German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 113 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello again everyone

Haven't posted much since I joined, due to complications with my recent TKR that became infected...which btw, is not the purpose of this thread.

Anyway, yesterday I brought my sweet girl..a 9 mo old GSD to be spayed, chipped and have the pexi procedure done. I expected this to be a typical procedure with the hopes that she would come home the same day or possibly kept overnight at worst. A couple hours after I got back home I got a call from the vet saying she found a fairly large (soft tissue) mass inside her. Since her pre op tests all came back excellent, including blood work, this was quite the surprise. And it wasn't anything she could feel from the outside prior to the surgery. Based on what she saw, she felt she wasn't equipped to proceed with removing the mass and had me bring Marley for emergency care at Pieper Memorial Veterinary Center in Middletown CT. So after my vet closed her back up. I rushed her to the emergency hospital.

Since my vet had already called them ahead of time, they took me in right away and decided that a CT scan and blood work would be the proper starting point and suggested I go home for now. Blood work came back perfect, however not so much with the CT scan. Evidently the mass had attached itself to several organs...liver, intestines, pancreas were mentioned and possibly something else that I don't remember. Critical enough that even having her spayed or the pexi done is not advised at this time. The risk to remove the mass was far to great, so the next step would be to draw a sample from the mass and have it tested. She said there was good chance they could treat her by reducing or eliminating the mass depending on the test results. Unfortunately I have to wait until Monday for the results due to it being the weekend...glad it wasn't last weekend as the holiday likely would have caused even more delay.

So sometime later today, I'll go pick her up and we'll also discuss my options in more detail and review the CT scan. There is the possibility that they can't treat it, and if surgery is to be performed, there is a high risk that it may not end well. Talk about devastating to hear!! I'm not necessarily looking for any sympathy but more so, any advice or suggestions on what I can expect to face. This is a whole new experience for me as my last 2 GSD's lived long healthy lives except for my last who developed EPI. Which was nothing more than a common cold in comparison IMO, figuratively speaking of course.

Since I've been out of work due to my knee injury, my girl has been at my side almost 24/7 since I got her this past June. To say we were bonded at the hip would be an understatement :) So here I sit at almost 3 am unable to sleep, posting on the web and missing her so much already. The house seems empty and way too quiet without that little pain in the --- not pestering me like she enjoys doing :) Having lost my last girl this past spring due to age, I'll be devastated if I lose my new pup so soon.

So if anyone one has any encouraging words or suggestions as to what I'm facing and how to deal with it, it would be sincerely appreciated. This is kinda traumatizing to me right now not knowing what to expect as she was in such excellent health and literally an energetic ball of fire. There was absolutely no indication that this mass affected her in any way. She slept, ate, drank, peed and pooped like any other normal dog. Her energy is literally endless. In fact she loves my vet's assistant so much, she is out of control (in a good way) ecstatic whenever she sees her. She knows the breed well as she has 2 of her own and let Marley have her way jumping, licking, whining to her hearts content. Yesterday when I dropped her off, she made such a scene that some of the other staff came out to see what the commotion was all about. It is a sight to see and brings a smile to my face every time she does it. She loves to play ball outside and would bug me incessantly if I didn't take her out to do this ritual everyday. BTW...thanks to this forum I picked up the tip about using 2 balls when playing. What a difference it made compared to using one ball and her not wanting to give it up most of the time :)

Sorry for the lengthy post, but it did do me more good than you can imagine just to put it out here and talk about it. I'm all ears for any comments, explanations or words of encourage and I'll be sure to check back and update as soon as I know more.

Thanks!!
Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
875 Posts
I won't have the right words here...but I know that just talking about things like you and your girl are going through now- is a comfort.....Hope you get some good news next week......Here's to a happy and healthier new year for you and your girl.....She's really gorgeous !...Thoughts and prayers.
Vaughn
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrGSD

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,175 Posts
I can't imagine. Good thing your vet had the wisdom to send you to someone more expert. Glad that they gave you a glimmer of hope that perhaps there is something they can do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the encouraging words!! Looking back at my OP, I had to chuckle as it appears to me I was doing a lot of babbling. But as I previously said, it did me wonders. After that initial post, I spent a little bit of time reading some new posts and even watched some vids that were posted showing the dogs in action...impressive stuff to stay the least. And it was enough to take my mind off the situation to fall asleep...sitting in my recliner with my laptop. Got a couple hours sleep anyways.


While I was making this post, the hospital called and she's doing good, very alert and making a bit of a scene telling you she wants out of the crate she's in lol. Yep that's my Marley clawing at the door telling you she's had enough. So at least for now I can go pick her up around noon and also sit down with the Dr to discuss the matter. Looking forward to that as I still have questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,949 Posts
Babbling does a mind and body good. The safety and comfort a shepherd can bring comes in many forms even this gsd forum. My only advise is to remain strong for your girl. They know when something is going on and to see you upset makes them feel less safe. I know it is much easier to say then do- I truly do but it’s a goal. Your girl need tons of strength from you no matter the outcome. It helps tons when you know you are in good hands. Many prayers for you and your beautiful girl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Babbling does a mind and body good. The safety and comfort a shepherd can bring comes in many forms even this gsd forum. My only advise is to remain strong for your girl. They know when something is going on and to see you upset makes them feel less safe. I know it is much easier to say then do- I truly do but it’s a goal. Your girl need tons of strength from you no matter the outcome. It helps tons when you know you are in good hands. Many prayers for you and your beautiful girl.
I can't thank you enough for bringing that up!!! I honestly never even gave it a thought. I doubt I'd give her any reason to feel unsafe, but by you pointing that I'll be sure to stay 100% focused on her and her needs, not mine...if that makes sense.


That statement alone!!! made it all the more reason I'm glad I put this out there. This was exactly what I was hoping for when I posted. Again I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,144 Posts
This may be small consolation but I found your original post to be very organized and easy to follow the chain of events. This to me says that even during extreme duress and although you are feeling justifiably an emotional wreck, you brain is able to process all the necessary information. As if it is on auto pilot. This isn't a small ability and will help you.

From my own experience with both raising children and beloved animals, I found that focusing/holding on to whatever hope the doctors and vets have offered offered me, helped to keep my emotional strength up.

I'm also adding my thoughts in conjunction with what Jenny720 stated. It is really important that your girl sees all your love and happy thoughts right now, feed off of her happy greeting that she gives when you pick her up. That is all she cares about and is a balm in itself.

Wishing you the best for your girl she looks so very sweet in both pictures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,895 Posts
its Not much consolation but at least you found it early. That is unexpected in such a young dog. She is in the best possible hands and they are doing everything they can. We can hope it is something they can treat and cure. Until you get test results, try to stay calm. It may be something very treatable, so try to expect a good outcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks again for the well wishes!

Yesterday was quite the day. When I first saw her, she was so overly excited she acted like she hadn't seen me for a month. It took two of us to calm her down mostly to prevent her from causing any problems with her incision. And this was with her being sedated earlier. The Dr even said we may need to increase the dosage if she continues to be this hyper. The ride home wasn't bad considering the hospital is an hour away from my home. She sat or laid in the back seat, alert and without any commotion. I live in a rural setting about 600' off the road. As soon as I pulled in my driveway, she was off to the races. :) Back and forth from window to window whining and whimpering. Good to know she recognizes her surroundings. Then when we got in the house and she saw my wife, it was a repeat of what she did earlier. Boy what a powerhouse these pups can be!! I was able to calm her down again, but it was challenging. I also took the cone off her head and kept her on a leash so I could keep a close eye on her. Figured she spent enough time the last couple days wearing that cone and being cooped up in a cage. It still took the rest of the afternoon before she finally settled down. Then I fed her along with a couple of her prescribed meds and she fell asleep. This gave me a chance to eat, change and get caught up with what I needed to do. Being that I was so tired from lack of sleep, I was starting to nod off. So as much as I hated to do it, I woke her up and put the cone back on and put her in her crate for her safety. She fell back asleep almost immediately...and so did I:wink2:

I'm not going to try and repeat what the Dr told me regarding the issue, as most of the language was above my paygrade and confusing. But to give her credit, she did explain it enough for me to understand what we were facing. The sample they took from the mass via a needle was sent for a 2 part test. The first, called a Cytology came back good in that it eliminated possible causes. But it did not give the answers she was seeking. The other test, a Culture involved allowing the specimen to grow and see what develops...or something like that. If that doesn't give a conclusive answer, she'll have to take a larger sample via an incision and repeat the test. The reason being is the sample already they took may not contain enough material(?) for a thorough test. At this point she doesn't feel its cancerous, but not 100%. More likely an infection of some sort, but not guaranteed at this point. There are a number of possibilities for the cause and she discussed them all. Including where the dog came from and had she been out of state. The reason being, apparently dogs from the south and brought up here are bringing some type of parasite(?) or something as she's seen many cases involving that. Since she was born in PA and has only been here in CT and has not mingled with any other dogs other than her 3 litter mates, that eliminated those possibilities. The Dr did say she treated a one year old not long ago for something similar and had to perform surgery to remove it. The surgery was a success, so that is encouraging to hear. The only difference with my girl is the mass is attached to/surrounds more internal organs.

As of right now , she's doing great and acting normal in every aspect. And she's sound asleep at my feet, which is a godsend all things considered. While I don't have a definitive answer yet, the test results so far have eliminated several possibilities. So now we wait a couple more days for the culture results to come back. I'll update those results as soon as I get them.


Fingers crossed and I'll remain optimistic!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I forgot to mention something else. The Dr did say they have seen cases where they never determined the cause of the mass, but the treatment or removal was successful. In this day and age, it seems strange to hear that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,070 Posts
May the answer come soon and the problem be resolved. One word of caution - from personal experience and verified by vets ---- day 3 after the operation = mucho itch = prime time for ripped stitches. Repairing the dog's "fix" cost about twice what the original operation did..... So there's that to watch. Cones and modified t shirts etc may look bad, may wear on your sympathy but oh error on the side of caution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I don't recall any abnormal itching when my last 2 were spayed, but that was about 12 and 24 yrs ago. Are you saying a T shirt could be used instead of the cone or both? I did notice the incision looks to be longer than my previous girls. Possibly for the pexi procedure or maybe it because my vet was trying to see how large the mass was? Now that you bring it up, I'm wondering if she is able to reach the incision area with her rear paw.

Myself, I hate the cone. Cumbersome to say the least. I'm sure the dog hates it as well. For one thing you have to make the room she's in is cone proof. Otherwise, if she is next to say the coffee table and turns her head, whoooosh!! one swipe and the table top is cleaned off completely. LOL I laugh now but in the past it was frustrating.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,798 Posts
I hate cones too and so do my dogs BUT, it's the only thing that will really stop your dog from going to town on herself. My boy had a retained testicle taken out. For a few days he did not bother it much and we got away with a the recovery suit. Then he REALLY wanted at it and was sticking his nose inside the leg hole to get to it. Then we had trial by fire with the cone. He was pretty dramatic. Believed he could not lay his head down to rest while wearing the cone to the point of nodding out sitting up and other stuff. We soldiered on because we had to, and he recovered fine.

He also got kicked out of the bed for two weeks because he was not allowed to jump in and out. This was also very sad for everyone. But my vet scared me straight with stories of hernias and recovery time if I let him do bad things and you better believe I made that boy follow the rules for the full amount of time and I am glad I did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Glad to have her home and that there is hope that it isn't cancerous. It's especially hard keeping an active pup still while the healing takes place; it doesn't sound like the surgery slowed her down much. Susan Garrett has a DVD or online version of Crate Games which would provide mental stimulation and distraction for her during her convalescence. Sending prayers for a full recovery for your girl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,949 Posts
So glad she is home enjoy her and wishing you get good answers soon. I would also say the cone is so important takes a few seconds to rip some sutures out and under a minute to take them all out and probably an hour or more with sedation and recovery to put them back in. Removal for walks is okay but has to be right back on. I like the comfy cone I found max did much better with that then the plastic Elizabethan collar- he hated that was miserable. He did not mind the comfy cone. He had swallowed a corn cob the summer before last and had to have surgery. He wore that comfy cone for 4 weeks it took a long time for his sutures to heal and be removed as to the location and activity he glad he did not mind the cone as half his summer was a bust as it were.
https://allfourpaws.com/comfy-cone/
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,175 Posts
if you don't like the cone you can try the inflated collar...but one may not stop your gal. I put two at a time on my dogs. They look like they are going to take a long nap on an airplane but it works.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I hate cones too and so do my dogs BUT, it's the only thing that will really stop your dog from going to town on herself. My boy had a retained testicle taken out. For a few days he did not bother it much and we got away with a the recovery suit. Then he REALLY wanted at it and was sticking his nose inside the leg hole to get to it. Then we had trial by fire with the cone. He was pretty dramatic. Believed he could not lay his head down to rest while wearing the cone to the point of nodding out sitting up and other stuff. We soldiered on because we had to, and he recovered fine.
First I've heard about a recovery suit. I just looked at what they are...not bad. I might look into ordering one as I like the idea. I wonder if its safe enough to use without the cone? I see yours was determined and I wouldn't put it past mine if the incision bothered her enough. I'll keep an extra close eye on her the next few days since the surgery for the spay was Friday, even though the spaying wasn't done.

Not knowing much about brands, any preference? I saw one on Amazon.
 
1 - 20 of 113 Posts
Top