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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Amputation Decision
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Member Since:
25 November 2021
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28 November 2021 - 4:50 am
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Hi - my dog was just diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on Tuesday on his proximal humerus (shoulder area) of his left front leg.  He had a VERY rough day 2 days after his ER vet visit so we upped his Gabapentin and it has made a world of difference.  He was on 300mg every 8 hours but the vet told us he could go up to 600mg every 8 hours if the 300mg wasn't getting the job done.  That combined with the 75mg Carprofen 2x/day and 60mg Codeine every 8 hours has really knocked down the pain.  We are trying to get surgery scheduled without any luck yet - everyone seems to have taken the long weekend off and no one is answering the phones icon_cry  Our dog is an almost 10 year old 88 pound Labrador Retriever that is very tall and although he is still eating like a champ, he is not very stoic and is a bite risk.  So we are really hoping to get that leg off ASAP for everyone's benefit.    Hoping you can find the right combination of pain meds to help your pup feel more comfortable.  Oh, and yes, the ER vet said they don't use Tramadol at all.  I had taken my old guy there in August (RIP icon_cry) for a different cancer and they gave him Codeine.  

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28 November 2021 - 12:13 pm
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Being new I wasn't sure if I should keep asking questions of all kind here in this post, or start a new topic.  I'm exploring what else I can do for pain management .  Wondering if CBD oil is worth trying.  And then I read a 2016 article by Jerry about the Assisi Loop, although the few followup comments by people who had tried it were not very positive.  I see on the website that they seem to have changed to a small mat (that is quite expensive) to put under the pet.  Many years ago I tried using a PEMT device (EarthPulse) for myself that goes under the mattress.  I never noticed any difference, so quit using it, but I have it somewhere.  I suppose there is no harm in trying it under Katie's bed, unless you have heard anything negative about PEMT for dogs.  Unfortunately, it will not be very comfortable for her to have underneath her.  It's a little larger than a hockey puck and hard.  Earthpulse's claim to fame is healing and revitalizing, not pain management , so I'm a little concerned that it could have an undesirable affect on a tumor.

Katie is having another bad day.  I can't decide if the biggest problem is that when the pain meds start to wane she feels crappy and therefore doesn't want to eat, or if it is that the meds are upsetting her stomach, so she doesn't want to eat the last thing she ate because she thinks it was the food that made her sick.  I tend to think it is a little bit of both.

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28 November 2021 - 12:48 pm
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mcmahod5978 said
Hi - my dog was just diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on Tuesday on his proximal humerus (shoulder area) of his left front leg. 

Hi and welcome. Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away, but please feel free to start an all new topic so we can better help you and your pup OK? Meanwhile thanks for sharing your experience for Katie's pack. I love the way your vet handles pain management . Feel free to give them a shout out in Veterinary Specialist Referrals.

We'll look for your new topic!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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28 November 2021 - 12:58 pm
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katiemutt said
Being new I wasn't sure if I should keep asking questions of all kind here in this post, or start a new topic.  I'm exploring what else I can do for pain management .  Wondering if CBD oil is worth trying.  And then I read a 2016 article by Jerry about the Assisi Loop, although the few followup comments by people who had tried it were not very positive.  I see on the website that they seem to have changed to a small mat (that is quite expensive) to put under the pet.  Many years ago I tried using a PEMT device (EarthPulse) for myself that goes under the mattress.  I never noticed any difference, so quit using it, but I have it somewhere.  I suppose there is no harm in trying it under Katie's bed, unless you have heard anything negative about PEMT for dogs.  Unfortunately, it will not be very comfortable for her to have underneath her.  It's a little larger than a hockey puck and hard.  Earthpulse's claim to fame is healing and revitalizing, not pain management , so I'm a little concerned that it could have an undesirable affect on a tumor.

Katie is having another bad day.  I can't decide if the biggest problem is that when the pain meds start to wane she feels crappy and therefore doesn't want to eat, or if it is that the meds are upsetting her stomach, so she doesn't want to eat the last thing she ate because she thinks it was the food that made her sick.  I tend to think it is a little bit of both.

  

Hey there, feel free to keep asking questions as long as they are relevant to her pre-surgery status. We do have forums specifically for subjects like mobility and eating, so if you have more detailed questions and seeking about those topics you can post there. For now you're fine here.

I'll try to add my two cents:

First, it's not unusual that your vet is still using Tramadol. MANY are. It doesn't make them bad vets, just means that they haven't upped their pain management game. Nudges from clients asking about better modalities can help so have a conversation that expresses your concerns about how Tramadol isn't cutting it for her pain and see how it goes.

Regarding the Assisi Loop. Yeah, it's a toss up. We were not convinced enough to try it on our Wyatt, but other folks swear by it. Very hard to say, maybe the new mat has more effective and obvious results. Thanks for the head's up, we'll look into it.

I've never heard of PEMT so I can't comment on it. 

About CBD: for this level of pain I would not waste your money on any products that aren't approved and recommended by a veterinary professional. If you want to find certain products that are proven to help with acute pain, I can connect you with my vet colleagues at the Veterinary Cannabis Education & Consulting Group. The vets and vet nurses in this program are always seeking case studies. See this post for details.

I'm sorry she is having a bad day. I think you're right, it's a little of both. Hopefully tomorrow your vet can prescribe some more effective pain control.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




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28 November 2021 - 6:37 pm
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Cant add much insight that would be helpful.

Just try and give her several smaller meals a day.  And as Jerry already mentioned,  don't  worry about the "good nutrition" at this point.  Eight now just give her anything she'll eat...warm Rotisserie  Chicken, scrambled  eggs with cheese and a piece of crumbled bacon,  stinky liverwurst, cheese pizza, small pieces  of cut up steak.....whatever it takes!

You probably already7 are, but keep a detailed notepad of when the pain kicks in as it relates to the timing of her  dose of meds.  So for example,  if the meds are given every ten hours and the pain shows uo on the eightth hour, your Vet may say to do  the doses closer together.  Also, after she does have her dose, note how long it takes for the pain to subside. 

Sending extra hugs(((((((((((((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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29 November 2021 - 10:58 am
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Thank you for posting mcmahod.  I called my vet’s office this morning after reading your post and asked if I could increase the Gabapentin and eliminate the Tramadol.  My vet isn’t in today but hopefully will approve that tomorrow.  I’m going to go ahead and give her an extra dose today.  She seems to be on an extremely low dose now (100 mg 2x).

Good luck to you with getting your surgery scheduled.  I’m really going crazy thinking about watching Katie suffer for 2-1/2 more weeks before her surgery.  I desperately want to get that over with so that hopefully she can start moving in the direction of less pain.

I feel for you that your dog being a bite risk complicates visits to the vet, etc.  Thanks again for posting.   Cheryl

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29 November 2021 - 11:01 am
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Jerry’s person (Rene?) and Sally - Thanks as always for taking the time to reply.  On the Assisi Loop, I mistyped in my previous post.  My Earthpulse device is PEMF technology, like the Assisi Loop.  I’ve decided I’m not comfortable with the idea of using my Earthpulse on her, as it worries me a little bit that it could actually stimulate the tumor to grow.  I’m probably way off base about that, but I don’t think I want to take a chance.  I’m sure the Assisi Loop has been developed with frequencies that wouldn’t do that, but I don’t know about the Earthpulse.  I see now that they do still sell the Loop for $299, and they also now have a mat that is about $1,500.  If I had more confidence that the Loop would help I might try it, but I’m pretty skeptical.

Thanks for the frank advice on CBD.  Think I will just forget about that approach for now.  When I called my vet’s office this morning that was one of my questions and the answer was that they couldn’t comment one way or the other.

Katie’s pattern is that a few hours after her meds is her best time, so I am able to get her to eat some then.  Two or three hours after the meds she starts resting more comfortably, and then in another two hours she can be enticed to eat a little.  But then when it is time for meds again she refuses to eat anything.  I’m really concerned about the direction we are headed, because soon I am not going to be able to get her to take meds hidden in anything.  So if I’m forcing pills down her on an empty stomach, nothing good is going to come from that.  When I called my vet’s office this morning to ask about a prescription to settle her stomach they told me to try Pepsid AC.  I will get some and try it.  Maybe there is more potential there than I think.   Cheryl

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29 November 2021 - 1:29 pm
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You re so welcome! That's why we are here. 

I agree it's a good idea to wait on the PEMF treatment. A rehab therapist can guide you on whether or not it's right for her.

As for veterinary cannabis, it has excellent potential for long term pain relief but it does need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Most of the products out there are junk. No joke! Your vet office won't comment for many reasons, such as laws in your state, and the simple fact that it's an emerging science that vets aren't quite up to speed on, yet. 

when it is time for meds again she refuses to eat anything.  

  • Try feeding meals and treats on paper plates, new ones every time
  • Don't mix pills in her regular meals at mealtime
  • Don't handle pills with your hands, use tweezers
  • Keep food slightly warm 

Did you see this cheesy pill trick that Karen posted? 

A Cheesy Trick to Pill Your Dog

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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30 November 2021 - 12:57 pm
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Thanks for those feeding tips.  I will check out the Cheesy Trick.  So far she has never refused to take the pills when they are hidden in her favorite treat - cream cheese.  I have been pulling out all the stops to try to get her to eat, and it is working a bit.  Anything given to her on a spoon she thinks is a treat, and I have the other dogs join us for the spoon feeding to encourage her competitive eating tendency.  The other dogs are happy to help in this respect.

I haven’t heard back from my Vet yet on the Gabapentin, but I gave her an extra dose yesterday for a total of 300 mg for the day.  From what I have read, that's still quite low for her 85 lbs.  I think it helped a bit.  She ate better yesterday evening than she has been and ate a little bit this morning, and a little bit more just now.  She still seems quite miserable though.  I sure hope that my Vet will be agreeable to a higher dose of Gabapentin and that it will help at least a little bit.

I got some Pepsid this morning, so will give that a try too.   Thank you!!

Virginia




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30 November 2021 - 3:06 pm
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Love the way upu are motivating  her to eat with the spoon and a little "competition ".  Dogs are so funny.

Really glad you increased the Gaba and saw some improvement.   I think once upur Bet approves, you will still be avle to increase it without  getting  anywhere near threshold.   And if the Vet doesn't  approve an increase, go to another Vet.  KIDDING....sort of!😉

Hang in there. And call every day to see if there's a cancellation 👍

More 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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30 November 2021 - 8:06 pm
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Sounds like she's holding her own right now. I hope your vet called by now, glad the Gaba seems to be keeping her more pain free!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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3 December 2021 - 9:36 am
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There is a change today, and not a good one.  She is being extremely vocal about her pain.  I got the approval yesterday to increase the Gabapentin so she had 400 mg yesterday and the two days prior she had 300 mg.  When I increased it to 300 mg I felt like overall she was a little more comfortable, but also noticed some confusion and behavioral changes.  Like suddenly she didn’t want to be inside whereas before she wanted to be inside most of the time.  Possibly she is feeling too hot inside now (even though I have lowered the temp and am wearing a fleece jacket inside).  Like climbing into a dog house that she gave up on using over a year ago because it is hard for her to get in and out.  These changes may not be related to the Gabapentin, but it does seem so.

First thing this morning I didn’t notice any difference in her, but then after she had been outside for about an hour she started this constant half whine half howl.  I made her come inside and she laid down and continued that for 20 minutes or so, with my attempts to comfort her not helping at all, then insisted on going outside again.  Once out there and on a bed, she seemed more comfortable and hasn’t started making that noise again, probably because the morning meds are kicking in.

So I don’t know if she was actually in more pain this morning or if the Gabapentin is making her feel like expressing it more.  Have you heard of others reporting this kind of behavior on Gabapentin?

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3 December 2021 - 9:59 am
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I forgot to mention too that when I increased her Gabapentin dose to 300 mg a few days ago I felt like she was being a little more vocal when she was sleeping – like she was dreaming more.  So this is what caused me to think that the whining this morning was brought on by more Gabapentin.  But she was definitely wide awake when making the whine/howl noise this morning. 

Virginia




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3 December 2021 - 10:11 am
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Ugh, this just brings up more questions...sorry!🤔

So refresh my memory, what specifically is the new dose  she in now and the frequency (including any other meds).  And she's only been on this new dose and frequency how long?

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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3 December 2021 - 11:55 am
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Aww poor pupperz! I'm sorry this is happening. Osteosarcoma pain is awful, the worst there is. Gabapentin helps with nerve pain, but it may not be enough to help with this level and type of pain from the tumor. Her signs like wanting to be alone outside are typical of a dog who isn't feeling well. 

Definitely talk to your vet about adding something else into the mix until surgery day. And lean on them to get her into surgery sooner if you're still feeling it's the way you want to go.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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