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Caring for my Dog After Amputating her Toe to remove a Tumor

I am inquisitive by nature and I love learning new things. I enjoy family, health, pets, feng shui, fashion, and relationships.

Casey Today, to years after surgery.

Casey Today, to years after surgery.

My Adopted Love is 13 years Old Now

Nothing can describe the love for our pets. We treat them like our children and in some cases better than ourselves. We adopted Casey when she was 2 years old- at least that is what they adoption agency estimated back in 2010. She has been the love of our lives and I wouldn't change a thing except the fact that she sheds and I am forced to vacuum 2x a day.

The best thing we ever did was hire Lorenzo dog training in Garfield Hts Ohio. We lived on a busy corner and she only stayed in her yard. We di not have any fence and we didn't believe in the electric fence collars. On several occasions others dogs got loose when their collars stopped working. I don't judge. We just had a different philiosophy about a well behaved dog. "Train the owner and the old and be consistent and you will always have a well behaved pet."

OH joy!

OH joy!

When Littles Things Like Aging Show Up

In 2018 we noticed a tumor between her toes. That was the beginning of what I saw as aging. It was a tumor that was black and about the size of her paw pad. We took her to the vet had her tumor biopsied. It wasn't cancerous in the sense of danger but it worried us. We had two choices. Amputate the toe or amputate her leg. It was a hard decision because the tumor could grow back and nothing is guaranteed. The decision we chose was to amputate her toe. The surgery went well, but any dog wearing a cone for more than a month as we know is cumbersome. The cone gets in the way. They can't walk up steps because the cone blocks their view. Casey had to wear it to avoid infection and the skin on the paw is thin.

The light pink is the scabbed healed part of paw. The dark pink is the area that still needs to scab and heal. it took another 2 weeks of soaking her foot at home..(8 weeks total).

The light pink is the scabbed healed part of paw. The dark pink is the area that still needs to scab and heal. it took another 2 weeks of soaking her foot at home..(8 weeks total).

Caring for Your Dog After Surgery Requires Patience and a Very Flexible Schedule

The cone must be worn so the dog will not lick the stitches. I was so happy to bring Casey home.

To give my dog a break from wearing the cone, I took an ankle sock, slipped onto her paw & secured it with a rubber band. I thought if we put a sock and plastic bag on Casey's foot it would stop her from licking so that she could be cone-free. The idea was great and It worked for a few days until Casey realized she could slide the sock off her foot and chew the stitches off. Dogs are smart. Casey did it when no one was looking. Well, by the 2nd week she licked her wound re-opened and we had to get her back to the vet to restitch her paw. "When you amputate the toe, the skin is thin. You need enough surrounding skin to stitch wound closed. It requires you to keep it super clean to avoid infection.

Casey paw now required soaking in Benadine 3-4x day. I had to keep her at the vet for 6 weeks. It was hard to leave her there. She went from being mobile to being stuck in a crateI.I went to visit her every other day with treats.I think pets are much like people. Who likes staying in a hospital? Her appetite shrunk. and she was just sad looking. I could not wait to get her home. By the 6th week, Casey was allowed to come home, and I still had to soak her foot, but only 2x a day until her foot was totally scabbed and healed.

Traumatized After Surgery and Post Healing

It is my opinion only and my observation, dogs are like people. They have fear, depression and need to be mentally and physically rehabbed to walk again. Casey would lie down next to my bed lifeless. She also did not want to walk up stairs or forgot how to walk up steps after being crated for 6 weeks. I thought she was dying. It was a combination muscle atrophy & pain of surgery.

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I looked up videos on how to massage my dog. How to make her feel whole again.I took videos of her walking circles around her bed and confused about where she was to lay down. After two days of observation, I called the vet and brought her in.

They prescribed pain meds and anti-anxiety for Casey. I gave this to Casey for two weeks each day. Casey's bowels were normal after 7 days and by the 3rd week, she was back to her old self.

Diet Post Surgery to Help Your Pet Poop Normal

Everyone has a different belief about the foods they eat and what they feed their dog.For years I fed my dog Eukanuba until a big commercial company like Purina bought it. I now feed her kibble by Fromm, Stella-raw frozen, Kona can Stew and any other protein scrap leftovers I cook. The biggest bonus for Casey is sweet potato and you can buy that for a dollar, microwave it until its tender, then dice it.

I top her meals with a little sweet potato, this helps the gut and keeps the poop firm and moist. It helps to regulate bowels. If you find your dog's poop is runny- mushy it probably has too many fillers. "Like a human diet, fiber keeps it together." Below is my recipe.

My post surgery recipe: I did this for 2 weeks to help her gut and bowels get back to normal

1/2 c Fromm dried dog food

2 Tablespoon plain steamed rice

2 Tablespoon (diced)fresh cooked sweet potato

1Tablespoon plain yogurt

It is now 1.5 years later and a new tumor on the same paw where we amputated her toe has appeared. We decided this time, not to remove it. The trauma of the first surgery, recovery time, cost and post-rehab was more than we could handle. For now she is happy, she shows no sign of pain even with the tumor back. We love her so much.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Mae Williams

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