Canine Osteosarcoma Common Amputation Complications include: seromas, bleeding, phantom pain, and although rare, blood clots can be an issue.



A seroma, an accumulation of fluid that is clear or light pink, is a common amputation complications. A seroma is not an infection which would be malodorous and have a cloudy appearance and a consistency more like a watered down yogurt.

To help avoid complications, it is important to keep your dog quiet after surgery. Keep your dog wrapped. And if you see any fluid buildup, make a fast trip to your vet to have the site drained or the tissue could begin to disintegrate.



Sometimes bleeding can occur from an untied blood vessel or possibly a ligature has come loose. The color can be the color of blood, that can range from a dark red to purple. Slow bleeding can be controlled with a pressure bandage, but if the blood flow is more than a drop per second, get to your vet right away. Additional surgery may be needed to correct it.


Phantom Pain

Phantom pain is another complication that could arise after amputation. Your dog might all-of-a-sudden let out sharp, shrill shrieks, or might shake and pant because the nerve may still sense that the leg is there. If discomfort is the result of inflammation and swelling, alternating hot and cold packs can help. But if your dog is experiencing true phantom pain, a human drug called gabapentin will be prescribed. In fact, if the medication is prescribed one day before surgery and taken for a week afterward, most dogs can avoid phantom pain altogether.

However, the drug can still deal with this complication when taken 2 or 3 times daily after surgery should phantom pain arise.


Blood clots

Blood clots are rare and seem to happen to dogs who have had cancer for a while. The dog may not make it through the surgery or a pulmonary embolism could take the life of a dog shortly after surgery. If a clot should lodge elsewhere, a dog may have difficulty walking after surgery. An MRI would be needed to diagnose this complication. Again, this is rare.



What is done for a seroma, a common canine osteosarcoma amputation complication?

Graphic video of a shoulder disarticulation (amputation).

Filed under: Dog Bone Cancer Surgery

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