It’s been a while…

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Happily, in this case it doesn’t mean bad news. Aspen is doing good, all things considered. It’s been close to three months since the amputation, and she’s adapted fairly well.

We decided to proceed with chemo, and she will have her third treatment tomorrow. Her test numbers are good so far, but it’s hard to cope with how fast she gets exhausted these days. She’s a trooper and gets excited every time we go to her favorite park, but she seems to be panting all the time and we can’t figure out why. If only she could tell us what’s wrong…

The callus on her remaining front leg continues to be a headache. We did get a custom Dogleggs sleeve for her, but whenever it has to come off to give her a break or to wash it, it seems like we’re back to square one with the elbow getting raw and inflamed again. It’s frustrating because the vets have no other suggestion than “don’t let her lay on hard surfaces.” Believe me, we do our best with that.

Even so, all in all things are going better than we feared back in February. The only thing we can do is keep hoping she’ll defy the odds.


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Week 2

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We’ve been lucky so far with a minimum of complications, so now that we’re facing a bit of a setback, we’re trying our best not to get too frustrated.

Aspen had her two-week check-up with the surgeon today, and we felt uneasy going in due to the following issue.

For most of her recovery, Aspen hardly paid any attention to the incision. She still wore a cone whenever she was unsupervised, but she rarely was rare as my wife or I were with her most of the time – I was lucky enough to have 3 weeks of vacation left to spend from last year. When we were with her, she got a reprieve from the cone and simply wore a t-shirt to cover the incision.

Unfortunately, we got lulled into a false sense of security. It took us far too long to realize that over the past 2-3 days, Aspen had become very interested in the incision. She’s as sneaky and stubborn as they come, and kept licking the area very quietly and discreetly until the t-shirt was left thoroughly soaked. Although the incision stayed closed, the area she seemed to focus on was red, puffy, and raw-looking.

At today’s exam, the surgeon was concerned that an infection could flare up, so for the next ten days Aspen will be a conehead at all times. She’s also back on antibiotics for a week. We truly love having a big dog like Aspen  …except when her size means that each twice-daily dose of antibiotics consists of four huge capsules that she somehow detects (and refuses) no matter what kind of delicious/stinky food we try to hide them in! Finally, they stapled not only the irritated area, but the entire length of the incision (originally she only had stitches.) She seemed to be in quite a bit of discomfort/pain from that for the rest of the day.

So today was kind of a bummer, but that’s how it goes.

Surgery Day

Tomorrow (Feb 21) is surgery day. Although the journey has only just started, Tripawds has already helped us so much. We’ve been educated by “Three Legs & A Spare” and the many resources on the site, and inspired by “Tripawd Heroes” and various blogs. We are so much better prepared to handle this than we were only a week ago when it seemed to be the end of the world!

We know there will be rough times ahead, and it would be a lie to say we didn’t dread the morning (except Aspen – she’s already soundly asleep), but it no longer feels hopeless.

Thank you so much to each and every one of you that have contributed to this site!