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The One & Only #RiotDog: Diggs

Diggs loses a leg to cancer

The One & Only #RiotDog: Diggs


March 17th, 2018 · 15 Comments · Uncategorized

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Yesterday was crazy difficult but…

At 3:30pm we got the call that Diggs handled the surgery like a champ!

The leg was removed without issue, he handled the anesthesia just fine, and they were able to remove the spleen and biopsy the liver with zero complications! I would’ve updated last night but I wanted to get him home before I started bragging about how well he did.

I called the vet last night at 8:30 and they said he was doing fine. He was resting comfortably on a big cozy bed and he had a nurse assigned to him all night. I got a halfway decent nights sleep but I was up at 6am checking my phone to make sure I hadn’t missed a call. I called the hospital again at 9:00 today and they said the were very happy with his recovery and that I could come get him whenever I was ready. Needless to say, I’m stoked! I jumped in the car and hauled ass to go pick up my slightly modified Yellow Dog.

When I arrived, I paid a hefty fee and anxiously waited to see my dude. There is no amount of preparing yourself for what you are about to see. The hospital was empty for the most part so I could hear the click of his nails and the thump of his cone bouncing off of things as he fumbled his way towards the door. In just the same way that he disappeared yesterday morning, he reappeared to me today, only this time he looked like Frankendiggs. His fur is shaved in all sorts of odd patterns, he can hardly hold his head up from the cone and the drugs he’s on, and the scar is massive. He is very unsure of the walking part but I’m sure he will get it together soon. He’s alive and that’s what really matters.

All he wanted to do was leave. He didn’t care so much that I was there, he just wanted to go. He got outside and was able to pee, although he mostly peed on his front leg. Poor guy. We were able to get him in the back seat and he immediately laid down. He looks pitiful. The drive home was as quiet as the drive to the hospital the day before, minus the sound of the plastic cone scraping around as he tried to move his head. We pulled up to the house and he immediately stood up but couldn’t quite figure out how to move beyond that. I was able to scoop him up out the car and place him just outside the door, but he immediate wanted to lay back down. Luckily he went down on the padded sling that the hospital had provided us with, so he didn’t get his belly dirty. I helped him back up wth the sling but he just wasn’t having it. I picked him up in my arms and carried him to the front door. I know he has to learn but today isn’t the day. I got him inside and he went right for his water dish. He plopped down on the kitchen floor looking a bit defeated. I ran around the house grabbing clean sheets to cover his beds and then dragged one over by the back door so that he could have a comfortable place to lay down and enjoy the warm sun. He hobbled over with a little assistance from me and has been there ever since.

A lot of what I read and have heard from others was that he was going to hop up and walk out of the hospital. Had the surgery been just the leg removal, he might have. The poor guy has been through so much that I don’t blame him at all for not wanting to do much of anything today. Maybe tomorrow will be a different story.

I can’t tell you how awesome it is that so many people (and pets) from the Tripawds community took it upon themselves to reach out to us and send love and well-wishes since this little adventure began. Facebook has been getting the updates just as regularly and I had multiple people reach out to me last night saying they were on the edge of their seat waiting to hear how he did. To all of you I want to say, “I love you”, and want you to know that we both have felt more love than we ever have before. I am very sure that he wouldn’t have done half as well without your support. You mean the world to us and are all officially part of the #RIOTGANG for life.

I’m so proud of Diggs for staying brave through this challenge. My day is so much brighter today. He is resting peacefully in his bed and listening to the sounds of the neighborhood while he heals. He’s such a sweet guy.

Meanwhile, I am taking some well deserved deep breaths and learning to adjust to my new heart. It has more than doubled in size and I attribute that to all of you.

We are eternally grateful.

We love you all.

Diggs & Nick

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15 Comments so far ↓

  • dougo1

    Glad he’s home. I pick up my cookie tomorrow.
    Keep us posted nick

    • Nick

      Thanks so much for being so supportive. Diggs and I are sending positive vibes your way. We can’t wait to hear all about Cookie!

      • dougo1

        Cookie is home now Nick. She is on anarcotic patch and just sleeping. You Diggs Cookie and I are in this thing together. Every day is a new day now and we need to show a good positive attitude for our fur babies.

        We wish you the best and I will be checking you posts every day to see how you and the Diggmeister are doing.

  • Laurie

    So so happy he made it through ok! I’m sure he will figure it out quickly and will be the same happy Diggsy in no time!

  • tlahaye

    Diggs is doing just fine, especially with the extent of his surgeries. Congratulations.

    He’s out of it because he’s still on hospital pain medication, and it will take awhile for that to work through his system. I’m guessing he’ll be far more stable tomorrow, but you’ll want him to lie pretty low until his stitches are out.

    id he come home with a Fentanyl patch? I’m thinking that will keep him pretty zoned for the next few days too. This is all nature saying “Take it easy.”

  • Debra

    Yay, Diggs!! Welcome home!🐾

    Your strong boy has been through a lot, and now the healing begins! Sunshine and just getting to be in “their places” seem to be such a great comfort to them in those early hours. And of course, there is no greater comfort than just knowing that you and his family are there, that he is still yours. Just draw strength from the presence of each other, follow his lead, and yes, try to catch your breath…take it all one moment at a time! Don’t stress about your path to recovery and that it might not follow that of some of the others…just let him show you the way!

  • Justin

    Glad it went well. He is a strong dude and still has much more life to enjoy with you!!! Love ya Nick!

  • jerry

    Awww we love you guys back!

    We are sooo glad to hear he’s home and on the mend. Yes, you are right, he had a LOT done to his body, more than the usual amputation, which is why he’s more wobbly and out of it. But think about it: imagine how a human would be if they had those same parts removed, then went home the next day. They wouldn’t! Diggs is a major rock star who is handling this like a hero. What an amazing dog you have there!

    And you mister, you perfectly described what it’s like to see your dog the moment those back office clinic doors swing open and he walks toward you. We will never forget how we thought our vet had given us a carved up turkey instead of our Jerry (it was Thanksgiving day when he was released!). Yep, not a pretty sight but the love you feel in your heart, the gratitude for just the fact that your dog is alive on and on the mend, outweighs the scary staples, sutures and the sad sad cone of shame.

    Stay strong. You’ve got a haul ahead but if you follow Diggs’ lead, you’ll handle it as well as he is.

  • paws120

    So relieved to hear he is home! Sounds like he did very well. I’ll tell you what, it is a good thing that he is the way he is right now. Sounds like they have him doped up pretty good and he still has anesthesia in his system. This truly beats pain, I know he looks pathetic but I will take pathetic over pain any day. In a few days you’ll be working on pain management so enjoy your boy doing the pink elephant dance 😎
    I’m so glad you’re both doing ok, this is just wonderful news!
    Jackie and Huck

  • linda8115

    Thrilled Diggs is home! Yea our Max wasn’t one of those who happily hopped out of the hospital either. Think it took him about 3 days to get his sea legs and figure out we hadn’t taken both his back legs. Slow and steady will win this race. One thing I did do is take the cone off him when I was right there to monitor him. Since I sat with him most of the days he really only needed the cone at night. He seemed to rest better without it..and I was vigilant about watching him when he had it off because they can do some fast damage if not monitored. Hugs to you all…better days ahead..I promise.

  • rottwlr2

    Big sigh of relief. So glad to hear he did so well and is home with you. Beau was wheeled out in a wagon so sounds like Diggs did awesome. You’ve been in our thoughts.

  • mysweetted

    so glade SweetDiggs is home. He’s adorable. I’d give him 3-4 days before he feels like he’s gonna roll over and say “okay, let’s go”. He had a lot of surgery. breathe deep. He’s a big guy so make sure his pain meds are set up properly – he should be given them consistently and if you don’t have at least gabapentin and one other painkiller then call your vet! Best wishes to you – so glad he’s doing okay.

  • benny55

    EXHALING OVER HERE!!! SWISH OF AIR STRONG ENOUGH TO. LOW DOWN A TREE!!! SOOOOO RELIEVED!!!! Sometimes not hearing from our “family” on surgery day and into the night, isn’t always a good sign. So glad this was a good sign!!! 🙂 🙂

    ABSOLUTELY NOT EVERY DOG COMES BOUNCING OUT AFTER SIRGERY!! As Linda says, it often takes several days for the dogs figure out how to take a few good solod steps. And thats WITHOUT any additional surgery like your Diggs had! PLIS, hesw nicely drugged and still has hard core hospital surgerypain meds in him. So no worries at all about mobility at this point!

    Water, peeing, rest, rest, rest, are the most important things right now. Pooping may take a few days. Try and get him to eat, especially when he takes his meds. Cheeseburgers, bacon and eggs, whatever he’ll eat.

    Recovery is not picnic for a couple of weeks. Every dog is different and every recoverynis different. Diggs is responding perfectly “normal” this early AFTER MAJOR surgery. Some dogs sleep the first night or so. Some, like my Happy Hannah, are whiny and very restless for the first couple of nights.


    Stay connected and let us know how he’s doing…And howyou are doing!! Try and get a few naps when you can!!

    Hugs to all!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  • Michelle

    Glad to hear Diggs is home. You are right some dogs do hop up but some don’t . Diggs had a lot done to him and he did well to walk out to you. 🙂 He also was doped up on a lot of surgical meds and probably will be for awhile.

    We are all cheering him on. Keep kicking butt Diggs and rest up. Rest while he does.

    Sassy had her amputation in Nov 2012 and it was a warm one. She loved laying out there so I used to take a blanket out there so she could lay on it and not get dirty. You did the next best thing moving his bed by the window. 🙂

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  • Ed Waite

    Glad Diggs did well, you will have a trying week ahead of you, but keep your head up, you did the right thing. (You will wonder about this) it will take a couple days and then the progress is amazing. Our Buster is 6 weeks post amputation of his right front leg and doing great. Diggs will pull it altogether quickly you’ll be amazed in few weeks. Good Luck and our prayers are with Diggs and his family.

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