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Abby becoming a tri-paw Feb 27 | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

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Abby becoming a tri-paw Feb 27
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9 February 2018 - 10:23 pm
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in September, our 9 yr old (she will be 10 in May) chocolate lab,Abby, developed a large lump on her front, right leg on the joint. After a biopsy at our new vet, in our new town, they said it wasn’t cancer and started her on prednisone . The prednisone helped with the swelling…until it didn’t and it continued to get worse. After several different treat,ents, it seemed like the only thing working was our checkbook.

Over Christmas she was able to see her regular vet, in our hometown, and after one look at the biopsy report, he immediately declared cancer (of course I cannot remember which one, but it is not the one that will go to her lungs). He wanted her to lose weight before surgery and we have now scheduled it for the 22nd. 

What can I expect when she comes home from the vet? We will be traveling 8 hours to the vet for surgery and staying for the rest of the week after her surgery. I just am nervous about the whole situation. 

What can I do to help her, her sister (a 9 yr old bloodhound), my husband, and me make an easy transition through this? 

The Rainbow Bridge

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10 February 2018 - 8:42 am
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Hi Abby and family, welcome. We’re so sorry that you had the runaround with the diagnosis. Prednisone ? Sheesh! Don’t get me started 😉 Thank goodness your regular vet knew exactly what to do and called it. And kudos to you for helping her lose weight that will help her so much. You’re on the right track!

We have a couple of places that answer many questions about coming home. See: Jerry’s Required Reading List for starters. Also, this Tripawds Recovery Shopping List is a good one too (I need to update the reading list with it!).

The best thing you can do to prepare the pack is for you to maintain a strong, pawsitive attitude. Your confidence will help her feel like things are OK and not a big deal. I know it is to us, but do animals, they are just grateful to feel better and get on with life. It’s the people who have the biggest problems adjusting. So do your best to project a good attitude, don’t baby her too much and remember that recovery is only temporary. In no time at all she will be back on her regular routine and enjoying life without that cancer in her leg.

P.S. Be sure to ask your vet about pain control and the possibility of using a new 3-day pain control drug called Nocita. A good pain management program before and after surgery makes all the difference in recovery. Here’s a post to help wrap your head around that:

http://tripawds…..ts-part-1/

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10 February 2018 - 10:41 am
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Hello to Abby and pack!    Sorry yiu find yiurself here, but as you can already see from Jerry, this is the best place to be for support and understanding and information!   Yes, this is scary!   STAY CONNECTED and we’ll continue to supply you with first hand knowledge to make it less scary and help you feel more confident!

YOU ARE. IT ALONE!   We understand the depth of love you have for Abby and your willingness to do whatever it takes to give Abby a pain free life!   Must remember that Abvy doesn’t care about any ole’ “diagnosis schmognosis”!  She just cares about tummy rubs, treats (low cal of course!), spoiling and snuggly with you and her Hound pal!

Recovery is no picnic for a week or so.  It IS major surgery and it hurts!!   Mobility can take a few days sometimes in larger dogs, so no worries there, okay?   Some dogs sre very lethargic for several days.  Some are more reetless and whiny.  Every recovery is different.  Every dog is different.  Getting the right balance of meds can take some tweaking.    During recovery, remember you are doi g this FOR Abby and not TO her!!

When you pock Abby up from surgery, don’t even bother to look at her incision.  Just look into her druggy eyes and tell her what a good girl she is and she’s going home!!    BTW.  Vets love to shave a lot of fur

You’ll want non-slip scatter rugs or yoga mats for traction if you have hardwood floors.   No stair climbing, no jumping on sofa, etc for at least the first two weeks.

Abby may not want to eat much for several days.  She may not poop for several days either.  Drinking and peeing are important though.  Keep lots of yummy foods on hand…chicken is always a good choice.   And CHOCOLATE on handd for you! 🙂

Let us know any questions you may have.  We’re here for you!

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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10 February 2018 - 2:36 pm
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I was able to take 4 off work after my buddy Charlie’s surgery. That gave me lots of time to research diet and pain control and keep an eye on him. I think it was good for me also.

The non slip rugs are very important, especially until Abby finds her balance.  We have laminate flooring and while Charlie is very good at sliding to a stop now, he will slip if the floor is wet.  I purchased runners from Home Depot, seems like it was less than 2.00/ft.  Its winter here in Michigan so the floor at the rear door to the yard is usually wet.  Think non slip rugs at the doors all the time.  We put up a gate at the basement stairs and still have it there as I’m sure his basement days are over.

I scrambled several times trying to find help to get Charlie back to the vet on 2 unplanned occasions shortly after surgery.  Charlie is 90# so I was unable to pick him up myself, needed help.  So if that may be your situation, a plan to know ahead how you will handle a similar situation will help you eliminate a lot of stress.

A ruffwear harness will also be a big help when he starts taking walks.  We use it all the time, if the steps into the house are wet or snow covered I use it to provide him additional help going in and out. Its not pleasant to watch if he slips and face plants.  An additional help was getting footies for walks in the snow.  Ruffwear has those also.  Pre amputation when we walked in the winter and he got snowballs packed in it was easy to lift a paw and clean them out.  Now, with only 3 legs he had to lay down for me to clean his paws.  The footies solved that problem but it took him awhile to get used to them.

Good luck

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10 February 2018 - 8:59 pm
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jerry said
Hi Abby and family, welcome. We’re so sorry that you had the runaround with the diagnosis. Prednisone ? Sheesh! Don’t get me started 😉 Thank goodness your regular vet knew exactly what to do and called it. And kudos to you for helping her lose weight that will help her so much. You’re on the right track!

We have a couple of places that answer many questions about coming home. See: Jerry’s Required Reading List for starters. Also, this Tripawds Recovery Shopping List is a good one too (I need to update the reading list with it!).

The best thing you can do to prepare the pack is for you to maintain a strong, pawsitive attitude. Your confidence will help her feel like things are OK and not a big deal. I know it is to us, but do animals, they are just grateful to feel better and get on with life. It’s the people who have the biggest problems adjusting. So do your best to project a good attitude, don’t baby her too much and remember that recovery is only temporary. In no time at all she will be back on her regular routine and enjoying life without that cancer in her leg.

P.S. Be sure to ask your vet about pain control and the possibility of using a new 3-day pain control drug called Nocita. A good pain management program before and after surgery makes all the difference in recovery. Here’s a post to help wrap your head around that:

http://tripawds…..ts-part-1/

Hang on for more feedback from the community!  

Thank you so much for your feedback. I am thankful I found this site…I will probably be visiting every day to continue learning about how to best help my sweet girl

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11 February 2018 - 2:59 pm
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That’s horrible, I’m so sorry you got the run around! I had a similar experience; my veterinarian first diagnosed Chy’s lump as a fatty tumor after a needle aspirate. A second opinion a year-and-a-half later with my hometown vet revealed it was really a soft tissue sarcoma oh-my. Not exactly what I was prepared to hear.

You’ve come to the right place though, and welcome! We wish it was under better circumstances, but none-the-less we’re glad you found us. My girl is just shy of 3-weeks post op; the people here were so helpful during her recovery and the past posts really helped me to learn what to expect.

My girl (12 y/o yellow lab/husky mix) also needed to lose weight, about 10lbs in the 3-months after surgery. I have found this recipe from the site really helpful Reducing Diet, Chy loves it and it’s super easy to make a week’s worth at a time. So far she’s lost a couple pounds and it’s helping her get around much easier on 3 legs. We’ve also included the Missing Link Senior Health Formula powder as a supplement, and it has also been great!

I also found it helpful to keep a log of when she ate, when she got her meds, and when she went potty. It comes in handy if med times need to be tweaked, and to remember the last time she went potty (mostly #2, those can be few and far between during recovery. Chy poo’d the day after surgery, but didn’t have another until 6 days later!).

A gel pack is also helpful; it helped to keep the swelling down and for the bruise to go away quickly. My vet recommended to start a cold compress the day after surgery, 2-4x a day for 10-15min. Then, 3-days after surgery to start a warm compress for the same 2-4x a day for 10-15min (not too hot! if it’s too warm for you to comfortably handle, it’s too warm for her).

She has a Ruffwear vest that has really come in handy after her stitches were out. We use it all the time to help her up the stairs and give a little extra support. She doesn’t mind wearing it at all, and seems to be pretty comfortable as far as harnesses go.

Like others have said, traction and a pawsitive attitude are really key! The more you are strong and act like nothing is different helps her to be confident and recover. She will not miss the leg; it’s amazing how they move on and cope!

STAY CONNECTED! We’d love to hear more about Abby, what are some things she likes to do?

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11 February 2018 - 3:10 pm
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Hi Abby and Mom 🌺

You’ve got great advice already and are part of our tripawdian family 🐾 

I would just add you may want to consider getting a tshirt on Abby to protect the incision during recovery.

My baby girl Eurydice wore tshirts until stitches came out and it worked out really well for her.

Sending you hugs and cuddles 😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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 :-) 

Schofield, WI
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12 February 2018 - 6:44 pm
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Everyone’s given you excellent advice already so just popping in here to welcome you and let you know you and your beautiful Abby will be in our thoughts and prayers on surgery day.  Keep us posted as you can.  Hugs to you both!

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12 February 2018 - 10:01 pm
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Thank you all Somme has for your encouragement! Abby is a trooper and will be fine through the whole ordeal, much better than I will. I wish her surgery could be moved up, we are still two weeks away, but I trust the vet and he wants a specialist there with upheld. It is so hard to see her in pain and not herself.

My Abby is a hard-headed, kind hearted goofball. At our old home, she loved chasing squirrels. In South Texas, squirrels are hard to find and she stays away from lizards since one ran up her nose and down her back while she was “taking care of business” one afternoon.😂

if she can annoy her little sister, our 9 yr old bloodhound, Copper, she does it…it is really her favorite thing to do. Hopefully, after her surgery and recovery she will be able to enjoy the beach down here! Again, thank you all for the encouragement. Your advice and suggestions have been taken to heart and we are getting her and ourselves ready for her new normal.

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13 February 2018 - 9:17 pm
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Update on Abby…

her leg and paw have grown increasingly worse and the vet has decided to go ahead and move her surgery up. By the end of this week, Abby will be a Tripaw.

Virginia
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13 February 2018 - 9:31 pm
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Alrighty, let’s get ‘er done and  move inrto a pain free life!!  You wanted surgery moved up and now it is! Way to manifest thst!  Abby and Cooper will be playing together in no time!   She may even start giving the Lizards a rough time! 🙂

I know it’s a nerve wracking time dor you. Remember, you are doi g this FOR Abby and not TO her.  She’s showing you she’s ready to get on with living life to the fullest! 🙂 

STAY CONNECTED!!   Update when you can.   Is she staying a night or two at an overnight clinic?  

Lots of 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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15 February 2018 - 5:39 am
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Abby is out of surgery and doing great! No problems at all, she was sitting up and even walked around last evening. The vet took pictures for us and she looks so happy! I get to pick her up on Friday (tomorrow) and we will go from there! Thank you for your encouragement and support!

Here and Now

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15 February 2018 - 8:27 am
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Thanks for the great update! Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Start here for help finding the many helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs.

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17 February 2018 - 5:18 pm
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Thrilled to hear surgery is done!!!

And how is Abby doing ???

And you ???? 

Sending you lots of hugs and tons of cuddles to your baby 😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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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