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Brandy's Recovery Journey
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Member Since:
15 May 2024
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17 May 2024 - 12:33 pm
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Hi everyone,

I wanted to start a new thread to keep you all updated on Brandy’s recovery journey. Your support and advice have been invaluable, and we’re so grateful for this community.  Initial Post Here.

Anyways, we received some good news yesterday—Brandy’s abdominal ultrasound came back clear, which was a huge relief. As I write this, Brandy is undergoing her amputation surgery. I’m a complete bundle of nerves and dealing with major anxiety, but I’m hopeful that the steps we’ve taken to prepare will help her transition smoothly. Waiting for the phone call from the vet is proving nauseating.

Post surgery, we will discuss pain management thoroughly with our vet, and we’re attempting to arrange for a pet sitter with a vet tech background to help out, especially when my brother is at work. Honestly just hoping to make it through the first couple days without any major hiccups. Really nervous for the first night. 

Thank you all again for your kindness and advice. I’ll keep you posted on how Brandy is doing and will share updates regularly.

Member Since:
15 May 2024
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17 May 2024 - 4:17 pm
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Hi everyone,

I wanted to share an update on Brandy's recovery. Her surgery was a success! They removed her front right leg and scapula without any complications, and the surgeon said the anesthesia went smoothly. They’ve placed a drainage tube to prevent seroma formation, which will be removed in about five days.

For pain management , Brandy has two transdermal fentanyl patches (a 50mcg and a 12.5mcg) on her hind leg. She will also be taking gabapentin at a dose of 150mg, with 1-2 pills every 8-12 hours, and meloxicam liquid with food twice daily. After reading through the forums and the "Three Legs and a Spare " book, it seems that this pain regimen aligns with best practices, which is a major relief. The surgeon mentioned that he would likely dose her with some hydrocodone prior to discharge to cover the window between discharge and the fentanyl patches kicking in tonight at 9 pm.

My fiancé, my brother, and I are all ready for a long few days, but we are so grateful that the procedure went well and that she is now on the road to recovery. As soon as I can figure out how to post pictures, I will!

Thank you all for your continued support.sp_hearticon2

Best,
Hunter

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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17 May 2024 - 7:15 pm
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Hi Hunter! Thanks for starting a new topic. That is great news about her surgery! I'm so happy things went well. I thought I saw you in the Tripawds Chat earlier? I usually hang out there in the afternoons during the week. You can always call the Tripawds Helpline too if you ever need help on the phone.

Yes her pain medication sounds good. Gabapentin dosage may need to be adjusted but see how it goes. Is she coming home tonight or tomorrow? If tonight, be ready for some extra wonky behavior. Even if she spends the night and you don't see her until tomorrow she still might be out of it. The opioids can make dogs really dysphoric, especially the Fentanyl. But better than uncontrolled pain for sure.

Please holler if you have any questions, or about adding images . We are here to help!

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17 May 2024 - 9:41 pm
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Thanks Jerry! Yes I was in the live chat for a bit, just kind of exploring the site. Didn't have any specific questions, but I'm glad to know the chat is there. She came home tonight. Sadly the clinic does not have overnight staff. They offered to keep her there, but I figured she would be more comfortable with us than alone in a foreign place. 

As for dysphoria, correct me if my interpretation is wrong, but the vocalizing and other symptoms aren't actually her communicating that she is in pain, correct? It's almost like an involuntary reaction their body has to the pain meds from what I understand? If that is the case I think it makes me feel just a little bit better.

Ultimately I think we are ready for anything the next few days throw at us, or so I hope! Either way we are putting on a brave face for Brandy and trying to remember that a better life is on the other side of this mountain. Thank you again for all your support! 

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Virginia







Member Since:
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17 May 2024 - 11:15 pm
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Already, surgery is done and Brandy is home! It's never easy bringing them home the same day as surgery, but it is better than leaving them unattended in a clinic that's not fully staffed at night.

 

  As for dysphoria, correct me if my interpretation is wrong, but the vocalizing and other symptoms aren't actually her communicating that she is in pain, correct? It's almost like an involuntary reaction their body has to the pain meds from what I understand? If that is the case I think it makes me feel just a little bit better.

 

Yes, you are understanding what you are seeing and hearing perfectly. The fentanyl patch is generally the biggest culprit of the strange vocalization, but it does help keep the pain away.

To give you some reassurance,  what you are experiencing is Brandy shaking off the anesthesia, plus reacting to the morphine patch, the extra heavy duty Hospital meds etc. You might have a bit of a restless night, so try not to let that alarm you.

A better life definitely awaits you. It may not seem like that at this point, but you were in the hardest part for a few days and it will get easier.

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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18 May 2024 - 2:23 am
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Thanks for clearing that up! Like I said it’s a relief to know it’s most likely not pain but just the drugs working their way into her system. Is there a point at which dysphoria becomes too severe? She’s currently panting pretty heavily but seems to calm down a little with touch and me talking to her. Also, does dysphoria come in waves? It seems that she’s getting brief periods of rest in between episodes. 

Livermore, CA




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18 May 2024 - 10:24 am
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Glad to hear surgery is done and Brandy is on the road to recovery!  Stay positive for her and soon she will be amazing you with her resiliency!

 

I added a link to your first post in this thread back to your initial post so folks can read the back story.

 

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

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 May 2024 - 3:59 pm
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Hope you guys got some sleep. That's a big job caring for a new amputee, but you're doing it and everything will be AOK soon!

The pain signals she may show do include panting and restlessness. And sure, I can see them coming in waves, that makes sense. If you are giving the Gabapentin every 12 hours now would be the time to bump it up to every 8 if your vet gave you permission, for consistent relieve, and in turn help reduce the pain, dysphoria and vocalization.

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18 May 2024 - 9:29 pm
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Night 1/ Day 2 UPDATE: Brandy's first night was challenging, but we made it through and this morning we are seeing some positive signs.

After bringing her home, Brandy was quite groggy and never attempted to stand. We managed to give her gabapentin and her antibiotic hidden in some cheese and kibble. So happy that she showed some sort of appetite right away. She was vocalizing quite a bit, but she calmed down when we sat with her and petted her. She would also drink some water from a ladle, which was encouraging. 

Brandy woke up several times, and the vocalization and panting came and went in waves throughout the night, but she seemed to find some relief with our presence and comfort. It was a night of little sleep, but truthfully it wasn't as hard as I was expected. No shrieking or screaming thankfully!

This morning, Brandy stood up for the first time since the surgery, though she was quite unsteady. We managed to get her outside where she peed but didn't poop. She was able to successfully stand to eat and drink from her elevated bowl with some gentle steadying.

Overall, Brandy is showing some awesome signs of adjusting and even started trotting around the living room on her own! Though it’s clear she’s still in the early stages of recovery. Hoping get a few more hours of sleep tonight, but we will see!

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 May 2024 - 3:28 pm
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YAY! That sounds like a pretty typical first couple of nights. You are handling it so well! 

Yes, poopicon can take a while, don't worry about that. As long as she's taking food and urinating on her own these are great signs.

Rest up and keep us posted. I'm so happy to see this update.smiley4

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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19 May 2024 - 4:30 pm
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Brandy, you are a Recovery RockStar!

Brandy stood up for the first time since the surgery, though she was quite unsteady. We managed to get her outside where she peed.......... She was able to successfully stand to eat and drink from her elevated bowl ........ even started trotting around the living room on her own!

Excellent  news!  The patch, meds, etc may add to the unsteadiness for now.  Generally it takes a good two weeks to recover  from the surgery  itself, then about thirty days to adjust muscles,  for life on three,  stable mobility,  smooth flowing gait, etc.  

Cheering for you Brandy 👏👏

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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20 May 2024 - 9:29 pm
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Update Day 3 Post-Op: 

Brandy is doing really well! She has been eating great, sleeping through most of the night, and overall pretty stable on 3 legs! She was able to jump down the back door stair and was able to pee without falling over. When she wants to, she can actually hop around pretty quick -- I saw so many people saying it across the forums, but its really remarkable how quickly they adapt! 

Her pain seems to be under control and she is resting the majority of the day with little spurts of energy here and there. One thing that does seem to be bothering her though is her skin. I think she is itchy where they shaved her and if I even place my hand on her back she starts doing the thumping foot thing that lets you know you've found the "sweet spot". I'm wondering if you guys have a way of soothing their skin? Or maybe this will resolve in a matter of days when her coat starts to regrow. 

All in all we are really grateful to see Brandy happy and out of pain. I know there is more to go and the road is long, but we all feel really good about our decision and what we are seeing from her! 

Here's a video of her hopping around the house

Best,

Hunter

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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21 May 2024 - 11:25 am
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YAY! She's doing the hop! smiley_clap As the days go on her balance will get better. Right now she looks GREAT! 

I love all the traction you have down for her. Great job!

When it comes to fur regrowth, I imagine it's a lot like growing out a beard. Stubble itches! Is she trying to itch the incision or does the whole area seem to bother her? Generally vets don't like to put anything on or near the incision, as far as a topical, but there are some safe vet-approved anti-itch and wound healing sprays you may be able to use. As long as you don't put it on the incision itself, it should be OK. We've been using this Skin Smart Pets Spray on Nelly's paw pressure sore and does seem to help with the healing. Ask your vet to be sure it's OK to use.

Livermore, CA




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21 May 2024 - 9:36 pm
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She looks really good!

And when you whistled it brought my quad dog from another room looking at me- 'I'm here, where is my treat?'

 

smiley4smiley4smiley4

 

Karen and he 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

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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22 May 2024 - 3:45 pm
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YAAAAAY. BRANDY!!!👏👏👏  Looking good pretty girl💖

Her video is so inspiring  and shows dogs CAN hop on three, even this early in.  She's adjusting  very well.👍

Remember,  "baby steps" are "HUGE steps" this soon after surgery👍

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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