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Time and suggestions?
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24 March 2017 - 1:06 pm
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Hello,

My dog's name is Liza and I got her as a rescue when she was around 1 and that was about 9 years ago.  She was recently determined to have two grade 1 soft tissue sarcomas.  One was a larger mass on her front left leg and the other is very small and on her front right leg.  

I guess I should say "was" now, because as of yesterday she had her front left leg fully amputated and they were able to successfully remove all of the tumor on her right and close it up properly (yay!).  

She did not get out of surgery until 7:00 last night and was still heavily dosed on meds through an IV as of this morning.  I am concerned because the Dr's say she still has not gotten up or walked yet.  I have seen so many stories of dogs just immediately getting used to it, so I of course am now worried that she will just refuse to walk forever and that I made the wrong decision.  

I fully understand that every dog is different and Liza, even as a young and healthy dog for 9 years, has never been one to be incredibly active.  Is it possible this will impact her recovery?  

Any advice or support would be greatly appreciated.  

Thanks again,

Danielle

Livermore, CA
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24 March 2017 - 1:52 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

Good news that surgery is over and she made it through!

Actually very few pups I have seen here are immediately 'used to it' after their surgery.  Our vets told us that dogs do great on three, but failed to mention that the two to three week recovery period after amputation can be very challenging!  My pug Maggie could hop the day of surgery, but not far and she far preferred laying in her bed, which she did for weeks!  I was sure I had made the wrong decision but Maggie was just being her stubborn self and got used to her new normal at her own pace.

Sometimes the younger pups seem to take surgery in stride but Liza's situation is closer to the norm I've seen here.  How long after the surgery did you talk with the vets? Sounds like not even 24 hours. Those heavy surgery meds can really do a number on our pups. If she is still on the IV meds she may be too drugged to get up.

What kind of pup is Liza? Hard to tell from her avatar... Is she really sensitive to change? 

Hang in there, the recovery can be rough.  You did the right thing for Liza- those tumors were only going to get bigger and more painful! 

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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24 March 2017 - 2:24 pm
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Thank you for your response.  

Liza is 45lbs and a lab/terrier mix.  I actually talked to the vet only about 14 hours after surgery.  Her surgery went until 7:00 last night and we spoke at 9:00 this morning.  I will speak with them again around 6:00.

Liza is a very sensitive and particular pup who is not at all good with change.  Or, I should say, she is ok as long as I am there.  She is very attached to her moms and her home.  While the techs and doctors at the vet said she was actually doing great with them, I do worry she is also very upset by being there and without me.  While they told me I am able, I am incredibly reluctant to visit because if I leave without her she will be upset.  At the same time, I wonder if she thinks I abandoned her there and could use my encouragement?  I know, I know...we put too many human emotions on our fur babies!  I'm just very torn.

I'm trying very much to remain positive and am remembering that she just had two very major surgeries at the same time.  Additionally, I'd be lying if I said she was ever an incredibly active dog.  Since the day I brought her home, she has always been far more content hanging out with me on the couch.  She loves her walks when I say "go," but is otherwise a better cuddler!

-Danielle

London, UK
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24 March 2017 - 2:40 pm
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Oh gosh, everything you are feeling is entirely normal and understandable, but honestly she will be fine. For what it's worth, I didn't visit my Meg when she was in hospital either because I thought it would disturb and distress her.  She was also slow to walk. She delayed coming home because she wasn't sufficiently mobile, and stayed for three nights post op in the end. This surprised (and worried) me, especially as, because of the reasons she lost her leg, she had been very one-sided for at least a year already. Once she did come home she had the most straightforward recovery imaginable and has been an extremely active and happy Tripawd ever since.

Liza will be fine. She'll be back  hanging out on the couch with you before you know it.

Big hug,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Elsie Pie, & Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


Livermore, CA
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24 March 2017 - 4:39 pm
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Visiting is always a question- I think you have to follow your gut on that one.

I would never visit the pups I've had if they were staying at the vet- I think it would be too upsetting for them to see me, then have me leave again.  Some pups seem to do better with a visit from their peeps though and I've never had one of mine at the vet for more than two nights.

I bet she hadn't gotten up yet because it had only been 14 hours- many here take a more time than that to get up.  I know it's hard not to worry when you are apart but she is in excellent hands.

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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24 March 2017 - 5:39 pm
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Update: We have a walker!

I just got my evening call from the doctor, and she has made remarkable progress in the 10 hours since this morning.  She is walking, standing, and even eating!  

Thank you all for talking me off a ledge this afternoon.  I know this journey will come with it's ups and downs, but today was just a little extra hard as I get used to this.  

So glad I found this page.  Thank you!

-Danielle

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24 March 2017 - 5:43 pm
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I was just going to add that it sounded pretty normal.  Many dogs do hop out of the vet, but that is after staying the night, mostly in a drug induced haze.  The vets will monitor to make sure she pees and has some mobility before she comes home.smiley

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

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24 March 2017 - 6:04 pm
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Walking, standing and eating clap  Very happy to hear that!

It can be a tough thing to wrap your mind around!  Tai adapted much better than I did and I suspect it will be the same for you and Liza.

Hang in there smiley

Tracey & Tai

Durham, NC
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24 March 2017 - 6:40 pm
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There will be PLENTY of moments on the edge lol ... that is the ONE thing we can promise you with certainty! But I'm glad you found us and we're happy to support you through this crazy journey. We've all wondered if we did the right thing but you will find that it gets easier as time passes and you see your dog feeling like her old self again. Even with three legs.

Can't wait to see photos of your baby as she gets stronger and more adept and hopping around! Keep us posted!

~Amy (& Izzy, too)

Momma to the world's most beautiful American Bulldog, Izzy!! Lost her front leg to OSA 9/18/15. Diagnosed w MCT in June 2016. Celebrated her 1 year ampuversary with knee surgery on 9/18/16! MCT recurrence in Dec 2016. Happy & hungry til nearly 14, earning her wings on 7/31/17.

Virginia
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24 March 2017 - 11:26 pm
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Well, by the time I joined the pawty, all questions were answered and all worries about mobility were put to rest!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Just one suggestion. When you go to bring her home, don't even bother to look as her incision yet. She just wants you to look into her eyes and tell her what a good girl she is and she's going home!! 🙂 And besides, the amount of fur they shave makes everything look more shocking than it is.

STAY CONNECTED!! As you can see, you are not alone!! As already said, recovery is NO PICNIC for a week or two, or even three! If you're like most of us you'll second guess yiur decision over and over at first. And then Lisa's sparkle will start to come back and she will start returning to her normal routine and you'll be so happy you did this FOR her! 🙂

Uodate when you can. Try and get some sleep tonight. You may still jave a few sleepless nights coming your way.

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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25 March 2017 - 9:46 am
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Thanks for the great update! Take it easy for a while and please keep us posted.

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5 April 2017 - 11:30 am
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Hello again,

Unfortunately Liza's recovery is still very much an uphill struggle for her.  She was walking better and getting around well, but behaviorally she was miserable.  She still (2 weeks tomorrow) will not eat willingly.  All she does is stay in her bed.  I have had to sometimes pick her up to go outside.

What I think (and hope) has made this worse is we found out yesterday that she has an infection that stemmed from her good leg that had the tumor removal as well.  This means she is back into a full bandage/cast until at least Saturday and on more antibiotics.  They did ultrasounds of her stomach and chest to make sure nothing else was going on to lead to the lack of appetite and loose stool, but everything looks perfect.  

Like I said, we are both so incredibly miserable.  I think she is most miserable because of the bandage that she despises.  I'm miserable because I've truly never seen her like this.  She cries and yelps for no reason, but only since the bandage went back on.  I have no reason to believe she is in pain, since she's been off her pain meds and was fine (but mopey) until yesterday.  

I have two questions...

1. Has a dog ever NOT gotten used to life on 3 legs?  As I said, she seems to be miserable and just has no interest in going back to herself.  Am I trying to get to "normal" too soon?

2.  Have other sensitive dogs acted like this at home because mommy/daddy were there?  She's typically one to HATE the vet or even be wary of strangers.  Yesterday when she was there, however, her tail was up and she even ate for them a normal meal.  She is very much a momma's girl so is she doing this behavior because of me??

Thanks for any input.  I'm feeling incredibly discouraged and to be honest, I'm starting to get sick over this and don't know what else to do. 

-Danielle

Virginia
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5 April 2017 - 12:27 pm
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DANIELLE!!! Deep breaths!!!!!'''Al.ost everything you jave mentioned is NOT unheard of at all!!! And others wull chime in to give you the same reassurances, okay?

First of all, let's celebrate a few things! Lisa IS mobile!! Lisa did eat at the Vet!!! And most importantly, he test results all came back good!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

You are absolutely right that an infection, on top of MAJOR SURGERY, can, indeed make a dog feel blah!!! Just think how yiu feelmif you jave a fever....you just want to stay in bed with covers over your head! Now think about that and add recovering from major surgery while adjusting to one less limb!! Yeah, pretty exhausting!!

It took me three weeks before I could finally say I did this FOR my beloved Happy Hannah and not TO her!

One of our special Angels here, stubborn PUG MAGGIE took six weeks before her Mom could feel good about everything! She'll chime in, but it was basically because Maggie hated change!

And yes, Isa IS feeding off your energy which you described as being miserable...And you described Lisa as BEING MISERABLE!! Hmmm....just sayin''there may be aa correlation!'':-) 🙂

And we can also certainly understand the feelings of being discouraged and miserable!!! Ohhh heah, we get it!! Don't forget to add exhausted and being really stressed these last several weeks too!

And keep in mind also thst Lisa likes laying around cuddling more than going out for long walks! So her wanting to rest a little more and a little longer while recovering is not out of the normal at this point at all.

Now, it DOES sound like she may still have some pain. Many dogs here are on pain meds two to three weeks...tapering off as they head into the third week. Dogs are very stoic and try their best to hide it. "Mopey" could be a sign of pain. Check with your Vet, but you may want to put him back in Tramadol and/or Gabapentin for several more days. And check out phantom limb pain just to eliminate that.

The fact that she perked up at the Vet AND ate shows how she responded with a different energy!

So let's make today be a NEW day as far as energy, okay? Let Lisa see you as strong and co fident and full of excitement and praise for every little thi g she does! One thing that we've seen work around here tpis to have someone she likes come over and knock on the door enthusiastically and come in all excited and happy with a cheeseburger 🙂 Or vetter yet, ice cream!!!

And ya' know what? If you don't have anyone she likes who can do it....do it yourself!!!! Go get her a cheeseburge and ice cream.....bang loudly on the door with excitement calling her name, etc! Let us know if that helps!!!

Now, give yourself a BIG HUG!!! This recovery part is not easy, even without infections, etc and you are doing a MAGNIFICENT JOB!!! You are stronger than you realize! We can see it, so you need to see it!!

((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS...save some ice cream for yourself!

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!

London, UK
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5 April 2017 - 12:36 pm
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I'm so sorry to hear Liza is struggling and I am not surprised that you are feeling down and discouraged. However from my, outside, perspective, it is really clear that this is a temporary situation and one for which there are obvious causes and that THIS WILL GET BETTER.

Firstly, you are just two weeks post amp. This is still really early days. A lot of dogs are feeling better by this stage but many do take longer. Just off the top of my head I can think of Karen's pug Maggie, and Sally's Happy Hannah. There are certainly many more. I have personally never heard of a dog who failed to adjust to three legs, given time.

Secondly, Liza has had an infection. This is bound to have depleted her energy and delayed her overall recovery. The great thing is they are on top of it, the ultrasounds are perfect (YAY!) and once those antibiotics do their work, she will start feeling better. The fact that she cries and yelps 'for no reason' does make me wonder if there could be a reason that hasn't been identified. Is her bandage possibly too tight? Or pressing somewhere uncomfortable? Or rubbing her sore? Just a thought.

Thirdly, there is absolutely no question that Liza will be picking up on your emotions. It is very interesting, and insightful, that you noticed her behaving differently at the vets. Of course, this doesn't present an immediate solution. You are not miserable because you are choosing to be. You are miserable because you have been having a miserable time, dealing with a terribly difficult situation and, I would imagine, stressed and exhausted to boot. You need to find a way to take care of yourself as well as Liza. You need to give yourself a break, do whatever you need to do, see a friend for a glass of wine, go for a run, have a massage, eat chocolate, take a big bath filled to the brim with bubbles, anything you can possibly do to give yourself some momentary distance and regain a sense of perspective. Liza need you to be upbeat and positive. She will look to you and follow your lead. This is really really hard. I absolutely understand. But I know you can do it. You can do it for Liza, and once you see her begin to improve, it will give you a boost and start to feed off itself. Things will get better. You will get through this and Liza will get her wag back.

Please stay connected. Keep posting. Lean on this community. Could you maybe call the helpline? I just feel it might be really helpful to talk.

Sending you love and a massive hug,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Elsie Pie, & Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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5 April 2017 - 2:58 pm
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Thank you folks for your reply, as always.

I do try to be only positive around her and when I need to break down I go outside.  But, with that said, I'm am nervous and sad so much of the time, I know for sure she picks up on it.  We have her favorite people over as much as possible.  At least once a day she has family and friends stop by.

We started coming off meds over the weekend because she seemed not in pain and we had an issue with blood in her stool as well, so since she wasn't eating the Dr. suggested cutting back unless she seems uncomfortable.  

I do believe the bandage is bending in a way that is annoying or slightly discomforting to her, but there is nothing we can change about that.  Dr. wants it that way to prevent further infection.  I am able to cut the bandage off Friday evening.  

Just before I posted this she actually willingly had about 4 treats from the BarkBox someone sent to her.  I swear this dog has gotten more mail in the past 2 weeks than I have since I've lived here!  Shortly after the treats she had a whole bowl of pureed chicken with broth!  I haven't even had to give the appetite stimulant yet.  Trying to hold off on more meds until totally necessary.  Hope that means the antibiotics are starting to work their magic.  

Thanks again and I'll keep posting her progress!  

She does have a blog that I try to update for family and friends.  

https://lizasleashonlife.wordpress.com/

-Danielle

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