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Bodie's Long Trip Home


Guest Bodie
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We brought Bodie home yesterday. It was a joyous reunion. It was difficult to say who was happier - Bodie or me. He looks great. Yes, he has lost some weight and he has that long scar and bruising and he's shaved here, there, and everywhere, but, to me he looks wonderful.

 

However, the trip home was awful. Part of that was unrelated to Bodie. That was the part where I needed to fill the van borrowed from my father with gas and discovered that the van had a locking gas cap, but my father had neglected to give me the key to it. This necessitated a long argument with the AAA people, in which they wanted to tow my car to a service station and I wanted them to come and pry off the gas cap. I ended up getting semi-hysterical with a AAA supervisor, saying my car could not be towed as I had a 70 pound greyhound in the back who had just had his leg amputated for bone cancer and I was taking him home from OSU and what the hell was I to do with him? This man knew how to deal with semi-hysteria - he gave in and sent over a service guy who broke off the gas cap, which is all I wanted.

 

But the semi-hysteria got Bodie upset, so we had to calm him down and no matter what we did, he insisted on lying on his amputated side, which meant that every small bump I hit, he shrieked an ear-piercing shriek. And if we tried to readjust him to lie on his good side, before we knew it, he was on his bad side again. It was a long trip home. With the gas cap debacle, we never got home until 11:30 PM.

 

Today, I am going through what I see often happens to people who are writing on Circle of Greys. Guilt. Did I do the right thing? I look at him hobbling around the yard, moving like an old man in pain and I wonder if I did the right thing trying to save him. I keep tellling myself he just had major surgery, of course he is going to be moving like everything hurts. But still I worry.

 

However, Bodie's symptoms today have me somewhat concerned. He won't lie down. He paces around the house, panting, and about every half hour or so he lets out a shreik. Since he is supposed to rest, we set up the crate and are now making him stay in there. He does lie down in there - and glares at us for having put him in the crate. Even in the crate he shreiks at about the same rate while lying down. This is exactly what he did before he went for cancer surgery, so I'm finding it disconcerting. I talked to the doctors at OSU today and they just want me to watch for signs of infection, which I don't see. There is a little seeping, but that doesn't seem to concern OSU.

 

Anyone who's been through this... how did your dog act a week after surgery? Bodie is moving around the yard on his own, but with great effort. He's peeing and pooping on his own, he's eating and drinking. He is on painkillers (Prevacox and Tramadol) but he still stands in the yard, panting from the effort of walking, nose dripping. It's the shreiking that bothers me the most. I know Bodie's a pain weenie, but I would think the pain would be subsiding by now and he's stop shreiking. But then again, maybe it's as simple as the staples are pulling on his skin...

 

My other concern is that Bodie is to return to Ohio on Monday to begin his chemo. OSU says his chemo should start two weeks after surgery. That's next week. I don't know if he's up to the trip. The trip home was so rough on him. I am exploring options of getting the chemotherapy done locally, but nothing concrete yet. My vet is working on it with the help of OSU.

 

The good news is that a skin test taken while Bodie had surgery shows that his staph infection has been stopped. OSU biopsied the skin on the leg that was amputated to see if it can be determined what is the underlying cause of the infection, so they can stop that, too. He does receive wonderful care there, and they would monitor the staph while he was out there for chemo. But is he up to the trip?

 

Any advice you can give would be really appreciated.

 

 

 

 

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Guest PiagetsMom

I feel distressed just reading your post..... I send you :grouphug

 

I have no experience with this, but I would say that as far as your guilt, you made the decision you thought best - don't look back and don't second guess. It's done, and now you deal with it.

 

Again, I have no experience with this, but as for the trip back to OSU next week, a lot can happen in a week. I know the trip home was hard on Brodie, but by next week he may very well be up for a return trip. It's good to have a contingency plan, but I wouldn't rule out OSU. Maybe you can give it a couple of days and re-evaluate Brodie's progress to make your decision.

 

I'm glad Brodie's home - sending healing thoughts your way - thanks for the update. :grouphug

Edited by PiagetsMom
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I wonder if Bodie may be having phantom pain??? Humans experience it when they have had a limb amputated, just a thought? Don't beat yourself up, you did what you felt was right for your baby. Take a deep breath, give it time. OSU I'm sure will help you make the right decision regarding Bodie traveling. Remember we are all here.

 

I hope and pray that it gets better for Bodie and he is able to get some rest. Hope you manage to get some as well.

 

Take it easy.

Praying for all the missing greys!

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Guest LadyChester

Hooray!!! He's home safe and sound which is wonderful news all by itself. Take baby steps. 'You'll know if your boy is up to another trip. If OSU can oversee the chemo somewhere closer to home, that would probably br easier on Bodie AND you! So many of the pain medicatons cause my guys to howl and scream.

;-

Be sure to remember to take some time to take good care of yourself, woman!!!! :-)

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Very glad to hear that you got your precious boy home safely from OSU. Be gentle with yourself, and give him plenty of pain meds while he's in this acute phase. No need for him to suffer needlessly. And share some gentle ear scritches and kisses with him too, from us. :kiss2

Jeanne with Remington & Scooter the cat
....and Beloved Bridge Angels Sandee, Shari, Wells, Derby, Phoenix, Jerry Lee and Finnian.....
If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven
and bring you home again.

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Guest JohnnyBell

It is greyt to hear you made it home,maybe not a smooth trip like you would have liked, but your home.I fully understand how you feel about"wondering if you did the right thing"but believe me you did what was right.I went through the same thing with my Sophie(she had a rear leg amputated),I would see her hobble in the yard and when she would come in from outside and lay down on her bed exhausted I would lay down next to her and pet her and just cry my eyes out and say "what have I done to you??".Althought people say they don't I really think Sophie new her leg was gone and she missed it,she would wimper very low and look at the stump as if "where did it go??".I was so sad,but know almost 3 months later she's running with my 2 grey boys and has become her old goofy self again.That makes me so happy to see her happy.So what I'm trying to say is it really does get better,the healing process is the worst and seeing them in pain.I really don't have any advice as for the shrieking because Sophie didn't go through that. I think it's more common in front limb amputations since that is alittle rougher to adjust to since more weight is beared on the front limbs then the rear.My local vet is doing Sophie's chemo(My vet also did the amputation) which the meds were donated from OSU they are so wonderful.I wish you and Bodie the best of luck and for a quick recovery.I'll be praying and thinking of you 2.Keep us posted.Hang in there it does get better.

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Guest greytmonty

What an ordeal for you and for Bodie. Hang in there.

Please make sure the vets are being GENEROUS with the pain meds. I fear that vets, like MOST human doctors, are very conservative with pain medication management. Most human pain doctors are much more liberal and help to keep pain at a minimum during healing. Please ask your vet what is the MOST that Bodie can take right now and still be safe and healthy with no long term effects.

Hang in there Rhonda, it will get better.

Monty sends a big hug.

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Did they send you pain meds? I had Jac-foo on pain meds for three or four days at least...hard to remember....This is a totally different situation tho. She just had a broken leg that did not get fixed fast enough...not cancer. I hope he starts feeling better soon. Hugs to mom....... :grouphug:f_white and glad he's home.

Sheila and CO
www.greyacres.com

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First of all, :grouphug for you and Bodie. I know exactly what you're feeling because it is very difficult the first week or two. I think they do know that their leg is missing and they are emotionally upset as well as in discomfort physically. Snickers would scream for long stretches and we'd agonize because there wasn't anything we could do. She had a front leg amputated too. I thought that maybe it was her neck muscles because she had to develop a new way of walking, which involved bobbing her head up and down. She really seemed to like that (massages) and would just stand still while I tried to loosen her muscles. She would frequently turn and look at her stump, and it really made me feel guilty. You can't explain that they had a tumor and it will help them.

 

Don't second guess your decision. Given the same set of choices, you'd make the same decision because amputation does alleviate the pain of bone cancer and gives your pup the best chance of survival.

 

After a rocky first week or two, during which we had a huge panic where Snickers's remaining front leg filled with fluid and started seeping seroma, it did get better. Snickers also rested in a remote room and didn't have much to do with any of us for a few days too. But after a few weeks, Snickers turned into her old silly self, happy and ready to go for walks, get treats, playing with the kids.

 

I don't know about the pain medications and what works because Snickers had the strange screaming episodes. Some people suggested garbantin (I think?) for the phantom pain. Maybe the doctors at OSU can work with you on that. Some people suggested a reaction to the Tramadol.

 

I'd look into local chemo as long as you find someone qualitifed because the car ride does sound long and Bodie's amputation site won't be 100% healed. And then maybe once it's healed, return to OSU for subsequent treatments. It will be very difficult for you to drive all that way if Bodie is uncomfortable.

 

Hang in there. It's so so hard at first. You have some wonderful happy times with Bodie just arond the corner. You are a wonderful mom to give this second chance to Bodie.

 

Don't hesitate to ask questions.

Edited by Aerosmom
Aero: http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?d=kees+uncatchable; our bridge angel (1/04/02-8/2/07) Snickers; our bridge angel (1/04/02-2/29/08) Cricket; Kanga Roo: oops girl 5/26/07; Doctor Thunder http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?z=P_31Oj&a...&birthland=
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Guest vahoundlover

:grouphug:grouphug I feel your distress as well, I'm so sorry you guys are going through this. Don't second guess yourself, you made the decision based on what you thought was best for Bodie out of love and wanting to help him. I would contact the vet and ask about giving him a higher dosage or maybe he needs something different. :dunno By next week you may see a different Bodie, they seem to heal so fast.

 

Sending lots of prayers and healing thoughts :grouphug Please take care of yourself too.

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Oh, I'm so sorry it's been rough. I wish I had advice, but I can only offer good thoughts.

Remembering the games we used to play: Games We Used to Play: A Hop, Skip and Jump Down Memory Lane

 

Oscar (Answer to Chevy): 8/23/02-8/13/07 & Dee (Cee Bar Denise): 12/23/98-8/28/08.

Order your own copy of Oscar's Diaries: Life as a Retired Greyhound

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Thanks to all of you for taking the time to reply and tell me I did the right thing. And also thanks to the support from those who have gone through this before - it really helps. Bodie had a restful night last night - no screaming for the first. However, as soon as he was up and moving this morning, the screaming started again. He also keeps turning around and looking at where his leg was, like he is wondering what happened and why it hurts. The hardest thing is watching him go down the two steps from the deck to the grass. He does the first step, then stops and I can see him trying to make the missing leg work, and when it doesn't, he finally figures out he has to hop down with the same foot. Poor boy.

 

So reading your posts that it will get better, helps. And, yes, I should be taking time out for me, which I haven't been doing with a full-time job and Bodie's care. Maybe tonight...

 

Also, today, I hope to hear back from the vet about local chemotherapy - I'm still wrestling with what's best to do about that, but local chemo may end up not being an option and the decision will be made for me.

 

 

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Guest luckydog

If you do have to go back to OSU for the chemo, could you put an orthopedic cushion in the back for Bodie? I'm thinking of those cushions that look like egg cartons.

 

:grouphug for you. I feel like having an adult beverage after reading about your drive home.

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Knowing how much I freaked out after Kingsley's eye-tumor surgery, I can only imagine all the sadness and concern that you are having after Bodie's amputation.

 

I have been constantly amazed at their quick healing, so I hope that after his restful night last night, that other things keep getting better and better.

 

It would seem to me that getting his chemo treatments close to home, but under the treatment regime prescribed by OSU would be the best of all worlds. Hope that can work out and save you all those days of driving.

 

Many prayers to you and Bodie

Amy and Tim in Beverly, MA, with Chase and Always missing Kingsley (Drama King) and Ruby (KB's Bee Bopper).

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I haven't been through your scenario, but after following all your posts recently, I feel as though I have. I'm so sorry things are so rough right now. I had the same thought as Luckydog-- would it be possible to cushion the van more for the ride to OSU? I'm talking princess-and-the-pea style-- lots of cushy foam padding to absorb shock from road bumps...

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~Aimee, with Flower, Alan, Queenie, & Spodee Odee! And forever in my heart: Tipper, Sissy, Chancy, Marla, Dazzle, Alimony, and Boo. This list is too damned long.

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Guest MorganKonaAlex

Unfortunately, we've had 2 greys with limp amputation. It sounds like Bodie is having nerve pain. One of mine had a lot of that too. Neurotin (IC Gabapentin) is good for nerve pain. My boy Morgan had a reaction to the opiates. He would get restless and was panting. We thought it was a pain reaction at first. It wasn't until I noticed his worse times were when the medicine should have been the highest in his system that we realized it wasn't pain causing the problem. We stopped his pain meds and he was better as soon as they wore off. Most greys don't have that kind of reaction, but it's something to keep in the back of your mind.

 

It will be a rough few weeks, but then they bounce back. My Morgan just turned 12 and he's 19 months past his amputation.

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Sending prayers for Bodie's recovery. :hope

 

I also wonder if he is having nerve pain, it would be good to discuss this with Bodie's doctors. :grouphug

 

If you have a Costco near you they sell 2 1/2 inch memory foam pads that are wonderful. One for a full size bed could be cut to fit the van, and put in layers.

Greyhound angels at the bridge- Casey, Charlie, Maggie, Molly, Renie, Lucy & Teddy. Beagle angels Peanut and Charlie. And to all the 4 legged Bridge souls who have touched my heart, thank you. When a greyhound looks into you eyes it seems they touch your very soul.

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more then he loves himself". Josh Billings

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