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New Tripawd Father needing some encouragement and advice
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11 October 2018 - 5:55 pm
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Hi, I will spare you the long 7 months journey that got us here, but long story short with multiple cancer site surgeries, the wounds on her paw pad would not heal after 4 attempts to close it, it kept getting infected, almost sepsis the 4th time. I fought it for 4 months after the first surgical consult told me I had to have it removed and worked with a great vet to get it to close. She has been lame for 7 months and lost most muscle in the leg. She is otherwise healthy so I couldnt put her down and opted to amputate her right hind leg. A horrible decision I am questioning now.

She just came home today and its so shocking and upsetting to see the entire leg gone with a horrible 1 foot cut that looks horrible. Probably not surprising, she is not eating, nor wanting to walk, after I lift her up. she refuses to walk at all.

when do things get normal? or a version of normal? Will she ever be able to get up on her own? They did not mention rehabilitation, is there something I can do? Feeling a little hopeless and am hoping in a few days after the pain subsides, she will be able to get up on her own accord and want to go outside.

Sorry for the long winded post, I am a newbie here, so If I posted in the wrong section, please accept my apologies.

The Rainbow Bridge

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11 October 2018 - 6:12 pm
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Hi there and welcome. We are glad you found us. Tell us more about your pup. What is your dog’s name? Age? 

Lots of people question their decision to amputation during the first couple of weeks, it’s a scary time for us. But try to put yourself in her paws: how would you behave if you just came home after amputation surgery? Would you want to eat or walk or go anywhere? Most likely, not. Plus, the pain medications really do a number on the patient, so that plays into it as well. Take things day by day, stick to your vet’s medication schedule and keep them in the loop if you are worried about anything that feels abnormal (at least more than the situation itself).

Right now I encourage you to visit Jerry’s Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books library, which will answer many of your questions about what to expect during and after recovery.

Generally speaking, most dogs get their sparkle back after about 10 – 14 days. But try not to compare her recovery with others, she is her own dog and will recover at her own pace. If you stay on top of the pain and don’t let it get out of control, that will help things tremendously. That is the best thing you can do for her right now. Also, remember to stay pawsitive. Your emotions are easily sensed by her, and she will reflect what you are showing in your actions. The more positive you can be, the better off the recovery. Guaranteed. Attitude is everything.

I hope this helps. Please call the Tripawds Helpline if you want to talk with someone live (844-TRIPAWD) and also I’m in the Tripawds Chat room right now for a bit, and will be back in the morning.

Best wishes to you and your girl, please keep us posted.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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11 October 2018 - 7:23 pm
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DEEP BREATHS………..You are in the hardest part of recovery  and it IS scary and dull of uncertainties!  You have definitely  come to the right place to be supported by people who truly understand  what you are going through!!

Almost everyone here questions what we’ve  done TO our dogs and cats during this early part of recovery .  But everyone here can also tell you, once recovery is done and their sparkle  is back, we soon realized we did this FOR our dogs and cats!!!  

As Jerry pointed out, this is MAJOR SURGERY!!!   Humans would still be in the hospital on a morphine drip!  And it may take her a few days to get her sea legs.  That’s  not unusual at all, especially  if she still has some hospital meds in her .   We know it’s  hard, but try and be patient and not worry about her mobility.   She’ll get there.  She was practically  a tripawd before this surgery , so she can handle this!

What pain meds is your pup on?  Most dogs spend at least  one night at the clinic and come home with Tramadol,  Gabapentin , Rimadyl and an antibiotic.  She needs to rest, rest, rest..take a SHORT potty break and then more rest.   Drinking and seeing are important , but she may not want to eat much for a few days and may not poop for a few days either.  Give her any yummy food she’ll eat for now.

Surgeons tend to shave a lot of fur and that can be even more unsettling  than an incision .   The incision  can help remind you that you took that painful  bum leg away.  YOU DID THE EIGHT THING FOR YOUR GIRL !!  This is one surgery, one recovery and then she’s  ready to love life to the fullest on three and pain free!!

STAY CONNECTED!   We’re  by your side the whole way, okay?   

And BTW, I found this community six days after my Happy Hannah’s  amputation.  My first post was something like “Six days after amputation and I fear I’ve  made a HORRIBLE decision!”    This community threw me a life line and carried me back to shore!!  I soon was avle to say it was the best decision  ever!!!

Look forward to your next post.  And do not hesitate  to ask questions, okay?

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!

Livermore, CA
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11 October 2018 - 7:44 pm
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Hello and welcome.

Many of us doubted our decision to amputate early in recovery.  I’m glad you found us to see that you are not alone!

When my Pug Maggie lost her rear leg to mast cell cancer I don’t think I had ever seen a three legged dog.  Mag was a grumpy slug for weeks after her surgery and I was sure I had made a terrible mistake.  All the vet’s had to offer was that three legged dogs do fine- I figured I had the only dog that wouldn’t adapt.  But she did adapt, on her own schedule, and she hopped happily through life for almost 4 years.

At this point your girl needs rest and good pain management.  Our surgeon told us that Maggie was only allowed short, leashed potty breaks for the first two weeks post-op.  If she is just a day or two out from surgery she probably still has some of the potent surgery meds in her system which might make her lethargic and loopy. 

Jerry is right about being positive around her.  I made the mistake of being down around Maggie while she was recovering- I didn’t realize then how much my attitude affected her back then.  It’s hard when you are stressed and tired- come here when you need to vent.

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

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11 October 2018 - 7:49 pm
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We’re here for you and,yes as mentioned, we all said “what have I done?”. These first few days are really tough but you’ll see little improvements every day. Once your dog gets through post op recovery you’ll be glad that the 7 month journey of pain is over. Stick close to this site. It’s a wealth of support and knowledge. We’re 5 weeks post op with our dog and everyone here has been so helpful!

Valheart

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11 October 2018 - 8:29 pm
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Thank you so much all. It is heart warming to see the replies and know Im not alone.  Some had asked questions above, so I will answer them all here.

Stella is her name, not after the movie, but after a long deliberation of Doggy names and sipping on some beer, ofcourse it was a Stella.:-) I thought..perfect! Stella it is lol. She has just turned 10 year old lab. She is on the older side, but I just know she has some good years left.

Strangely enough, the vet did NOT give any pain meds and I said, “really no pain meds” like 3 times. HOWEVER, I saved Gabapentin 300MG from her prior surgeries that took the tumors out and a handful of 100mg. So I have enough to keep her comfortable for the next 1.5 weeks or so. So happy I saved them.

Vet said nothing to worry about but there are like fluid bubbles or pockets under the suture and staples, looks pretty gross. hoping those will subside as she heels. Not sure if that is normal or not, along with what he called normal drainage in her stomach like a fluid build up. He did NOT put in drip tubes or anything. He saw it and was not concerned, so I guess I shouldnt be either…for now.

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11 October 2018 - 11:04 pm
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OK- not enough pain meds may be why you are seeing Stella not eat and not want to move.

I’m sorry but there is no excuse for a vet to not give pain meds after removing a leg!! Seriously! They gave you pain meds when the tumors were removed but not when a leg is removed? Is she on anything besides the gabapentin?  Most pups here have tramadol, gabapentin, an anti-inflammatory like rimadyl, and often an antibiotic. 

Here is a blog post with the Best Tripawd Pain Management Tips. There are lots of links on what to look for as far as pain signs and what the current pain control protocols are.

You will need to advocate for Stella with your vet.  I’m glad you at least have the gaba on hand but she may need more meds to really keep her comfortable.

I’m sorry to be so blunt but it really makes me angry when a vet doesn’t give pain meds after a major surgery.  You are doing your best for Stella- she deserves the best care.

Karen

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 October 2018 - 11:34 pm
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Our Molly had her left front leg amputated due to Osteosarcoma two weeks ago. We were devastated with her diagnosis and so afraid of the amputation. She came through the surgery fine but had to stay at the hospital for a couple of extra days because she had some vomiting and was not eating. She came home on Tramadol, Rimadyl, an antibiotic, and RX for her stomach because of the vomiting. I was worried about her being in pain but so far she has been amazing. When we brought her home she had to be helped into and out of the car and we were worried about how she was going to do getting around. Although she slipped a few times she has been doing much better than we anticipated.  When she gets excited she still tries to run. She is already back to sleeping on the bed with us. I’ve only needed to give her her pain medication twice a day when she seemed to be getting agitated. Now she is just getting it once a day. I give it to her at night to make sure she will be comfortable enough to sleep through the night. I always go outside with her to make sure she will be all right but she is non longer on a leash. She prefers to be unleashed to do her business and she is finding ways to get around just fine. As Jerry said Stella will sense your emotions. At the beginning when Molly saw me cry she would get upset and try to comfort me. I have learned to be more upbeat around her and she takes her cue from that. When Mom is happy Molly is happy. All you can do I take one day at a time and cherish every day that you have with her.

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12 October 2018 - 10:08 am
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krun15 said
OK- not enough pain meds may be why you are seeing Stella not eat and not want to move.

I’m sorry but there is no excuse for a vet to not give pain meds after removing a leg!! Seriously! They gave you pain meds when the tumors were removed but not when a leg is removed? Is she on anything besides the gabapentin?  Most pups here have tramadol, gabapentin, an anti-inflammatory like rimadyl, and often an antibiotic. 

Here is a blog post with the Best Tripawd Pain Management Tips. There are lots of links on what to look for as far as pain signs and what the current pain control protocols are.

You will need to advocate for Stella with your vet.  I’m glad you at least have the gaba on hand but she may need more meds to really keep her comfortable.

I’m sorry to be so blunt but it really makes me angry when a vet doesn’t give pain meds after a major surgery.  You are doing your best for Stella- she deserves the best care.

Karen  

Blunt is fine. Im from New Jersey..lol…She is on an antibiotic and anti inflammatory. Enroflaxin and vetprofen. with the Gaba, she done not seem to be in too much pain. Miraculous this morning, she walked to do her business, had some issues with number 2 but got a few nuggets out. Peeing was no problem. Eating a little bit. I have Tupperware that I keep her treats in. Upon hearing it open, my wife said, she got up on her own will and almost ran into the kitchen to make sure she got her treats. I couldnt believe it. So, that def makes me optimistic. 

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12 October 2018 - 10:09 am
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sharonf said
Our Molly had her left front leg amputated due to Osteosarcoma two weeks ago. We were devastated with her diagnosis and so afraid of the amputation. She came through the surgery fine but had to stay at the hospital for a couple of extra days because she had some vomiting and was not eating. She came home on Tramadol, Rimadyl, an antibiotic, and RX for her stomach because of the vomiting. I was worried about her being in pain but so far she has been amazing. When we brought her home she had to be helped into and out of the car and we were worried about how she was going to do getting around. Although she slipped a few times she has been doing much better than we anticipated.  When she gets excited she still tries to run. She is already back to sleeping on the bed with us. I’ve only needed to give her her pain medication twice a day when she seemed to be getting agitated. Now she is just getting it once a day. I give it to her at night to make sure she will be comfortable enough to sleep through the night. I always go outside with her to make sure she will be all right but she is non longer on a leash. She prefers to be unleashed to do her business and she is finding ways to get around just fine. As Jerry said Stella will sense your emotions. At the beginning when Molly saw me cry she would get upset and try to comfort me. I have learned to be more upbeat around her and she takes her cue from that. When Mom is happy Molly is happy. All you can do I take one day at a time and cherish every day that you have with her.  

Agree, they definetly feed off your energy, I have been trying to treat her the same and speak to her the same as I usually do. She seems in pretty good spirits this morning and wags her tail when she sees me. She is actually laying on her amputation side, which is surprising to me. But, assume she is more comfortable somehow on it? She usually lays on that side.

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12 October 2018 - 1:44 pm
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I’m glad you have the other meds. Hopefully the combo you have with the gaba will keep her comfortable.  There are some tips about icing and massage in the link I gave you above- those might help too.

She sounds like she is doing great this morning!  Don’t worry about the poop- that can take a few days.  

Ahhh, the sound of the treat jar opening!  My dogs come from anywhere in the house when they hear ‘the jar’ opening.  It’s great that you are seeing these ‘normal’ behaviors from Stella already.  Hang on to that if you start questioning your decision.  Those little victories will soon run together and you will wonder why you were worried!

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

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12 October 2018 - 2:18 pm
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krun15 said
I’m glad you have the other meds. Hopefully the combo you have with the gaba will keep her comfortable.  There are some tips about icing and massage in the link I gave you above- those might help too.

She sounds like she is doing great this morning!  Don’t worry about the poop- that can take a few days.  

Ahhh, the sound of the treat jar opening!  My dogs come from anywhere in the house when they hear ‘the jar’ opening.  It’s great that you are seeing these ‘normal’ behaviors from Stella already.  Hang on to that if you start questioning your decision.  Those little victories will soon run together and you will wonder why you were worried!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls  

Thanks Karen, appreciate the link and the support! more optimistic today than yesterday..day by day is the name of the game I guess.

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12 October 2018 - 2:39 pm
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Hello, Stella’s Dad from Jersey:

It is going to get better.  This is major surgery and she will improve. 

May I ask, is the cancer soft tissue sarcoma?  Nerve sheath tumor?  Just curious – it doesn’t especially matter, but some of what you said sounded familiar.

Glad you held on to the Gabapentin and I think you should not be timid about asking for more if she shows any sign of pain as your supply runs low.

Sending many good thoughts to Stella for improvement!

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His Daddy and I miss him terribly along with his canine sister, Mia, and two feline siblings, Lucia and Cliff.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

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13 October 2018 - 10:27 am
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Hi Stella 🍺 (great name!) and Dad

Really happy to hear how well your Stella is doing but wanted to let you know a lot of our babies go through a bit of a crash between days 3-5 so if this happens with your girl don’t be overworried as this is normal. 

I am surprised she isn’t on tramadol (or equivalent) for pain, most of our babies were on it at least until stitches came out. 

You could have her wearing boxers to protect her incision (with her tail coming through the fly). It will also give you time to adjust to the scar as her fur grows back. 

It will get better, it’s a promise, generally the important date is stitch removal, from then on we get to see the fastest progress with our pups.

Hugs and cuddles 😘🐮✨💫🌟🌹

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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13 October 2018 - 1:51 pm
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Glad to hear Stella is doing so well! Nothing better than to see that tail wag again. Baby steps and she’ll get to the end of this surgery. Keep us posted!

Valheart

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