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Feeling unprepared for my TriPawd to come home tomorrow - suggestions?
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Palmer, Alaska
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24 January 2017 - 3:49 pm
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Hello everyone - my 7 year old lab/Greater Swiss (we guess) is in surgery today for a front leg amputation (osteosarcoma). After finding TriPawds.com and reading a few forums I'm feeling greatly unprepared. Boone will be home tomorrow and we've purchased a Help 'Em Up Harness. I'm seeing other things on the forums that never occurred to me to have, like pillows to help prop him up (he's 95#). He has 2 fairly good sized beds that have good support. 

We've cleared the feet of snow from his fenced in yard but haven't done a ramp, mainly because he's never used one and now probably isn't the time to teach him how. He's been hopping on 3 legs for a couple of weeks now and has been managing the short stairs to the yard pretty easily. 

We pick him up this evening but only to transport him to the 24-hour clinic closer to our home for overnight monitoring. 

Thanks for any help! This is a journey I never expected to be on with Boone and am thankful for this site.

Jeanette (Boone's mom)

Here and Now

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24 January 2017 - 5:02 pm
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Welcome and best wishes for Boone's speedy recovery! Sounds like you've done your homework and he is in good hands.

Take this time to search the Tripawds Blogs and forums for lots of helpful tips and support from members... Start here for easy tips to navigating the vast resources this community has to offer. Bookmark Jerry's Required Reading List for lots of helpful links or consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns.

Please keep us posted, your future forum posts will not require moderation.

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24 January 2017 - 5:27 pm
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Hi Jeanette and Boone 🌺🐶

I am very sorry you find yourself here but we are all here to help you in your journey anyway we can.

Glad to hear you already have a harness as you'll probably need to help Boone getting up and guide him when he goes out for pee/poop.

For front leg amputees (like my girl Eurydice) it is good to keep a t.shirt under the harness to protect the wound until stitches are removed.

His bed should be firm enough for him to be able to stand up without sliding or falling.

If your floors are slippery you should make paths for him so he doesn't slide, traction is crucial for tripawds especially when they are learning to hop on 3.

We got some carpet rolls and cut them to create paths and placed rubber underlay beneath it for extra traction.

Yoga mats work beautifully too.

I'm sure others will chime in soon but in the meantime don't hesitate to ask any questions, big or small, we're all here for you. 

Sending you a big hug and hoping Boone is out of surgery now and doing well 😘😘🐾🐶

Palmer, Alaska
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24 January 2017 - 5:32 pm
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Thank you! I'll be sure we have plenty of t-shirts to use under the harness, and I appreciate the suggestion of yoga mats. We have just a couple of spots in the kitchen, leading to the back door (where Boone's yard is) that will need traction.

Vet just called and said surgery went well. They found an "ugly" lymph node that they also removed. Boone's chest xrays and bloodwork (done last week) were clear so I'm hopeful that amputation will give him at least a few more pain free months with us. 

Thank you, again for the suggestions and support. smiley

Sunny California
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24 January 2017 - 5:41 pm
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Welcome Jeanette and Boone!

I don't think anyone is ever fully prepared for their new tripawd to come home, but it sounds like you have done your homework so I have no doubt you guys will do great!  My kid is ~13 days post amp and pretty much spent his first few days sleeping 95% of the day. Just take it one day at a time! Hopefully Boone will sail on through! Hang in there and keep us posted!

Cheers,

Kat and Astro

Livermore, CA
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24 January 2017 - 5:43 pm
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Hello and welcome, I'm sorry cancer has brought you here.

Be sure you check with your vet about using the harness while the sutures are in, some vets allow it, some do not.  If not you can make a temporary sling out of a cloth shopping bag.  Slit the sides open, the handles are built in.  You can line it with a towel if needed for cushion.

You might also want to look at some post op photos- there are some here in our gallery, scroll down to the surgery and treatment pics. The shaved area and incision can be pretty scary at first sight and you want to be able to be strong for Boone and show him everything is OK.

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned- you might raise his food and water bowls so he doesn't have to lean down to eat/drink.

Also on traction- be sure the stairs outside have good footing.  Since he will be doing those stairs often he needs to be confident. 

Keep us posted!

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

Michigan
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24 January 2017 - 10:24 pm
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Hi Jeanette ~

Just catching up.  We also used t-shirts for Murphy to keep his incision clean & so that he wouldn't bother it.  He never had to wear a cone.  Hopefully your vet sends you home with enough pain medications - that's always the hardest thing at the beginning.  Murphy came home on Tramadol, Rimadyl & Gabapentin.  You don't want to give them all at the same time - space them out a bit so that Boone gets something every few hours.  You can also apply an ice pace wrapped in a cloth to the incision for 10-15 minutes a couple of times a day.  Until you're able to use the harness, you can always use a grocery bag to help him get up - take a cloth grocery bag & cut down the sides.  It will end up looking like a flat piece with handles.  Then you can just use that like a sling if you need to.  Boone may not eat very well for you over the next couple of weeks - that's normal.  Most of us try just about anything.  I cooked up some rice and poured chicken broth over it, then added in chunks of chicken.  Whatever works is good.

Keep in touch, we're here for you!

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  

Donna.png

Palmer, Alaska
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25 January 2017 - 4:36 pm
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Thanks so much everyone. As an update...

Boone's surgery went well. The cancer had spread to at least a local lymph node which was removed. We picked him up around 6PM last night and transported him to the 24-hour clinic closest to our home for monitoring overnight. The ride home was a bit daunting, but the surgical vet had pumped enough pain meds in him to last the 45 minute drive. Long term prognosis is "poor" but we knew going in amputation was not intended to be life-saving - although we still have hope that Boone's job on earth isn't done and he needs to stick around a few years longer. 

The overnight vet called us at 6:15 this morning to let us know Boone had already gone out 3 times, required very little assistance in getting up/moving around and had eaten, so we brought him home around 8:30. 

He's moving around well in the house and can get up without our help at all. The 2 stairs going outside are proving to be a challenge, but we're managing. I'm doing the ice packs followed by a warm pack today and he's on Tramadol, Gabapentin and Carprofen (Rimadyl). Boone seems as comfortable as he can be considering the circumstances. He's always been a "squeaky" dog so I'm having a tough time discerning whether the squeaks are "I need to go out," "I'm in pain," or "I'm just being Boone."

It took some convincing to get him to take his mid-day meds. He normally gobbles up cheese but I'm finding I have to offer small bites with pills hidden to get him to take them. Thanks for reminding me that his appetite may not be normal for a few days. Even on his most painful days he still ate so this is taking some getting used to. I have bone broth that I'll try over his small meal this evening.

Thank you, again, for the support, tips and encouragement.

Jeanette & Boone

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25 January 2017 - 11:26 pm
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Boone's first day home sounds right on track! We have just finished our first week, and it felt like it lasted a month! Every little thing is new and it's hard to relax within all of it. It is true, the messages are hard to discern!

The stairs were trouble for us from the beginning, but Luka had no hesitation with the ramp (I happened to have a 3' wide, 1" deep piece of wood, and I placed a yoga mat down the middle of it.) 

You are doing great! Hope you sleep well!

Lisa

Virginia
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26 January 2017 - 9:38 am
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Just catching up over here in Mr. Boone!!

My Happy Hannah was whiny and restless for the first several days/nights. I don't think she or I slept more than three hours those first several days. Recovery was no picnic, that's for sure.

Sometimes the meds can make them a bit whacky, but it's better than being in pain! The hospital meds are usually out of their system by day three and then you can see if you need to tweak the pain meds amounts and timing, etc, with the guidance of a Vet of course.

As far as that "prognosis", prognosis schmognosis! Boone doesn't give a rip about statistics or days on a calendar. He certainly does NOT have a timeframe stamped a ywhere in his butt!! Take a look! Do you see anything looking like an expiration date??? I didn't think so!! Now apologize to him for staring at his butt and give him a cookie!

There's nothing like spoiling a tripawd and making everyday the best day ever!! And Boone will milk it for all it's worth!! Boone is living in the moment with no worries!! Take is lead, he's a very smart boy!!

Oh, and try hiding the pills in stinky liverwurst. Tramadol is a horribly bitter pill. Keep the scent off yiur hands. Use tweezers to hide it deep in the "treat" (whatver that may be). Toss a couple of treats without the pill, then "the one", then some more without.

Keep us updated. Try and get some rest when you can. AND pictures!!

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!

Palmer, Alaska
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26 January 2017 - 10:56 am
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Thank you for your reply on my post, Sally!

I was so grateful for your "prognosis smognosis" comment ;-). I keep reminding myself that Boone is a strong, resilient boy and we have a wonderful holistic vet that is helping us along the way. When the surgical vet left the room during our pre-op consult (where he told us "this is not life-saving") she said Boone's chest x-rays were totally clear and she got a glimpse of his liver and spleen which were also clear. And since Boone is my over-achiever, I'm counting on him being one of the 10% with osteosarcoma that has not already spread throughout his body.

We're taking this one day at a time and I'm thankful for this community to help us along the journey.

Hugs from Alaska,

Jeanette & Boone

Virginia
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26 January 2017 - 11:05 am
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Wow! Not liking that suregon's comment at all! Perhaps he needs to join our site and meet some who have, indeed, beaten this piece of crap disease! 🙂 Sure, it's not as often as we'd like to see, vut it does happen!!

I always love repeating Subborn Pug Maggie's "prognosis". I think it was three to six months. She didn't listen! Four years later...FOUR YEARS....she headed to the Bridge!

That's the thing, and I mean this, "statistics" cannot take the individual specifics of each dog into account. And OVER ACHIEVER is never mentioned in their stuff!!

You're doing great! 🙂 🙂

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!

Michigan
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27 January 2017 - 10:02 am
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Jeanette ~

Murphy had histiocytic sarcoma, which can be pretty aggressive.  It's normally found in the liver, spleen or skin, not as often in the bone.  He had been limping for almost 5 months by the time he had surgery due to a misdiagnosis and the lymph node they removed was also positive.  His prognosis was 12-18 months "if we were lucky."  Well, here we are, almost 4 years later!  Murphy definitely did not have an expiration date stamped on his butt! 

Just follow Boone's lead.  Take it one thing at a time, which sounds easier to do than it really is lol.  When you're going over the cliff's edge, we will throw you a rope & help you to hang on, I promise.

Right now, you still have the roller coaster of recovery to get through.  There are a lot of ups & downs, and you will no doubt wonder why you did this, as most of us did at some point.  But pretty soon you will see why you did!

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  

Donna.png

Green Bay, WI
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27 January 2017 - 10:15 am
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Just catching your story now....sounds like so far, so good. Like Donna said, this journey can be 1 step forward, 2 steps back at times. My Dobe had his front leg removed due to osteo over 2 1/2 yrs ago, and continues to do well.  We used the Ruffwear harness from the time we picked him up at the vet - over a t-shirt; its a great tool for aid with stairs and getting in a vehicle. We also have a vet team - one of which is a holistic vet; Nitro gets chiropractic adjustments and acupunture that have really helped him. Ditto on the pain meds...its best to spread them out for continuous relief.

Also, Nitro wouldn't eat for 7 days after surgery, other than the yogurt we spooned down his throat  to get all his meds in him. If you have a question, chances are someone here will have experienced it before and will have advice. Good luck, keep us posted.

Paula and Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rockin' it on 3 legs!  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tr.....27_2_1.jpg

Livermore, CA
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27 January 2017 - 10:45 am
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Tri-pug Maggie lost her left rear leg to mast cell cancer.  The post surgery path report showed cancerous mast cells in the lymph node removed with her leg- a pretty bad sign in mast cell cancer because the lymph system is one of the places the cancer often metastasizes.  Because the cancer had spread her prognosis was downgraded to poor and WITH chemo we would get 6 to 9 months. It was particularly shocking to me because I went into the surgery thinking it might be curative.

Mag did live almost 4 years and did not pass from mast cell cancer.

A local friend of mine, Cemil just celebrated his 8 YEAR ampuversary!  Cemil lost a front leg to OSA and his mom went the holistic route with treatment.  Here is a blog post from last year.

Of course not every animal is so lucky- but there are long term survivors!

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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