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Virginia
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1 July 2018 - 9:36 pm
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Jist want to ditto Karen.  Amputation  IS a change and does take adjustment  time.  Dogs adjist at their own pace.  The fact that Blitz is starting to get  the hang of things physically tells us that he IS  adapting at his own pace and in his own way.  And it’s  always a double  edged sword with pain meds.  We definitely  want  the pain to be controlled, and yet sometimes the trade-off is a more subdued  personality  while on the Gaba or other pain meds.

Okay, if Blitz’s pain is more out of the blue than just  certain movements,  then that probably  supports your feeling that it’s  phantom.  It would make sense that the daily pain is making him feel a little hesitant…a little reserved.

What do  you feel like your energy is like around Blitz?  Is it upbeat?  Do you display confidence and strength  as his pack leader?  As you know, dogs feed off of our energy.

One thing you might try.  Does Blitz have a friend that he reallly  likes? Human friend and even doggy friend?  Have them come over all excited. Knock  on the door loudly.  Call his  name.  Have them bring treats and a really uplifting exaggerated high energy!!  I think if you can start to see glimpses  of Blitz’s sparkle  start to come back little by little, you’ll start feeling  a lot better.

Continue  to do rhings that he likes…..going to a drive thru…..carrides to,places he likes to go.  Btw, love how you got him to exercise his core in the carride!!  It works!

Sometimes it helps during these first several weeks of recovery  as the “what have I done” question starts to creep in, is to keep a notebook and list everytime you see a sparkle come back.  Does he perk his ears up at the sound of a crinkling snack bag?  Does he perk his ears up if you get the leash out or say let’s  go for a carride?  Anything that generates  a “sparkle reaction “, write it down!  

I really  can’t  recall any dog who didn’t  adjust “mentally”.  Yes, some dogs like Maggie  may take a bit longer, but they all adjust  as far as I can recall.  Again though, I’m  sure the pain ks slowing his recovery down a bit. Hopefully  the gaba adjustments  will help address it.

We’re  all cheering for Blitz and we know he will get his sparkle back!!

We’re  all sending  you our very best cyber 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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2 July 2018 - 4:51 am
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Blitz is 3 weeks postop today. Can’t thank all of you enough for your support. I would say you have no idea how helpful you have all been, but I know you have all been through this and found the same wonderful support that I have. It has really made a difference for my whole family. A very big THANK YOU!! I am hopeful one day my experience will add to the bank of successful outcomes, and I DO think we will get there.

Blitz seems to be responding well to the Gabapentin schedule change. Q8h seems to give him better pain control rather than the q12 high and low peaks. We are glad to be back with my regular vet. She also does acupuncture and we have a 10:30 apt this morning to get our first treatment. 

Krun15 it was nice to hear “grumpy slug who would not play with me for 6 weeks”. And like you, I thought we would be that 1 exception to the rule that most dogs adjust very well. And keeping a mental log of the tail wags when my husband gets home or the perked head when he hears the treat bag or his bowl, is a reminder that things are coming back. Blitz’s surgeon said that dogs don’t care about the leg, and certainly don’t get emotional like humans. I have to disagree. Some dogs are very emotional. Blitz has always been my high strung “Spaz”. He is a very emotional dog and tends to respond as such to most situations. Heck, if I remove a tick or small scab, you would think I was stealing from him. He looks at the area of attack, back at me, and then in the trash for what I just threw away. Never mind a leg. But he IS adjusting and I just have to know my decision was made out of sheer love for my pup. Life for a limb? Very high price to pay but he was way too full of life to chose the alternative. He has a chance now, the alternative had none.

He has been spending more time out in the yard with us. Sniffing around and laying in the grass. He does spark up more often now as well. When he hears a boat go by pulling a tube full of screaming kids (we live on a lake), and when he hears anyone pull into the yard. His head and ears go up, and he jumps up into his guard dog stance, lol.  Keeping him busy at this point is definitely making a difference. He still has his moments of phantom pain but they more infrequent and seem less severe. One thing I have noticed is that I have been placing my husband’s old back brace on him. Just an ole elastic compression band with velcro. It is a comfy snug fit abound his chest and over the amputation site and it DOES make a HUGE difference. Something like a Thundershirt.

I will let all of you know how he does with acupuncture today. Even though he is getting better I don’t want to forfeit what the acupuncture could do in addition to the med therapy. Maybe we can eventually come off the NSAID and Amantadine.

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2 July 2018 - 5:36 am
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Good luck with the acupuncture today! I agree that just like people, dogs and cats are very individual. Blitz is an amazingly smart individual and i concur to what others have said regarding pain meds. He seems to be super sensitive but the good outweighs the bad here. Once he’s all  healed and off of his meds i think you’ll see a huge change but for now better to see him quieter than in pain. 

I don’t have any experience with acupuncture, i think Huck would make a meal out of them if they tried 😅🤣😂 More importantly, the ones that HAVE had it seem to notice a pretty significant change got the better. Petra and Stu have commented many times that it can bring in a very relaxing, content, Zen like state. I hope so very hard that this will give him comfort. 

My thoughts are with you and even though i haven’t posted a lot I have read every update and think of you guys often.

❤️❤️

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......pawds.com/

Virginia
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2 July 2018 - 7:42 am
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Really appreciate  that your keeping us in the loop.  I KNOW this whole ordeal is soooooo exhausting and so frustrating. 

Your post today though gave us a really  good glimpse  into the fact that Blitz’s personality  IS starting to shine   through!!   Everything  you shared with us DEFINITELY  points in that direction!!  Glad you were able to isolate those moments and recognize that they ARE signs that Blitz has no regrets and is ready  to start chasing  those boats away from his domain!😁

You may be onto something with the newly created  Blitz Phantom Pain Compression Brace!   Better get a marketing  agent for Blitz lined up!

And yoi are spot on of your evaluation of why you, or any of is, proceed with this “forced choice”. He now has a chance now.  The alternative  had none.  Giving  Blitz the chance that he deserved, that he wanted, is definitely  coming  from a place of love!❤

You are a doing such a great job!  You really are! 😊

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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3 July 2018 - 12:00 pm
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Blitz postop 3 wks, one day; Well things did not come out as I expected with the acupuncture. I should have left well enough alone. Blitz had an awesome day yesterday UNTIL we did the acupuncture. The process itself went fine but it has actually set him back what seems like weeks. I thought I had done all the research, but if I google side effects I get information I did not have before; acupuncture side effects. They are rare but they can happen. Rather than ease pain it can actually exacerbate it, and for Blitz it has done just that. The rest of his day yesterday, last night and all day today Blitz is back to withdrawing and crying out. The side effects don’t last and will usually be gone in 24-48 hours. Tomorrow morning will be 48 hours. I still can’t get him comfortable today. I feel so badly. My vet is certified in acupuncture so I don’t believe it was the technique. Typical for Blitz, nothing is going to be as you expect. He was doing so well. And everyone was so happy. Now everyone is mad at me for “pushing it just too far”. I am devastated.

Virginia
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3 July 2018 - 12:23 pm
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Okay…deep breaths……really…B R E A T H E…..B R E A T H E….

IF Blitz is having  the rare, but severe side effects, they DO dissipate!!!  Also, and others who jave done acupuncture  can chime jn, but it’s  my understanding  that sometimes  the first 24 hrs so cause a little setback before  the healing starts.  And I think I’ve  also seennit takes a few sessions  sometimes  ro get realky good results.

Now, all that said, based in what you’ve  described it sounds as though Blitz IS having  severe  side effects and this is not a therapy  that will work for him.

You are doing  everything  possible for Blitz.   There was no reason  to believe this would cause more severe pain.   Generally it either works some or makes no improvements.  As you said, Blitz’s reaction is rare.  Your Vet is the professional,  you are not!! So do NOT beat yourself  up for trying  to do something potentially  helpful for Blitz!!

Keep him in the pain doses that were working.  Stay steady  and consistent. 

Have you spoken to the  Vet who did the acupuncture.??  I would DEFINITELY  keep him in the loop! He needs ro be aware of his reaction. 

You’ve  been in this journey lkng enoigh to know the recovery  is so full of ups and downs.  They vary dog to dog, but it’s  a reality!  So just like every hurdle you’ve  overcome  so far, you’ll also overcome this one!!   This too shall pass!  And tell anyone trying  to make you feel bad about a decision  that could, indeed, have been helpful,  “TELL IT TO THE HAND”.  Okay, that was a quote from a movie, but darn of I could remember  which one.   It applies  here though.

We support you and we are here gor you!!

Hugs 

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

PS   I do want to add that, even IF the Bet jad disclosed that there could ve a rare side effect that would last 24 – 48 hrs, you probably would have proceeded  anyway.  It’s  kind of like any surgery  for our dpgs.  They tell us it’s  always a small risk, but we all take it anyway. 

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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3 July 2018 - 12:39 pm
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Yeah, it was a dog named Ollie who had that nerve issue that surgery was needed to fix.    I’m guessing Carol has mentioned  it by now, as I brought it up awhile ago.  I do think that, because   Blitz finally seemed  pain free for a couple  of days after adjustments  with the Gaba,  that maybe it was not the case.  Vut certainly  sounded like a possibility  at first!

Good idea about revisiting  that possibility  one more time.❤

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 July 2018 - 1:19 pm
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All good advice, Carol….easy for us to say, as we’re not living with Blitz and his pain. Hang in there, we’re here for you. I know its frustrating, and  stressful, and scary. I think I shared with you the one time – very shortly after Nitro’s surgery – I was in the house, not paying attention to him and he took off after a squirrel. That was a HUGE setback for him – and I beat myself up for days because I hadn’t been watching him. Things happen. We learn from them, and move forward. Like Sally said, deep breaths, (and maybe somewine and/or chocolate). You didn’t mean for this to happen. I hope your vet gets back to you soon, and you get some idea of what/how to proceed. Keep us updated…again, I’m off today if you need to talk. Hugs

Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

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"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

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7 July 2018 - 6:08 am
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Blitz 4 weeks postop; What a rollercoaster. Good to bad to good to worse to good to bad to worse, and then back to good again. We are all exhausted!  But Blitz is back on track and that is the good news. Crying out, although still heart breaking when you hear it is down to a miniumum and we suspect, along with the vet, this will continue to decrease until it is gone. We believe it is a mix of some anxiety, and some phantom pain . We won’t reconvene with the acupuncture, but we will be adding an herbal recommended by our wonderful vet Dr. Smullen. Blitz is also back on Cephalexin for a small open area (infection) over his incision site. Tiny but nip it in the bud! The remaining op site looks good. I asked about caring for the pads on his feet, and she recommended Muscher’s Secret which I will be looking into. Gotta really protect those feet now. 

Next week we will be weaning him off the Carprofen in hopes he can be maintain on just the Gabapentin and Amantadine.

Yesterday was a great day, and maybe we have hit the point that we see more good days than bad. The sparkle in his eyes is back again. He is more alert and the ears are up, lol. Yesterday he grabbed his bone and began chewing away for the first time since surgery. Yesterday he got away from me and made it gracefully down to the lake. It is his favorite place to be. He patrols the shoreline minding the young fish swimming nearby. It was sooooo nice to see him soooooo happy. The joy was obvious in every ounce of his being.

Ironically he seems to enjoy riding in the car now, so we take a daily ride, 15 minutes or so. He thinks it is a joy ride but it is soooo much more. I have a big Ford Explorer and have opened the entire back for him. He can stand, sit or lay as he wants but the magic is he stands most of the time looking out the windows and the need to balance himself is providing some really nice core and leg strengthening without over taxing his remaining legs. I LOVE IT!!!

Thanks again for all you do and I will keep you posted.

Green Bay, WI
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7 July 2018 - 8:50 am
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Great news Carol! Sounds like he is indeed on his way to lovin’ life on 3 legs. Don’t be surprised if the roller coaster ride continues – it did for us – but the good times are so worth it.

We have musher’s secret for cold winter days, but be mindful it doesn’t make his pads too slippery. If you have ice by you in the winter (can’t remember where you’re located), my vet told me about a great product called “Chicken Grit”. Our local farm supply store carries it, but you can also find it on Amazon. Its amazing for traction on ice, and doesn’t hurt their feet/pads – we’d have never survived Wisconsin winters without it.

Yes, keep in touch, and may you have smooth sailing and sunny skies ahead. GO BLITZ!

Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tr.....27_2_1.jpg

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

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7 July 2018 - 9:06 am
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That is a wonderful update!  I am so glad you guys are finally catching a break and that you are finally starting to see your Blitz’s personality come back…. FINALLY!!!!  I know it HAD to feel like forever, you have had a long, rough road.. longer than many, and it had to feel neverending. I hope many more of these days brighten your lives and the others will just be a part of the recovery process that are now over.

Hugs,

Jackie and Huckleberry heartheart

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......pawds.com/

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7 July 2018 - 8:35 pm
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I am so glad to hear this report.  Sounds like Blitz has turned a great corner.  🙂   Keep us informed on how he is doing.

xoxoxox

Michelle & Angel Sassy

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Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
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8 July 2018 - 2:10 pm
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Whew! What a ride you’ve all been on! I’m sorry that the acupuncture had a bad effect on him, but relieved to hear he’s doing soooo much better! Keep doing what you’re doing to help him stay in his hoppy place and let us know how he does with the Carprophen. We’ll keep our fingers, toes & tails crossed for nothin’ but good times ahead 🙂

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia
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8 July 2018 - 6:11 pm
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Hearing Blitz is getting his sparkle  back is such great news!  I know we are all doing the hoppy dance for him!!😁

Patrolling  tje shoreline…watching  the fishies….all os good in the Land of Blitz!!😀

Qe need video of Blotz at the lake…oh yes we do!😎

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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9 July 2018 - 3:55 am
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Blitz- 4 weeks postop to the day. Thanks everyone, and you are right Dobemom, the rollercoaster does not end. Saturday night and all day Sunday we lost all the progress. Blitz once again crying out, moving from place to place, and just so unhappy. A relentless agonizing end to the weekend. I put him back on the Tramadol, and maybe it helps, hard to tell. When they hurt like this you just try everything. Never sure what actually did the trick. Not much sleep last night. Around 1am I gave him another dose of Tramadol and put the Thundershirt I bought on him. Not so sure it helped but after that he got some sleep. He is still resting without issue this morning, curled up in his recliner. I’m gonna wait to feed him and savor this peaceful moment for him. 

Dobemom howl long did your rollercoaster last? Was it throughout his remaining years? 

When we made this decision, I did a lot of research, or so I thought. But at the time I was looking for all the good having the amputation would do. I needed to hear he would recuperate and quality of life would prevail. Maybe I focused too much on the pros, and never listened to just how handicapped he would be. Good ole tunnel vision. We are exactly 4 weeks postop today, it feels like 4 months. I don’t know that I would have made a different decision but I wish I had paid more attention to the reality, at least for this dog, amputation might not be the best choice. Maybe I was too quick to make my decision.

People who don’t know need to understand that dogs will adjust to 3 legs, but that is not all of it. It is all baggage that comes with it. And then what? I know I have rejoiced his progress, but most days I am devastated by what I am putting him through. In reality, out of his 4 weeks of recovery, he has had only 2 days of happiness. And he paid dearly for both. His good day always follows with what seems like the worse. 2-3 bad days for 1 good. That is not quality. That is a heartbreaking, devastating way to live. I try to convince myself the alternative would have been at the very least, the same, but he would have his leg. Maybe if I had not taken his leg he would have had a better summer, a longer period of normalcy in his 4-5 month prognosis. 

The cost to all of this has been far more than we anticipated. We are nearing retirement years and it pains me to even give money any weight when it comes to my dog. The surgery, meds, multiple vets, many vet visits, acupuncture. All without relief. Now I should be looking at a professional in pain management and maybe rehab. In addition, he is with someone just about all the time, and that is taking a toll on the family. We take shifts so the other can get out in the yard without worrying about Blitz, or take off to run some errands.  Thank heaven I work from home. Can’t imagine those that have gone through this and have to leave them.

I am so sorry to be such a yo-yo. I rejoice one day and tear it all into depression the next. Devastated once again. My facebook page looks like we are finally on the mend. I never share these heartbreaking, fearful, ugly, traumatized days with Facebook. Not all people, I am certain, will agree with our decision to amputate, especially when they hear the heartbreaking side. And I don’t blame them. I may have even been one of them at one time. I would rather keep my woes to those who have been there.

I wonder if there is anyone out there, who regardless of amputation, had to make that fretful decision far sooner than they anticipated. I can’t even imagine life without him, but I will never let him bare a heavy burden for my needs. Never.

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