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Yzer's Journey to Recovery
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Forum Posts: 2
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27 July 2017
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1 August 2017 - 9:01 pm
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I just wanted to introduce myself, as I have been reading through a lot of your posts and they have reassured many of my worries. Yzer (EYE- ZER) is a two year old Great Pyrenees / Anatolian Shepherd, weighing in at 135 lbs. Yzer had been going to doggy daycare twice a week until December when we notice a limp in his front leg. Assuming he pulled something we pulled him from daycare and limited our activity, hoping he would recover. Our vet had given us carprofen and recommended low activity, but when February rolled around and the limp was still present I started to worry. The litter before Yzer had 1 dog (out of 10) that had been diagnosed with bone cancer. I wanted answers, so my husband and I could move forward with how to help Yzer. An X-Ray was done and Yzer was diagnosed with minor arthritis. Since Yzer has been a puppy he's been on joint support (Phycox) and he was active (to keep his weight down). The vet recommended keeping him on carprofen and limited activity. Months went by, Yzer still was limping, and something just wasn't sitting right with my gut. Being a teacher, summer was fast approaching and my goal was to get my boy back to the dog park. We tried laser therapy... acupuncture... and were about to try hydrotherapy. Even after the laser and acupuncture we didn't see much improvement. At this point I was with a second vet because the first was pushing adequin shots to relieve the arthitis. I told the vet that I wasn't going to continue therapy until I had more images. It didn't make sense to me that we were doing all we could and the limp was getting worse. At this point on our short walks Yzer would stand in the door, giving me the look, "really?". One of our last walks Yzer went to scratch himself and just layed down. It took me five minutes to get him up and going and that's when we went to an orthopedic specialist.

On July 11th the surgeon had a consult with Yzer. Within 10 minutes she came back and said Yzer had a mass on his right shoulder. 10 minutes!? When I had been working with vets since December. On July 13th Yzer went under for a CT scan and a biopsy of the mass. The results came back as a chrondrosarcoma, the mass had engulfed his right shoulder to the point that amputating the shoulder and leg was the only way we could remove it all. The CT scan showed that nothing had spread to his chest or lymph nodes. The amputation was set for July 22nd (just a week ago). We picked Yzer up on Monday, the 24th. He walked out of the hospital, which really helped elimate some of my worries, but since then I've been a roller coaster of worries. I'm thankful that our surgeon has been so supportive and helpful. He had a drain for a week... taken out on the 29th. His incision is healing well and he can walk around the house, with the use of a lot of rugs, and eliminate outside. What worries me is his lack of appetite/ water drinking (I've tried pumpkin and raw meats) and the lethargy. He stays in the master bedroom (which never used to be his hangout). I've even found him in the shower. He'll come out to the living area to hang out with us, but will typically head back sooner than later. I've read a lot about dogs being resilient, but I can't help but feel he's depressed. I feel like I'm ridiculous saying it, but not many things excite him right now. I do have to remember it's only been a week. He gets his sutures out on the August 8th and then plan on going through PT to strengthen his muscles. He's almost off all his meds, they end on the 4th. 

Thanks for listening to my story. This definitely has been a journey and I hope that we are doing the best for our fur baby. He 

The Rainbow Bridge

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2 August 2017 - 9:16 am
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Yzer and family, welcome. I hope you don't mind I moved your post here, but Yzer's story can help so many other giant breed dogs out there. What a handsome boy he is! I can't wait to see bigger photos! Here's a post  about adding images to the Forums. Let me know if you'd like assistance.

Meanwhile, I'm sorry you went through the runaround. If it helps you feel better, many of us went through the same crazy dance with vets, me included. I'm just so glad you took matters into your own hands and advocated for Yzer by taking him to a specialist yourself. Kudos to you! Now you are on the right path and that's all that matters.

To address your concerns:

What worries me is his lack of appetite/ water drinking (I've tried pumpkin and raw meats) and the lethargy. He stays in the master bedroom (which never used to be his hangout). I've even found him in the shower.

Yes, it has only been a week and this is totally normal, especially for a bigger dog his size. What we often see as "depression" is a matter of our dogs just recovering and showing us behavior we've never seen before. Amputation recovery is hard work, and exhausting. However, I would want to make sure he is not in any pain. It's not uncommon for dogs and cats to have their pain meds readjusted after surgery. What you are describing is a dog who could be in pain so I would speak with your vet about these pain signs in pets.

Sounds like you have a good team working for Yzer's recovery now, that's awesome. Be patient, he is a big boy and yes he can get to where he needs to be too. But he needs more time, maybe some adjusted pain management and for his people to be pawsitive and hopeful. I know you are trying hard, keep it up!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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4 August 2017 - 3:29 pm
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Hi Eyzer and family,

Our boy, Stewie, aka Super Stu!,  became a Tripawd on July 10th 2017. He was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma a few days before. We were terrified, not only because our boy is 7yrs old, but he is 110lb Bernese/Rotty/Retriever cross. A big dog! We were worried about his transition into Tripawd life and if his remaining 3 legs would support him? We also don't know what the future will bring... (but then we never do, do we?!)

Our first helpline was Tripawds.com! We were encouraged and inspired by puppies stories and how well they have all done, no matter the size or the age! We don't know if we have 4 months or 4 years with our boy, but out of all of our fur babies who have been taken by Cancer, this one (Osteosarcoma), we have been given a chance to do something with, so my husband & I are running into the unknown and already we feel good about our decision! 

Stewie does tire out easily still, but the love of life has come back into his eyes! He's been into town to visit his people, he's bee on two boat trips and funnily enough, he was just outside trying to deek the gopher out of our woodpile!

Even though this journey has been extremely hard, emotionally & physically, I would do this all over again, for any of my fur babies, if I thought it could do them some good!

Super Stu! has a blog site and has several posts, outlining his journey into becoming a Tripawd Hero! He e would certainly love it if you read his story... I will continue to post Stewie's progress, as I believe it could help other Tripawd candidates in the future.

All the very best and stay strong and calm, love from Stewie's pack,

petra, Paul, Spike, Chester & Miss Lily ❤️🐾🐾🐾🐾❤️

Sloppy Kisses from Tripawds Hero Super Stewie 👅 ❤️... Head bops and chin scratches From

Spitfire Spike, Chester McFiend & Prissy Missy Lily 😻😽😻 and hugs from Petra & Paul ❤️❤️

                    Check out Stewies journey at  http://stewie20.....pawds.com/

Virginia
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4 August 2017 - 9:43 pm
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Yzer!!  Welcome!!  Sorry you find yourself here, but as you can see from the responses from Jerry and Petra, there is no better place to be for support and information!  Be sure and chexk out Suoer Stu's blog and posts.  They give you some  good insight! 🙂

Remember that every recovery is different because every dog is different and even the surgeries, while somewhat the same...are different!!

I second taking another look at the pain meds.  This IS MAJOR surgery and adjusting to three legs is exhausting at first!  Many dogs here stay on pain meds, even if  reduced, for well over two weeks!  Pofi stayed on Gabapentin for about a month after surgery.  My Happy Hannah needed somemofnhernpain meds through the third week.  In fact, it took me about three weeks before I could finally say I did this FOR her and not TO her!!

Although my Happy Hannah never missed a meal, she just did NOT want to drink water for a couple of weeks!!  I finally resorted to swirling a scoop of ice cream into her water to get her to drink!  I would first ket her kick some off the spoon and the have her follow the spoon into the bowl of water. It worked beautifully! 🙂

Thisnpart of the recovery is rlugh...especially on humans!!  Just getting to this point is exhausting and stressful.  And then the stress of recovery piles o !  You are exhausted emotionally and physically.......and will probably be so for a few more days at least.  Give yourself credit!  You've been through a lot and you're doing a great job!!!

In the wild, "wounded" animals find a solitary den to hang out to stay away from Predators while healing. Also, we find most of the dogs here seek out cool spots to lay on while recovering.  It feels good around the incision area...that probably explains the shower.

As far as food...thry ANYTHING!!! 🙂   Cheeseburgers, bacon, pizza, peanut butter on toast, bavy food, liverwurst (dogs love stinky liverwurst), steak, chicken, etc.  There's a refrigerated product by FreshPet...my dogs go craaaazy for it!  Target and Whole Foods carry it.  Just always check the date ro make sure it's fresh.

Another tip...check your energy and make sure you come across as a strong and confidentand joyful  pack leader!  Yzer will definitely pick up on your energy.  Also, if there is a friend or family member that Yzer adores, have them stop by for a visit.  Have them knock loudly and then act all and happy when you ooen the door to let them in!

Just sitting outside on a blanket and sniffing the breeze is healing for dogs.  So even if his potty breaks,zre more about the breaks, just take a blanket out with  you and sit in nature for a bit and enjoy just "being".   It will be good for both of you.

STAY CONNECTED!'' Eat lots of CHOCOLATE!  Update when you can!!

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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5 August 2017 - 6:50 am
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Welcome to you and Yzer.  My first post here, a week after my Sketch had his rear leg amputated, was to ask if it was normal for a doggie to seem depressed after losing a leg...Sketch was eating and eliminating fine but his spirit seemed really low.  It was hard to see him so down and to wonder if we would ever see our happy, active, upbeat Sketchie again.  So, what you are seeing a week post op is pretty normal...the first 3+ weeks can be a roller coaster ride both emotionally and physically, but Yzer will get past this stage.  The one long term limitation I see with Sketch (amp was 2 years ago) is that he does tire more easily with only 3 legs...hopping around puts more pressure on the spine.  But adjustments in length of walks, etc., take care of this nicely.  Sounds like your Yzer is doing just fine!  

Trini, Sketch's Mom

Schofield, WI
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6 August 2017 - 2:37 pm
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Welcome!  I see others have already given great advice.  I'm betting things will be getting way better for Yzer this week after the stitches come out and meds are reduced or done.  Seems like most begin to get their sparkle back then.  Yzer is beautiful by the way!  These first two weeks are beyond hard and emotional so give yourself a huge pat on the back for getting almost through them!  Yay!

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6 August 2017 - 9:12 pm
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Welcome.  We are very close on our journey as Roxie had her surgery on the 25th. It looks like everyone has given great advice.  I really like what someone said about getting them outside and letting them sit in the sun for a bit of possible.  This worked great with Roxie, and she gets such a big smile when she gets outside.  If you have a place outside where it's safe for her to be alone, even let her sit by herself for a bit, and keep an eye on her from a spot she can't notice you.  One thing I found with Roxie is she had to have a sense of independence, and maybe Yzer needs to feel that. It's hard, I know.  My husband had to hold my hand to keep me from going with Roxie to do her business in case she needed help, even knowing she's always been a dog that has to have her privacy for bowel movements.  Missing a leg wasn't going to change that.

Much love and virtual hugs to Yzer.  He is beautiful!

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9 August 2017 - 11:15 am
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Thanks everyone... you've all been so supportive in this journey. Yesterday Yzer got his stitches removed and we can an consultation  with the oncology doctor. She seemed positive that they got the entire mass out (again it was cartilage cancer), but mentioned chemotherapy. She's worried that he has cancer so young that it could metastasize. The data and evidence are all for other dogs, so at this point we don't know if it would add time to his journey. 

In other news, the shower is still a thing. It seems to be his safe spot right now and I'm just not going to push him too much. We did go for a VERY short walk today, which was okay and encouraged by the surgeon. He seemed to enjoy the scents and just being out, which was great to see. Food is still limited, but he's never been a huge eat it all at the moment dog, so I'm just waiting for him to feel okay. PT is my next step, to see if it is something he would do well at. I'll keep you all updated. 

Yzer's parent, Danielle 

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9 August 2017 - 2:04 pm
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Hi Danielle & Yzer, 

I bet you both feel better about the stitches being out! Stewie was super relieved. This video was taken yesterday on his 1month Ampuversary, I officially asked him if he wanted to go for a walk. He was a definite keener, but he only went a very short distance, not much further than you see in the video.

Our big guard dog caught his first Rat as a Tripawd today! It took him a little longer but Stewie was not having that thing making a nest under his dog house! That is his excersise for the day! 😂 

Best wishes and lots of puppy kisses👅 from Stewie and his pack,

Petra, Paul, Spike🐾 Chester🐾 & Miss Lily🐾❤️

Sloppy Kisses from Tripawds Hero Super Stewie 👅 ❤️... Head bops and chin scratches From

Spitfire Spike, Chester McFiend & Prissy Missy Lily 😻😽😻 and hugs from Petra & Paul ❤️❤️

                    Check out Stewies journey at  http://stewie20.....pawds.com/

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