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TLDR – Devo seems to have been on too many pain meds. After cutting her doses in half she’s seeming more herself. Still clearly a dog in recovery, but definitely improved!

Two days ago Devo had her first “bad” day – didn’t want to get out of bed, hiding in closets, had to be coaxed to eat, didn’t even come to the door to bark at people (one of her main pleasures in life). The next day, same. I was worried.

She was on 3x/day tramadol and 2x/day gabapentin. Before surgery she was on Novox and a few days of gabapentin. Her vets were not stellar at helping me decipher this. I was confused if her behavior was pain, over medication, or disease progression. One vet suggested taking her off all meds cold turkey, one suggested tapering just the tramadol. My blessed dad who is a human oncologist talked me off the ledge, and I decided to cut both tramadol and gabapentin in half and see if pain signals came back. They didn’t!

Today she’s still resting a lot, but she’s curled up in the room with us — not hiding. Tail wags when we pet her, she’s hungry, happy to bark at people coming to the house. It’s such a relief to see her more herself. I was worrying that she wouldn’t get a “honeymoon” phase to this chapter of her life, and would just be all downhill.

We’ll try these doses for a few days and then see if she’s up for reducing tramadol again.

If she seems well enough, chemo starts next Wednesday. I feel sad seeing her laid up like this, but I am grateful that it seems we will have some “encore” days with her <3

Happy Friday!

5 Responses to “Pain Med Woes – One Week Post Op”

  1. jerry said:

    YAAAAAY! I was so worried when I saw this title. That’s pretty awesome you have a dad who’s an oncologist. Devo is one lucky gal to have such great advocates.

    I hope the weekend is being good to you both. Keep us posted!

  2. jerry said:

    Oh I forgot to say that even the best vets have a tricky time with pain management. Dogs are such individual creatures and just like people, they respond differently to meds. The hard part is that too much and too little pain meds both display symptoms that are remarkably similar to one another. It’s a tricky dance but you’ve got it down. Good job!

  3. Wendy said:

    Thank you for sharing you story! My dog Dixie has lost her leg due to cancer on July 15, 2020. She is doing well and is getting around very good. So I am reading all I can to make this transition as painless as possible.

    • emilyrmartin said:

      Oh Dixie I’m so sorry to hear it. We’re just a week ahead of you, Devo is definitely starting to come back to her old self 🙂

  4. midnighter94 said:

    So glad that just cutting her meds seems to have helped. 🙂 And what kind of a vet says to just stop? ugh! This is major surgery and they need pain medication. Always my pet peeve. lol Sometimes the Tramadol makes them feel wonky. If I remember correctly, Murphy came home on Tramadol, Gabapentin and Rimadyl (or another NSAID). He took those for 2-3 weeks, weaning down during the last week or so.
    Devo is a doll and so lucky to have found her way to you <3

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