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B's first night with three legs | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

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B's first night with three legs
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14 December 2017 - 7:10 pm
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Hi all,

So happy to have found this blog. My pup, B, is a 10 year old lab who started limping at the end of October. Since she was getting up in age and had a previous ligament injury on that side, I figured it was just arthritis. I was offered an x-ray when we first noticed the limping, but declined. When it continued after Thanksgiving, we got it fully evaluated. Yep, osteosarcoma :(. A week after diagnosis, she had her leg amputated (last night). They did the surgery after hours at a local vet office. I'm in south Texas and there were no specialty surgeons around. This morning the vet called and said B was standing on her own and was "walking pretty well!", so they let me take her home this evening. I'm wondering if I should have left her for one more night. Her wound is oozing, and I'm not sure how much is "normal". She's pretty whiny, which is reasonable considering how much she's been through. She's peed twice with my using a towel to support her, and unfortunately, she's already fallen. I put on rubber booties, but she's not used to them and tries to shake them off. I'm just not sure what to do for tonight. I think putting her in her crate might do more damage than good to her wound since it's so fresh. I just don't know how to keep her still tonight so she doesn't open her wound or fall. On the pain front they sent us home with gabapentin and meloxicam... is that going to be enough to manage her pain? Should I be using anything else?

Also, in y'alls experience, how long does it take for the swelling to go down? I'm surprised at the size of her "stub", and they said they left some muscle behind "for padding", but they removed her entire femur. Just wondering if that's normal procedure? I guess it's too late now to change, but I just wonder how the wound will heal because it's kind of sandwiched between two skin folds due to the muscle/swelling. 

I appreciate any inside you guys can provide as to what I can do over the next few days to help her recover and make sure she's comfortable.

Livermore, CA
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14 December 2017 - 7:53 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I'm sorry you are dealing with cancer though!

Can you post a picture of the swelling?  Here is how to post photos.  It is not uncommon for a little seepage or for a seroma to form.  Other than potty breaks has B been pretty quiet?  Does the area feel warm or is the incision red?

I wouldn't try booties right now , she has enough to deal with learning her new balance and gait.  You can also try a sling made out of a shopping bag, here are the instructions.

Can you put ice on the incision? Use a towel between the ice pack and her skin- it will help with the swelling if she will tolerate it.  If she doesn't like it don't fight her. 

I would confine her to a room without access to jumping on furniture or stairs and with good traction .  If she wants to go in her crate I would let her if she can move OK.

Most here come home these days with tramadol, gabapentin and an anti-inflammatory like meloxicam.  My pug came home with a fentanly patch and tramadol.  If you don't think she is comfortable then call the vet and ask for something else.  Gaba works on nerve pain and might not be enough for right after surgery.  Keep your vet informed on how she is doing.

You can look at the Reading List for lots of other info on amputation and recovery.

Hang in there! The recovery period of two weeks or so can be tough so don't get discouraged.  We all got through it and we can help!

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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16 December 2017 - 9:06 am
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Thanks for the info. Went to the vet and she gave us some tramadol, which I think is helping. B is actually doing much better today and wants to move around much more than we can let her. Hoping the medicine helps to slow her down so she doesn’t open her sutures! 

So far she’s been drinking and eating well, and has peed and pooped twice, though the poop was a bit softer and she seems to have some bad gas, probably since she’s received some extra treats in the form of wet dog food. I feel like she might be running a slight fever, but it seems that might be normal for after the surgery? She did receive antibiotics during the procedure, but I think if she is actually febrile tomorrow (I’ll get a thermometer), I’ll call the vet and check. 

Have you ever tried the paw wax? I was thinking that might work but don’t want it to leave a residue on the floors. 

Thanks in advance for all the support!

Minneapolis, MN
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16 December 2017 - 9:23 am
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Hello - I am glad you have found this place.

Living in the north, we have used Musher's Secret paw wax regularly every winter and it has never been an issue with residue on the floors (hardwoods and tile throughout my house). What might be even easier for you and B is to get some yoga mats or rubber backed rugs to create a path for her to walk to places she needs to get to.  Runners are great for this. We had them around the kitchen island and headed to the door to outside.

The anesthesia and the fact her stomach was empty before surgery can result in a bit of temporary discomfort like soft stool, gas, and and even some blood in stool.  It did not last long for my boy.

Many pets come back from surgery with a combination of pain meds that work differently to combat pain - Tramadol is one, but is often combined with Rimadyl (anti inflammatory) and Gabapentin (for nerve pain). Gabapentin can have a bit of a sedating effect, which sometimes helps them be more settled and less active early on.

Sending best thoughts!

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His Daddy and I miss him terribly along with his canine sister, Mia, and two feline siblings, Lucia and Cliff.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

Virginia
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16 December 2017 - 9:50 am
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Jist catching up.  As you can see, you are NOT ALONE and you've gotten great insight from Karen and Lisa!!

Sou ds like you jave a good balance of pain meds now that work well together.  Give them on a consistent basis and try not to let the pain get ahead start.

YAY FOR poopicon_png!!!  And peeing and eating and drinking too!! 🙂 🙂  All good signs!  Some dogs has "issues" with those things the first few days.

You are in the roughesr part of recovery right now, and will be for a bit longer.  Slooooow and easy.     This is MAJOR SJRGERY and it hurts!   Every dog is different and surgeries can vary some too.    It sounds like the surgery B had is one seen here a lot,so no worries there.

Check with the Bet a put an antibiotic.  Most do come home with a supply in pill form.

You're doing a great job!!  Stay connected and let us know how thi gs are goi g!  We're all here with yi4u, 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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17 December 2017 - 8:37 am
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Thanks for all the tips. She was without a fever yesterday when I took it, so I think we are good in that department.

B woke us up with her whining all last night. I had given her pain meds (gabapentin, tramadol, and meloxicam) about an hour before bed, so I don’t think she should have been in too much pain. I thought she might have to go to the bathroom, so I took her outside multiple times throughout the night and she had some loose stools, not full diarrhea. This morning she had a solid stool though. Now she’s still just softly whining and groaning (but had another dose of pain meds this morning). I think she is bored and wants to get up and around to move more, but I really don’t know. She wasn’t this vocal before the surgery with the osteosarcoma pain in her leg. The only other weird thing is her eating. She’s a lab and loves food, and still is super excited to eat her meals, but sometimes she lets some of the food drop out of her mouth as she’s eating. She still picks it up and eats it after, and this doesn’t happen with wet food. Maybe getting picky since we had given her some wet food right after the surgery? 

Any thoughts? She is allowing us to ice her and isn’t even trying to get at her wound. It’s just been four sleepless nights and I want to get both of us well rested in this recovery!

Here and Now

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17 December 2017 - 11:55 am
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remingce said
Maybe getting picky since we had given her some wet food right after the surgery? Any thoughts? 

They can certainly get picky after being spoiled...

The Tripawds Nutrition blog has various posts regarding appetite stimulation and how to get Tripawds eating during recovery.

Many members have shared tips  here in the forums too:

Search results for 'stimulate appetite' (70)

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you're sure to find more helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here .

Virginia
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17 December 2017 - 7:25 pm
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For whatever it's worth, I fou d this sight on day six after my Happy'Hannah's amputation.  My post was something like:  "Six days post amp and I fear I've made a horrible mistake".  I had t slept vut a few hours all that time.  My Happy Hannw was whiny and restless.  Could not get comfortable!   It is MAJOR SURGERY and it does hurt!!

Some dogs get a little whiny Tramadol.   It takes some tweaking to get the pain meds in on a CONSISTENT basis.  Some di d giving the Tramadol dirst and then giving the Baba an hour or two lster.  Of cojrse, talk woth yiur Vet first.

Also you wa t to make sure the pin doesn't get ahead start.  It may be (and again talk to yiur Vet), B needs more frequent doses, even if it's a smaller amount.

How much time is spaced out vetween each dose and whst are the amounts.

Wouldn't worry about the dood issue.  It may be the drugs and he may simply be he enjoyst the better tasting food...who can blame him!

TRY a d get some rest when you can.  Exhaustion makes everything look worse!

We're here with you!

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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