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scratching incision area with hind leg?
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9 October 2008 - 2:53 pm
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Hi all,

Sophie is home with the Elizabethan collar thing which keeps her from licking at her incision (front left shoulder/leg area).  However, she keeps trying to scratch at the incision area with her left hind leg, which unfortunately reaches the spot.  I've considered putting a sock on her hind foot, but I don't think she needs yet another thing to be trying to negotiate at present when walking.  I did put a t-shirt on her to minimize the possibility of direct contact with the staples/incision, and I can supervise her pretty much 24 hours a day for the next five days, but I'm worried about this (as well as it possibly getting to be more problematic as the wound heals/itches more?).

I'm sending an email to her vet, but I was also curious if anyone else has experienced this?  Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Christine

p.s.  I'm also curious- she's on a fentanyl patch and I've been told to take it off Saturday morning, after which to give her Rimadyl but no other painkillers.  The surgery was Monday night; it that awfully quick to go off painkillers, or is that normal? 

 

Michigan
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9 October 2008 - 3:23 pm
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Poor Baby.  Problem with the sock is that she would lose traction on the rear which she really needs right now.  Maybe you could use it only at night when you are sleeping and then take it off when you get up. 

Radar was only on painkillers for a week and did well.  He never tried to scratch at the site but he had stitches, not staples.  I've heard that some dogs do not tolerate the patch very well.  Wonder if she is having a reaction to the patch. 

Hope she feels better soon

Connie & Radar

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9 October 2008 - 6:41 pm
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sophiesmom said:

... she’s on a fentanyl patch and I’ve been told to take it off Saturday morning ... that awfully quick to go off painkillers? 


Not at al. The sooner the better for those heavy duty drugs. Pleanty of discussion in these forums addresses how dogs can often cope better with the pain than medication side effects. Follow doc's orders.

The sooner the better, and don't mistake withdrawal symptoms for new or worsening pain. I was only on tramadol after my surgery, and had my dosage lowered after a week or so. I never moaned or cried out, which we have heard happen with dogs on dopier drugs or that patch.

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12 October 2008 - 10:54 pm
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My daughter's dog is having front left amputated Thurs.  I have been worried about the scratching at it with the back leg also.  Any idea?  She won't be left alone for the first 6 days but is going to have some short periods of time alone after that.

Thanks!

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12 October 2008 - 11:03 pm
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soca2 said:

She won’t be left alone for the first 6 days...


After six days she should be fine. And up until then, she may be too dopey from medication to think about scratching. But we're not vets, so hopefully Tazzie's mom might have something to say about this. Please be sure to express your concerns to your vet too!

If it makes you feel any better, this discussion is the first we've ever heard about any issues with canine amputees scratching and irritating their stitches. Thanks for asking and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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13 October 2008 - 11:37 am
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Chris-Bonnie had a great suggestion they mentioned in the thread about Titus.

They use Bella's Hot Cold Pain Relief Pack to protect the incision area.This great product lets you apply heat or cold to provide comfort or reduce swelling. It has straps that hold the reusable hot/cold pack in place, even when your dog moves around.

But apparently you can remove the pack and just use the empty strap-on pouch to protect the surgery wound area. Seems like a great idea. Hope this helps.

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13 October 2008 - 12:27 pm
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Yes, mention to your vet asap. There is a hydro-cortisone spray out there for pets. Just be careful because it may contain alcohol, preferably alcohol free since the skin is raw. The itching is a good sign that its healing, just try to deter you don't want a secondary infection to set in ....  Ps I was told to flush the patch since it leaches out the med for awhile. How long will she be on Rimadyl?? It's classified as a NSAID.

Kim&Buster

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13 October 2008 - 2:21 pm
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OKim1 said:

 How long will she be on Rimadyl?? It’s classified as a NSAID.

Kim&Buster


I was instructed to keep her on the Rimadyl until this Wednesday (one week post discharge from the hospital).  I took off her patch on Saturday morning, and she's actually appeared to have been in more pain the past few days (less active, groaning occasionally, but no fever and still interested in food); I was told if necessary I could give her tramadol for 3-5 days post patch, so I have been giving her 1 50 mg tablet per day (down from the 2-3/day she was on prior to surgery).  Re. the Rimadyl, I'm monitoring her poops and they look fine, and giving it to her with food.

One thing I noticed late last night, and again this morning, was that she was trembling.  This is new.  I spooned her (I've been sleeping on the floor with her) and it stopped and she fell asleep.  This morning she did her roll on her back and ask to have her belly scratched move, which seems like a good sign.  She is very sleepy though, and less active than she had been the first few days post surgery...

I sent the vet an email about the trembling.  Anyone experience this?  I'm wondering if it is just muscle exhaustion in the other muscles, or perhaps pain?  

I'm also anxious as tomorrow is my first day back to work.  People will be dropping by to spend time with her, but she will be alone for the first time.  She's not been scratching b/c I tell her to stop whenever she starts.  Will try confining her to a carpeted room and putting a wool sock on her hind paw.  I'll order the Bella's pack, but it won't be here by the morning!

How long is the maximum time folks would recommend leaving a puppy alone 8 days post surgery?

Christine & Sophie

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13 October 2008 - 2:43 pm
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Dear Christine and Sophie,

Glad to hear the young lady's on the mend. The trembling might be a number of things, adjusting to the meds, a whole new physicality...but of course your vet would provide a qualified answer as they know her case history.

We didn't leave Lalla on her own until the stitches were out (2 weeks), even though the vet said we could have done so beforehand...it was just our own insecurities and need for reassurement I guess..but again, each case is different.  

All the best 

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13 October 2008 - 4:20 pm
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 Hi Christine & Sophie,

       If you can have someone check in on her or dog-sit that would be best. I was lucky enough to spend my Buster's total recovery time with him. To  help with any separation anxiety on both your parts & especially  not to itch the incision. Perhaps your vet could prescribe something to help relax Sophie while at work... the shakes could be anything. This is a time of adjustment, maybe she is cold from not moving around as much. Just keep her calm and surround her with some of her favorite things while at work. Sometimes leaving the tv on or a talk radio so she feels she's not alone.  I would really insist on something from the vet to deter or ease the scrathing you don't want her to take a staple out. The tramadol usually make them groggy... What does the vet say??

Kim&Buster
 

 

 

Kim & Angel Buster

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13 October 2008 - 5:37 pm
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The vet said to put a sock on her back leg, and a t-shirt on her.  I'm planning to keep her in the front room, where I've put down a big rug so there's no bare floor(and where we're spending much of our time these days anyway), b/c I worry about her slipping with a sock on her paw.  The vet also said I could try benadryl, which might be good as it would also make her drowsy.

I so very much wish I could take the rest of this week off as well.  I'm a therapist, and many of my clients have already not gotten to see me for two weeks as it is.  I have a loyalty and sense of responsibility to them as well, although my heart just wants to stay here.  I have shortened my days as best I can for this week, and have people coming by to see her during the day.  But it makes me sick to think of leaving her.  My anxiety as much or more than her's.

 

Michigan
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13 October 2008 - 6:40 pm
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I know how badly you want to stay home with Sophie but also understand life's responsibilities.  Don't be too hard on yourself - I'm sure she will be awesome.   The shirt may make a big difference for her.  Radar wanted to lick at his stitches until I put a tshirt on him then he left them alone.  I have used benendryl with my dogs before and they tolerate it really well.  some get a bit sleepy but most of mine don't - they just seem to relax a bit. 

Hugs - let us know how she does.

Connie & Radar

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13 October 2008 - 7:46 pm
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Hi Sophie!

I left Tazzie on her own after 6 days, because I just had to get back to work.  My husband was able to check on her and let her out at lunch and she did fine!  We gated her in the den so that the other dogs couldn't knock her over and to keep her away from the steps.  We had a pressure wrap on her for 7 days, and then used a tshirt to protect the staples. We also bought the booties from Jerry (Ruff Wear?) because she had pressure sores on her feet but they would also help prevent scratching.

I think that Benadryl or chlorpheniramine would be the best thing to try for the itching, and may also help keep her quiet.  Shaking or panting can be due to drugs, pain, anxiety, or many other things.  With Tazzie panting either meant "I need to pee" or "I need Tramadol!".  I think it depends on the dog. 

Pam and Tazzie

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