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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Our beloved greyhound died due to amputation surgery complications while still in the vet hospital.
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Member Since:
14 April 2024
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20 April 2024 - 1:17 pm
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Hello, our dog just went in for front leg amputation surgery yesterday due to osteosarcoma diagnosis. He died 3 hours later in the hospital after a “successful and routine operation”. The vet called me to tell me that everything went well during surgery and that he was resting 3 hours later she called to tell me he had started to bleed under the skin by the amputation site and they were going back in to try and stop the bleeding. Within that same hour he was “oozing” from a major organ and they performed cpr but he did not make it.

 

bloodwork prior to surgery and chest X-ray all arm back clear. He was only 7 years old. Still happy, energetic, eating well. 

we are devastated, heartbroken and feeling helpless without closer. Has anyone experienced something similar due to this surgery? I was under the impression it was low risk. 

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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20 April 2024 - 2:48 pm
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Oh no I'm so sorry!! This breaks our hearts, we cannot imagine the terrible shock. What was your dog's name? 

Greys are known for bleeding disorders. See: https://tripawd.....reyhounds/

Did your vet do this pre op test for Von Willebrands disorder?

https://tripawd.....-depohgen/

Unfortunately it's not an uncommon situation to have post op excessive bleeding and lack of clotting.

https://tripawd.....-heads-up/

To prevent it Greys are usually given an infusion of plasma and an anti bleeding treatment. See the post from Wookie in this thread:

https://tripawd.....-problems/

I know this is may be too much to absorb right now so be kind to yourself and know you did the best you could with the information you were given. Please lean on us, we are here to help you during your time of grief and when you are up to it, to honor your dogs life by learning more about him.

(((hugs)))

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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20 April 2024 - 7:36 pm
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This absolutely breaks my heart to read this. I am so very, very, very, sorry.. you went into this with the best intentions to give your sweet Greyt extended quality life. Always remember that, you had to give him that chance and that's what he would have wanted.

Regrettably we do see this happen every now and then where they don't survive the surgery or shortly thereafter.

Sometimes, regardless of the work up and good results , this horrid disease has already taken a course that was undetectable prior to surgery. Every surgery, every single one, whether a little or big always has an element of risk. But we are all willing to take that risk because the majority of the time everything turns out okay.

There really are no words right now, or probably ever. We are also shocked and stunned to read this. So we can only imagine the unbearable  trauma you are all feeling.

We want to celebrate the seven years this sweet boy brought love and joy I to uour lives.  We ,know he could not have been more loved and more grateful to have you as his hoomans. When you can, please tell us more about your sweet pup.

Surrounding you with love from each one of us in the Tripawd community. 

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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20 April 2024 - 8:44 pm
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Thank you for all

of this information. It is both very helpful and also disheartening. I used to go to a greyhound specialist but we recently moved and tried a new vet who told me she had greyhound experience but I was not told anything about this blood disease. Looking at the estimate given and the breakdown of all the things he received, blood plasma and any other blood clotting agent mentioned to prevent this from happening was not listed. When I called today I was told the vet was not in until Monday so I plan to call and ask if she was aware of this risk in greyhounds and if preventative measures were taken but I fear they were not and so it is hard to not feel some tremendous guilt for not knowing, but we gave him to them trusting they were knowledgeable and being told they have done this surgery before. 

Just plain awful, it did not feel like it was our boy roadies time to go. Atleast he is no longer in pain. 

we will post a tribute when we have had some time to heal.

 

thank you for the great information and support, I will share with other greyhound owners. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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21 April 2024 - 6:11 pm
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I think that our Fairy Vet Mother Dr. Pam meant to answer you here, but she answered in this post instead. Here's what she said:

Typically Greyhounds and other sighthounds get Amicar (aminocaproic acid) prior to major surgeries; this is medication you pick up at the pharmacy then also give for a few days post-op. Von Willebrand's disease is a separate disease that requires a plasma transfusion and other medication prior to surgery. There is a genetic test that can identify this disease and it is most common in Dobermans. Sighthounds can also get malignant hyperthermia during anesthesia and are sensitive to many narcotics.

Pam

I think that having a conversation with the practice manager, or if they have a client ombudsman, will be really helpful. I'm so sorry that you guys are going through this. 

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22 April 2024 - 6:13 am
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Thank you. I plan to call today to get some more insight on what happened and what was done/was not done and Hopefully in the future this does not happen at their practice again. 

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22 April 2024 - 6:16 am
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I was aware of the Anesthesia sensitivity and brought this up to the vet prior to arranging the surgery. She informed me she was also aware and that she has worked with greyhounds before and the type of anesthesia they use was ok. He did well with anesthesia and during the initial surgery. I am hoping she was also aware of the blood issues and took steps to try and prevent it so I can be at peace with what happened. 

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22 April 2024 - 6:22 am
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We are mostly upset because the last we heard from the surgeon was when she called to tell me they were actively doing CPR but it was not working. When we arrived 30 minutes later to say our goodbyes she was no longer in the building. We have not received any calls from them since with no real explanations aside from “sometimes this just happens”. Aside from the small fine print on the bottom of the estimate that stated all surgeries come with a risk of fatality, nothing was every verbally mentioned. Every conversation had was very confident and that this was a common and even somewhat routine surgery and that he could even come home the same day if we wanted him to. So it is just all very puzzling and feels like things were not handed with care. The veterinarian hospital has great reviews, other vets in other offices recommend it and even our greyhound specialist we used to see before we moved told us they read the rapport and that we should do the surgery there because it was closer to our home and less stress on the dog. 

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22 April 2024 - 6:26 am
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If any of those medications of preventive treatments given would this have not happened? Or is there still a risk even when those precautions are taken? 

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22 April 2024 - 7:34 am
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After speaking with the hospital this morning, none of those risks were known by them and so none of those precautionary measures were taken. Hopefully they have learned from this experience, unfortunately it was just at our loved pets expense. 

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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22 April 2024 - 10:39 am
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The Heartbreak just keeps piling up. And our sadness for you and how this all unfolded gets deeper and deeper.

The only thing I will say, and this is just my unprofessional opinion, is that even if all of these this awareness and subsequent preparations were in place, this still could have happened.  

We certainly have seen specific situations where additional cautions had to be put in place for one reason or another, all bases covered, and things still did not go well.

I know there will never be any answers for the what ifs nd if only. At some point they will just have to be an acceptance that you certainly did everything possible. We are not the professionals, we are not the ones with all the training and experience, we have to rely on others for that. 

FWIW and when you can get your thoughts together., I do think this needs to be pursued through proper avenues, whatever that might be. Yes, great Learning lesson for all of the medical people you consulted with, but that does nothing to relieve your heartache and your pain.  

I know your emotions are wrong right now and your grief is unbearable. However, I would not let this go. They need to be held accountable in a way that ensures this never happens again. I'm so sorry that they are not reaching out to you and you have to be the one to initiate the conversations.

This must never happen again, especially when you were told everyone involved had experience with greyhounds. Obviously, not the case. The scenario may have happened before with this same staff and no one knew to pursue the behind the scenes necessities that were not taken. Again, this may not have changed the outcome anyway.

We are here with you and by your side and, again, I sincere, very sincere condolences to you and your family

With love and light

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 April 2007
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22 April 2024 - 11:11 am
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Allie I'm so sorry. There is nothing more terrible than losing your dog this way, and I wish I could help you through this grief somehow.

What I can say is that over the years we have seen dogs suddenly pass away during or right after surgery. Not many, but it happens. Please don't blame yourself. These decisions are so hard to make, especially when we've never had to deal with a major surgery for our dog or cat. We don't know what we don't know. I sure didn't know anything about vet care when Jerry lost his leg. Most of us have never had to ask questions about a vet's experience with a procedure like this, or make sure the hospital has what it takes to ensure the safety of our dog.

Even with any kind of precautions taken, there is always risk with a surgery like this, for pets as well as people. I'm a little surprised that whoever you spoke with freely said they didn't know about the precautions. Who did you speak with? 

Did you request a necropsy for your dog to find out the exact cause of his death? 

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22 April 2024 - 9:04 pm
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Thank you for all of the words of encouragement and for the helpful information.

after various conversations with the Vet surgeon, the office manager, and requested documents we have decided to pursue with some form of action. With all of the information we have received, we feel that they were not fully equipped or prepared to take on the surgery for our 95lb greyhound and while the surgery was done successfully, all of their staff were highly regarded, reviews of the faculty were excellent, and prior to surgery they seemed very confident and knowledgeable,  their office was not prepared for any instance of emergency, even telling me at the time that if they were able to stop the bleed I would have to come and get him and bring him to a different emergency place 15-20 minutes away because he would need “blood stuff” that they do not have. 

We know that none of this will bring our family member home, but we hope that with further and serious action that a lesson will be learned and that no one else’s beloved pet will die due to misinformation and unavailable emergency needs. 

hopefully some form of post can go out to make more greyhound parents aware of the high risk of this surgery. 

At the end of the day, our loved one is no longer in pain. We were excited to join this community with our boy and continue his life journey a little longer, but we understand that sometimes it is out of our control and he is at rest peacefully now. Prior to surgery, this organization really made us see his amputation in a positive light and even after his passing it has helped us feel supported, so thank you for that ❤️

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 April 2024 - 11:49 am
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Allie,

We understand. I think you have to do what you need to do for closure. I'm so sorry it got to this point. 

Through the years we have posted a few articles about Greyhounds and amputation, and it's also mentioned in our e-book, Three Legs and a Spare . Every situation is so unique, and that means every dog's risk level is unique.

But we don't know what we don't know. All we can do is our best to choose a well-equipped practice and ensure they have the experience, equipment, and protocols in place.

This is hard to do when you're new to this situation. We have articles about choosing a clinic, but really, the biggest reason why we encourage people to go with AAHA-accredited clinics if it's possible where they live, is because it's the only guarantee of quality and safety. That doesn't mean they can 100% eliminate the risk of accidental death or other issues, but it's the closest that a practice can get to ensure they are doing everything possible for their clients to ensure everything goes as planned. If you follow the link you will see why we are so gung-ho about these practices.

However just because a clinic is not AAHA doesn't mean they aren't equally good. They certainly can be, and many awesome vets work at non-AAHA practices. But that AAHA logo is the only way that we as pet parents can know for sure that a practice has been inspected, rated, and passed for quality by an independent board on multiple different factors, every three years. Being regularly inspected and re-accredited by any agency is entirely optional for veterinary practices. This is not the case for human hospitals, which would never be allowed to operate if they were not regularly inspected by government agencies. That is something I didn't know until a few years after we started Tripawds. It was shocking to know that any vet can keep their license with annual continuing education classes, but their actual practice can stay open for decades without ever being inspected by the vet board, or any agency. 

You wouldn't have known this early on, but reviews don't mean a lot when it comes to amputation surgery. It's not something most people have to go through with their dog. A review of a tooth extraction is much different than a review for something like amputation. We have to really take those public reviews with a grain of salt. To be fair, veterinarians often get unfairly raked over the coals on review sites (the vet field has one of the highest death by suicide rates of any occupation, and verbal and physical assaults on practice members is not uncommon).

I don't know if that clinic is or is not AAHA but either way, this never should have happened and I am so so sorry. I'm so glad you feel supported during this really awful time. sp_hearticon2

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