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Whining and Crying during recovery
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20 March 2013 - 10:15 pm
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Hello to my secret supporters.  All of you have no idea how much I have been relying on your posts for about two week now since my sweet best friend, Zoy pronounced like “Joy” but with a “Z” started with a slight limp on her front leg.  

 

She was just recovering so nicely from a recent meniscus repair and having her plates removed from a TPLO 3 years ago.  I just thought she had a little sprain from being allowed to have more exercise, but because of her orthopedic issues I took her in right away.  Absolutely a devastating day to find out Zoy had x-rays suspect of osteosarcoma.  So started my journey and finding this site. 

 

We made quick decisions to amputate and start chemo soon.  Zoy had surgery on Monday and was home by Tuesday afternoon.  She is a life loving energetic labrador who was reported by the surgery team to have a excellent recovery post surgery and had great promise to do well since she preferred to walk on her own without help and was so “spunky”.  Since being home, Zoy is doing well going out with a sling, eating, and drinking if I put a dash of broth in the bowl, and even had her first bowel movement today, who knew I could be so proud of my pup figuring out how to defecate on three legs?  

 

What is so troubling is the constant whining and crying.  I can’t tell, is she is in pain, or just off from the pain meds, or sad?  It is so hard to hear and so difficult to comfort her.  If she is not eating or outside going on a potty break, she is crying.  Last night she slept well for about 7 hours then she was up for two hours crying. I figured it was time for more Tramodol so I gave another dose, she then slept for two more hours.  But today just constant crying, it is breaking my heart.  What else can I do to comfort her?  Massage helps a bit but they she starts right back up again.

 

I know well enough from this sight I need to be patient and hold out a couple of weeks, but I just can’t help that I might be missing something and she is in more distress.  Has anyone else had this prolonged crying?  I want to help her I just don’t know how.

 

Juliana and Zoywhat-ever 

NC
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21 March 2013 - 6:00 am
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DON’T DESPAIR!! :) The whining & crying is usually just a side effect of the opioid drugs that they’re given during & after surgery, and not necessarily an indication of pain. Both of my dogs do this after surgery as well as several others I know. It’s a heart-wrenching sound but usually not cause for concern. You should check with your vet to be sure, but try not to get too worried in the meantime.

Also, if she came home with a fentanyl patch, the whining may go on until a couple days AFTER the patch is removed. Kermit had all kinds of weird side effects from his two patched but none of them were serious or cause for concern, just nerve wracking for his mommy, who wanted everything to be perfect for him!

What meds is she on? It sounds like she’s doing great!

Glad you posted on this forum; I’ve found the people here to be a wealth of knowledge & support… I don’t know how I could have gotten through this without having my veterinary oncologist move in with me if this forum wasn’t here! :)

NC
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21 March 2013 - 6:11 am
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Also a dog that’s in pain or distress will often pant even when just laying around, so if she’s not panting she’s probably not in a lot of pain. This is a gross generalization of course, but something to look for when you get concerned.

And I just re-read your post- if you & she got 7 straight hours of sleep this soon after surgery you’re doing REALLY well! We never went more than 90 minutes at a time before waking up to whine, drink water (he was on prednisone & drinking as much as an elephant!), faceplant in the bushes while trying to pee on two legs, and start the whole thing over again! This went on for DAYS; it was like having a colicky infant SPONGE that couldn’t get enough water or be comforted by anything my sleep-deprived butt could think to do… And Kermit’s recovery has been really smooth!

So take heart, take a breath, and relax, you’re doing fine. :)

Twin Cities, Minnesota
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21 March 2013 - 7:58 am
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I slept with my dog on the living room floor for the first week and he also did a lot of crying/whimpering/muttering under his breath. We did add some Tramadol to his piroxicam, and that helped a little…but even now he will occasionally sniffle. (He has always been sort of a talker/grumbler anyway)

But aside from that, everything else was fine–he went to the bathroom right away with no issues, ate, drank, etc. It sounds like your pup is doing those things, too.

It’s hard to listen to, but if she isn’t showing any other obvious signs of distress–not eating or drinking, panting, “crazy eyes”, not sleeping at all…then she’s probably fine (and maybe even looking for attention).

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."
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"May I recommend serenity to you? A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment. Learn to be one with the joy of the moment."
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The Rainbow Bridge

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21 March 2013 - 10:12 am
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Hi Juliana and Zoy, welcome. We’re sorry about the osteo diagnosis but so glad that you found us. By your description Zoy’s recovery sounds typical, but like we always tell folks, if there is anything at all that makes you go “hmmmm” and your instinct says that her behavior isn’t right, call your vet. Even if it’s nothing it’s good to keep them in the loop about what’s going on.

I agree with dharma…seven hours of sleep is GREAT! But yeah, I’m curious, what pain medication is she on, and how much? Unfortunately the symptoms of having either too much pain medication or too little closely resemble eachother.

Also, mmrocker is right, sometimes there’s a little bit of tough love that needs to take place when we go through this. It’s so hard to do, but by constantly trying to comfort and respond to a dog’s behavior, that can actually do the opposite and reinforce the whining and crying by giving attention to it. You might want to check out this video which describes what i’m talking about:

 

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21 March 2013 - 11:04 am
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My Dear Juliana and Zoy–I’ve spent the last our trying to reply in depth and it waits til I almost finish and then cuts off right before I hit reply. So before it cuts off again if you look under the heading you are in and go to something like Six days after amputation and Very Scared—-you’ll find how worried I was about Happy Hannah as she was in pain for so long and it as so hard to watch——there are so many good responses……will try this later….afraid it will cut off…….we are here for you and you are doing great. Keeep the pain meds steady and ahead of the pain. So much loving support to you. Sending you peace and calm..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!

krun15
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21 March 2013 - 11:24 am
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Hi and welcome- we like it when lurkers join!!

I wanted to say that your future posts will not require moderation- only the first one.  I approved your post but couldn’t stay to welcome you.

Everyone has given you some good advice already.  When Zoy had knee surgery how did she act? What pain meds was she on then and what is she on now?  Can you compare how she is acting now vs. the knee surgery as a hint on whether it is pain or an effect of the meds?

It is good that she is moving and eating and peeing.  This early part of the recovery process is hard (mostly on us!!).  Always call your vet if you are worried.

Keep us posted on Zoy’s progress.

 

Karen

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21 March 2013 - 10:47 pm
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Thank you thank you for your replies!  It all makes sense that the pain meds would be causing this behavior.  I was really lucky with that first 7 hours sleep, she must have just been exhausted from the experience of surgery.  Last night we only got a couple of hours hear the there.

Zoy was sent home with a Fentanyl patch, Tramadol 50 mg, and Rimadyl 50 mg for pain.  I did talk to the vet and they verified all of your responses saying the opiate nature of the drugs can cause those effects.  I told them the crying did not bother me and I can handle it, I was just more worried about if she was in real pain.  We did get some advice to experiment with the Tramodal and scale back to 2 pills twice a day or 1/2 a pill every eight hours vs. 1 and 1/2 pills every eight hours.  I tried that today and my babysitter (60 year old Dad who flew in just to help me with recovery for a couple of weeks while I’m at work) reported Zoy did a little better today.  This is so tricky if you are trying to stay ahead of the pain?

When Zoy had knee surgery she recovered much easier with Tramodol for only two days and then Rimadyl for the rest of the time.  I don’t remember any of this whining or continued crying at all.  This tells me the Fentanyl might really be the reason for such a change in behavior.

The video was very helpful for both me and my Dad, he is much more affected by Zoy and her appearance of distress.  He has been babying her since he arrived and been a little tough on me for showing a little “tough love.”  My profession as an occupational therapist has given me more of a realist idea of rehab and the all important need to show our loved ones pride and confidence in their abilities. You should see that tail wag when I praise and encourage her, so cute!!  After my Dad saw the video he has been much more supportive of my efforts to have get back to her old routines:)

Zoy continues to move around well with just occasional support from a sling, mostly on 4-5 stairs on porch out to the yard and for occasional slips.  It has been interesting to see the varied activity she desires, yesterday all she wanted was to explore the backyard with me having to cut her off, worried that she would overdue it.  Today she preferred to just sit in the grass.  

The only other difficulty we are having is her not drinking water on her own.  She is eating fine but the only way to get her to drink is with a splash of chicken broth.  This is impacting the need to pee throughout the day, she only went early this morning and just now about 10pm.  Should I just keep up with the spiked water?

Once again so grateful for this group and support, 

Juliana and Zoy

The Rainbow Bridge

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22 March 2013 - 10:29 am
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Juliana, Zoy is so lucky to have you and your Dad around. With your skills and your Dad’s love for her, this will get easier with each new day. Your Dad is so sweet to come out to help you with her. I’m so glad he saw the video.

Your background as an OT is such a huge benefit for her. Keep up with the tough love, as hard as it is. Isn’t it so much easier to give the tough love to a human than to a dog? I tell ya, for us it is.

Meanwhile, I do think that YES it’s the Fentanyl. That stuff is wacky on dogs sometimes. And I do think it’s OK to continue with the spiked water for a while. Take that for what it’s worth, I’m not a vet, but whatever it takes to get her to stay hydrated is a good thing. If she has any diet/nutrition issues that it may interfere with then for sure call your vet though. It would be a good idea to do that anyways just to keep them current on her recovery.

Good luck today! If your Dad wants to come here and visit us or ask any questions, send him our way.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia
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22 March 2013 - 11:18 am
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What a great job you are all doing. What I wouldn’t have given to have a support system like that!! Actually–I did–it’s called the Tripawd site!!

For whatever it’s worth, it was like a switch to drink water was cut off the day after surgery. All the regular habits of when Happy Hannah drank just disappeared. She would come inside visibly panting from her short “hops” and would NOT even think about looking at the water. A scoop office cream swirled around a bit did the trick–as well as boiled smashed up chicken mixed with water (the consistency was soupy enough that if she wanted the chicken she had to get the water). Happy Hannah is getting good nutrition now and I no longer have the water issue ( took almost two weeks)! I also realized she was getting plenty the way I was doing it and she had no desire to get just plain water–ugh! For Happy Hannah—-and every dog is different—-she had a challenging recovery in the beginning and I think everything – eating drinking (well, that’s not true,,she eats like a food addicted hippo——was a lot of effort because she spent so much energy fighting pain. And, wanted to mention that gabapentin seemed to be a better solution for her with rimadyl and tramadol but on a lower dosage

Sounds like you are on the road to good recovery. And Happy Hannah had days where she felt like walking more and just as many where she had to sit and rest every twenty feet. I let her decide what she was up to and didn’t push on the days her spark was barely visible …Ya hooooo for the days when the sparkle is so bright you need sunglasses!!!!!!!! If I knew how to get one of those smiley faces with sunglasses on it up here I would! Every time I tried it just printed the word smiley and didn’t transfer the picture.

We are here for you by you’re side all the way’ 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!

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31 March 2013 - 6:00 pm
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Update,
Oh how grateful I have been for all of your comments and support. To Sally and Hannah……your direction over to your thread involving your struggles during the first stage of recovery and everyone’s comments there really put things into perspective for me. It is amazing how this whole expereince can be such a rollarcoaster of emoiton with so many highs and lows. You have no idea how much I have felt that this past week, it is such a relief to have pals here who have been through the same and come out of it with such a sense of contentness. Zoy gave me a wonderful sense of that today as we took a trip to a park. It is a beautiful spring day here in Colorado and Zoy showed her first sign of actual exhuberance wanting to get out and just hop around a bit for about 5 minutes then we sat and enjoyed the breeze in our fur! I had tried this trip yesterday and she wouldn’t even stand up in the car to peek out the door. So all in all we are getting there, here are some more specifics:

Zoy and I are now 12 days post op. Sure enough as soon as the fentanyl patch was off the whining and crying stopped, oh so troubleing was the next go around of panting and quick short breaths at night. This was so upsetting to me as now I am ultra paranoid about any breathing issues that may be related to cancer. Thank goodness for this site and help. Based on recommendations to be bold with vets and oncologists I called and sure enough they let me know Zoy was likely showing signs of discomfort especialy since the patch has just been removed.

So there you have it all last week was an experiement of figuring out how much Tramadol to give to keep her comfortable but not too loopy. I think we have found the balance now. One pill every 8 hours. Along with the Rimadyl twice a day. She is still not her bright self, but she is moving, eating, wagging her tail when we talk to her, loving her daily massages, and overall I can see my bright girl behind those doopey eyes!!!

Drinking on her own is still an issue. I’m ultra packing her food with about 1/2 cup of water and that is pretty much her whole intake. She will take a couple of sips of water chicken broth mix when her bowl is brought over to her then just turns her head away. Thanks to this sight I’m just taking this as par for the course and trying to get more in her food.

Overall my main complaint is little yelps here and there when she sits, jumps (with assit) to get in the car, is spooked by a noise, or what is most upsetting is loud yelps/cries every morning. It appears she is getting up to adjust herself and as she is waking up to move, cries the most awful yelp. I have noticed a few people posting about similar issues on the forum so I am going to hop over there and see if I can get some more answers.

Thanks to all of your for your support! I am holding on to the idea that Zoy and I are just doing what we need to do to have the best spring and summer EVER!!

Oh and I’m happy to report Zoy’s grandmother, my Mom has switched places with my Dad to take over and assist me. I’ve got to figure out how to post pictures here, It is so wonderful to see Zoy get excited with new visitors!!

Getting along, over and around the bumps in the road, way-confusedsmileybig-grinlaughingsleepy

Juliana and Zoy

Virginia
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31 March 2013 - 7:17 pm
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Zoy and Juliana! So glad you are tarting to see the improvement day by day….the car ride really gave y

ou a visual of recovery in action. You are still early in recovery (at least by Happy Hannah’s standards)!
Happy Hannah still I’ll get up nd look behind her as though she’s trying to move away from some little surprise pain.

Any panting you can surely attribute to pain ( or of course meds but I doubt it with the low dosage) in my opinion…Happy Hannah’s went on for two three weeks easy.

I’m sure you know how to check for hydration by lift I g up the skin behind shoulders and if it bounces back she’s fine. She will drink but keep adding to food for ow. The fact that she is drinking some on her own and with shot you give assures you she’s doing fine’

Thanks for the uplifting update. I cannot wait to share in the celebration over the next two weeks as you marvel had her victories!!

I’m marveling already because I can already see it! Weird huh??

Keep on doing what you are….it,s working! And a tip of the easter bonnet o your mom and dad, 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!

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1 April 2013 - 7:31 pm
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Progress!  Wahoo!  12 days post-op is still pretty “young” and side effects, new behaviors, and sounds strike me as being pretty common.  I don’t remember when Jackson finally laid down on his stump, but I think it was around days 12-14 post-amp.  Until that time, no matter how hard he tried, he’d wince and yelp when trying to get on that side.  While it’s true tramadol can do some loopy things, I think the patch is far worse.  You’re over that hurdle at least!  When does your vet want you start tramadol draw-down?  Jackson was off tramadol on day 12; we went cold-turkey.  The light in his eyes came back on day 14!  It sure sounds like you’re getting there and making GREAT progress!  I mean…hello…a lovely day in the park!  YIPPEE!!

~ Katy

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

The Rainbow Bridge

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1 April 2013 - 8:02 pm
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Zoy & Juliana,

This is great progress! For both of you :)

OK first things first….let’s see some pics. Here’s a post about adding images to forum posts. I hope it makes sense, we’d really love to see some!

The yelps are pretty normal, especially if they are coming from nowhere and she’s not really doing anything out of the ordinary to cause them. They may or may not be phantom pain . I think most times the brain just needs time to realize that leg is gone. When it suddenly realizes it’s not there, there’s some confusion along the circuitry and that’s when a pup can get started. That’s my unscientific perspective anyhow.

I would mention her lack of water intake to your vet. You’re doing all the right things, but just let them know in case she starts showing signs of being dehydrated. Usually that’s a non-issue though, try not to worry.

Great update! Thanks for checking in.

 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 April 2013 - 8:07 pm
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Kermit doesn’t have a stump as they took everything from the shoulder blade on down, but as the resident drug advocate around here ;) I’d suggest you at least ask the vet about adding gabapentin for a week or two. It’s not just for “phantom” pain, it’s for nerve related pain, so it would likely be a good addition to her current regimen.

Congrats on such good progress!

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