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Buddy/16years/53# had Sx today; left hindlimb amputation
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Member Since:
13 May 2022
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13 May 2022 - 4:36 pm
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I've had buddy since I was 12... and he was not an 8 week old puppy, so he is around 16 years old, minimum. 

I'm just doing an intro post since I'm sure I'll have questions to come. It's pretty long because quite frankly I'm still processing and it's a mess of random things going on. 

Buddy has had rear limb weakness for years, assumed due to back pain and arthritis. Well, this year we confirmed spinal compression and spondylosis (not the worst of the worse, but present. ) he went lame 2/26. ER vet didn't even want to do Rads and missed a probable lesion on his femur... 

March; primary vet does Rads of the back. We find splenic mass. Ultrasound and aspirate of splenic mass, liver nodules, kidney mass; liver nodules considered benign but the rest inconclusive. We pause. He was feeling like crap from the Ultrasound (sedation) so we take a break. Only thing to do is splenectomy at this point. 

4/4 Buddy is back, chasing the other dogs and trying to wrestle the cats... as limited as i can manage.

5/5 slips trying to get up from laying down, yelps for the first time in his life. I was conservative just rest and meds, not wanting to have a repeat of last month. So my poor dog is hanging out for 6 days. Zestless but eating, wanting to go for sling assisted walks.. just painful so no "smile"

5/11 turns out he fractured his femur and now they see "cancerous" lesions on his sternum/bones. They don't feel these issues are related but more than likely 2 different cancers.

5/12 Surgeon consult over the phone. 30 mins to decide or lose the surgery slot; euthanize, amputate or repair the fracture. I was a vet tech for 5 years. I had rules for these situations but he didn't quite meet the criteria (no conclusive cancer, therefore no spreading if it is.) If he hadn't fractured the femur we wouldn't even consider euthanasia. 

My friends, also techs, and the primary all wanted me to euthanize. The surgeon felt any option was reasonable. I felt if amputation is a faster recovery we would beat any cancers as far as getting back to good days.. fracture repair could potentially solve nothing and take too long to heal.

My dog had his leg removed 6 hours ago and comes home tomorrow. I really hope I didn't do him an injustice. I do think he would have wanted to try, as silly as that sounds. Every single credit card is maxed out and if he has 2 cancers, I wonder when they'll "hit" him. I feel incredibly selfish. If he doesn't handle this well or never fully recovers, I'll have made the worst mistake of my life thus far. 

Then obviously the chance the leg was not cancer and I could have repaired it, would that have changed my decision? Do I do chemo if it's suggested? Remove that splenic mass? The obstacles and decisions to make coming our way seem tremendous. I'm a big day to day, don't stress it person, so I have all these questions but do take everything as it comes. I just know it's coming. 

Anyways, this is us and we're here now. Surgery was only step number 1 and my dog expects to enjoy life. Talk of zip lines and crazy DIY aids have been brought up. My biggest thing being increasing muscle mass in the remaining rear leg. The main plan is a swimming pool so we can rehab at home more frequently. 

If anyone else had had a similar assortment of seemingly unrelated findings, please share. I'll be getting biopsies back at least. Hopefully, those won't be inconclusive too. icon_rolleyes

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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13 May 2022 - 7:16 pm
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Buddy and family, welcome. Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away. 

We are all so glad you decided to visit and share Buddy's story. Just very sorry you had to join our club! But we are here for you to lean on with any questions or worries or just when you want to vent, whatever. Don't be shy. 

You clearly love Buddy and gave this so much thought. It's hard to listen to your gut feeling when the people in your life are telling you otherwise But you went with your heart and what you know about Buddy, you honored him by doing what you believe he wanted. So that's what counts! It sounds like Buddy is very much young at heart. So many humans get hung up on the age number thing. What they don't understand is that you can't paint everyone who is sixteen years old with the same brush. Nobody's health or spirit is exactly like another's whether they are a human or dog or whatever. We are all different and our differences need to be respected. You are an awesome pet parent to Buddy by understanding that about him.

So, now comes recovery. You have the nursing experience behind you, and you know what to do during recovery. You have what it takes to help him have a good recovery. And you also probably already know this, but amputation recovery for a senior dog can take longer than a younger one so try to keep your eye on the big picture. He has the spunk and sparkle to get back to doing what he loves, don't stop believing in that! 

There are many senior dog stories in our community. I can't point you to any that are similar to Buddy's because his is so unique. But these senior dog stories may inspire you:


Also check out Bailey's blog. It starts out without his backstory, but you can find it here in the Forums. Bailey was 17.5 when his mom went through with the amputation. He did so well and lived out his life happy and pain-free! I have all the hope in my heart that your Buddy will too!

Keep us posted OK? I know we can learn so much for your journey!  Stay tuned for feedback from others. 


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22 February 2013
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13 May 2022 - 7:48 pm
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Wow!  Wjat an incredible journey you and your beloved Buddy have been on to get to this point.

I can only ditto  every single wise word Jerry said.  

You know your Buddy best.  And no matter what the outcome, you KNOW Buddy would want this chance.  As far as just "fixing the fracture", so very often we see that path fail after a couple pfsurgies, infections, long confinement,  etc.  And then ends up being  the end result anyway.  At least it's one surfer, then recovery then done!

Yes, keep things chunked  down for now and take your one day at a time approach.  You have the strong, solution oriented  personality  that will deal with whatever comes up.

And loving your dog enough to do whatever it takes to spend more quality  time with him for more lpving and spoiling, is not "selfish", it's called .LOVE♥️  Buddy knows you love him enough to "try".

Stay connected  with us and we'll help you navigate  through recovery, okay?  It's no picnic  at first, but recovery  doesn't  last furever.


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

PS. What size is your Buddy?  He sounds quite spunku👍

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!

Livermore, CA

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18 October 2009
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13 May 2022 - 9:08 pm
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Hello and welcome.

You were faced with tough choices without much time- you're doing your best for Buddy.

After my Pug Maggie lost her leg to mast cell cancer the path report came back showing that the cancer was already in her lymph nodes (very bad in mast cell cancer).  Her 'good' prognosis was changed to 'poor'.  She was given 6 to 9 months with chemo.  I was sure I had made a terrible mistake, putting her through amputation for nothing.  But Mag beat her prognosis and lived almost 4 more years.  If I had not done the amp she would have been gone in weeks or a couple months. 

You are doing what I did- you are giving Buddy a chance.  Who knows what will happen or how long he has, but amputation takes the terrible bone pain away.  You are giving Buddy a chance for more quality, pain free time with you.  I bet if you had decided to let him go now you would have beat yourself up- always wondering what might have happened.

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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13 May 2022
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13 May 2022 - 9:56 pm
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Jerry: I did see Bailey's blog and reading about other arthritic tripods made me more optimistic. He walks well with a towel sling already, so his mobility should improve once the pain is less. 

Benny: he's a medium sized dog, German Shepherd/Beagle. So lower to the ground and 53# he is on par with my 8 year old coonhound mix energy wise. Titus will actually jump into my raised garden bed to get away from Buddy, he knows he can't let Buddy do all that craziness lol 

He's still a puppy, if I let him sleep all day he's going to want to play and carry on at night. If we don't do something mental or physical during the day, he'll find something to get into. He just hurts himself easily in the process. V.s. Titus can be lazy 3 days in a row before acting pyscho and the pit mix can just be lazy 100% if it's with me. 

Krun: 4 years is pretty wild, I'm glad that happened for you!

Euthanizing without a true diagnosis was definitely a concern. It would be far worse to do that and find nothing terminal.

I caught him on camera dragging himself around (wanting to do stuff) and making me take him on the scenic route outside despite a leg fracture. I think if we control the pain, he probably won't care how he gets around as long as he's in on the action.

Tomorrow I should have a pretty clear idea of how he feels. This fracture was the first time I ever saw him become disengaged due to pain/in general.

I thought he was actually dying because I'd never seen this before.  But I saw him perk up for hotdogs, after tramadol and after sedatives at the vet. 

Just lots of nervous excitement. I hope to see my normal, perky dog or my normal, clingy when drugged dog. 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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14 May 2022 - 12:31 pm
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That's so pawesome you found Bailey's blog! See how every story inspires and gives hope to someone else? Buddy will too! 

Yeah when that pain is gone, you'll definitely see a difference. I couldn't believe the night and day difference we saw when we had Jerry's leg amputated. We had no idea he was so painful until we put before and after pictures side by side, then it really hit us. 

Getting rid of the pain is the first step toward a better quality of life at any age, if a dog is a good candidate overall. Sounds like Buddy really is! Stay strong and know that we are sending all the pawsitivity in the world to you both. And bark with any questions whatsoever oK? Hope you're both having a nice snuggly weekend.

Member Since:
13 May 2022
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15 May 2022 - 5:00 pm
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Well, it's been 48 hours post surgery and I just caught him walking across the bedroom via camera. He didn't seem pained but his back made me cringe. So much arch for my old man. 

He landed on his suture side with some pre-planned momentum. 


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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15 May 2022 - 5:28 pm
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Say whaaaat?????)  This sixteen yr young pip is already mobile  just 48nhrs after surgery????  Unbelievable!!!

How ''vomit eating or drinking yet?  Or peeing?  Pooping may take a few days and he may not be real hungat first, but peeing and dri are important. 

Arched back as in hunched  up?  Give him lots ofgentlemassafrs all up and down his spine and neck and shoulder area to keep his muscles fromferting too tight.  Right now he's using his muscles in a different way and they will probably be a bit sore and tight at first. Also, he may have a vit of arthritis that didn't show up before but might now's he adjusts to his new gait.

He's still got some good hospital meds in him but they will be out of his system shortly..  What pain meds do they have him on...dose and frequency?  

So glad he's home and surgery is done!!  Good job!  We'll keep looking for more updates as we cheer for this sweet boy!


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!

Member Since:
13 May 2022
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15 May 2022 - 5:41 pm
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I mean it was only a few steps but they were purposeful. I definitely plan on lots of massages. He has slight spinal compression, so seeing the hunch just caught me off guard (although it really shouldn't have) but with sling assisted walks he doesn't do that. I can't wait for the incision to heal so we can start some pool exercises. 

They have him taking

Gabapentin 200mg q 8 hours

*we had been doing 100-200mg BID as part of his regular regimen 

Galliprant 60mg daily


Tramadol 100mg q 8 hours 

*new medication 

We did 1/2 tab after his rads per the DVM and he had diarrhea so this may have been the cause or sedation for the rads. 

So far no diarrhea so we shall see. I do realize that's his main pain medication so I hope he tolerates it.

I also give Dasaquin Advanced joint supplement and denamarin Advanced liver support and off label cognitive support.

I saw a solid poop on his tail but no actual bowel movement, not too concerned considering anesthesia wasn't long ago.

Everything else is normal. He usually stays sedate for about a day post op but never misses a meal lol 

At the time of the fracture he became incontinent but since surgery has been able to hold it until he goes out and has normal output. I'm semi surprised the 2 were drastically related. 

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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16 May 2022 - 1:04 pm
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Just now catching up on Buddy's situation. Wow! Walking already and sleeping on his incision? He's really showing signs that he's going to have a good recovery. Your guy is really determined, that's so pawesome.

Sounds like his pain management is reasonable and you're on top of his other needs like those gentle massages. Way to go!

Keep us posted OK? Hope you have a smooth, uneventful recovery week!

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13 May 2022
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17 May 2022 - 1:58 pm
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I won't lie, he's really getting on my nerves 😂 but that's ok. 

He has never been a dog to spit out meds; we've now gone from pill pockets to hot dogs to breaded tenderloins. Before trying the chicken he went about 12 hours without meds and the pain was immense. Cold compression seemed to knock it to a manageable level for him while I found the food solution. 

And once he's up, he tries to bolt which makes getting outside harder than it should be.

Despite the back to back vet trips, he went to all 3 vehicles today and was adamant we were meant to go somewhere. 

I'm definitely impressed with him but he's testing my skills at keeping him safe. Last thing he needs is to throw his back out or sprain the solo leg. 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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18 May 2022 - 12:11 pm
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Oh my gosh that silly dog! How is he doing today? Were you able to give him the pain control? Check out our pain medication tips for some ideas to tempt him into taking them.

I hope your spunky old man is feeling good today and not making you too cray cray icon_lol

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13 May 2022
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18 May 2022 - 9:25 pm
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I guess he had enough meds without noticing, so he's let his guard back down. So far still doing alright. 

Noticed shaking in his rear leg, which has always been his pain sign. I've been trying to lessen how much he actually tries to walk. So today was more low key than yesterday. 

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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19 May 2022 - 11:04 am
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WHEW! Glad he's more relaxed now. Whatever you do, don't mix his pain meds with his regular food, or he won't want to eat anything at all. I also learned from members here that you shouldn't touch the pills with your bare hands, that dogs can smell them on your fingers and instantly get turned off from eating the treat. 

Yeah the shaking is probably a telltale sign he's tired. You know him well. Smart to lay low for a while. Keep us posted. 

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