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Cruciate surgery for brave greyhound tripawd?
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Member Since:
1 November 2023
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1 November 2023 - 8:07 pm
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Our brave 7 year old greyhound had his front leg amputated and chemo for osteosarcoma just over a year and a half ago. He was doing really well but unfortunately in his last chemo treatment the medicine leaked causing catastrophic damage to one of his rear legs which meant another month in hospital, a skin graft and movement restriction etc. Amazingly, he came through it and had bern doing well until this morning when we woke up to him suddenly limping on this rear leg. The vet thinks that either the cancer has spread or he has damaged his cruciate ligament which would require further surgery and recover time  etc. We are devastated and don’t know what to do next. We’ve started him on Metacam in the hope it’s something less serious that will get better with time and rest but don’t know if we should even be considering surgery for a tripawd who is a year and nine months on from an osteosarcoma diagnosis. If it is the cancer, obviously there is nothing we can do so are keeping everything crossed it’s not this. Is surgery the only option? He is a big boy (nearly 34kg) but seems in good health apart from this limp. Any advice or information from anyone with experience of this or something similar greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 November 2023 - 11:33 pm
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Hi Elizabeth and pup, welcome. Hope you don't mind I moved your post here but this is a good spot to discuss Tripawds and remaining leg surgery.

I will have more questions tomorrow but for now my main one is what diagnostics are being done to confirm what's going on?

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2 November 2023 - 1:04 am
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Hi Jerry,

thanks for the welcome. It’s so helpful to be able to have a friendly and sympathetic community to talk to about this.

So the first step the vet recommended is pain relief for a week or so to see if it improves snd then an X-ray. He explained that this would only be able to detect the cancer and if it comes back clear then the assumption would be cruciate ligament damage. He said at this point we would have a decision to make as to whether we pursue surgery or let our love boy, Oliver, go.

I find it all so shocking and sudden as only a day ago he seemed absolutely fine. I know that osteosarcoma can start seemingly abruptly like this ( it did for Oliver the first time round) but I perhaps wrongly assumed it would spread to his lungs rather than another limb…? Equally, if it is his crutiate ligament, I can’t work out how he went to bed fine and somehow injured it over night.

I am trying to be positive and hope that he gets better over the next week but also want be pragmatic. It’s slightly complicated by the fact we have a new born baby and so caring for Oliver post surgery this time would be harder.

If we do go for an X-ray, I’m wondering if I should ask them to check his lungs too to check for spread there? I also want to know if it’s cruciate damage, are there non surgical options? Oliver is so so terrified of the vet, I would want to try everything we could to help him at home/elsewhere but I know the options are more limited for larger dogs.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give us. He’s been through so much and is such a fighter. sp_hearticon2

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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2 November 2023 - 11:31 am
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Oliver is one  tough Greyt, that’s for sure!    Congratulations on celebrating going on two years on three and keeping that piece of crap at  bay!  Hoping that continues too!

Bummer about the leg.  You have a lot on your plate and Iknow it has to be causing you stress.  As hard as it is, try not to jump ahead, okay?  For now, keep Oliver’s activity to just   potty breaks,  Keep him on the anti-inflammatory and pain medicine. I guess I just made an assumption, did he give you Rimadyl or something similar and maybe gabapentin for the pain?

do you have a rehabilitation specialist in your area? Maybe one who will actually come to your house? They can help identify if it is cruciate and, can also offer some conservative measures and therapies in lieu of surgery.

it is rare that osteosarcoma goes to another limb, but it does happen.  For now though, you can treat like the vet said or a cruciate repair. I would try to get a rehab appointment as soon as possible though. obviously with Osteo looming in the background I can understand why you wouldn’t want to put Oliver through cruciate surgery. I can tell you this though, my tripawd front Legger, has had TPLO on both rear legs at different times. Recovery was no picnic, but it certainly is doable.  The difference is he was adopted as a Tripawd and osteo wasn’t the cause.

Stay connected and keep things chunked down.  Let’s see of the rest and meds help.    We are here for you in any way we can help, OK?

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







Member Since:
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2 November 2023 - 11:56 am
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PS   The Tripawd Foundation  will pay for the first rehabilitation consult.👍

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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2 November 2023 - 12:50 pm
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Hey Elizabeth,

Wow you do have your hands full right now. We are here for you and hope we can put your mind at ease somehow.

The vet thinks that either the cancer has spread or he has damaged his cruciate ligament which would require further surgery and recover time  etc. 

Waiting a week doesn't seem like too long to see where this goes, but your anxiety about it must be through the roof! I agree an x-ray is the best thing to do as soon as that week is up. Do you have the appointment booked yet? I would ask your vet to do a chest x-ray at the same time, since Oliver will (probably) already be under anesthesia.

Cancer can sometimes spread to other limbs but it's rare. Not to say we haven't seen it happen here, but it doesn't happen all that often. So hopefully this is a soft tissue injury, which wouldn't be unusual considering that he had so much pain after the chemo accident. He was probably using his body in another unique way to compensate, and temporarily stressed out his other joints and muscles.

Cruciate ligament injuries are a lot more common around here than cancer spreading to other limbs. Don't get too far ahead though, take this one day at a time.

As for a CCL surgery, a Tripawd can certainly recover from it, but it's not an easy process and more difficult than an amputation recovery. These posts can give you a better idea of what that looks like.

https://tripawd.....eg-surgery

This type of surgery requires really good orthopedic vet team, and rehab as well. If Oliver isn't a fan of the vet, have you ever heard of the Fear Free Vets concept? These practices are so skilled at working with dogs like Oliver that it's like a night-and-day experience. IF you went the surgical route, I would work with a Fear Free practice.

 I also want to know if it’s cruciate damage, are there non surgical options? 

Yes, but it depends on the severity of the issue. This is an older article but it can help you get an idea of what this type of recovery might look like:

https://tripawd.....s-in-pets/

If Oliver hasn't seen a rehab therapist, I highly suggest making an appointment now. They tend to get booked far in advance. As a Tripawd he would benefit from an evaluation, and yes Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit too. I would want that rehab therapy practice to be working with a good orthopedic team, just in case Oliver is looking at any type of remaining leg surgery (we hope not!). If you'd like help finding one just pm me your location and I'll look around.

How is he doing today?

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2 November 2023 - 2:22 pm
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Awww thank you so much for your kind words. It makes ALL the difference being able to talk it through with like-minded tripawd lovers! You have definitely put my mind at ease and just made by mind stop racing so wildly - truly, thank you.

You’ve made some really interesting and sensible points; I definitely need to breathe(!) and take one day at a time.

Will definitely look into rehab specialists as I can imagine this would make a big difference. We live quite close to a really excellent veterinary hospital who have looked after Oliver in the past so will contact them if surgery is the way things go The Fear Free stuff is such a good idea, however. We live in the UK so need to see if there is an equivalent here…

We started him on Metacam yesterday and, so far, he definitely seems to be able to put more weight on his leg which so lovely to see. Early days but I am just keeping everything crossed that this continues. Vet suggested that Metacam would not stop the limping or pain if it is the cancer so hoping this is positive in terms of the osteo? Think I remember giving him this before he was diagnosed and it didn’t make any difference whereas we are definitely noticing a difference now.

Will keep you updated anyway and thank you again. I’m going to downs this evening looking at the links you have suggested ❤️

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2 November 2023 - 2:33 pm
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Sally,

Thank you so much for your support. It means so much to me to know we are not alone!

You are extremely wise to recommend one day at a time as Oliver does seem a bit better today. We’ve been given Metacam for him which I think is an anti-inflammatory. Am keeping everything crossed that this, and lots of rest, continues to help him but your suggestions are really helpful. I think finding a rehab specialist who can come to us is a really good idea - particularly as our lovely hound is really fearful of going to the vets.

It’s also good to hear that your lovely pooch had remaining leg surgery and did well; they are amazing creatures aren’t they. It makes me hopeful that if surgery is the next step that with the right team around him, Oliver could do it. I certainly don’t want to give up on our boy.

Will keep you updated and thank you again ❤️

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 November 2023 - 8:45 pm
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I'm super happy to hear the Metacam has helped. That IS a good sign! Keep us posted.

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