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Monday, 15 October 2012

Amputation ~ Is it Right for Your Dog ???

             You have been given the awful new's that your best friend has got a disease that is going to change you and your pet's world forever. It does not matter what anyone say's to you, or how many article's about Bone Cancer that you continue to glance through ....... in hope's of a miracle cure or medical break through ?

      Firstly I know exactly what you are thinking , feeling , wondering or any other " ing " You can possibly think of ..... because I lived it and I have survived. My story and the whole reason behind this Blog is because of that 1st day. The unimaginable sense of total helplessness that I felt the moment I got told that My Fizzly, did not have Arthritis...... My Fizzly had Cancer.

      When my vet told me, I knew that PAIN was my first point of call, I know that we all love our pet's and want them to be with us FOREVERBut it's the Biggest Job we have when we decide to take an animal into our hearts,home's and live's. Dealing with the responsibilities of an ill pet is also the hardest, and it's the JOB of making those hard decisions that make pet owner's good one's instead of a Bad One's.
      The Biggest Decision of Amputation may be taken out of your hand's and this is where your Vet's Knowledge and the understanding in your own Pet come's into Play ? As I wrote in my last Post the first thing your vet will do is to take an X~ray of your dogs Chest, as Bone Cancer is very aggressive and it then passes from the Limb to the Lung's very quickly. If this is the case then the reality is that Pain Relief will be suggested from your vet and to just take time to love your pet and spend as much time with them as you can.

      If like Fizz there is no sign of Cancer in her Lung's then we go back to Amputation or NOT ?  The thought of Amputation is such a Devastating Image that it leave's everyone cold. The idea that a person would have to make the decision to remove a part of their beloved Pet, goes against every grain of what an owner thinks they should be. But in being a good Pet Owner it's making these decisions even when it does make your heart go cold with just the thought.

This was My Fizzly 2 day's after her Amputation !!

        Bone Cancer is one of the most painful Cancer's and it's this debilitating Pain which causes most dogs to be put to sleep. Amputation will get rid of the Pain being felt by your dog INSTANTLY , well after the healing of the removal , but that is something that last a few day's ~ while Bone Cancer has been a source of Constant Pain, since your dog first developed the Cancer. 

      The first thing to think of is will your dog be able to actually cope with the Amputation ??  So Size, Weight, Age and in my case with a Rottweiler the main thing to think about is  TEMPERAMENT.  Will your dog handle the hand's on and dealing with the Incision and after care ?  If you have doubt's then talk to your vet and see whether they feel that your dog is Suitable.

     I will now talk about how Fizz and I coped with her Amputation, and hopefully you will get some insights into whether your dog's case is similar or not and please feel free to talk to me on here or privately via my                   email    and I will try to help in any way I can.

    As I have said before we thought that Fizz had Arthritis,  and My vet and I were totally shocked when we saw the X~rays especially as the Mass was so Big and Fizz as usual shown  NO  HINT  OF  PAIN . But as Cesar Millan says Pit Bulls and Rottweiler's are built for Pain ???  My Fizz took this to a new unbelievable level !!  Once we got over the shock of the X~ray and Fizz's lack of admittance of Pain ( Numpty ) The first word's out of my mouth were          " Ok, when do we Take It OFF ?? " 

    I knew that the removal of the leg would stop her  PAIN  and once you get your head around that, then the hardest thing is actually Saying it out Loud ? I promise you it get's easier the more time's you say it ....... and once it's easier its time to decide. Now with Fizz for those who have read her Story Part's you will know that she was an incredible dog. So I already knew that with her temperament,  I knew she would handle the operation and after care with ease.

      The next question was would she be able to handle the Amputation physically ??  Fizz was a Rottweiler so her size played a part, especially as she was an enormous Rottweiler !!  As I have said in Fizz's Story she had already had a problem with that leg,  so I knew that she had coped on 3 leg's before. With this fact I knew that Fizz would physically with an Amputation, as she hadn't properly used that leg for years.

      If Fizz had got cancer in one of her front leg's then I honestly think, that she wouldn't have been able to cope. Mainly because all her weight " as she was a Rottweiler " was found in her Chest, as she was a very heavy and big chested Rottweiler. So I think that honestly I would have had to have just used Pain Relief and in my Vet's word's she would have lived for approximately 4 weeks.       Considering she was just 6 years old it was a possibility that I was not prepared to contemplate, and one that I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

         Once I had decided that it was Best for Fizz to have her leg removed, my mind was still completely numb. I knew what the books say about to deal with amputations and ways to deal with it ??  When it is your dog and your life it still doesn't seem real, and I know I was walking around in this smog.

        Then the night before Fizz was having her back leg removed, I sat on her bed next to her and I started crying, she came over to me as started licking my tear's......... she then looked right in my eye's. She looked at me and in her eye's, I knew that she needed me to be strong, so that's when my Smog lifted and I knew that she would be fighting this and I had to too ! 

         The day she went into surgery was a day I went into action, I knew she would need special care when she came home, and we had to provide things around the place to make her transition easier. I have put a page on the side telling you some Tip's to help Deal with an Amputation  I hope this will cover some of your question's and make the thought of dealing with the Amputation a little less SCARY !! 

     But Some of the Tip's I have put on that page are simple thing's that we did or used when Fizz had her leg removed.        
                  Find something to help support your dog after the operation,
                  Sort out a Soft and comfortable bed with easy access,
                  Cover any Slippery Floor or Outside Places that may be dangerous,
                  Try to relax and rest before the Surgery and while your dog is 
                  staying with your vet's
                  Start a Diary for Feeling's or Vet's Advice or Medication,
                  Get Some of your Pet's Favourite Food in case they don't feel like 
                  eating ??
                  Sort out what way's you are going to prevent your pet from chewing 
                  out it's stitches ??
                  Prepare some easy meals before hand,
                  Get Some Cheese, Pate or Soft Sticky Meat Paste so you can easily 
                  give your Dog it's Medication !!
                  Try to rest up and get some sleep,
                  Spend time with your pet and just enjoy,
                  Take picture's and films ( A Lot )
                  Treat your pet the same,
                   DON'T FEEL SORRY FOR YOUR PET.

       As I said above I have gone into a lot detail, on the Tip's to help Deal with an Amputation Page on the side Column so Please have a look, and if you have any other Tip's or things that you have heard or done yourself then please leave me a message and I will add them to the page as well.

      The most important thing I have to say is  PLEASE  DON'T  treat your pet any different, as this will effect your dog way more, than the Cancer Would ever change them.We were lucky that Fizz was amazing after she had the amputation, and to be honest I think that most dog's will be amazing, no matter what breed or size etc. Mainly because all animals do not have the hang up's !!!  That we as humans have......... they don't care what they look like and more importantly they  DON'T  FEEL  SORRY  FOR  THEMSELVES !!
  So my main tip for you is  DON'T  FEEL  SORRY  FOR YOUR  DOG  !!

      Enjoy your time with your pet before and after the operation take Picture's , Film's write a Diary as it will make the whole thing easier, if you know when you last went to the vet's,  what did they say ??  and how many pill's do I give them etc  ?? 

      But it's more than that its memories, and memories will make you stronger, and in time it's these precious Memories, that will in turn make you heal ............


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful life story.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful life story.