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Need advice, dog with cancer, short prognosis, considering amputation
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30 August 2017 - 5:26 pm
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Awww, Badger is a sweet, super handsome boy. I just had to say that first. 

I was just catching up on Badger's story. Regardless of the reason for the amputation, we all had the same thoughts and fears and ups and downs. My 6 year old lab mix is 3 weeks post-op and I'm finally realizing that I have been expecting too much from him in this short time. He is still not consistent with his eating...thank goodness he ate this afternoon after 2 days of not...but he is starting to wag that tail a little more every day. His last dose of meds was Tramadol over 24 hours ago and is doing well. At least I think he is. 

I hope your Badger continues on the upswing. I'm new to this community so I'm sorry I can't offer any advice that hasn't already been said. Not only is this community helpful to our pets, it's also therapeutic for us humans, too.

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30 August 2017 - 6:01 pm
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Hi everyone, thanks so much for all the input, I was worried about the metacam only and great to see your comments. Due to the time difference and me not seeing these messages soon enough we tried to get through the night. Badger did sleep but was still restless and repositioned himself every hour or so. I was keeping an eye on him so no unfortunately I haven't had much sleep!

This morning he was more uncomfortable I guess due to yesterday's meds wearing off. He did some whining/grunting plus a bit of twitching at the surgery site, and licking his paws. I rang the vet surgery early but his vet wasn't in yet. I had some gabapentin left over in the drawer so gave him one with the metacam first thing. The vet only got in at 9.30am so I only just spoke to him. He said tramadol is the next option but to give it a few hours and call at midday and we'll see if he needs that as well as gabapentin. The balance he wants is making him comfortable but not too sleepy to get around, and he is a bit more settled already after the two meds, and a bit drowsy.

On the upside he is eating well, pooping and weeing and getting around just fine. Right now he is starting to do the "big sigh before sleep" noise now instead of the grunting and that's a much better noise to listen to! I gave him a rib bone to chew to keep his mind off it and he got stuck into that. He's on the mattress on the floor with me now and dozing off. When he was more in pain he didn't really want to be touched so this seems good to me.

He hasn't touched his wound since I told him not to, but I will watch him like a hawk and if I'm not around will put his collar back on. He is pretty good, he's had stitches before a couple of times including after the last biopsy and both times he left them alone when I told him to. This is much more major of course so will be careful with him.

If he sleeps, I might sleep too big-blink Felt quite ill watching him in pain this morning, I need to toughen up!

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30 August 2017 - 6:47 pm
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I just found the below on tramadol on a vet site, anyone else seen it?:

"Tramadol is an opioid as well. It blocks M1 opioid receptors in humans and cats. It also has mild effects on the serotonin and norepinephrine nerve pathways. The reason it doesn’t work in dogs is that dogs don’t have M1 receptors, a fact discovered only recently. The serotonin and norepinephrine effects can make dogs sleepy but provide very little pain control.

Since we are not using tramadol very much for dogs now, we are relying more on other oral opioids such as codeine and hydromorphone. Unfortunately, these are not absorbed consistently from dog to dog, so they work well in some dogs but not so well in others."

I spoke to the vet resident this morning about adding in tramadol as the specialist was consulting, but I do remember the surgeon/specialist saying he didn't think tramadol worked so will talk to him if it looks like we need another med. Badger is sleeping now, practically snoring. He does still look up and at the surgery site sometimes, and twitch very occasionally, but he is sooo much more settled and has only had the one gabapentin so far so we might be ok with it. Will give it to midday here and see how we go.

Thanks again everyone!

Oh phew, Badger just went into what I call "coma" position, fully on his side and his favorite sleep position, which he didn't do last night. I can feel a nap coming on myself..

Virginia
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30 August 2017 - 6:47 pm
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You are a strong adovate for your Badger !!!  Good job!!

And we have poopicon_png!!!   YAAAAAAAAAY FOR poopicon_png

So glad you had some Gabapentin in hand!  Glad your Vet "agreed" to see how he does in Gaba.  And not all dogs need voth Gaba and Tram...but at least he now has Gabapentin!  If he starts ro show pain before his next dose, make a note and let the Vet know.  The Gaba could be given more frequently, or the Tram coukd be gicen to stop that pain from getting ahead start before the Gabapentin is due.  It's harder to stop the pain ince it gets ahead start.  Hopefully you won't have to see him in pain like you did earlier.  If you don't have much Gaba leftover, make sure the Vet gives you a prescription for more!   Many dogs need some pain meds going I to the third week, usually on a tapered down dose, vut still needed.

Yeah, that "big sigh" sound indicating a dog is all comfy and ready to go to sleep is such a sweet sound! 🙂

Hope Badge continues be be comfortable...as comfortable as a doggy can be just a couple of days after MAJOR surgery while adjusting to three legs!! 🙂

We do need pictures of Badger chewing on his bone....you know that, right? 🙂

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!

Durham, NC
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30 August 2017 - 8:27 pm
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I've heard that Tramadol isn't as effective in dogs as previously thought, but Izzy came home on Rimadyl (anti-inflammatory), Tramadol and Gabapentin ... although her surgeon only prescribed the Tramadol. The rest came from our family vet who very well understood that pain management works better with a multi-pronged approach. I staggered the meds so they would wear off at different times and Izzy wouldn't be coming down from all at the same moment. As Sally said, it's wayyyyy easier to manage if you stay ahead of the pain!

Sounds like Badger will be much like Izzy. She really didn't have much interest in her stitches and she got around super well, super fast. In fact, I took this photo of her just three days post-amputation. There she is, surveying the landscape in all her three-legged, ugly t-shirt wearing glory ...

http://imgur.com/LYChfFQ

She, too, had just been enjoying a bone, which she secured with her remaining front foot and a hind leg, for good measure. I managed to snap this photo of her about 3 weeks post amp:

http://imgur.com/qH6xBjO

Determined dogs can do anything! Can't wait to hear how Badger fares with the Gaba on board. I think it will do him a world of good!

Momma to the world's most beautiful American Bulldog, Izzy!! Lost her front leg to OSA 9/18/15. Diagnosed w MCT in June 2016. Celebrated her 1 year ampuversary with knee surgery on 9/18/16! MCT recurrence in Dec 2016. Happy & hungry til nearly 14, earning her wings on 7/31/17.

Livermore, CA
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30 August 2017 - 8:47 pm
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I'm glad Badger is comfortable and good job advocating for him!

I have heard about Tramadol not working in dogs but it's not my experience.  It was the med Maggie was on after her amputation and it kept her comfortable- and let me tell you she was a drama queen so I always knew when she was uncomfortable!  It's also the med that keep quad pug Obie comfortable after both his knee surgeries.  It was also prescribed for Elly after both of her dental surgeries.

You guys are doing great!

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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30 August 2017 - 10:54 pm
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Thanks so much for this info, good to hear Tramodol is still worth a try if needed. I chatted to the vets again and they said the same, they do still use it and it works well for some dogs but not all.

Badger is heaps better on the gabapentin, we had a nap and he curled up against my stomach, head on my pillow and snoozed happily. He's drowsy but seems comfortable. Also still wakes up well and jumps up and wants to guard the house if hears a noise. There is an option to double his gabapentin dose if needed, but for now will keep him on 100mg every eight hours and increase if needed.

He is cheating already, pretends we wants to go into the yard to go the toilet but just wants to wander around in the sun. I'm making him rest more than he wants too but after whinging at me he then dozes off.

Awesome pics of Izzy! Yeah they do sound similar. I carefully laid non-slip yoga matts around the house, stuck to the floor, and Badger equally carefully walks around them.

I had no luck at all putting the satin boxer shorts on Badger, he has such a skinny butt when there's no fur on half of it and they just slip down. Tried taping them but no luck. So he's naked and free for now.

We are both much happier. Thanks again. poopicon_png function is optimal (and thanks for the celebration on that, ha ha!!), he's done three since he came home and nothing at all wrong with his appetite at least for now.

Virginia
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31 August 2017 - 9:15 am
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Don't want to jinx anything, but Badger seems to be "ahead of the curve" this early on! 🙂   He may still jave a couple of "down" days...and he may not!!

Tha ks for the great update!   Way to rock this recovery stuff Badger! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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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31 August 2017 - 9:23 am
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Badger is doing great, I'm happy to read how he's progressing. YAY!

Where did you find the info on Tramadol? It's the second time someone has referred to it here during the last week, I'd like to know where it came from for my own knowledge. I'm glad to hear that vets are looking at other pain relievers, as we've seen here (and in our own pack with Wyatt Ray) that it doesn't do diddly for some dogs in pain.

Hope you got some good sleep and Badger's poops are all back to normal!

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31 August 2017 - 6:36 pm
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Morning! Badger is indeed rocking it so far. He was a new dog this morning, which is day 4 after surgery. He woke up bright eyed and wanted to go for a walk. When I told him he had to rest he went and got his soft-toy bear and tried to get me to play chasings with him. He's getting a bit frustrated at being under house arrest so sits there staring and growling at me wanting to do something.

I've given him another chew bone and then a treat ball, and he doesn't have any problem rolling the ball around even though that leaves him with only two legs on the ground!

He is still eating like a champion, pooping and peeing and doing everything he should. The wound is looking better too, the redness around the suture site is subsiding and there has been no discharge so far although I know it's only early days. Hoping things keep going this well!

The link on tramadol was here under opioids.

I've looked it up and the M1 they refer to is a metabolite, apparently tramadol metabolises quickly in the system into M1 and other things, and its these secondary metabolites that play an important role in it's effectiveness. I've found a few papers on it and there are mixed results for effectiveness, it varies between breeds and isn't very conclusive yet.

Will post some pics of Badger soon!

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31 August 2017 - 7:13 pm
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As promised, pics below of my brave little dog.

Badger on Day 3 after surgery with dentastickImage Enlarger

Badger on day 3 after surgery with dentastick.

Badger on day 4, wandering around with his bear and wanting to play.

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31 August 2017 - 7:29 pm
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 Badger is a beauty!  We were told Tramadol needs to have another drug with it to "back it up" to be effective.  Bailey came home with both Tramadol and Gabapentin.  We got her off the Tramadol as quickly as possible (made her loopy and sleepy).  For our girl, the gabapentin alone worked best.

Good luck!  Glad Badger is doing so well.

Virginia
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31 August 2017 - 8:41 pm
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CANNOT wipe this huge grin off my face!! 🙂 🙂 🙂   Badger is A D O R A B L E. AADDOORRAABBLLEE!! 🙂

He is just cute as can be!!! 🙂   And what a fiesty fella!!  OMD!! We talk about being patient while we're waiting for the sparkle to come back...for the fun routines to return...I don't think Badger ever lost his sparkle or his desire to keep his routines the same!!   Badger really is a very special boy, but you already know that!! 🙂      Still grinning ear to ear over here!   🙂  Keep these precious pictures coming!  Badger is a smile maker! 🙂

Give that boy some more stuffy bears!

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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31 August 2017 - 8:52 pm
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Thanks Sally!! Yeah he is super duper adorable and I have to send out regular emails to his whole fan club as he's won so many hearts over the years! So glad he makes you smile smiley 

You're so right, I think he only lost his sparkle for that first day when his pain meds where not right, once he was comfortable he bounced back really quickly.

It is midday here and I've only just managed to get him to doze off, he's been wandering around the house the whole morning wanting to do something.

I will keep the pics going big-grin Thanks for the encouragement and since we don't know what to expect it's awesome to know he is doing so well. He has always been an over-achiever!

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31 August 2017 - 8:54 pm
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Thanks Jesh, yeah Badger is doing fine on metacam and gabapentin so we didn't need to try tramadol fortunately.

They say the drowsiness caused by gabapentin can wear off eventually and I think that might be happening going by how energetic Badger is today!

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