Post Op Day 3

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Arwen got to come home to us on Wednesday after her Tuesday surgery, and we are so relieved to have her back home. The vet office was a little concerned because she refused to eat a bite or go potty the whole time she was admitted. They thought she maybe just needed my husband and I to be there, and they were right. The second we arrived at the hospital on Wednesday afternoon she wolfed down a cup of food, and the second we arrived home she went potty in the backyard. I guess this means if Arwen is ever kidnapped, she will go on a hunger and potty strike until she is returned to her parents.

Picture of Arwen getting her incision site iced at the vet hospital, sent to me by vet staff

We prepared the house for her return by laying rugs all over the hardwood floors, and moving our living room couch into the garage so Arwen won’t be tempted to jump/step up onto it. We replaced the couch with our bed’s king-sized mattress, and we are camping out with her in the living room. My husband and I have adjusted our work schedules so we take turns being home with her so she hasn’t had to be alone yet.

Arwen’s first day home after surgery

That first night was hard. Arwen was super restless and didn’t sleep hardly at all. I think it was hard for her to get comfortable. She panted and whined a lot. The only thing that made her stop whining was my husband or I petting her, and it’s impossible to pet her and sleep at the same time. Arwen’s second night was much better. She slept most of the night, and only got restless a couple of times.

So the good news about Arwen’s recovery is that her appetite and thirst is as good as it has ever been. Definitely no appetite loss at all. And she still drinks water like a horse (as my stepfather describes it). She also takes her medication with no issues. She is on 14 pills a day (8 tramadol, 4 gabapentin, 2 vetprofen) and we just toss them in with her food. I don’t think she knows she’s even taking meds.

So she doesn’t go potty as much as she used to. We knew she may not have a bowel movement for a couple of days, but I wish she wouldn’t hold it so long when she has to urinate. She is only urinating maybe twice a day. We try to get her to go, but she won’t until she really has to go, then she urinates a lot. We have started rewarding her with treats after she goes to try and encourage her to go more. She just had her first post-op bowel movement this morning, though (hurrah!).

Arwen Post-Op Day 2. The leg warmer is because she wants to lick the spot where her IV was.

Seeing Arwen so helpless is really hard. We are bringing food and water to her, and using a simple harness the vet gave us (it just loops under her chest/stomach area) to help her go potty outside. Otherwise she is just on bed rest, sleeping on and off. When she is awake she is getting lots of attention and cuddles. But I can tell she is still uncomfortable. It’s really hard for her to get up when she’s lying down.

I know we made the right decision for her, but I still feel guilty. I wish I could take her pain from her. I keep telling myself that this pain is temporary. Just seeing her on 3 legs is hard, too. I have only sent pictures of her to my closest family and friends (who have been super supportive), but hesitate to have anyone else see her right now (present company, excluded). I know not everyone will agree with our choice to amputate, and worry people will give me their unsolicited opinions. I am thankful there is a community like Tripawds where so many people have made the same choice my husband and I have. Even though it’s sad so many people have had to have these medical issues with their pets, I take solace that we’re not alone.

Thanks to everyone who has blogged about their own journeys! I have read so many of them and it helps so much.

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7 thoughts on “Post Op Day 3”

  1. Sweet Arwen, I am so happy to know that you are home and letting your nurses take such good care of you!

    The recovery period is ruff for us humans. We forget it’s temporary, but it truly is. And we worry so much about our Tripawd, because we aren’t used to seeing our dog or cat so out of it and slow. The medications are helpful but of course they make you all sleepy and woozy. But sleep is medicinal, it’s exactly what you need to heal.

    Amputation recovery is harder for humans than the pets. Wouldn’t you agree Arwen?

    And yep, it’s good to stay around pawsitive people right now, that was a smart move.

      1. I hope she recovers quickly and is back to her old self soon. I know it’s so hard to watch and very hard on us. Hope you’re all able to get some rest soon!

  2. Arwen is such a beautiful dog, such a beautiful Soul.
    I ,ove, love, love reading how you moved the sofa out and brought a mattress in. Dogs do love their space on their couches and will even try and get up on them in their drugged state while adjusting to three legs!
    And YAY for poop!!! Another milestone checked pff! Eating, drinking and peeing….all great victories!! I’m guessing the pain meds are making her not to want to get up to pee until she absolutely has too.
    Yrah, there will be some people who may offer uninformed and unsolicited comments. You did the research, you talked to the Vets and professionals and you are doing what needs to be done to give beautiful Arwen a pain free quality life, full of loving and spoiling!!
    I remember one member’s perfect repsone when someone said, “Awww, your dog has three legs.` The member looked at their dog with shock on their face…”What??? Oh my gosh! I hadn’t noticed! I need to go find the other leg!” And, of course, you can always let people know you get a discount when they have their nails trimmed for three paws instead of four. Just trying to say, don’t worry one second what others, who have not done the research you have, think.

    You are still in the roughest part of recovery. It’s MAJOR surgery. Humans would still be in the hospital on a morphine drip three days after surgery!! It generally takes about two weeks to recover fron rhe surgery itself. It generally takes about thirty days for the dog to adjust to three legs and get all the mobility, balance issues worked out.

    My Happy Hannah was very whiny and restless and uncomfortable for the first three nights. I don’t think she or I slept a wink. I had not found this site at that point and I was sure I had made a horrible decision! It took several weeks, but I soon said I did this FOR her and not TO her! And you’ll be saying that soon!!
    Keep is posted and stay connected. And please keep those pictures of that beautiful girl coming!!

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

    PS…When the fur starts growing in, you won’t even notice she has three legs. Strange but true!!

    1. Thank you, this makes me feel better! It’s a relief to know that other parents question their decisions, even if briefly, when seeing their dogs in the days after surgery. I am so looking forward to a time when she seems back to her old self. Much love to you and Hannah, Myrtle & Frankie!

  3. I hope she recovers quickly and is back to her old self soon. I know it’s so hard to watch and very hard on us. Hope you’re all able to get some rest soon!

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