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Possible Nerve Sheath Tumor
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1 August 2017 - 5:00 pm
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We had to act quickly also.  He found the tumor (which was very aggressive) on 7/13 and Toddy's amputation was on 7/18.  Our vet was initially going to keep him for just 24 hours but wound up keeping him 48 hours.  I feel in Toddy's case it helped tremendously!  Toddy had severe nerve damage in his leg from is c-spine disease.  He only had to be on an antibiotic and meloxicam .  We had tramadol and gabapentin already on hand if needed.  We just rested, rested, rested with short potty brakes.  Toddy did not have any problems eating or drinking.  He had to wear a e-collar and a shirt because he did not want to leave his incision alone.  We still have to take it easy.  He took off running today and it scared him when he couldn't stop. It took 4 or 5 days to see a little bit of the old Toddy.  Toddy did really good with just sleeping and staying confined.  We did not let him jump but he did have to do 3 steps to get out in the yard.  He did well with those.  They adapt so well to 3 legs. Molly will feel so much better and you will have peace of mind.  We are just living in the moment and cherishing every day.  I am changing Toddy's diet and getting him the right supplements. It is a learning curve.  Sounds like you are doing well with juggling all the doctors and decisions!  Just keep loving on Molly.  She won't miss that bad leg anymore!!!

Virginia
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1 August 2017 - 7:34 pm
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You've gotten such great advice from everyone!  Just want to offer my "Welcome to the Family" to everyone else's!

You've made a decision and now you can move ahead!

First "tip"...STAY CONNECTED!!!  You are not alone and we all have a wealth of first-hand knowledge on after-care during recovery and beyond!

Second "tip"...stock up on CHOCOLATE!  It helps!   Rumor has it some here just get plastered on any alcohole they can find...including Rubbing Alcohol! :-)If you jave hardwood floors, get cheap non slip scatter rugs for tracrion...or cheap yoga mats.

No jumping, unning, stairs, etc for at least the dirst two weeks.  First two weeks sre just for potty breaks and rest, rest, rest.  Every dog is different and every recovery is different.  Some are pretty lethargic for several days and hardly move.  My Happy Hannah was restless and whiny and very uncomfortable and woild not settle down the first several nights. 

Some dogs don't have much of an appetite at first (my Happy  Hannah never missed a meal thoug),  most dogs don't poop for a couple of days due to meds.  Drinking and peeing are important though.

Toddy is an exception (because he is exceptional!) as far as pain meds.  Most dogs need Tramadol, Gabapentin, Rimadyl (or Meloxicam), and an antibiotic.  The hospital meds are usually out of their system by day three and that's when you may need to tweak the meds a bit.

Okay....just a couple of tips to get you started!

Let us know any wuestio s you may have!   We're here bynyiur side every step of the way! 🙂

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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1 August 2017 - 7:41 pm
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Good for you and Molly!!! Half the time the anxiety comes from the waiting, waiting, waiting to hear or make a decision ! Most do very well with amputation after the initial two to three week recovery period! And there are so many folks here to help you with any questions or concerns:there is even a Helpline:)

As far as diagnosis, it is terribly difficult. We here at Da Bear HQ are FULLY aware that we may be in a situation much like Lisa and Angel Pofi's. In fact, Lisa and Angel Pofi ARE the reason we joined the community here! Unfortunately, there just isn't an exact science to determine what to do: so we are happy that you have found the answer that most helps you and Molly! We will be thinking of you Thursday!!!

Best wishes, huge hugs,and PyrPaws all around.

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4 August 2017 - 12:40 pm
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Thanks everyone for the encouragement and tips! We picked Molly up this morning. The vet warned us in advance that she was being very vocal, but said that she didnt think it was anything to be too concerned about as she's very medicated. As soon as we got in the car she let out a blood curdling scream and then again when we got her out of the car. It's been very scary but we're trying to stay positive. They weren't able to get her to eat at the vet but I got her to take a few small bites of a treat on the way home, she's lost interest in any type of food since then, though. She has a fentanyl patch, and is taking tramadol, amoxicillin, and firocoxib. We can only give her the firocoxib with food so I'm worried we wont be able to give that to her for a while. I'm also worried that we wont be able to get her to take her other medications. Has anyone else had difficulties with getting food or medication down? 

Minneapolis, MN
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4 August 2017 - 2:33 pm
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Hey - I'm online  and it looks like you are , too.  We could go to the chat room for live conversation. Chat

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

Minneapolis, MN
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4 August 2017 - 2:40 pm
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First of all, so happy surgery went well and she is home!

Many of us have reported needing to hand feed very high value food when they come home post op.  Hot dogs.  Rotisserie chicken (pick one up at a grocery store).  Burgers.  Whatever it takes.  

Fentanyl can make some dogs a bit disoriented and anxious - that could be the scream.  One med I don't see in your list is Gabapentin - if it seems like in the coming days she is still prone to screams, you may want to ask about it.  Am I wrong or was she on Gabapentin before?  Ask about keeping it in the mix. Pofi stayed on Gabapentin one full month post amp - and was on it two weeks prior.

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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4 August 2017 - 3:03 pm
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wbransom said
I'm also worried that we wont be able to get her to take her other medications...

Search these forums and the Tripawds Nutrition blog for plenty of feedback from others and tips for administering medication...

.../how-to-pill-a-dog-or-cat/

.../pill-taking-treats-strategies-and-secret-recipes/

.../2014/01/06/how-to-give-a-dog-pills/

.../get-your-dog-eating-after-amputation-surgery/

Forum Search results for 'stimulate appetite' (67)

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you're sure to find more helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here, and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

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4 August 2017 - 3:07 pm
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Thank you! My husband just ran to the store and picked up some chicken that I'll cook up and offer to her this evening. We tried giving her cheese, hot dog, and some wet food earlier, but she wasn't interested.

She was on Gabapentin at one point and then they ended up stopping that and putting her on Amantadine since we weren't seeing any change in her pain. We have one pill left of the Gabapentin. If she's still screaming out tomorrow, I'll call the vet and ask about getting that added to her meds.

I ended up having to force the Tramadol down a couple of hours ago, which caused her to cry, but she seems to be resting a little better now. It seems like some of her pain is being caused by swallowing. I'm wondering if that's just from the intubation. That didn't seem to happen after the MRI, though.

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4 August 2017 - 3:12 pm
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Second intubation in a short time could be causing a bit more distress on her poor trachea. Pofi was a also a rush to surgery - MRI one day and surgery the next (though it would be a month later or two weeks, but the tumor was too large).  He had a lot of puffiness around the throat after coming home and he had (too) many more round of GA after and each time it seemed to be worse on his trachea.  He was hoarse and coughing a lot when he had not on previous times with GA.

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

Virginia
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4 August 2017 - 8:38 pm
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Good feedback from Lisa   (Ppfi)!   The fentanyl patch is most likely the culprit causing some of the "screaming".  Wish I could find the post where a Vet made a distinction in the sounds a dog made when all messed up on fentanyl versus the sounds from pain.  Basically, if I recall, whimpering, whining and an occasional yelp could be more related to pain.  The screaming vocalizations were more drug related.

If you feel his trachea/esophagus coukd be an issue, you can have a Vet check that out.  In the meantime, try small amounts of food...maybe shredded chicken, bavy food, anything you can make mushy.  Anything "stinky" like liverwurst might help stimulate the appetite.  Warm everything a little bit...yeah, even the stinky stuff!  YUM!

Apparently Tramdadol isonee of the most bitter tasting   pills on the Planet!  Once a dog knows they are hidden in a food, they will stay away from that "food" for weeks!!  IF you are forced to do the "down the throat" route, try to coat it in butter or a tiny bit of peanut butter or cream cheese.

But yeah, anything to hide the pill and coat the tummy. One member hid them well in   marshmallows.

Try a drive-thru bacon cheeseburger, cheese pizza, bacon, canned CAT food, macaroni and cheese.  You can pretty much grind any of that stuff up if you think she is having throat issues.

This is the hardest part of the journey for at least the next several days.  Not sure how long the patch will stay on, but I think you'll see somemof the bizarre vocalizations settle down once that is off.  Obviously, you still want thenpain managed, but the Tramadol and Gabapentin should help control that...or the Amantadine

It is very stressful going through everything leading up to this point...and then the stress of recovery hits you  like a ton of brick!!  You are physically and emotionally exhausted...and will be for a bit longer....UGH!  HOWEVER, the slarkle WILL start to come back slowly but surely and ypall this will be behind you.  Hang in there and STAY CONNECTED!!

Hugs

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

Peeing and drinking okay yet?

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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6 August 2017 - 7:45 am
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Thank you all for the encouragement! This recovery has been ROUGH so far. We ended up having to take her back to the hospital Friday night because she absolutely refused to take her medications and was locking her jaw. She also continued to have the screaming fits. When we were getting her out of the car at the vet she started screaming so loud that the vet techs could hear her inside the building and ran out to help. They, of course, were able to get her to eat a little and administer her medications (which made me happy, but was a little disheartening). Yesterday was a little better. Her grandparents visited her which cheered her up a bit and they brought her sister Maggie back home (who they were dog sitting for the last couple of days). She did manage to eat maybe a tablespoon of food yesterday from my mom. She also drank some water and peed for the first time since coming home. The hospital gave us a pill gun on Friday night to help administer her medication, as they said she was a difficult patient. It worked well enough yesterday, but there were still screaming fits. She also screams when she wakes up and tries to stand, which typically lasts 20-30 seconds. This morning when trying to administer her medication, I got the tramadol down and then got the amoxicillin pretty far down in her throat but then she regurgitated it! When I tried the second time, she ended up biting me, unfortunately. I'm trying to stay strong, but my husband and I are starting to feel like she's letting everyone but us take care of her, which is making us really sad. We're both supposed to go back to work tomorrow, but I feel like she isn't really progressing like I'd hoped. I called the hospital this morning to get some advice and they told us to bring her in again so that they can feed her and administer the amoxicillin and previcox (which she didn't have last night because she wouldn't eat). We're currently waiting on my parents to come over to see if they can get some food in her, but then we may be headed back to the hospital depending on how that goes. As far as food goes, we've tried boiled chicken, 3 different kinds of wet food, baby food, stinky treats, cottage cheese, and regular cheese. I hooked up a diffuser next to her with some lavender oil to help calm her down, as well. The vet did tell us Friday night that beagle mixes do tend to vocalize when scared more than other dogs and that they typically have a lower pain threshold, but I feel like she's never been this dissatisfied, even prior to the surgery with the pain from the mass.

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6 August 2017 - 8:51 am
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Whitney, I am sorry this is rough.  Questions:

  1. Did they remove the Fenatnyl patch?
  2. Did they approve Gabapentin again?
  3. Did they suggest any appetite stimulant short term?  Mirtazapine works well for many to get over that initial inappetance.

I really tend to think the Fentanyl is at least part of the reason for screaming.  Pofi was a mess on Fentanyl in the hospital - he really did not want to eat and was way out of it.  I visited in hospital about 24 hours post surgery and got him to eat just enough that they thought they could reduce the Fentanyl drip and start giving oral meds, which was Gabapentin, Tramadol and Rimadyl plux antibiotic.  The next morning after that reduced dosage of Fentanyl and starting the oral pain med trio, he was a completely different dog - bright eyed and waiting for them sitting up in his kennel - bounded out and nearly escaped the ICU room before the doctor got him on leash.  Pulled the doctor outside so he could pee.  They were amazed.

My surgeon was a firm believer that the Gabapentin was necessary and by far the most effective for pain in particular with a nerve sheath tumor and removal of it with amp.  We talked about how whenever that tumor is poked or prodded, it sends its pain signals out the the network of nerves.  She called it "jangling" the nervous system and she believed it really could take days to settle it back down.  I used the analogy of a really large and complex spider web.  When a bug flies into it and is caught, but struggling, the whole web vibrates and reverberates with that movement.  Nerve sheath tumors just seem like they have the potential to be different from osteo amps this way. The nerves are just so much more directly impacted and have been.  I think there is just residual agitation in the nervous system.  And frankly, this is just my opinion, but the chance of phantom pain just seems like it has to be increased when there was a nerve sheath tumor.

Of course, I am NOT A VET.  But this is what I would be talking to my own surgeon about.

Sending best thoughts.

Final question, do they offer medical boarding at the hospital?  Can they take her in for day time and meds if you are working?

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

Virginia
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6 August 2017 - 8:57 am
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This is so exhausting, mentally and physically dor you!  Not to mention that your frustration level must ve off the charts!

Couple of things for the Bet ro check out THOROUGHLY:   They need to make sure her esophagus/trachea   are not  badly iritated from the intubation.   I think it's actually called "esophogeas",  or something like that.  

The other thing is to insist on at least trying th Gabapentin for several days.  If the screaming is phantom limb pain, that would definitely help with that.

When does the fentynal patch come off?   You may ask about getting that off now and starting the Gabapentin in conjunction with the Tramadol.  .  You do want to make sure you can at least get the pain pills in her first though.

To clarify........was her FIRST pee TWO days after coming home?  If so, the Bet REALLY needs ro check her ro make sure she isn't having something causing that.   It may simply ve all the meds, surgery, etc....but TWO days is waaaay too long!!   I may have misread what you wrote.

One more thing that we've seen happen here on ocassion.  A nerve ending xould be left exppsed and/or a stitch could be pulling or digging into that nerve ending everytime she tries to take the standing position.   Make sure the Vet checks that out. 

Not sure I buy this is "just a Beagle with low tolerance for pain" ,etc.  This IS .MAJOR SIRGERY and it hurts!!  The additional screaming "spasms" seemed to be something that needs further investigation and treatment.

Hopefully your parents can help get the pills in her steadily for a couple of doses.    Your parents, at least at first anyway, maybe able to solicit a different reaction when they try tonpill him and feed her.    It is hard to maintain a confident energy when you know your dog is  going to scream in pain and clinch his jaws shut if you try to pill her!!   You are doing a remarkable job!!!

Is this the Orthopedic Surgeon you are going to?  Anyway, you may want to get a second opinion if you don't get any feedback from some of the things Ive mentioned.

STAY CONNECTED!  You'll get through this ROUGH period!   There ARE things that can be done to make sure she gets past all these issues!   Please keep js updated!

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!

Virginia
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6 August 2017 - 9:00 am
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And as I was typoing, dear Lisa hit all the points with far better detail 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂   Is she good or what?

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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6 August 2017 - 9:22 am
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Sally, you are far too humble - you said it all very well.

I just popped back to share this from a post in an FB group for people with sighthounds how have had amputation - someone else was giving advice and said the following:

"Our hardest part was the night time vocalizations while she had her fentanyl pain patch. As soon as that sucker was off, that stopped within 24 hours."

Just to give you some hope this WILL pass.

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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