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Otis becomes a tripawd today
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8 January 2018 - 1:24 pm
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I started this thread anatolian-shepherd-x-lab-osteosarcoma-diagnosis

and am continuing it here now that Otis is in amputation surgery. He was diagnosed, based on xray and physical exam, with osteosarcoma on December 7th. We were unable to get an appointment through the holidays for his amputation, so his surgery was scheduled for today. It was very difficult to wait, but this morning his exam, bloodwork, and a follow up chest xray looked good, so he is in surgery now. They told us to expect to pick him up on Wednesday, giving him two full nights in the animal hospital. 

He has been receiving rimadyl, gabapentin and tramadol over the past month to manage his pain. We are so nervous waiting to hear about surgery results and anxious about helping him adapt, but we are confident we made the right decision based on the support from this community. 

The vet called right before surgery began and wanted to confirm that we wanted the scapula out, even though the tumor was above his wrist. I confirmed that we did, and I hope that was the right answer. The vet did say that if pathology confirmed this wasn't osteosarcoma and his life expectancy were longer, keeping the scapula would allow him to get a prosthetic, but I didn't think that was reason enough to keep it.  If anyone wants to assure me that removing the scapula was a good idea-- I would be happy to hear it. 

Thanks again for all the support, and we will be posting updates once Otis is home. 

- Camille

Livermore, CA
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8 January 2018 - 3:04 pm
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My understanding of creating a prosthetic is that it has to be fully planned before the amputation surgery- and I have not heard of the scapula being the deciding factor.  For an external prosthetic the general rule is that there has to be two joints remaining for it to even be considered so since Otis is losing the upper leg then he wouldn't be a candidate anyway.

They are making great strides in creating the internal type of prosthetic- the kind that is permanently attached to bone, but I still think they are talking about part of the limb remaining.

If you want to read more Here are some Blog posts on prostetics.

At this point though I think you put that behind you and focus on getting Otis through his recovery.

Let us know when you hear from the vet about the surgery.

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

Hudson, WI
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8 January 2018 - 3:34 pm
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We had our GSD's left front leg, scapula and lymph nodes removed three weeks ago.  We do not regret making that decision one bit.  Here's to a good outcome with surgery and a speedy recovery for Otis.  Take one day at a time and don't focus on the tomorrows.  Otis is going to need a strong leader and to know that he is still the same ole boy. 

We are all rooting for Otis...

xoxoxox

Bubba and family

Virginia
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8 January 2018 - 3:51 pm
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Not a Vet and not giving Vet advice.!   You did ask an opinion from our own individual perspective though.

You did EXACTLY the right thing for Otis!   Some Surgeons prefer to remove the scapula and some don't.  Each Surgeon jas their own VALID reasons.and neither view is "wrong".

Sure, if you were adamant about definitely pursuing a prosthetic, which would generally be determined BEFORE surgery by prosthetic experts making an evaluation  on a lot of different variables based on Otis's specific situation.   A lot of time and effort (and finances) go into proper fittings that always don't happen with the first try, or the second, or the third, etc. OObviously, Im sure  sometimes things work out pperfectl the first time, possible.

And MANY dogs live long, happy fulfilled lives well into senior years, even though they may have had a leg amputated as a youngster due to a virth defect, or accident, etc.  WYATT RAY, the Tripawds Spokesdawg is one of them, although he's not exactly a Senior yet....he's just...er...mature!!!

Cemil is a very large  dog who is in her senior years (for a large dog) who had her leg amputated FIVE years ago due to Osteo and is aonly slowing down now because she IS a senior!

So yes, in my personal-for-whatever-its-worth-opinion, you made the perfect decision for Otis!

Update when you can!  And get some rest while you can.  You may have a few sleepless nights when Otis comes home!

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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8 January 2018 - 4:15 pm
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I feel better already! I keep telling people that if everyone were as supportive as members of this community, the world might work a little better.

Vet called to tell us that Otis was out of surgery, hooked up to an IV for painkillers and sleeping peacefully. I left Otis with one of my tshirts to comfort him and I can't wait to see my newly minted tripawd! Vet said they would call tomorrow am to let me know how he was doing. 

More updates to come.

Camille

Canada
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8 January 2018 - 5:55 pm
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Well done Otis and Mum!clap So glad to hear that Otis is out of surgery and well onbis way to living a super hoppy life on three!!!

Everyone  gave you some brilliant advice regarding your choice to remove Otis’s scapula. We also decided to go the whole shebang, for a couple of reasons... we knew we were to not going to try a prosthetic on Stewie, due to the many reasons mentioned above. Plus, based in my own experience with my Dad. He had his leg removed above his knee and he fell on his stump one day and had to have a second surgery, so I wanted that risk gone all together for Stewie! The next reason is that our local vet would not have been able to perform the surgery. Had we wanted to save a limb, we would have had to travel 3hrs to get to the nearest specialist. I will be forever grateful to my vet clinic for taking on the challenge of an amputation for such a large dog and  they were always there for us during our boys recovery, both the ups and the minor set backs! Definitely no regrets for us.

Paws crossed for a speedy recovery for your regal boy. Tell him to check out Bubba’s recovery, he rocked it! Otis is gonna rock it too, just like so many other wonder dawg Tripawds!

All the very best from Petra, Stewie and his Pride Of kittens. 

Sloppy kisses from Stewie & cuddles from Petra, Paul & his Prideful Pack Spike, Chester, Miss Lily & Mr. Ted. Super Stu was diagnosed with OSA July 5th. He became a Super Tripawd July 10th 2017. He did brilliantly through 6 rounds of Carboplatin & continues to bring Joy & Hoppiness to his family and friends. But most of all he teaches us all to continually “live in the moment!“  Check out Stewies journey at  http://stewie20.....pawds.com/ 

Livermore, CA
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8 January 2018 - 8:36 pm
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Yay for sleeping peacefully!  It's always a relief to get the surgery done.

I think the tee-shirt is a great idea.  When my quad-pug boy Obie had his knee surgeries I sent a tee-shirt that I had slept in so he had something that smelled like me.  I don't know if it helped him but it made me feel better big-grin

Try and get some good sleep and as much rest as you can before Otis comes home!

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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8 January 2018 - 8:57 pm
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YAAAAAAAAAY FOR OTIS!!  SURERY IS DONE!   Otis is seeing pink elephants right now, so hesw feeling just fine! 🙂

When you do go pick him up, don't even bother to look at his incision. He won't be.    He'll be watching you and waiting for you to tell him what a good boy he is and he's going home!! 🙂

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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9 January 2018 - 6:29 am
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Very happy to hear Otis came through surgery and was resting well!  Rest = healing.  He's had good pain management prior to surgery, in my humble opinion, and not a vet, just speaking from experience, that should continue after to help him adjust and so you all get rest when he comes home. Pofi continued on those three modalities of pain meds at same level for a full two weeks after and there was nary a whimper in that period.  We then started tapering down, weaned off the Tramadol & Rimadyl and eventually the Gabapentin, reducing dosage and frequency over the next few weeks.  I think he was on no pain meds within 5 weeks.

Thinking the best for Otis!

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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9 January 2018 - 6:45 am
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Way to go! So glad the surgery is over and he is resting comfortably clap You did a great job preparing him and it sounds like he is in wonderfully competent hands! Sending him with that t-shirt was a fantastic move. Even though you are not there, he will be able to smell you and it will comfort him. I know you are anxious for him to be home, rest now. You will be busy here shortly smiley Get some chocolate while you have time, it will come in handy winker

Jackie and Huckleberry heart

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry 

http://paws120......ipawds.com

Schofield, WI
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9 January 2018 - 8:29 am
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Yay surgery is over and sweet Otis is resting comfortably!  That one phone call from the vet brings a huge sense of relief!  Get some rest yourselves these next two days while Otis is in good hands because once home sleep can be an elusive commodity for a day or so.  We'll be standing by with you ready to welcome Otis home and ready to offer support as needed.   Hugs!

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9 January 2018 - 9:09 am
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Thanks everyone. The vet called this morning to say Otis was sitting up, had eaten some breakfast and hopped awkwardly with assistance. He has a drain in and an IV for a morphine drip, but they said he is doing well and that if his progress continues we can pick him up tomorrow. They will call me again this afternoon and want to transition him to his oral painkillers when they think he is ready.

We can't wait to see him but are taking the advice to be patient and sleep well before he is home.

Camille

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9 January 2018 - 9:25 am
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Yay for Otis!  We had Maple's scapula removed and she zooms around the yard today as fast as her sisters.  

A couple of thoughts.  Rimadryl upset our dog's stomach.  We ended up giving her another pill I can't remember but it was an OTC human med that helped her cope.  In either case, expect a low appetite for a few weeks, that is normal.  We bought a soft cone to replace the hard plastic one, and it was much more comfortable and faster to get off and on.  We Used a T-Shirt for short times when we could watch her but she would eventually start working to find the incision and the cone had to go back on.

Picking her up and putting her down was very hard to do without creating pain, so we avoid it as much as possible. Just 2 short trips to the yard each day and we bought a crate for the living room so she could sit near us safely and sleep there safely.  Carried her upstairs for bed but had to watch her like a hawk on the bed or crate her up there too.

It was about 2 weeks, or when her staples came out, that she was able to start moving around safely.  Two more weeks before the pain stopped being an issue.  Two months and she was herself again!

Hope that helps you know what to expect.

Minneapolis, MN
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9 January 2018 - 9:01 pm
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Sounds like he is recovering smoothly!  Happy to hear this and excited for you he will soon be home.  

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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10 January 2018 - 9:48 am
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Otis is home. The vet said he is so incredibly athletic that his recovery has been one of the easiest he has seen for any big dog, let alone a giant breed! He hopped into that exam room, on tile floors, wagging his tail and it was the absolute happiest I have ever been to see him. He hopped out to the car and peed on his own before getting in. We are going to follow the excellent advice we have received from everyone here and do our best to keep Otis contained, comfortable, and pain free over the next few weeks. The vet says Otis is going to try to overdo it, given how fast his post amp progress has been thus far, so we are going to work hard to make sure he gets the rest he needs. I will post a hop video when I take one!

You never believe it until you see it with your own eyes and your own dog but it really is better to hop on 3 than limp on 4! We are so happy we found Tripawds and made this decision.

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