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Draco - big German Shepherd Treatment Options for Osteosarcoma
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21 July 2017 - 8:05 am
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Aw, he looks great! Not going #2 for a while after surgery is normal - remember, he was under anesthesia and on serious pain meds. Plus, different environment at the vet's and learning to cope with the loss of a leg.

I didn't use the Ruff wear harness, but from what others have said, its not recommended for use until after the stitches are out because of exactly what you noticed - it can rub where those staples are. He shouldn't be moving much anyway - getting him out to potty and back is all he should be doing, and it sounds like he's doing that okay.

I used a child size t-shirt on Clyde - I think I used a large, but Clyde is smaller than your guy. I tried to keep his cone on him when I wasn't home, but did take it off when I was - as long as he was wearing the t-shirt. He did not bother his staples at all though.

I give Clyde K9 Immunity Plus. He loves them, they are like treats. I don't have any input on the chemo since we didn't do it, but others will chime in on that I'm sure.

Draco is such a beautiful, unique dog!

The Rainbow Bridge

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21 July 2017 - 1:50 pm
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Glad to hear the vets feel confident about his recovery. Remember they see it all the time so although you aren't used to Draco being so out of it, trust your vet when they say he's on track.

Also keep in mind Draco had additional Meds given at surgery so those will cause constipation too. As long as he's urinating right now that's all normal. He will poop when he needs to but you can help it happen sooner by adding bran flakes or steamed squash, pumpkin pulp or other fiber rich foods to his meals.

He should only be going out a couple times a day right now. No need to wrestle with him to go outside unless he hasn't urinated in 12 hours. I would wait on the harness till stitches are out.

As for chemo, if your vet hasn't referred you to a specialist now is the time to ask. Some have long wait lists.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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21 July 2017 - 8:46 pm
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Thanks for the replies!

Draco actually pooped for me earlier this afternoon when I took him out just before leaving for work! So I'm glad that happened finally!

I noticed the bottom part of his surgical area looks like there might be fluids inside when he stands up and gravity is weighing it down some. I don't know if it's fluids, maybe it's extra skin/fat? Nothing is leaking out. Feels like a small pooch of water balloon. I emailed the vet already about this, since that's the area that looks more red/swollen than the rest. Even in the pictures I posted, that area looks more red. If it is fluids, maybe the body will absorb it on its own? I don't notice it getting considerably big as I'm not really sure. But it's something I'll be keeping an eye on. And I'll get pictures of it the next time he's up.

-RJ

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22 July 2017 - 12:17 am
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YAAAAAAAAAY FOR poopicon_png Hoppy Poop Dance!! 🙂

The sagging fluid pouch is most likely a seroma. And yes, it will eventually reabsorb. May even get a vit larger first. You've emailed your Vet for reassurance so that's good.

Good voy Draco!! You're doing really well! 🙂

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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23 July 2017 - 10:04 pm
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Here are some pictures of his surgery site (incision site?) from a couple of days ago. I had mentioned last time that there seems to be fluid collecting inside forming a small water balloon type thing. Emailed the vet and he said it was most likely inflammatory fluid and that it is not uncommon since it's located at the most gravity dependent part of the amputation incision. And that the body is absorb it over time. I read and I believe someone mentioned it was called Seroma. 

Besides the saggy water balloon area of his, when looking at the entire area, certain parts look more red. It's already been day 5 post amp, so I was told to try heat compression. Draco wasn't having it for the ice packs, so I'm not sure how he'll do with the heat. I'll update after trying it.

I was looking at getting Apocaps and the K9 Immunity Plus. Looking at the dosage for Apocaps , with Draco's size and the amount of Apocaps needed, the entire 90 caps bottle will only last for 10 days. The K9 Immunity Plus cost isn't so bad only needing 3 wafers a day, compared to Apocaps 3 caps 3 times a day. Is it worth just trying Apocaps for 10 days or is this something that needs to go on for several weeks before noticing a difference? If the 10 days trial is really not enough then I'm thinking of just trying the K9 Immunity Plus. Any thoughts?

-RJ

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23 July 2017 - 10:22 pm
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I had the same dilemma as you about the Apocaps . I just couldn't afford it, so I just use K9 Immunity Plus. I have no idea if they really help, but since I can't do chemo it makes me feel like I'm doing something for him. And for what its worth, he's almost 14 months post surgery and has had no chemo. So maybe it really does help! It certainly doesn't hurt, and he likes them.

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24 July 2017 - 9:04 am
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Your vet can drain the seroma to remove any excess fluid. It is a very simple quick procedure. Click any seroma link for more information and entails about what to look for in seromas gone bad.

A warm compress will increase circulation to the area. Cool compression will help reduce swelling. Rotating hot/cold therapy is best, always end will cold.

Search the Tripawds Nutrition blog or click any of the highlight links for detailed reviews and more info about Apocaps and K9 Immunity.

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24 July 2017 - 9:17 pm
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Another update!

So I woke up this morning and found that Draco had slipped out of his e collar! I checked his incision site to see if they were still there.... luckily most of them were still there, there was just a small area where he licked the scabs off and a few staples came off. The area where the staples came off were red and puffy, looks like it was draining some fluids but overall no separations that I see. It's just giving me the mad ugly duck face. I'm hoping it's not infected, I sent pictures to the vet and he said it doesn't look bad. That if there is any separations and discharge then to take Draco in to add some staples. I left for work in the afternoon and then came back home this evening and checked how his incision site is doing. There was a small area where it looks like some drainage happened, it was very little since it didn't look like it discharged very far from the site. I hope it's not infected, but with the bruising and everything else in general looking mad and ugly, it might still be okay because everything else seems to be crusting up again which tells me it's trying to heal and close up. I'll most likely follow up in the morning with more updates. I'm going to send pictures to the vet and see what he thinks. 

Here is a picture I took in the morning after I put on some hydrogel/neosporin:

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And below is the picture I took when I got home - notice the incision area is crusting/scabbing up trying to heal/close. There was just a small discharge visible. The hydrogel/neosporin had dried up since already in this picture:

IMAG1910.jpg

And below is what it looks like when I put on more hydrogel/neosporin:

IMAG1917.jpg

It looks scary when it's moist, but looks better when it's all dried up. I'm glad the crusting/scabs formed quickly throughout the day. 

I'll update in the morning!

-RJ

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24 July 2017 - 10:56 pm
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I have no wisdom to bring to the status of Draco's incision. But, I wish a speedy recovery. Plus, I must admit, I'm eyeing your photos because I'll be facing that same vision after Obie's surgery tomorrow. Thank you for sharing and much love to you and your pup.  

Christie & Obie 

Oberon the Newfoundland, born 8/26/09. dx osteosarcoma 7/11/17

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25 July 2017 - 3:48 am
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dumainedog said
I have no wisdom to bring to the status of Draco's incision. But, I wish a speedy recovery. Plus, I must admit, I'm eyeing your photos because I'll be facing that same vision after Obie's surgery tomorrow. Thank you for sharing and much love to you and your pup.    

Thank you, I hope your Obie's surgery goes well! heartKeep lots of positive thoughts, you'll need that mental/emotional strength mostly for yourself! One of the important things I learned so far is to be vigilant in keeping that e-collar on! I know that it looks sad with them having it on, but it is better than them chewing off stitches/staples, an open wound and infection, and having to go back to the vet to be stitched/stapled back up basically doing another surgery (cutting the edges of skin to refresh them for healing) and another big vet bill! After having experienced that (minus the infection), that e-collar looks more like a sure safe haven to me (my sanity and wallet)! laughing

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25 July 2017 - 7:42 am
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DRACO!   ,YOU BETTER BEHAVE YOURSELF AND QUIT SCARING YIUR MOMMA!! 🙂   I'm sure those stitches are very irritating and annoying, but uou MUST leave them alone sweet boy!!

Check with yiur Vet abput the Neosporin.  If I recall, it's not something that you want to use on  surgical incision.  It's inly for minor scraps.  May be wrong, so just dpuble check with the Vet.

Hang in there!  Recovery doesn't last forever...just seems like it!

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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25 July 2017 - 12:28 pm
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How's the area looking today? I hope it's dried up and looking better. It looks pretty normal to me and as long as there's no smelly discharge it's probably fine. But as Sally mentioned, do check with your vet about the Neosporin. We've been told by vets that nothing should be put on the incision while it's healing, unless the vet has recommended it. Sometimes they do but Neosporin is a toss up. Some vets say it's OK other's say nope. Let us know what yours says OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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25 July 2017 - 2:11 pm
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Thanks for the replies Sally and Jerry!

When I emailed the vet the other day, he emailed back saying it should be ok to use the neosporin. Although I do understand that the wound can't heal or "dry up" as quickly when it's moist. So I'm going to leave it alone now and not put anything on it. I think the previous application of the neosporin should have been good enough for any "just in case" concerns.

This morning I looked at Draco's area and it doesn't look like it's gotten any worse. I don't smell anything and when I gently pat that area with sterilized gauze, there was just a dab of light pink. Do I don't think it's discharging large amounts, so hopefully that's good news!

Still waiting to hear back from the vet about yesterday's pictures that I posted to see what he thinks.

-RJ

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26 July 2017 - 8:14 pm
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Just a quick update!

Draco's incision area looks to be dried and crusted now for healing. So no discharge that I can see. I did notice that whenever I'd take his e-collar off to put on his front harness for potty breaks, he'd quickly take a lick at his amputation area, or maybe that area that is currently trying to dry up/heal. No pictures this time, but maybe I'll get some updated ones tomorrow if I remember. I've tried providing him with a cold pack and heat compress but he's just not having it. He'll keep moving around to get me to stop. Neither cold or heat are unbearable at all. I'll wait a couple more days before I wrestle him to do a warm compress.

Draco's dad - RJ

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26 July 2017 - 9:17 pm
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Okay Draco, you'll like this reply so be sure and show it to your Dad!   I never used compresses on Happy Hannah's incision and she did just fine!   She nad "normal; amounts of bruising and swelling, and a seroma a d everything worked itself out.

Of course, Draco does jave a bit of an issue with his incision so certainly do what the Vet says.  Just saying  nkt ot vret if it causes Draco too much stress.  Imw sure his incision site is very, very tender and painful.

Glad to hear thi gs are healing nicely!Good job!

Hugs

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

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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