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Toddy's story trying to find the new norm
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Member Since:
13 July 2017
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22 July 2017 - 2:50 pm
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Hi All!, (this is kind of long)

I've previously posted in the forums but thought I would share Toddy's story.  Toddy is one of our 2 adopted rescue cocker spaniels.  He is 7 yrs old (30lbs) and  did not have the best start to life.  We adopted him from a rescue near us.  He had been left in a crate to die after being abused his first year of life. He was at the pound and getting ready to be euthanized but the rescue saved him!  When the rescue got him home he had to be shaved down.  To their shock he had massive open wounds underneath a mass of matted fur and thousands of maggots they said. ugh The vet told them the maggots actually kept him alive.  Fast forward 6 months later and we adopt him heart.  In November of 2015 Toddy started limping on his right leg out of the blue.  Our regular vet put him on some meds and crate rest thinking it was his paw .  Nothing really helped.  We were sent to a specialist who after testing,  felt Toddy had tendonitis in his shoulder.  Toddy had a surgical steroid injection and more crate rest/restrictions.  No improvement yet again.sad  The specialist then wanted to send us to Univ of Knoxville Vet school.  We said no, there has got to be a different answer.  Contacted the rescue we adopted him from and they recommended a wonderful vet.  He immediately checked Toddy's neck and got a reaction. x-rays followed and they showed he had 2 cervical discs that had mineralized (ivdd) way before their time.  The discs were pinching the nerve in his right leg/shoulder.  He has been on medication management (4 different meds 4 times a day) ever since and has always had a limp.  His right paw has been knuckling over due to the nerve damage and for the past several months he really only used his leg occasionally or when he wanted to dig.

Then we noticed 2 weeks ago after we came back from vacation that Toddy was very restless and holding his leg out to the side.way-confused  Off to the vet we went and he immediately felt a tumor in his brachial plexus.  He did x-rays and only found the one tumor.  His lungs and bone were both clear.  His vet recommended we schedule surgery for amputation of his right shoulder and leg.  Since the tumor is in the brachial plexus it was impossible to biopsy and the only way to remove it was with amputation. His vet said we won't know if it is cancerous until pathology comes back. We scheduled his surgery for 7/18.  Of course the water works and fear kicked in.  Our boys 9 and 7) started asking a million questions and I started to stress out.  I am so thankful I found this site and the support has been tremendous!  We spent the days before Toddy's surgery surrounding him with love, extra treats, running around the back yard and taking naps together.

He had his surgery on 7/18 and the vet called to say that Toddy did great and he might get to come home the next day.  Tumor was in the brachial plexus, contained, and roughly the size of your palm.  Morphine made for a VERY VERY confused Toddy,so they kept him another day.  He started eating and drinking the day after his surgery! Yay. They brought him up front to me and he was the happiest pup ever!!!    The drive home was nerve racking because he wanted to stand up the whole way for an hour drive.   We got home and he licked my face forever!!!!! He crawled in my lap to  cuddled and then passed out.  Every day is a little better but he is not the same yet. He does have a e-collar/cone and a shirt to keep him away for the sutures. HE HATES BOTH!!! He gives me the stink eye every now and then for not taking them offwinker. He will take a few steps, stop, take a few steps , stop etc. Everything is in Toddy's time and for right now that is his new norm.  He has to do 4 steps to the yard and is doing ok with them slowly.  Going up is better than down but he doesn't need help.  He would stand outside in the 95 degree heat forever, so a few times I have carried him back in.  We are now 4 day post-op and today has been a good day!!! I have found one way to get him motivated is with his homemade frozen treats .  He will do anything for them.  We see new signs of our pre-tripawd Toddy every day.  Now we wait for his pathology to come back and we go from there. (we are scared but will do what we can for him).  We are trying to Be More Dog daily and live in the moment.  There is nothing better than the love he gives us and we just want the best life for him.  Thank you for the support  and encouragement thus far!!

Heather & Toddy.....( Toddy said I should also include his little fur brother Smoochie, dad Brent , and human brothers Tyler & Preston)

Member Since:
13 July 2017
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22 July 2017 - 2:57 pm
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4 days post amputationImage Enlarger

sleep, sleep, sleepImage Enlarger

first day home 7/20

homeImage Enlarger

Member Since:
17 November 2016
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22 July 2017 - 4:20 pm
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Hi Heather!

I'm glad Toddy is doing ok!  He will come back to his normal self more and more.  Zato's surgery was almost a month ago and he's finally doing all his usual pre-surgery things.  Toddy is so lucky to have been rescued and to end up with you!  I love Cockers.  I had a Cocker many years ago named Ali and she was my baby!   

Toddy seems to be doing great and I love your pictures!  Thanks for sharing him with us 🙂

I hope things continue to go smoothly for you and Toddy!

Tracy & Zatoichiheart

Tracy & Warrior Angel Zatoichi 💓

Zato was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in October 2016. He triumphed through radiation and amputation with dignity and grace. After living a life of love and happiness, Zato earned his angel wings on February 19, 2018.  Read his story here.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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22 July 2017 - 5:21 pm
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Wow Heather he is doing GREAT! No, he won't be "the same" for a few days at least but he will get there. Your pawsome attitude is part of that medicine to get him healed up too, keep it up! How are your boys handling it?

I'm so glad you found us too, thank you for sharing Toddy's recovery with us here, this is so helpful for newcomers. Give him a smooch from us OK?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
13 July 2017
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22 July 2017 - 8:41 pm
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Thank you both!  Toddy is thankful for all the love and support!

How are your boys handling it?

The boys went to their grandparents until late this afternoon.  Our oldest is doing really well with it. The youngest.....he wants answers to his 1 million questions.  He is doing better now that he has spent some time with Toddy.  Toddy is happy to have his pack back together.  His little nub could not stop wagging when he saw them walk through the door.  He wanted to be in the middle of everything and has more pep to his step this evening with them home!!heart

Heather & Toddy

Member Since:
17 June 2017
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23 July 2017 - 9:27 pm
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Glad to hear that Toddy's doing well. Jaxon is a little over a month post amp and still has moments that he's not his previous self. And other moments when he's chasing squirrels in the yard or barking at the neighbor dog. It's a new normal. My kids are younger than yours but for the most part don't seem to notice/care about the difference. Thoughts and prayers to all!

Schofield, WI
Member Since:
13 August 2015
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24 July 2017 - 3:18 pm
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Toddy looks wonderful!  It is baby steps at this point but by this time next week you'll see a marked difference!  Your little ones will see he's the same Toddy he's always been just minus a leg.  These first few days it's easy for them to overdo activity so make sure it's short potty breaks and eating and resting.  It's a bit like when a person starts a new workout routine you definitely feel the sore muscles after.  Sounds like you're doing an excellent job juggling everything so give yourself a huge pat on the back!  Hugs!

Member Since:
13 July 2017
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1 August 2017 - 9:16 am
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Thanks for the info on Jaxon! He is adorable!

Thanks Linda.  It's been a juggling job for sure 🙂


Toddy is now 2 weeks post op.  He is doing really good.  His vet removed his stitches yesterday and we found out the tumor was soft tissue sarcoma.  Our vet does feel that he got good clean margins , pathology was unable to determine if they are clean due to the way he had to amputate.  They were also unable to tell if it originated from the nerve sheath.  Toddy is off all of his pain medication and doing well (we have all of his meds just in case he needs them).  Our vet said he can already tell that Toddy's quality of life has significantly improved (since he started treating him for the ivdd in 2015). Toddy now has his e-collar/cone off and is sooooo happy about this!!clap

So now I am trying to figure out a diet for him.  I need to get him off of his kibble.  I have read the nutrition blog and looked through posts.  I'm still not sure what to do. I have a friend who recommended the PREY....raw meat only.....I just don't feel I can do this with our boys and crazy busy schedule.  I'm still researching but it is way to much information. I just want to give him the best chance possible.  Our friend did the PREY diet per Tom at long living pets research project and had really good results.  Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am going to start him on k9 auto immune plus. 

here is a picture of Toddy from today...e-collar/cone FREE!!!!

Toddy 8/1Image Enlarger

Heather & Toddy

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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1 August 2017 - 10:12 am
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Heather said
So now I am trying to figure out a diet for him...

Be sure to check out the Tripawds Nutrition blog for many helpful recommendations, articles, podcasts and more. The Eating Healthy forum also has plenty of feedback from members over the years. se the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases. You can also search all blogs here

Start here if you ever need help finding the many Tripawds Resources or feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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