesn't have an overnight person and Ted was active enough that she was concerned about him being alone overnight.  Sooooo, he came home about an hour ago.  He's a little whiny and a little wasted but I've got lots of pain meds for him - the vet even gave me a syringe with morphine to get him through the night.  He had two of his favorite biscuits as soon as we got home.  Hardest part was getting him into the house - we have to take him back to the vet for a check up in the morning, ugh.  I'm sure it's going to be a sleepless night for me but that's okay.  

Thank you all for your well wishes and support.  I felt so much stronger and in control when I dropped him off this morning.

wanda

Minneapolis, MN
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8 August 2016 - 6:13 pm
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So, so happy he did well with surgery and is home with you - seems like you are well armed for pain management.  Keep in mind a lot of us are in the Chat Room for a while at night - pop in to talk if you need to.

I love his sweet face, by the way!

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His Daddy and I miss him terribly along with his canine sister, Mia, and two feline siblings, Lucia and Cliff.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

Schofield, WI
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8 August 2016 - 6:17 pm
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Oh wow!  Most of us don't get to see that first night.  That being said I would want mine home under my watchful eye too rather than being left alone.  Sounds like you're well prepared both mentally and physically though for this.  Sleep when he does if you can and make sure you take care of "you" too.  Keep that wonderful positive attitude you've got it will serve both you and beautiful Ted well in the coming days as he amazes you with his strength & resiliency.  

Hugs!

Linda, Riley & Spirits Mighty Max & Ollie

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8 August 2016 - 6:40 pm
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Thank you....  This was not what I expected tonight but, it is what it is.  I'm glad I didn't wait until this evening to get prepared for "tomorrow"!  more later.  and thanks again for so much support.  This group is fantastic.clap

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