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Scout 6 days Post Amputation - Regression?
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Member Since:
1 October 2023
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4 October 2023 - 5:15 pm
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Hi Everyone,

My 6 year old Husky mix, Scout, is six days out from the amputation of his right forelimb. He had a large, rapidly growing tumor under his scapula. The first few days, he was actually doing better than we anticipated. Hopping around, eating and drinking normally, going to the bathroom just fine. 

Now we are six days out and he is noticeably worse. I've read stories about dogs regressing, but it worries us sick to see it happening. The last two days he has been super queasy, and slowed down quite a bit. He will only eat chicken and rice instead of kibble, and small amounts. My guess is the hospital drugs wearing off, but man it's so hard to see. He's also having a harder time getting up to a stand from laying down, maybe he's more sore? 

Today he went to the vet to have his bandage replaced and fentanyl patch removed. They didn't seem overly concerned with the nausea, and advised us to stop the rimadyl and carpofren. He's been acting off tonight, just really weak and exhausted. He got up, we thought to go outside to pee, and instead just leaned on my husbands legs, kind of swaying about a little. Really hard to watch, he must not feel good. As of tonight he is  only on Omeprazole, Gabapentin, and cephalexin. 

Can anyone relate to a regression like this, should we call the vet tomorrow if he is still acting like this, or is the wooziness normal? All we want is to see glimmers of our sweet guy's personality again. This is soooo incredibly hard. Thank you in advance.

New England
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11 January 2022
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4 October 2023 - 5:23 pm
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Welcome, Kristin. Your future posts will not require approval. 

A regression after a few days is pretty normal. You mentioned meds that you have stopped. What is Scout still getting? Six days isn't very long after surgery. Most dogs are on pain management until the stitches come out. 

Pennsylvania


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4 July 2023
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4 October 2023 - 5:55 pm
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Hi - good too meet you, though sorry it’s in this way!

Hmmm. It’s possible he overdid it with activity in the first few days and is now sore - also that the fentanyl and other big post-op drugs wore off, as you say. Btw - Rimadyl and carprofen are the same thing (just brand name versus drug name) was he getting a double dose?

I agree with @mischief - what is he still getting and how much? Could be a med level thing. Also some of Gabapentin’s side effects are sedation, sleepiness, lethargy, and lack of coordination.

My June was on gabapentin, and carprofen for three weeks after surgery (stitches were out after 2 weeks). Some go even longer.

Natalie & Juno (aka June)

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4 October 2023 - 6:56 pm
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Natalie_2 said
Hi - good too meet you, though sorry it’s in this way!

Hmmm. It’s possible he overdid it with activity in the first few days and is now sore - also that the fentanyl and other big post-op drugs wore off, as you say. Btw - Rimadyl and carprofen are the same thing (just brand name versus drug name) was he getting a double dose?

I agree with @mischief - what is he still getting and how much? Could be a med level thing. Also some of Gabapentin’s side effects are sedation, sleepiness, lethargy, and lack of coordination.

My June was on gabapentin, and carprofen for three weeks after surgery (stitches were out after 2 weeks). Some go even longer.

  

Hi, thank you for taking the time to reply. My husband pointed out my typo after I posted, I meant to say Carpofren, not both! So he is on gabapentin, omeprazole, carpofren. Today at the vet they suggested we skip carpofren tonight to see if it helps with his stomach, however he seems like he's in a lot more pain as of the last hour, so we just gave him one after debating it for a while. He was just laying on his amputated side - which he's surprisingly been doing since he came home - and when he went to switch sides, he let out a shriek and was panting quite a bit, I believe that indicates pain. 🙁

I'd be surprised if he was reacting strongly to the Gabapentin because he has been on it before (he's had TPLO on both back legs!) and has been on it in the weeks leading up to the amputation for pain management . Definitely made him seem high, but not this woozy. I could be wrong though.

I'm also inclined to say he didn't overdo it the first few days - I was just surprised he had the coordination to get up and walk on his own! I assumed we'd be carrying him more. He only got up to go to the bathroom, then it was right back to his bed so a very short distance. He just seemed to really have the hang of it which was really surprising to me. 

I appreciate the response and hoping to have a happier update tomorrow. Never seen him like this even with TPLO 🙁

The Rainbow Bridge



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5 October 2023 - 4:20 pm
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Hey there, welcome. I'm sorry you are experiencing this roller coaster ride! So it's not unusual for dogs to feel some discomfort, even when activity level is at an all time low.

How much Gabapentin, and how often, is he getting it? Many times dogs are under-dosed and it takes some tweaking to find the right balance between pain relief and zonked. This happens almost every time, but when you find that right formula it's amazing.

How's his appetite today? And poop? 

Is he engaging with you, making eye contact, being otherwise interested in what's going on around him?

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6 October 2023 - 7:07 am
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jerry said
Hey there, welcome. I'm sorry you are experiencing this roller coaster ride! So it's not unusual for dogs to feel some discomfort, even when activity level is at an all time low.

How much Gabapentin, and how often, is he getting it? Many times dogs are under-dosed and it takes some tweaking to find the right balance between pain relief and zonked. This happens almost every time, but when you find that right formula it's amazing.

How's his appetite today? And poop? 

Is he engaging with you, making eye contact, being otherwise interested in what's going on around him?

  

Thank you for your reply! We ended up calling the vet and changing his gabapentin from 300mg every 12 hours to every 8 hours (so three times a day instead of 2) and we are already seeing a difference - he definitely is doing better. We've cut back on the Rimadyl as well, still giving it to him but they thought this might have a lot to do with his upset stomach. Since cutting back, he's eating better and less nauseas. 

His appetite is still not what it used to be (he was an EATER lol, usually eating out of a slow feed bowl but was still able to chow down fast), but it's getting a little better. He still only wants chicken and rice for the most part, but has been slowly eating handfuls of his regular kibble when I hand feed it to him. He does indicate he only wants a little kibble though, and will turn his nose away after a few small handfuls. Pooping luckily has been regular since he came home. 

He is sleepy most of the time, but finally gave us some tail wags and happy cues over the last 24 hours. We are hopeful to see more of our guy shining through in week 2. Today is officially one week since his surgery.

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 October 2023 - 10:54 am
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Ohhh yeah. 3x daily is generally the sweet spot for post-amputation pain. I wish more vets would start out at that dose and then scale back if necessary. 

That's awesome he's doing better. Not all dogs can tolerate Rimadyl (our Jerry didnt'). The alternative Galliprant is an NSAID alternative and something to look into, since Tripawds generally have more osteoarthritis over the long term.

Most dogs do have decreased appetite post op, for a little while. Especially when they have had stomach issues. It might be time to start mixing in some chicken with his kibble, and setting it in his bowl instead of hand feeding. I know it's hard to do that (I hand fed Jerry for probably too long!). But as a rehab therapist once told us, a little tough love goes a long way toward establishing the New Normal.

I'm glad he's doing better! One week is not a long time and what you are going through is pretty typical so I hope you can feel better knowing that. Keep us posted.

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6 October 2023 - 7:36 pm
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Hi Kirsten, I just wanted to say that our greyhound, Summer, experienced a setback around day 5. She refused her food, was generally tired, and it was an effort to get her to eat anything. We increased her gabapentin and cut out the other meds, and that seemed to work well. Her appetite improved and she seemed to be in less pain. She came off all meds a few days after her stitches were removed. So I do think a setback can be normal around that time. Hope your Scout continues to improve.

Robin & Summer 

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