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This is just the beginning of our journey - Special Ed. | Share Your Story

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This is just the beginning of our journey - Special Ed.
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8 August 2017 - 4:48 pm
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I will try to be as brief as possible describing our journey with Special Ed.  Ed was already named that due to his propensity for injuring himself and smashing into things.  Ed rarely makes good decisions, but he does try awful hard and has been a wonderful addition to our home since being rescued in 2009. 

We lead a very active lifestyle and our dogs hike, backpack and go with us on our boat.  We have a vacation planned for September, and I am hoping Eddie will be ready for that next adventure. 

Because of Ed's "specialness" limping and injuries have always just been a reality with him.  He'd overdo things, limp for a couple of days and then be fine. 

In May of this year, he started limping and didn't stop.  In late May, we noticed a lump on his left front wrist that was concerning.  In early June, he was evaluated by our vet and she opted to treat him with antibiotics in the event it was some type of infection.  We took home our antibiotics, NSAIDS and pain meds and hoped for the best.  His lameness disappeared, but the lump did not.

One month later, there was progression in the lesions of his metacarpals and carpal bones.  Referral to specialist.  X-rays showed a bit more progression and rather than put him through two procedures, we opted for amputation today and find out our biopsy results in 7-10 days. 

His normal vet and referring vet suspect synovial cell sarcoma.  So far, we know the lungs are clear.  And we are hoping for a cure with this surgery.

Though I feel 100% in my decision, this is one that cannot be taken back.  Ed is 10, but he acts like a four year old dog, and was an excellent candidate for amputation.  His remaining limbs are strong, he's an active dog and we keep him fit and trim. 

But the "reality" of this decision set in when the surgeon called to tell me the procedure went well.  I know tomorrow will be an emotional day for us when I pick him up.  So Special Ed just got a whole lot more special.  And we're willing to do all we can to have many more good years with this boy.

We've purchased a sling to help him get around, and are in the process of building a ramp so he can exit and enter the boat safely with his new body.  Hoping to see lots more photos of our smiling blue dog on the lake in the future.

The Rainbow Bridge

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8 August 2017 - 5:07 pm
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Ed is SO lucky to have such a loving family! It's clear by the tone of your post how much you care about this boy, and all your critters. You made a tough decision with all the love and compassion for him, he couldn't ask for better parents.

If you haven't already, do check out Jerry's Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books library. And ask any questions you'd like, we are here to help. All of us are thinking of your boy and sending best wishes for a speedy recovery. Based on your description of his current health, that shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks for joining us, welcome to the community!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia
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8 August 2017 - 9:59 pm
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Welcome to the family Ed!  You are very Spexial indeed and have a very special human family who  obviously adore you! 🙂   

You are making a decision out of love for Special Ed and that is ALWAYS the right decision!!   YAY FOR SORCERY COMPLETED!!! 🙂   Good job Ed!  When you pick him up, don't even bother to look at his incision...he sure isntw!   He'll be looking at your smiling face telling him what a good boy he is!  

Slow and easy for now.  Rest, rest, rest and potty breaks and more rest.   He may be a bit whiny and restless for several days.  He may, or may not, be very mpbioe at first.  Some dogs need a couple of days to get their sea legs...some don't.   If you have hardwood floors, you'll want Non slip scatter rugs for traction.   Speciw Ed will come home with Tramadol, Rimadyl an antibiotic and probably Gabapentin.  Sometimes it takes a little tweaking to get the pain meds timing and dosing just right.  

Most importantly, STAY CONNECTED AND LET IS KNOW ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAYNHAVE!!   ALSO, STOCK UP ON CHOCOLATE!!! It helps!! 🙂 

  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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9 August 2017 - 6:37 am
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Love your description of special Ed!  Chuckling at the best choices but he tries hard! 😀  The others have covered the necessities of Ed coming home so just jumping on here to welcome you and Ed.  We'll be here for you guys for questions and support as these first few days unfold.  Hoping for smooth sailing for you both!  Might also want to stock up on some high value food items to hide Eds pills in too because the chocolate Sally suggested is for you not Ed 😉.  Hugs!

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10 August 2017 - 8:01 am
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Day one after pickup and Ed was pretty confused and a little panicky.  He was screaming when he saw me at the vet - nothing new there, that is his is usual greeting for me.  But it was a different scream.  A "Mom I'm really scared and don't know what's wrong with me" scream.  But once we got home, he settled down really well.

His incision is covered in bandages which won't be removed at all until his followup August 23, so I don't have to look until healing is well under way.  

After experiencing initial Limb Guilt and tearing up and making the technician cry as well, I started to see how well he is actually doing on three instead of four.

This morning, my old Ed was there again.  Sweet face, no longer confused or panicky...just happy to say good morning to his family; though he is not ecstatic about being in the crate.  At least he can see his brothers and doesn't feel left out. This morning he was raring to go outside and forgot all about his missing leg - thank goodness for that sling!

I do have a question.  He's got some edema around the edge of the bandage on his belly.  The tech said it is just fluid from the surgery and to massage it for 5-10 minutes several times per day.  Which we have been doing, but it's not going away.  Not getting worse, but not getting better.  

I'm concerned about lymphedema with the removal of his lymph node.  Anyone had experience with this post surgery and did the fluid go away on its own?

The Rainbow Bridge

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10 August 2017 - 9:58 am
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YAY for Ed's homecoming! Sounds like a normal day after surgery and he's on the really good end of that! And a big kudos to you for staying strong and seeing the pawsitivity in all this. Yes, the old Ed is coming back and although there will be ups and downs, he will get there before you know it. 

Regarding your question:

I'm concerned about lymphedema with the removal of his lymph node.  Anyone had experience with this post surgery and did the fluid go away on its own?

I think you might be describing a seroma. Click on the link for info. This is a normal part of a Tripawd's recovery and they usually resolve on their own. Sometimes it takes a week, sometimes two, but it's harmless bodily fluid as long as whatever drainage you notice is more watery than bloody and does not have an odor or greenish tinge to it. I know you don't want to look at the incision right now but maybe in a day you really want to check to make sure the area looks healthy and healing. Stay strong, I know you can do it!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia
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10 August 2017 - 10:46 am
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WONDERFUL RO HEAR HOW WELL ED....AND YOU...ARE VOTH DOING!!!  

Yes as Jerry said, you are just seeing the accumulation of fluid that no longer has anywhere to go.  It will eventually figure things out and reabsorb.  My Happy Hannah had quite an "impressive" fluid sack....it would go down some and then come back.   And Ed, no running around!  That can cause more seroma activity!   He's still a little high on hospital meds a d may not feel quite as "frisky" once they wear off.

It will vecome ore and more apparent with each passing day thatnyiu did this FOR Ed and not TO Ed! 🙂

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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