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Botched amputation, what now?
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4 December 2017 - 8:23 pm
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Hey Friends,

So today my Father's dog, Ivan, finally had his amputation surgery. Since it's not my dog, I did not have control over where he got the surgery done or who did it, this made me uncomfortable because I have more experience with three legged dog issues than my Father does.

I went with my dad to see the Dr many times, for all of Ivan's vet visits. It was made abundantly clear that the entire leg was coming off. My father even asked the vet if he could only amputate half and then give him a prosthetic, and the vet distinctly said the whole leg had to come off. The oncologist even called the Dr. doing the surgery to make sure that no excess leg was left on.

This evening we pick up the dog and I was expecting to see his entire back half shaved off, but it wasn't. Upon closer inspection it seemed to me that he still had the top half of his leg. It was hard to tell at first. Then when he laid down it was clear, some of his leg was still there.

We immediately call the vet, he's out of the office. The vet tech is available to talk and she confirms my worst fear, they amputated right above the knee and didn't remove the leg from the hip socket. Then she explains how it's a much more complicated procedure that would cost around 4,000 instead of the 1,300 we paid. 

I didn't bother to get on the phone because I'm going to wait until tomorrow to talk to the Dr. himself. 

If this was my own dog, this would have never happened. But it is what it is and now this is where we are. 

I noticed that the remaining bit of leg is confusing him greatly. He tries to walk and it moves, then he whimpers. He had a tumor on his leg and that's why we had it amputated. The tumor spread to create a small met in his lung, but we amputated anyway to get him out of pain and keep the tumor from growing.

At this point, I don't know if I could put him through another surgery to remove the rest of the leg. Should I? Does anyone have any advice or experience. I know taking care of the miscommunication and potentially suing the vet is something I need to deal with on my own, but I don't know what to do about his comfort.

Does anyone have any rear leg amputees that still have part of their leg? Can he live like this? Will he figure it out and be able to find his balance? he's walking, but the tiniest steps. He got around way better with the tumor leg still there.

I feel so out of control and I'm so upset seeing this remaining bit of leg. I don't even know where to start. We're already dealign with cancer, and the expenses all of this has brought on. Now we are worried about his leg too. 

Any words would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you, friends. <3 

Livermore, CA
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4 December 2017 - 8:41 pm
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I'm sorry you are dealing with all this confusion- the amp surgery is hard enough to deal with!

I do have a question- did they amputate at the knee (or stifle) or did they cut the femur and leave a small amount of bone?

My first rear amp had what they called a mid-femoral amputation, although only a small portion of the femur was left.  The surgeon also told me that it was a simpler surgery and easier on Maggie.  There was not a portion of the limb visible, but when she moved the stub you could see her muscles move.

If there is just a stub of bone left then he should be OK, if you can see a portion of a limb there might be an issue going forward.

Can you attach a picture?  Here is how to put a photo in your posts.

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

Virginia
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4 December 2017 - 9:11 pm
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I see your on now, so I'll wait and see what your answers are to Karen's wuestion.

Also, in czse you don't already  know the site is having ossues and has been gping down a lot.  They are worke really hard to fix things.  Just letti g you know in case you jave trouble getting on and getting replies.

Always remeber you can call the 1 800 TRIPAWDS 1 844-TRIPAWD in the meantime.

It is UNBELIEVABLE you are having to deal with this on top of eeverything else gping on woth sweet Ivan!!  Like you said though, you can deal with thst lster and make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else again.

Now, what you are seeing as far as not being very mobile, confused, etc is relsted to still being drugged with hospital meds and just getting outnof major surgery!!   He is ddefinitely still very, very loopy coming off a anesthesia.   Many dogs spend the first night, sometimes two at a clinic.

Everything you are describing sounds "normal"  for just coming out of MAJOR SURGERY.  My Happy Hannah cried and was restless znd whining for the first three nights.  She was absolutely miserable and I second guessed my decision over and over.  It took about three weeks before I could finally say I did this FOR my Happy Hannah and not TO her!

Ivan will get past this rough period!  Again, you are just witnessing the hardest part of recovery and the "stump" isn't  the issue right now.  Major surgery, anesthesia and hospital meds are the main issue right now.

As shocking as it is to not have the amputation done the way it should have been done, Ivan will be able to handle  obility just fine once he gets through recovery.  What you are seeing now, tonight, and over the next several days, is the roughest part.  It's jard ro see thst he'll soon get his balance and figure all this out, but he will!!

There have been dogs where more leg was left for various reasons.  I think one of the main things you'll wa t to make sure of down the road is maybe a "sock" or covering of some sort so he doesn't irritate the stump. 

What kind of pain meds is he on?  How often?  

 Maybe you could speak with the Oncologist and see if a second surgery is ABSOLUTELY (and I do mean ABSOLUTELY) necessary!  I guess I'm asking if this surgery took care of removing completely the tumor in his leg.

And do let us know what the Vet has to say when you light into him tomorrow!!!

STAY CONNECTED!!!  Remee to use the HELPLINEif the site is down.

Lots of 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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4 December 2017 - 9:51 pm
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Hi there 🌺

I don't want to comment on the partial amputation 😤😡 and agree with Sally's advice when she says this is the hardest part of recovery so you've got to concentrate on that right now. 

Please do let us know what the oncologist/surgeon have to say concerning his amputation...

Sending you a big hug and zillion cuddles to your cutie 😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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 :-) 

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4 December 2017 - 10:09 pm
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benny55 said
...you can call the 1 800 TRIPAWDS in the meantime.

1 844-TRIPAWD

Or, for anyone who can't remember, type Tripawds Helpline in your forum post and a link will automatically be added to direct users to the Tripawds Helpline page... way-cool

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Virginia
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4 December 2017 - 10:20 pm
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Ohhhh gawd.....thank you Admin!!!!!.   Can't blame that one on typo! 

      (As though you had nuttin' better to do....)

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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6 December 2017 - 12:05 pm
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krun15 said
I'm sorry you are dealing with all this confusion- the amp surgery is hard enough to deal with!

I do have a question- did they amputate at the knee (or stifle) or did they cut the femur and leave a small amount of bone?

My first rear amp had what they called a mid-femoral amputation, although only a small portion of the femur was left.  The surgeon also told me that it was a simpler surgery and easier on Maggie.  There was not a portion of the limb visible, but when she moved the stub you could see her muscles move.

If there is just a stub of bone left then he should be OK, if you can see a portion of a limb there might be an issue going forward.

Can you attach a picture?  Here is how to put a photo in your posts.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls  

Hey,

Thanks so much! For some reason i wasn't getting email notifications that I was getting responses to this post, so that's why I haven't posted since I opened up this topic, I didn't think anyone had responded. So sorry about that friends.

Later today I will upload some photos to my personal server. I have photos on his Go Fund Me that I added in our my other post about Ivan, but I blurred out his leg stump as to not startle people who aren't used to dealing with/seeing an amputated dog leg. 

But below is a blurred out photo of what just happened. He can move it. When he pees, he lifts it up! It's actually kind of cute, but still very upsetting to see. I'm waiting to talk to his oncologist about this ordeal, and now I'm looking for another vet to get a second opinion. He's doing well though! 

I'm about to run out, but I'll come back tonight to reply to everyone and I'll add more graphic images since this is the proper outlet to share them. 

Thank you everyone!

Talk soon heartheart

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6 December 2017 - 12:38 pm
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Cannot see the incision area, it is all blurred out. Can you please resend? Huck is a kitty, but he is also a rear leg amputee. His femur was broken, clean break, and he has a little bump from where the top of the femur attaches to his hip. 

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Anyhow, it is just a small "bump" and he does ok with it. Breathe... please.. this is such a stressful time right now, concentrate on your Ivan right now. He NEEDS your positive energy. Take care of what is important first, that will also give you time to calm down and think more rationally. Whether it was the right thing to do or not, it is done now. You can get back to this part of it later on. Sending you hugs and positive energy, keep breathing and take care of your furbaby.

Jackie

Hugs,

Jackie, David, and Huckleberry

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6 December 2017 - 12:51 pm
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sebastien said
Thanks so much! For some reason i wasn't getting email notifications that I was getting responses to this post...

That is because you have not subscribed to this topic. way-cool

The only subscription you have for these forums (as of right now) is to the other topic: Great Pyr with osteosarcoma. To amputate or not?

FYI: You can check the Subscribe box when creating a new topic (or use the button at the bottom of a topic) to be notified of all replies to that specific topic. Or, you can subscribe to the RSS feed at the bottom of any forum, for notifications of all new topics, posts and replies in that forum.

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6 December 2017 - 3:26 pm
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Hey sweetie just replied to your other thread but still wanted to send you a big, big hug 💗

You and Ivan can do this together, you'll have a wonderful, happy life 💓

😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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 :-) 

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6 December 2017 - 7:47 pm
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It is hard to tell from the photo but that looks like a fairly normal rear amp.  It is standard to leave about 1/3 of the femur unless the cancer is in the femur and not the tibia.

Pam

Virginia
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6 December 2017 - 9:22 pm
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Actually, to those of us here in the site, that photo doesn't look graphic at all!  I know it's "blurred", but we can use our imagination based on "experience"  and it doesn't look too bad.  And Ivan got to keep a lot of his fur.  Sometimes Vets can get clipper happy and overdo it.

Sendw lots of healing enerfy to handsome Ivanheart

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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7 December 2017 - 9:05 am
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Good morning!

I hope Ivan is doing well today 🙂  You know, I thought about what jerry said (I think it was jerry) about the balance thingy. I expected Huckleberry's amputation to be the whole leg also, but it really does give him better balance than if he did not have it. You may decide after all that this is the better way for him. I hope things are going well for you.

Jackie

Hugs,

Jackie, David, and Huckleberry

Livermore, CA
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10 December 2017 - 12:51 am
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I wanted to add something about my experience with rear amps.

I've had two rear amp Tripawds, my first, Maggie had a mid-femoral amp.  Maggie's amp was due to mast cell cancer, the tumor was in and around her knee or stifle. As I said above the surgeon told me it was an easier amp surgically.  At the time I had no idea there was any difference and went with what the surgeon said.   My current Tripawd, Elly, was amputated at the hip and has no femur left at all. Elly was hit by a car when she was 7 months old and had her surgery before I adopted her so I had no input prior to surgery.

Mag lived almost 4 years as a Tripawd, Elly is now 2 years and 4 months past her amp.  In my opinion the mid-femoral amp, like Ivan seems to have had, is a better choice (when choice is possible).  Maggie had a better base to sit on, she could sit anywhere. Elly can't sit on hard surfaces because her 'hip' bone is not protected.  When walking, or hopping, Maggie's gait seemed to be smoother, and she was more balanced. Elly has a sort of gyration in her back end when hopping and her balance doesn't seem as good as Maggie's was.  And to add to that I never really worked with Maggie on her balance or core strength, I didn't know how important it was back then.  I work with Elly every day on some aspect of her core strength and balance and I still think Mag's balance was better.

I think Ivan will be fine with a mid-femoral amp. That being said there is no reason that you should have been surprised by the type of surgery the surgeon chose- it should have been explained clearly to you before the operation.

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

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11 December 2017 - 10:38 am
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Hey Friends,

Sorry it's been awhile since I posted. The few times I had a free moment to post the forum was down. Okay, so it's been a week since Ivan's surgery and I don't think he's gotten much better. He's still in a tremendous amount of pain once the meds start to wear off. As long as he's on his tramadol and rimadyl, he's ok.

Here's the major issue - The fact that they did not cut off the entire leg is actually causing him more pain than if they did. At least, this is what I've come to see on observation. Every time he tries to get up, he lifts his leg stump higher than he ever would or could before amputation. When he lifts it, he pulls his muscles and his stitches and he cries out in pain. It's a horrible sound to hear and it makes me cry every time. He was in so much pain the other day he bit me, and tried to bite my father. He's basically just looking for things to bite because with his cone he can't understand what's happening. This is something he has never, ever done. Has anyone else's dog been in this much pain a week later?

He's going for daily walks and moving his bowels now, but whenever he gets up he can't keep his balance at all. He'd fall if it wasn't for me and my Father. The webmaster harness has been an incredible help, but I'm still so worried about him.Image Enlarger

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Here's a video of him walking too. https://www.facebook.com/dennis.ohara.31/videos/1450628528389685/?hc_location=ufi

The incision site is underneath the leg. That itself looks good. No swelling or leaking, very minimal bruising. But overall, it's causing him so much pain. His oncologist and a secondary vet said it's okay that he has this kind of amputation, and it's best to focus our efforts on his healing. 

So this is where we are at now. Still waiting on biopsy results (do the normally take this long?), I have him on apocaps, and I ordered him CBD oil after reading it helps with apoptosis and increases appetite/helps with pain. But i'm not sure what else to do for him right now. 

Thanks everyone for your advice and responses. I'll be sure to suscribe to the thread so I don't miss a post. I'll be with Ivan later and I'll get some better photos of his leg since I know it won't gross anyone out, haha. 

I'm so happy I can talk to you all during this extremely stressful time.

sebastien
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