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Unsure we're making the right choice with Amputation
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Norene, TN
Forum Posts: 1070
Member Since:
21 October 2014
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13 February 2017 - 8:06 am
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He's adorable!!! And so photogenic! So glad he's doing well. Keep the updates coming!


Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha and DoubleStuff

Forum Posts: 11
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9 February 2017
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13 February 2017 - 9:55 am
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Hi, everyone! 

Thank you for the continued well-wishes and good vibes - we really appreciate it.laughing 

Not to take this thread on a path that belongs in another category, but to keep you all updated, I think we've officially hit the "coming down" off the meds portion of the journey. Last night was rough. He really didn't sleep and was continually hop-pacing, sitting, standing, and panting. It really seemed like he was avoiding laying down. 

The vets put him in this mesh body-sleeve. I really don't know what it's called, but it keeps the wound area compressed to help the fluid pockets (they're pretty big) absorb back into the body. I understand its purpose, but the thing really likes to slide back towards his back legs and leave the incision site exposed, so we're constantly readjusting it. Has anyone had one of these? I'm trying to find out what it's called. It looks like when you buy fruits that have those little mesh sleeves on them, just dog sized. See below:

Wondering if there's anything better out there to keep the incision point compressed the way the vet wants? We're supposed to keep it on there until we take him back to get the staples out, but I'm worried it can't do its job if it's not staying on. 

Other than all of that - he's getting some of his personality back today and keeps trying to hop on things smiley

Thanks again for all your help!

Mel, Katie, and Holden

Los Angeles, CA
Forum Posts: 3550
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13 February 2017 - 10:00 am
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WOW.. he is so handsome! I love his coloring and his expression!!! OMG... I couldn't even read the whole post as I was focusing on his photos!!! 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 22950
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13 February 2017 - 10:17 am
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Awww what a cutie!

Yep, when you're ready, you've graduated out of this and to our other Forums so when you're ready start a new topic 🙂

But to answer your question about the compression sleeve, I don't have experience with one so maybe I'm not the best to answer that. But I do know that the vast majority of front amputee dogs who come home without any type of compression sleeve heal without complications. Our Jerry didn't have any coverings over his incision and he healed fine, but he did develop a seroma , so I'm sure he could have benefited from one (although they didn't exist back then).

If the sleeve more hassle than it's worth, let your vet know. They might say it's OK to just leave it off. Better than having it bother the incision by bunching up over it, I say. But yeah call them and ask, then let us know what they said. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 11
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9 February 2017
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13 February 2017 - 10:24 am
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We'll get a new post going big-blink

Thank you though - that was helpful, we'll look into it!

Forum Posts: 340
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2 December 2016
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13 February 2017 - 5:35 pm
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Vets should have left off moveable sleeve and wrapped with pads/gauze/vet wrap IF they needed to. That is the tried and true and stayable method to compress.Why were they worried about a seroma ? Most dogs do not develop these so bothersome sleeve is preventive but may annoy your boy..which may cause more issues than it is worth?

The 3-5 post-op dip is very normal but still doesn't keep us from worrying! Usually a sign pain meds are wearing off and may need to be adjusted.

It sounds as if you and yours are completely ahead of the curve and on top of things! Best wishes and keep us updated!

Forum Posts: 37
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29 July 2016
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15 February 2017 - 11:06 pm
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Glad to hear Holden is doing well after surgery.

We used a small T-shirt the keep her wound covered, but not a compression thing. just sewed the other sleeve back to the side. worked well till it stretched a bit and she stepped on it with a back leg.

Mya had few seroma that receded but one little corner of the incision she tagged once with a quick, out of the blue hind leg scratch of what would have been her shoulder. She never stood up so fast before. We had to re-introduce her to the cone of shame but I had to sit up a lot and watch her for a few days till the swelling went down because she could still scratch it with her back leg. It took a few weeks for that one go away. We used the Elizabethan cone { probably saying that wrong } its a fabric style instead of hard plastic and was easier for her to get around. It folds a bit but stays outright to block them licking the wound.

Ice for few minutes at a time and keeping her cool helped { but she is a Malamute }. The swelling made her restless till the staples came out, after that things got better faster. her surgery was Aug 2, 2016, she had 5 rounds of IV chemo ending Nov. 30 2016. She healed well and the hair has almost grown back {from surgery}, she is happy and hoping around although a CT scan revealed some masses in her lungs and she is now on a second protocol of chemo, this time orally. She is doing well but a pre X-ray visit has us dreading the same diagnosis for Mya's cousin Macleod who started limping Monday night. If it is cancer then we would not hesitate to do the amputation it made all the difference in Mya's case.

Keeping ahead of the pain with meds was key for us in the first few weeks. Watching out for infections!!! cracked toe nail, licking the shaved patch, small puncture wound on the cheek { turned out to be a bite from a squabble with Macleod} all became infections and had to be treated before chemo could continue.

We hope for a speedy recovery for your boy Holden.

Forum Posts: 501
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16 February 2017 - 3:26 am
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I don't know if this is still needed, but if you still have to use something for compression and don't want to go the vet wrap path: I actually used the Thundershirt for this, as stupid as that may sound.

Manni is a 'frontee', too and that thing actually fits really well and you can make it tight enough to get some compression. we also had issues with swelling and seroma . I would not leave him without supervision in that thing for a long time and I know that's not what it's there for, but it worked well for us 🙂

tina and Manni

Guardian of Manni the Wonderdog. -Or was it the other way around?
Osteo and amputation in Dec 2015. Second, inoperable, primary osteosarcoma found in June 2017.
The end of our adventures came Dec 10, 2017. 2 years to the day.

Manni's blog -dogblog-

Forum Posts: 59
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23 May 2016
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16 February 2017 - 4:34 am
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Wow I 2nd,3rd, 4th the amazement at holden's colouring - he is absolutely stunning! We were a rear amp andalso didn't havecompression, we just used ice packs to help reduce any inflammation but I was just looking at the picture of your compression shirt and you said it kept slipping backwards, is there a way you could attach it to a collar - cable ties or such to prevent the slip? I guess my thinking is just that when he stands and lowers his head you may find that it pulls it forward. I'm not sure as just trying to visualise it in my head but might be worth a shot for an hour or 2 and see how he goes

Good luck

Karis and Zuki with wings


Zuki Wuggafer 30/09/06 - 11/11/16. Right hind tripawd due to Osteosarcoma. He had a strong 5 and half months as a tripawd but unfortunately a secondary issue with his spine ended our battle. He loved life, loved our family and was the best dog I could ever ask for. Truly my first love, forever in my thoughts and heart.

Read our story:

Durham, NC
Forum Posts: 403
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16 September 2015
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16 February 2017 - 8:28 pm
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Handsome is right!!!!

I am late to the party here, but I used a t-shirt to protect Izzy's incision site. We didn't come home with the fancy fruit wrap like Holden did and it still worked out just fine. 

Izzy is still hopping around nearly 18 months later (and she turned 13 this past October!) and I'm so glad I chose to amputate. Keep us posted on your handsome boy's progress!

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.


Forum Posts: 5263
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17 February 2017 - 5:46 am
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Hi Holden and family,

Just wanted to welcome you and congratulate you for your boy, he is truly GORGEOUSheart

Eurydice is also a front legger and used a t-shirt to protect the incision until stitches came out but she never had a problem with seroma so there was no need for the special "fruit sleeve".

Sending you waves of good vibrations, tons of cuddles to Holden and big hugs to his humans heart

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

Forum Posts: 153
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31 December 2016
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1 March 2017 - 8:26 pm
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What a gorgeous boy!  The colors!

My Otis is a front amp and he came home with nothing to cover his incision.  He wore tshirts until he had his stitches removed.   

What did the vet give for meds to give him at home?  From what you mentioned, it would seem his pain may not be well controlled.   

Otis slept through the night from day 1 and yelped twice during his whole recovery time.  He was on Tramadol, Rimadyl  and Gabapentin.

He may not seem his happy self for a few weeks, maybe not until he is tapered off pain meds.   With my pup, it was like someone flipped a switch and my bad attitude Otis was back!

- Rhonda and Otis

Otis - 121 lbs pre amp - 114 lbs post amp and now 118 lb Great Dane - English Mastiff X.  Started limping on 12/24/16.  Diagnosed with Osteosarcoma 12/28/16 - amputation of front left leg on 1/6/17.  Stitches out and 1st round of Chemo on 1/19/17.   2nd round of Carboplatin on 2/10/17 - 3rd round on 3/2/2017.  4th round was scheduled for 3/22/17 - however due to low WBC postponed - 4th Chemo completed on 3/28/17.  Had breathing difficulties, stayed in Tufts ICU overnight.  Due for 2 more rounds of Chemo but we are opting to go with homeopathy with Dr. Loops instead.

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