On Thursday, March 15th, we brought Sasha home after her amputation. Even though I could not wait to bring her home, I was nervous and concerned. I didn’t want anything to go wrong.
Leaving the vet’s office was not a problem, she didn’t seem to even need help; however, we used a towel as a harness to help her walk, then Carlos went in the back of the Jeep with her. We live less than 2 miles from the hospital, so it was a short ride. Sasha was definitely happy to be home, and the rest of the pack could not wait to see her, but we didn’t allow them to check out her immediately. We had arranged the living room for her and we barricaded part of it for the other dogs to not get too close too fast, though they instinctively knew to take it easy.
After she settled, she started showing discomfort, and she did something she has never done before. She whimpered. And although it pained us to hear cry, it was cute:
The first night was very tough, on everyone. Carlos and I both stayed with Sasha in the living room. Neither of us wanted to sleep on our bed and leave her alone, crying and in pain and confused about what was going on. Having her up on the bed was not an option; we could not risk her getting hurt. Sasha was in a lot of pain through the night. She could not sleep, and would often try to get herself in comfortable positions, but no position was comfortable. We gave her the pain meds as instructed, but even after a while the pills had taken effect, she would continue to whimper and this was breaking our hearts.
Carlos laid on floor cushions with Sasha’s head in his arms for most of the night. I slept next to them on the dog bed, petting her, trying to make her feel better. Sasha cried most of the night, but she also seemed to have moments of comfort, and she would fall asleep for very short periods of time. Through the night, when she’d awake and show interest in getting up, we would take her outside, and each time she seemed to feel better after coming back inside. However, most of the night she was in a lot of pain and even though petting her and holding her seem to make her feel better, the pain didn’t seem to diminish. We ended up calling the emergency hospital a couple of times to see if we could give Sasha extra meds, or give her the pills ahead of schedule. Thankfully we were told that we could. After giving her the medication ahead of schedule, out girl didn’t seem to be doing any better, so I called the clinic again. This time, I was told that Sasha might be having disphoria from the pain medication. We were asked to hold off on any more meds until the next scheduled dose, and to call our vet’s office in the morning. This is not what we wanted to hear. How could we let our baby suffer in pain? Seeing her in so much pain, with those sad eyes, now knowing or understanding what this was happening made us both question if we had made the right decision in amputating her arm. Sasha has always been healthy, and at the ripe age of eleven years old, she is a happy, spunky girl who loves hiking, swimming, and catching Frisbees. Our decision had to be the right one; we just had to get through these first few days to justly realize it.
The following morning, because I had only slept two hours, I skipped class and prepared some breakfast for me and Carlos. We fed the pack, and to our surprise, Sasha had an appetite! (This girl doesn’t seem to lose interest in food, just like her dad, lol.) I had purchased soft canned food because Christina, a vet tech at the hospital, hand fed her soft food while Sasha was there. So it was special for her to eat this food, and she loved it.
Stay tuned for more updates on Sasha’s recuperation.