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Just saw this now. I'm sorry that you have to go through this diagnosis. It sounds like Celt did very well. Sending you and Celt lots of healing mojo.

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Hoping all continues to go well.

FWIW, I had a BC who had liver surgery at age 14 (removed two masses, couldn't get the third as it was in the "juncture" as you mentioned), as well as a splenectomy (something looked "off" on it, and while they were there....turned out to be an old hematoma!). Nothing cancerous was found, and she lived another 2+ years, active until the very end!

 

Hopefully Celt will do even better. Best wishes.

 

diane

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Thanks, all! He's home, ate dinner and drank, peed lots, pooped lots, and is resting in his "cell" and feeling woefully mistreated. Will try to post pictures if I can tomorrow.

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He made quite a fuss over me at the clinic, which is more than he usually does. That made me happy. He knew I was his ticket out of there! He is very glad to be home.

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(Just let me vent and say I hate trying to post photos here. Everything I had written and posted just disappeared. I doubt it's the program but rather my lack of tech-savvy-ness.)

 

Celt had a very good night, sleeping right through in his crate. I woke early and got him out to potty early, and so he was happy. The dog that did not poop on his outings at the clinic must have been saving it all for me because he had plenty to off-load last night and this morning, which was fine with me. His appetite is good, he is perkier today, and all looks fine. He's not happy being confined but we are being very careful and following orders, although I must admit to having him outside for 10 or 15 minutes this morning, to do his business and to enjoy a little stroll around the yard with its springy green grass and with the sunshine pouring down on us. We'll do that a few times a day - the weather is predicted to be lovely for several days, and that will be something we both enjoy.

 

Here he is at the clinic - he's been there for both TPLO surgeries so you can imagine that it's not his favorite place. They treat him well but he was quite doubtful from the get-go.

 

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Still suspicious about the whole thing.

 

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Even a hug from his tech, Nona (who has her own rescue Border Collie and so was very pleased to work with Celt), did not help. Of course, he's not a huggy dog (many dogs aren't) and his body language is just what I'd expect from him. Sometimes a dog just has to put up with it. People like their concept of signs of affection. He does not even like hugs from me, although he can get quite cuddly with Ed - who makes sure I am well aware of it when it happens!

 

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And home again, and into "jail". We moved some things so we could set up an x-pen where he could be quiet but not isolated, could have room to be comfortable with more than one surface to stand or sleep on as he chose, and could feel secure.

 

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Feeling somewhat resigned to his fate and not wanting to make eye contact with me.

 

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Here's his incision, a bit less than 36 hours after surgery. He's cut from stem to stern - or, rather, from sternum to sheath.

 

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A study came out not too long ago that said that dogs could not have facial expressions because they lacked the musculature. Obviously, the people doing the study did not realize that dogs can express a great deal with what they do have - eyebrows, mouths, general body language.

 

Here's Celt, using the famous eyebrow/eye position, to plead with Ed (off to my left) for succor without moving anything but the eyes and brows.

 

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And resigning himself to his fate as a lone dog in jail for the night.

 

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Yes, he is doing pitiful very well. Very, very well. But, my goodness, is he ever enjoying every minute that I have him outside in this glorious spring weather!

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Whoever says dogs' faces aren't expressive never 1) looked at the whole dag, whose overall body language says so much more than the face alone and 2) just really doesn't pay very much attention. :P

 

Yes, Celt does pitiful extremely well. And I'm sure you're rewarding him for his excellent acting ability. :lol:

 

It must be a huge relief to have him home where you can watch over him yourself and spoil him to reward those awesome communication skills. :D Sure hope things continue to go well and that he's back to being his old self soon.

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I have made a point of taking him outside every few hours. It is so beautiful out and he seems to be enjoying every minute. Plus I think it does him good to relieve himself frequently (and, since I can't take him out of confinement except to go potty, we are just going potty on a regular basis ;)).

 

I take him out and his does his business, and we walk very gently around in the sun for five minutes or so, letting him do a little grazing or letting me do a little weed-pulling or spruce cone picking up. This last trip, I made him lie down and I laid down by him, and we both soaked up sun - until I remembered I was waiting on a call from the vet office to schedule the recheck and removal of stitches!

 

So in we came...and I had missed the call. They called right back and we are now scheduled for 16 days after surgery, two weeks from tomorrow. Whew!

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Just a follow-up - Celt's appointment to remove the stitches and be checked is this Thursday, the only day we and they could agree on worked for all concerned. After that, he should be moving back into normal activity.

 

Actually, since his stitches *could* have been taken out at ten days post-surgery, I have been taking him on walks since then. He's up to 1 1/2 miles or so as physically he is in good shape and feeling good.

 

I'm also doing it because we are having some issues with urinating and defecating. He can't make it through one of my work days without someone (a wonderful neighbor) coming by to potty him about mid-day. I think part of it is that he's still been healing inside and his abdominal muscles have not been 100% yet, so it's not easy to evacuate himself completely when he goes. That is improving and his poops are getting to be pretty well normal-sized again and less frequent.

 

He's drinking a lot of water. That could be due to stress, the medication he's on (he'll be done with that in a couple of days), or possibly an endocrine problem. He might be developing Cushing's and there was an abnormality on one adrenal gland, which they felt was not operable. It will be a couple of months before we can test for Cushing's as trauma such as this surgery makes getting an accurate test result less likely at this time. So he's peeing a lot more, and he's always been the kind of dog that likes to pee (and poop) and be ready to go to work or play.

 

Longer walks than just a few minutes in the yard give him the chance to eliminate in a manner that is the norm for him. He's used to 1 to 1 1/2 mile walks both morning and evening. A longer walk in the morning (like 2 miles) often results in two poops (and the same with the other two).

 

So, since I think he mentally needs it, is physically ready for it, and physically needs it, I am going "outside the guidelines" we were given but only with careful consideration and experience with my dog, his needs, and his habits.

 

I still am faced with the decision whether or not to make an appointment with the oncologist and discuss further options with regards to monitoring the potential for the tumor to regrow, and possible treatment (like chemo, which most likely would be oral and dispensed by our local vet so that we wouldn't be driving to Pittsburgh very often). He's 13 1/2, and I am not at all sure what I think it right for him and for us to do here on out.

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An update, 15 days after surgery - today was Celt's follow-up appointment. The good news is that the external stitches have all been absorbed and the incision looks great.

 

The bad news is that I was soundly scolded for disobeying orders about resumption of exercise. I wrongly assumed that since last Saturday was 10 days post-surgery, and the earliest I could have scheduled the follow-up and removal of any persistent stitches, I could resume walks with Celt. We started with short walks (maybe 10 minutes) and when he did so well, by yesterday, he was up to three miles a day, or about an hour and a quarter total, broken up into morning and evening walks. We began on leash and then progressed to letting him off leash where he would just be walking and trotting with the other dogs and me.

 

On work days, our walks are usually 1 1/2 miles in the morning and then again in the evening. On days off, two miles in the morning and one in the evening. With the lovely weather this week and the tendency for some of the little calves to get out of the fence in the late evening (the road is warm and the pasture is cooling down, and we think they are attracted to the warmth), we've been doing an extra jaunt up the hill, just a walk for a final potty trip and to check on calves (Dan takes care of any that are out). So we've really been doing more like 3 1/2 miles a day the last few days, nothing faster than a business-like walk for me (especially in the morning, when time is limited) and often more of a stroll in the evening, depending on the day.

 

WRONG. "Nothing but leash walks to go potty" means nothing but leash walks to go potty. I told the vet tech, who saw him first, what we'd been doing in answer to her questions. Then the vet came, very alarmed that by exceeding the guidelines, I might have compromised Celt. She had seen a couple of dogs that had had suture failures due to the owners not following instructions, and one dog had had to be euthanized after her sutures failed the day before the removal appointment, and she came in with her now-damaged intestines coming out through the opening incision line.

 

I think I would have done better if I had been given the reasons for such restriction for so long, that the internal suturing and healing take longer than the external incision does. Therefore, someone can think that all is healed, the dog can think he/she is all right, but it it not safe to exceed the restrictions because inside, where it really counts but can't be seen, it is not all right yet.

 

In addition, the combination of pain after surgery and lack of normal exercise were contributing to bowel irregularity (we did the pain meds but you know he still hurt when he had to go) which meant he could not make it through the day without potty breaks. That wasn't an issue when I was home but it was when I had to work, and so a lovely neighbor was kind enough to come potty him when I was at work, for which I am very grateful. She can't do that tomorrow so we shall see...

 

Fortunately, a thorough palpation exam did not indicate any problems, with the belly wall feeling strong and solid, without hernia or weak points. The relief on the vet's face was obvious.

 

So the boy, who we had promised would no longer be x-penned alone when we couldn't watch him, and who has enjoyed normal walks the last few days (three miles a day total) is now relegated to the x-pen again for times when we can't be observing him, like our work days. And his walks are restricted to two 15-minute walks a day, plus any necessary potty trips in the yard, and always on leash. She put the fear in me. When he goes back a week from tomorrow for his oncology exam, he will be re-checked and if the vet passes him, he will be able to be worked back into normal activity. We'll do the walks but certainly wait a while on the playtime.

 

The moral of the story? Even if you don't know just "why", follow the vet's recommendations and restrictions. To not do so puts not only the surgery in jeopardy but maybe your dog's future.

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