Rough times — Surgery Day Plus 12

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I was out of state from Surgery Day Plus 3 to Surgery Day Plus 8.  During my absence, my husband reported some “lethargy.”  I have to say I was scared by Darby’s behavior when I returned.  Gone was the dog with a prance in her gait, even the 3-legged variation she was rocking the first couple of days after surgery.  She doesn’t walk much at all — when she does, it’s very labored.   She spends most of the time sleeping on the couch, and when she’s not doing that, she’s demanding to be petted.  Last night I had to do quite a sales pitch to get her off the couch and over to her food bowl.

Are these the rough patches I was warned about, after the hospital meds are stopped?  Darby is not a complainer, but I even heard her whine a little bit when she stopped before the one step up from our sunken living room, as if just making that one step up was too much for her.  Because of this behavior and the labored gait, my husband and I took her in to be seen on Surgery Day Plus 10.  Her incision looks terrific, and we were relieved to find out that her temperature is normal.  The on call vet suggested we increase the gabapentin slightly, and then just keep on keeping on until we see the vet on Tuesday to get her stitches out.  He wants to discuss starting chemo, but I really don’t want to deal with that while Darby is still so down.

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3 thoughts on “Rough times — Surgery Day Plus 12”

  1. Just realized I missed a couple of post amp updates so went back and caught up.

    Glad the Vet increased the Gabapentin. Is she on anything else like Tramadol and Rimadyl? What are the dose amounts and frequency?

    Two things come to mind, she needs better pain management and/or, she has been overdoing it a bit too much those first several days when she was hyped up on hospital pain meds. It takes very little “overdoing ” it the first two weeks to tweak a muscle or joint.
    Very, very little.

    Massage up and down her spine, her neck, her shoulder, really thoroughly. Does she show any sign of tenseness anywhere? It takes about two weeks-ish (or more for larger dogs) to get over rhe surgery itself, and about one month for a dog to fully adjust to being a tripawd, using new muscles, adjusting to new gait, etc.

    How is she doing as far as eating, drinking, tail wags, etc?

    For whatever it’s worth, I delayed my Happy Hannah’s chemo u til three weeks because I didn’t feel like she had recovered enough to take it. So a week or so delay is not a big deal. It took me a solid three weeks before I started seeing her sparkle come back and really started feeling good about my decision.

    Also, when she gets through recovery you can check into a consult with a Rehab Specialist. They do great jobs of evaluating the individual dog and determining the best process to strong core muscles, etc.

    Update when you can. Try and remember it’s major surgery, plus adapting all muscles, joints, etc to three legs. Give her massages with a warm towel out of the dryer before she gets up and at bedtime. She’ll love that.

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    1. Besides the gabapentin, Darby is also on Rovera — same dosage on that as before the surgery.
      Thanks for the recovery time estimates! I realize that, at 12 days, we can’t really expect her to be back to her normal self.
      I have massaged her front leg & shoulder a few times. She doesn’t react much to that. I’ll work the spine and neck into my routine. I don’t feel any tenseness, but I haven’t really been looking for that.
      She still eats normally. Drinking amount is down from before surgery, but perhaps that’s due to a lot less physical activity. Tail is wagging. She’s always been rather of an attention hog — that certainly hasn’t gone away.
      Thanks also for your experience with starting chemo. Feels good to know I’m not alone!
      Loved the warm towel suggestion!

  2. I second what Sally mentioned. It does sounds like she is in some kind of pain (the clinginess and vocalizations are two of the biggest pain indicators in dogs). I’m glad your vet suggested to increase the Gabapentin, that will hopefully help out. How is she today?

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