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two surgeries scheduled

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Darren’s first nickname for me was Gripper, then Elk Chaser, and Dogger Bogger. Amy calls me Girl Dog Dakota and both think I’m the Greatest Dog ever.  Soon I might get a new nickname because I’ll have undergone two major surgeries on September 6th 2011.

One is to have TPLO surgery on my back-left leg due from a cruciate ligament rupture in the knee that occurred after an awesome time at the dog park chasing after a ball and running in the river on July 10th, 2011.  The second is to amputate my front left elbow due to a snyovial sarcoma non-aggressive cancer around the elbow joint. The tumor was found a week later and does not appear to have spread and is degrading the bone and will cause me quite a bit of pain in the long run.

Once I got on the pain medications (Tramadol and then also Gabapentin) and some sleeping, my appetite came back and I’m more active.  But I’m still just getting by with my back leg being pretty lame and my front one hurting after a fair amount of activity.   I’m mostly only able to go on short walks and swimming.  I can run OK (if I don’t think about it and there is a squirrel to chase).  Darren & Amy took me for a good swim yesterday (which I did not want to leave the lake) and I’m pretty sore and limping today, but it was so awesome!

Darren and Amy have asked a lot of questions and talked many times with my very caring Veterinarian at Mesa Veterinary Hospital.  She recommended we take a visit to CO State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital that specializes in Oncology for animals.  There I also received lots of hugs and love from the Doctors and Interns.  I saw three surgeons who all said I’m a good candidate for surgery.  They said I’d go as far as Darren and Amy would take me; which is so very true.

The problem is the surgeons all had a different order of how they would handle my case, OF COURSE….Should the back leg get fixed first & heal, then amputate the front; or amputate then fix the back leg (which is really not an option cuz my back leg is so lame; or do both at the same time.    Basically the tear the band-aid off as fast as you can theory is what the Darren and Amy ended up going with.

The doc’s all say I have the spirit and a strong will and should do well with the surgeries.

It’s been awhile now due to scheduling and waiting for test results and I’d probably be healed from the cruciate by now, but we had to know if the sarcoma cancer was the aggressive type.  Great news, it is not.

So, I will have both the surgeries Tuesday morning the 6th    They are nervous, hopeful, and trusting that this is the right decision for me.  They are a bit unaware at this time what the recovery will be like, just that it will be challenaging.    

Keep us in your prayers and any advice on recovering from an amputation and a TPLO surgery for a cruciate ligament rupture would be welcome. 

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11 Responses to “two surgeries scheduled”

  1.   Dakota Dawg Says:

    I also have a Dakota and I think you may be a neighbor, relatively speaking. Where are you? Are you having whatever surgery you decide on at CSU? Let me know where you are and maybe we can talk, or meet. My D-Dawg writes a blog, too; he’s pretty handy with a keyboard.

    I don’t envy you trying to deal with two major leg issues at the same time. We went through a ligament repair (not TPLO) on a rottie mix several years ago and the down-time was really difficult. She was not an inactive dog and it killed us all to keep her down.

    How old is Dakota? She’s lovely and looks to be a shepherd mix, perhaps?


    •   dakotagirldog Says:

      Dakota Dawg/Shari

      We are in the Golden area and would be interested in meeting or talking sometime. We have decided to do both surgeries tomorrow and be done with it. We think Dakota can handle them both. It will most likely be harder on us than her. It will be very hard to see her lay there in pain and knowing it will take a while to recover from the knee surgery.

      You are right on she is a rescue from the pound shepherd mix. A very smart dog and so sweet.

  2.   Dakota Dawg Says:

    P.S. I got sidetracked but meant to say that from the human perspective, amputation was much easier to help my dog through than the knee surgery. Every time my dog got too wild on that knee, I held my breath waiting for her to destroy it again.

    I don’t have that worry with Dakota. What’s he going to mess up? His missing leg? The worst that happens is he bites off more than he can chew and he might do a mild face plant. It ain’t pretty and I’m sure he doesn’t enjoy it, but that’s the worst of it.

  3.   maximutt Says:

    Well, unfortunately I don’t have any advice on a possible double surgery, as I’ve only had to deal with an amputation. Whichever way you decide to go, I will be sending pawsitive thoughts Dakota’s way for a quick recovery!

    •   dakotagirldog Says:


      Pawsitive thoughts are awesome and I am sure Dakota will be up and running, well limping, in no time.

  4.   etgayle Says:

    wow, that’s alot going on!!! we had a right front amp for soft tissue sarcoma in feb 2010. it was quite the adjustment, but withing a week or so, we were getting back into the ‘new groove’. if your p’s think you are up for both, then they must have it pretty well decided in their hearts that this is right. we’re sending our best ET juju to you, hope the recovery is swift and you can go after those squirrels in no time flat!! we love your picture….don’t be surprised if someone suggests you look like eddie munster (warning about monkeybutts!!).

    charon & gayle

    •   dakotagirldog Says:

      Charon & Gayle,

      Thanks for the kind words. We are awfully nervous about our decision to do both of the surgeries at once. If Dakota was not so full of energy and really wanting to continue with life as usual we would not move forward with it. ET juju well received.

  5.   admin Says:

    Wow Dakota! You’re one tough girl. Thanks for sharing your story and best wishes for a speedy recovery. Please keep us posted.

    •   dakotagirldog Says:


      Thank you so much for the great website and providing a place for all tripawds to share their stories.

  6.   Micah, Stephanie & Lynn Says:

    Amy & Darren:
    Love and prayers for Dakota and you two – I know how much you lover her (she does too…).

    Micah, Stephanie & Lynn

    •   dakotagirldog Says:

      We are very anxious to get her home. We were laying in bed this morning talking about how different it is without Dakota here. We have been without Dakota before but that was on a vacation, never at home.

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