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Mosby - Glad this site is here, recovery is rough
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23 December 2016 - 7:01 pm
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I hope it is ok to post a new topic. I am really glad that this site is here. Our lab/hound mix Mosby just arrived home from his right rear leg amputation, and it is such a scary and confusing time for my husband and I. He has a lot of swelling, and is laying on his sutures right now, and I hope that is ok. I assume that if it were uncomfortable he wouldn't be doing it, but it's still unnerving. And we have been helping him with a sling, but he is so wasp-waisted that the sling keeps sliding back up to his hips where we're scared it's going to interfere with his sutures, plus it slides so far back that it blocks him from using the bathroom, so we have to keep adjusting it while he gets situated to pee. He drank a lot of water tonight, which I was glad to see, and seems to have his bearings in the house, even if he's definitely out of it from the meds. Anyway, he's laying down now snoozing (on his sutures ...) and I'm relieved to see him rest. Like I said, I'm glad this site is here - it has reassured me that my fears and worries seem to be normal ones, and that our experience so far isn't unusual. It's so hard to see him like this, but we had an osteosarcoma diagnosis Monday after he had started limping (and actually had a misdiagnosis of an ACL tear by our now-prior vet) and was in such pain, and we were told that he is a great candidate for amputation / chemo, so at the time amputation was such an easy decision to make. I hope his recovery goes smoothly and we can get through this rough part as soon as possible. Thanks for letting me vent!

Livermore, CA
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23 December 2016 - 8:44 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I'm sorry cancer and amputation have brought you here but this is the best place to be while on this journey.  This is absolutly the right place to post- and having your own thread for Mosby is perfect!

Is he laying on the floor?  As long as he is comfortable I wouldn't worry about him.  If he is laying on the floor he might be laying where it is cool on his incision.

You might try a shopping bag sling- take a cloth shopping bag and cut open the sides, the handles are built in!  It distributes the weight and might stay on his tummy better.  You can line it with a towel if needed for cushion.  I would guess that he will be able to get around on his own pretty soon.

The worst of the recovery period usually lasts 2 weeks or so- some lucky pups sail though faster, some take a little longer.  Be sure you have good traction for him in the house- throw rugs or yoga mats on any slippery floors.

Any specific questions? Lots of experience and support here- take advantage!

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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23 December 2016 - 9:19 pm
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You now jave the entire Tripawd Family cheering Mosy on! And we are here to share as much first hand information as you need ro help you during the recovery.

As karen said, the first couple of weeks can be rough, not always though. My Happw Hannah, 125lb Bull Mastiff, was restlew and whiny for seceral days non-stop. I don't think she or I slept more than a few hours total the first three nights! I hadn't found this site at that point and was scared out of my mind!!

I tried using a towel sling to help my Happy Hannah, but the pretty much just froze until I took it off. Luckily, she was mobile without it.

Many dogs here are misdiagnosed at first with arthritis, sprains,ACL tears, etc, Yeah, it happens a lot!

Some swelling, some bruising, all normal. Some dogs lay on their incision right away. Some, like my Happy Hannah, take weeks before they sleep in that side!!

If you have hardwood floors, you'll need non slie scatter rugs for trzction. Some use yoga mats

M ost dogs come home with Tramadol, Rimadyl, Gabaw and an antibiotic. It can be tricky gettw the right doses and timing sometimes. Right now the hospital meds are srill in his system, but should be out in a other dayish.

YAY FOR DRINKING AND YAY FOR PEE!!! It may be a few days before he poops. Let us k ow, we celebrate anything arou d here! 🙂

Sounds like You may actually get some much deserved sleep tonight....maybe!

I KNOW this part is scary a d you are exhausted emotionally a d physically! You got rid of a very painful leg and have given your pup a chance for more spoiling a d loving and tummy rubs a d treats...all without lainw!!

STAY CONNECTED!! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

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!

Minneapolis, MN
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23 December 2016 - 10:18 pm
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Hello - so glad you have found us, though sorry you are in this position of course.

You have gotten some sound advice above, so I'll just remind you that even though there is residual pain from the surgery, a major source of pain is gone and Mosby is going to feel so much better than he has felt in a while when you get through the first few days.

Was Mosby in the hospital overnight or did he come home same day?  Either way, it does take a good day or two for the major surgical drugs to get out of his system.

Sally mentioned the common big 3 pain meds many of our dogs come home with: Tramadol, which works in the brain, Rimadyl, which is an anti-inflammatory and Gabaentin, which works in the nerves.  Three modalities for pain management that can compliment each other to make the start of this recovery easier.  

Many also come home with an antibiotic as a preventative against infection, but some do not, so it is not worrisome if you did not.  But if you think you see any sign of infection and he is not on abx, call your vet right away.

Sending many good thoughts to you and to Mosby.  Let us know if you have specific questions!

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

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24 December 2016 - 12:01 am
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Mosby and family, we're glad you're here. As scary as it seems, it does sound like a normal recovery to me. Remember, anytime you're not feeling good about the recovery, let your vet know. We're here too of course for your to vent, but your vet can help you through the ruff patches.

Laying on sutures is a great sign! Let him do it, it's a great sign that he's got good pain medication and is feeling well. Many dogs don't do that for several days.

However we can help, let us know K?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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24 December 2016 - 2:43 am
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The first two weeks are really hard.  I joined on day 5 or 6, really with just that expression.  My Otis also laid on his suture side.  He did not seem in pain or struggling to adjust his position, so I let him be.  I think he found the pressure on the site helpful.  Remember also that Mosby is on a lot of drugs now, including the hospital drugs.  These wear off about days 3 - 5 so keep an eye out for pain signals (panting, restlessness, not just cries or yelps).  Expect him to do a lot of sleeping, which is good.  I kept a log book for meds, but also food, drink, pee and poop.  That way I knew when I really had to get him up to go outside, and when I could just let him sleep.   Do you have a harness?  With a rear legger you might be able to use one sooner.  We are big fans of the Ruffwear Webmaster Plus harness (you can see photos in the gear blog).  Neither of my dogs would use a sling - they would stand there, frozen in place, until I gave up and removed it.  I assume you have removed the cone of shame?  Boxer shorts help to protect the incision for rear leg amputees.  Stay close to this community - amazing tribal knowledge here!  

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

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24 December 2016 - 4:16 am
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Welcome! Glad you and Mosby found your way here. The first weeks can be very rough, indeed, but things do get better. Usually much, much better! 

Mosby has already made some excellent decisions what with drinking and peeing and laying in cool places. The meds will wear off so try to stay ahead of the pain: I totally agree that keeping a journal of everything helps tremendously when you have zero sleep on board.

One thing my woofles found helpful as they recovered were body pillows. Rugs and very low beds were helpful but body pillows allowed them a head start in getting up on their own. We placed body pillows around the wall  on their sides ( like baby bolsters), and my guy would sleep near them and then use them to push off and launch!  Or he would sleep on top with his amp side and leave his good legs nearer the floor. Don't know why it worked so well but it did for him. 

Hope to hear more about Mosby soon! Best wishes during his recovery and PyrPaws all around!

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24 December 2016 - 6:19 am
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Thank you all for you kind words and reassurance! 

He's laying on his suture side a bit again this morning, so I guess it doesn't bother him, and as long as it doesn't bother the stitches, I'm thinking the pressure might actually help with the swelling. We are also doing cold therapy 3x day. You guys have given lots of great advice - I think for the most part we are on the right track. I had laid rugs down before he had surgery, because he was already mostly three legged and he was slipped on our hardwoods. Need more so that every spot is covered. I do have a yoga mat I can use, too. He already had pretty nice Orvis memory foam beds with bolsters both downstairs and in the bedroom, and I think that's part of the reason he's laying on his sutures, it really takes the pressure off. We ordered the Webmaster with a brush guard - hopefully it is ok that it is not the "plus?" That is supposed to come today and we will try it on him. 

I was overwhelmed with the meds last night so I made a full chart with check-boxes so I can keep track of everything. I was not given an antibiotic - hope that's ok. He has a slew of pain meds, though, and anti-anxiety, although the anti-anxiety is only through today so I'm worried about that. We'll see. Also, he is not tricked by any treat that I put his meds in, so I have to put them all down his throat, and I think he hates me for it. 

The night was ok -- He didn't love his cone, but we were scared he'd mess with the sutures while we were asleep. He doesn't need it on most of the time. He really started snoring as soon as he hit his bed last night. Going to sleep in his bed at night has ALWAYS been serious business for him (he'll let us know if he thinks we're staying up too late), and I know he's missed it! 

Thank you again for the kind words and reassurance! I know it's going to be hard, but we are so, so grateful for our vets and so, so grateful we get to have him here for Christmas. 🙂

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24 December 2016 - 7:47 am
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Well, now his eyes are puffy, one more so than the other. I took a picture and sent to the surgeon. She said the anesthesia shouldn't do that and recommended Benadryl, and said to take him to the ER if he develops hives. So ... hopefully the Benadryl works. 

So stressful. 

London, UK
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24 December 2016 - 7:59 am
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I love the way you describe him telling you to go to bed! He sounds like a real character. 

It also sounds like you and Mosby are doing great. I'm sure you're right about the memory foam. Meg lay on her amp side too. It didn't seem to bother her so I just let her be. She wasn't on antibiotics either and didn't have any problems.

Re the meds (I'm certain he doesn't hate you!), have you tried liver pate? I found that worked a treat with Meg, just sticking the tablet or capsule inside a big lump and she swallowed it whole every time. Just thought I'd mention in case that helps.

Sending every best wish to you all,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 8, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Elsie Pie, & Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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24 December 2016 - 8:03 am
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So sorry you are going through this.  This is a wonderful, supportive place - I don't know how I would have managed without it.  Fingers crossed that the puffiness will pass quickly.  It is very stressful but you will get through it.

Tracey & Tai

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24 December 2016 - 8:12 am
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Hope the Benadryl works. I tried to give my dogs a sedative after day 3 since he was pacing all over the house and we had him on the max pain med dosage. The vet gave me Acepromazine and I only gave him a half dose he was out for almost 40 hours. That scared me. Vet told us to let him just sleep it was what he needed most right then and we did. He wouldn't take his meds during that time but he would get up about every 8 hrs to pee.  

As far as getting Toby to take meds I found if I use a small piece of bread and wrap the pill in it then dip in ranch dressing that works for us. 

Getting the med schedule on track is hard in the beginning we are on day 24 so trying to wean him off is also proving to be hard for Toby. Sometimes he can go 10 - 12 hrs without one of the meds but other times he seams to be in pain so we give him it early. We are just doing the Tramadol and Gabapentin right now and giving him one or the other every 4 - 6 hours. 

It did get better after week 2. So hang in there you know your dog and what he needs for the most part so you will get through it. 

There are lots of people here that have been through this so we all have little things that worked for us. 

Take care

Gail &Toby

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24 December 2016 - 9:19 am
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Don't totally blame your vet for the misdiagnosis - it happens a lot.  Murphy was initially misdiagnosed, too, for several months.  Part of the problem was that with pain medication/anti-inflammatory medication, he would walk normally.  Plus, when the vet tried to figure out where the pain was, Murphy didn't react at all!  He had x-rays done at a radiology center and the radiologist said they were clear ... so on we went.  But we can't change the past, we can only move on.

Writing down when the medications are due is the best way to keep track.  You want to try to space out the different meds so that Mosby has adequate coverage.  If he has something given every couple of hours, it will work better.

Keep doing what you're doing.  Like everyone else said, the first couple of weeks are the hardest, but it does come to an end.  You will see your Mosby come back to 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  

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24 December 2016 - 11:59 am
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Thanks, all, for the advice and reassurance. His eyes are still puffy after the Benadryl, so I'm keeping an eye on them. I texted a picture to our regular (new) vet, too, to see his thoughts. When we took him out just now he yelped a bit from the pain when he stood up, first time he's really done that. He's on a pretty regular and staggered med schedule, so I'm not sure what that was about. Our Ruffwear web master with brush guard arrived today, so we used that instead of the sling, which was definitely easier to maneuver. He really, really needs the support, though. Not sure if he's still just too "out of it" to stand on his own, or too weak, or what. Just hoping that every day gets better and that we figure out the eye puffiness. Sounds minor, but of course in the back of my mind I'm thinking "what if it's an allergic reaction to one of the pain meds?" 

Generally, though, lots of good sleep, water drinking, a bit of food, and peeing. Hopefully he'll get stronger soon. 

Virginia
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24 December 2016 - 1:37 pm
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It just dawned on me, did you bring Mosby home on the same day as surgery??? Or did he spend the dirst night in the hospital? Either way, this is either just day two or three from MAJOR, MAJOR surgery!!

Mosby is in a slew of meds, plus he still has the hospital meds hesw working out of his system! I'm glad he's through with his "anti anxiety" pill today. Some dogs need them, but most are fairly lethargic just from the Tramadol a d Gabapentin. His mobility should get a bit better in the next several days,especially being off the sedative a d as the pain continues to be managed and subsidies.

Maybe before you get Mosby up next ti e, try some gentle massaging all over. It may help with the "ouch" when her first tries to stand after sleeping.

Not sure about the swelling around his eyes. Actually, I have not heard of that type of allergic reaction to the pain meds, but I think it's a GREAT question to ask!! Just curious, do you notice it more by any cchance when the cone is on? Have zero idea why I even asked that...just throwing out possibilities, no .matter how bizzare!

Based on what you've described Mosby is right on track for a "normal" recovery! I know it's hard to be patient, but he really is doing well! Sleeping, eati gg /so ea), drinking, peeing, mobile (even with help, he IS mobile)!

Keep us posted!

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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