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Swelling of Front Leg after Front Amputation
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3 July 2018 - 8:39 am
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Hey y'all - 

I'm so grateful for this community. Today is the one week mark from Gracie's amputation of her front left leg. Every day seems to bring up a different issue and a new reason to be worried!

One of the issues we've struggled with is that Gracie's right front leg is very swollen. This is the leg where the IV was. Unfortunately, the hospital failed to remove the IV when they discharged Gracie. We didn't know any better and assumed it was supposed to be there for a certain period of time (i.e. in case she had to return because of complications). The doctor called the next day to check on Gracie, and when I asked when they would remove the IV the doctor was shocked to learn it was still there, so we took her in for them to remove it.

While the paw was swollen with the IV in, now the entire leg is swollen and doesn't seem to be going down. We took her back to the hospital two days ago and the doctors couldn't figure out why it was swollen and told us to keep monitoring it. 

I hate this because obviously this is Gracie's only remaining front limb, and the swelling clearly makes it difficult for her to walk. After one week I would hope the swelling would be going down.

Anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions for how to reduce the swelling?

Peace, Kristen

Livermore, CA
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3 July 2018 - 10:52 am
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

We have seen here some pups have swelling in their remaining front leg after surgery- the fluid the body generates from surgery has to go somewhere.  I would think that is where the swelling is coming from and not the IV line.  My Pug Maggie had a IV port left in her front leg for a few days when she was battling an illness not related to her rear amp and there was not a lot of swelling.

How does the incision site look? Any smelly discharge or any other sign of infection?

What is Gracie's activity level like?  Too much activity early after surgery can contribute to swelling.  You could try some gentle massage and gently icing the area to help the swelling go down.

Tell us more about Gracie- what type of pup? size, age, the amp was due to cancer?

How is she doing otherwise? Eating and drinking OK? Sleeping OK?

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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3 July 2018 - 5:13 pm
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Does the IV site look red or have any drainage?

I would say you could try some warm compresses followed by some gentle massaging to try to get the fluid to go up towards the body.  That should help her system get rid of the extra fluid.

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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4 July 2018 - 11:21 am
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Thanks, y'all! 

Gracie is around eight years old. That's an estimate because she is a rescue. She's a 50-pound Boxer mix who developed a grade 1 liposarcoma on her left front leg, which led to the amputation. Surgery was on 6/26/18. 

The swelling does seem to be better today. Our doctor suggested warm compresses and massage, though I also tried a bag of frozen peas at one point as well. 

There is no drainage at the IV site. Her surgery scar has had one spot that had a lot of bruising and some drainage, but I never noticed a smell and it seems to have dried up. Her staples will be taken out this Friday. 

We've been debating about when to wean Gracie off her pain meds. Today is day 8. Around day 6 we went from every 8 hours to every 12, but she seemed to slow down after that. Once we went back to every 8 hours she perked up. Our doctor only gave us enough pain meds to last through the end of today. I did ask for an extension of the prescription, which she granted. How long did you give your dog pain meds?

Thanks! Kristen

Virginia
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4 July 2018 - 12:16 pm
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Alrighty,  it wounds like Gracie's  leg os slightly  less swollen . As everyone  has mentioned,  it's  not unusual for swelling to happen in a remaining  limb.

You got good suggestion  from "Nurse Donna" (she's a human   Nurse jn real life) as far as xompresses, etc.  And the Vet agrees!

Soooo glad you got an extension  on the pain meds!! Good job!  You alreqdy saw that every twelve hours wasn't  going to work,  so hate to think what eliminating them all together would have done!  It IS MAJOR SURGERY  and it hurts!!

Every  dog is different,  but most dogs stay on pain meds for about two weeks, then maybe taper off after that into the third week.   Some, like my Happy Hannah, stay ob a bit longer.  It realky does depend  on the individual  dog.  

So, as a suggestion, I would get a supply that covered a rotal of three weeks.  If ypu need less, great, then uou'll jave some extra should  they be needed.

Keep us posted.  You're  doing a great job.

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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4 July 2018 - 1:42 pm
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Hi Kristen & Gracie! Just wanted to say "welcome!" and it sounds to me like a pretty typical recovery with a little bit of fluid build up. Good job staying on top of things and following your vet's direction. As for pain meds, I'd say 10-14 days is about average. Use your instinct and if you think she needs to stay on the meds, follow your gut and talk to your vet. All dogs are different just like people. 

Keep us posted on how things are going!

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4 July 2018 - 1:47 pm
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Good to hear she is doing better today.

My first Tripawd Maggie was on pain meds for two weeks although we did taper a bit the last couple of days.  My current Tripawed came 'as is'- I didn't go through recovery with her.

Good job getting more meds and noticing that she still needed them when you tried to taper!  That's one reason I always try to taper off pain meds - it gives you an indication if they are ready or not without the pain getting out of control. 

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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6 July 2018 - 8:23 am
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Kristen,

I'm a new tripawd mom as well.  My dog Smiley had the same swelling after amputation.  She will be 1 month post op on July 11th.   The swelling did go down after about 2 days.  My local vet put her on an antibiotic because there was a little drainage at her elbow.  She's doing great now.  Hope Gracie feels better soon.

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