One week post op -
We’ve had one trip to ER, he would scream, I mean SCREAM in pain. Literally woke me out of sleep two closed doors away when he was with my partner and later that night it awakened her three doors away and let just assure you, that ain’t easy. She found me cradling him sobbing. The first two times he wasn’t moving, the pain wasn’t provoked. We called vet ER and they called in a medicine at two AM, one normally given for Parkinson’s.
I had decided that when we got him up in the AM that morning, that if he screamed again he was going straight to car to ER, if that was too painful we were calling in his vet to have him PTS.
That AM was more screaming, this time when he moved to get up. But once up and a bit of a massage and getting car warmed up, we got him in the car without further screaming episodes.
We had them take him immediately back (so I couldn’t, hopefully, hear him scream again. That scream will haunt me a lifetime). We demanded that he be given a pain shot ASAP then come see us and we’ll update more than when we called on the way in. Which they did. After some haggling (NO we know best not you second year ER resident), they put him on Gabapentin for nerve pain, fentanyl patch for bid ass surgery pain, and they suggested to restart his trazadone for anxiety (his only, unfortunately).
They wanted to wait and continue the codeine for pain and if not better in 24 hours to come back to do the patch procedure which consist of - hydromorphine shot (which he had just received) because it takes the patch 12 hours to work one placed, and shave area to place patch (which he has lots of).
So since he’s been on the codeine for over a month and has possibly built up a tolerance, and since he just got a shot of hydromorphine and since he has lots of shaven real estate let’s and since getting him in a car to there when in pain isn’t easy, and well even more painful, then let’s friggin DO IT NOW (I kinda went all “Terms of Endearment” on them...again).
Also, they inferred that this never happens so he must be weak or pain intolerant. Um no, even when his foot was dangling from the fracture he never yelped, cried or whined.
Two days later, still no appetite, seemed depressed. Has to be forced to get up. But hasn’t screamed in pain with as much intensity or as often. But he did poop, and poop and pooped.
Yesterday morning once we got him up and was holding him, because he fell the last time he got up trying to stretch, I then felt and saw the wave of tensed cramping go from his good hip to his amputated side and then he screamed - not as loud but we were able to massage it out. I guess it’s like a Charlie horse and sets off the severed nerve for a second.
That afternoon, his surgeon called and as I was explaining things to her and including that the amputation was to decrease pain and increase quality, he looked over at me like this -
He’s so drugged. We both agree to stop everything except the gabapentin and metacam for pain. That’s made a huge difference. He even meet me at the door with a shoe.
After sutures our in a week and confirming his incision is healed enough, he can go swimming. Of course he’ll need a life jacket now and I found a heated indoor pool about 90 mins away that sells private time. He starts chemo on the 8th, they say it’s symptom free (let’s hope) ohh and his pathology shows osteosarcoma only.
We got his new Ruffwear harness in today but his “Swat” vest did well!
Ohh and Moonshine tried blaming this on Huckleberry, said he got bored and needed attention.
Tomorrow we are starting him on training to go find his leg (he does that with shoes, toys, leashes, collars). Best two things I can find is this duck which has a leg and is “fowl” and this stick looking chew from Ruffwear. So far the duck has been his favorite. But in past pre-three limbs, he’d chew the duck up. So if that happens then we know his normal. The stick will at least float so he can”get his leg” when swimming.
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