Priscilla will be having a foreleg amputation on Tuesday.
If you have any experience with this, can you give me some idea as to what to expect, and how I can help her?
How much pain will she be in the first while?
How long before she can do stairs (with help even). Will she ever be able to jump on the bed again?
How horrible is it getting the incision to heal? How long for the conehead?
Any other thoughts?
Willow had her leg amputated in May 2006, 3 days before I graduated from vet school.
How much pain will she be in? Virtually none. The pain of the skin incision she has is significantly less than the pain of the bone cancer, and similar to that of a spay (actually less than a spay, since the weight of the body against the body wall isnt there for the most part).
Most dogs are walking by the next day. Do stairs? Probably within a week - my dog did stairs in 3-4 days on her own. My dog was able to jump within 3-4 weeks.
The incision heals within 2 weeks just as any other incision - the staples come out (most have staples, since its such a HUGE incision - that's the biggest thing most people are not prepared for, how HUGE and nasty the incision will look - they come out at 14 days and at that point it is healed as any other incision would be, as long as there are no complications.
I kept a cone on for the first couple of days, and then when I was home I put a tshirt on the dog and kept the cone off. When I left, I put the cone back on a ALL times.
DO NOT BABY HER. If you coddle her and act like she will never walk again, she won't. Act like nothing is wrong. Dogs are born with four legs because ONE IS EXTRA. Dogs with three legs are able to get around just as well as any other dog.
NO PAIN is going to be greater than the pain of having a bone tumor. Taking that leg off is pain management. It's amputating the most painful thing she has going on in her life. All she is left with is a SKIN incision. There is no bone pain left - she has a cut. That's in. She will adjust.
Willow was a different dog after amputation. She blossomed without the pain.
She hated having her pictures taken, so I never got good pics of her, ever. In fact, she wasn't a very affectionate dog, ever. once she had her leg amputated, she changed - she began to seek contact with her and the last 2 weeks I had with her, she was almost normal. I cannot imagine the sort of pain she was in prior to diagnosing her with Osteo. I had her for 9 months, and she had 6 weeks post-amputation, and they were the best 6 weeks of her life.
these pictures are taken 2.5 weeks post-op. these pics are when rah was 10 months old. if you can imagine any dog having to deal with a 10 month old rah, she did it - and did it well. Rah actually knocked her down the stairs 7 days post-op and she handled it just fine!
these are taken ~one month post-surgery, and 10 days before i lost her.
she was able to run on the beach!
(believe it or not, she ran away that day!)