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Big head, broad chest, short legs, long body: can he tripawd? Please help.
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1 October 2017 - 7:09 pm
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Looking for insight from anyone with a dog like this who has undergone amputation. Our beloved happy, silly Angus: imagine a Rottweiler's body on a Corgi's legs. Osteosarcoma in his forelimb. I've been lurking on this board for months now, esp. the "Size Matters" section, but haven't found any stories like ours. Plenty of large (long legs, compact bodies) breeds represented here, but the physics of those dogs is very different from our Angus. We are now favoring amputation as the tumor is HUGE...grapefruit-sized, has engulfed his entire leg, and probably weighs 7-8lbs. Our vet is concerned about his body shape and weight distribution, i.e. his ability to hop with all the weight of his gigantic head and chest on his one remaining front leg. He already hops now since he avoids using that leg (though he does use it for balance, like a cane) and I think the loss of 7ish pounds of tumor will be a net gain for him. Am I fooling myself? Please, if anyone out there has an experience with a forelimb amputation on this shape of dog, I could really use your insight. The surgery is scheduled for two weeks from now.

Livermore, CA
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1 October 2017 - 8:22 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I'm sorry you are dealing with this decision.  Have you thought about a second opinion? Maybe an orthopedic surgeon to assess how Angus might do as a Tripawd. 

I've got to run right now but wanted to get your post approved so others could give their input.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Virginia
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1 October 2017 - 10:03 pm
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ANGUS!!!  Can't wait to see a picture of your unique self!!!   You look very handsome in yiur avatar photo.

Would you say he is maybe shaped a little bit similar to maybe abig chunky Bulldog?   Just trying to get a visual so maybe you could  post one?   Because certainly big bodied dogs with deep chest and big heads with short legs can do just fine on three.  You may have to use a harness for stairs, but thst can be the case with many tripawds.

How old is Angusand how much does he weigh?

Definitely woukd get a second opinion as it eems unlikely that his body shape could prevent the amp., but I'm certainly not a Vet.  It certw sounds like hesw basice a tripawd already.  And your right, that bum leg with the huge tumore is definitely a hindrance.....And it has to hurt!   Is he on any pain meds now?

Update when yiu can....especially with a picture of that special bou! 🙂

Hugs

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

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Virginia
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1 October 2017 - 10:05 pm
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Here's a link for  adding images

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge

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2 October 2017 - 10:24 am
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Hi Angus and family, welcome. I'm sorry about the diagnosis but you are in good company, lots of us understand what you're going through.

We have had many different breed types join us through the years, including Corgis, Dachshunds and all sorts of stocky, long bodied dogs. They do have challenges as far as mobility goes, but you can do many things to help in that area including: making sure Angus is not overweight and keeping him slimmer than the average dog, as well as looking into canine rehab therapy which can help you understand his unique needs and how to help him get strong to be fit and injury free.

Some dogs with that body type may or may not need a wheel chair, but that's where a rehab assessment will come in handy to let you know if Angus does. The best part is the Tripawds Foundation will even pay for your first rehab visit

When one vet is in doubt about a dog's ability to get along on three legs it's always best to get a second or even third opinion, at least one from an orthopedic specialist. That's the best way to determine if he's a candidate. And if he isn't, palliative radiation therapy may be a good option. Have you met with an oncologist yet?

The most important thing to do is act quickly in helping to alleviate the pain of that tumor. I hope this helps. Let us know what you decide, we'll be here to support you no matter which path you choose.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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4 October 2017 - 8:21 am
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Hi and thanks for your suggestions and kind words! Yes Angus is the most handsome boy ever...he actually has a facial expression that looks just like Richard Gere. Seriously. I can see the harness with a handle will be a must, especially since our house is two-story. As for second opinions...sadly I think we're past that point. The tumor has suddenly started a growth spurt (???) and it looks like his leg could burst open any moment. (Does that happen?!?!? The skin is so tight it's thin and shiny and bright red.) The good news is, he's such a bada$$ he still doesn't even know he's sick. His mood is not affected, he's as happy and silly as ever. The procedure is scheduled for 1 week from today. He is now on half-rations in hopes of slimming down a bit in advance. I will post some pics when I figure out the photo hosting thing. In the meantime please keep the great advice, support and prayers coming. We can use all you can send our way.

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4 October 2017 - 9:28 am
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He looks adorable!

Have you checked with the vet about putting him on half-rations? I say this because I know cats should not lose weight too quickly but I don't know about dogs. Also he may eat that well during the first few days after his amputation.

You can find lots of ideas on nutrition on this site. One thing I do for my cats is to weigh the food rather than measure it so that I'm consistent.

I'll send positive thoughts for a smooth surgery and easy recovery.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

The Rainbow Bridge

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4 October 2017 - 12:25 pm
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We're definitely cheering Angus and you on, and hoping for a speedy recovery!

To answer your questions: 

Here's a post about adding images to the Forums. Let me know if you'd like any help OK?

As for the tumor bursting open. Unfortunately yes that can happen, we've seen it. Keep an eye on the area.

Oh and do check out the Tripawds Nutrition blog for lots of weight-loss tips. Good for you for helping him slim down before surgery, it makes a big difference. Good job!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia
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4 October 2017 - 8:18 pm
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A GUS, YOU ARE A BADA$$ RICHARD GERE LOOKING DOG!!!   We MUST have pictures of yiur very special self!! 🙂

Okay, you have a plan now and you can move forward.

And do check out some ways to give him good nutrition without  ma!king him feel like he's  starving!  Obviously getting him the right nutrition is important right now to keep him strong!

Not sure how much you've been reading on here as far as prepping your home for recovery, so let us know any areas in which we  can help, okay'   Recovery is no picnic for a couple of weeks and it can be wuite unnerving!  STAY CONNECTED!!  We've been through it and understand how scary this part of the journey can be.

We also understand how good Angus is going to feel with that bum leg gone!!

Hugs

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

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Livermore, CA
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4 October 2017 - 10:34 pm
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I'm glad you have a plan- I hope you feel at least a little relief with the surgery decision made.

By choosing amputation you are taking away his terrible pain and giving him a chance for more quality time with you.

Richard Gere... we definitely need pictures!

As far as weight loss- I have had great success with green beans.  I've had pugs for years and they only have to look at food to gain weight.  I use the canned kind- but they have to be the no salt added type.  They work for us because the dogs love them, they are very low calorie and are very filling.  We can cut the amount of calories and the dogs still seem full.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

London, UK
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5 October 2017 - 5:35 am
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Hi there, and welcome. The title of this thread caught my eye because it could almost be a description of my Meg. Big head (in more ways than one), not especially broad in the chest, but certainly long in the body and with very short legs. She is in fact half Rottweiler, so it's funny you should mention that, and I've often joked the other half must be Corgi. It's actually a whole mishmash of things, but that is the impression. Her legs are longer than a corgi's but MUCH shorter than you'd expect for a dog of her size. She looks as though she's been cut off at the knees. I've dug around for a photo that best demonstrates this. (She always tries to position herself to make her legs look longer than they are, diva that she is...). Anyway, this should give you an idea:

IMG_2355-e1476017065853.jpg

I was told amputation was not an option for her, not primarily because of her shape (though it was mentioned) but because of problems with her remaining front leg. I got a second, and third, opinion, and nineteen months post amp she is doing RIDICLOUSLY well. In fact, while I'm at it, here is a video of Miss Meg at the beach recently. As you can see, mobility is not too much of an issue.

t

I would certainly second suggestions above about going to see a rehab vet. Building core strength is absolutely crucial to take the strain off that lovely long back. We still see one every month or so, and Meg has acupuncture and laser, to iron out niggles in her spine and prevent them developing into a problem. We also do physio exercises at home, using a wobble board etc. at least every other day. And ditto the others on preparing the home (you must ensure he cannot jump down off beds/sofas etc. onto that precious remaining front leg). Slimming down will certainly help him but half rations sounds a bit drastic (!). You don't want him losing muscle mass and he needs his strength up to help him recover. Could you get some advice? For Meg, a specific satiety food has been incredibly helpful. It means she could eat plenty and still lose weight. When I tried just cutting the quantity, she would go and bark at the fridge.

I'm so pleased you have decided to proceed and get rid of that painful leg. I'm sure Angus will do great on three. And yes, even from the avatar pic I can see that he does look quite REMARKABLY like Richard Gere. Be still my beating heart ❤️

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 8, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Elsie Pie, & Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


The Rainbow Bridge

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5 October 2017 - 7:56 am
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Clare you are the BEST, thanks for taking time to share Meg's amazing story!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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5 October 2017 - 10:15 am
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I am glad Clare posted because when I read the title of it Meg jumped into my head.  🙂  

You have received a lot of great advice from everyone.  Glad you have a plan and keep us informed

Michelle & Angel Sassy

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

Virginia
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5 October 2017 - 10:17 am
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CLARE!!!  INVALUABLE FEEDBACK!!   And you always have that GREAT gift of inserting humor while you inform!  Always brilliantly done! 🙂 🙂

AND, we get to see pictures of the dynamic duo! 🙂   Thank you...all three of you....for being you!! 🙂 🙂

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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8 October 2017 - 7:23 am
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Clare: THANK YOU. Meg's story was exactly what I was hoping to see. Everyone in my family has now heard it, and seen the video. Amazing. And just what we needed. With the surgery now just days away we can replace at least some of our fear and anxiety with hope. Digging a hole! In sand! With one leg! What an inspiration. I have always believed that if it can be done, Angus can do it...he is the unstoppable force in our house and in my heart...and now thanks to you and Meg I see the proof of it. Surgery is Wednesday. Today we will build a long carpeted ramp for him to get up to his spot on the couch. Question: should I plan to bring him home from the vet already wearing his harness? I'm now realizing there are a lot of nitty-gritty details I don't yet understand...better spend some time perusing the post-op experiences out here.

And now for the grand finale (fully aware it may fall flat, fingers crossed!): my first attempt at linking to Amazon's photo hosting. Just a few pics of Angus: his length, his leg, and his big, happy face.
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/0SKL1Ys1HrluXwlnsYh3DcoBO1sKNEFvB5CxRC4cDXo

Three days and counting! Happy thoughts all around! Thanks all for your comments and stories and support, they mean so much!

Angus and family: Caryn, Kevin & Colin

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