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Amputation on Friday; What should I expect?
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14 April 2018 - 5:25 pm
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Hello All,

I am brand new to Tripawds, and super glad I found you guys. My dog, Sammy, is an 11 year old Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix who my husband and I adopted five years ago. He was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and is getting his front right leg amputated on Friday the 20th of April.

Despite his age, Sammy is a very active dog. He loves hikes and goes on daily walks (or did, until he started limping about a month ago, before we had a diagnosis) and is a velcro-dog that likes to follow us from room to room. He’s pretty stoic, but he’s also a rescue that is highly nervous and very sensitive. I worry about how his recovery is going to go. How should I expect him to be acting? Is he going to be sluggish and lethargic or will he be panicked and panting-nervous? I know from reading the FAQs and Must Reads that he will be in pain, but how much pain should be expect?

Really, any advice would be helpful right now. On the advice of this site I have bought an orthopedic bed , have a Ruffwear Web harness in the mail, and just stocked up on glucosamine! Any thoughts on CBD oil? Rescue Remedy? Using ice packs in early postop recovery?

Thank you so much,

Liz

Here and Now

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14 April 2018 - 6:09 pm
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Welcome and best wishes for Sammy! Have you searched the Tripawds Blogs yet?

What to Expect on Amputation Surgery Day for Your Dog or Cat

Diagnosing Bone Cancer in Dogs: What to Expect

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted, your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Canada
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14 April 2018 - 9:06 pm
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Hi Liz

im sorry that you and Sammy find yourself here on Tripawds, but you couldn’t find a better place to bounce things around…

My Stewie was diagnosed with OSC 9 months ago. He is a 100lb Bernese/Rotty/Retriever cross and had his left front leg removed. He is not a height energy dog but i think the first couple of weeks should be the same for all dogs just to be on the safe and cautious side.

Keep Sammy in a closed space for the first little while. We sectioned off a part of our living room with our couches, knowing that Stewie would not be jumping up and over the couch. Because Sammy has anxiety issues, maybe you could consider a pen that can be moved from room to room with you. He is going to need bed rest, medications, bed rest, fluids, bed rest, potty breaks, fluids, bed rest, bed rest and more bed rest, as many good smelly foods that he has ever wanted and then some and on and on… I’m sure you get the picture. I slept on the couch with Stewie for the first few days, as many others have, so just have lots of pillows and comfort snacks handy for yourself too.

You will more than likely have to become pretty inventive as to giving different medications. Stewie was on Gabapentin a few days before his surgery (he was diagnosed 5 days before his surgery. He stayed on it for some time after his surgery too. He was also on Metacam and Tylenol 3’s, but that would not have been my drug of choice in hindsight. Others can chime in as to what they gave their furbabies. Please remember that every dog is different and you should always check with your vet as to what is best for Sammy. It may take a few conversations to ensure that you have got the right mix down for Sammy, in order for him to be comfortable after such a major surgery.

Sammy doesn’t have to go very far, especially in the first few days. Poo’s may not come so easy, so be patient… no harm in breaking the ice on that one early in the conversation! 

And the other main thing that comes to mind is to keep a super pawsitive attitude! Our fur babies feed off of us and our emotions. They care that the horrid bone eating pain has gone and the drugs make them feel invincible… they don’t care that they are now living a life with three paws instead of four and we need to remind them that they do have new limitations!

Give yourselves tons of love and ask all the questions that come to mind. We will all help in any way we can. Even if you just need a shoulder to lean on in talking things out.

All the very best 

Petra, Stewie and his Kittens

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

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15 April 2018 - 10:20 am
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Liz, be sure to check out Jerry’s Required Reading List too, there are many articles listed that will answer your concerns. To that I will add that remember, your attitude is everything when it comes to his recovery. Dogs and cats reflect our emotions, so whatever your attitude is, Sammy will pick up on it and reflect it right back to you.

Also, keep in mind that while some pain is to be expected, it should not get to the point where he is constantly whining, pacing and panting. If it is, as Petra said, you may need to work with your vet to adjust the medication he’s been given. Be sure to discuss Sammy’s behavior with your vet ahead of time, that way he may be given a calming sedative like Trazadone or Amantadine.

Oh and here is a recent Tripawds Nutrition post about medical cannabis for pets.

I hope this helps. Please keep us posted on how things go OK?

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15 April 2018 - 11:37 am
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Welcome Liz and Sammy!  I’m so happy you found this community.  It’s chock full of extremely helpful folks with great info as you’re already seeing from Jerry and Petra.  I’m wishing you and Sammy the best as you move forward with treatment.  I bet he will be relived to ditch that pain and return to his hikes outdoors.

All the best!  – Liz & Scout 🙂

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15 April 2018 - 11:58 am
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Welcome!  Well to be honest it could go either way.  Some dogs come home all druggy and tend to sleep a lot. Some like our Max who was very highstrung to begin with panted and whined and took very short catnaps.  Whichever dog you bring home know it’s just temporary….it will get better.  We kept Max to a small area and slept right with him the first week on a blowup mattress.  As others have said it’s sleep or rest/short potty breaks/ eat drink and take drugs. And then more rest for about the first week.  Also non skid rugs or runners to make a path for them to the door in non carpeted areas.  Traction is key for a tripawd.  Looks like Petra and the others covered pretty much everything too and of course we’ll be here if you have questions as you go.  Will be sending you my thoughts and prayers for Friday surgery day….update us as you can.  Sending big hugs!

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15 April 2018 - 3:47 pm
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Hi Sammy and family 🌺

Others have given you great advice already!

My only suggestion is get a tshirt under a soft harness to protect the incision until stitches come out. 

Sending you a big, big hug and tons of cuddles to your baby boy 😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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 :-) 

Virginia
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15 April 2018 - 7:35 pm
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I looooove Sammy’s avatar  picture!!  What a cutie!!  You’ve  gotten great advice.  As you can tell YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!

The only other little tidbit I can think of is when you go to pick Sammy up after surgery.   Don’t  even bother to   look at the incision.  He won’t  .  Sammy just wants to see your smiling  face telling him he’s  going home!!

During recovery it may be hard to remember,  but you are doing this FOR Sammy and not TO him!!  Once his sparkle comes back bigger and brighter than ever, you’ll know it to be true!☺

Remember  to breathe …and eat .it’s of chocolate !

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 April 2018 - 3:56 pm
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Super Stu! said
Hi Liz

im sorry that you and Sammy find yourself here on Tripawds, but you couldn’t find a better place to bounce things around…

My Stewie was diagnosed with OSC 9 months ago. He is a 100lb Bernese/Rotty/Retriever cross and had his left front leg removed. He is not a height energy dog but i think the first couple of weeks should be the same for all dogs just to be on the safe and cautious side.

Keep Sammy in a closed space for the first little while. We sectioned off a part of our living room with our couches, knowing that Stewie would not be jumping up and over the couch. Because Sammy has anxiety issues, maybe you could consider a pen that can be moved from room to room with you. He is going to need bed rest, medications, bed rest, fluids, bed rest, potty breaks, fluids, bed rest, bed rest and more bed rest, as many good smelly foods that he has ever wanted and then some and on and on… I’m sure you get the picture. I slept on the couch with Stewie for the first few days, as many others have, so just have lots of pillows and comfort snacks handy for yourself too.

You will more than likely have to become pretty inventive as to giving different medications. Stewie was on Gabapentin a few days before his surgery (he was diagnosed 5 days before his surgery. He stayed on it for some time after his surgery too. He was also on Metacam and Tylenol 3’s, but that would not have been my drug of choice in hindsight. Others can chime in as to what they gave their furbabies. Please remember that every dog is different and you should always check with your vet as to what is best for Sammy. It may take a few conversations to ensure that you have got the right mix down for Sammy, in order for him to be comfortable after such a major surgery.

Sammy doesn’t have to go very far, especially in the first few days. Poo’s may not come so easy, so be patient… no harm in breaking the ice on that one early in the conversation! 

And the other main thing that comes to mind is to keep a super pawsitive attitude! Our fur babies feed off of us and our emotions. They care that the horrid bone eating pain has gone and the drugs make them feel invincible… they don’t care that they are now living a life with three paws instead of four and we need to remind them that they do have new limitations!

Give yourselves tons of love and ask all the questions that come to mind. We will all help in any way we can. Even if you just need a shoulder to lean on in talking things out.

All the very best 

Petra, Stewie and his Kittens  

Thank you so much for the thoughtful response. This has really made me feel better!

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16 April 2018 - 3:58 pm
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eurydice said
Hi Sammy and family 🌺

Others have given you great advice already!

My only suggestion is get a tshirt under a soft harness to protect the incision until stitches come out. 

Sending you a big, big hug and tons of cuddles to your baby boy 😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹  

Oh, this is a great idea! I’m nervous about protecting the wound site- I was expecting bandages but all the recovery blogs and picstures say its usually just exposed.

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16 April 2018 - 3:59 pm
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benny55 said
I looooove Sammy’s avatar  picture!!  What a cutie!!  You’ve  gotten great advice.  As you can tell YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!

The only other little tidbit I can think of is when you go to pick Sammy up after surgery.   Don’t  even bother to   look at the incision.  He won’t  .  Sammy just wants to see your smiling  face telling him he’s  going home!!

During recovery it may be hard to remember,  but you are doing this FOR Sammy and not TO him!!  Once his sparkle comes back bigger and brighter than ever, you’ll know it to be true!☺

Remember  to breathe …and eat .it’s of chocolate !

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too   

Thank you so much!

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16 April 2018 - 4:02 pm
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jerry said
Liz, be sure to check out Jerry’s Required Reading List too, there are many articles listed that will answer your concerns. To that I will add that remember, your attitude is everything when it comes to his recovery. Dogs and cats reflect our emotions, so whatever your attitude is, Sammy will pick up on it and reflect it right back to you.

Also, keep in mind that while some pain is to be expected, it should not get to the point where he is constantly whining, pacing and panting. If it is, as Petra said, you may need to work with your vet to adjust the medication he’s been given. Be sure to discuss Sammy’s behavior with your vet ahead of time, that way he may be given a calming sedative like Trazadone or Amantadine.

Oh and here is a recent Tripawds Nutrition post about medical cannabis for pets.

I hope this helps. Please keep us posted on how things go OK?  

Thank you, Jerry! I was actually just talking with my local pet store about CBD oil, I’ll look into the cannabis too. 

Canada
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16 April 2018 - 4:26 pm
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lizpfiffer said

Oh, this is a great idea! I’m nervous about protecting the wound site- I was expecting bandages but all the recovery blogs and picstures say its usually just exposed.  

Stewie had his site wrapped till he had his stitches out. Now Stewie is different from other dogs in that he didn’t have any type of drain, Dr. Bill wanted the pressure of the bandage to keep the site drained, but unfortunately it seemed to have worked to the opposite effect. Although it was draining, it wasn’t draining enough. Stewie formed a seroma and actually had to have his bandages changed out and his site drained a few times, by removing a couple of his stitches and pressing on the site. This is more than likely why most dogs are sent home with cones and drains, at least for a few days.

IMG_2488-e1518755569129.jpg

Petra, Stewie and his suntanning Kittens

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

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18 April 2018 - 8:00 pm
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Hi Liz! im new here also and just saw the surgeon and our cricket will have her front right leg removed friday as well ! Im reading all over this sight and what to expect , so you are not alone friday good luck to you and sammy! 

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18 April 2018 - 9:28 pm
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mira702n said
im new here also…

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