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Guest gfcolvin

Mandy Post Op Toe Amp 6-21-12

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Guest gfcolvin

Hi all,

Just posting in as first-time to say thanks for everyone who's posted in the past here about your hounds' toe amputation experiences...I have really appreciated and benefited from reading all of that over the past couple of days. My Mandy (OL's Baby Face) is 9.5 yrs old and have had her for six yrs. She is an insulin-dependent diabetic (shots 2 x day) whose had lots of health scares off-on since we've had her but she has prevailed as a fairly hearty and loving girl.

 

Her left rear outside toe has been 2 x normal size for the past couple months and it did not respond to course of anti-inflammatories and antibiotics. Xray showed bone involvement and some deterioration. Amputation was the final recommendation but we had a few re-starts on getting it done (first time it was scheduled, 3 wks ago, she had a false pos. proteinuria in preop bloodwork that caused delay to check urine protein:creatinine ratio and rule out glomerulonephritis and other kidney issues (further testing came back non-confirming of any of that); also had needle aspirates done of popliteal lymph node at back of knee on that leg and of the toe (lymph node was highly reactive but not for cancer, just showing that it was fighting off something (a good thing, I think); toe aspirate was inconclusive for anything fluid related but no surprise, as the toe seemed mostly boney process); the second time she was scheduled for surgery, she had what appeared to be a mini-seizure or mild stroke-like (TIA) event or a vestibular event the night before and we waited yet another week and a half).

 

She did have the amputation this Thurs. 6-21-12 and is doing okay. Her blood glucose is climbing a bit and I'm kinda worried about that---thinking that perhaps as she continues eating same amt but exercising hardly at all, her metablism will cycle out of its good control. Very restless first night and better last night. She is doing intermittent whistle-whine sleeping from time to time and I am dosing regularly with Tramadol. She is also on Clavamox and Novox q 12 with meals, along with her injected insulin; tolerating all well. She is not happy with the rigid e-collar but tolerating it outside the crate for the long w/end. Will try to figure how best to help her keep away from the foot once I head back to work on Tues. and she has to crate up because she is definitely a fussy licker of wounds. Will try her with the softer e-collar (she doesn't like the sound and I think it makes her hot) and will try the suggestion a number of you have posted about with using the plastic muzzle + duct tape.

 

I was concerned today that her bandage might be oozing a little blood & took her in to the vet but they said it looked very good and wanted me to actually keep it uncovered as much as possible now. So, no big pressure bandage or anything at all, which felt a little too soon, to me. But she has slept a good bit of the rest of the day and it has gotten lots of air. She has mostly tolerated it uncovered, although I think it must be very sensitive to the air from the fans and just being uncovered. She twitches it and sometimes whines when shifting it about like she wasn't before when it was covered. I'm dry-wrapping it religiously with 4x4 + vetwrap with a sock over it secured w/vet wrap at ankle, and an IV bag bootie over all of that, for when she goes outside.

 

I will post a picture or two when I have a chance. Wish I could take all of next week off to be with her.

 

Thanks for being here. --Gaye

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I'm so glad Mandy is doing as well as she appears post surgery. Her paw looks so much better than I expected! Thank you so much for posting Mandy's experience and photos. We are facing a similar surgery in the coming weeks. Mandy's paw photo helps ease my mind.

 

Positive thoughts for her successful and rapid healing. Hang in there as you continue to help her through her recovery. I was surprised that others mentioned recovery is only a couple of weeks. If she continues to be in pain, maybe your vet would be willing to increase her Tramadol (if safe to do so with her other meds).

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Muzzle with stool guard or simply duct tape over the end is much, much easier than an e-collar. Beth wore hers for weeks when she was recovering from her toe amp and complications with the healing. The vet tied a long double strip of gauze onto the neck strap and we tied it under her throat (like a ladies' bonnet) so that she couldn't pull off the muzzle. Despite being so fussy with the muzzle when I use it outside on rare occasions, she settled right down to wearing it inside the house.

Edited by PrairieProf

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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Guest gfcolvin

@3greytjoys: Thanks for the encouragement. Glad you think it looks good. She had a good night--no ups/downs. What is yours facing similar surgery for?

 

@Riverhound: Thanks for the feedback...glad it looks good. Not sure what to compare it to as there are not a lot of posts of pictures post-op.

 

Day 3 post-op: She has been whiney and restless since 6 a.m. but just mildly. I realize it's all relative. Ate all food (a little slower on dry chow), took all meds, drank H20, out for potty, not constipated or diarrhea, blood glucose back in acceptable range this a.m. All GREAT! I think she is sick of the e-collar, probably and also seems more restless with foot uncovered. I am letting her have some out-of-collar time as I am right here by her and she is just laying there. I have also dry-wrapped the foot for a little while to give it a break. She seems to shift it around less and twitch it less when uncovered. It was uncovered most of the night and e-collar on all night. I've got her muzzle soaking to get it clean---may try it some off/on today. So, I just put duct tape around the outside of it at the end and poke holes? Is that the idea? Anyone have pictures of this? Thanks.

 

@PrairieProf: thanks...will experiment with that today. your posts have been very helpful re: Beth's experience.

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Hopefully someone else will have pics of the muzzle -- I have a stool guard. I'd say just leave small gaps in the duct tape for air.

 

Also, Pawz disposable dog boots work great for putting on over the wrapped foot to go out -- I'd use the large size (purple) for over a wrap. You can get them easily online.

 

Glad she's doing well. My only other bit of wisdom is to really restrict exercise -- the problems we had were related to Beth walking too much (of course the fact that she always needs to walk a ways at a good clip to poop made it something of a problem). The wrap caused really bad abrasions, though I think this was worse because of it being a middle-toe removal, which created a sort of peak with the remaining toe.

 

I think Tramadol can cause restlessness etc. in some dogs, though it didn't in Beth -- I know there has been discussion of this. So it's at least possible that some of that behavior is from that rather than her foot as such.

 

I'm glad my old stressed-out thread was helpful. Just as reassurance, Beth leads a life now that is, I'd say, 98% of what she had before -- she tweaks the foot occasionally and I'm warier of where/how much I let her run, but she takes long vigorous walks, runs, etc.

Edited by PrairieProf

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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Guest LindsaySF

She looks good! Hope she continues to heal well. :) There might be a toe amp in my Rogan's future too.

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Guest LittleGreys

So glad to hear Mandy is doing well. I also want to thank you for posting, as my houndwithamillionproblems is having her toe amputated on Tuesday, hopefully. We also have had several delays, but it looks like we can't postpone any longer. My girl's problem toe is also front foot, outside toe. Sending continued well wishes for Mandy.

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Guest gfcolvin

@LindsaySF: Thanks. Hope there's not this in Rogan's future but, if so, at least you've got some brains to pick from a few others who've been through it. What's going on with Rogan?

 

@LittleGreys: You're welcome. Hope your houndwithamillionproblems does well on Tues. I feel that way about Mandy, too, sometimes...the million problems, that is. Will be keeping her in thoughts/prayers. What's her toe issue?

 

Day 3 post-op: Mandy has had another pretty good day...still whiney, uncomfortable, but lots of open-air time. Banged the surgery foot (left rear, outside toe, actually) once and commenced to a little more bleeding than I'd have liked but a wrap for an hour and lots of down time seems to have helped. She is walking fairly well---wrapped---outside and still regular on her pees/poops, etc. She was really really whining about an hour and a half ago but it was too early for her next dosing of Tramadol for pain. She's since relaxed to sleep and I'm not about to wake her here before kicking off to sleep on the sofa beside her. Will tackle muzzle/duct tape experiments tomorrow and spend more time away from her. Decided to take tomorrow off but need to begin to wean us of so much time together and figure out configuration for confinement so I can leave her alone and get to work, at least modified schedule this week. Thanks again, all, and will post an update and maybe a new pic tomorrow.

 

Question: to any of you muzzler modifiers using duct tape to block end---do you just let the adhesive back of the tape rest against the muzzle (and, therefore, also against the side that faces the dog's mouth/nose) or do you run duct tape against it on the inside, too, so that there is smooth, non-adhesive duct tape surface on inside facing the hound's mouth/nose? That adhesive seems very unappealing to me. I know that part of the muzzle doesn't touch against the nose/mouth but still, the "off-gassing" of the adhesive and that it would attract hair, dust, etc.? Yuck. I will look for photos on Google Image. If anyone has pics of one finished, please post!

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That looks like it needs more/BIGGER air holes to me. All the coverage needs to do is prevent her tongue from getting through.

 

This need only be a temporary measure if you order a real stool guard! Numerous greyhound groups sell them online; here are two:

 

http://www.gemgreyhounds.net/store-2/stool-guard/

http://www.nlga-mn.org/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=58&category_id=5&vmcchk=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1

Edited by PrairieProf

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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I agree with PrairieProf. I'd remove the tape that is covering her nose + above her nose. Also watch her when she's lying down while you're testing it, the muzzle gets pushed around a bit when they're resting against their bed or floor.

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Guest zombrie

I agree with either a stool guard or duct tape. This was a life-saver when we fostered broken legged dogs. They are used to wearing muzzles so they are much more comfortable wearing that over the huge, awkward e-collar.

The pictured example is a bit over kill. I only taped the bottom half of the muzzle. But I do recommend a stool guard, it is always nice to have. Duct tape works just fine too though.

Edited by zombrie

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Guest gfcolvin

@prairieprof, 3greytjoys, and zombrie: Thanks. I duct-taped the muzzle--not as extensive as the picture I posted above (not my dog) yesterday. Mandy did great with the muzzle (with me around) yesterday afternoon/evening/night...in fact, she slept all night with it while I was there near her on the sofa. But today, my first day back at work, the dog-walker came at 11 a.m.; all looked good. I got home 2:30 and there was a large wet semi-stained place on her pillow, looked like watery blood and there was dried blood on the muzzle from the mid-nose line across left part of muzzle on the duct tape. Her stitches were intact; but the surgical wound was definitely redder and more oozy than before---no great disaster but disappointing, as it had really dried quite nicely before this. She does not like her muzzle very much---I think she dragged her muzzle across her surgical wound on her left rear foot and got part of her tonge going on it, too. Oh well. I was ready to order a stool guard from a nearby group. So, this afternoon and evening, as I'm close by, I have her on alternating soft and rigid ecollars. She does fine with those when someone's with her. I will likely dry wrap it tomorrow when I leave and the pet sitter will check half-way through the 6 hours I'll be away (working modified sched this week so Mandy won't be by herself more than about 3 hrs at a time). Thanks for all your suggestions. The muzzles must be great for those who will tolerate long hours by themselves. Don't think my girl is one of those. Here's to another night on the sofa!

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Guest gfcolvin

Update for today: the lady's trouser sock over light dry wrap + soft e-collar was successful combination today. As has been my plan this week, she is being left for no longer than about 3 hours at a time so that helps, too. Anyway, thanks again to everyone for suggestions and thoughts. Especially thanks to @OwnedBySummer for earlier suggestion in a different thread...for Mandy, at least for today, this was the right combination...

 

OwnedBySummer'
timestamp='1340646115' post='5271583']

If the injury is below the hock, you can put a lady's trouser sock over it (man's sport socks work, too, but I find a lady's sock is a nicer fit), pull it up nicely, vet wrap just above the hock, flip the excess sock down over the vet wrap and voila, covered yet air can still get to it. If the sock needs to be removed (wet lawn, medication application, whatever), the vet wrap can be reused a few times.

 

I have never tried this on a foreleg, though.

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Guest gfcolvin

Update...Day 12 post-op from left rear outside toe amputation...just rec'vd the great news this afternoon that the pathology did NOT show cancer for Mandy...the vet's message on the machine said "severe inflammatory response" and I also heard the words "severe osteomeylitis". We have a re-check visit on Fri afternoon, which will be Day 15 post-op...Mandy has done well but is somewhat slow healing. Insulin-dependent diabetes probably does not help, plus the fact that she has gotten to it 2 x and licked to point of bleeding 1 x (after only 5-10 minutes of inadvertent forgetting to monitor her or else have e-collar on). Probably leaving covered longer than should but it oozes from the middle of the surgical incision where it's still not closed...sometimes just when she stands up. Really, really happy for her not to have "C" and glad to have an appt. sched with her primary vet who helps manage her diabetes, has been through most of her endocrinological issues with her, and who did the toe amputation. Mandy is favoring the foot with the amputation a lot when standing inside on hardwood floors and it is a little red. Wrapping when going in/out and walks pretty darn good outside fully wrapped. It was looking excellent up through the w/end and then she "got to it" on Sun eve for 5-10 mins. and boom! there you go...blood, blood, wet and just a little raw looking. With the ecollar, she is a restless sleeper; the modified muzzle does not work for her. But she is just a sweet, good girl about everything and lets me take care of her foot, even when painful. My goals: leave uncovered as many hours as possible; wrap/unwrap as few times as possible; otherwise, keep her from getting at it (vigilance and collaring). Will try to post some more update pictures soon and I'll let you all know what the vet says Fri., or if the stitches come out (yikes!).

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Guest gfcolvin

Thanks, y'all. It is indeed wonderful news about the pathology results. So excited and grateful. Unfortunately, immediate concern is that she has really lamed up on that foot (the one w/amputation) pretty bad today and I'm trying to figure out how to help her. Her re-check w/vet isn't until Fri late afternoon. Wish I'd made it for Thurs. As I've said previously, she does okay with it fully wrapped and bootied for outside on the grass but inside on hardwood floors, she is really favoring it when walking, hardly putting weight on it while standing, and even actually holding it up off the floor when standing---higher than she has during the entire 12-day post-op period. It's a little red...but not super red and doesn't seem extremely swollen or anything...hoping not infected. Maybe the stitches are pulling uncomfortably now as the incision closes more. (?) She was on a 10-day course of Clavamox. Fingers crossed that can keep her away from licking it and away from infection until vet sees on Fri. At vet's instruction, the wound care is minor...neosporin 2 x day (a.m./p.m.) and open air as much as possible.

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Guest LindsaySF

Yay for no cancer. :thumbs-up

 

I like to cover wounds in addition to using a muzzle. I've had hounds rub the muzzle across the wounds and make the wounds raw. A sock can cover a wound from abrasion but still let it 'breathe'.

 

I know diabetic humans are sometimes slow to heal wounds. Is it the same for dogs? I'm not sure. I'd keep a close eye for infection, just in case.

 

Is she more lame now than before? Or about the same? If the lameness is getting worse not better, I'd give the vet a ring.

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Guest madredhare

My foster dog Hannah had a toe amputated on her right rear foot. I find that she is still a little unsteady on the wood floors. She is almost at the 2 month point of her amputation. I also used a cotton baby sock with some vet wrap at the top to keep her from licking.

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Hang in there ... I feel for you with the stress of healing a toe amputation, and the effects of licking, though Beth did not have lameness issues.


With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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Guest gfcolvin

Incision looking a little less red today. She is still holding up inside on wood floors this a.m. but just walked well outside in the yard (grass) for outside potties. I'm getting ready to take the lady's sock off and leave totally open air for a few hours, til her next outs. (It was totally open air all night long, too.) Thanks for encouragement. I believe it will get better. Just tired. If it seems worse tomorrow, will try to move her vet visit up to tomorrow instead of going to our reg sched visit on Fri afternoon.

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Guest LindsaySF

Unless the holding the leg up is getting worse, I wouldn't worry about her doing it on hard surfaces. I'm watching a former foster of mine this week while his people are on vacation. He had a rear toe amp a few years ago and he still walks gingerly on the wood floors (fine on grass). Hard surfaces are tougher on the joints.

 

Hope she continues to heal. :) I started a thread about my own boy Rogan. He's getting his amp tomorrow so we're joining the club.

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