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Yet another "What should I do?" post...
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Forum Posts: 63
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9 July 2020 - 3:53 pm
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I think R is more sad-pants today.  We’re slowly increasing activity every day, but every day is also one more day we’ve been stuck in the living room with that monster formerly known as ‘Momma’.  Literally sat with his butt to me on the opposite end of my mattress most of the day.

We tried cutting down the Gabapentin today.  I can’t tell if that’s had any effect.  Like I said, more mopey, but that could just be more boredom.  

Today for entertainment we tried hiding our glucosamine chews under various blankets around the room, puppy ice cream in a tiiiiiny tupperware we had to lick at for a bit, snuffle mat for both meals, walk five driveways down AND across the street and back, five minute walk around the whole yard (heat index 100 this afternoon so no afternoon walks really), squeaky squirrels hiding in Momma’s hoodie pocket and purple rhino ‘tug’ (except Momma doesn’t play right and keeps letting R have it as soon as there’s any real tugging happening).  Am tooootally out of ideas at this point.

Four more full days until stitches out.  Do most people’s vets basically say at that point, “Good to go?”  Like, not tearing around for fetch right away but walk as far as he wants?  (I will definitely be asking my own vet.  I have a list of about 15 questions right now to ask her.  Just curious.)

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9 July 2020 - 4:14 pm
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Nope (ducking) not “good to go” 100%

Some have to make sure their pups don’t go buck wild licking that itchy incision after sutures are finally out.  Sometimes they lick until it bleeds.  In that respect,  i think those compresses are going to come in handy to help get the crusties off. 

A lot of doctors have recommended continuing cone/protection for an additional week while the incision finishes healing. 

Yes,  you should be able to start giving him more activity…yay! 

I apologize if i sound too pushy… i truly don’t mean to sound like ‘mom’ but you’ve done so well and i see the finish line here…i really am just trying to be a friend and push you to the finish line successfully❤

In the meantime… does he like car rides? Do you have a Starbucks close by? Maybe a celebratory Puppacino road trip might help.  

It might be too early to wean off gaba.  You might have to hang in for another week.  Just saying. 

Hugssp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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9 July 2020 - 4:31 pm
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I am figuratively banging my head against a wall.  I already had it on my list of questions to ask about how much we might need to continue the cone.  I was suspicious cone-free was too good to be true.  He’s been really good about ignoring his “bum-bums” so far.  I’ve mostly let him be cone-free most of the day because I’ve been living locked in the living room with him.  I only had to warn him away from his bums maybe two or three times in our whole first week.  I’ll still cone him when I’m out of the room but… dang.

I’m soooo ready to start letting him have a bit more activity again.  I also haven’t been able to get myself to go into the garage yet myself.  I’ll feel terrible if somehow he hurts himself while I’m out there doing my thing.  So I’ve been stuck on reduced activity myself.  Doing living room bodyweight workouts.  Boredom is universal around here.

Not pushy, Jackie.  I appreciate all input.

The vet told us to start pulling down the gabapentin.  We’re supposed to be down to 600mg from 900mg today.  I think I’m going to keep him at 700 for today.  Maybe go to 600 tomorrow.  I would just rather be overcautious with how fast we go down and going to 2/3rds right away in a day seems like drastic cut.

He’s actually not a car fan, for the most part and he is 60+lbs I have to lift up onto a seat in a pickup truck… As a 5′ tall woman.  So.

I have been vaguely contemplating a wagon.

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9 July 2020 - 5:00 pm
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Hah! I am 5’2″ so I get it. I have a portable ramp but I don’t think I could get it to you quickly enough. And if he’s not a ‘truck  pup… then no reason, was just an idea to get him out of the house. 

I need to say again.. not a vet, ok? But a lot of doctors want to wean off meds too early and we end up advocating for them for a bit longer. Sometimes I would like to see them in that position.. but that’s another story.

You need to remember to do this for R in his time. Some dogs never take the gaba and other pain meds and some take for a long time. Average for most? About 3 or so weeks give or take.

So try more or a bit longer walks? Slow paced, just enjoy. I would say a park but you are keeping it home so maybe just a romp extra in the yard .. ball… it’s up to you. Maybe a blankie and just enjoy the different scenery..sorry, trying here. 

You totally got this and you are rocking it more than you realize… if any of us has more ideas I am sure we will throw them in the mix sp_hearticon2

I don’t think the work out is a bad idea.. I think he will handle it too .. just sayin’

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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10 July 2020 - 5:59 pm
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Talked to our oncologist today and asked aaaaaaall the questions.  Not sure I’m 100 on board with all the answer, but:

I’ve been told R can go back to pretty much doing whatever he wants if he’s good to go for stitches out on Tuesday.  Specifically asked about running around in the back yard.  Yes.  We will probably still work back up to real walks a couple more driveways every day.

Was told we shouldn’t need the cone at all any more.  Again, I may hedge on the side of over cautious and still put it on for sleep or very long alone times for another few days until I get the sense he’s not going to have a full on crazy go at it.  I don’t think he will be inclined.  He hasn’t found his incision irresistible so far.  He’s turned his head to try to sniff at it a few times, but that’s about it.  I’ve “eh”ed him the couple of times he’s been turning his head that way and he’s left it alone.

Did appreciate that the vet said I’m in control of how we ween him down on the gabapentin and the carprofen.  I just want to do it gradually.  We’ll be down to 500 or 600 mg a day when we go in Tuesday.  Will ask for one more prescription so we can go down to none (hopefully) over the next week or so.  

Asked about the tail tucking.  Vet didn’t know either.  Maybe a combo of fear, pain, just a confidence down issue as he gets used to new balance and whatnot.  I do sense he’s just a much less confident dog right now.  That’s kinda a hard thing to explain, but I think other dog people will get it.

We’re going to do chest x-rays on Tuesday too.  That one’s more for me emotionally than anything else.  We thought we were already seeing a lone lung met before surgery.  If they’re exploding and there are a billion three weeks later, I just want to have a realistic picture of what’s going on.  The oncologist did say the whatever-count in R’s tumor was notably high (like how active the cells are dividing and stuff aka. how aggressive his own personal cancer is).  So I’d just rather know.  Right now oncologist is recommending 6 doses of carboplatin, x rays midway and X-rays end then every three months.

Can only just keep moving forward.

I maybe sent an extra twenty minutes literally just staring at my sleepy bug and petting his front foots.  (They’re really cute.  His little bear paws. …He’s kinda all over really cute.)

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10 July 2020 - 6:18 pm
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Yeah…I’m a “need to know, don’t appreciate surprises” total Capricorn. 

I just read your post and smiled.  You totally get it and you totally got this,  ok? I cannot tell you how many people don’t quite get it… and corona virus has me on a roll at the moment so I’ll shaddup about it right now 🤣🙄

So about the tail tucking… is it even remotely possible he’s feeling your frustration? Can you have that high pitched “What a GOOD boy” frilly,  girlie girl silly happiness taking to him that might turn a tail tuck into she’s bat 💩crazy for a moment?! 

He may be feeling your fear and with surgery interpreting it into Im a bad boy but I don’t know what I’ve done. I might be reaching but it might be that.  So instead of over protective mommy fear,  it’s OK, good boy,  love you,  come see me, let’s go… just try it and let me know,  ok?  It sure as 💩 can’t hurt,  right?

Big hugs,

Jackie and Huck❤

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

Virginia




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10 July 2020 - 7:55 pm
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So glad you got the go ahead in some many things that R enjoys!  There is a time to maybe be “overly cautious” and a time to move on to letting R be R again

Generally cones are off with stitch removal so glad your Onco reassured  you on that.  And the fact R hasn’t  paid much attention to the incision anyway is good.  My Hapoy Hannah  never had to wear a cone at all and never had any inclination  to mess with her incision.  

R can play some REAL fetch!!  You just want to avoid him jumping  up high and pounding down hard.  Good 0lan on Gaba reduction  y the two week mark. Then you can just take it from there lowering  it until he doesn’t need it anymore,  which may be sooner than you think.

Now is the time to show R you ARE confident  in his recovery and you are no longer going to be a helicopter Mom!!!   I agree with Jackie, R DEFINITELY  could be picking  up on your uneasiness,  uncertainty, worrying,  etc.  The two of you have been together non stop and all your emotions have been picked up by him.   R  really is rocking recovery  and needs to get to be R again!!   

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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11 July 2020 - 5:57 am
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If R is picking up on emotional stress it’s at a level I probably can’t fix.  And, yes, he CAN pick up on my real emotions from my fake ones.  I learned in our first few years together that when I got frustrated with leash pulling, even if I faked I was fine, it was all fine, everything’s fine, he would get wound up tighter and tighter the more pissed I was internally.  So, yeah, he totally knows.  But I’d tell you at this point if I’m really stressed, it’s probably so deep down even I’M not fully aware of it, if it’s there.  I honestly think I’m mostly ok.  I mean, NOW I’m worried about HIS emotional state.  But…  

Physically, I think he’s rockin’ this shhhhhh**.

31

Emotionally?  He seems pretty down.  He’ll play like five minutes of purple rhino ‘tug’ when we get back from walks but today he didn’t even want to play fetch.  I was willing to roll it down the hallway at this point, but no dice.  Didn’t even CHEW the tennis ball.  Very, very out of character.  I’m not sure if it’s just because it’s been nearly two weeks I’ve been refusing, so he’s confused and hopeless that we’re ever going to really play again, or if he’s feeling worse now than he was the first week…  As long as he’s still eating, I guess I’ll try not to worry too much.

Honestly, really, these worry levels are pretty much the normal worry levels we’ve been at for 10+ years.  Yes, I’m probably worrying more than a lot of people do.  But I AM a worrier.  Like, he’s been used to that for a decade.

The Rainbow Bridge



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11 July 2020 - 4:05 pm
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He looks really good in that video! 

I’m glad that you got all your questions answered. I agree it’s wise to taper down the Gabapentin and so do pain experts, so good for you to do it that way.

Whatever emotions he is showing right now, my guess is that in a matter of weeks he will be accustomed to the new normal and able to figure out what kind of play and activity his days will have. He could simply be confused about things right now. Watch the tail tuck though, to make sure what you are seeing is not pain.

We will keep our paws crossed for good news on the x-rays. Do what you need to do for peace of mind to worry less and play more 🙂

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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13 July 2020 - 5:16 pm
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A little worried about R today.  He was less enthusiastic about food than usual.  Still ate all his food, but…  You know your dog, you know?  He’s usually super excited about food.  Today he was like… meh.  Fine.  Not normal.  He’s not really giving me other pain signs.  That tail still but he’s napping right now, breathing rate normal, didn’t get up to shift and move around more than usual.  (If anything he’s been unusually willing to sleep the past two days.)  Could be we ramped up walks too quickly?  But really we have not done more than 5-10 minutes like the vet said.  Still, who knows how fast or slow one pup or another.  I try really hard to ‘let him lead’ but I don’t think he’s good at self-regulating.  He used to run in the heat in Texas when we lived there until I thought he’d happily die of heat exhaustion before he quit.  But… less enthusiastic about food today than any of the other healing days, so something is different.

I already sent the vet an email about it to make SURE we talk about it at our appointment tomorrow.  Could also be stress/depression/whatever?  We basically have not been on trazodone after the first few days because that seemed to make him more anxious.  Wondering if the vet can give another medication option for that?

Other weird tidbit, his sense of smell seems to have gone to sh** since we got home from surgery.  Like struggling to find his treats set on tables and whatnot around the living room.  Wha?

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 July 2020 - 6:33 pm
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He could be a little tired from getting around more than he has lately. The sleepiness is one sign of that. But remember that even though you are doing everything as directed by the vet, just moving around in general on 3 legs is a lot of work. He needs time to build up strength and stamina. If you see the lack of appetite tomorrow I would cut back a bit and see if that helps. 

Let us know how the vet appointment goes!

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Virginia




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13 July 2020 - 8:09 pm
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R is doing  so well!  I didn’t  see that little link to the video until just  now.  R is moving  like a Champ!!  He is really  moving  seemingly effortlessly.   He’s got  momentum  going and good balance.

R is doing more now and that means he’s gonna nap more.  Nothing  wrong with that.  Longer walks don’t  necessarily  build up stamina.  You can do some Rehab with him after another week or so to build up his core muscles.  That will help with his stamina, etc.

Does he run at that pace the whole walk?  Does he stop to just mosey around for a couple of minites before he takes off again?   Or maybe sit down for a minute and just enjoy the scenery?  Regardless, he seems to really be enjoying  himself😎

He ate it all, right?  Didn’t  just take a couple of bites and then walk away, right?  Just because  he didn’t  jump for joy at the sight of food isn’t anything to worry about.  He is STILL recovering  and may have a little less enthusiasm every now and then.  No worries.  Perfectly  normal.

Continue  to work on being more dog.  Once you get that lesson you can really relax and enjoy the journey.  The last thing you want on this journey is to waste the present time you have with R now  worrying  about the future.  R isn’t  wasn’t  one second of his time with you.  He’s enjoying  his life and continues  to get happier and happier as he moves further away from the surgery.

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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14 July 2020 - 10:32 am
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Totally agree…R is doing awesome, just like his human! Chance went through days when he wasn’t interested in food but he’s back to not only eating but also eating his normal food (vs boiled chicken and rice).  In the first 1.5-2 weeks he really didn’t want to stand up for his meals, but now he readily go to his normal bowl, next to his sister and is eating well.  

As far as the walks, I agree that it sounds like you’re monitoring his walks extremely well.  I’ve actually been using your posts as a kind of guide on determining Chance’s walks.  We’re doing 5-6 houses out and then back.  He is normally out in front, ready to go for the first couple houses then starts slowing down.  He likes to stop and smell, maybe nibble at some grass, then off again.  This morning he really enjoyed the neighbor’s yard that still was a little wet either from early morning watering or dew…it’s Texas so I’m guess the former!  I’ve been using his Ruffwear harness just in case he needs help.  Even with those short walks, when we get home, he’s back on his bed and resting.  We’ll try getting out more throughout the day to maybe help build up his strength, but it’s hard in this heat!

Keep up the great work!

Sandra, Chance and Kenya

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14 July 2020 - 5:56 pm
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When I was young, I heard the story of the Chinese farmer and his son, a proverb about the fact that you can view any situation as good or back luck; it’s a choice of perspective.  If anyone wants to actually read it (here).  So.  Today could be seen as either good luck or bad luck.  I’m mostly viewing it as good.  We went in for our follow up amputation appointment today.  Stitches came out (yay!).  Incision is totally healed, I’ve been told.  I mean, I asked the vet like 15 different ways.  I’ve been told no cone and if he wants to run 100% crazy after a rabbit in the yard, he can have at it.  So we are going to go out into the backyard without a leash tonight!  And tomorrow morning, real early, we’re both going to do one of our favorites: Momma sitting on the back stoop with a cup of coffee and pup chewing a tennis ball and running after it on occasion.  If he’s tired, mostly chewing.  If he’s feeling feisty, more fetch.

We did our first chemo treatment this afternoon.  I’m a little anxious to see how that goes for us.  I know most pups are mostly fine, but I’m worried about stomach problems and lethargy and just sadpants pup.  I want him to get to be happy again soon.  He was always such a happy boy before all this sh**.

Unlucky/lucky: Two more dots showed up in R’s x-rays.  I wish there were no more dots.  But the first dot hasn’t grown.  And there could have been two hundred more dots.  So.  I was braced for worse.  We’re going to view this one as mostly lucky.

Now if he can just have a little more FUN before those dots start to multiply.

New York, NY
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14 July 2020 - 6:05 pm
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Hi.  I’m not sure where you and R live, but I was recently researching clinical trials because Griffin’s chest x-rays last week showed a lung met.  The same clinical trial studying lung mets in dogs with osteosarcoma is being run at Tufts University in Massachusetts and Hope Veterinary Specialists in Pennsylvania.  They provide the medications for the study along with chemo in the form of doxorubicin.  Because of the new lung met, Griffin was switched from carboplatin to doxorubicin last week, and thus he is ineligible for the study.  I hope someone else can benefit!  ~ Stacy

https://trials……-the-lung/

https://hopevs……eosarcoma/

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