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Rio's Battle with Osteosarcoma

Our day to day life with OSA

April 29th 6 days post-op Amputation

Filed under: Uncategorized — nikkiweber at 5:02 am on Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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April 29th- 6 days post-op. We have had our ups and downs, mostly at night. Yesterday I removed his soaker catheter and I thought he would be in more pain with me unable to inject medication but I think he feels more comfortable without the long tubing inside of his lack there of shoulder. Changed bandage as well. He jumped up on the couch a couple times and lays down for awhile and then in the middle of the night he lays on the floor. Seems pretty finicky at night still. I’m not sure why. I am not going to give him his 3rd dose of Codeine tonight to see if that helps, he is sleeping soundly right now with an ice pack on his incision and a warm blanket over him. Last night late at night he even tried to go downstairs to sleep in “our” level, which was a huge improvement attitude wise. He even climbed up the stairs on accident! Clearly he is getting around okay but I do think he is still sore. His gait is improving a little bit, he moves very fast! Attitude seems improved and appetite is improved as well. Incision looks great. Sometimes I look in his eyes and I feel like he looks sad, but I just keep thinking that it is just one day at a time and eventually he will be normal dog again just with 3 legs! My Mom is still having a hard time realizing that but my Dad has been a great help taking him outside and not being intimidating by his lack of a 4th leg. Sometimes he just looks up an pants heavily I am sure he is in pain but I either offer him water or take him outside and then he seems fine afterwords. His swelling has gone down I think significantly, I wrapped his whole torso up for 1 1/2 days and I think that helped. On a personal level I am feeling a little cooped up and depressed, I miss my friends at work and I miss laughing and smiling. Sounds really pathetic but I guess I love my job. Tomorrow will be a week since his surgery and I think he is doing great! I can’t wait to get his stitches out, and then start our next journey with chemo etc… I am getting a little concerned with the costs, but we will deal with that when the time comes, I just need to get back to work so I can make money to pay for everything…. Kind of a depressing thought I guess… Still rained all day, I am sure Rio would really enjoy some time in the sun any day now! I have been letting him outside unleashed now I just walk out with him to make sure he doesn’t try and chase anything and to be there for him if he falls etc… but his ins and outs seem okay, so I am pretty pleased with that. Hoping for better weather and better nights!

Rio and I at our land up north, he loves to hug like this- one of my favorite pics

Rio and I at our land up north, he loves to hug like this- one of my favorite pics

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April 30, 2014 @ 1:22 pm   Reply

Sounds like Rio is doing great!!!! And you will be back to work in no time..
It’s that first while together that I didn’t want to go to work because I wanted to be there for my Franklin to make sure he was okay. My Franklin had his front left leg amputated but there was no drainage tubes or anything like that. It is amazing how different vets do it differently.
Sounds like he is adjusting very well.. and doesn’t it make you grin when you see them get that Tripawd gait down and yes.. they do move pretty fast!! I was once told that you will never get a tripawd to heel beside you.. and it’s true!! I had to go buy an extend-a-leash for Franklin because he would be 10 feet ahead of me on our walks!! lol
Seems like the worst is over for you and each day is getting better and better!!! So glad ot hear that!
We never did the chemo with Franklin so I cannot give any input on what to expect that way, but there are many here that will answer questions and give support for that adventure!
Good luck.. and keep up the great work Rio!!!
Christine… with Franklin in her heart♥



    May 2, 2014 @ 12:09 am   Reply

    Thanks Christine! YES he is getting along fine! 7 days post op today and he has been up and down stairs twice now! I try to keep him laying down or in one spot until his sutures come out. Then we will practice more 🙂



April 30, 2014 @ 4:59 pm   Reply

It’s really nice to hear that overall, things are moving along as they should. I know how hard recovery is, and I’m guessing that with a giant breed like gorgeous Rio it’s even more intimidating to go through. Hang in there! Try to remember, he’s dopey from the pain meds, that’s probably more of what you’re seeing than depression. He also knows that you’re not yourself right now either, which is understandable. As the pack heals, life gets better, I promise.

Meanwhile, I’m really curious to hear more about his pain management protocol. It’s the second time that we’ve heard about folks coming home with the soaker catheter. Would you care to share more info about that? Who’s your doc/clinic? I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about this new pain relief system and would love to feature Rio and you in the story if that’s OK. PM me if you want to chat about it more.

Great pic by the way!




April 30, 2014 @ 6:02 pm   Reply

One more thing: no you’re not crazy for loving your job! That’s awesome! What do you do?

Oh, last word: One day at a time, try not to let the whole process of surgery, chemo and all that overwhelm you. You only have to decide one thing at a time and remember that chemo is always optional. Not every dog has it and oftentimes they do just as well as dogs who did. It’s really a crapshoot. Don’t let it stress you out, Rio just wants you to be happy!



April 30, 2014 @ 6:25 pm   Reply

RIO!! You are exquisitely handsome!! Soooooo handsome…jisg a big ole’ cuddlebug!

Kidos to you and your Dad for staying strong for Rio! He needs to be around confident energy that empowers him to embrace his new normal…..and it sounds like he’s doing that very well.

Pretty much everyone here will tell you there comes a point you won’t even notice he no longer has his “spare”…he’s already forgotten it!

Yeah, night seems to be harder pain-wise. Not really sure why that seems to be a common thread. Could be they feel more “alone”, maybe a little more scared, not sure. Managing pain is crucial though. He’s a big boy and this is major surgery!
My Happy Hannah (a Bull Mastiff) had her pain meds for over three weeks…they were tapering down, but she still needed that dose of Tramadol.

Rio has a wonderful support group with you and your family! Just keep chunking it down for now…one day at a time…..and celebrate the bits of sparkle that are starting to come back! And it only gets better!!

Extra treats and hugs for Rio tonight! Maybe a little taste of ice cream too!


Sally and Happy Hannah



    May 2, 2014 @ 12:07 am   Reply

    Thank you! He is a very very handsome boy, he knows it to. lol. Yeah I am interested in seeing what they continue him on after our suture removal check-up because we are getting close to the bottom of the jar on a couple. Thanks so much. I’ve read your blog as well a lot of regulars on here are what made me want to start blogging about my boy, plus it gave me a good reminder of what we are going through and kind of gave me time to reflect and appreciate our days more.



May 1, 2014 @ 11:59 pm   Reply

@ Jerry- I went to school to be a certified vet tech and have been doing that for 4 years or so, so they felt comfortable leaving a soaker catheter in. It is a red rubber tube that is sutured into place and you basically inject Bupivicaine which numbs the nerves etc… and dilute it with saline and can be done 4 times a day but they had me do it 3 times daily and remove it, it is about 1 foot long. I figured he was probably a little uncomfortable from that thing being in there even though it made him “numb”. I am using the U of MN as my primary care for him, since they had all the oncology options. And thank you so much! It does get overwhelming thinking of all the things that need to be done and trying to have a life, be happy, know your’e doing the best etc… So that is reassuring! I like your comment “as the pack heals, life gets better” 🙂
Right now I am a manager at a sports bar in the cities, I moved in the meantime and it was kind of a job for now that turned out to be great money working with great people. I serve tables as well so the cash income is always a bonus. Long, hard hours though so Rio never really liked it but thankfully my hard work paid off because I am able to pay for his treatment.



May 2, 2014 @ 12:00 am   Reply

And yeah any questions about his pain management just let me know, We would loved to be featured!



May 2, 2014 @ 2:01 am   Reply

Nikki, What a great job your doing! It takes a lot of love and dedication to take care of a Furbaby like you are! Just a thought about restless at night, maybe it’s like babies who are teething, they are ALWAYS more fussy/finicky at night and some thoughts are that without all the extra audio/visual and tactile stimulation that they just pay attention to it more! Such a great job! I’m proud of you! 🙂



    May 2, 2014 @ 2:15 am   Reply

    Thanks Jen! 🙂 That could be very true I reduced his Codeine and been using DAP a lot but more so at night and last night was okay, but we will see how tonight goes. He is getting pretty itchy at his suture line so I’ve been kind of his itch master lol. Appetite is getting pretty finicky and I want him to eat but I don’t want him to eat so many different things and then battle diarrhea but I know that could be the case.

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