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Nicholas, 8 year old Newfoundland goes in for surgery tonight (Newf, Newfie)
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10 June 2023
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14 June 2023 - 9:48 am
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Nicholas had his eighth birthday on May 25, very active and healthy. 146 pounds, 30" at the withers (tall for a Newfie), a sweet boy, empathetic and intelligent.  He started limping May 26, tumor discovered on May 28. Since then he's had x-rays at the vet, oncology report, CAT scan etc at Oregon State, lots of calling around for appointments but everyone has moved quickly and his surgery is tomorrow June 15. Limb sparing and radiation were not an option due to a fracture and too much affected bone. If he does well with post op he has an appointment for the Yale immunotherapy vaccine in July about 5 hours by car away.

The osteosarcoma has probably been developing for a while, but we though the occasional stiffness was from overdoing the dog park play. He's very stoic, not a whimper. He's on meds, next to us 24 hrs a day with a large indoor/outdoor flat space , but this is no life for him. Bad hours he just lies there, good hours he wants to get out and Newfervize the farm and us, which is his avocation, and he looks at me and tells me he is bored stiff. (actually a bobcat got two of our free range chickens while he was at OSU, so he has a point!). Our vet is not sure a giant dog, especially with a Newf temperament, can make it with intelligence and personality intact, but surely it's better for him to have a chance and at least be pain free and relatively clear thinking and feeling when he dies.

So since I haven't seen any recent Newf stories, I thought I would track his journey. I hope it turns out well. Even a few months of his old self, only tired, would be fine with us. We're bringing out all his old puppy/teenager stuff, lots of cheap rugs on our wood floors, tall baby gates, x-pen sections on top of the stone wall around his terrace, ramps, swimming vest, car step, harnesses. 146 pounds is going to be hard to lift, but he's pretty independent that way so I hope he'll help. Reading all these posts  has been so helpful...

What am I missing? What do people put on the bottom of plastic wading pools to make them more slip proof? He loves to stand in his pool, but was dismayed that he slipped with the bad leg.

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 June 2023 - 11:53 am
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Suzanne it's nice to meet you and Nicholas. I'm sorry you had to join our club but super glad you want to share his story here, it will definitely help others on their own journey.

YAY for OSU! Working with a vet teaching hospital is such a great experience because you have all the freshest, brightest brains on your case, all sharing information and collaborating for the best patient care. I can't say enough good things about the experience, especially when it comes to a disease like cancer. Is the Yale vaccine over at Washington State? Or Davis?  Just curious.

Sounds like you are getting his recovery area all set, which is fantastic. See our Tripawds Recovery Shopping List to find out if you missed anything, and our e-books library also has lots of helpful information.

Don't panic about lifting him. He will most likely help you out when he needs to stand and go potty, but the first few days might be too woozy to do much assisting himself. Don't panic if that's the case. Is he super sensitive to pain medications? If so let the vet team know so they can adjust accordingly. Many people panic when their dog is so wonky that they can't stand after coming home, but usually it's just pain meds that need fine-tuning.

As for the wading pool bottom, that's a new one. I'd assume that the exterior grip tape you can get at Home Depot will be good enough for this application. I'd test that out.

Hopefully he can get back to protecting his property as soon as possible! Keep us posted and ask any questions you'd like. We are here for you.

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14 June 2023 - 12:30 pm
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Thanks for the encouragement. Despite the vet, who is very fond of him, I am cautiously optomistic. No visible mets as of two days ago anyway. I hadn't realized how important it was for him to be a free agent, since most of the time he's lying at my feet while I work on the computer, but we can see that he's a working dog and he needs to feel useful as well as greatly loved.

And thanks for the Tape idea! That will do it. Later this morning he figured out how to get in and out of his pool safely, but since a squirrel may appear,  I'll add the tape and he can enjoy cool feet in the hot weather.

Yale just opened up a new group of clinical sites, so in the Northwest, BARC, the Bridge Animal Referral Center in Edmunds WA near Seattle opened for appointments on May 23 in addition to Washington State which is in far Eastern Washington. We were lucky to get a July appointment as people drive from all over. If someone is interested, I would suggest calling. They'll need an oncologist consultation. I am not clear whether they would have taken just an aspiration, which is all I was willing to do given the state of his bone, but we'll have clear proof of osteosarcoma after amputation. The immunization therapy is for mets, not the primary tumor, and they encourage standard care as well. It takes a while to kick in so sooner is best, can be done along with chemo. It's very easy on the dog, just two shots three weeks apart. But of course it doesn't work for every dog. https://www.ccr.....ale-status

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 June 2023 - 2:39 pm
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You are so welcome.

Oh I totally forgot to touch on that point about your vet. Many vets who don't see a lot of giant breed dogs on three legs are skeptical, and with good reason. But if you take a look at some of these Giant Breed stories, you'll see they can do great on three:

https://tripawd.....ant-breed/

Thanks for sharing the Yale vaccine info! Wonderful that you got in!

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15 June 2023 - 10:02 am
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Here is a picture of Nicholas just before his birthday. (No lump that I can see, it appeared just a week or so later.. Sorry,  can't get the image to load correctly from my website,(although the link works)  I'll set up an image blog later.

Nicholas Newf on the porch 7 yrs 11 mon.Image Enlarger

[Image Can Not Be Found]

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 June 2023 - 10:12 am
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Awww I see your avatar with Nicholas' photo, what a gorgeous boy! The photo isn't showing up. If it's hosted on your site, try copying the image URL, then returning here to paste it into your forum post by choosing the little "Mountain/Sun" photo icon in your post editing menu. Hope that makes sense. Can't wait to see it. Cool website by the way! 

Virginia







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15 June 2023 - 10:26 am
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100% true!!!

  surely it's better for him to have a chance and at least be pain free

As we have seen so ,often here, age and size fo not matter when ot comes to amputation  decision.  We ,have had many sogs a lot larger than your sweet Newfie who jave thrived on three just fine!  Yes, recovery  for "mature large" dogs may be at a slower pace than some and mastering mobility may take a vit longer.   Every dog recovers in their own way and in their own specific way.

While he's recovering  yoi can provide him with interactive games designed  for dogs to help fight boredom  and keep them engaged.

You know your Newfie so well and are doing what's best to provide  a pain free quaility  life.

Keep is posted.  And cannot wait to see your pics!!

Higs

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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15 June 2023 - 1:08 pm
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Thanks, His surgery was scheduled for 11:30 PDT. I am just sitting here waiting for the doctor to call and your posts really keep me going! Good idea about interactive games! 

 

3:11 The doctor just called. Nick's surgery went very well. He's waking up! I'm so relieved.

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 June 2023 - 10:28 pm
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Yay! One big step is out of the way! That's great!

Some bigger dogs stay a few nights until they get their sea legs so don't panic if the vet recommends a longer stay. That will give you more time to prepare for his homecoming so get some rest and keep us posted!

Virginia







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15 June 2023 - 10:31 pm
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YAAAAAAY!! 

Surgery is done  and Nicholas on the way to recovery! Now is the time for you to try and get a good night's sleep.  Nicholas is in good hands and he's on some good drugs and feeling no pain.

When  you go to pick him up, be upbeat and confident. Don't even bother to draw attention to his incision, just looked into his druggie eyes and tell him what a good boy he is and he's going home! With a big pup is furry as he is, you may find the amount of fur that is shaved a little bit of a shock at first. It will grow back nice and full before you know it.

Drinking and peeing are important, but he may be off food for a few days and may not poop for a few days. All perfectly normal. Once the hospital meds are out of his system after a couple of days, that's when you might need to tweak the pain meds in a way that is most effective for him. Right now just short short least potty breaks and back in bed for more rest.

Let us know how the homecoming goes. Stay in touch. We are right by your side the whole way.

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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16 June 2023 - 1:20 pm
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Thanks for your messages. They meant a lot last night when I was worrying about what the morning would bring. However, Nicholas looked great when we picked him up, He hopped in the car, hopped out with the backup sling, peed, hopped around the house to his favorite spot on the stone and is now taking a rest. He's peeing, eating a little, looking around some, He seems less restless now that the pain is gone, cooperative but not very outgoing yet and who can blame him!.

The stitches will be absorbed and I'm to call back in a week. The doctor says he should be confined for about 5 days, then gradual exercise times. He's on gabapentin, amantadine, and rimadyl, same dosage as before amp, with clamavox as antibiotic Everyone's situation is different, but I am really glad I went with his own vet rather than OSU oncology Everyone knows him here. He feels at home. and they serve farm animals as well as pets, so this large animal fits. His doctor is very experienced and skilled, as well as having Nicky's personality figured out to a T! Anyway, it worked for us ...And the first steps are over. 

(To Newf owners, our guys have so much messy fluff and hair, and that remaining leg is so sturdy, the amp really doesn't stand out that much)

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 June 2023 - 3:04 pm
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Awww I'm glad we could put your mind at ease a little bit. How wonderful that he's home now! And doing so well too. All of those things you mentioned point to a really good recovery, the kind we all hope for. And you're right, he isn't outgoing yet with good reason. He may not be very energetic and might even have a "crash" after a few days when he tries to do more than he thinks he can. That is a normal situation so if you see him slow down later don't panic.

The pain management is excellent, your vet team is really looking out for his pain control which is the most critical part of recovery. YAY!

It's true about teaching hospitals. Although you might have a huge team working on your dog, the trade off is that it tends to lack an ongoing personal touch the way a regular vet can offer. You went with your gut and it is paying off!

Too cute about his fur hiding his missing leg! I can't wait to see photos. Let me know if you'd like help posting some.

Enjoy a weekend of snoozing and cuddling on the couch with him!

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16 June 2023 - 6:48 pm
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Here's a picture of Nick right before his 8th birthday, one from today, day after amputation, and one of him at 5 weeks examining a shoe, for cuteness. He's always been a thoughtful guy. He's loving the ice packs, just stretches out and relaxes, not so interested in eating and thus pills, although he'll take them by hand from my husband.

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Nicholas-and-shoe-7415-5-weeks-old-scaled.jpegImage Enlarger

 

Nicholas-post-op-1-scaled.jpgImage Enlarger

Virginia







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16 June 2023 - 8:46 pm
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Well helloooo handsome!  And that pupoy picture....beyond cute!!

His incision looks good. Slow and steady is the name of the game right now. He needs time to recover at his own pace from this major surgery. As far as eating, give him any yummy food that might interest him. Cheeseburgers, stinky liverwurst, bacon and eggs Etc whatever works

The pain management sounds good. Hopefully they have him on the dose and frequency that is a good balance right now.

Thanks for the update and for the wonderful pictures. He's just such a great big teddy bear and I want to jump through the screen and hug him

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 June 2023 - 9:57 pm
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Wow he is sooo good looking! Thanks for sharing.

Pretty great that he's taking the ice therapy so well. A lot of dogs hate it. Seems like a really mellow and easygoing pup! I hope things continue on the smooth path. Keep us posted!

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