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New amputee
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Forum Posts: 13
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11 September 2017
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11 September 2017 - 7:19 pm
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My ten year old lab had a rear leg amputation today. He has battled hermangiosarcoma in his rear leg for 10 months. We did surgery to remove the first tumor and chemo. The tumor returned and over the past week it took over the leg.  The best thing to do was an amputation. The cancer has always been contained to the leg and the rest of him is healthy. The surgery went well and they got it all. As I am new to this, I would love any advice about post care and learning the best ways to help him.  Thanks!

Livermore, CA
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11 September 2017 - 8:29 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

What is your boy's name?  Surviving 10 months with hemangio is quite an accomplishment!  We love to hear success stories like this.

You should look through The Reading List for lots of links to info on what to expect with amputation, recovery and treatment.  Will he need any further treatment?

Is he staying overnight at the vet or is he home?  When he comes home you will want to know what pain meds he will be on and understand the dosing schedule.  He may or may not need help getting around, if the vet doesn't send you home with a sling you can make one out of a reusable shopping bagHere is a great list of things you might need when he gets home.

The most important thing is to say positive!  The first two weeks or so are usually full of ups and downs as our pups deal with meds and their new normal, new Tripawds tire very easily.  Most of us went through a 'what have I done?!' phase sometime during recovery.  We all got through it, you will too!

Lots of experience and support here- stay close and ask lots of questions!

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 September 2017 - 8:42 pm
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His name is Guinness. He is staying overnight until Wednesday so he will have a good two days with them for observation.  I feel better with two days. They said they want him eating, pooping, and peeing before he leaves. I have a sling for him and a good comfy bed. I've also worked out a way to contain him with an x-pen inside in the living room. I'm pretty good about monitoring the meds...

I have a great dog walker who has a wonderful crew so she and I will work out care for the recovery time when I have to be at work. 

Not sure yet about further treatment. 

Are there any signs I need to watch for if he isn't recovering well?  

Thanks for your support!  Glad I found this site!

The Rainbow Bridge

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13 September 2017 - 10:25 am
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Guinness and family, welcome. We are glad you found us 🙂 It's wonderful that he's on the way to recovery and getting great care. You've done a good job preparing too! 

Are there any signs I need to watch for if he isn't recovering well?

Pain management is probably the biggest challenge for brand new Tripawds. If he shows any signs of restlessness or anxiety, talk to your vet. It either indicates too much medication or too little (yeah, it's crazy isn't it?!). See:

Pain Signs in Cats and Dogs: Learn the Symptoms

Four Great Post-Amputation Pain Management Tips from #AAHA2016

Post-Surgery Pain in Tripawd Dogs and Cats, Part 1

Keep us posted on how he's doing!

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Virginia
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13 September 2017 - 6:48 pm
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Just catching up!   Yoive gotten great advice and links from Karen and Jerry.

Has Guinness come home today?  Be sure and stay connected as these first days and nights can be very looooong and exhausting!

He may not want to eat for a few days and he may delay pooping for abit too.  Drinking and peei g are important though.  Pretty much feed him anynyummy food he'll eat to make sure his tummy is coated for the pain meds.

As you'll see from the links yiu were given, non slip scatter rugs for traction are important if you have hardwoods.

Rest, rest, rest, potty breaks then more and more rest.

And keep lots of CHOCOLATE on hand for you!

Update when you can and let us know how things are going  and any questions you may have

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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13 September 2017 - 9:14 pm
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Thanks for the encouragement!  He isn't home yet. He is off the Fentanyl patch and was much perkier when I saw him tonight. Tail wagging and ate for me. The biggest issue is not peeing. They keep having to catheterize him to empty his bladder. We tried when I was there but his back end is so weak that he isn't getting into position well. I'm hoping with the decrease in meds and being more with it that he finally goes. I'm pretty stressed about this for him. Is it normal or should I be concerned?

Livermore, CA
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13 September 2017 - 9:52 pm
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Unable to pee is not common, but it does happen.  The meds mess with each pup in a different way.

Could it be that he isn't peeing because his routine has been altered?  Is he a boy that has to lift his leg to go? My quad pug Obie will only pee lifting his right leg and standing on his left leg.  It was fine when he has his first knee surgery since it was on his right knee and he could lift that leg.  When he had his left knee repaired he didn't pee for the vet after surgery and finally went all over himself in the kennel.  I had to hold him up for the first week so he could pee with his right leg in the air until he could start weighting the repaired leg.

The older pups often take a little longer to get their legs under them, what does the vet think?

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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14 September 2017 - 7:27 pm
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Happy to announce that he has peed! Never been so happy to hear about urine! He is still eating well. His red blood count has been low so they are still monitoring it and won't send him home yet. May need a blood transfusion if it doesn't stabilize. Anyone had to deal with this issue? Thanks all!

Virginia
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14 September 2017 - 10:34 pm
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HAPPY WEE WEE PEE PEE DANCE GOING ON OVER HERE!!! 🙂   Soooooo glad to hear this!!!   Eating too??? YAAAAAAAAAY!! 🙂

Actually a dog here just had a blood transfusion right after surgery.  If I recall correctly it was Ruby.  So no, not unheard of.  The important thing is that Guinness is at the clinic getting good care and being carefully monitored.

Are they doing anything to adjust his blood count other than a transfusion (if needed)?  Any idea from the Vet  what the cause is'

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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15 September 2017 - 7:18 pm
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He is home! His blood count is slowly rising so I will just keep an eye on his gums and energy. Right now he is sleeping. I think being home is putting him at ease. He has a Help Em Up harness on which he wore at the vet, but I'm just getting used to how to help him around. He definitely needs assistance. Hasn't peed at home yet, but was doing so at the vet so waiting for that first one at home and how it looks!
He is on an antibiotic and three pain meds. His incision looks good and not too much swelling or bruising.
It will be a long road to recovery but we will take a day at a time. Any advice on managing his moving around would be helpful. I know he needs lots of rest so I'm keeping it to a minimum.

Virginia
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15 September 2017 - 9:32 pm
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WELCOME HOME GUINNESS!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂  HOME SWEET HOME HAS REAL HEALING POWERS!!! 🙂

Some dogs just freeze up if you try to use any sling.  He may not want to take a pee if he has the harness on or if you are standing right beside him.  Obviously if he's wobbly from drugs and doesn't have his sea legs yet, then helping with the sling is necessary.  Others will chime in with tips who've had to use a harness.

Its wonderful that Guinness is resting comfortably.  Sometimes the first night or two home dogs can be quite whiny and restless.  So rest is real good! 🙂

Recovery doesn't last forever...it just feels like it!  His sparkle will return slowly but surely!

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!

Canada
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15 September 2017 - 11:49 pm
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Welcome home Guinness! Good lad, nothing like home sweet home heh?! 

You said it right... one day at a time... As far as working with him to help him outside, that is a bit of trial & error (on both parts!)

Stewie was one of those dogs that didn't do well with a sling. Neither of us knew what he was supposed to do with it... unlike Guinness though Stewie is a front leg amputee and so the sling kind of got in the way of doing his business. We ended up using a regular collar and his extendable leash. This gave him the freedom of space and I could lock in the lead when he was a little unsteady. We didn't start using his harness again until his stitches came out. The harness that he has always worn, has worked out to be perfect. We just modified it with some padded cushions to cover his scar and to make it more comfy. He did freak me out a couple of times when he decided to pee like a fella on a hill. He came very close to falling over the edge! I have to keep reminding him to pee like a girl. Even two months after losing his leg, he still forgets!😏

Give yourselves a couple of weeks to get through the worst of it all. Stay close and give him tons of love and reassurance. Stay strong because he will be looking to you for that feel-good positive energy. Feed him whatever he will eat, in order to help his tummy with pills. Stewie was given gourmet meals, you name it... the greasier the better, but there were some days that he just wouldn't eat, unless I hand fed him. Just don't become upset if he doesn't want to eat, just try again later. And like Sally said, rest is REALLY GOOD. lots of it.

Others will definitely chime in with their experiences as to how to help Guiness get his Tripawd legs! He will start to amaze you in no time. In the meantime hugs and lots of treats to your handsome fella. Keep us posted.

Sloppy kisses from Stewie👅🐾
& all the very best from his adoring pack,
Petra, Paul, & his feline siblings, Mr. Spike, Chester Molester & Miss Lily 🐾🐾🐾❤️.
http://stewie20.....pawds.com/

Stewie adopted his Pack in 2015. He has 3 feline siblings, Mr. Spike🐾 Chester Molester🐾 & Miss Lily🐾He was diagnosed with OSC on July 5th 2017 and had his left front leg amputated on July 10th 2017. He is our Tripawds Super Hero!🐾❤️                                         http://stewie20.....pawds.com/

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17 September 2017 - 6:20 pm
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Guinness is doing well. We have figured out the harness and going outside. He is doing all of his business and eating well.  He is contained to the living room but did amble down the hall to the bedroom, thinking it was bath time. He went straight to the tub!  

He will be on his own tomorrow while I'm at work. The dog walker will visit with him midday for an hour to give him meds, take him out, and give him love. He will be housed in the living room with his cone on and bed.  Sutures come out Friday and I think I'll have them check his red blood count to make sure it is improving. 

Can they get phantom leg pain?  Every once in awhile he sits up fast like he got a jolt. 

Thanks!

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17 September 2017 - 6:39 pm
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Thinking it was bath time? laughing That is so cute, he must love his baths. I hope you can give him one after the sutures are out. What a sweetie.

Some pets seem to get phantom limb pain and they might be prescribed gabapentin for it. You can discuss it with your vet to determine if it's phantom pain, regular pain, or even if it's a problem. I only witnessed something odd with my cat a couple of times where she'd suddenly bolt upright with a cry out. I'd pet her and soothe her back to sleep. 

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Virginia
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17 September 2017 - 6:53 pm
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Love this update!!   And yeah, seeing how happy he was thinking hewp was getting a bath...OMD! SOOOOOO CUTE!! 🙂   Y pou have to video when he gets his first bath and share it with us!! 🙂

The way you described the "jolt" basically out of the blue pretty much sounds like phantom pain.  It usually is over s quickly as it starts, but sometimes leaves the dogs feeling panicky and trying to "run away" from the jolt and maybe even shaking for a couple of minutes.  Giving them soothing massages and a gentle rubbing around the incision area usually helps them get past the incident.

As Kerren mentioned, the Gabapentin is usually the "drug of choice" to combat the sharp pain of the nerves firing off to a limb that is no longer there.

Stitch removal day requires ice cream and a Starbucks Puppacinno!  And we want photos! 🙂

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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