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Contemplatng front leg amputation for dog with 2 marginal back legs! | Presentation and Diagnosis

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Contemplatng front leg amputation for dog with 2 marginal back legs!
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8 May 2018 - 10:13 am
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Daffy is a 60#, 10+ y/o pitbull-lab mix and has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma of her right front leg. She has had anterior cruciate reconstruction of one rear leg that has crepitus and arthritis. Her other back leg has had a hip replacement and is stiff with some limited ROM. We are concerned if we amputate she will have trouble with additional weight bearing on her back legs and increased pain compromising the quality of live we hope to gain with amputation and chemo. We must make a decision soon. Anyone have advise or experience? Thank you

Livermore, CA
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8 May 2018 - 12:00 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I'm sorry cancer has brought you here and you are facing such a tough decision. 

What does your vet think about Daffy's ability to cope on three legs?  Have you had her evaluated by an ortho vet?  How active is she now?

Sorry about all the questions- this is a hard situation to deal with.  I don't have direct experience but I know several members here have amputated with some issues in the other legs.  And we have had Tripawds here who have had surgery on one of their remaining legs. Hopefully they will be along soon to provide their experiences.

I do know that the pain from bone cancer will become unbearable and medication will not help.  I do have experience with severe arthritis in one of my quad pugs and we managed that with supplements and meds from the time she was 6 until she passed at almost 15. Of course she was small- and when she was about 12 we started her spending more time in the stroller than walking. There are strollers for bigger dogs out there- something to consider.

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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8 May 2018 - 12:48 pm
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Hi there, and welcome. I am so sorry to hear about Daffy, but pleased that you have found your way here. There really is no better place for information and support.

Ditto Karen re getting an orthopaedic evaluation if possible and possibly also consulting a rehab specialist or physio as they tend to come from a slightly different perspective and are used to working with dogs over the longer term (just speaking from my own experience). I'm thinking with the surgery Daffy has already had, you likely did rehab of some sort after that? Would it be possible to contact whoever you worked with to see what they have to say?

In the case of my Meg, she lost her right front leg just over two years ago due to orthopaedic issues (looooong story), which also affected her left front leg, though less severely. She has elbow dysplasia, and arthritis in both the elbow and foot of her remaining front leg. Because of this, I was initially advised that amputation was not an option for her, but after extensive attempts to save her right front leg, it became the only option, apart from euthanasia. I felt I owed it to her to give it a go, and more than two years later she is doing extremely well.

Your situation is different, as every situation is different but I thought you might find our experience encouraging. Meg has an excellent quality of life. She is on long term Metacam, and takes Dasuquin and also fish oil, and this seems to work well for her. 

I would get as much advice as you can, but also listen to your gut. You have clearly been through a lot with Daffy, and are experienced in helping her recover from surgeries. You know her like nobody else.

Thinking of you, and sending all best wishes to you and Daffy,

Meg, Clare and Angel Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, 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 Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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9 May 2018 - 12:33 pm
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Thanks for the responses. All are helpful. Daffy was seen by ortho vet after we noted her limping and that is when the osteo was discovered. Lung xray shows no obvious lesions there. We have had oncology consults with treatment options laid out. Back leg surgeries were 7 and 5 years ago. Primary vet did not feel she would do well due to back leg issues. Ortho a bit non-committal initially but yesterday said most of additional weight would be on left front leg so a bit more positive. Tried securing right leg to body to see how Daffy might adjust/accommodate but she just laid on it and wasn't very happy. It really didn't help us much as it really doesn't replicate an amputation.

London, UK
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9 May 2018 - 11:11 pm
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I’m pleased the ortho sounded more positive. It would be mostly on the front leg, not only because it would be a front leg she'd be losing, but also because dog’s carry around 60-65% of their weight on their front legs. 

Theres also the possibility of giving her more support on her back legs, should she need it, with some wheels https://eddieswheels.com/ This would be something to discuss with your rehab vet. 

Heres a little more encouragement. As I mentioned above, Meg has elbow dysplasia and arthritis in her remaining front leg. 

All best,

Meg, Clare and Angel Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, 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 Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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16 May 2018 - 9:15 am
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Update...Daffy had her right front leg amputated on 5/14/18. Brought her home yesterday PM. Does not like to use sling and is able to get around for short distances without assistance. Has urinated several times, drinking tons and eating small amounts. No poops yet. Slept well with meds last night moaning once during night. Vets staff said she was doing "awesome" compared to others. Our other dogs are curious but only one attempted to give her a smell and he was greeted with a growl. Putting one of the older cats down this afternoon)-: Life continues to be challenging but we are blessed!

Virginia
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16 May 2018 - 10:01 am
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First of all, soooo sorry your kitty has to head to the Bridge.  To be able to release  her from her failing  earth clothes is the greatest  gift of love you can give.   She'll be greeted at rhe Bridge with a big pawty  by all the kitties  who have gone before her!  She'll be young amd free.  AND she'll be watching  over Daffy!

To hear how well Daffy is doing is absolutely  spectacular  news!!  She's  got some good hospital  meds in her, so she may have a bit of a crash after the meds are out of her system.

Resr, rest, rest....SHORT pptty breaks  and more rest!!   My Hapo y Hannah  wouldn't  tolerate a sling either.

Peeing and drinking ...great news!  Pooping will happem in a couple of days.  Eating... .,just give her any yummy food she'll eat.

Keep us updated when you jave a moment.  Sending  extra hugs and suppprt to you todau.

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!

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