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Scared to start chemotherapy post amputation because she anemic and low grade fever
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Member Since:
5 September 2016
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20 September 2016 - 1:10 pm
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Hi everyone,

I have a 8.5yr lab who is 11 days post amputation for osteosarcoma. She is still recovering and is on antibiotics for a fever of about 103-103.9. However her temperature will occasionally be normal around 102.4 or under 103. She also is anemic post surgery at about 32%HCT last checked at 7 day post surgery. 

She is scheduled to start chemotherapy on Monday but I am scared to death that her body / immune system isn't healthy enough. Are either of things concerning or am I worrying too much? 

She is eating like a pig. Hasn't lost any weight (except for the limb she lost). But is still "tired"/depressed. She doesn't want to do much except go out "potty". She has "sunbathed" a couple of times which use to be her favorite daily routine. 

What have you all experienced prior to chemo? She will be getting Carboplatin.

Livermore, CA




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20 September 2016 - 1:54 pm
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Hi and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

Is her name Jessie?  Did she lose a front or rear leg?

11 days post op is still pretty early.  She should only be going for short potty walks until about the 2 week mark, that's what our surgeon told us.  She is probably not depressed, just tired.  Hopping around is very tiring for new tripawd, they are still getting used to their new balance and are using muscles in different ways. I assume she is still getting pain meds at this point too, those can make a girl tired!

As far as starting chemo- if it was me I wouldn't start until my pup was 100% or at least I knew why the fever and anemia.  Did she get an infection after the surgery?  Chemo will weaken the immune system, you want her to be strong as possible when she starts.

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

Virginia




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20 September 2016 - 2:28 pm
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Sorry you have to be here, but under the circumstances, this is the best place to be for support, understanding and information.

Getting the fever and infection addressed before any chemo is a very good idea. It's really great that she has a good appetite and that she knows she needs to rest. I Imagine the fever is making her feel a little bit tired too, as well as the fact that it is still early in recovery.

Is the vet aware that she still has a fever? Does the vet have any follow up plan if the fever is not being reduced by these particular antibiotics? is she still on pain meds? Most dogs stay on some form of pain dose for two, maybe even three weeks.

Any treatment for the anemia other than antibiotics? Any cause identified? Any ssupplements or special nutrition suggested?

I agree with Karen, I would certainly wait until the fever gets under control. My Happy Hannah was scheduled for chemo at the two week mark also, but her recovery was slower than some and I delayed it another week. I wanted to make sure she was feeling better before proceeding. Actually, it may have been a touch past the three week mark, can't remember for sure.

Anyway, when she did start, she did four rou ds of Carboplatin and sailed through the treatments with zero side effects...not even the somewhat "expected" nausrw and lethargy for a day rir two.

Keep js posted. Stay connected! We all get the intense and stress kf this recovery period. Her sparkle will start to come back and all this will be behi d you!

Can't wait to see more pictures! Obviously she likes canoeing!! What's her name?

Lots of 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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20 September 2016 - 4:35 pm
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Thank you for your quick responses!

Her name is Jessie and she is our baby.  She has been by me and my husband's side through some pretty tough times and we owe her so much for the years of love she has given us.  We don't live where there are any oncologists close, but luckily I am a certified veterinary technician in practice and so I have access to veterinarians every day.  My veterinarian (he also did her amputation surgery) is going to give Jessie her chemotherapy.  He has successfully treated many lymphoma cases but Jessie will be his first OSA patient.  Jessie's cancer was located in her right front leg (proximal humerus) and we removed her entire leg and shoulder blade.  

I was feeling what you have already said, to wait until she is 100%.  My doctor wanted to start ASAP however.  Yes he knows about the fever and the anemia and hasn't seemed to be worried.  She is on Rimadyl only because she had horrible reactions to both Tramadol (post op not pre op) and then Gabapentin.  Her antibiotic is Zeniquin, a broad spectrum antibiotic.  

Her temp today has been normal (high was 102.5).  It tends to get high at night before bed.  I was going to wait another day or two to recheck a CBC.  Could this fever be the cancer?  Being in my profession, I tend to see the worse and therefore expect the worse.  As of the day of her amputation her chest films were clear.  I have not ventured to have CT scan done.

I guess I am so scared of the cancer metastasizing (and I am sure that would explain my doctors sense of urgency). 

I just am so glad to have found this group to ask questions and get feedback!

Thank you so much

Sarah and Jessie

Schofield, WI
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20 September 2016 - 5:39 pm
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I've got to agree with the others and say to wait until she's 100%.  A lot of us waited to begin chemo for different reasons.   We didn't get our first chemo until 3 weeks out due to incision issues and a seroma .  Hugs!

Virginia




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20 September 2016 - 6:16 pm
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Awww....Jesse sounds like a real ssweetheart!

This is just my 2¢ for the moment: Take some deep breaths......take a step back......keep thi gs chunked down for the moment and just deal with the recovery and keeping her fever normal consistently.

Many of us here just did the xrays and not scans. It is very doubtful that the fever is indicative of anything "bad" at all!!! We all have to remind ourselves in this journey that a hiccup is just a hiccup ais d a poot foot is just a poot toot...and nothing more!!

Something that really jumped out though...Jesse basically has had no pain meds except Rimadyl???? There are other meds the vet could have given her Tram and Gab caused her severe issues! This is such a MAJOR SURGERY and it hurts!! Most dogs are in pain meds for about two weeks, sometimes three or longer!

I guess the Vet will be consulting with an Onco? I know Oncos are not often conveniently located but they will usually gladly do a consult. I'm sure he'll have someone with Jesse the while time the injection is given.

I'm certainly not giving vet advice, but many, many here don't get the chemo done at the two week mark due to issues like Linda and I have voth mentioned. Delays are not unheard of at all. And not all dogs even opt for chemo at all.

You're doing a great job of watching over your girl!! The important lesson on this journey is to stay in the moment and @et NOTHING rob you of the joy of being together....especially worrying!! Easier said than done, I know!

Grab some CHOCOLATE for yourself and go give Jesse an extra treat for us!

Lots of 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!

On The Road


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20 September 2016 - 8:34 pm
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Hi Sarah and Jesse,

I totally agree, and would want to wait until I knew she was 100%. You know your pup better than anyone else. You both have to be in the best frame of mind physically and mentally to fight this disease, so why not wait. Don't focus on the fear, that's what feeds cancer. Instead, focus on getting through healing one day at a time and when you feel you're both ready to start with your next phase, then do it.

Is there any other pain medication she can have? Animals (humans too) heal so much faster when pain is under control.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
5 September 2016
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20 September 2016 - 8:39 pm
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I know Sally. I hate to think she might be hurting. She had injectable pain meds for a few days and Then we tried the tramadol and gabapentin. She did terrible on those. Her gums were brick red and she was panting and would look at us as if she was scared. Her temp would shoot up too during this reaction. That has since stopped and she is resting comfortably thank goodness. She shows no sign of pain and sleeps soundly thank goodness. 

We do have an internal medicine specialist who my doctor has consulted with. I will be the technician with her for her treatments. So I feel fairly comfortable about the actual treatment(s). I will wait until she is 100% though. I am not going to chance it based on the advice you all have given me. That is what my gut was telling me all along. So thank you for easing my mind.

Tomorrow Jess will be getting an acupuncture treatment. So I hope that this will help her feel better.

I will keep in touch as the process continues. Thanks for the help and great advice. 

Jess says thanks!

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20 September 2016 - 8:43 pm
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Hi,

Milo had his front left leg amputated on July 28. We are just about 8 weeks post on.  We were going to start chemo on Day 15, but he had a fever. I was really wanting the chemo sooner than later because I wanted to KILL thone darn cancer cells that might be wandering in his body. I wanted to go!  But he had a fever so our oncologist said, "no".  Not to be overly melodramatic, but she actually said we could end up with a dead dog if we pushed chemo before understanding his fever.

I'm an engineer. That means I'm weird about numbers. I spreadsheet everything!  I have a nice plot of his temp over time, and his temp vs time of day, and his temp overlaid with various drugs. It's on my laptop, not this tablet, but I could share if you're curious. Like Jessie, Milo's temp was 103ish at night, but 102ish in the morning.  He's now running 100-101 usually.

We're not sure what caused the fever.  Tramadol is a candidate for some of it. It's not known for fever in dogs, but it is in humans. He dropped a bit with each step of weaning him off it. He also had an antibiotic, but it didn't seem to make a difference. His wound looked great. I was fearing "tumor fever", of course!  So while it's unknown, we do know it wasn't tumor fever.  It went away and he's doing great.

For the record, we ended up opting out of chemo altogether. Milo had a bad reaction to Metacam, and a slight fever due to Tramadol. He doesn't handle meds well.  On top of that he has a very rare, very aggressive form of osteo (giant cell rich.)  So chemo MIGHT buy us a few months, but it's unlikely to buy us a long reprieve.  So we decided to take no down days from chemo, and to take a shorter, happier, less stressful approach.  We hoped for one month. We've hit two, and he's as active and healthy as he's been in years.

Re-reading, I hope I'm not a downer. It wasn't my intention. We're actually very happy where we are. Best of luck to Jessie.

Peace,

Jenifer & Milo 

 

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20 September 2016 - 8:47 pm
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Hi Jerry's Pack!

I don't know of other pain meds. I have started her on tumeric paste and will start acupuncture tomorrow. 

I guess she is very sensitive to pain meds. I agree that pain control is key to a rapid recovery. 

One day at a time is great advice. Thank you!

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20 September 2016 - 8:57 pm
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Jenifer, thank you for sharing Milo's story. He looks precious! I hope he will do great for many months to come. He looks like a fighter and it sounds like he has a great Mommy. 

I will not rush Jessie. I have a few days still until the scheduled chemo session. My husband doesn't want to rush either. Today has been Jessie s best day yet and that makes us so happy. 

I will keep everyone posted. You are all so great. I am feeling blessed to have found this group.

Best wishes to all these sweet babies

Sarah and Jessie

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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20 September 2016 - 9:11 pm
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That's right...I'd forgotten MILO had that u explained fever too! Thanks JENNIFER ! We're all ccheering for MILO!!

SARAH, you've really done your homework and have a good handle on upcoming treatments. Sounds like Jess has gotten past the most painful part of her surgery. She's wuite a trooper!!

I think the acupuncture coukd help her overall. Supposedly it takes a couple of sessions to take hold. The turmeric is a good thing to try too. Darn...can't think of how to spell it, but ametidine...amedatine.....amerdatine......heck, I'm not even c@ose. Anyway it's another form of pain med.

Your love dor Jess comes shining through!!

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!

On The Road


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20 September 2016 - 9:21 pm
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Sarah I think Sally is talking about Amantadine. It's mentioned here in this two-part article about pain management for amputees:

http://tripawds.....ts-part-1/

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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20 September 2016 - 9:30 pm
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JERRYheartheartheartheartheart Yep! That's it!

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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20 September 2016 - 9:55 pm
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What you're describing, though, could also be a sign of pain....the panting, the scared look, (not sure about the red gums)...  were you giving the tramadol & gabapentin at the same time?  or alternating them (giving one every few hours)?  You can always try an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the incision area, too, for pain.  What were the injections that she got?  Could it be that the reaction was to that?  Just throwing things out there!

I agree with the others, I would wait for chemo until Jessie is 100%.  Waiting a week or so shouldn't change anything.  I would want to get down to what is causing the fever first - have they checked a urine?

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

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  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs

Donna.png

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