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Exercise limitations for 3 legged dogs
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4 April 2017 - 8:40 am
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We have a 7 year old Australian Koolie who had his left back leg amputated last Sept.  We are going on 7 months with out any indication that the cancer (osteosarcoma) has spread.  We opted to not do chemo therapy as we didn't want to make his final months miserable.  Surprisingly he is doing great.  If he is over active his hind end gets stiff in the evening but for the most part he is a happy dog.

One of his favorite things to do is run off leash in the bush.  He tends to go pretty hard at it for the first few minutes.  We have talked to the vet about him spending more time off lease and they recommend taking him for short 10 minute walks on lease and keep him quiet.

Has anyone had a dog that has survived this and how active can he really be?  He lives for his walks in the bush and we are worried about his mood if we stop this. 

The Rainbow Bridge

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4 April 2017 - 10:54 am
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Hi Peggy, welcome! What's your dog's name? I've never heard of a Koolie and would love to see photos!

Sorry to hear about the osteosarcoma but glad that life is good! Our Jerry also didn't have chemo and he lived two years so we hlpe with all our heart that your pup does too.

You ask great questions about activity. When our Jerry lost his leg we made some mistakes when it came to managing his activity level. Thinking he only had a few months at best to live, we didn't curtail his activity as much as we should have and it resulted in a pretty bad knee injury. We felt terrible, but he healed and we learned. 

I know you don't want to take away the things he lives for. We didn't either. To answer your questions, your vets are correct. Leashed, controlled walks are his best friend, and for no more than 15 or 20 minutes at most, depending on his health. There are so many things you can do to challenge him and keep him happy however. Challenging a dog's brain is one of the best things we can do for them especially as they age, and it's even more tiring than physical activity. 

Have you had a chance to check out the Tripawds Gear, Tripawds Amazon or Tripawds Downloads blogs yet? Or our e-books library? We have tons of great tips about interactive games and things you can do to work his mind and keep him injury free. JAlso, you may want to consider walking him on an extra long lead while he's out in the bush. That way he can still explore but you have some amount of control over his activity.

These tips will also help:

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4 April 2017 - 12:44 pm
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Our dogs name is Avalon and we call him Avy unless he's in trouble.  

These dogs are originally from Australia and are great herding dogs.  Some have long fur and look like Australian Shepards and some have short fur and look more like dingos.  We have 2.  Avy has long fur and his 1/2 brother has short fur.  They are both solid reds.  The picture below is of Avy, Roo and some of their family.  Avy is the long haired red one on the right and Roo is the red one on the left.  Avy is trying to look unimpressed beside his brother who is not neutered.  I believe just before the walk they had a disagreement about who was the boss.

We were told he would only live 2 or 3 months so it is nice to hear there are others who lived longer.  What did your dog die of?  Did the cancer come back?

I live in Haliburton, Ontario and we have a breeder just outside of our town.  Her name is Susan McDonald and her website is Canadian Cobar Coolies.

Thanks for the information.  I guess bush walks are out.  We don't want him to get hurt.

I will keep you updated and will look into the things you suggested.

Peggy

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4 April 2017 - 1:06 pm
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The Rainbow Bridge

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4 April 2017 - 8:55 pm
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Oooh what very cool doggies! They are gorgeous!

Not everything he loves has to be out of the question, like bush walks. If you can at least drive him to the area and then let him explore that's totally do-able. Everything in moderation, as the saying goes. Our Jerry still did fun things outdoors, he just did them in smaller increments. In time you will figure out Avy's new normal.

Jerry did pass from the osteosarcoma lung metastasis. It's fairly common and his case was textbook when the mets got to be too much. But don't focus on that right now. Remember that with this disease it's all about quality of life. To a dog, every day is forever and the more you can make that day wonderful, the happier you will all be. 

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5 April 2017 - 11:58 am
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It is spring here and this is the time of year we immunize our dogs and start them on heartworm pills and anti-tick & flea drops.  Is it wise to give a dog that has just had cancer and could still have it lurking somewhere these medications?  We do go out in grassy fields so he really needs the anti-tick meds (we have also had lyme disease spreading north) but should we give him the other shots as well?

The picture above has Roo's mom and 2 of his siblings and Avy's mom and another Koolie Sue has and a border that was visiting.  They are very smart dogs and very loyal.  If we split up when we are on a walk with our boys it drives them crazy because they try to keep an eye on both of us.  When my kids are home Avy has been known to go and check on everyone once an hour to make sure everyone is ok.  He prefers us to all be in the same room.  

Thanks for your help.  I think we are going to get a long lead for the bush.  He tends to take off like a greyhound in a race when he is let off the lead which I don't think is good for him.

Germany
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5 April 2017 - 12:50 pm
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Beautiful dogs!! My mom used to have a herding dog and that dog did the same thing your describing: trying to keep all humans together! 🙂 Herding them, really 🙂

I am in Germany, and while we do have the same tick and flea issues I am not certain if it's 100% the same as where you live, however, I just talked to my vet about that yesterday for the same reasons. She basically told me to "hand-collect the ticks off the dog" and had no answer for the flea-issue. I am not convinced of any "biological measure" against ticks, but maybe someone else can chime in here. I am convinced though, that I will not resort to the chemicals again, I just don't dare and I do think there is a connection to cancer. That said, however, I used to use the spot-ons even in the winter because I used to take my dog to the barn with me. Anyone who's ever had fleas in the house will understand... but since I don't take him anymore I am not as worried. And yes, I will check for ticks, I suppose 🙂

tina & Manni

Guardian of Manni the Wonderdog. -Or is it the other way 'round?

Manni was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in Dec '15 and immediately had his right front leg amputated, followed by 5 rounds of chemo. Manni's real name is Manfred and he turns 10 on Jan 28 2017. So far we are mets-free...

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5 April 2017 - 1:50 pm
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Are they part Kelpie dog too? If you say they are from Australia and herding dogs, that's why I thought that (and the black and tan one in the back looks kind of kelpie-ish). Super cute dogs and family!

I have heard the same about ticks - not so much a problem here in LA - but you do have to physically remove them from a dog. My current dog does not have cancer but she is on flea/tick/heartworm meds... all in pill form; not the kind you apply to their back.

I do know when my dog that passed had cancer, we stopped all vaccinations. I will never know what caused her cancer but I do know that she was no longer required to be vaccinated once diagnosed. 

And I would agree... all things in moderation. Shelby loved exploring and her walks on the beach but we learned to love being AT the beach and that was perfect for her!

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

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4 May 2017 - 11:39 am
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We had Avalon & Roo to the vet yesterday for their annual check-up.  We are going into the eighth month since Avy's surgery and he is doing well.  His lungs are still clear and there are no other signs of swelling or pain.  His back does get tired due to the strain and the vet said his remaining back leg muscle is almost twice it's normal size.  Managing his back pain is something we keep on top of.

We have been limiting his time off leash to a few minutes (which he doesn't like) near the end of his walk so that his muscles are warmed up.  The walks are also a lot shorter too.  We worry about his other paws getting injured.  He has sprained one of his front ones when he didn't navigate a corner well in the house but a few slow days of rest and anti-inflammatories solved the problem.

Is it normal for the dog's personality to change after surgery?  People have said Avy is friendlier and more affectionate.  He did have hip dysplasia in the hip that the leg was amputated on and he had pain associated with that.  Now since he doesn't have that leg I wonder if not having that pain is actually an advantage we are seeing.

Life is good right now with our dogs.

Germany
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4 May 2017 - 11:54 am
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That's a great update and I love your last sentence!! 😊

I do think you sometimes see personality changes but I would think that reasons probably vary to be honest. Yes, I can more than imagine that if you were in pain for quite a while it will be a relief to be painfree and you will be nicer, in a better mood, maybe more mellow. 

The personality change that we've had is that Manni is a lot closer to me, looks way more to me for guidance and trusts me more. -all of which I welcome a lot obviously 😊 I do believe it is in direct context to the surgery and especially the 'aftermath' that our bond is better. So I think there's lots of reasons for possible changes! But honestly: if it's a positive change, enjoy! Embrace it, actually! I know I do. 

More great updates please!! 

tina & Manni

Guardian of Manni the Wonderdog. -Or is it the other way 'round?

Manni was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in Dec '15 and immediately had his right front leg amputated, followed by 5 rounds of chemo. Manni's real name is Manfred and he turns 10 on Jan 28 2017. So far we are mets-free...

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