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Our Sweet Maisie: On the Road to Recovery
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Member Since:
11 June 2013
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11 June 2013 - 8:54 am
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Hi All,


Thanks to all for running and managing this site -- it's been very useful as we worked through one of the toughest couple weeks I can remember.

Maisie, our sweet australian cattle dog/rotti mix, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on Thursday May 30th.  We were shocked at the news and the suggestion of an amputation almost knocked me off my feet.  I heard the word "cancer" but had no idea the severity of the situation until the options were explain in such blunt terms.  As many of you know, there are no true "good" options when dealing with OSA but at least we had some options.  With the help of multiple vets, specialists, and friends who have been through this and other cancers we decided Maisie would be a perfect candidate to go tripawed!

Yesterday she had her amputation surgery and was a very, very difficult night.  She seemed to be in so much pain, coming from a dog that is more stoic than most, so we decided to make a special trip to the 24 hour vet.  They assured us she was experiencing normal reactions to this type of surgery but we need to know there were no issues for peace of mind.  My wife and I sure earned our combined 2 hours of sleep!  

While we're still reeling from the surgery & first night of care, Maisie seems to be getting better by the second!  She's waggy and smiley and is exploring her new three wheeled life.  She's finally starting to settle and get some rest and she's eating/drinking a LOT!  Best of all, in just a few hours she has already figured out #1 and #2 and is hoping around like she owns the joint again!  

One specific question:  does anyone have thoughts about dealing with the swelling?  She's not very happy about the cold compresses we've been offering and it's swelled considerably over night.  Any tricks of the trade??

Thanks for listening and would appreciate any thoughts, insight, tips you all might offer as we move forward.  Hoping we're on the fas road to recovery!

Ed and Kerri (and Maisie)


On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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11 June 2013 - 11:54 am
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Ed and Kerri (and Maisie), welcome to Tripawds. Your future posts won't need approval.

We're sorry to hear about Maisie, and send all our love and well wishes for a smooth recovery. Boy, there are a lot of us here who have felt those same feelings that you did when you hear the news, you are definitely not alone in this journey.

Unfortunately the first two weeks can be ruff but it's great that she's really perking up. If she's eating, drinking and oing potty that is GREAT!!!

About your question: it could be a seroma . Does the swelling area feel squishy and "watery"? Is there any discharge, heat or smell coming from the area?

If it's a seroma , seromas are common and usually nothing to worry about but there are things you can do to help decrease them. Here are some posts for you that explain what I mean:

Amputation Wound Care for Post-Surgery Dogs

Post-Amputation Side Effects in Dogs

Dog Leg Amputation Seromas: What You Need to Know

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

New York, NY
Member Since:
3 December 2012
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11 June 2013 - 1:04 pm
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Hello and welcome!!!!!  I'm sorry you have to join us here, but you've come to the right place!


The first few nights (from what I've heard, Jill was at the hospital 3 nights) can sure be difficult, but you will be amazed at how each day it just gets better and better!


Jill was very very swollen and was not a fan of the cold/hot compress.  What I did was wait for her to sleep, and slip it under her then.  Try that, maybe you can trick Maisie that way ;)


Please feel free to come by the chat room if you get a chance - there's usually some of us there at some point to help ya out!


All our best,

Erica & Kitty Tripawd Jill

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at xoxo

New Jersey
Member Since:
25 May 2013
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11 June 2013 - 2:31 pm
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Ed, Keri, and Maisie,

Welcome to the site , sorry that you are here but we all understand and feel what you are both feeling. We are two weeks post amputation today and we are doing well. You have good and some not great days for the first couple of weeks. As you get closer to your second week you will see greater improvements, and you'll see Maisie be more herself. Yesterday we were heading out and I said "let's go", well Snoop almost plowed us over! We kept him quiet the first two weeks to get the chance to gain his strength back. He's done well. Thoughts for you both and your girl. Lastly try to rest and relax when she is, you don't realize how exhausted you can become until it really hits you. Best to you all.
Esther and Snoop

New Jersey
Member Since:
27 December 2011
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11 June 2013 - 6:37 pm
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Welcome Keri, Maisie, and Ed, 

Welcome to this wonderful group of people who understand like no one else does. So glad surgery is over and recuperation is starting. The first couple weeks can be tricky-you sound like you have support and that really helps. We're thinking of you and sending healing thoughts.

Joan and Lily

Our beautiful Lily was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her front leg on 12/14/11 at age 8 and had amp on 12/16/11. She completed 5 rounds of carbo. She was so brave and kicked cancer's butt daily! She lived life fully for 4 years, 3 months, and 15 days after her amp. My angel is a warrior princess. I miss her so much.


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11 June 2013 - 8:13 pm
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So glad you found us....and sorry you had to!

One this g you can count on, you could t be surrounded by a more supportive group of people who understand like no others can!

My Happy Hannah had a lot of swelling all around the surgery site and hanging down. She did NOT want me to even think about to using it so I wasn't successful with any types of packs.. Very angry looking surgery site for quite awhile. It actually was a seroma . I learned from this site that's when fluid is basically "looking for a place to go" since a leg is no longer there! Anyway, as long as there is no excessive seepage and FOUL odor, it's just part of the "normal" recovery process.

another "normal" part of the process is don't be surprised if, in the next day or two, she "crashes" a bit.....just when you thought recovery was kicking I !! She still has hospital meds in her body and they are working there way out. Just keep her pain meds steady and regulate as needed and per your vet.

You probably have a few more sleepless nights ahead of you. If I read your post right.....did she come ho e the same day as surgery??That would be extra rough o. you!

Yeah, it's not what anyone wants for their beloved dog. There are a lot of incredible success stories on this site and some not.

What almost everyone agrees on is that, once recovery kicks in on a c distant basis, you will be in awe of how well she does and how happily she gets along on three legs. But the best part of this whole journey is the depth of the bond you will have with Maisie. Everyday with her is a gift and yo will relish in living g n the moment.....just like she does! She's not worried about any old diagnosis....she just wants to lap up all the loving and spoiling and treats anyone is willing to give her!!

My Happy Hannah is four months past amputation and I never could have imagined how blissfully happy she is just to be here, free from pain, living, loving, rolling in the grass, and eating...and eat I g...and eating!!
That photo of you sweet Maisie is adorable. HOWEVER, we would love to see more!! We love photos ariound here!!

You two give each other a hug for a job well do e! Go it. ow....we aren't looking!! Okay, I was peeking! Nice hug!:-) :-)
Now give Maisie one from all of us

Look forward to lots more updates and celebrating lots more #1 a and #2 !!

Sally and Happy Hannah

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:
1 February 2013
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11 June 2013 - 11:51 pm
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Welcome Maisie and family -

Sounds like she is doing really well for her first few days. You will probably experience a couple of bumps along the way, but the forward steps always win! And BOY, do we like to celebrate the small victories like peeing, pooping and eating!

My vet had me use a dry heat compress we made with barley and a sweat sock. Just heat it up in the micro so it's warm to touch and place on the swelling. Shooter would only tolerate for small periods of time, but itdid seem to help.

We will look forward to updates. Hang in there and get some rest!

Spirit Shooter was a Miniature Australian Shepherd who was diagnosed with a MCT and had a LF amp 1/28/13 at 13-1/2 years old. 

Shooter crossed the Bridge on 8/28/13, his 7 month ampuversary and two weeks from his 14th birthday.

Member Since:
1 June 2013
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11 June 2013 - 11:51 pm
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Welcome Maisie.  We are just a few days ahead of you in terms of recovery. I have to say Sally was right in that we've had some ups and downs this first week.  I hope that your Maisie will continue to improve and look forward to sharing insights along the way. 


Kelowna, British Columbia Canada
Member Since:
28 February 2013
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13 June 2013 - 5:11 pm
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Hello Maisie and family,

Glad to hear the surgery went well. You are in the period I call, the 'Twilight Zone' where everything is a blur and you don't know what end is up. BUT, things do improve as you will find out...hang it there!

As for swelling, Tahoe had a fair bit of redness around the amp site and along the incision. I iced quite often, about 3-5 x/day, for abput 15-20 mins each time using a frozen bag of peas over top a light tea towel.  Tahoe loved it, and would lie back and not even move during the icing.  


Stirling and Tahoe

"Tahoe" - Our Amazing Superman and Best Friend.

Dec. 01-03 to Aug. 19-14

Diagnosed with Periarticular Hystiocystic Sarcoma Feb 14-13; Amputation March 18-13, and diagnosed with STS April-14. Tahoe touched so many people while visiting us, leaving a massive void in our lives. Always Missed, Never Forgotten!!

Lancaster, PA
Member Since:
17 May 2013
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14 June 2013 - 11:06 am
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I've been using a cold compress for Barret as well. He really seems to like it, even though he hates being cold, so it must feel pretty good :)

Good luck, we're in recovery now too. Everyone here is fantastic and will help all us through this!

Heather and Barret

Barret was diagnosed with Hemangiopericytoma May 16, 2013. Front left leg/scapula/pectoral muscle was amputated on June 11, 2013 and we've never looked back. Follow our story on and read my column on That Pet Blog

Member Since:
11 June 2013
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16 June 2013 - 4:22 pm
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Hi Everyone,


Thanks so much for your responses, my wife and I were overwhelmed by your kindness (...and possibly the sleepless first few nights)! : )  It was nice to hear all your thoughts and advice and exactly what we needed as worked through this crazy experience.  


One more specific question for you all: did any of you experience a slump in mood/mobility/appetite about a week after the surgery?  Maisie seemed to be on the road for record recovery, just a couple days after her surgery she was happy and waggy, eating great, getting around with no problem (we had to hold her back from running!), and generally acting like herself....however after a week of recovery (tomorrow is 7 days) she seems to be a little bit sad/depressed and also having increased trouble getting around on her remaining rear leg.  It looks like the remaining leg might be tired or sore from all the compensation this week.  Today she also had her first "crash" and fell on her wound trying to walking around the house.  It must have really hurt, she wimpered for a minute or two and it bled a tiny bit.  Sure is hard to watch your pup suffer and go through hard times...but, based on many of your responses, we were preparing for some down days.


Hope you and your pups are recovering well -- how's it going for you all??


Best, Ed


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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16 June 2013 - 7:28 pm
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Maisie appears to be right within the "norm"....rough in the very beginning-perking up, feeling really good....and then the "crash"....and this cycle may happen a time or two...or three....again!

Of course check with your vet, but it is very, very likely Maisie over did it the first several days and did, need over extend her leg muscles.. The remaining let has yet to develop the strength to carry its. new added weight.

The balancing act with pain meds can be so delicate....she may need a little ump up in the dose....or a little less. I know this isn't much of an answer but it could, indeed, e something that needs adjusting. All the hospital drugs are definitely out of her system ow so it may be either she's a little in pain and UST doesn't feel like doing much......or not!!
Try the "usual" extra good goodies---chicken, cheese, any smelly goods, etc.

My Pay Hannah didn't even lay on her surgery for three weeks because it was to sore, so I cannot imagine how it. UST have hurt when she Xrays he'd.

Sorry, this table keeps messing up, along with me of typing well...Will have t write more later.

Di swell

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!

Columbia, MO
Member Since:
10 December 2011
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16 June 2013 - 7:49 pm
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My Daisy hit her post op funk around week 3 of recovery.  It was sorta like a depression.  Most pups do this after surgery.  Don't really know why.  Could be a number of things.  Daisy was eating and going potty fine but she just didn't have that "spark".  My nephews (her favorite people in the whole world!) paid her a visit and that cheered her up.

If Maisie doesn't seem like she is running a fever or in pain I would say this is just part of the normal recovery process but then I am no vet so that's my very unqualified opinion. LOL

Hope Maisie perks up soon.

Marla and Daisy

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

New Jersey
Member Since:
25 May 2013
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16 June 2013 - 8:43 pm
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We all talk about the rough couple of first weeks, which can be true on different levels. With Snoop we had into the second weeks some depression and anxiety. It did pass we are now into our start of our third week and he's really himself. You'll see the change will come. They are all different just like we are in recuperating, it's just tough to see them struggle in any way. You are doing a wonderful keep it up . Masie will be back before you know it.

On The Road

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24 September 2009
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16 June 2013 - 9:19 pm
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Hi Ed,

This sounds very normal to me, but I'm not a vet so take it for what it's worth. Many new Tripawds crash like this after a few days and my theory is because they are feeling discomfort from the muscle strain of learning to use their bodies in different ways. It's a lot of work and it finally catches up with a lot of dogs around this time. Keeping her in a controlled environment and not letting her overdo things will go a long way in bringing her out of this funk. Check out these CARE videos & interviews for other post op tips.

Hang in there, it does get better.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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