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Forrest's Road to Recovery
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Member Since:
6 December 2023
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18 December 2023 - 7:18 pm
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Thanks Jerry for the helpful info about fur growth rates, and for the birthday wishes sp_hearticon2

A bit of cause for concern right now - Forrest has seemed a bit less inclined to move around today and we'd chalked it up to less energy, but in the last hour or so he is showing signs of really favouring his back left leg/paw. He doesn't seem to want to put weight on it and is only going a few steps before wanting to lie down. He was on his bed and tried to stand up and let out a little cry... ūüôĀ I gave him his next 300mg of gabapentin about 1.5 hours early and he is now fast asleep, but I'm really worried that a) he tore a ligament or something while putting more weight on that limb, or b) worst case scenario could this be an early sign of metastasis?¬†

My head is just swimming and I am really concerned. We called Boundary Bay and they said we could bring him into emergency if we felt it necessary, but given it has only been showing for the last hour or two we all thought maybe we should monitor a bit longer, so we booked a re-check with Dr. C tomorrow morning (which we can cancel if he is seeming fine between now and then). 

This is just not at all what I was expecting to happen given everything has been going so well... Is this normal? Has this happened to anyone else? Should we be taking him to emergency now? The video below doesn't show much, but you can see he is moving a lot slower than he has been and favouring his back left paw. Prior to this he was basically lifting that paw off the ground as best he could. You'll see he has a makeshift bandage on that leg because he had a bit of an open sore, not sure what from but it has been there for a couple days now and he hasn't shown any signs of it bothering him. 

Back left leg limping

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 December 2023 - 9:00 pm
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Hey Kati, try not to panic (I know, easy for me to say!). We see this quite a bit. And you're not alone, our minds go to the worst places when it does! But rest assured, I'm going to guess this is temporary and not as bad as you might be thinking.

Many times, a dog will do great for the first week and once the body and brain catches up, they develop a little hitch in their giddyup. Usually it's a pulled muscle of some sort, just requiring time and R&R to heal it up. A bid of gentle massage helps too. It can be tricky to tell where exactly the pain is coming from, but he definitely looks painful. Potentially in his lower back and hip muscles, he's taking very tiny steps.

Was the sore there before surgery? Is it swollen at all, or warm to the touch?

Virginia







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18 December 2023 - 9:46 pm
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Actually, this is not unexpected at all with the way that Fotrest has been going so gung ho so early on. I agree with jerry, it very likely is a pulled muscle, not necessarily just leg muscle but back muscle shoulder muscle etc. Is Jerry said, massage up and down his spine around his shoulder neck etc. See if there is any tenseness in any of the areas. Keep him rested as best you can right now and limit everything just to an In-N-Out quick potty break.  Looks like his shoulder and neck muscles  could be a little tense too

I think the video will be helpful for the vet to pinpoint where the strain May be. It does seem like it could be a tweak in his mind, maybe a pinched nerve, sore disc etc.

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS.... still love seeing his happy wagging tail. That's a good sign.

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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19 December 2023 - 12:32 am
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Just popped in here to see how your boy was doing as I know we are probably on a similar timeline with Boston.

Not been online on here for a bit as the weekend arrived and mentally it felt like everyone in our household needed a real ‚Äútune out‚ÄĚ and just ‚Äúbe‚ÄĚ for a few days- not sure about you guys but jeez a couple of the first days were real up and down. Makes me very glad we didn‚Äôt have to have him at home night one. From reading your updates it does seem similar though, in terms of the real restlessness and whining moments in the early days, had the same issues calling vets to discuss pain management options, but it did feel like day 3/4 were marked improvements.

If it makes you feel any better, as I’ve read your most recent update I would say we are experiencing the same thing today. It’s the first day where me and Emma have both been back to work, and left him and Bella home alone for 7 hours. This morning he was continuing where he left off and I let him out for a wee this AM and while I turned my back he tackled the biggest set of stairs we have in our place just to pee in an elevated part of the garden. I made sure to spot him on his way back down as the vet did say often they will find it easier going up than down..

but anyways, I‚Äôve got home about an hour ago and I‚Äôve found him a lot more ‚Äúsad‚ÄĚ looking than the past few days, and way less eager to be moving around. Judging by eye it does appear to be his back legs that are aching now. He‚Äôs getting up, taking a few strides and they seem to be slipping underneath him slightly and making him slide more into a laying down action and then he‚Äôs just going with it and laying back down. Hoping this is just adjustment aches and something we should expect and see improve, again only thought I would post in your topic here as it sounds like Forrest has show similar signs of I guess what we see as ‚Äúsetbacks‚ÄĚ. Comforting to know it‚Äôs happening to both our boys so it may be ‚Äúnormal‚ÄĚ, but also any advice or what to look for / expect from any of the others would be appreciated from me as well as I‚Äôm sure Kati. Not sure on time zones and whether you guys are starting a new day but interested to see how your boy goes after a night sleep. We are at day 5 I think with Boston I think it‚Äôs easy to forget how early on we both out with their surgeries and recovery etc.

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 December 2023 - 10:55 am
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Yes, we do see them as setbacks. But we tend to forget that recovery, like many thing in life, is not a linear process. There will be ups and downs, and days when we feel like we are just exhausted. Think about our own days and what our patterns are like. Some days are doozies, some are free and light, no two are ever the same. It's really no different for our dogs and cats. We expect a lot out of them because we aren't used to seeing them having such dramatically different days, they are almost always "up" in our eyes. But amputation will do that, and with time, and rest, and good rehab therapy when possible, they find a steady pace to go through their days without the downs being so down.

I hope this makes sense. Please keep us posted.

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19 December 2023 - 12:39 pm
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Thank you all for the reassurance and validation that these trials and tribulations are mostly just part of the recovery process. Forrest slept well through the night, I heard him trying to get up around 4:45am but he didn't seem to be crying, just maybe moving a bit slower. 

He was still having trouble putting weight on that paw this morning, so we decided to keep our appt with Dr. C for a recheck just in case. Of course, as soon as we showed signs of getting his harness and leash out he popped right up and seemed really excited and was walking somewhat better - still clearly avoiding stepping right down onto it, but we questioned for a moment if we were being overly paranoid, but we decided to go just for peace of mind. 

Dr. C checked him out and said that overall he thinks it's likely muscle pain, it does seem like it could be coming from the knee so there is a possibility it could have to do with the cruciate ligament (of course this sends me into a spiral of TPLO fears) but his reco was to try and take it extra easy for a few days, we can re-up his pain meds if we feel it's necessary or hold the course so we can accurately monitor if he is getting better or not. He said in general for the first 2-4 weeks following amp he doesn't put too much stock into these types of "setbacks" unless there's major signs telling him to have concern - in this case, he said there was nothing to suggest we should get more xrays or anything, so bed rest it is. He also said we can try adding Methocarbamol (500-750mg 2x/day) which is a muscle relaxant if we wanted to try that, so we'll keep that in mind but I'm hesitant to keep adding more to his cocktail of meds. 

I guess it's just a waiting game now, but finding comfort in knowing this isn't uncommon and no signs point to a need for major concern at this point. Like they say... time heals all wounds. 

 

George - thank you so much for checking in, I've been thinking about you guys. Totally understand the need to step away for a few days, this whole process is incredibly exhausting and can feel really all consuming. I hope you find some comfort in the update above and I'll cross my fingers for both our strong boys that they bounce back quickly and are back to their smiley, happy selves really soon. Happy Holidays to you, Emma, Boston & Bella - keep us posted on how he's doing when you can. 

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19 December 2023 - 2:19 pm
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He is seeming more "drugged out" than he was previously - eyes a bit glazed, looking away from me vs. at me (though will redirect to me when prompted), licking his chops and yawning. 

I am worried that maybe he isn't tolerating the Amantadine well... though of course the limp in his back leg wouldn't be caused by the intro of that, the more sedated/woozy symptoms seem to coincide with the introduction of that medication two nights ago. I can't really find much about potential side effects, but I am inclined to stop using it and maybe go back to the 600mg 3x/day that he was doing well with prior to this adjustment. 

Thoughts? Dr. C said we could do this no problem from a pain management perspective, but we didn't talk about Amantadine being a potential cause of some increased wooziness. 

Virginia







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19 December 2023 - 3:34 pm
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Pf course, not a Vet, but wasn't  aware that Amantadine had sedation as a aide effect.  It's my under that it doesn't  have many, if any aide effects.  That said,  every dog handles meds differently not to say he is hav9ng a reaction.

I do know sometines in some dogs, the Gaba seems to show some sedation. 

But yeah, doesn't  hurt to eliminate the Amantadine  and go back to bigger dose of Gaba

Just throwing this out there, what  you are seeing is he may just be reacting  from a tiring day at the Vet.  The looking away may be....*Okay, I'm tired, want a nap  and want to rest".  Sometimes  we can all  be a helicopter  Mom a little too much.   

If he seems off food and continues licking  his chops he may be....may be....a little anuseou.  No worries, again, he had a bit day.  His leg probably does hurt and rest is exactly what he needs.

For whatever it's worth, if it is a cruciate issue, rest and anti-inflammatories and pain medicine would be exactly what's needed right now.  

Almost hate to bring this up I really hope you find it reassuring as opposed to something to worry about..   

If, if, if, surgery is required in the future if it is cruciate my front legger tripawd Frankie has had the surgery on one rear leg and then a year or two later on the other rear leg.  

It certainly is doable. Just like amputation, recovery is no picnic but it doesn't last forever.

I really like your vet and the approach he is taking. He has checked Forrest out and believes this is just a muscle sprain. As do we. He did an awful lot and was quite active for the first couple of days. Most dogs don't feel well enough to be as mobile as he was. So the likelihood of a tweak muscle or a sprain is very high.

Give that handsome boy a big smooch and give yourself a pat on the back for being such a good caregiver!

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:
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20 December 2023 - 9:33 am
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It was so lovely to be able to chat with you all live yesterday evening - I'd been having a really tough day processing Forrest's change in behaviour/mobility, and it was just incredibly reassuring to hear that slight changes in meds can have such a big impact, reiterating how common it is to see these muscle tweaks/sprains/etc. It put my mind at ease a lot more and I was able to shake off some of the depression I'd been feeling all day long. So thank you, this community is truly such a lifeline for me right now and I cannot express my gratitude enough. 

The advice to return to the medication he was at his best on (600mg gaba 3x/day, metacam 1x/day) seems to be helping, he doesn't seem quite as "drugged out" as he was on the amantadine. He was refusing his kibble when we tried to feed him at 5:30pm last night, but we added a bit of tuna and tried again at 8pm and he gobbled it right up!! He hadn't been outside since 10:30 in the morning, and shortly after eating we were able to get him up and outside where he had a big pee and even a poopiconicon_lol

Once he was outside and moving he was wagging his tail and smiling, still not putting as much weight on that back left paw but he did look better overall which was incredibly heartwarming to see. He came back in and slept the rest of the evening and is sleepy so far this morning - he is due for his next gaba 600mg in about an hour and we'll see if he is more interested in his regular kibble then as well. Keep ya posted! 

Virginia







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20 December 2023 - 9:52 am
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Been checmi g for your update and, overall it's a good one!!!  We got. poopiconpoopicon and we for pee.  More alert, tail wags, earing...YAAAAY.  Yes, a tweak in thepain meds and being consistent  now seems to be working too! For now, go ahead and throw in some warm rotisserie chicken, maybe a little bit of lean ground cooked hamburger, etc.

Give him whatever key likes to getting back to eating. Although, it does seem like the tuna water made a difference. So that's good

Shhhhhh.......Forrest........ don't tell your mom and dad I said this, okay? But hold out for some good stuff like chicken and steak and macaroni and cheese. Don't settle for just a little Tuna water add it to your kibbl! leūüėĪ¬† You've got them wrapped around your paws right now so take advantage of it!ūüėú

it was wonderful meeting you too and getting a quick glimpse of that handsome Forrest. Glad you felt reassured and you have every reason to be reassured.

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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20 December 2023 - 10:23 am
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WOOHOO! Kati these are all great signs! His appetite, mobility, alertness, everything. YAY FORREST!!!!

We are so glad we could chat with you last night, and happy that it helped you feel better. It's hard not to get so concerned after such a really 'easy' recovery during that first week. Again, just remember that recovery isn't a linear experience. We all have ups and downs when we are healthy, so when we are healing from a major surgery, these kinds of experiences are expected. 

As long as his symptoms don't get more severe and dramatically shift, it really sounds like the move to switch him back to his other pain meds routine is helping. YAY! I hope today goes smoothly and he's back on the upswing. Keep us posted. 

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21 December 2023 - 9:28 am
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Good morning from Team Forrest!

Man, I just have to say it somewhere - this whole process is SUCH a rollercoaster. The highs are high, but wow are the lows ever low. I've been struck so many times by this awareness of the absolute mental & physical exhaustion that follows feeling like he's maybe showing signs of improvement, only to have the wind completely blown out of my sails the second he regresses. For anyone else reading this and feeling the same, just know that I see you and you aren't alone. This is hard. 

Following yesterdays update, Forrest was doing okay during the day until about 2pm - he'd had his 600mg gaba at 9:30am and was due for his next dose at 5:30pm. He was still really reluctant to put weight on the back left leg, there were a few times where he shifted and would cry out a bit, but overall he was just seeming to want to lie down and just stay put for hours. Except, when he was awake he just seemed sooooooo out of it - licking his lips a bunch, burping, eyes glazed over and looking away from us, ears pushed all the way back, trembling a bit and truthfully there was just something nagging at me that said "is he over medicated? could that be it?" It was really hard to think that way because at the same time he's clearly still in pain from whatever is going on with the back leg, but the other symptoms just felt like they might actually be caused by the medication/dosage we had him on...

So, we got ahold of Dr. C (bless this man, he is a godsend) and talked it through, he ultimately suggested we try reducing the gabapentin back down to 300mg every 8-12 hours and see how he does. So, instead of giving him his 600mg at 5:30pm, we held off and proceeded with his metacam at 8pm (his last dose of a 10 day course) and gave him 300mg of gaba at 9pm. He slept soundly through the night and he did seem a lot more alert/less druggy when I woke up this morning around 5:15am. He was lying down in the kitchen resting and I held off giving him another 300mg until about 7:45am and he showed me no signs of wanting anything sooner. I spent 20 mins or so massaging his back legs and he seemed to really enjoy that and was even stretching the back left leg out a bit more which yesterday he really hesitated to do. However, when I tried to feed him about 20 mins later (just his regular kibble) he got up for a few steps and then laid right back down, seeming quite stiff and like he just doesn't want to get up and move around yet. He is much better than he was yesterday when he is lying down, but ultimately he's telling me he isn't up for walking much at this point. 

I added some tuna, bone broth, water and plain 0% Greek yogurt to his food and brought it to him and he gobbled it down pretty quick!! I also reintroduced Cosequin and his CBD oil (link here to what we use) as I'd like to start getting him back on supplements sooner than later (Dr. C had no issues with us doing this). I'd really like to try adding the Myos supplement as well, so might pick that up over the weekend. 

So, that's where we're at - my new approach is just to let Forrest tell ME when he wants to move around. He will get up on his 3 legs when he damn well wants to smiley4 until then, if what he needs is to rest and he is less strung out on the smaller dose of gaba (but not showing significantly more pain signs), then I will call that a win! 

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21 December 2023 - 9:41 am
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Quick pupdate - immediately after posting this he got himself up (and actually seemed reasonably stable) and made it clear he wanted to go outside, and immediately had a pee & and a poop!! Fingers crossed this strategy works of just waiting till he says it's time to move and lean into R&R, massage, hot and cold compresses, etc in between. sp_hearticon2icon_lol

Virginia







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21 December 2023 - 10:07 am
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Goodness gracious Foreest!  Your hoomans would like to get off thos roller coaster ride, as I'm sure you would too!!

Guess all I can say is, if some of these "issues" are due to the meds.....every dog os different  when it comes to individual  tolerance.  You dropped the Amantadine  and now cutting the Gaba  back to a very low dose.  I just hope his pain is managed somehow.

Dd you mention the burping and licking the lips to the Vet.  Seems like he possible  has some gsstro upset, nausea, etc.  .  Wondering of the Metacam could cause that. Just wondering if the Vet was aware of that before  Introducing other supplements, etc, . The looking away and the esrs pinned back are usually  pain signals .  Jist throwing that out there....not a Vet and not giving Vet advice.  

Ueah, just let him rest and stay off the painful leg, sore muscles, etc .  As you noted, only take him out when he indicates  he needs to go.

Paws crossed that whatever protocol you and uour Vet decide on helps to minimize his pain, takes away is nay (if that's  what it is) and everyone  can get pff the roller coaster!

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







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21 December 2023 - 10:08 am
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Just saw the post above after I finished typing.  YAY and good luck!!

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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