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Forrest's Road to Recovery
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Member Since:
6 December 2023
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11 December 2023 - 6:05 pm
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Hi all! 

Starting a new post here to document Forrest's recovery from his left forelimb & scapular amputation. Link here  to my original post on Forrest (there's some cute videos from this morning!)

Forrest went in for his amputation this morning at 8am PST... it was a LONG, agonizing day waiting for the call letting us know how he did, but... HE MADE IT THROUGH SURGERY!! I have never felt more relief in my life. I know this is far from the end of the journey (really just the beginning..) but baby steps, right? Or I guess baby hops! 

Our surgeon, Dr. Crawford, said that the surgery went really well and he did just fine with the anesthesia. He is now just resting and he will have 24hr care for as long as he needs - we can call anytime day or night for an update and the nurses will let us know how he's doing - and then tomorrow, his doctor will see how he's doing first thing in the morning and if all clear we should be able to bring him home by late morning/early afternoon. 

I spent a few hours today before getting the call starting to read "Be More Dog " - there was a line from page 62 that really resonated with me. Jim & Rene are debating treatment for Jerry, and they acknowledge "He loves life; he had toughed it out through his pain to be with them." I can only imagine how long Forrest's been in pain with his undiagnosed limp the past few months, but he had a smile on his face nearly every day through it and it's because he WANTS TO BE HERE. And now we've taken away his pain and given him the very best chance to stick around for the ride. I am so thankful. 

More updates to come soon sp_hearticon2 love to all on this journey. 

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11 December 2023 - 8:59 pm
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YAAAAAAAY  Sirgery is done and Forrest is probably seeing a few pink elephants right about now.This isthe perfect time for you to get a good night’s rest too.  Getting to this part is exhausting mentally and physically 

So glad you are reading Be More Dog  The wisdom of the lessons Jerry taught Jim and Rene and they shared with us is so enlightening.

Stay connected.  We’ll help you navigate thru recovery and celebrate all the milestones he accomplishes on t three you👍
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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
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12 December 2023 - 11:13 am
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Awww Kati. I'm so happy that surgery is behind you and Forrest! Boy that sounds like incredible care he is getting. Again, great choice!

Now it's time to prepare for his homecoming, and know that everything will be A-OK. You are well-prepared, and have a great attitude. Both are excellent medicine for your sweet happy boy.

Thank you for reading our book, especially right now during such a scary time. It makes all our years of writing it so worthwhile, knowing it could help someone facing the same situation we did. You made our day. sp_hearticon2

Hope you get some super duper pawsitive updates today! Keep us posted.

Member Since:
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12 December 2023 - 5:59 pm
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Forrest is officially home from surgery!! He did SO incredibly well - all the nurses and techs said he was just the sweetest boy and gave them no trouble with anything. We had called last night before bed just for a nursing update and they said he'd eaten a bit of food and was already up and walking around a bit - he wouldn't pee for them, but there isn't much grass outside the clinic and he has always been a bit fussy about that so I'm not surprised at all. They put in a urinary catheter this morning to drain his bladder - he showed signs of maybe wanting to pee in the backyard when we got home, but he was pretty wobbly and couldn't quite figure it out yet. We'll try him again in a little bit. 

He's fast asleep on the bed we have set up for him right now. He managed our 10 outdoor stairs like a CHAMP (with a little assistance from dad and his Flagline harness ). My proudest moment so far is that he is already seemingly willing to eat whatever I offer him - treats, a meal, etc. He even ate from his bowl standing up all on his own!! I attached a couple videos below, I am just so blown away by how strong, resilient and brave our boy is. I know this journey will be full of ups and downs, but I'm just trying so hard to cherish these moments of joy and hope, celebrating any little wins that we can. 

 

Here is a list of the meds he was prescribed: 

1. Buprenorphine injection: 3-4 days of long last pain relief 

2. Gabapentin, 300mg: 1 capsule 3x/day for 4 days, then 2x/day for 7 days, then as needed for pain 

3. Meloxicam, 1.5mg/ml oral suspension: 30kg dose w/ food for 10 days for anti-inflammatory and pain 

4. Cephalexin, 500mg: 2x/day w/ food for 5 days, antibiotic 

 

If it helps anyone else, here is a list of what we brought with us to pick him up:

- Inflatable e-collar (his regular collar attaches to it for ease of keeping it on)

- Thunder shirt (helps keep them from itching at the incision and provides some comforting pressure on their body)

- Ruffwear Flagline harness (CRUCIAL for helping him in and out of the vehicle and up the stairs into the house)

- A t-shirt of ours (originally in case the Thunder Shirt didn't fit, but apparently he didn't want to get out of his kennel initially and then he smelt the t-shirt and jumped right up knowing we were there!)

- Some of his favourite treats in case he was hungry/to encourage him in and out of the car

 

We also booked him in for his follow-up and suture removal on the 26th of December. We're awaiting a call from oncology, but we should be in to see them in ~3 weeks to discuss starting chemo. 

 

Picking Forrest up from his surgery:

Picking Forrest up after his surgery

Forrest eating a meal moments after coming in the door after surgery:

First meal post surgery!

 

Photos from pickup & resting at home:

Forrest post surgery

Trying to get to mum and dad!

Resting after surgery

 

More updates to come tomorrow - thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey and offered support thus far. It has truly been such a blessing to find this community, I don't know if I would be nearly as strong or feel as equipped to handle this if I hadn't. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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12 December 2023 - 8:36 pm
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OH MY DOG I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU AND FORREST! 

Sorry, didn't mean to shout but dang he looks really good! You can see how well he's moving on the vet flooring, and just looking really alert and super happy to be out of there. 

His pain meds look really good. I like the way they gave you instructions on weaning the Gabapentin, most people don't get that kind of specific instruction.

These are such precious moments. Do you guys mind if I put them together for a short YouTube video on our channel? It's amazing to see how well he's doing less than 48 hours after surgery. What a pawesome pupdate!

We are honored to be here, and you are way stronger than you know 🙂

We will be here for updates tomorrow if you get a chance.

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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12 December 2023 - 8:53 pm
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GRINNING EAR YO EAR OVER HEEE!!😄😄   Such a happy homecoming.  That wagging tail....oh my goodness, peettiest site evvvver!

He clearly has some good meds in him right now. There may, or may not be a bit of a crash after they wear off.  That's where tweaking the pain meds can help if necessary.

Thanks so much for sharing.....made my day!

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!

Member Since:
6 December 2023
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12 December 2023 - 9:55 pm
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jerry said

These are such precious moments. Do you guys mind if I put them together for a short YouTube video on our channel? It's amazing to see how well he's doing less than 48 hours after surgery. What a pawesome pupdate!

  

We would be honoured to be included in a video!! smiley4 Please send me the link when it's posted! 

Good news - we've been outside twice and had two BIG pees without us holding his harness or helping him on the grass at all. He also took his pills no fuss (he has always been pretty good about this thankfully) and we've been able to get him to have lots of water by adding a touch of bone broth to it. Would highly recommend having this on hand for the first few days to encourage them to drink! (make sure it doesn't contain garlic or onion though)

Sally - so glad Forrest's update made you smile! You're so right that he's on veryyyyyy good meds right now and we've been cautioning each other to prepare for a possible crash as he comes down off the meds. But for now, we're just basking in the good feels while we can and taking everything as it comes 🙂 

Will update tomorrow, goodnight! sp_hearticon2

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13 December 2023 - 9:36 am
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Forrest's Recovery Day 2: 

We are happy to report that Forrest had a really good first night at home. His recovery area is in our living room where we've laid down a firm mattress (his bed was always a bit small for him but he used to curl up like a little donut in it, not sure that will be comfortable for him anymore). I slept on the couch to be nearby in case he showed signs of discomfort and also to administer his 2am dose of gabapentin. But we both slept through the night aside from that and he only started to whine a little around 5:45am. 

We got him up and outside at that point to see if he needed to pee (he had two BIG pees last night before bed), but so far he has seemed a bit more reluctant to pee this morning despite eating and drinking very well. No poop yet, but I know that can take a few days and he'll get there when he is ready. He's doing amazing with our outdoor stairs which was one of our biggest concerns, so very thankful to have that somewhat alleviated now.

Jamie is going to pop out and buy his main Christmas present today ... shhh! He's getting a new bed 😉 We've had the medium sized Casper dog bed for him since he was 2 1/2, but as I mentioned it's always been a bit small, so he's being upgraded to the large version which will allow him to sprawl comfortably. His "birthday" is on December 23rd too, so needless to say he is going to be extra spoiled over the coming weeks! 

That's all for now - oh, but can't forget to "pay our dues" so please enjoy a video of Forrest doing his first semi-sit outside and showing us just how well he's hopping around on 3! 

Getting reacquainted with his yard 🙂

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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13 December 2023 - 12:22 pm
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Ohhhh Forrest....you melt  my heart with every video and every wagging tail!!  Sich a happy tail wag 😎

Doing steps already??   WOW 👏👏👏  Continue  to take it sloooow and easy sweet bundle of love.  

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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13 December 2023 - 8:29 pm
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Oh I had to wait all day to read this news and it MADE MY DAY! Thank you for sharing how he's doing. Watching him get around, you'd swear he was at least a week out. WOW!

We promise not to tell him about his new bed 😉 He is going to LOVE It. And since it's made by the same manufacturer as his old one, he should just move over to it without any hesitation.

Thanks for permission to use his videos. I'll make that video asap! Stay tuned, and we will too. Now our day won't be complete without Forrest's beautiful and hopeful updates!

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 December 2023 - 9:00 pm
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Here it is!

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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13 December 2023 - 9:10 pm
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Nicely done👍 The music adds a nice touch to this celebratory first day home. 

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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6 December 2023
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14 December 2023 - 9:48 am
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Jerry, that video is precious!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to put it together. 

Forrest's Christmas present got upgraded to an immediate "get well soon" present from his grandparents -- they love him almost as much as we do, and had been wanting to do something to help so when they heard we were replacing his old one they said they wanted it to be from them and to just give it to him now since the memory foam will be better for his joints than the mattress we've got out for him now. Well, he's still using the mattress LOL but once we take that away I am sure he will love the bed! Now I need to find a new Christmas present for our spoiled boy... onto the update!

 

Forrest's Recovery Day 3:

All in all, Forrest is still doing incredibly well. He's eating and drinking normally, taking his medication without any fuss, and it's honestly astounding how mobile he already wants to be. In fact, the main issue we're encountering is that he is seemingly quite restless and is having some difficulty settling and getting good sleep. He has been starting to cry and whine quite a lot and it's hard to determine the cause (is he in pain? is he anxious? uncomfortable?)

We both had to step out for some errands yesterday so took turns doing that so he'd never be alone. He cried a bit when I was gone apparently, but he cried a LOT when Jamie was gone and was showing signs of separation anxiety which prior to his surgery he has never had before. It was pretty stressful and I felt quite helpless not knowing what to do for him to calm him down. He has always been quite protective of me, so I wonder if he's feeling vulnerable when Jamie isn't around because he thinks he can't protect me as well... To be on the safe side, I got ahold of Dr. Crawford and he said we have lots of flexibility in upping his gabapentin dosage/frequency if we think it is pain related, so I might try that today given he is still whining quite a bit this morning. This has definitely been the hardest part so far because I think I was expecting him to be pretty sedate for the first few days, and though it's great he is already so mobile, it's making me feel like he isn't getting enough rest. We don't have any sedative meds on hand but Dr. C did say he can write a script if we think he needs it. Want to avoid overmedicating if we can though, may need to just tough it out as he adjusts to his new normal (but of course will address pain as needed). 

Other than that, all is well! Still no poopicon but he's eating a lot so I'm sure that will come lol 

Couple videos/pics for you today - a quick one showing how well he does with our outdoor stairs, him enjoying his first ever licky mat (highly recommend as an option for mental stimulation during recovery! he's been enjoying a collagen bully stick as well), and testing out his new bed smiley4

Forrest on the stairs!

Licky mat

New bed!

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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14 December 2023 - 10:43 am
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WOW!!! WOW!!! His mobility is amazing!!  

I am sooooo glad uour Bet told you to up the Gaba.  That was definitely on the low end in my unprofessional  opinion.    300 mg not a lot at al for a dog his size and just having MAJOR surgery..  You are seeing  pain signals ,  the restlessness, the whining,  etc.  The hospital meds have worn off now and this is when it's really important  to let the oral pain meds take over now. 

Keep a log of the amount and space inbetween.  It`s much easier to stay ahead of the pain  thsn to try and catch up.  His whiny went you ran errands may have been a combined with feeling vulnerable and needing to protect you ....or needing Jamie to protect him😉  A "wounded" animal in the wild knows they are vulnerable.  No worries, you are getting  his pain better managed now.  Continue to maintain a pawsitive  upbeat CONFIDENT energy.

 

Looooove the story avout his grandparents goving him his Christmas  present early.  Such a well loved boy!!!

Love the idea of the lick mat.  Thanks for sharing.  The videos are absolutely priceless.  The way he is handling the stairs this early on is truly astounding!  Kudos to Jamie for giving  off a confident  pack leader energy.  You can tell Forrest feds off of it.

 

Loving the updates and videos....keep em coming!  Give his Grandpa and Grandma a big hug from us.

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 April 2007
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14 December 2023 - 10:45 am
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Aww thanks Sally! I'm glad you like it.

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