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Forrest's Road to Recovery
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Member Since:
6 December 2023
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15 December 2023 - 9:42 am
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Forrest's Recovery Day 4:

Can't believe it has already been 4 days since Forrest's surgery - time just goes by so quickly. We're still doing pretty well over here I think. Great news, we got his first poopicon yesterday morning after I posted his daily update! Hasn't had another one yet, but happy to get at least a little movement on that front. He's seeming a bit hesitant to pee, he keeps trying to lift his leg which obviously doesn't work very well anymore. He has always been a 'marker' and wants to pee ON bushes/trees/fences etc, not next to them, so I think that is frustrating for him. 

The hardest part has been figuring out his pain management - he has been pretty vocal, crying and whimpering. He'll settle for a bit and then start it up again. Certainly worse when we aren't both home, which makes me feel like there is definitely an anxiety component vs. just pain. 

We gave him metacam at ~7:30pm last night, followed by 600mg gabapentin at 8:45pm and he settled for a while but then started crying pretty bad around 12:45am. I had been sleeping on the couch next to him in case he needed anything, so I tried calming him down and taking him outside but he didn't want to do anything out there. We came back in and I woke Jamie up to come try and calm him down too, but that didn't really work either. I ended up calling the clinic (SO SO thankful to have gone with a 24hr facility that we can ring anytime we need advice) and I spoke with the ER doc who had actually been attending to him overnight on Monday so she was familiar with his case. She asked me to gently palpate next to his incision to see if he reacted adversely as this would be a sign it was more painful, but he didn't show much reaction. Regardless, she suggested giving him another 600mg of gabapentin, so we did that at ~2:15am (prior dose had been at 8:45pm the prior evening). She also suggested that we try getting back to our normal routine of sleeping in our bedroom as my being on the couch nearby may actually be making him more anxious if he doesn't feel like he can rest on his own at night like he is used to. So, I packed up my pillows and we both went to bed and he slept in the living room for the rest of the night without a peep! 

It's now ~8:30am and he's due for his next dose of 600mg gabapentin (we're trying 600 3x/day) at 10:15am. He's been whimpering a bit this morning, so I hope we're on the right track with having built up some meds in his system overnight and that we aren't waiting too long between doses... 

He's had a pee this morning and his breakfast, but he seems to be tiring a bit more between steps than he was the first couple days. He'll hop a few feet and then lay down. 

Honestly, it's tough trying to figure out what he needs - I feel like I'm just guessing and hoping for the best. Trying to keep spirits up and be positive whenever he has small wins, but starting to feel a bit worn down. 

Member Since:
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15 December 2023 - 10:20 am
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Here's a couple film photos we took from his walk on that last day before surgery. Will cherish these forever. Don't mind the red eye, will fix that later!

Forrest on film

Forrest on film

Virginia







Member Since:
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15 December 2023 - 10:41 am
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YAAAAY. FOR poopicon

For the record, you are doing a great job of assessing Forrest, his needs, his victories  and understanding who he is..  Of course you feel worn down.  This is exhausting  mentally and physically.  Your emotions are raw.  You need some good sleep and a little self care to recharge  your battery.   I find CHOCOLATE  works wonders on all levels!😎

I know we sou d like a broken record,  but Forrest just had MAJOR surgery,  trying to adjust to three and all while on some pain meds.  A hooman would still ve in the hospital and probably  still on a morphine drip.😱

Like the suggestions the Vet gave you about adjusting  the frequency  of the Gaba, as well as returning your  "sleep routine" back to normal.   Forrest's own routine isn't  quite back to `normal" yet.  So seeing your routine  change could indeed cause some anxiety. 

Ask the Vet about adding Amantadine  into his pain protocol.  It's often  been used for the inbetween doses of Gaba.  Members have had a lot of success  using it that way.  You can still keep the Gaba  3x a day if the Amantadine  helps.

You are in the "crash" time of ,thenuos and downs of rec.  Hospital  meds are out of his system.   He's using muscles in a way he hasn't  had to before and yes, it is very tiring at first to try and hoo on three,.  Hold one of your legs up and hoo across the floor.  You'll use a lot more energy.

The stumbles are no fun to watch, but they'll become less and less.  He'll get the hang of peeing in a way that works for him....promise.

GWIW, some dogs even today at the clinic for two or three days because  they haven't  gotten their sea legs at all!  Forrest is ahead of the curve as far as that goes👏

Hang in there!  Be sure and ask avout the Amantadine. 

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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15 December 2023 - 10:43 am
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Oh gosh....just saw the photos!!  Loooove them!!    All that joy and happ hasn't gone away.  He'll just be smooching you on three!

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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15 December 2023 - 11:14 am
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LOVE those photos!

Did I tell you I LOVE your vet team! The vet's input is spot on. Love the aggressive pain control, and especially about moving back into the bedroom. I get it when folks move onto the couch for a bit, especially when the dog is used to sleeping upstairs. But dogs thrive on routine, some really need it more than others. By moving back into the bedroom, you're telling Forrest that everything is OK. And it IS! You guys are getting everything dialed in. Yes, it takes practice, but by the time this is all over you will have a better understanding of his needs to cope with any kind of pain, and that is good stuff to know. It's the education you never wanted but it sure comes in handy.

Yeah if the different Gabapentin dosage doesn't help I would ask about the Amantadine. Let us know how today goes!

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15 December 2023 - 8:24 pm
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You two are just the very best. Thank you for all the kind words and validation, it's so appreciated and truly helps. 

I ended up giving him his gabapentin (600mg) at 9:15am vs. 10:30am since he was starting to cry again and I wanted to get ahead of it. He had a few more bouts of whimpering throughout the day and we ended up moving his new bed into Jamie's office (he used to sleep in there on the futon quite a bit, which is the mattress we'd moved into the living room for him to recover on) - after moving him to that room he seemed to chill out a bit, so we decided to move the futon mattress out of the living room and try and return it to normal as much as possible. Essentially leaning into the idea that maybe he was stressed out because the whole house seemed out of sorts. 

Well, that seems to have made a big difference! I was able to hold out until 5:15pm (a full 8 hours) before giving his next gaba dose with very little crying, and now he is fast asleep on his new bed in front of the fireplace. He'll get his metacam at 8pm and hopefully that will help him (and us!!) sleep until gaba at 1:15am (yay lol)

I did email Dr. C to give him an update and, because he is the best, he called in a script pretty much immediately on his day off for both Amantadine and Trazodone in case we needed it. Couldn't agree more Jerry - we have a pretty incredible vet team!! If we've done one thing right so far it was sticking with our gut and entrusting his care to them. 

That said, murphy's law of course he now isn't crying at all icon_razz so not sure we'll be needing any of those meds and of course won't give them unless we do, but hey I'm WAY happier to not use them because it means maybe he is getting past the slump, the pain med cycle is working, and we're back on track with his recovery. Day 5 update tomorrow, but here's a pic of Forrest on his new bed with the living room returned back to normal! If you look close, you'll see my favourite "Forrest" tree ornament front and centre on our xmas tree <3 

King of the living room!

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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15 December 2023 - 8:47 pm
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The picture looks like a Christmas card♥️   Spott3d Forrest's ornamemt... very special!

Good job of tuning into the fact that Forrest wants his rout back.  Having him move back to the office with Jamie reassures him that everything  is 'normal".

Glad the Bet was receptive to filling the prescriptions.  Keep in mind that the Trazadone  is a sedative and does nothing for pain. It sounds like giving Forrest a sense of "normalcy" and adjusting the Gaba, his pain is being managed. Good job!

Now you get some sleep too!

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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16 December 2023 - 12:30 am
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Well now that is such a great picture! He looks content and relaxed, and I hope you are feeling the same way. What a beautiful tree too!

So glad things are going well. Each day gets better little by little, even if you aren't seeing it. Having such a responsive vet team sure makes all the difference.

You're right, better to be ready with the meds just in case. I hope you don't need them but if you do, you are set!

I hope this weekend goes really smoothly, keep us posted.

Livermore, CA




Member Since:
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16 December 2023 - 11:47 am
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Love your vet team!

I wanted to second the return to 'normal'.  When my Pug Maggie lost her back leg to mast cell cancer I tried sleeping in the living room with her on her own bed on the floor.  I also had my parents keep my other Pug Tani for a few days so I could focus on Mag.  Neither of us got much sleep for 2 nights and my dad called and said Tani was not doing well alone so I was pretty much forced back to normal.  The dogs had been together for more than 5 years and they both slept on the bed with me.  As soon as Tani came home and we moved back to the bedroom everyone slept much better.  In hindsight I should have put my mattress on the floor but I was lucky in that Mag never tried to get up or down by herself.

It's normal for new Tripawds to seem to back slide a little around day 5 or so.  Mostly due to how tiring the new gait is as well as dealing with all the meds. 

As far as peeing goes...I've seen several front amp tripawd boy dogs who figure out how to still lift a leg.  Once Forrest gets off the meds and gets stronger he may figure it out, if not he will get used to his new normal. My current rear amp Tripawd Elly often balances on her two front legs when she pees- I don't know why for sure.  But she usually does it when we are away from home so I'm thinking it has something to do with marking.

 

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:
6 December 2023
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16 December 2023 - 4:44 pm
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Forrest's Recovery Day 5:

Today has been the best day yet! Thrilled to report that we haven't needed to use anything other than the 600mg gabapentin 3x/day and metacam 1x/day since switching to that about 36 hours ago. He has been crying very minimally now and doesn't seem anywhere near as anxious. Likely the combo of the right meds and also the 'return to normal' in terms of the house layout and routines. Everyone slept well last night finally smiley4

Karen - funny that you should mention figuring out how to lift his leg... he surprised us this morning when he did just that!! Balanced quite well on his one front leg and opposite back leg and seemed quite proud of himself having figured that out. 

Very glad we haven't needed the Trazodone, all my reading in these posts led me to believe it just isn't great for a lot of dogs and I get the sense Dr. C only wanted to use it as a last resort if the sedative effects of the gaba/amantadine couldn't quell his anxiety, but thankful they seem to have done so. 

Not much else to report, he has been good with bowel movements, peeing, and eating, today has mostly just been restful! Some coworkers of mine sent Forrest a care package full of treats and new toys which was incredibly thoughtful and he enjoyed opening that earlier today. He also had some good energy this morning and we captured a little video of him showing us just how well he's learning to hop around. Enjoy!! sp_hearticon2

Figuring things out!

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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16 December 2023 - 6:20 pm
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Aww look at him go! He's so eager to get back to his routines. Sounds to me like he's big on that kind of thing! Lifting his leg to wee? WOW! Glad you are all getting good sleep again.

Yes that Traz is a double-edge sword. It can help a really energetic dog chill out in order to heal, but sometimes too much! I'm glad your vet didn't put him on it right away. What an awesome team!

How sweet of your co-workers. They get it! Forrest loves the goodies I'm sure 🙂

He really is having such an awesome recovery! smiley_clap

Livermore, CA




Member Since:
18 October 2009
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16 December 2023 - 8:17 pm
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Wow, he looks really good!

Karen - funny that you should mention figuring out how to lift his leg... he surprised us this morning when he did just that!! Balanced quite well on his one front leg and opposite back leg and seemed quite proud of himself having figured that out.

Awesome! Where there is a will...

 

Keep it up Team Forrest!

 

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

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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16 December 2023 - 8:28 pm
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Oh Forrest, you are so darn handsome and, as always, love that bea happy wagging tail!

Walking good, figuring  oit how to do a boy dog pee....you are an amazing  pupper!

Onward and upward!

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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18 December 2023 - 11:40 am
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Forrest's Recovery Day 7:

No update yesterday because really there isn't too much to report! A lot of resting, he has been pretty tired - I wouldn't call it lethargic as he is very alert as soon as we call him, but he has just finally seemed to settle into his pain management and able to rest which I'm thinking is good 🙂 He is getting more and more confident with his gait, he still needs help going down the stairs but honest I'm barely lifting his harness at all going up and he seems eager to go it alone. We aren't letting him of course just in case, but the spirit is strong!! 

Just today we are moving him down to 300mg gabapentin 4x/day, metacam 1x/day, and amantadine 1x/day vs. the 600mg 3x/day & metacam 1x/day we've had him on, so hopefully he continues to do well with that for a few days and we can continue gradually reducing the meds. 

Tomorrow is my birthday and I'm looking forward to a nice dinner at home with my boys, so thankful that Forrest is doing well and we can celebrate together as a family. His birthday is the 23rd and I am going to order a little custom bday treat from a local pet bakery here in Vancouver! 

Other than that, all is getting back to normal. Next big milestone is stitches coming out on the 27th, so hopefully the good days continue up till then (and of course after)! 

 

I just had one question... in general, how long did it take for your pets fur to grow back where they shave it down for surgery? Just curious what we can expect. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 April 2007
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18 December 2023 - 12:01 pm
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Yipee!!! smiley_clapNot much to report is exactly what we aim for around here. And yeah, him resting is a very good thing. Those little bursts of energy are WORK and that after-party R&R is paying off. You can already see it by the lack of support he needs. Of course being there just in case is always a good thing. That's one reason we love the harness handle so much and recommend leaving it on all day. It's ready in a pinch if he needs help.

What a really sweet birthday present for both of you. We are celebrating in spirit! Or heck come join the Tripawds Q&A tomorrow night and you can let even more people in to the celebration!

Fur growing back really depends on the dog, and the climate. We wondered that too! See this old vintage post, "Are You Furry Again?" There are some comments in there that show how much growth rate varies. But for a longer coated dog like Forrest I'd say that within two months you'll see it come back. 

Hope you and Forrest have a fantastic birthday week!! Best. Present. Ever!

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