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1st day post op. 14 yr old | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

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1st day post op. 14 yr old
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17 October 2018 - 2:47 pm
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Beija, my 14 yr old pittie, has been home for about 5 hours after left forelimb amputation. She was out of it when I picked her up and not walking (although they said she walked very slowly, earlier, to potty). I carried her to the car and she slept in my lap on the ride home. We instantly laid down and slept for a couple hours. 

She awoke and seemed stressed. She signaled that she might need to go potty. I stood her up and supported her with a sling. She took a couple steps and urinated before making it to the door. She tried to stand several times and balance herself. She drank some water but would not eat. She licked a spoon that had some wet stew-style food on it. She’s on kd so her diet is limited. 

Then she immediately went through multiple rounds of panting and trying to stand. Seemed stressed or in pain. I gave her a half dose of pain meds (gabapentin). She has calmed down and is sleeping.  

It’s heartbreaking to see my once-active girl so incapacitated. I know it’s very early and she seems to be doing the same, if not better, than most cases. It’s just …hard. 

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17 October 2018 - 2:56 pm
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Hi – did she spend the night at the vet’s before coming home? What meds did they send home with her – you mention gabapentin, but usually they come home with other pain meds (my guy had a Fentanyl patch, tramadol and Rimadyl, others come home with a different variety, but all usually have more than just gabapentin). There is also an injection for pain that some vets are using that last for a few days, I forget what it is called. If she only has gabapentin, she likely needs more pain medication. Some vets are not as up to date on pain medication protocols it seems.

She sounds like she is actually doing really, really well for being so close to her procedure. I know its so hard to see them when they first come home, and they struggle. Just try to take it hour by hour, and know that she will improve as the days go by. One of the others will pop in here I’m sure and direct you to all the reading material available on this site, which includes recommended pain protocols. Good luck to you, and everyone here is so great with offering support and advice. Keep connected!

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17 October 2018 - 3:48 pm
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First day home is really tuff. You’ll be amazed at the progress every 24 hours. I’m on day 6 and my guy is getting around like a champ. It’s kinda hard to believe. He’s a 10 year old, 80 lb lab that had his front leg removed. Let your pittie go at her own pace. You’ll both get the sling figured out. She’ll learn that faster is easier than slow and will run….let her. If she’s drinking and peeing, that’s good. Took mine a few days to eat but when his drug induced fog lifted he was ready to chow down. Be patient and listen to the folks on here about pain meds. This group is a wealth of information and incredibly supportive. Keep posting! 

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17 October 2018 - 3:58 pm
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She spent the night at the vet and came home today. She also has galliprant accompanying the gabapentin, but it’s a 1 a day and she was given one this morning. She has had elevated kidney values, and has been on a restricted diet, for about a year. Her kidneys dictate which pain meds she is prescribed.  

I’ve read much material and many posts and feel I am prepared, as well as can be expected, for something like this. I was just sort of documenting my own experience for others (I hadn’t seen many posts of dogs her age) and sort of venting my frustration. I try to be positive but, I just can’t help feeling incredibly sad for her.  

I’ve read multiple accounts of incision drainage and constant bandage changes and was prepared for such, but the vet said that there should be zero drainage and to call or come in if any is observed. Her incision is stapled and left uncovered. I put my t shirt on her and sized it with knots and a safety pin and use it to support her when she stands or walks. It works well. 

Virginia
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17 October 2018 - 4:41 pm
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This early part of recovery IS rough and it IS hard to “watch”.  No matter what, I think it’s  hard to be “prepared” for the first part of recovery.

And you can’t here all you want!!  You are among a great group pf people who jace also vented,  raged, cried, and found staying pawsitive this early on to be quite difficult!   I certainly  was part of the “What jace I done TO my dog?” group!!  As she proceeds through recovery, you will soon be saying you did this FOR her!!

Try not to compare Beija’s recovery to others.  It’s  good to have some general guidelines, but every recovery is different and every dog is different!!

Hopedully, the Gabapentin and Gilliprant  will be enough to manage her pain.  IF Tramadol won’t  mess with her kidney values, you can ask the Vet about adding that if needed..if only for a couple of days to get through the roughest part.     The three work well rogether.

And yes, we have indeed had “mature, well seasoned puppies” recovery very nicely from amputation .  And yes, this IS MAJOR surgery  and our mature PUPS usually need a bit of “extra” time to get their sea legs and work the recovering  from the surgery.  Just off the top of my head, I can think of Sampson, who, I believe was fourteen and went on to celebrate  his fifteenth birthday as a happy tripawd.  Franklin and Shooter were two others I can think of who were around fourteenish when they had their amputation.

Drainage issues certainly  don’t happen with every surgery.  And yes  it happens with some.  Of it does happen, it’s  all manageable , so no worries either way, o,ay?

STAY CONNECTED!   And if possible, TRY and get some sleep.  Getting to this point is a whirlwind of emotions and quite stressing amd exhausting.   Be sure and eat lots of chocolate!  It helps!!

Extra 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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17 October 2018 - 5:14 pm
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For sure it’s tough seeing them struggle but you’ll celebrate every little hurdle along the way. It sounds like you’re very prepared and as long as her pain is under control she’ll get through this. Wait to see how excited you get the first time she poops!

Keep us posted on Beija’s progress!

Valheart

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18 October 2018 - 9:26 am
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Day 2 post op update (morning):

Beija has just pooped. Not as exciting a landmark since the vet said she pooped yesterday morning when I picked her up. Beija had loose stool, before surgery, for many months… probably due to her kd diet. So it would make sense that she is not as constipated as one would normally expect. The stool was very firm, so she’s obviously affected. 

Last night she ate some cheese. This morning she licked up a little bit of her gravy style prescription food that I spread on a saucer. She doesn’t want to open her jaw and chew the big chunks. She seems more comfortable licking up the gravy and smaller bits. I also gave her the gabapentin wrapped in some cheese instead of the routine peanut butter. She’s sleeping again.

It’s a cycle: wake. Be a little restless and pant. Try to stand several times. Stand, take a few steps and potty (with some supoort from me). drink some water (and now eat a little bit of food). Take some meds, if time. Go back to sleep for a few hours. 

Virginia
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18 October 2018 - 10:29 am
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HAPPY FIRM POOPY DANCE!!!!!   FIRM IS A GREAT THING!

I think just wanting to lick the gravy and not chew the chunks is sort of like humans just wanting soup when they don’t  feel good.  Just takes too much effort to chew anything.

Maybe try Pet Fresh.  It’s  in the refrigerator  section in pet section.   It’s  little soft balls of food.  Dogs find it to be really yummy.  Of cpirse warm shredded  chicken maybe softened up woth some water may entice her to eat.

Rest is healing.  Just getting up for potty and then more rest is exactly  where she needs to be right now.  So she is standing and taking a few steps?  And yes, even though she needs to be supported, that is a HUGE victory!

What’s  her pain plan like?  How far apart are the doses?  Is the panting  related to the pain dose  wearing off?  If so, you can ask the Vet  about less time in between doses.   And just to keep things interesting , panting can be a side effect of the pain meds!    Crazy, huh?

Thanks for the update.  She’s  doing very well this early on.

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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18 October 2018 - 11:00 am
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She is on a prescription kidney diet so she unfortunately can’t get the high protein, phosphorous, and potassium goodies that are good for bribing dogs. Maybe I’ll work a little of those goodies in when she’s off the meds. Right now though, i’m using any leeway I have with her kidneys for her pain meds.

She gets a half of galliprant every morning. She also gets 200mg of gabapentin every 8-12 hours. I’ve been giving it every 8 hours at this point. I also offset it with the Galliprant so she goes 4 hours in between pain doses in the morning. It seems to be working well. 

I have also mixed in some distilled water with her normal filtered water. I’m hoping this helps her kidneys do a little less work as there won’t be as much minerals in the water. Just about a 1:4 ratio distilled to filtered.  

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18 October 2018 - 6:46 pm
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Day 2 update (evening):

Beija has walked a total of about 40-50 steps today. This is good because most of it has come late afternoon and evening. I was worried earlier in the day that she wasn’t giving her old muscles enough exercise. I decided to lessen her pain meds to see if the fog would lift and she might get a little mobile. It worked! She also ate a half can of her food today (total).  She is currently laying on her incision side… 1st time. 

Just when I was starting to get worried about her progress, she stepped it up. My mother and brother will be visiting her tomorrow evening. I’m hoping for a tail wag. 

Question about incision side laying: Is it hard for a forelimb amputee to get up from this position? It seems like it would be very difficult. She moves her good leg around every once in awhile and appears to be trying to get up. Oh… I was about to intervene but she just got upright and then turned over! Lots of little victories today!

Virginia
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18 October 2018 - 8:11 pm
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“Little” victories????   No ma’am …these are HUGE VICTORIES!!😆😆  TRULY!!!  HUGE VICTORIES !!😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

So happy to read this update, and so happy that you recognize the progress and are taking time to celebrate it!!!!!!!!!!!

Good job of hanging tough…..voth of you!!!!

And I bet you do get some tail wags when she sees her Grandma and Uncle shown up .  Have them walk in all upbeat and happy….no “poor Beija” allowed!  

Keep the good news coming😁

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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18 October 2018 - 8:38 pm
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I’m with Sally . . . huge steps!

Casey lost his left arm, and I’m thinking he prefers to get up lying on his “incision side”.  He can swing his right arm over to get a little momentum, push with his left leg, and bring his right leg into play as he reaches an upright position.

Don’t pay too much attention to the above, I’m just envisioning how I think he does it.  What I do know is that he does it pretty well, and he’s 12.

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18 October 2018 - 9:08 pm
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Wow she has really come a long way today. I bet you smiled a lot today!

Valheart

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18 October 2018 - 10:13 pm
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Wow that is pawgress! I love it! And laying on the incision side is HUGE. So happy to hear the fog is lifting and her sparkle is coming back.

There were a few times during recovery when I really wanted to help Jerry get up from the floor when he was laying on his amputation side. I probably did once or twice, but he did figure it out. Over time as he got weaker because of the cancer, having him wear his Ruffwear Webmaster on all day was a lifesaver; I used that handle many times to help him get upright.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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19 October 2018 - 3:43 pm
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Hi Beija and Dad 🐾

SO glad to hear the amazing progress with your baby girl, she sure is determined and strong, you will not believe how well she will do on three once recovery is over!

Keep up the good work and give that sweet girl of yours lots of ear scratches from auntie Teresa and a big hug to you 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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