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Our Bailey Sue | Presentation and Diagnosis

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Forum Posts: 2
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29 August 2017 - 9:29 pm
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Hi everyone! I am new here as I was just scouring the internet for some sort of support and knowledge to aide my husband and me through the start of a tripawd life. Since the beginning of the month, our dog Bailey Sue, a 7 year old pit bull, has had noticible stiffness/firmness of her back right leg which turned to noticible edema extending down to her ankle. After seeking second opinions and following up with referrals, her vet felt fairly confident that she had either a hemangiosarcoma (6 month life expectancy) or a soft tissue sarcoma (potential for 3-5 year expectancy) based on presentation. The past two nights she was up all night and in noticble pain. We took her to the emergency vet this morning where they did a CT scan that showed a mass that is likely cancer but no evidence that it had spread anywhere! We were told that it appears to be causing necrosis if the surrounding tissue and damaging nerves resulting in her severe pain. The vet recommended to us amputation which we both agreed upon as this will give her the best quality of life, no matter how long it may be. They are hoping to get her on the schedule tomorrow for amputation. I am hoping that those of you who have experienced something similar or who have any advice for my husband and myself about being tripawd parents could share it with me. We are worried about our baby but want to do everything we can to make sure she is comfortable and happy. Thank you all in advance!

Livermore, CA
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29 August 2017 - 10:34 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I'm sorry cancer has brought you here, but you have found the best place to be when facing amputation.

First off you might look through The Reading List or download one of the eBooks from the Tripawd Library. They both have lots of information from this site on what to expect from amputation, recovery and treatment.

Be aware that the first couple weeks after surgery may be bumpy while Baily Sue gets used to her new normal, she may not be her normal self for awhile. Parents usually get pretty tired and stressed and find themselves asking 'what have I done?!'.  The pain meds can make her pretty loopy and she may not want to eat too much.  Some lucky pups seem to sail right through recovery, hopefully Baily Sue is one of those, but don't get discouraged.  We all made it through with our pups, you guys will too. 

Be sure you talk with your vet about the pain meds she will get post surgery.  Sadly there are still a few vets out there who don't follow the current pain management protocols. 

You will want to cover any slippery floors with rugs or yoga mats, traction is really important.  You might consider raising her food and water dishes. 

Do you have any specific questions or concerns? 

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

Durham, NC
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30 August 2017 - 9:00 pm
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Is that Bailey Sue in your photo? What a cutie!!!

I'm sure you have TONS of questions - I know I did - but Karen has mentioned the top 2 concerns. You need to make sure there is adequate pain management post op, even though the surgery will likely relieve Bailey Sue's pain, it's still a BIG deal. Most pups come home on a mixture of Gabapentin - which blocks nerve pain, an NSAID such as carprofen (Rimadyl), deracoxib (Deramaxx) or meloxicam (Metacam) and ... yes, and! ... (sometimes), an opiod (heavy hitter) like Tramadol. If your vet tried to skimp, be persistent! Also, stagger the doses so all meds aren't wearing off at the same time. It helps!!

Traction on slick floors like tile or wood is important. Lots of us use "scatter" rugs, remnants, runners, bath mats, yoga mats ... you name it, someone here has tried it! I didn't have runners down immediately (Izzy came home the same day of surgery so was super woozy and we just carried her), but as soon as I rolled them out on day 2, she hopped off her bed and followed them to the kitchen to hit up her water bowl. I was thinking WOW! She is SMART!

Make sure you are stocked up on things your pup finds yummy! Her appetite might be weird at first and you'll also want to have things on hand that she'll gobble up so fast that she won't notice the meds you've hidden there. Cottage cheese is a great hiding spot since it's lumpy anyway, plain pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin - not the pie filling), low-sodium chicken broth can help entice eating if needed as well. Izzy was a straight up HOG so never needed convincing. She took pills like they were candy, but I still hid them at first. By the end, she just ate them one at a time, like treats. laughing

You might want to find some old sheets that you don't mind getting soiled (of course, you can wash and reuse). I layered sheets and pee pads so I could easily "change" Izzy's bed in case of an accident or weeping from the wound. The sheets also made it easy to shift Izzy's position so I could drag her bottom back onto her bed if needed. Also, make sure Bailey Sue's bed isn't too fluffy - it's harder to get out of on three legs.

I'd also recommend that you ignore the survival estimates.! Dogs do what dogs wanna do ... cancer or not. The "data" said that Izzy had maybe 4 to 8 months to live. I took her back to the oncologist that confirmed her cancer diagnosis - but was not her ongoing caregiver/vet - about 9 months after amputation to have her look at a lump on one of Izzy's hind feet. I'll never forget when she walked in and saw that it was us. She revealed, "I was looking at the referral thinking, 'this can't be the same dog ... it just can't be the same dog' but it IS the same dog!!! Wow!"  I'm happy to report that Izzy lived nearly TWO years post amp before time finally caught up with her. 

Rear amps are a bit "easier" as dogs carry 60% of their weight on the front legs, so that's the good news. We'll also be here to talk you off the ledge when you're in panic mode (you will have moments), so stay connected, stock up on chocolate, box wine, tequila ... whatever it takes! lol

Wishing Bailey Sue a smooth transition and welcome to you!

xoxo

Amy & the prettiest pink angel hog in the sky, Izzy heart

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.

Virginia
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31 August 2017 - 10:33 am
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Youve gotten excellentt adcice from Amy, Mom of THE PRETTIEST PINK ANGEL HOG IN THE SKY---IZZY:-)

And excellent  advice from Karen, Mom to Stubborn Pug Maggie! 🙂

As you can see from Izzy and Maggie, statistics don't mean squat around here!   Take a peak at Bailey Sue's butt...yeah....do it!  Do you see a timeframe stamped anywhere in her butt??? Nope, didn't think so! 🙂

The only other suggestion I can add is, when you go to pick Bailey Sue up, don't even vother tom ook at her incision.  She just needs to see your happy smiling face and hear you tell her what a good girl she is!!  And, she needs ro hear the magic words "Letsw go uome!"  Or, in my Happy Hannah's case, it was "Let's go home and get cookies!"! 🙂

STAY CONNECTED!!!  Recovery can be rough for a while.  It's MAJOR surgery and it hurts!   We're here to help you navigate through it all, okay?    Update when you can.

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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3 September 2017 - 9:37 am
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Thank you everyone for your advice! Bailey is doing phenomenally well just 4 days post op.. her pain is managed with Rimadyl every 12 hours (we do 6a and 6p because it fits with our work schedules) and tramadol around 10am and 10pm just to make sure she stays comfy. Her appetite is back in full swing and she is slowly but surely learning her limits with going up and down our 2 front steps.. she does well with going down it's going up that's the challenge. I appreciate all of your help! It has been so great to know we have this website for support! And yes, it is Bailey in my picture! 

Livermore, CA
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3 September 2017 - 2:17 pm
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she does well with going down it's going up that's the challenge

That is normal for a rear amp.  Once she has built some strength I bet stairs will be no problem for her.  My little Pug Mix Elly flies up and down stairs on a daily basis- she is also missing her right rear leg.

Great to hear how well she is doing!

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

Virginia
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3 September 2017 - 7:58 pm
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YAAAAAAAAAY FOR BAILEY SUE!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂   You keep rocking this recovery stuff Bailey Sue! 🙂  Good job cutie lie!!

Yeah, going UP stairs for a rear legger requires a lot of "push off" strength from the remaining leg.   Maybe you can help her with a towel sling for now so she doesn't strain her muscles or hurt her joints.

Continue to keep her pain managed, have her take it sloooow and easy, and she'll soon be past the recovery weeks and her  normal routines will rerurn with vigor! 🙂

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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