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New Tripawd - Aspen - Question about Meds | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

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New Tripawd - Aspen - Question about Meds
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Forum Posts: 29
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9 January 2017
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11 January 2017 - 9:04 am
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Hi All! It’s so nice to have found this website. I’ve been digging through the forums looking for how some of you have tackled the meds after surgery and I’ve found some great info there, but I have a few specific questions I’d love to get feedback on.
But first, I’ll give you a quick story of our boy Aspen: He’s an 11 years old golden retriever/aussie Shepard 80lbs lap dog. He had his front left leg amputated on Jan 2, 2017 after x-rays showed a suspected osteoscarcoma. (should be getting final labs back any day now). So we’re 8 days post-op now. He’s doing fabulously, incision is clean and great, he gets around pretty well and just needs help on longer runs of steps. Appetite was back immediately, potty habits are nearly normal at this point.
My question is: is it too early to start cutting back his tramadol? He was sent home with Tramadol, Rimadyl, and his antibiotic. We had him on gabapentin before the surgery (for his limp), and I have since put him back on that under the advice of my local vet. It seems to have helped.

The antibiotic is already finished. We give the Rimadyl and Gabapentin every 12 hours. The Tramadol I’ve been giving him two pills every 8-9 hours. And because we live in Colorado, we ALSO have him on THCa + CBD oil, which does help with pain, though I haven’t wanted to rely on that. Is this just trial and error at this point? I so wish he could talk to us. We do have the dosings spaced out throughout the day. The main reason I ask about cutting back is that when I had major surgery and recovery a few years ago, I felt like CRAP on the drugs and just wanted to be off of them ASAP. The pills definitely make him tired now and I miss his happy smiles and endless tail wags. I’m sure he does too. Any ideas you have are appreciated. Thanks for reading! 🙂

The Rainbow Bridge



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11 January 2017 - 11:22 am
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Hi Lauren and Aspen, welcome. Aspen is so adorable, love that avatar!

Sorry you find yourself here, but we’ll do our best to help answer your questions. 

is it too early to start cutting back his tramadol?

Eight days is iffy. Most dogs are off around day 10. All are different in how they react. If he’s on Gabapentin and CBD, he’s probably feeling really goofy as you noticed. But how’s he getting around otherwise? How’s his appetite? Bodily functions? Have you asked your vet about it? I would do that next. 

Yes, pain meds can be trial and error, but it sounds like your vet is really up on how to make them work best. Oh, does your vet know about the CBD? Be sure to tell her/him.

Recovery is such a short phase in the big scheme of things. It doesn’t last forever and none of us like knowing our dogs are doped up, but for these critters sticking to a vet-approved schedule is the best way for them to recover, since they’re bad at self-regulating their activity. Overdoing it can mean injury and longer recovery times, we see that happen quite often.

Where in Colorado are you? I’m nosy! We’re headed back to Red Feather Lakes for summer and are thinking of having a pawty in Fort Collins when the weather is nice but not too hot. If you’re in the area, let us know!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 29
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11 January 2017 - 11:47 am
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Thanks for your thoughts, Jerry!
We live up in the mountains – just a few minutes for Keystone & Breckenridge, in Dillon, CO! We are absolutely getting hammered with snow right now – have had to keep an area shoveled out in the yard for Aspen. 🙂 Our 6′ fence only has 1-2′ above the snow now! Red Feather lakes is a very pretty area. Should be a great area for your pawty! Fort Collins is about a 2-2.5 hr drive for us normally, I think.

Yes, our vet is aware and supportive of the CBD. Not much information/conclusive studies out there on it, but the vet isn’t worried about it having any interactions with the oral pain meds, so they said to go for it. I kind of got my answer on Aspen’s pain meds… he just gave me some pain signs, so I think dosing every 8-9 hrs is right in the sweet spot for him right now.
He is really doing fantastic. Eating great, getting around the house really well, bathroom habits are mostly back to normal, and he is an excellent patient. We have two steps into/out of the yard and he’s got those mastered solo. He gets tired out pretty easily, but that’s to be expected. I’ve seen him having vivid dreams (kicking feet, muscles flexing) that he never really did before, so I’m sure the drugs are the cause of those.

And yes, I have to keep the big picture in mind for his recovery. Recovery is short term…Thanks for the reminder.

His stitches come out on the 19th. Can’t wait! 🙂

Livermore, CA




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11 January 2017 - 1:39 pm
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Hello and welcome!

My pug Maggie was on Tram for about 14 days after her amp surgery, we were tapering down the last couple of days. Back when Mag had her amp I didn’t know about gaba, but Mag did just fine with a fentanyl patch after surgery and the tramadol.

My quad pug boy has had two knee surgeries and was on tram (and fentanyl patch) after each one.  His were patella issues so lots of bone grinding to get the patellas to track correctly in addition to the tightrope repair.  He was on tram for a few weeks after each surgery- when I though he was ready I would start spacing out the doses a little, if I saw pain signs then I immediately went back to the original schedule, waited a couple days and tried again.  Sound like what you are doing for Aspen now.

I hear you on the pain meds after surgery!  After my shoulder was re-built I was on Oxycontin, what a trip!  I finally understood how Maggie must of felt on her pain meds (she didn’t deal with tram well as she got older) when she was seeing things and very agitated.

Sounds like you have a great vet! It’s also wonderful to hear that Aspen is doing so well.

Karen and the Spirit Pup 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

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11 January 2017 - 2:47 pm
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Welcome to our Tripawds family!   Sounds like Aspen is doing great!

We started cutting back on the Tramadol when the staples came out – day 10 – as directed by the surgeon.  First, we cut the midday dose, and then, after a few days, the morning dose.   We very quickly got to just one Tramadol before bed, and I think we were done completely end of week 3 or early week 4.  We were instructed to use the Rimadyl and antibiotic until they ran out.

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

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16 January 2017 - 10:13 pm
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Hi All!

Thanks for all of your thoughts and suggestions. I wanted to post an update. Shortly after I posted this, I cut back Aspen’s Tramadol to just 2x a day, but it still seemed to be messing with him (anxiety, uneven breathing, lots of panting) so I called his vet and she OK’ed stopping the tramadol all together – this was about 9-days post op. It’s been a few more days since and he’s doing great. Still on the Gabapentin, Rimadyl and also the CBD. Seems to be sleeping better, and has even started asking for permission to get up on the bed (I told him to wait on that one) & couch (he was able to hop up on his own and slide off easily). He must be feeling pretty good and it’s nice to get back to some normalcy! Stitches come out on Thursday – can’t wait!! Today is 2-weeks post op!

He’s got some lumps and bumps under his skin. How long do the seromas usually take to absorb?

We’re also still waiting on the labs back from the testing on his amputated leg… I think we’re beyond the window the told us, so I might make a phone call tomorrow to see what’s up.

-Lauren

Virginia




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16 January 2017 - 10:30 pm
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Hey Lauren ad the very handsome smiling Aspen!! Just catching up!

Really glad to hear Aspen is starting to show you some of his sparkle is starting to come baxk!! You know when they show an interest in getti g back in THEIR couch, they are feeling better! 🙂

Seromas (sort of a sagging sack of fluid) can be reabsorbed in a matter of a week or so. Happy Hannah’s actually came back a little for .ahbe ten days or so. Can’t really remember.

Are these lumps a d bumps around the incision? If they’re related to that, they should settle down and disappear o ce the staples are out.

Keep js updated as you can WITH pictures of that handsome man!!!

BTW…you’re doing a great job!

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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17 January 2017 - 12:34 am
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Great news.  Glad you were able to get the meds figured out.

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

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17 January 2017 - 12:58 pm
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Oh Yes, of course – pictures!! Here are few of Aspen and his “sister” Sammy during recovery.

Sam AspenImage Enlarger

Aspen SnowImage Enlarger

Funny story about this next one: Aspen walked up the stairs to our bedroom by himself tonight for the first time since his operation. We soon found out why: he wanted to make sure he got “Sammy’s” bed. She was not pleased. hahaha!!

Aspen Stole the BedImage Enlarger

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17 January 2017 - 1:26 pm
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That picture of poor bed-less Sammy is just priceless!

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Los Angeles, CA
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17 January 2017 - 2:13 pm
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Aspen looks great!!! And I agree … that poor Sammy without the bed. Such sad eyes… Ha ha!!! 

Glad Aspen is continuing to heal well! 

XX

alison with spirit shelby in her heart 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 January 2017 - 4:17 pm
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Oh my gosh that picture would make a great meme! How adorable. It is so nice to see that new normal happen isn’t it? YAY for Aspen!

Just curious about the lumps and bumps though. Do they feel hard and small or are they watery and squishy? If the latter, it could be a seroma and generally within about 2 weeks that fluid is absorbed, but sometimes it takes a bit longer. It’s probably nothing but be sure to point out those areas to your vet when you see her/him again.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 29
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17 January 2017 - 4:27 pm
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I was just trying to see if I could get a picture of the lumps and bumps – I will try when he’s not napping. Aspen is a pretty lumpy guy to begin with – lots of fatty deposits (lypomas) that have been tested and come back as just that. So it could be those, or it could be some fluid under the skin. Nothing feels hard or bothersome. He’s also got a pretty good fatty spot at the bottom of his incision that wiggles around a lot. hehe. You can kind of see them in this video I took this morning:

Heading to the vet Thursday morning to get the stitches removed, so I’m sure we’ll get some good info then!

Virginia




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17 January 2017 - 5:13 pm
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Such grrrrreat photos!!

I love how Sammy and Aspen are mirroring each other in their sleep positions. But that one of Sammy looking sooooo upset because Aspen is in her bed….breaking my heart over here!!
If the motivation is right, a tripawd WILL climb stairs (even if it’s too early)!

The video shows two mighty sweet dogs. The Vet will confirm Thursday, but that sure just looks like the remains of a fluid pocket to me!

Hugs!

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

PS….The snow is pretty…but brrrrr

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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17 January 2017 - 7:08 pm
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Oh my gosh, Aspen is such a sweetie. The lumps and bumps look like fluid to me, and Mosby’s incision was lumpy/bumpy for a couple of weeks, but it’s good that the vet will look at it and confirm tomorrow. I also love Aspen’s name!

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