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A little nervous, day 2 post amputation | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

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A little nervous, day 2 post amputation
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27 November 2018 - 7:54 pm
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My dog Toby just had his right hind limb amputated yesterday.  He had a fibrosarcoma in the limb according to the results of the bone biopsy that they believe has not metastasized.  They will know better once the limb is tested in the pathology lab. He is a 70 lb. Goldendoodle.  So far he seems reasonably comfortable although it’s not easy for him to move even with the sling.  He is on carprofen, tramadol and they gave me a sedative that I can give if he becomes very anxious.  I have to say the wound is difficult to look at.  It is very bruised and there is a little tiny drop of blood that oozes out from the skin.  Is that normal?  He seemed quite thirsty when I brought him home from the hospital so he has drank a lot and urinated but he did not want to eat much.  I hand fed him a little kibble, some egg, and he had some cheese with the medicine.  I’m hopeful he will gain his appetite back tomorrow.  Question, every time he gets up, I run over to help him with the sling.  When should I let him try to do it on his own?  I’m scared for him to fall.  Thank you for any help you can provide. 

Livermore, CA
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27 November 2018 - 10:33 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry you are dealing with cancer and amputation but glad that you found us.

Actually it sounds pretty good for the first night home.  A little bit of oozing is not uncommon- as long as it is clean, not pussy and not smelly.  Keep your vet informed if you are concerned.

Lack of appetite is also common after a major surgery. Feed him whatever he will eat right now- especially with the meds.  It might take a few days for him to eat more normally.

As far as the sling- what did your vet say?  My little Pug Maggie lost a rear leg to mast cell cancer- she never needed help getting up or getting around although at the beginning she didn’t get far before sitting down.  Make sure he has good traction where ever he is getting up or down and where ever he is hopping.  Traction is important for Tripawds and huge for new Tripawds.  If he is wobbly getting up or down or seems like he can’t do it then help him.  We have seen the whole spectrum of immediate post op mobility here- some, like my Maggie are mobile on their own from day one, some take a few days or more with constant sling help until they can hop on their own.  You certainly want to try to keep him from falling so early on to protect the incision.  Maggie fell occasionally, but usually into a sit position.  My current rear amp Elly, a small Pug mix, falls once in awhile too and she is more than 3 years past her amp (car accident).

You might look through the Reading List for lots of info on amputation and recovery.

Keep us posted on Toby’s progress.

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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28 November 2018 - 7:43 am
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Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. My vet told me to try to use the sling as often as possible before he gets the stitches removed to prevent falling. He’s resting comfortably right now which makes me happy. 

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28 November 2018 - 11:38 am
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Toby and family, welcome! What a sweetie, he has such a cute face. How old/young is he?

Try not to worry. Karen is right, his recovery sounds pretty normal to me. Anytime you’re concerned let your vet know of course, but I hope it helps you to know that it sounds like he’s on track for a totally normal amputation recovery. If he’s still not hungry today, try not to panic, that’s also normal. You can tempt him with his most favorite foods of course, to try to stimulate his appetite. But as long as he’s on pain meds, getting him to eat will be a bit of a challenge.

Question, every time he gets up, I run over to help him with the sling.  When should I let him try to do it on his own?  I’m scared for him to fall. 

There’s such a fine line between being there to assist, and babying to the point that it doesn’t help. Right now, I’d err on the side of babying. A week out, provided that he’s got a normal recovery going on and assuming he’s not a senior dog with lots of arthritis, I would say it’s time to let him figure things out slowly and not rush to his side every time he looks wobbly. A Ruffwear Webmaster harness is handy, because it can allow you to help him at a moment’s notice without the hassle of using an under-belly sling.

Also, how are your floors? If you don’t have traction , get some. That will help tremendously.

Keep us posted on how he’s doing OK? We’re here for you!

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28 November 2018 - 12:32 pm
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Thank you for your words of wisdom!  Toby is only 41/2 so we were not expecting this! So far he isn’t hungry yet but I have him some sliced roast beef with his medicine and he gobbled it up. Tonight i’m Making steak for the family so i’ll Give him some with his kibble along with the juices to see if he has an appetite. I’ll keep babying him. The room he is in has wood floors with rugs.  There is one section without a rug. I will add one there. 

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28 November 2018 - 5:12 pm
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Toby is so cute! He sounds like he’s doing pretty good! pain management is number one priority right now so the appetite and mobility will be affected by that. You’ll be so excited every day as you see Toby progress. Dogs are so resilient! Much tougher than us!

Valheart

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28 November 2018 - 6:42 pm
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My dog Kaiserin also had a fibrosarcoma, grade 2, and had her right rear limb amputated on August 1. She is a german shepherd around 75 pounds (so same size as your Toby). I was like you and jumped to help every time she moved. I don’t know what is the wrong or right thing to do (or maybe there is no clear line) but I am glad I was over cautious. I did not want her to fall to rip stitches or anything. I think I helped her longer than necessary. I still help her out of the car by supporting her to break her landing when she can do it alone. I think right after surgery, the drugs make them unsteady and groggy and they really do need help. Especially the bigger dogs (the very little ones don’t have as far to fall). I think you will notice him slowly getting stronger every day. You will notice you are using the sling but will be able to tell it isn’t necessary anymore. So I vote for extra caution until the stitches come out and all the drugs are done 😊 Hope he feels better soon! 

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29 November 2018 - 6:54 pm
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kaiserinmom said
My dog Kaiserin also had a fibrosarcoma, grade 2, and had her right rear limb amputated on August 1. She is a german shepherd around 75 pounds (so same size as your Toby). I was like you and jumped to help every time she moved. I don’t know what is the wrong or right thing to do (or maybe there is no clear line) but I am glad I was over cautious. I did not want her to fall to rip stitches or anything. I think I helped her longer than necessary. I still help her out of the car by supporting her to break her landing when she can do it alone. I think right after surgery, the drugs make them unsteady and groggy and they really do need help. Especially the bigger dogs (the very little ones don’t have as far to fall). I think you will notice him slowly getting stronger every day. You will notice you are using the sling but will be able to tell it isn’t necessary anymore. So I vote for extra caution until the stitches come out and all the drugs are done 😊 Hope he feels better soon!   

How is Kaiserin doing now?  Toby had a great day today.  We had a few visitors and he got up to greet them and sat right next to them to be pet just like he always did.  It was great to see him acting more normally.  He already has improved in his balance just in the last 24 hours.  He’s not back at his appetite yet, but he is eating when I give him something extra yummy.  The kibble is not at all appealing to him so he gets some steak to get him more into eating.  I’ll be really cautious until he gets the stitches out.  Thank you for the advice.  Keep me posted on how Kaiserin is doing.  smiley

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30 November 2018 - 7:23 am
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That is great that he is acting like himself. Doesn’t that just make you so happy and relieved? He will get his appetite back to normal as time goes on and when he is off all the pain medications. For now, he just needs to eat anything he wants to stay strong. The biggest thing I found you need with an amputation recovery is patience. I think I was rushing to get back to the normal I saw other people had but that takes time. Especillay don’t rush stairs for the bigger dogs  – I supported her going up stairs for a couple of months – might have been overly cautious but a fall could have been a big setback. I can’t emphasize enough how glad I am I was overcautios for the first month or more. Our recovery was flawless with no complications. Because it was a soft tissue sarcoma, not oesteosarcoma, we were lucky that no chemo was needed after. 

Kaiserin will be 4 months post amputation tomorrow. She is totally back to her own personality and habits. She tries to do everything she used to. She eats normally. She bosses around our younger dog. We still have carpet runners down on our tile and hardwood but I notice she can walk well on these surfaces now without any trouble. She goes up and down our stairs fine. She struggles a bit to get up our steep basement stairs so I still help her with a sling or putting my hand on her “stump” for support. We are participating in the Tripawd marathon right now and walk about a mile a day. This is about the maximum she can walk at this point without getting tired and starting to lie down. Not sure where you live,  but we are in ontario Canada and I can see the snow is going to be a bit of a challenge as she has to raise her back leg a bit higher when she hops along – and therefore gets tired faster. I am sure she will adjust and get even stronger. She walks on a long retractable leash. I don’t let her walk off a leash ever yet as i worry she could take off suddenly after a squirrel and hurt her remaining back leg. We do physio exercises and I can see her balance really really improving. She can stand and do shake a paw with her front right paw – which amazes me since there is no back right leg – that means she is standing on only the two paws on the left side when she does that! Anyway, since our dogs are the same size with the same cancer and same leg amputated, I hope that gives you a glimpse onto what life might be like in a couple of months! It is gong better than I could have ever imagined it would!

Virginia
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1 December 2018 - 9:39 pm
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OMD!!! Toby is so cute!!!!  Just catch up and wondering how  Toby…and you… are  doing!

As you can see from Kaiserin, recovery  doesn’t  last furever  and Toby’s sparkle will be back bigger and brighter  than before!

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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2 December 2018 - 10:58 am
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Toby’s doing very well.  He is moving around well. Still resting a lot but he’s able to balance much better now and he’s trying to run me around the yard with me holding on to the sling. It’s pretty funny. We should hear in the next few days from the pathology report so I’m praying we get good news. Thank you for your note! I’m trying to figure out how to post a photo on my phone

Here and Now

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2 December 2018 - 11:01 am
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tobyemmet said
I’m trying to figure out how to post a photo…

Here are detailed instructions for adding photos to forum posts . If you don’t already share photos online somewhere, you can start a free Tripawds blog any time and upload them there. Need further help? Post in the Tech Support forum and we’ll be happy to help!

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6 December 2018 - 10:09 pm
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Toby is doing very well now.  Eating and doing his business regularly and getting around well.  Unfortunately, the vet called with news that I did not expect to hear.  The pathology report came back on his leg and it is not a fibrosarcoma.  They are not certain of the diagnosis yet but they think it is either osteosarcoma or another one that is very rare and I can’t recall the name because it all happened so fast.  They will be running some further tests.  Something called staining.  They even said a second pathologist was involved and also was unable to give a definitive diagnosis.  The next step is for me to make an appointment with an oncologist and wait for the results of the additional tests they are running.  I am devastated.   He seemed to be doing so well and the thought of him not getting to live for years is just unfathomable.  Any advice?  I may look into the nutrition specialist that people have spoken about to see if there is some alternative diet that may help him.sadcrying

The Rainbow Bridge

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6 December 2018 - 10:47 pm
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Well first of all I’m sooo happy to know that Toby is kicking butt! That’s wonderful news! Don’t forget to celebrate that major accomplishment OK?

As for the path report…I’m really sorry, it’s definitely a gut punch. As you cope with whatever the oncologist recommends, remember that just because there is a new diagnosis, Toby does not have an expiration date stamped on his butt. You caught the cancer early and he has every chance in the world at beating the odds.

Different diagnosis or not, Toby is still Toby and he doesn’t care what the report says, he just wants to make the most of every day. Follow his lead, Be More Dog and know that with or without a diagnosis like osteosarcoma, none of us have a guaranteed tomorrow so do your best to live each day to the fullest as Toby is doing and you can’t go wrong.

For now, take a deep breath and don’t make any major changes until you figure out what you’re dealing with and how you want to proceed with treatment. Here is a list of Questions to Ask Your Oncologist that you may find handy. Keep us posted and remember to rejoice that Toby is doing GREAT!

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7 December 2018 - 11:07 pm
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Thank you Jerry!  Your Be More Dog page made me feel much better. Toby is doing so well and I have to focus on that and the fun we have together!  He’s going to help me decorate the Christmas tree tomorrow!  

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