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Our 175 lb Mastiff, Atlas's story
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9 July 2018 - 8:25 am
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Hi Pam, 

No he isn't having the surgery today, but the surgeon said he will rush the results today and get the surgery scheduled ASAP. He said he wants to be 100% sure it's osteosarcoma before he takes the leg and everyone (including him) keeps saying they are 90% sure. Even though there is nothing else it could be, right??? (Besides a fungus which we don't have in FL)  He also said he doesn't see a fracture on the xrays so... we're just confused at this point. Plus, I know he may not get his answer with an aspiration anyway, and I wouldn't let him do a biopsy because that would just be painful for Atlas and unnecessary in my vet's opinion. So this was just the step we needed to take for him to be comfortable doing the amputation I guess. Sigh.... 

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9 July 2018 - 11:01 am
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Pam,

  If a dog wants to get the vaccine.. a diagnosis must be shown..

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9 July 2018 - 11:35 am
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We are thinking of you and Atlas today, and hoping things go smoothly. Pam's insight is spot-on. Remember, it's your decision whether or not to do a bone biopsy, so if the aspirate comes back inconclusive, go with your gut feeling, not with what you feel pressured into.

Please keep us posted.

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9 July 2018 - 4:55 pm
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Thank you, Jerry. Well, the amputation is scheduled for Friday morning, no matter what the results are. There was no bone left, only soft tissue. What a terrible disease. sad

Virginia
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9 July 2018 - 8:43 pm
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Atlas's Fan Club is cheering for him!  We are all right here by your side and you are NOT alone during this recovery,  okay?

Yeah, this is a piece of crap disease that makes us make forced choices  that no one should  ever have to make for their  beloved  animals.  We do it though because  we HAVE to give our dogs a chance.  We HAVE to try.

I know this is gutwrenching  for you.  We've  wll been there.  Lots of tears and fears.  There is a sense  of relief though, once the decision  to move forward is made.  It sounds  like Atlas's leg is basically  worthless.   It has to be painful!  Atlas is going to feel so much better with this bum leg gone!

Grab the chocolate!  Stay connected  and let us know any questions  you may have, okay?

Extra hugs to that sweet boy!

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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10 July 2018 - 7:20 am
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Amazing how hearing the words "you are not alone" over the internet really does help. Thank you. heart

Pam, if you're still reading this thread, I need your help. Atlas's surgeon will not give him the gabapentin because he doesn't believe dogs get phantom limb pain. He's only prescribing codeine. I am fuming right now & wondering if he even likes dogs. I've found a couple of articles online saying they do but can you point me to any research a vet surgeon would take seriously? Thanks.

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10 July 2018 - 8:30 am
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It really seems like this guy is behind the times.  There is really no proof that dogs get phantom limb pain  because we can't ask them but many vets are using it as a means to control even arthritis pain.  I would ask your regular vet or even the oncologist to get some for you.  Even if you start 1 day before the surgery it can make a difference.  Maybe that is why he doesn't think big dogs do well after amputation (he isn't controlling or preventing pain).  I would also make sure he is on an NSAID such as meloxicam, at least for 2 weeks post-op.

Pam

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10 July 2018 - 9:08 am
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Thanks for your reply, Pam. He's been on piroxicam for about 3 weeks, so that's good. I just talked to my vet and she's willing to order us the Gabapentin but says we will have to wait until he's weaned off the codeine before we start him on it, because there's an interaction. So, I guess that's my best option right now. poopicon_png

Virginia
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10 July 2018 - 9:44 am
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If he is on PIROXICAM, make sure he doesn't  start Rimadyl pr Meloxicam WITHOUT ABOUT A FIVE DAY WASH OUT PERIOD  BETWEEN THE TWO.  Not a Vet and not giving  Vet advice.  Just double  check on that before you switch from one to the other.

Petra, Stewie's Mom, has a friend who is an amputee.   She is on GABAPENTIN  for PHANTOM  LIMB PAIN!!  She knows it  exists and she knows the Gabapentin  helps!

Really glad yoir regular  Vet is getting Atlas the proper meds he needs.

Pam can address the Codeine  wash out period when switching  to Gabapentin.   There's also a nerve blocker  injection  tjat starts with an "N" that Pam gives  for painful surgeries  Perhaps she will chime in on thst.

And you vet, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!!!   We're with you and Atlas the whole way!!

Extra 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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10 July 2018 - 12:11 pm
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benny55 said
If he is on PIROXICAM, make sure he doesn't  start Rimadyl pr Meloxicam WITHOUT ABOUT A FIVE DAY WASH OUT PERIOD  BETWEEN THE TWO.  Not a Vet and not giving  Vet advice.  Just double  check on that before you switch from one to the other.

Apparently there's some debate about this, so just wanted to mention what we recently learned. I'm not advising anyone here to follow this, but rather to talk to their vet first. I talked to a vet about this last month when we ran out of Meloxicam and only had Rimadyl on hand for Wyatt Ray .

The vet advised us that a five day break between the two is ideal but if the dog historically hasn't had a problem with NSAIDs, that even a two-day wash out is acceptable. He advised us to watch for signs of GI upset (black, tarry stools mainly). We followed his advice and Wyatt did fine.

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10 July 2018 - 12:18 pm
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soesposito said
Atlas's surgeon will not give him the gabapentin because he doesn't believe dogs get phantom limb pain.

Dr. Pam is correct, there are no official studies that prove it. But over the last 10 years we have seen many members' animals go through horrible pain afterward that closely resembles phantom pain in humans. The symptoms are unmistakable, only these poor critters can't tell us in our words exactly how they feel. That doesn't make their pain any less valid. We tend to see it happen more in animals who have had poor pain management from the beginning. Not always, but often.

Here is a newly published phantom limb pain study by a European veterinarian who reached out to us on this subject. Feel free to give a copy to your vet.

New Phantom Pain in Dogs Study Results Published

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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10 July 2018 - 10:07 pm
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I am not aware of any interactions between oral codeine and gabapentin.  I checked webmd and no interactions were listed.

The local anesthetic Nocita could be helpful because it blocks pain for up to 3 days in muscle and SQ tissues.

Pam

Virginia
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11 July 2018 - 8:28 am
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I know Atlas's surgery is Friday so just  wanted to let you know the site will be "closed down" for maintenance for several hours, possibly as much as 36 hrs. starting  Thursday at 10:00 PM.

See the link under Technical  Support 

IMPORTANT! 2018 Server Migration

http://tripawds.....n/#p211765

In the meantime, YOU CAN STILL REACH US ON THE TRIPAWDS HELPLINE 

1 844 TRIPAWD

So just know  you can still connect  with us, okay? Hang in there!  We're  all cheering  for the Mighty Atlas

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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12 July 2018 - 7:45 am
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Ok, thanks for letting me know! Just ordered him a Tripawd convert harness for after he heals and about a zillion carpet runners for our tile floors. whatever I just can't wait until this is over with so every day will be closer to pain-free. 

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12 July 2018 - 9:47 am
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soesposito said
Just ordered him a Tripawd convert harness...   

Thank you for supporting Tripawds! Your harness is on the way and we have sent you tracking information.

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