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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Barkley - 24 hours post op
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30 July 2020 - 10:10 pm
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lol sorry BARKLEY 🙂 not barkey

Living with histiocytic sarcoma in Maine, Devo's Story here

Texas
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30 July 2020 - 10:22 pm
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Barkley has some bruising on his belly.  I called the clinic and asked them to please have the vet advise me before they leave for the day.  I emailed photos.  No call back. 🙁 It’s not awful, and not spreading quickly.  He doesn’t seem uncomfortable, but I would have liked the input.  

Tonight, we modified a canvas shopping bag to give him support and took him outside to “walk.”  He took a few steps, visibly excited to be out of the house and listen to the sounds of the neighborhood, and peed standing up for the first time since surgery.  He managed to get all of his feet wet, but he did it!  He even walked himself back into the house and by his kennel.  

The vet had us add Benadryl to the mix.  It didn’t sedate him- at all.  I gave him an extra quarter tablet of traz.  No change.  He’s extremely alert- tail wags, smiles, getting up and down- but doesn’t want to settle and be still.   I’m not sure how tonight it going to work. 

We haven’t had him in his cone at all since he came home.  He’d been leaving everything alone.  Now, he’s interested.  His little surgical suit arrived but I have to get it washed before he can use it.  With the cone on, he gets so agitated, but I think we might need it tonight. 

I’ll be calling the vet first thing in the morning to inquire about upping his Gaba and hopefully get him to relax a little, at least at night.  

So here goes night three!

~ Melanie 

Texas
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30 July 2020 - 10:36 pm
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Did the Vet suggest giving  the Gabapentin  doses more frequently  than twelve hours?  I’d he appears to be  kind of restless, that could be a sign of pain.

We have been doing meds about every 11 hours instead of 12, because that’s when he definitely alerts us that something has changed.  Even an hour after dosing, though, he’s wanting to be up and about and he’s unlikely to settle.  He seems more anxious to rejoin the pack (so many dogs and little people and snacks going on) than uncomfortable.  

I’m hoping that if we can get sedation more effective, at least at night, we can all be better equipped to supervise some exploration and getting his wiggles out during the day.  As it is, I’m tuckered.  🙂 

Dri and peeing  are good. Being off food and pooping may be off for a few days.  Feed him any yummy  foods he’ll eat..warmed chicken,  grilled chesse.whatever it takes for now.

Barkley is a pancreatitis survivor, so we are usually super cautious with treats.  He is back to eating kibble, but is getting less tolerant of med time.  Previously, we wrapped pills in white bread but he’s rejecting that (knowing bread means medicine) so we are doing cream cheese temporarily.  I’m definitely nervous about what pooping is going to entail for us all in the short term, but hey… I’ve been changing diapers for years and years and years, so this shouldn’t be too much to handle.  

Yeah, you do have your hands full! We are a family with some mental health challenges so I know how much effort and emotion it takes to try and keep everyone on track

Hubby is doing much better now that Barkley’s personality is shining through and he’s so happy to see us.  The tail wagging helps. 😉 My son is uncomfortable, but making efforts to show Barkley that he is still loved.  My girls have turned into total nurses.  Essentially, the kids have been preparing meals and overall enabling me to be doing 24 hour bedside care.  I’ve stepped away a few times for a meal and some logic puzzles at the table.  If there wasn’t also a pandemic, they would all (dogs included except Barkley) be at playdates elsewhere to let me and Barkley enjoy some peace, but it is what it is.  Thanks for the understanding.  It is hard.  Worth it, but hard. 🙂 

~ Melanie 

Virginia




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30 July 2020 - 10:43 pm
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Thrilled to hear he “walked” out to pee and “walked” back in!!  YAY FOR THIS HUGE IMPROVEMENT!  👌👍😆  And peeing on himself while standing  up gets an extra YAY!!👏👏👏  Quite the little Warrior!

I’ll try and do some searches to show you pictures of bruising that will probably give you some reassurances.  

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




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30 July 2020 - 11:10 pm
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Such a team effort with your family….beautiful  when everyone  pulls together for the love of a dog.❤

Yes, this is hard on so many levels.  Probably  one of the biggest “stressors’ (aside from getting the news, doing the surgery, etc) would be exhaustion,  ,emotionally  and physically.   As you can see though, you are starting  to see that improvements DO happen, sloooowly but surely.  

Oh, here’s a couple of pictures of some bruising that, even though it looks pretty rough, their Bet said it was  normal.  Ypu list went to be aware  of  any discharge, excessive swelling, etc.

Screenshot_20200731-005716_Chrome.jpgImage Enlarger

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!

Texas
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31 July 2020 - 3:22 am
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Oh, here’s a couple of pictures of some bruising that, even though it looks pretty rough, their Bet said it was  normal.

Thank you!  That does look similar to what we are seeing.  No other wound related concerns right now, thankfully!

   ———-

Barkley just woke me up for meds, right on time… About 40 minutes before the 12 hours mark.  He wants to be licking his wound but is doing such a good job leaving it alone.  He seems to hate the cone more than the itch.  

I pushed myself to not jump every time I heard him reposition last night.  He’s gotten quite accustomed to constant attention.  While I want him comfortable physically and emotionally, 24/7 doe eyes and belly rubs isn’t sustainable. 😉 At some point, I would up laying my arm in his kennel to keep him from licking.  I feel like I got some solid sleep though.  Definitely dreamed.  

I’ll be calling the vet, first thing, to discuss sedation.  Until then, lots of paw holding and hopefully some more sleep. 😉 

~ Melanie 

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31 July 2020 - 2:19 pm
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Hey Melanie how did it go last night?

What did your vet say? I worry that Barkley’s meds are not doing the job to keep his pain under control. Staying ahead of pain is so important, he shouldn’t be telling you that he hurts. If it gets to that point, pain is much harder to get under control. The more you can stay ahead, the better off you’ll all be. Also, sedation won’t do a thing for the pain, or for healing. 

How did the suit work out? 

And thank you so much for telling your vet about us! We have these free outreach brochures if you’d like us to send some to the clinic.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Texas
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31 July 2020 - 8:46 pm
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I called and emailed Barkley’s vet yesterday afternoon because I was concerned about the bruising. Not only did they not respond to the email, but no one called back.  Instead of trying again, I established care with another clinic. 

I called and accredited clinic and explained the situation.  I asked if he could possibly be seen today in order to go into the weekend without worry.  They happily obliged.  

The new vet went over his surgical report before arrival and we handed over the rest of his records when we handed him over.  (Covid has them doing contact Free as much as possible.) The vet called us to review and confirm the information he had.  

Per new vet’s advice, we are removing the trazadone unless neccessary for sedation.  He is going to continue on Benadryl.  He is also going to start pepcid(we still need to pick it up but they gave him a shot too.)

Barkley’s bruise was also accompanied by an edema.  Vet said it could be for a variety of reasons. Among them was possible heating pad trauma during surgery.  He did the normal run of blood work and also tested for clotting issues.  Barkley’s white blood cell count was slightly elevated but his liver and other values looked good.  He was given an injectable antibiotic and we are to check in if it changes(which it has, I’ll get to that.)

Barkley loved the trip to the vet and was happily exhausted when we got home.  He slept most of the evening.  He got up a little bit ago and wanted to walk around(we thought to pee.) He all but ran to the kitchen and checked for scraps from dinner and searched the whole kitchen.  He has mastered using his back leg to pivot on and seems to handle the hard floors much easier than the carpet which made us laugh.  He got white the workout and is now cuddling hubby.  

I measured accurately for the surgical suit and ordered a small.  It’s a bit baggy on him.  I’m confident I can alter it and have ordered an XS to alternate.  The whole time he was chilling after vet he was wearing it and it seemed to relax him immensely.  We will see as we go on. 

His edema wasn’t noticeable to us before the visit.  After being home and resting, it’s as big as his lump had been and was concerning.  Knowing it’s fluid, though, is a bit of a relief.  I’ll call tomorrow and see if there is anything else to be done. He’s also bruising a little more around the incision, but the doctor palpated everything to see how he’s doing, so I’m hopeful it’s just from that. 

Overall, new vet was awesome.  They spent about 1.5 hours with him, a decent amount of time calling me to explain everything, and were just super kind and encouraging, without sugar coating everything.  We are going to have biopsy results emailed to us as soon as they arrive at old vet and then graciously say goodbye. 

Watching him hunting for scraps and wagging his tail and following the kids around was very reassuring! 🙂

Thanks for checking in! We are so thankful for this resource!  I will definitely request material for both offices soon! 

~ Melanie 

Virginia




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31 July 2020 - 9:26 pm
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WAGGING HIS TAIL AND HUNTING  FOR SCRAPS…YAAAAAAY!!😀😀

Your new Vet sounds wonderful!!!.  I am so glad you had such a pawsitive  experience and got so many questions  answered, as well as solutions!  Obviously the Vet was very thorough and focused  compl on getting Barkley healthy,.

Thanks so much for the update….and hopefully  they get vetter and better!

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!

Livermore, CA




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31 July 2020 - 11:08 pm
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I’m glad you found a vet you are comfortable with- so important.

I’m also glad they are continuing benadryl and adding pepcid- pretty standard meds when dealing with mast cell cancer in my experience.

Overall he sounds like he is doing better- and that’s a great thing!

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

Texas
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2 August 2020 - 12:08 am
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Okay, we are 4 days post op and what a roller coaster it is.  The clinic approved changing his med schedule to 8 hours instead of 12.  Unfortunately, he had a rough pain day despite this. He nibbled at his surgical suit and it got a little crusty so he’s in a cone for the night.  We also ended up finally using his one dose of buprenex this evening.  He was panting unusually and could barely keep attention off of his incision.  He was begging for cuddles but restless.  He was asking for help. 🥺 He settled immensely after the bupranex.  I’m praying it holds him for most of the night. 

Tomorrow, some washable bed pads will arrive so we can try and prevent some slipping on pee pads in his kennel.  I’ll also be calling the clinic again to see what else we can do for pain.  Clearly, it’s just not cutting it. 

Barkley’s edema seems to have resolved.  No more pocket of fluid at his abdomen.  He took two tumbles today, trying to be independent.  He also nappped on his incision side for some time.  As a result, he has some fresh bruising /pooling near the incision and is all sorts of colorful.  I’m going to email the photos to the clinic in the morning and ask for advice. 

Overall, he’s engaging with the family, giving kisses (even to one of the other dogs), wagging tail, barking at mail person(however weakly) and getting excited over food smells.  He’s being super picky about food.  My husband finally got him to eat smoked turkey breast today as he rejected canned food and kibble.  

One day at a time! 

~ Melanie 

Texas
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2 August 2020 - 6:12 am
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Barkley got his Bupranex for the first time last night.  I thought that was the cause of him whining all night long.  I finally peeked under his t-shirt (longer story) and found that he had developed what I hoped was a fluid edema near his incision.  I woke my husband immediately and I took Barkley to the emergency vet. 

I just spoke with the vet and she suspects it is a secondary infection, despite the antibiotics he got on Friday.   Because it is about to burst, they are going to try and help it out so that it doesn’t compromise the incision.  They are also likely going to run more labs. 

It’s 7:11 am and I’m in my car in front of the ER (covid) and haven’t slept a wink since yesterday morning’s nap.  So, keep us in your prayers.  One moment at a time. 

Update 11:12 am.  They injected painkiller and the pustule burst before they could aspirate.  Boy did it make a mess.  His shirt and towel I sent in with him are awful.  They reran bloodwork and his white blood cell count was better than Friday but be is slightly anemic.  They did cold laser treatment on the new wound and incision.  They bandaged him up and sent us home with antibiotics and instructions to up his gabapentin to 3 pills and try 12 hours again.  We have a followup appointment scheduled with his vet on Tuesday morning.  

He’s currently whining in his kennel.  He’s been doing that pretty much since an hour after Bupranex dose last night. It’s definitely tender and he is protective but he’s a lot more comfortable than he was earlier today.  He’s refusing food right now, but it’s been a big day.  He’s drinking.  I’m looking forward to/terrified of his next/first pee since bandaging. 

~ Melanie 

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 August 2020 - 5:30 pm
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Oh my gosh Melanie I’m so sorry this happened. Poor guy. No wonder he’s been feeling so restless and icky. At least the infections are being treated. Did they test for MRSA ?

It’s interesting that they’ve given you Buprenex for him. Usually we only see cats get it. I know it’s a good pain reliever though, just find it unusual. 

Do you think the whining is partly because he’s in the kennel? I can’t recall if you mentioned if that’s something he’s used to or not. If not, that could be stressing him out. 

Has he tried eating anything yet? 

Just throwing stuff out there to see if anything helps. You guys must be exhausted. I hope things are getting better. Keep us posted.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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2 August 2020 - 8:32 pm
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Okay, nothing I can add other than time for you and Barkley  to get off this crazy roller coaster!!

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!

Texas
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3 August 2020 - 4:44 am
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What a weekend, y’all!  Long story short- Barkley has an infection.  He’s been to the ER and vet again since I last posted.  He’s slightly anemic, though his white count is improving. Me

I was up through the whole night on Saturday night because he wasn’t handling his buprenex well at all.  In early morning, I checked his incision( it was covered) and he had developed a blister/pustule/edema?  I took him to ER to hopefully drain, assess and avoid rupture.  Unfortunately, it ruptured right after the ER injected pain meds.  They ran bloodwork, started him on different antibiotics and bandaged him up.  

The bandaging shifted and we had to cut it for him to urinate.  We called the vet and asked if he could be seen to rebandage because we had no idea what we were doing(we’d been told to have bandages rechecked Tuesday.) They rewrapped, came up with a med plan with me to control his pain and were wonderful. 

Still, the bandaging shifted.  So I got to rebandage him twice before bed and another two times in the wee hours of this morning (those times on my own.)

Dude is a champ, but I’m tuckered. He’s still whining off some.bulrenex.  Gonna discuss starting nsaid today to help.  Also need to do labs again to recheck anemia. 

The effects that this weekend has had on mental health in our household are unfortunate and overwhelming.  I’m thankful God gave me a caregjvjng heart.  

Now, I’m gonna try and snooze.  

~ Melanie 

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