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6 Days Post Surgery

It’s been a tough week.  The Nocita given to Patches during surgery wore off on Monday, and we went through a week of sleepless nights. Patches has been struggling with pain, and we had to fight with our vet about additional pain solutions. They were hesitant to given anything to us, claiming it opiates are not the standard of care in veterinary science, despite protocols we sent to them and specific requests we made for post op pain relief. Instead, they believed we were overdosing him on the Gabapenten, causing dysphoria.  We sent video of Patches whimpering in pain, and relayed that these whimpers turned into full-on screams of pain – we knew something was wrong.

We are looking for a new provider. When we picked up our dog, freshly tripawd, they had just waxed their floors. This caused a Bambi-on-Ice moment,  when he attempted to move and his legs just slipped. We have not had this problem at home, because we purchased puzzle, interlocking play mats off of Amazon to lay around the house. The whole experience has felt lousy, and we are just trying to reduce as much stress on our Baby Dog as possible.

We have been using rotisserie chicken to give Patches his pills, but we think he is on to us. He has never been a picky eater, but he has taken to just throwing the chicken or any treats on the floor. We are trying to find new treats for him. Ridiculously, the elk burgers are still working for him, and if I mix one or two in, he will eat.  This lack of appetite is a recent development – he ate well in the days immediately following surgery. We fear he is depressed.

We have one more week to go in this post operative restriction on movement – then we are going to try to move him lightly into more activity. Poor Baby Dog loved his walks and rides in the car – lived for them – and being homebound is his special form of torture.

If this helps someone else, we get the Elk Burgers from Northstar Bison. Quick turnaround and shipping, and he loves them.

Here is a link to the mats we are using, from Amazon.

7 thoughts on “6 Days Post Surgery”

  1. Bummer about the pain not being handled. We see that too often here so sometimes and it really piffed us off!
    Gabapentin can cause some drowsiness so etimes in some dogs, but have not heard of it making them whacky and dysphoric. Morphine yes, but not Gaba. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, so just my opin from what I’ve seen here.

    Anyway, what doses and frequency is he on now? And refresh our memory, how much does he weigh?
    Patches probably is t “depressed”. It’s most likely he’s tired of trying to fight the pain. That can definitely make them frustrated.

    Yeah, amazing that the clinic where he had his amputation has slippery floors. Ugh!!!

    Keep feeling him anything he’ll eat. Glad the elk patties are working. Thanks for sharing that Info. The first couple of days out of surgery, he was still on some strong hospital meds and that’s why he felt perkier and more like eating.
    Try and stay upbeat and confident around Patches. We know it’s hard but remember, recovery doesn’t last furever!
    In the meantime, is their any friend that he really likes who can come visit him? Sometimes having a hooman come over with a cheeseburger and a Happy smile can perk them up, of only for a minute or two.

    Hoping the pain meds can get worked out. Also sometimes a combo of Gaba and Armanditine (sp) work well together.

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

    1. At discharge, I challenged their pain control plan — even citing the 2015 AAHA recommendations and Three Legs and a Spare guidance — and was met with statement that anything beyond NSAID + gabapentin was “no longer practiced,” steady resistance, and thinly-veiled accusation that we were drug-seeking. Indeed, it took multiple uncomfortable email exchanges with the surgeon and implicit threat of legal action to gain ANY acknowledgment of Patches’ pain behavior as reflective of pain — not substance-induced dysphoria. Perhaps, I will post these emails as templates for others who might need to address such conflict in time of distress? The result was prescription for 10-day course of amantadine, which Patches started last night. I am still awaiting explanation for why the post-operative aminocaproic acid was unilaterally foregone despite our explicit discussion of Dr. Cuoto’s research, protocols, and direct provision of the articles he himself provided me. I remain disgusted, disappointed, and angry at myself for allowing Patches to be exposed to such substandard care — I have only the press of time as explanation.

  2. Ohhhhh you guys! I’m so sorry. If you ever want to talk please reach out to us via the Chat, the Helpline, or email.

    Nothing gets us madder around here than a vet who will not prescribe appropriate pain management! Have you seen Dr. Downing’s videos? She talks about that quite a bit:

    Lots of vets are twitchy about customers asking for pain control. Yes, there is a problem with crappy people who try to score meds for their own use. But after amputation, everything is fair game if a dog is having phantom pain episodes. Pain needs to be addressed in multiple ways.

    GOOD FOR YOU for advocating! You did great!!!!

    We would be happy to help you find a new vet practice when you are ready. It’s definitely time to move on. If you’re curious, the AAHA Hospital Directory can help you get started, but we can do that too if you’d like.

    I hope things are better. Keep us posted.

    1. Hi Jerry (Renee)! We have been trying to call around to the AAHA Hospitals in our area, and we frustratingly keep getting referred back to our original provider. The next closest AAHA certified providers are either in the Los Angeles or outside of Phoenix, Arizona… both of which are hours away. The place we are trying to get away from is NOT accredited, and it seems that everyone in town so far refers all cases to them. What do we do?

  3. Thank you for all the comments . I remain worried, but Patches’ Dad feels that things are improving. His incision has more fluid buildup, but it has moved “down” so we hope that this is just the normal course. Patches is a little less twitchy and restless, and seems to want to practice walking off the mats, and getting on and off the couches. He appears to be testing things out. Tonight I try some mashed potatoes and more bison, maybe some spinach too for “above the ground” or broccoli, mashed up.

  4. Slooooely but surely xounds like things are improving, YAY! He’s determined to reclaim his couch and that is always a good sign. Remember, any “little improvement ” is HUGE IMPROVEMENT early on during recovery…..especially for Greyhounds. They are such sensitive and gentle Souls.
    My Hapoy Hannah’s seroma ended up looking like a saggy boob. 😱 It eventually reabsorbed just fine,
    Your doing Greyt!!👍
    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

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