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Tough recovery day
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Forum Posts: 18
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6 August 2018 - 7:58 am
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We are in day 5 of recovery (surgery was August 1) and I was thinking things were going really well until yesterday and today it feels like we took a step backwards. She came home and was eating well and now she will only eat a little yoghurt and small amount of chicken. She seems still very groggy, often just kind of staring into space. She has started trying to lie on the incision side sometimes and when she does, she cries out in pain and was even shaking a bit for a few seconds. Then I have to help her get rolled onto the other side and then she seems comfortable and sleeps.I don’t like to hear her cry in pain at all. It is really upsetting. I think from what everyone has told me here, I have all the right meds (tramadol, gabapnetin, medacam amd antibiotics). When I speak to the surgeon tomorrow to get our pathology report, I will tell him that she does seem in pain sometimes. But can this be done with them feeling no pain at all? Or is some level of pain unavoidable? 

And how many days post op did you really see your dogs personality come back? I see very small glimpses of her – like when she kissed my face this morning. Apart from that, I just feel I have this dopey drugged up dog that isn’t my girl..

Virginia
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6 August 2018 - 9:30 am
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Generally  the hospital  pain m3ds are out pf their system around day three.  Between day three and five is when we see what we often call the “crash”.

This is when tweaking  the amounts and timing of the pain meds comes into play.  Talk with your Vet and only make any changes with his guidance.  It may simply be a matter of giving  the Tramadol and Gabapentin spaced apart, or adding an extra dose, OR even space further apart is too much spaciness is going on.  Sometimes  you just after ro try an adjustment  of doing a little less of one drug or another to eliminate  being too druggy…but only with a Vet’s guidance.

All that said, yes, in my experience with Happy Hannah,  some pain is inevitable this ea3rky on no ,atter what, especially  when it comes to laying on the incision.   The amputation  incision is a very sore spot for awhile.  Most dogs adjist to laying on it sooner than my Hapoy Hannah, vut it took her almost five weeks before she could comfortably  sleep on that side.

Another layer to the discomfort  is simply because she may not be avle to sleep on the side she does normally.   Like people, some dogs sleep on one side more than the other.  She may be having  to adjist to sleep on the “other’ side for now.

Overall it sounds like she’s  having a fairly normal recovery (if there is such a thing).   Just feed her any yummy food at all she’ll  eat for now.  

And YAY for the kiss!!!!!   That IS an improvement!!   Celebrate  it!😁

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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6 August 2018 - 12:12 pm
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Sounds pretty normal actually.

The pain meds are a necessary evil at this point.  You might be able to tweak a little to keep her comfortable but less groggy.  On the other hand all she needs to be doing right now is resting so groggy is not a bad thing.  Our surgeon told us Maggie activity level was limited to short, leashed potty breaks for the first two weeks post op.

Most dogs here seem to be back to themselves in two to three weeks, which is remarkable considering the surgery!  But each dog heals and deals with their new normal on their own timeline.  Maggie had no medical complications, she was hopping the day of surgery and her pain was well managed.  But she didn’t really ‘come back’ for about 6 weeks!  I thought I had made a terrible mistake and I had the only dog that was not going to adapt…all the vets said was ‘dogs to fine on three’.  In hindsight it made sense that Mag took her time, she was a stubborn Pug who hated and changes to her routine.  Once she was ready she was the happy Pug she had always been!

Day 5 is very early in recovery.  Not only do the good hospital meds wear off but the extra exertion it takes for new Tripawds just to get around catches up with them.  Once she is healed up you can start working on strength and endurance but for now she is going to be tired from her new gait.

Keep track of each victory and sparkle- pretty soon your girl will be back to herself!

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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6 August 2018 - 12:41 pm
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Yes, I suppose day 5 is early. I guess it has just felt like such a long 5 days that I am getting tired and impatient to get her personality back. I was very happy when we first got her home – happy the surgery was over and the cancer was out of her body. But I think the happiness has worn off a bit and I see her in pain and struggling to get comfortable and I think, what have I done? I have also been told she will do fine on 3 legs but I suddenly freaked out worrying what if she doesn’t. What if she is always in pain and never recovers? I guess I will just wait two full weeks at least before I panic again! 

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6 August 2018 - 1:28 pm
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The “crash” is pretty normal. 

I remember Rocky doing really well after his surgery and then a week later, I could tell he didn’t feel as well. For him, it took about three days of not feeling well and then he started perking up again. And right about two weeks after surgery (when he had his stitches out) he really started getting back being himself. 

You’re doing great. It will get better. 

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

The Rainbow Bridge

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6 August 2018 - 1:34 pm
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There’s not a single person here who hasn’t questioned this big decision, so you are not alone. Things DO get better! 

As for her pain indicators, if you believe she is in pain, she shouldn’t be so let your vet know and you can dial in a better regimen for her. It’s not unusual to go back 2 or 3 times before you and the vet get it right. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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7 August 2018 - 3:43 pm
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It gets way better.  Smiley was hopping around post op 10 days.  She’s now two months post op and is running around like crazy. Hang in there.  I too had doubts at first but Smiley has done so well I’m glad we did this.

Hugs and kisses from Smiley, Rudy and Shadow.

Montreal, Quebec
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7 August 2018 - 6:20 pm
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I can totally relate! My Belle seemed happier at the hospital probably because of the iv painkillers- but once it wore off and back at home where getting to here usual ‘spots’ became a challenge…and her sofa just too much, even finding a comfy position to sleep  She was not happy. As everyone commented, that’s kind of expected and i can also tell that she is more at ease and happier and its been improving little by little day to day. So hang on the two of you there, Kaserine is on the mend!

Sending healing thoughts for a speedy recovery!!

New Jersey
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7 August 2018 - 7:39 pm
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I am so sorry you are having a rough day. Amputation and recovery is one of the hardest things i have had to go thru in my life. And i am a vet tech and a nurse so i very much knew what to expect. But when it is your baby it is so different. What you are going thru is completely normal. Do you have support at home? I live by myself and some days i would just sit next to her and sob but each day gets better and better. Now she is 8 months post amputation and those intial bad days are just a faint memory. What is your medication schedule. If she is eating ok amd agreeing to take her medication it may help to space out the tramadol and gabapentin and not give them togeather. So instead of giving them both togeather every 8 hours. Give one and then one four hours later. Am i explaining that right? Is her incision on the side that she would normally lay on? My golden wanted to lay on that side. It wont hurt her incision so if thats what she want to do then let her. Does she have something soft to lay on? She had major surgery so yes pain is normal. No dog has this surgery and has no pain. When people have an amputation they are in the ICU on a pain medication drip and stay multiple days in the hospital and then go to a rehab. I will definitely say that dogs do much better with surgery and pain when compared to humans. I think all of us have had doubts and worry that we made the wrong decision. How is she doing getting around? She will bet her spark back and be your old furry best friend again. They took her leg not her brain. She is still in there. Both tramadol and gabapentin can have sedating effects so that is what is causing her doped up look. Just be with her and hold her. Even if she doesnt act like she knows you are there she does. Take it day by day. Focus on whats ahead which is many halpy tail wagging pain free days. 

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8 August 2018 - 7:57 am
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I am happy to report that things are improving, 😊 Her amputation surgery was one week ago today. She is moving around a lot better. I am still nervous about her falling so I have her harness on and stay really close to keep her safe. She has figured out how to jump up onto the couch with absolutely no problem (after a couple of face plants trying early on). We won’t try stairs yet until stitches are out but I am believing that she can actually handle this and get back to a normal life. She is a bit more herself – barked at a squirrel out the window and looks more alert. They gave me more tramadol and gavapentin so I can keep her on them a bit longer and then also taper off slowly. I am also going to space them out better too. She is still only eating human food – chicken and yoghurt but just happy she is eating and I will work at getting her back in dog food. But pretty happy about how it is going at the one week mark!

Montreal, Quebec
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8 August 2018 - 8:04 am
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Yey!! Barking is a great sign 🙂 So happy to read the good news, way to go Kaiserin!  clapheart

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8 August 2018 - 8:18 am
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Great News.  Like I said it gets better every day.  I used a sling for Smiley the first 6 days then all of a sudden she scooted out of it and hasn’t slowed since.  She kinda let me know “thanks for the help mom but I can do this.”   She’s 12 years old and is now chasing squirrels and trying to did up moles.  YEAH for Kaiserin.   clapclapclap

Green Bay, WI
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8 August 2018 - 8:43 am
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Good to hear! When they get their staples/stitches out, it makes an even bigger difference. Just don’t be surprised if she back-slides a little. This journey seems to be 1 step forward, 2 steps back for awhile…and that is ok. Before long she wont even remember she had 4 legs.

Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tr.....27_2_1.jpg

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

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8 August 2018 - 2:37 pm
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Great news 👍🏽

And this is just the beginning 👌🏾

Your Kaiserin will be back to being the dog you always knew and she will surprise you, sweetie 🌸

Cannot wait for photos of her running around deliriously happy!

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 :-) 

Virginia
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8 August 2018 - 5:26 pm
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Seeing some of the sparkle come back, especially  in the form of barking at a squirrel,  is SPECTACULAR!!!😁😁😁

Keep these good updates coming!!!   And good for you for advocating for more pain meds. 

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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