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Just home, I am terrified, day 4 of amputation. Is it normal for him to not be able to get up on own | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

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Just home, I am terrified, day 4 of amputation. Is it normal for him to not be able to get up on own
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Hannibal, MO
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16 October 2018 - 4:15 am
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Draco is my 7 1/2 year old doberman pinscher. Diagnosed witg bone cancer 10/10, leg amputation 10/13 & we justgot him home last night 10/15.  I am devestated, terrified and overwhelmed. Draco is a big boy, so the vet said he will take longer to adjust. He cannot even get up on his own & when we do get him up he can only walk for a very short time before his 1 back leg begins to give out.  Is this normal? 

-how often should i get him up to walk or should i just let him rest?

-should i push him to walk further (I’m using a sling to hold his backside up)?

-pain? He’s only on 1 pill, meloxicam, is this enough? 

Thank you for your help and response. I feel like I need to hear that he’s progressing or not, is his progress normal? 

The Rainbow Bridge

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16 October 2018 - 9:07 am
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Hi Angela, welcome. I’m sorry for the diagnosis but glad you found your way over here. We can hopefully help put your mind at ease.

The first few nights home can be ruff. Check out Jerry’s Required Reading List and this article so you can see that his behavior is normal:

https://tripawds.com/2018/05/30/what-to-expect-when-you-pick-up-your-tripawd/

Can you tell us if Draco has a fentanyl patch on? Or if he was given a pain medication injection before leaving the hospital? Many vets are using a new drug called Nocita, which has three day pain relief. If he was not given either, than no, Meloxicam is absolutely not enough. If that is the case, call your vet immediately and request more pain medication such as Gabapentin, tramadol, and Amantadine. Meloxicam is the equivalent of giving an ibuprophen for amputation pain. It’s not enough.

As long as he is staying hydrated, and eliminating, just let him rest. Don’t push him to do anything other than sleep for the first few days. Try to put yourself in his paws: amputation recovery isn’t easy and it’s exhausting. The only time you should encourage him to do anything is to go outside to potty. And just stick to his regular schedule. If he hasn’t eliminated in 12 hours, let your vet know.

As for pooping, that may not happen for a few days. anesthesia and surgery medication can cause constipation. You can move things along by adding Metamucil, oilive oil or canned pumpkin pulp to his food.

Hang in there. If you want to talk to somone on the phone, call the Tripawds Helpline at 844-TRIPAWD. And while you’re here, check out Angel Nitro’s blog, one of the most pawesome and inspawrational Dobies you’ll ever meet.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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16 October 2018 - 9:18 am
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My first night was difficult too. We’re on day 5 and the progress is amazing. Mine also came home 2 days after surgery and it was difficult. It’s shocking to see your dog like that. The inability to get around, the loss of a leg, the huge incision, the draining, the bruising. It’s a lot to take in. I think it takes awhile for some of the surgery drugs to wear off and the brain to clear. You and he will get better with the sling….it takes a little coordination. My guy didn’t eat for 24 hours after coming home. He did drink. I expect you’ll be pleasantly surprised when he perks up a bit. It took roasted chicken with stuffing and gravy for my guy to eat the first time. The next night he got up on his own and came to the dinner table when he smelled it. I was shocked! Today…5 days post op….he got up and moved to another room to be near me. All on his own. So be patient, listen to the experienced people on here and communicate with your vet if your concerned. My guy is about 80lbs. Draco will let you know when he wants to move and how far he wants to go. Go at his pace. I feel for you!heart

Livermore, CA
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16 October 2018 - 1:19 pm
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Our surgeon told us that Maggie was only allowed short, leashed potty breaks for the first two weeks post amputation.  Mag was a Pug who lost a back leg to mast cell cancer.

As Jerry said, unless Draco has a pain patch or had an injection he needs more than meloxicam.  Even if he had a patch or an injection they only last a few days and he would need something after that. 

Not being able to support weight at this time isn’t unusual, especially for the big dogs.  And if he is in pain he may not want to even try.  Talk to the vet about pain meds so you can get him comfortable.  Keep helping him on potty breaks with the sling while he needs it. 

Be sure all the places he is trying to walk have good traction . Slippery floors should be covered with rugs or yoga mats to give him the footing he needs to get around.

Here is a Blog Post on the Best Tripawds Pain Management Tips. Lots of links there on recognizing pain signs, current pain management protocols, and things that you can do to help like massage and icing.

The first few days can be really hard- hang in there and stay positive for your boy.  Things will get better.

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

Hannibal, MO
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16 October 2018 - 3:35 pm
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I actually called the vet this morning and asked why he didn’t get pain meds and if he would prescribe them. He refused! His reasoning is that it won’t be good on his liver or kidneys at his age. He said that he will be fine without. I don’t know what else to do. Do I give him double the meloxicam? 

I’m actually surprised how much he’s purked up since last night and even moving better 

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16 October 2018 - 4:08 pm
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Draco doesn’t need pain meds 😳😬????!!!!

Is this vet insane or what 😡???

Of course he needs pain meds, he just had amputation surgery!

Who cares about the required drugs not being ideal for his liver or kidneys when the poor guy will be in horrible pain without 😠

PLEASE find another vet who knows your boy needs proper pain control during recovery.

Luckily, we don’t come across old time idiotic vets who do not believe in pain management very often here but when this happens and if they refuse to help and say things like “he’ll be fine without” all lights turn red and it is time to find an alternative vet.

Imagine if it was him who had gone through amputation surgery, surely he wouldn’t consider recovering without the strongest pain management!

If you need help finding another vet in your area, I’m sure Renee can point you in the right direction.

Stand tall and get what is needed, your Draco will thank you for it.

Sending you a big hug and cuddles to your cutie pie 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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16 October 2018 - 6:16 pm
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Stay strong. Every day will get a little easier. It is tough in the beginning but it will get better.

The Rainbow Bridge

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16 October 2018 - 7:23 pm
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angelamoro said
I actually called the vet this morning and asked why he didn’t get pain meds and if he would prescribe them. He refused! 

I’m speechless. Wow. Was this decision based on pre-op lab work? Because Draco really isn’t that old, and the majority of senior dogs who join us here usually get more pain medication.

It’s good to hear that Draco has perked up. But if you find that over the next few days he is restless, agitated or yelping for no reason, please either take a firm stand with that vet and demand more pain management, or find another vet asap. My guess is that your current veterinarian graduated a long time ago from veterinary school, back in the days when it was generally believed that animals didn’t need the kind of pain management that modern day veterinarians agree is humane, and is not up on the latest pain management protocols. 

And please don’t double up on Meloxicam, that is one pain management drug that can be hard on the liver when used unchecked.

Let us know how things are going OK? And if you have any questions or just want a supportive person to speak with, call our Tripawds Helpline .

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia
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16 October 2018 - 7:38 pm
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Ditto Eurydice on the pain meds.  Is there anyone in your family who goes to another Vet who would prescribe pain meds?

You can also call your Vet back and ask if any of his blood work showed raised high  levels with his liver or kidneys, etc.  Assuming the answer is “no”, then tell him you are your dog’s advocate and have paid a lot of money to help Draco  and he MUST have pain meds to get through  the next two weeks!!   You will be by in the next hour to pick up some Tramadol and Gabapentin.   And most all dogs here come home with an antibiotic also, so tell him you will pick that up too!!

You’ve  got this!   

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too 

PS   Is this your “regular” Vet or did an Orthopedic Surgeon so the operation??

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!

Hannibal, MO
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16 October 2018 - 8:31 pm
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Nope there is nothing wrong with his liver or kidneys and no pre-op tests indicated any reasons for not prescribing him pain meds. It’s crazy to me, I hate it! And my vet will not budge! 

Draco is constantly licking and almost biting at the incision! I know it hurts him 😭😭😭

I’m gonna try to call a different vent tomorrow and see if he’ll do it. If not, what should I do, just let it be? But yes he does have an antibiotic that I give him 

Hannibal, MO
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16 October 2018 - 8:33 pm
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It was his regular vet, not an orthopedic surgeon that did the surgery 

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16 October 2018 - 9:20 pm
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My regular vet did my surgery too. Came home with a fentonyl patch,Rimadyl and antibiotics. Has not appeared to be In pain. I asked about Tramadol and Gabapentin. My vet said that after 5 days , the nerves should be healed over and that Gabapentin shouldn’t be needed. Thought the Tramadol can have a negative effect on appetite and may make him not feel well slowing his ability to get up and around. Think I’m fortunate that my guy hasn’t shown any pain and is recovering well. It took a good three days after surgery for him to want to eat and start moving around. It seemed like suddenly the cloud lifted and he improved….probably the surgery drugs finally getting out of his system. By all means, contact another vet if your dog is uncomfortable and you’re not happy with the answers you’re getting! So sorry for your experience so far. Our dogs are amazingly resilient!

Virginia
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16 October 2018 - 9:25 pm
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A “techie” will have to find the links, but there are several blogs and interviews Jerry has posted about pain management .   I can’t  recall if any address how to handle a Vet who won’t prescribe proper pain control.

Wondering if he can be reported to the State licensing   board for Veterinarians ….or some other governing body that oversees  Vets?

Really, really sorry you are dealing  with this.  I know some times members have really had to advocate loud and hard for pain meds, but I’ve  never seen a Vet flat out refuse to provide them!  

Let is know if you get any results  from then other Vet.

Paws crossed the other Vet you are calling will help.  It infuriates me you are having  to deal with this.  Keep a good eye on your pup and make sure he can’t  get to the incision .  I know it must really be hurting him .   

Extra, extra 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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16 October 2018 - 10:10 pm
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This link may take you to Some info on pain

https://tripawds.com/2018/09/26/best-tripawd-pain-management-tips/

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!

Michigan
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16 October 2018 - 10:45 pm
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Everyone will probably tell you that this is my biggest pet peeve!  I hate when vets don’t manage pain!

So, ask your vet if he would take Motrin if he had his leg cut off?  What?  He wouldn’t?  huh!  Imagine that!  

So then he needs to get up-to-date with the standard of care!!!  Murphy’s surgery was in 2013 – almost 6 years ago – and he was sent home on Tramadol (a narcotic), Rimadyl (and NSAID similar to Meloxicam), and Gabapentin – the go-to drug for nerve pain.  

This is when you have to step up and be an advocate for Draco, he will appreciate it.  Let your vet know that you will not stop asking.  Short-term use of these medications (2-3 weeks) will not cause damage to his kidneys and liver.  He will be just fine.  It would be different if you were planning on giving him these medications daily for the rest of his life.

OK, maybe I can put my soap box away for tonight big-grin

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  

Donna.png

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