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Surgery Schedule - Advice/Help/Suggestions Needed & Welcome!
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11 October 2017 - 10:17 am
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Hello - my girl and I are new to the forum.  My darling Great Dane, Madeline, was diagnosed in September with Osteosarcoma in her right front leg.  After lots of tests and surgery scheduling and rescheduling, we are set for Tuesday the 17th.  Needless to say I'm very nervous and worried about whether this is the "right" thing for her.  She is 165+ lbs and 7 1/2 years old and an incredibly anxious doggie when she's healthy, even worse when she doesn't feel well.  She was supposed to have the surgery last week but when they did pre-op xrays they saw "something" near her heart, which meant she had to have a CAT Scan first and surgery was postponed.  Thankfully the scan was clear and surgery is back on. Meanwhile, her pain continues to get worse and I just want her to find some comfort and peace again.  Before taking her in for surgery this time, they've asked us to give her tranquilizers 2 hours before drop off.  She had such a hard time there the last time and also when we got home, I'm worried that this will be too much for her.  I'm sure you've all been thru this and I guess I was just hoping for some words of wisdom or any advice.  I've been reading all the posts and trying to get myself prepared for what's to come but I still get overcome by this feeling that this is a mistake.  Then the next minute I wish it was today so she'd be out of pain quicker.  I don't know.  This post probably sounds a little crazy lol.  I just want to make sure that I'm doing this for her and not for me if that makes sense..... 

Bobbi & Maddie a/k/a ManiacMads

Front leg amputation 10/17/17 due to Osteosarcoma

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

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11 October 2017 - 11:32 am
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maniacmads said
I was just hoping for some words of wisdom or any advice...   

You've come to the right place! First of all, breathe. What Madeline needs most right now is for you to be strong and balanced, setting a good example for her to follow, believing that everything will be OK. That is why ouur best advice is to: Be More Dog. And that's not just some silly saying.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you're sure to find lots of helpful feedback. There are many examples of Great Danes Loving Life On Three Legs here. You can also search all blogs here. Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Best wishes, please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

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11 October 2017 - 2:07 pm
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Hi maniacmads, Me and my fiance are going through a very similar situation. Our 90lbs lab/weimaraner mix and was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in September as well. We are currently awaiting for her to have surgery but had to leave her at the Tufts/Cummins school of Veterinary hospital in Mass and today will be day 2 that she is there for the whole day and while she was supposed to have her surgery done this evening and expected home Friday, we got a cal from surgeon stating that they had to postpone her surgery ANOTHER day! We are distraught that we have yet another day without our Hazel and stress levels are rising for we are so anxious to have her back. 

After a lot of discussion with each other about what would be the right thing to do we strongly believe that the amputation would be the best to extend her life and give her the best quality of life with minimal pain. From not wanting to believe the first vet and the diagnosis we heard, we brought her to have several opinions and each vet suggested that amputation would be the best option for her as she is 11 years old and has the energy of a puppy.

Our hearts are with you on this journey you two are experiencing for we are going through the same thing at the very same moment. We wish for a speedy recovery for your Madeline!!!!!! and stay strong for her as we will stay strong for our Hazel. 

We even have our other dog anxious and wondering where his sister is, gahhh pulling on the heart strings!

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11 October 2017 - 2:53 pm
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Hello Hazel and family, welcome. We are sorry to hear that you're also facing osteosarcoma. It sure sounds like Hazel is going to kick that stinky disease's butt though, she sounds like one strong dog who has everything on her side for a great recovery and life afterward. And to be in the care of Tufts is even more on her side. Yay! 

Feel free to ask any questions you have and be sure to start a new topic all your own so that we can follow along with her journey. We hope her surgery goes smoothly and quickly. Keep us posted!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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11 October 2017 - 3:13 pm
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Hi Hazelgirl.  I'm so sorry you are all going thru this too.  Thankfully you have a great hospital taking care of your girl.   It is a roller coaster ride isn't it?  When Maddie was first diagnosed I had a hard time believing it - she acted like she was absolutely fine and if the "bump" hadn't suddenly appeared, no one would ever know she was sick.  We also got a couple opinions but they were mixed.  Maddie's regular vet was not promising - when we asked about amputation her response was "well, she's really big and it's very expensive."  I'm not even sure what that is supposed to mean?  When we got home from that visit I was in shock.  Fortunately we have a wonderful specialty vet hospital close to us, so I made an appointment with an oncologist there. She felt the outlook was much more promising.  But there were issues with Maddies pre surgery blood work that delayed things and then the xray caused another delay (both turned out fine too thankfully). The oncologist and surgeon think she is a "good candidate" for amputation and chemo so we are moving forward.  My two adult daughters live with me and they both feel much more comfortable with the amputation then I do.  To them, there was never any question about whether to do it or not.  I've had a harder time getting there because I just didn't know enough about it - finding this site has helped me a great deal.  I wish you and your family nothing but the best and a speedy recovery for Hazel as well.  

Bobbi & Maddie a/k/a ManiacMads

Front leg amputation 10/17/17 due to Osteosarcoma

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

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11 October 2017 - 5:40 pm
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 Hi Maddie and family 🌺

So sorry to hear your beautiful girl was diagnosed with Osteo but the good news is you found us ☺️

And having understanding, supportive daughters is also a blessing for you both 💕

My girl was 170lb and almost 5 when she was diagnosed and she also lost her right front leg to Osteo.

So don't worry, she will be ok on three and will surprise you as to how well she will hop around on three 🐾🐾🐾

As for wondering if this is the right decision for her, the answer is yes, it is!

You are getting rid of 100% of her pain permanently !

Nevertheless, you should be prepared for a possible difficult first couple of weeks whilst she finds her balance and adapts to her new normal.

We, of course, will be here to guide and advise 24/7 should you need us.

As for Maddie being anxious around vets (and as you are going to give her chemo) I would strongly recommend you get a VAP (vascular access port) inserted in her neck during surgery.

This is a device that is connected to the jugular (you will feel a little lump in her neck but she will not be aware of it) and this allows chemo to be administered and also blood to be extracted safely and totally pain free.

The regular way of administering chemo is using the veins in her legs but they can get "burned out" eventually and sometimes vets have trouble finding a good vein which adds pain and stress to the dog.

Eurydice had one and I swear by it.

Also, you should get a harness to help lifting and holding her during the first couple of weeks.

My girl wore a tshirt at all times under the harness to protect the incision and a soft harness over it until stitches came out.

After that, we switched for a Ruff Wear harness (more solid) which is brilliant as it has a handle on top which allows us to help them getting in and out of cars, etc.

Make sure Maddie has a LOT of rest during recovery, she should only get up to pee and poop and it is normal she will take a few days before she does number twos (Eurydice took 5 days!) but peeing must happen shortly after surgery.

She might loose appetite, this is normal.

If that happens, you can try all sorts of food, nothing is off limits (well, expect chocolate and nuts...)

If you have slippery floors you must make sure you can create paths for her to hop through, using non slip carpets or yoga mats.

Good traction is crucial for tripawds, especially during recovery.

Oh boy, you must be tired of reading by now ...

Just one last thing.

If you feel like it, you can take a look at Eurydice's travels, it might amuse you and your girls and show you what Maddie will be able to achieve too.

I'll get link in a separate post. 

Sending you a huge hug and XL cuddles to Maddie 😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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11 October 2017 - 5:45 pm
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Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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11 October 2017 - 5:49 pm
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The coin shaped part is where they insert a special needle for chemo/blood samples. 

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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11 October 2017 - 5:53 pm
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Here's the link to one of her Miss Cow's Travels 💕🐮💕

Eurydice's travels in Europe 5 months after amputation

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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11 October 2017 - 6:03 pm
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Sorry this didn't work, I don't seem to be able to get link properly copied from my phone ... 

It is in the Anything Goes forum, page 7 about middle of the page down. 

I'll try to copy link from my laptop for you tomorrow, bit late now (2am) gotta go to sleep now ...

Big cuddle an kisses 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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11 October 2017 - 6:08 pm
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Hi Hazel and family 🌺

Just want to give you a big kiss and welcome you as well 💗

Sorry I am really whacked right now so won't reply to you personally tonight.

Will get back tomorrow. 

😘😘😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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11 October 2017 - 7:55 pm
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eurydice said
Eurydice's travels in Europe 5 months after amputation... 

It is in the Anything Goes forum, page 7 about middle of the page down.

Page 7 of said topic

Hope that helps!

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12 October 2017 - 12:24 pm
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Thank you so much for all this information!  I will definitely ask the surgeon about the VAP.  The oncologist never mentioned that - but it sounds like it would be helpful given Maddie's vet anxiety.  I have gotten the non slip mats and although she has multiple beds, I purchased a new giant one that is orthopedic and firmer for her recovery.  I have back doors off my family room and my daughter's bedroom is also right off that room so Maddie will be confined during her recovery to that area, that way she will have to get up one step to get inside when she gets home from the hospital, then one step down into the family room but no other steps until she's recovered some.  I have been looking at the Webmaster harness but was concerned about the incision - never thought of putting a tshirt under the harness!.  The vet suggested using  a sheet until her incision healed a bit, but I will check out the Ruffwear harness now.  I'm also going to read all the posts about Eurydice.  If your avatar is her picture - she's beautiful! 

Bobbi & Maddie a/k/a ManiacMads

Front leg amputation 10/17/17 due to Osteosarcoma

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

Virginia
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12 October 2017 - 12:47 pm
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Jist catching upmover here!  You've already gotten excellent advice!   Having Miss Cow, aka Eurydice, pop in with such good insight will really help you as you navigate through recovery.

The only little titdbit I can offer is, when you go oick her up after surgery, don't even bother looking st her incision! 'She won't be!''she'll just be looking at your great big smile and wag as you tell her what a good girl she is!! 🙂

We're all here cheering Maddie'on!''Let us know any questions you may have.  We are all right bynyiur side!

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!

Virginia
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12 October 2017 - 12:49 pm
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PS....CHOCOLATE for you though! Keep plenty in ha d.  It helps!!    Save some for your daughters.  @ofe their attitude!

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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