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Days 5 – 7 – Up, Down, and All Around

It has been a rollercoaster few days.

The surgeon called me back and didn’t seem concerned with the yelping – and didn’t think it was phantom limb pain, at least not the way it is currently presenting. He thinks it is more likely a strain and expects it to resolve in a week or so. 3 days later, and we are getting very minimal yelping, maybe once a day, so that’s an improvement! He also gave us the biopsy results and Marley had a confirmed grade 1 nerve sheath tumor that looked to be 100% removed by the surgery. He is not expecting the tumor to come back to another site on her body…so that is amazing news.

We now have a new issue, as Marley is getting…hyper?…agitated at having to stay in the basement and not exercise?…:

[I posted the below in the forums, but posting it here too as well.]

Yesterday, day 6 post-surgery, she was getting especially wound up. Howling at the bottom of the stairs (they’re blocked off) and hopping around quite a bit. My partner took her outside for a wee, and as he was walking back up the driveway to bring her back in, he texted me and asked me to come outside. She was at the edge of the driveway standing there, somewhat shaking, and did not want to move. He wanted to pick her up and bring her back in the house but she’s ~75 pounds and squirmy – I was really nervous to do this. We ended up bringing her dog bed out to the driveway so she could lie on it while we figured out how to get her back inside.

We ended up just loading her bed into our son’s wagon and rolling her through the backyard and back into the basement. She spent the day lying mostly in the same spot, refusing to stand up and go outside. She did pee herself a couple of times, similar to days 1-2 post-surgery where she didn’t want to get up at ALL. Today, she has stood up a few times, but I can see her back left leg is incredibly stiff, and when she is lying down, she doesn’t want to straighten it at all. Worth noting one of the surgeons who examined her 1-2 months ago said she had a torn cruciate in her right leg… but this new issue is on her left leg, and the same side as the forelimb amputation (of course). The right-leg issue seemed to self-resolve (maybe because tumor limb took precedence for pain). When I expressed concern about going for amputation with this issue, the surgeon said if she was already getting around fine pre-amputation, she would probably be okay.

I went to bed hoping she just overexerted herself and she’d be better in the morning, but she isn’t. I’ve gotten her out the back door, but she refuses to move further to go pee. (She really dislikes the sheet I’m trying to use as a sling too!) I’m feeling so heartbroken over this, that we went through the stressful decision of amputation and now her remaining legs are starting to bother her again so soon. Getting a proper diagnosis for her tumor was HELL and took 3 months, so I’m just so sad at the thought of hauling her back to the vet for more tests, more prodding, and likely more waiting for answers.

Not sure what I am looking for here – maybe just some support. This has been such an incredibly hard year seeing my formerly spunky dog decline so rapidly. I am so grateful for this community and have read many posts over the past month while I prepared for amputation. I’ve read a few posts about amputees going under for TPLO but I don’t know if I can do it. It is so much to ask of her, and selfishly, me.

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