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Advice - Very Large dog issues preparing for amputation
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Member Since:
8 July 2022
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10 July 2022 - 8:49 am
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Our 130 pound Great Pyrenees mix, Olaf, is having his left front leg amputated Friday 7/15 due to cancer.  We will pick him up shortly after his surgery as they do not have staff overnight.  I have been following all of the suggestions and have everything prepared once we get him home and in the house.  I am a nurse and have no issues with basic care or getting him to drink and eat little bits.  

What I am trying to imagine and plan for is how we get him in the car and home as well as in the house once we get home without stress on his surgical site.  We have a small SUV - so I can make a bed in the back or use the car sling in the back seat.  There will be two of us picking him up as well. 

Once we get home - we will park close to the door near where he will live for the next couple of weeks.  We have others on standby to help if needed.  We have slings of all kinds to help him walk if he is not too drugged up - I just am not sure what to expect.  I keep trying to visualize how this might look so that I can be prepared and it I am just not sure what else I might need to help.  I want to make the transition to home as smooth as possible.

Any suggestions are welcome.  I am so thankful that I found this community and all of the resources it includes.  I am documenting our entire process so that I can hopefully help others in the future as others have been so helpful to me! 

Here and Now

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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10 July 2022 - 12:19 pm
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Welcome to the best club nopawdy ever wants to join! Best wishes for a speedy recovery, and thank you for sharing Olaf's progress.

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Member Since:
22 February 2013
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10 July 2022 - 7:11 pm
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Plaf looks like a big cuddly bear in his avatar picture ♥️  Can't  wait to see pictures of your handsome Olaf.  When you can catch your breath, here's a link to help,posting  pictures:    adding images  

Yes, it's better to have Olaf home if there is no overnight clinic that is fully staffed.  Not always easy, but certainly doable, especially with nursing knowledge.

As you know, coming  oit of anesthesia  is not a fun time.  It may be that he will be completely whacked when you first get him home which would make having a gurney seafood solution.   I'm sure the Vet would let you borrow one.   I'm not sure of he will be mobile enough at all to help with slings, etc. same day of surgery.  Others will have to chime in on their same day homecoming experiences. To me though, a gurney would be your best bet, especially  of you have others to help you carry him in.  You could put a blanket on. there so you  could  litt him from the gurney to his bed.

Stay connected  and let us know how the homecoming  goes, okay?  We are here for any tips we can offer to get through  those first days, so ask away if you have any questions.  Bigger pups sometimes  need a vit more time to get their sea legs, but they eventually  figure things out.

Sending lots of good pawsitive  energy to Mr Olaf.  


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

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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10 July 2022 - 10:50 pm
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I'm so glad you posted, it was nice chatting with you the other day. Olaf couldn't be in better hands, what a lucky guy to have a mom who is a nurse.

I think that you are pretty set on how you are going to assist him. As Sally mentioned he will probably be pretty groggy. The back section of your suv would make a nice bed for the ride home.And having others to help get him inside is a bonus. 

He may also surprise you and be alert and excited enough to walk from the car to the house. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best!

How are your floors? Do you have traction to make sure he is not sliding around on the floors?

Thanks for wanting to document everything. Yes it will definitely help people facing the same situation.

Member Since:
6 June 2022
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11 July 2022 - 7:25 am
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We just went through this with our 106lb chocolate lab (Chaco) last month. The vets & techs helped us get him to the car when we picked him up--so don't be afraid to ask them for help. They showed us where to pick him up/where to avoid when we got home which made it a little easier. It did take two people to get him out of our car when we got home--we have a minivan & he wedged himself as close to the middle seats as he could & was too drugged to get up on his own. As long as you have plenty of soft bedding & plenty of hands to help, you should be good. Chaco was able to stay overnight that first night, but they called that first day to say they had him up & walking with a sling, and he was able to walk inside on his own with the sling for assistance when we brought him home. Make sure to have the floor covered with runners if you have hard/slick surfaces. Chaco can navigate patches of the floor without them now, but those were crucial that first week. Other than that, the first week is mostly lots of snuggles mixed with a lot of pain meds.

Chaco has a Great Pyrenees cousin that looks like your Olaf. They're such special pups! Keep us posted as much as you can & feel free to reach out anytime!


Member Since:
8 July 2022
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11 July 2022 - 4:07 pm
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It made me feel better to chat with you the other day as well - this is all a bit overwhelming even for a healthcare worker.

I do have mats of all kinds to try all around the house.  I will see which works best for him and then add more of what works.  This site has been SOOO helpful already - I do not feel so alone!  Thanks to all.

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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11 July 2022 - 6:47 pm
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You are most definitely not alone here. We get it, totally. And what we often see here is that healthcare and veterinary worker heroes tend to take recovery the hardest, so be good to yourself OK?

Glad you're trying out the traction . Let us know what works!

Member Since:
11 August 2022
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11 August 2022 - 7:54 pm
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How is Olaf doing at almost the 1 month mark? I have a Cane Corso (120lbs) going for surgery next week. 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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11 August 2022 - 10:11 pm
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Hi @captron! Thanks for chiming in. Please start an all new topic so we can help you better ok? Would love to learn more about your pup!

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