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New member needing advice
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Forum Posts: 5
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10 February 2018 - 10:30 am
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My nine year old greyhound Sally was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on the 3rd January 2018 after going lame on her rear left leg.  To cut a long story short I've decided to take the route of amputation and chemo.  She had the operation on Tuesday and came home on Thursday.  She has been amazing. She's walking really well on three legs and, although struggling, is managing to get up the three steps in our hallway.  She's been eating well too.  She's so brave.

Apart from a few falls (one yesterday when she tried to pick up a toy), I've been really relieved with the way she's coping.

That was until today.  When I encouraged her to get up and visit the garden and have some food this morning, she ate only a little and then stood for over half an hour.  She didn't want to move.  At first I thought she was enjoying the fresh air having barely been out for the week but since then, having been encouraged back into her bed, she's been panting almost constantly.  Now she won't eat her dinner which has her Rimadyl in it. 

Is this something that any of you have experienced?  I wasn't expecting her to go backwards in her recovery.  Should I be worried?

Livermore, CA
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10 February 2018 - 12:59 pm
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Hello and welcome to you and Sally.  Your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

It is quite common for pups to have a 'crash' a few days into recovery. The hospital meds have worn off and they are tired from their new hopping gait. Most see it 3 to 5 days post operation which sounds like where you are now.

First question is what pain meds is she on? What you describe with the panting and not eating are often signs of pain.  You mention rimadyl which is an anti-inflammatory.  It helps with pain but is not enough in my opinion after a major surgery like amputation. Most pups now come home with tramadol, gabapentin and something like rimadyl. My pug Maggie, who lost her left rear leg to mast cell cancer, came home with a fentanly patch and tramadol. 

What is her activity level like? Our surgeon told us that Maggie could only go on short, leashed potty breaks until two weeks post op. Rest is important to let the incision heal and keep the swelling down.

Hang in there! Most of us experienced lots of ups and downs with the first couple weeks of recovery.  I was sure I had made a mistake by choosing amputation for Maggie! None of her vets prepared me for the post op period!  She got through on her own terms and hopped happily through life for almost 4 years.  Talk with your vet about what you are seeing with Sally- it often takes some tweaking in the pain meds to get them comfortable.

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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10 February 2018 - 1:52 pm
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Definitely contact vet re pain meds.  My dog Charlie was on gabapentin, tramadol and metacam.  The first 2 weeks were the hardest for pain control.  

Good luck

The Rainbow Bridge

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10 February 2018 - 3:08 pm
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Ah, ditto x2, a good pain regimen and very minimal activity is key to a good recovery. I'm also curious to know what medication she's on. Once you get the pain managed, the rest is so much easier.

I don't think there's a single person here who didn't have regrets during those first few days or even weeks. Just know that this is a temporary thing, Sally will get stronger and happier and soon you will both be back to a new normal.

We've had many Greyhounds members through the years, here are some stories about Tripawd Greys to inspire you 🙂

Keep us posted on how she's doing. We are cheering you on! clap

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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10 February 2018 - 4:49 pm
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One suggestion: Don’t hide her meds in her food. If they taste the medicine they’ll become reluctant to eat. Hide it in some form of treat instead. 

Like others have said, it is fairly normal to suffer a crash a few days post op. 

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

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10 February 2018 - 5:46 pm
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I echo everyone's sentiments - it sounds like a pain control issue.  Gabapentin, tramadol and Rimadyl were Zato's cocktail for about 3 weeks after his surgery, and he had a crash after a few great days post amp.

Please let us know how Sally is doing!

Tracy & Zatoichiheart

Tracy & Warrior Angel Zatoichi 💓

Zato was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in October 2016. He triumphed through radiation and amputation with dignity and grace. After living a life of love and happiness, Zato earned his angel wings on February 19, 2018.  Read his story here.

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10 February 2018 - 5:55 pm
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Casey had 100 mg tramadol and 200 mg Gabapentin 3 times daily, and 50 mg Rimadyl 2 times daily. Casey is 55 pounds post-amp, and he exhibited minimal pain.  In fact, we believe he had less pain post-surgery than with the cancer (he had osteosarcoma).  The tramadol and Gabapentin were tapered down quickly after the first week.  I'm not certain, but in that he was on tramadol and Rimadyl before his surgery, it seems to me the Gabapentin was crucial.

We delivered it in cupcakes with sprinkles (1 inch square pieces of bread with peanut butter and the pills stuck into the PB).  Our vet wanted the Rimadyl administered with meals, so he got his cupcakes for dessert.

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11 February 2018 - 4:11 am
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Thank you all so much for all your kind words, advice and encouragement.  I can't tell you how much you've helped both Sally and I.  Just knowing that it's normal to have a crash after surgery has made all the difference.

I was sent home with just Rimadyl (100mg a day), Xanax for when she gets stressed (she's a very nervous girl) and tranexamic acid for the bruising.  Since reading your posts yesterday I tried to contact the hospital and referring vet to talk about upping her pain meds but noone has got back to me yet.  But I had some tramadol left from pre op so I have started her back on those which seems to have helped.

I finally got her to eat and have some Rimadryl at 2am having roasted a chicken and given it to her still a little warm!  And thanks for the advice about not hiding the Rimadryl in her food, it's a good tip.  Unfortunately she won't have treats anymore.  She got wise to the fact that I was hiding her pills in them which doesn't help.  I've had a few nipped fingers!  I'll be trying toast and peanut butter and cupcakes next.

She's only going out into the yard a couple of times a day but when she's out there she doesn't want to come back in.  I'm restricting it to ten mins of activity each time now though.  

Thanks so much again to you all.  Hopefully I'll hear back from the vets today.

Livermore, CA
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11 February 2018 - 1:35 pm
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Good job advocating for Sally!

I don't understand why some vets send dogs home without enough pain meds.  When my little pug mix Elly had a minor dental surgery the vet gave her tramadol!

Good that she is eating too! 

I've always had good luck hiding pills in melted cheese.  You microwave some small pieces of cheese, just big enough to wrap the pill, for a few seconds until the pieces are melted.  Then wrap the pill in a piece of the warm cheese- it should make a small ball, the oil released from microwaving makes the pill ball slippery too.  I like to give a couple 'blank' cheese balls in case they chew. Usually once they see I have several treats they gulp without chewing.

She got wise to the fact that I was hiding her pills in them which doesn't help.

Maggie was really good at that!  And once she found a pill in whatever the food was she would not eat the food again for weeks. The melted cheese trick worked with her for a long time though.   It also helps that I've almost always had two dogs.  When they are getting snacks side by side they rarely chew.

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

London, UK
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13 February 2018 - 6:21 am
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My tip for meds is liver pâté. Stick the pill or capsule in the middle of a big blob and down it goes, no questions asked. 

Now you’ve upped the pain meds and with plenty of rest, my guess is that Sally will be through this dip soon and you will see great improvement. 

All best wishes,

Meg, Clare and Angel Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, 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 Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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13 February 2018 - 6:58 am
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You have received some great advice.  I used easy cheese for pills with Sassy.  (cheese in a can the bacon and cheddar flavor).   I am sure Sally will be through this slump soon and back to her normal self before you know it.

hugs

Michelle & Angel Sassy

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

Michigan
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14 February 2018 - 12:14 pm
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This is my biggest pet peeve!!!  Not enough pain meds.  Seriously, what person would go home with just Motrin after having their leg cut off????  That's basically what they gave you.

Murphy came home with Tramadol (a narcotic), Rimadyl (anti-inflammatory) and Gabapentin (helps with nerve pain).  The Gabapentin seems to be the magic medication.  Don't feel bad about advocating for your Sally, she needs you.

You can apply ice pack, wrapped in a cloth, to the incision for about 10-15 minutes a couple of times a day.  That helps with swelling and pain.  

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

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15 February 2018 - 9:23 pm
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I normally just use sliced deli meat for meds. It's working great for Baxter. He scarfs it down before he realizes anything is in it. 

That usually worked for Rocky as well, but he eventually caught on. 

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

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4 March 2018 - 10:05 am
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I'm not sure this post will get through as the last two or three haven't but I wanted to thank you all for your help and to update on Sally's progress.

Thank you for all your suggestions to get her eating and help get the pills down her.  Peanut butter was the real winner - she couldn't get enough of it!  

It turned out the extreme pain she was in was caused by a seroma and a subsequent infection.  To cut a long story short, she ended up back in hospital for a week where they had to open her up again to remove necrotic tissue and sterilise the infected area.  She was very distressed in hospital and lost lots of weight but I'm happy to say she is now back with me and doing really well.  She's eating lots and beginning to put weight back on.  And she's coping brilliantly on three legs.  She even picked up her toys again yesterday.

She should have her second op stitches out tomorrow and chemo shortly afterwards.

Is there anything I should be warned about with the chemo?  I think she's having six sessions of carboplatin - one every three weeks.  

Green Bay, WI
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4 March 2018 - 11:27 am
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Glad to here she's on the upswing. We did 6 rounds of carboplatin with our Dobe Nitro. We started with every 3 weeks; at about the midpoint, his white blood cell count didn't bounce back as quickly, so we switched to every 4 weeks and all was good. Your vet will do blood counts in between doses to monitor this. He also got a little nauseous towards the end of the treatments and was given Cerenia to combat this. Usually, dogs handle the treatments really well (much better than people), just be prepared for a little fatigue and maybe decreased appetite the day or so after. Not all will experience this however.

I was going to share my med-giving tip (just spooned yogurt down his throat with the pills mixed in) but I see you've got this covered. Nitro hated peanut butter, so that was out for us.

good luck, keep us posted

Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

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

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

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