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Questions on meds
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Stacydog
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7 June 2009 - 10:21 am
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Hi--Have found this site very useful so far but feel overwhelmed.

Stacy, my long haired shepard, 67 lbs, will be 13 y.o. on 6-15, was diagnosed 5-30 with OS. Had amputation last Wednesday 6-3 and came home Friday. First night was terrible. They sent me home with instructions of 1 Tramadol 50mg every 12 hrs. I thoght this was weird considering she was on 1.5 before surgury for pain. Previously she showed no pain but Friday night was moaning. I was not sure what was going on and afraid to give more med til vet called Sat. AM. So now I"m just playing it by ear with meds. Hope I'm not overdoing it but she seems to pant alot now but at least no more moaning. She has been a hot dog by nature so I've turned the AC on now. It was 71 in house.

She seems just ok with the walking but needs assistance in getting up every time.

Appitite is totally fine. Potty breaks are good.

My questions are: am I doing right with meds? I gave about 1.5 every 4 hr overnight last night. Went to 1 every 4 hrs. since 6:Am but now she was panting bad after 2 hrs so gave her another. I'm just afraid of overdoing it.

Also when should she be getting up on her own? She does have semi bad back legs so I know this is an issue as well.

What about work? I was going to put her in a crate tomorrow and pad well. Can have someone check on her during day and give meds. Just afraid if she will do well by herself.

She is also on glucosamine(for last 1.5 yrs) and 1/2 Deramaxx per day.

I know she is older but chest x-rays came back clear and other than this she has never been sick a day in her life. She was still running around with her balls and Mr. Bunny last week so I felt she still had a good attitude about life. Therefore that I why I opted to go ahead with surgery. Now I'm half way in and half out if I did the right thing. I know I did but........

Thank you for any advice.

Hugs to all the babies!

Stacy & Laura

The Rainbow Bridge

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7 June 2009 - 10:40 am
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Laura, thanks for joining us here. We are so glad you found us, and hope we can help ease your fears. We know how overwhelming a sudden decision like this can be, there's a lot to try to figure out in very little time. That is really awesome that her x-rays came back clean. A reason to celebrate!

First off, Stacy's recovery all sounds pretty normal to us. We know we have a lot of instant success stories here, but not all happen that way. All dogs are different in the recovery process. Some are ready to take on the world, others want to sleep it off. Kinda like people, you know?

It sounds like you're on a good communication level with your vet, so that's good. Did s/he call back with a suggested med schedule?

Most of our Tripawds here did a lot of heavy panting while they were on the pain meds, especially right after surgery. It's not only the Tramadol, but the surgery meds that are working their way out of their system. It's quite a shock to their bodies, and it will take time for them to process it. Some dogs will have a harder time dealing with the meds, and oftentimes, dogs will do better by cutting back on them. It all depends on the dog. Follow your vet's advice for a while and if you don't think it's working, call them back and explain what she is experiencing.

Regarding getting up on her own; some dogs take longer than others. Some are up in a day, others will take 5. It all depends on their fitness level before surgery, their joint health, etc. If your vet thought she was a good candidate for the amp, try not to worry. Keep in mind that it will take time for their muscles to strengthen and move their weight around differently. Stacy's not that heavy, so she has that on her side. It's only been a couple of days since surgery, maybe the dopeyness from the meds is causing her to not want to stand up by herself. She could be just really sleepy. That's normal.

Some questions to ask are: Has she eliminated yet? Is she drinking water? If no, call your vet. If she is, try not to worry. You might want to give things another day or two and see how they go. Chances are by tomorrow she'll be moving around more.

The day after surgery, it's so hard to imagine that life will get better. But it will! Just try to picture how you would be right after surgery if you lost a leg. You'll see that Stacy will learn to adapt far better than any human can, and much faster.

Your idea about work sounds fine, it's what most pawrents do. Chances are she's going to be sleeping all day anyhow, so as long as you can have someone check on her and let her out to see if she'll go potty, she should be OK.

Good luck. Please keep us posted, we'll try to help any way we can.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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7 June 2009 - 10:46 am
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Laura,

You are in the two weeks of hell stage.  Hang in there, it gets better.  The panting is a side effect of the medication.  As far as I know, they all experience it. 

Other than needing help getting up, it sounds like Stacy is doing just fine.  Don't doubt your decision, it was the right one, and in another week or so you will be convinced it was. 

We are happy you are here and will gladly offer all the support you may need as you and Stacy face the changes that will take place in the first few weeks.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Stacydog
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7 June 2009 - 10:52 am
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Thank you so much for your kinda words.

They helped alot.

I guess I need to think of as, since she is older and slower, it would be like grandma having major surgery and her recupt time being a bit slower.

Yep, going potty is not a problem. Yeah. No diarrhea either, so that was good. Appitite is just like before. When I picked her up they said she wasn't eating well. Well on the ride home, I had some milkshake left. She had no problem finishing that cup off!!  Had a special treat of chicken nuggest last night and wasn't happy to see the bottom of the box!!

As far as a "schedule" goes for the Tramadol. Like stated they wanted 1 every 12 hr. but I don't think that cut it. They said up to 3 at a time but I'm trying to give least amount that I can get by on. I thought by Wed. week after surgery I'd really try to start a serious schedule and cut down a best as I could. I'll need to call them in the AM to try and get a more definately picture on that.

So far she just lays there panting, pretty awake most of the time. So she's not too doopy in meds. So that is my concern too that she is getting enough. Though I know we don't want them to be doopy if possible.

I'm a single pawrent and feel like I have a newbornWay Confused.

Oh well it WILL get better. I just know it.

Thanks again

Stacy and Laura

The Rainbow Bridge

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7 June 2009 - 11:12 am
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Laura, glad to hear things helped. Yes, we felt the same way as far as managing Jerry's amputation recovery. It gave us much of the experiences of caring for a totally dependent creature (and reminded us why we chose furry kids over human ones!)

Three pills at once does seem like a lot though. Even in Jerry's most painful days, we never gave him more than 2 (he weighed 75 pounds). The prescription on his bottle says: 1.5 to 2 tablets by mouth 2 to 3 times daily.

Here's what we recommend; post your question in our "Ask a Vet" forum. If Tazzie, our favorite vet, is around today, she might be able to make you feel better.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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7 June 2009 - 3:59 pm
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Maximum dose of Tramadol for a dog your size is 3 tabs 3-4 times daily.  It is interesting to note that I use this drug all of the time for dogs with arthritis and they never pant, but some dogs on Tramadol post-amputation seem to pant on it.  My dog Tazzie only panted when she had to go out to pee.  Panting can be a sign of pain as well as overmedication so you just have to make some gradual changes.  I think a reasonable dose for your dog would be 2 tabs 2-3 times daily but you might want to run it by your vet.  We tend to use lower doses if animals have a history of seizures or if there is a history of liver or kidney disease.

Pam and Tazzie

Stacydog
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7 June 2009 - 6:36 pm
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Hi Pam--thank you for that info. I'm just experimenting with seems to work til in the AM and will call vet. Last night I needed to give her 1.5 every 4 hours or so to keep her calm. Today I'm trying 1 every 5 hrs. So I'm pretty sure I"m keeping under the max. dosage but I also know we want to use the lowest amount possible as well. She's wide alert with the dosage she is on. So it's not making her sleepy.

All her liver & kidney values were in range for a dog her age according to the pre-op blood work. So that was another factor the helped me decide to go ahead with the surgery.

Well this afternoon I needed to be outside with my dad to build a ramp to backyard. While grandma babysat, she was just rarring to go and get outside with me. So today is showing improvement which is a good thing.

Thank you all for your great words of wisdom. They are really helping me. I value groups like this that feel our fur kids are just like human kids to others and we do what we can just as they would. I had a cat with Chronic Renal Failure and that group was invaluable just as this one is as well!!

Keeping our paws crossed for a better night tonight. (So I can get some sleep as well Laughing)

Stacy and Laura

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7 June 2009 - 7:42 pm
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Oh Pam, you are AWESOME! Thanks, I was hoping you'd see Laura's post.

Laura, it sounds like things are going to get better real soon. Hang in there, you'll be amazed at Stacy's ability to bounce back. Keep us posted.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Stacydog
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9 June 2009 - 2:48 pm
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I felt like a bad Mommy yesterday but after my third night in a row of only about 2 hours sleep here and there I decided to take Stacy to the vet for the day for them to check out her heavy breathing and to try and get me on a regular schdule for the Tramadol.

Well they starting by taking off her bandage and cleaning up stitches (which was supposed to happen on Monday anyway) and when she just layed there not batting an eye and was ok with it they figured she was not in pain. She had been sleeping (or I should say laying since I felt like she never slept therefore neither did I) on that side. So they left her off of any Tramadol for the time being taking her blood pressure throught out the day and everything was ok. So they came to the conclusion that with the erratic schedule I was doing with the meds made her worse.Crying. They think maybe she was a little spaced out from them. So now all she is on is the 1/2 Deramaxx.

I left her there for the night figuring I needed a good nights sleep. She is home now and has zonked out after having her a nice treat of chicken nuggets!!

So my now question is--do you think it is ok to not be on ANY Tramadol at all??  I was just wondering as it has only been 6 days since the surgery and that first day she was still out. I'm just hopping that she truely isn't feeling any discomfort. Hoping I don't need to at least be giving her like 1/2 pill every 12 hr or so.

Any thoughts on this or would it be normal for a dog at this short time after surgery to be off pain meds entirely? I know the Deramaxx is a slight pain/arthritis reliver in itself but is that enough?

And YEAH she is getting up on her own now without a problem. I think I'm going to have trouble keeeping up with her when she's totally healed!!

Thanks again for all your help

Stacy and Laura

The Rainbow Bridge

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9 June 2009 - 3:13 pm
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You're not a bad Mommy, you're a great Mommy, don't ever forget that.{{hugs}}

Sounds like Stacy is doing a lot better, that is such great news. As far as the pain meds go, we think you should follow the vet's advice for a while and see how it goes. That's the only way you'll know if it's enough. Keep in mind that dogs have a much higher pain tolerance than humans, as you can already see.

Things are looking up! Yeay!

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