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Bender the English Bulldog

English Bulldog

Bender the English Bulldog

5 Months Post Amputation – Enjoying the Snow

February 12th, 2018 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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Bender has come a long way since September ūüôā

We haven’t seen any signs of lingering neuropathic pain and he is getting around great on three legs- even with 30-40 cm of snow on the ground.

As Bender has bad arthritis and grade 2 knee luxation, we are maintaining the following medications: 75mg of Pregabalin and 15mg of Metacam per day.

He continues to amaze me every day with his strength, courage and determination to live.

Here are some pictures of him enjoying the fresh snow fall.


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Play Time

October 23rd, 2017 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

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Quick update:

As Bender’s strength returns, so does his desire to play. Bender isn’t the typical bulldog that sleeps all day- he is very active and can’t get enough playtime.

I managed to snap a few pictures of him having fun.

I am so happy to see the sparkle in his eyes again.  He is full of life and loving every pain free minute.



Bigger, Faster, Stronger

October 18th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Hi everyone,

It has been a long hard road but I am overjoyed to report that Bender is doing really well. The pain has subsided and he has been comfortable for the last two weeks.

He is currently taking one tablet of Amitriptyline and 3 tablets of Pregabalin per day.  We plan to slowly titrate these medications down over the next week.

The incision has fully healed and stitches were removed yesterday.

Bender’s weight and strength have been increasing day by day (he lost 10 pounds while at the hospital).¬† He can get around with no help and has no problem with small sets of stairs.

I can’t thank the University of Guelph Animal Hospital enough for saving our boy’s life. They went above and beyond to ensure he was pain free and able to live a happy life.

Additionally, thanks everyone for your support throughout this nightmare.

I will continue to provide updates on his progress.



Coming Home

September 25th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Good news everyone. Bender is coming home today after a long stay in the animal hospital.

As mentioned in my previous post, Bender experienced uncontrolled nerve pain pre/post amputation. This pain was not managed with oral medications or hydromorphone injections (injection would last two hours and should last 6 ). As a last ditch effort to break the pain cycle, Bender was placed on a 72 hour constant rate infusion of ketamine and opioids.  Bender appears to be doing much better and is no longer screaming in pain.

I hope the oral medications (Amantadine, Pregabalin and Amitriptyline) can control the pain going forward.

I will keep everyone updated on his progress.

Until I can take some post amputation pictures, here are a few more with all four legs.


Bender’s Amputation & Recovery

September 19th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Bender initially presented with lameness in his left forelimb and underwent x-rays to determine the cause. The first round of x-rays showed no sign of cancer but indicated elbow dysplasia and arthritis.  He was prescribed Meticam for the inflammation and started on Cartrophen, Glucosamine HCI and fish oils right away.

The lameness progressed and another round of x-rays were ordered 3 weeks later. Unfortunately, the radiographs showed signs of bone loss around the elbow. Bender was prescribed antibiotics for possible septic arthritis, blood test to rule out fungal infection and scheduled for a soft tissue biopsy.

Within 2 weeks the biopsy and new x-rays were taken. Both indicated cancer and advanced histopathic stains were ordered.   7 days later the stains came back positive for histiocytic sarcoma (changed to Myxosarcoma post amputation).  He started Gabapentin (300 mg x 2 per day), Amantadine (100mg x 1 per day) , and Tramadol right away. I also layered in Curcumin for potential protective effects and to counter the skin dryness caused by Meticam.

Our vet scheduled an amputation at the teaching hospital (only one in Canada) right away. Within the two week waiting period, Bender’s lameness progressed and the limb began to atrophy. He also started to exhibit severe pain in the form of screaming and inability to get comfortable. ¬†The day before the amputation Bender was flat out screaming in pain and required heavy sedation.

The amputation included his front left forelimb and shoulder. The surgery was uneventful and he returned home 5 days later. The first few nights were amazing, we were dealing with a new dog that was free of pain. This quickly turned into a nightmare as he regressed into severe pain uncontrolled by any oral medications. We admitted him to the teaching hospital for better pain control and further testing. Everything checked out clean and they were unable to nail down a cause for the pain. The surgeon was leaning toward wind up pain resulting from fast disease progression and location around the elbow (involving nerves and bone) pre-amputation.  This resulted in extreme nerve sensitivity and pain.

In a last ditch effort to control the pain, Bender is undergoing a 48-72 hour constant rate infusion of Ketamine & Opioids. They are also assessing the feasibility of a secondary nerve block (very hard to do because of the location).