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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Amputation scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday 11.29.23
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Member Since:
23 November 2023
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26 November 2023 - 5:32 am
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Hi All:  my name is Anne and my standard poodle's name is Enzo (from the "Art of Racing in the Rain").  Enzo is 8 years old.  He's a calm, sweet, easy-going, slim, non-athletic, couch potato of a SPoo. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of his rear left leg in the femoral head/femoral neck area last week.  Enzo is part of our Poodle pack - Beans, Enzo, Clancy, and 10 month old standard poodle puppy - Teeter.  We are taking Enzo to AVS/Blue Pearl specialty clinic in Maitland, Florida.  We are in Ocala, about 1.5 hours away from the clinic.  They are recommending removing his leg and the acetabulum (part of the pelvis) followed by chemotherapy.  He was limping around on the leg for close to 8 weeks.  My veterinarian originally thought he had a partial tear of the ACL in that leg.  So she recommended crate-rest. So we crate rested him for 6 weeks until he wasn't getting better and stopped eating.  Then x-rays.  Then a trip to the speciality clinic for CT scan, needle biopsy, ultrasound, and 3 view chest xrays.  There is no visible spread.  And he's a good candidate.  I have been through 2 TPLO surgeries with Beans, my 13 year old standard Poodle - she is the matriarch of the pack.   But this amputation seems so much more scary.  I guess I am writing for support for me.  I have watched videos, and I have been all over this site.  I am just plain scared of the recovery period.  Any words of advice.  Must haves?  Tips for the first week or two would be so appreciated?  Anything you wish someone told you before the surgery that you know now? Please reassure me.  I keep watching Dr. Sue videos as she is so upbeat and positive.  I need that to mirror to Enzo.  Thank you for this site!!!  Anne and Enzo

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 November 2023 - 11:12 am
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Hi Anne and Enzo,and all the Poodle pack❤️
While I’m sorry you had to be here, you are DEFINITELY in the right place for support, information, and lots of reassurance 

Great that his X-rays are clear and that he is a good candidate 👍

    ny words of advice.  Must haves?  Tips for the first week or two would be so appreciated?  Anything you wish someone told you before the surgery that you know now? Please reassure me

Sure, lots of advice,all from those of us who have moved through recovery and sailed onto our dogs living life to the fullest on three…pain free!   Recovery doesn’t last fir ever, it just feels like it at first.

When you go to pick Emzo  up after surgery, don’t draw any attention to his incision.  Just look into his drug Happy eyes andtell him he’s going home and he’s a really good boy! Be strong and confident and upbeat and positive and that energy will convey to Enzo.

The first two weeks of recovery just ahort, leashed potty breaks and back in for rest, rest and more rest.  Sounds like Enzo enjoys being a couch potato so that’s a plus.

Do not compare Enzo’s recovery to that of others.  Each dog recovers in his own way and at his own pace.

Same goes for mobility.  Emzo is having partial pelvis removed with the amputation.  Like any dogs, may not be up and mobile right away without assistance., especially because of his procedure.

 Are sure you have a towel sling to help him or DIY with a canvas bag with handles.  Just cut through the sides and use the handles to help him. Some dogs freeze up when trying to help them, so he may  not take to that type of assistance.

Peeing and drinking are important, eating and pooping may be off a few days.

The clinic will keep him at least one full night,if not more.  Use this time to get some rest, okay?

No stairs or jumping up on the couch,no running, etc at first  Raisehis food and water bowl up a bit to prevent straining.  Non slip scatter rigs or cheap yoga mats on hardwoodsto prevent slipping.  Solid traction is important.

Emzo will come home with Gabapentin, an ant inflammatory,and probably an antibiotic.  Some come home with  Fentynal patch.   

Tweaking the right balance with pain meds can take a bit of trial and error sometimes to dit Enzo’s needs. The main thing is to keep ahead of the pain and  mot  play catch up.

Not sure if you took your TPLO pups for Rehab,  but we strongly recommend Emzo has at least one consult with a Certified Rehabilitation Specialist.  The  Tripawds Foundation will cover the first appointment.  

YOU ARE  NOT ALONE!  We’re all  right by your side to help you navigate through recovery, answer questions, etc.  

 You’ve got  this! Really, you do!

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!

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 November 2023 - 12:06 pm
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P.S.    here's a  link

 

      https://downloa......com/store

 

Okay....tried copying li k twice....didn6 work.  Trying to get you to What to expect........

I see Jerry's oon now....she'll get you to the right link

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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26 November 2023 - 12:20 pm
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Anne and Enzo, welcome! I'm sorry you are having to join our pack but you are in the right place for support and encouragement. 

You are covering all your bases as far as care goes, it doesn't get any better than all the diagnostics and surgical team you have in place. And you moved as quickly as possible, which is great. 

A hemipelvectomy is a bigger surgery than a straightforward amputation, but it's important that they get as much of the cancer off the body as possible. Many Tripawds members had hemipelvecomy surgery and did great afterward. If you can do TPLO recovery, you can do this. The recovery for amputation surgery is much easier.

As you know, your attitude is everything. The more you can show positive, optimistic energy the more that Enzo will reflect it right back to you. Sure, you're going to be sad and worry you made the wrong decision, but I promise you that Enzo won't be sad or regretful. This is a human problem we have, coping with amputation. Animals do really well! And there may be ups and downs, but it's nothing you guys can't get through. We will be here by your side!

If Enzo is very rambunctious around your other dogs, you'll need to find a way to keep him chilled out and resting. Usually an x-pen in the living room is good enough to keep them separate but together. Enzo won't need crating unless he wants it, but keeping his activity level way, way down is important for good healing.

Have you Tripawd-proofed your house yet? If you have stairs and slippery floors, adding traction is critical for safety and confidence. 

Be sure to check out our What to Expect articles , and Jerry's Required Reading List if you haven't already. And ask any questions you'd like, we are here to help!

P.S. Art of Racing in the Rain is one of our favorite books of all time. Too bad the movie wasn't nearly as good!

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28 November 2023 - 9:10 am
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Surgery is tomorrow.  I spoke with the Surgeon yesterday specifically about post surgical pain medication.  She is up on the latest pain medication protocols and is enthusiastic about Nocita and she says she uses it regularly in her OSA amputations.  She specializes in Surgical Oncology.  She spent a good 20 minutes with me discussing the surgical "game plan," his overnight stay (and one of the surgical residents rotate there overnight so there is someone always there), and his discharge, along with post surgical medication.  I told her my husband was dropping Enzo off because of my work schedule, and that my husband loves the dogs to pieces but would not know what type of HW medications they are on smiley4.  She totally got it and knows if there are any questions to call my cell phone asap.    I also got a 4 mile walk in with my regular veterinarian this morning, who also happens to be my best friend.  She and I walk 4 or 5 times a week before work with the dogs (of course).  So she reaffirmed that Enzo is a great candidate for this surgery, he will do great because he's slim and otherwise very healthy, and she is only 1/2 a mile away if we need anything.  She said that TPLO surgery and recovery is more difficult and reminded me I have been through that not 2 times but 3 times.  I am feel optimistic and scared.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow for a super positive outcome. sp_hearticon2  Anne and Ezno (and the rest of the Poodle pack)

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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28 November 2023 - 10:04 am
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So thrilled to know you have such an excellent team helping you with Enzo! Having a vet up-to-date on pain management is half the battle! Also, what a treat to have a best friend who is a veterinarian and only lives a half a mile away from you.

don’t hesitate to tell the vet if they need to keep Enzo more than one night to do so. Having part of the pelvis removed can add two the needed time for recovery, especially the first couple of days after the surgery itself. I’m so glad they have someone staying at the clinic during recovery.

alrighty, we are sending all sorts of positive energy for your beloved Enzo. He sounds like he’s a really good candidate and he has some really strong humans to help him through recovery and back onto owning the couch!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy 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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28 November 2023 - 12:16 pm
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Oh wow you're so lucky to be working with a boarded surgical oncologist! There aren't that many out there and a rare find. Can I ask who it is?

No worries about the level of care that Enzo will receive. For this kind of cancer, it's the gold standard. That's one less thing to worry about.

Please keep us posted on how things are going! We are all sending lots of pawsitivity your way!

Livermore, CA




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18 October 2009
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28 November 2023 - 2:24 pm
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Hello and welcome.

I wanted to second what your vet said about TPLO surgery vs amp surgery.  I went through amp surgery and recovery with my first Pug Maggie (rear leg, mast cell cancer) and two knee surgeries and recoveries with my third Pug Obie.  While not TPLO surgeries the knee surgeries both involved cutting groves in bone so was very invasive and painful.  Obie was on pain meds for several weeks each time where Maggie was off pain meds buy the end of two weeks.  And of course the activity restrictions with knee repair are waaaaaaay longer that those for an amp surgery.

You have such a great team supporting you and Enzo! His type of amp surgery is more invasive than 'normal' rear amputations but it sounds like your surgeon is really on top of things so should be able to keep Enzo comfortable.  That's not to say that there aren't any downs with recovery, some dogs do take longer to get used to their new normal.  You asked what we wished we knew before surgery?  I wish at least one of my vets had told me that there could be some down time during recovery .... all they said was dogs to great on three.  This is a big surgery and some recovery time is needed, in hindsight that makes sense, but when I was in the middle of recovery (and dealing with the cancer diagnosis) I was worried that Maggie wouldn't adapt because she just wanted to stay in her bed.  You have the advantage of having dealt with TPLO recoveries already- for me amputation was the biggest, scariest surgery any of my dogs had been through.

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow, sending positive thoughts for the best possible surgical result.  Update when you can.

 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls and Boy

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

Member Since:
23 November 2023
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1 December 2023 - 4:03 am
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Good morning from the Poodle palace:  Enzo had his surgery on Wednesday and he came home yesterday (Thursday) afternoon. He's pretty zonked out from the pain meds which is good.  The surgeon said the Nocita will make them pretty "loopy" for a few days, but it's a game-changing post surgical pain medication.  He's peeing.  He has not eaten yet - but that's ok. He had a big drink of water this morning, so that's a good sign.  He's ambulating much better than expected.  We put large rugs down over the wood floors (thank you Overstock.com for the Black Friday sale).  So overall, we are well on our recovery journey.   I think Rene asked the name of the surgeon - it's Dr. Mariana Quina at Blue Pearl Speciality Hospital in Maitland, FL.  She was amazing. I feel so fortunate to have her on Enzo's team.  The incision is not bandaged and it looks beautiful, clean, and dry.  We will take him back in 2 weeks for suture removal and for his chemotherapy consultation.  They send the entire leg to pathology for biopsy, so they said it would likely be 10 days before we get the results.  But that's fine too.  

 Thank you for all the wonderful support.  Anne, Enzo and the rest of the poodle pack. 

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23 November 2023
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1 December 2023 - 10:52 am
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I would like to post pictures of Enzo.  Can someone tell me how to do that.  I have never used Wordpress before.  TY - Anne

Virginia







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22 February 2013
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1 December 2023 - 10:55 am
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YAAAAAY. FOR. ENZO!!!   This is a wonderful pirate!  This early on and he's moving around some, drinking,  peeing YAAAY!

Once all the good hospital meds wear off, he may crash a bit.  That's  when taking the pain meds may be neccessary  to address his particular needs..

Thanks for the update and it's  a good one!

Hugs to all the Poodle Pack

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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1 December 2023 - 11:10 am
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Anne, this is great news! YAY ENZO! His recovery sounds very normal and comfortable. And you have a GREAT attitude smiley4

I looked up Dr. Quina, what a rock star smiley16 No wonder Enzo is doing great. Yes, Nocita is awesome for post-op relief. It also makes life easier for you since it's one less aspect of pain control you have to deal with. 

We would love to see photos!

This is how adding images works in the Forums.

Basically you need to:

- upload a photo somewhere like your own Tripawds blog, or a public image hosting site like Imgur.com or Imgbb.com
- then copy the image URL (or just tap the image and copy it if you're on a mobile device)
- return here, and paste the image into your forum post.

Hope that makes sense. Let us know if you'd like help!

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