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Great Pyrenees 8 yrs old- rear amp Mon- not walking & having accidents
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30 June 2018 - 11:54 am
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Hi All,

I searched through this size & age matters forum and a little less worried than I was, but hoping for some more advice I didn't find. Griffin turned 8 today! He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma a few weeks back. We had him in PT for that leg as he had two previous surgeries on his knee. The PT had us order a custom wheel chair to help, but when she started therapy felt he was over reactive to what she was doing so we had an xray. That was clear but over the next two weeks he stopped walking on it altogether. We took him to the ortho that did the surgery and his leg was swiss cheese on the new xray. We scheduled him for amputation which happened on Monday, today is Saturday. The oncologist said chemo could begin in two weeks out from his surgery. 

Here's how the week has gone...

Mon- surgery went well, brought him home. He weighed 114 before surgery, we had to get the neighbor to help carry him in. We got him up to go outside at 10pm because it seemed like he wanted to and he immediately pooped solid. Took him out, he didn't go and when we got him back in his bed he exploded liquid poo all over and his breath was extremely labored and we thought we killed him. We rushed him to the ER and they did bloodwork, IV fluids, and kept him overnight. He did not get up on his own. He did not eat.

Tue- we picked him up from ER to transport him to reg vet. They monitored, catheterized (he hadn't peed), and he was more stable so we took him home end of day. He was clearly in pain, hubby slept out on couch by him and didn't get any sleep. He did not get up on his own. He did not pee or poo at home. He ate a few bites of rice and canned chicken, a little water and chicken broth. Hubby gave him a little cheese.

Wed- hubby home with him all day and he was okay. I slept on couch that he was whining all night and I didn't get any sleep. He did not get up on his own. He didn't pee or poo. He ate a little rice with Nutrish meatballs, won't eat his regular food. A little water and chicken broth.

Thurs- I was home with him all day, he was okay, he pushed up on his front legs, did not get his rear leg up but I helped to re-position him a few times. Reg vet visit at 5pm, said healing nicely and looking good. Took him out to pee at bedtime and he finally peed, and a little liquidy poo came out. At 11pm, he had a massive bloody, black, mostly water like tar poo accident all over, picture a movie murder scene. I thought he was going to die again. Rushed him to the ER. They said somewhat expected with stress, new food, and meds all together, not a big issue. Gave him subcu fluids, famotidine, added metronidazole. Took home for night. 

Fri- morning and back to vet at 7:30am. Looked at him and said okay to take him home again. I was with him all day and slept on couch overnight- he did great all day. I made some ground turkey, rice, sweet potato meatballs and he scarfed those down. Didn't really want much water but had some and some chicken broth. Overnight he slept through for the first time but he whined a little at 4:30am waking me and I noticed he had peed on his bedding. He didn't try to get up or whine before that I know of. I am a light sleeper but at this point I have had a total of maybe 14 hours sleep all week so maybe I didn't hear the early whine.

Sat- today (his 8th birthday!)- sleeping soundly but peed a little again on his bedding with no warning, we took him out right away but he didn't go. He was dribbling a little pee when we brought him back in so took him out again and still no pee.

The concerns:

-He's not really putting any weight on his remaining rear leg. He does put it down sometimes, but we have been using a sling or his "lift 'em up" harness to mostly carry his rear end. It's like he's paralyzed but he has stood on it and it does move when you push on it. Have you experienced this- we're 6 days out and not walking? 

-Peeing his bedding- this is new. Should we be concerned he's given up now? Should we just start taking him out again every few hours like you do when training a puppy?

-Rehab- the first few days he was in such pain we brought everything to him and hand fed. We realize that he will be happy to let us do that forever, so today since he's feeling better we're starting to make him sit up at least to have food. We're using the yummy meatballs also to get him to sit up on his front legs and rocking his back legs for him to get the motion at least of lifting his rear. He mostly just drags the leg along even when we try to make him use it. Was this your normal and what else can we do?

Sorry for the long post, I like details lol! TIA for any insight you can provide. - Tammysmiley

Livermore, CA
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30 June 2018 - 1:59 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

First question: what meds is he on? He should not be in a lot of pain at this point with proper pain management.

Pain meds can make them loopy and not want to walk.  Not enough pain meds may make him not want to walk.... And not uncommon for dogs on heavy meds to pee on themselves a bit.  Does he have a pee routine? When my quad pug Obie had knee surgery on the leg he has to stand on to pee he would only pee laying down unless I held him up so he could lift the correct leg.

We have seen here that the bigger and older pups do sometimes take a little more time to get going.  Is there good traction where he is trying to get up?  What happens when you get him up and let him put weight on his leg- will he stay standing or immediately sit down? 

Sorry- I have to run but I wanted to get your post approved so others would see it- I'll check  back later.

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

Livermore, CA
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30 June 2018 - 2:00 pm
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Oh, and Happy Birthday Griffin!

Your mom owes you a much better birthday present next year big-grin

Karen

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 June 2018 - 3:30 pm
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Hi Karen,

Thanks for responding. This is Tammy's husband responding on her behalf.
First question: what meds is he on?
- Gabopentin 3 times per day
- Tramadal 2 times per day
- Simplecef 2 times per day (switched him from Doxycyclene before surgery)
- Metronizadole 2 times per day for the next few days to fix stomach issues

Does he have a pee routine?
He normally does: morning, noonish, early evening and before bed time. After the surgery we have been not following it actually just because he has not wanted to.
Is there good traction where he is trying to get up?
We have lots of runners and blankets down on tile floor.
What happens when you get him up and let him put weight on his leg- will he stay standing or immediately sit down?
Its hit or miss. We have to assist. He doesn't stay up on his own for long. As a side note Griffin had been lame in his bad leg for a couple months so was essentially walking 3 legged during that time already.

Tammy's Husband

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30 June 2018 - 6:45 pm
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Wow, sounds like you have been going through the hell realms! But it also sounds like there has been gradual improvement over time. Yay! I did a search on "not walking" and here are the results. You may find some answers there. All dogs respond differently and it is definitely the case, as Karen mentioned, that larger dogs tend to recover more slowly. You have to play it by ear but I would encourage him to get up on his own and to use his leg as much as possible. Is it possible that he could have tweaked it? Not sure what kind of cart you have for him but I assume it has rear leg loops? If they are removable is there some way you could attach the sling you have (or a towel or something) to the cart to help get him outdoors? With that kind of support it might give him more confidence to use that leg.    

As for the accidents, you could try taking him out more often but that might be too much activity. You could get some pee pads to get you through through the next few days as well. 

And, as Karen said, getting the pain management right is critical and can definitely take some trial and error. Consult with your vet on whether they think he may need different dosing or a different drug thrown into the mix.

You mentioned perusing this forum but have you run across Jerry's Required Reading List yet? There is a ton of great information there. 

And Happy Hippy Hoppy birthday Griffin! Next year's will be MUCH better, promisebig-grin

xoxo, 

Martha, Codie Rae, and the Oaktown Pack

Woohoo! Tripawds Rule!

Regulator of the Oaktown Pack, Sheriff of the Oaktown Pawsse, Founding member and President of the Tripawd Girldogs With 2 Names ROCK Club, and ... Tripawd Girldog Extraordinaire!

Visit Codie Rae's Blog!

Virginia
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30 June 2018 - 8:18 pm
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Geez, sorry Griffin is jacing some hurdles. It is still very  early in recovery though.  As Karen and Codie Rae mentioned , ,any larger dogs do need moremtime to get their ,sea,legs.

Right now it's  all about rest, rest and more rest and shoet potty breaks (even if  the potty breaks are in the bed)!

Talk to your  Bet, butmit may be possible to try the Gabapentin  twice a day instead of three.  I'm  assuming it's  300 mg.?  IF the Vet agrees to trying the  twice a day, you may want to give  the Tramadol an hour or two later to try and keep the pain from not creeping in.  As Codie Rae said, a lot of trial and error.

No, Griffin is NOT giving up!  He just had MAJOR surgery and not exactly  ready to have a pawty yet!  Ecery dog reaxts differently  to pain meds.  The pain meds may be masking all the sensations  letting him know he needs to,pee.  The important  thing...he IS peeing!!

May also try lots of gentle  massaging  up and down his spine, his neck, his shoulders, etc.   Make sure he isn't  showing any areas of tension.   He certainly  could jave tweaked  a muscle,  etc.He sure has had a lot of visits to the Vet.  That in itself was a lot of movement and effort for a druggy doggy this early  on.and he could jave overdone it that way.

We know its  easier said than done, vut try not to worry!!  My actual first post here was something  like, "Help!  Six days post amp and I fear I've  made a horrible mistake!" It actually took me avout three weeks before I could say I did this FOR my Happy Hannah and. Not TO her!!

Hang in there! It WILL get better!!!  Stay connected  and keep us updated, okay?

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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30 June 2018 - 9:25 pm
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Codie Rae said
Wow, sounds like you have been going through the hell realms! But it also sounds like there has been gradual improvement over time. Yay! I did a search on "not walking" and here are the results. You may find some answers there. All dogs respond differently and it is definitely the case, as Karen mentioned, that larger dogs tend to recover more slowly. You have to play it by ear but I would encourage him to get up on his own and to use his leg as much as possible. Is it possible that he could have tweaked it? Not sure what kind of cart you have for him but I assume it has rear leg loops? If they are removable is there some way you could attach the sling you have (or a towel or something) to the cart to help get him outdoors? With that kind of support it might give him more confidence to use that leg.    

As for the accidents, you could try taking him out more often but that might be too much activity. You could get some pee pads to get you through through the next few days as well. 

And, as Karen said, getting the pain management right is critical and can definitely take some trial and error. Consult with your vet on whether they think he may need different dosing or a different drug thrown into the mix.

You mentioned perusing this forum but have you run across Jerry's Required Reading List yet? There is a ton of great information there. 

And Happy Hippy Hoppy birthday Griffin! Next year's will be MUCH better, promisebig-grin

xoxo, 

Martha, Codie Rae, and the Oaktown Pack  

Thanks for your answers so far, I'll dive into the links you listed tomorrow. I haven't entirely figured out how to navigate the forum yet.

Martha, I don't think he tweaked it but both legs were genetically poor on structure. His amputated leg was just much worse. The two surgeries prior helped, but they apparently weren't a life long solution and it's even possible the implant he had caused the cancer. :'(  We haven't actually been able to use the cart yet because by the time it was made and delivered his knee had risen up (his foot was several inches off the ground) and unbeknownst to us the tumor was growing so it wouldn't fit in the saddle which is made from metal in a figure 8 type thing for his legs to go through. The vet said the tumor was the size of a cantaloupe on Monday. We're talking to the chair manufacturer about a modification to it so he could use it now but they suggested waiting until the stitches were removed so he didn't have a bad experience in the cart and always then associate it with that and not want to use it. 

He was hopping around on his remaining leg for a few weeks while we were figuring out what was going on with him, so technically he should already know how to do three legs. Obviously the balance will take some time. His remaining leg sometime is a bit like a wet noodle, he doesn't stand at all on it without help right now. As of today we feel his pain level is way down, he hasn't whined at all and he seems pretty alert and both have been fairly constant. 

We did make a run to get pee pads, he's had 4 accidents today so I've literally been washing bedding all day. He didn't alert us at all, he just let loose and then maybe whined for a few mins to say "hey get me out of this spot please". He's never had an accident ever, even when we brought him home from the rescue, so it was quite shocking to see it so much today with no warning that it would happen. I REALLY hope this is not the new norm, hoping for some gains in the next couple days as this seems like a big backslide even though his demeanor is good. Our reg vet feels the meds are in a good place, we talked with him about it both yest and today. So hopefully we'll get this turned around, I'm worried about chemo happening if he's not getting up. 

-Tammy (with Griffin and Willow who is a Pyr mix)

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30 June 2018 - 9:39 pm
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benny55 said
Geez, sorry Griffin is jacing some hurdles. It is still very  early in recovery though.  As Karen and Codie Rae mentioned , ,any larger dogs do need moremtime to get their ,sea,legs.

Right now it's  all about rest, rest and more rest and shoet potty breaks (even if  the potty breaks are in the bed)!

Talk to your  Bet, butmit may be possible to try the Gabapentin  twice a day instead of three.  I'm  assuming it's  300 mg.?  IF the Vet agrees to trying the  twice a day, you may want to give  the Tramadol an hour or two later to try and keep the pain from not creeping in.  As Codie Rae said, a lot of trial and error.

No, Griffin is NOT giving up!  He just had MAJOR surgery and not exactly  ready to have a pawty yet!  Ecery dog reaxts differently  to pain meds.  The pain meds may be masking all the sensations  letting him know he needs to,pee.  The important  thing...he IS peeing!!

May also try lots of gentle  massaging  up and down his spine, his neck, his shoulders, etc.   Make sure he isn't  showing any areas of tension.   He certainly  could jave tweaked  a muscle,  etc.He sure has had a lot of visits to the Vet.  That in itself was a lot of movement and effort for a druggy doggy this early  on.and he could jave overdone it that way.

We know its  easier said than done, vut try not to worry!!  My actual first post here was something  like, "Help!  Six days post amp and I fear I've  made a horrible mistake!" It actually took me avout three weeks before I could say I did this FOR my Happy Hannah and. Not TO her!!

Hang in there! It WILL get better!!!  Stay connected  and keep us updated, okay?

Hugs 

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

Thanks Sally and crew- the vet actually moved us up from 2 Gabapentin to 3 in the few weeks before his surgery due to his pain with the osteosarcoma. Hadn't thought about the pee sensation being dulled from the drugs, so thanks and hopefully that and just being out of sorts has put him in this situation.

Good point on all the vet visits in and out of the car, which was a huge stressor as he's both too big to carry and we were in an emergent situation a couple of them! He also stayed at the vet all day and the ER all night so I suppose anything could have happened then when he was out of our care. Ugh. 

Massage also a good idea, we had been doing it quite regularly before under the guidance of his PT (before we knew it was cancer we were trying to build it up with rehab as he was limping). Now that he seems to be past the bigger pain it would be good to pick that back up. Appreciate all the suggestions!

And oh no on your Hannah first post! I guess we all second guess these decisions when dealing with the aftermath. If only they could talk! Hope your girl recovered well. 

Tammy with Griffin and Willow our Pyr mix Princess

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6 July 2018 - 8:40 am
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How is Griffin progressing?  I'm reading your posts and am facing very similar experiences our dog Ketzel, a 10 year old golden doodle.  I'm hoping we made the right decision; however, today I'm questioning the decision. His surgery was only on Monday, brought him on yesterday (Thursday).  So, we are really early in the game, but it's hard to watch.  Thanks in advance for your update!

Livermore, CA
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6 July 2018 - 10:57 am
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Hello and welcome dhertzog, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

Please consider starting your own thread so you can introduce Ketzel and tell us his story and so we can help you with your questions.

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

Here and Now

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dhertzog said
we are really early in the game...

Welcome, and best wishes for Ketzel. You future forum posts will not require moderation. Consider starting a new topic to share your story, search for answers to any questions, and start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs.

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