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newly diagnosed bone cancer
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2 February 2018 - 8:50 am
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Hi everyone,

I am a gigantic mess and looking for help navigating through this current situation.  The love of my life Escher, is an almost 10 American Bull dog.  She has a history of poor health mostly involving allergies and ear infections.  She had an acl surgery at age two on her hind right leg.  Currently she has cancer in her hind left leg.  I have an appointment scheduled to have it amputated this Thursday.  I am worried as I'm sure many of you were that this is not the best decision.  My current concerns are pretty typical

1) is this surgery going to really be the big pay off I'm expecting?  Will she be happy on 3 legs?

2) her current mood is declining.  She is becoming more lethargic seemingly each day.  Is that normal due to the pain?  Prior to the limping she was very playful and active.  Now there is a lot of understandable laying, and panting.  She is still very food motivated, so that is my one big re-assurance.  

3) Chemo! What should I expect?  Do all dogs experience vomiting and diarrhea?  

Thank you in advance, I feel quit lost and constantly sick over this decision.

Here and Now

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2 February 2018 - 11:18 am
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scandela said
I am a gigantic mess and looking for help navigating through this current situation...

Welcome! You are not alone. For starters, if you ever need help navigating the many helpful Tripawds Resources and assistance programs, start here .

The short answer to all your questions is, every dog is different. But the vast majority recuperate quickly and adapt well to life on three legs. Next, payoffs and expectations are human concerns that only make matters worse.

Escher's mood will mimic your own. So be sure to remain strong and balanced – that is what she needs most right now. Our best advice is to Be More Dog , and that is nit just some silly saying.

Chemo is always optional, not sure where you got the idea about all dogs vomiting. They tolerate chemotherapy much better than humans. But again, every dog is different and this is optional. Jerry loved life on three legs for two years with no IV chemotherapy.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you're sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Virginia
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2 February 2018 - 12:13 pm
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Okay.....DEEP BREATHS!!!     B R E A T H E.....B R E A T H E.....   YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!  We understand where you are emotionally better than any others lossible can! 

You, and Escher WILL get through this!!  You have come to the right place for REASSURANCE, SUPPORT, INFORMATION !

For now, just keep thiings chunked down, one step at a time.  You have plenty of time to decide on chemo, okay?

Escher's "declining mood" is most likely due ro pain.  Bone pain hurts!  What meds is she on now?  A lot of dogs are given Trame and Gabapentin for their pain before the surgery date.

Sure, this "diagnosis" is a kick in the gut and not one anyone wants to hear.  By removing that pai ful leg though, you are givw Escher a chane at a PAIN FREE QUALITY  LIFE!   That means more quality time for loving, spoiling, treats, play, snuggles, tummy rubs, rolling jn the grass and, again, MORE SPOILING!!!

Every surgery, big or little, human or dog, has a "risk".   But we go through with thise surgeries due to "forced choices" and rarely do any risks pop up.  It sounds like the Surgeon thinks Escher is a good candidate and that's always good news!

Recovery is no picnic for a couple of weeks.  It takes some a dogs a couple of days to get adjusted to their new way of being mobile.  No worries...thatsw normal.  Getting the pain meds balanced in a way that manages her pain can take some tweaking. 

Now, fast forward to recovery  being complete and Escher loving life on three!! 🙂 🙂    Her sparkle will come back bigger and brighter than before!!   You will be amazed at how well she does! 🙂 🙂

STAY CONNECTED!!!  Let us know any questions anytime!!   We all probably asked the same questions ourselves!

As Admin said, Be More Dog !   BE MORE ESCHER!   She isn't worried about a thing and couod care less about any ole' prognosis. schmognosis!' 'Make every moment count with no worries about the next!

Lots of 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!

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2 February 2018 - 5:57 pm
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Welcome!  Admin and Sally have both given you excellent advice!  We all know how hard it is to wrap your head around this diagnosis and the many emotions it brings with it.  I chunked it down in my mind to we had to try to get our boy out of the pain of walking on that diseased limb and see what the future brings.  At least I had an action plan now and I knew to do nothing would mean having to let him go shortly.  All the wonderful people here got me through the recovery stage and taught me to be strong for Max.  If I panicked he panicked.  If I stayed strong he stayed strong.  You can do this!  We'll be standing by ready to help when needed!  Hugs!

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2 February 2018 - 7:02 pm
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Food motivated will help.  My Gus just got his staples out today... I think we are starting to turn the corner to recovery but the first two weeks are rough.  Everyone says by week 3 things are much better.  

Happy to chat further if it will help!  

Sarah & Gus

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4 February 2018 - 9:37 am
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scandela said

Hi everyone.  I have an appointment scheduled to have it amputated this Thursday.  I am worried as I'm sure many of you were that this is not the best decision.  My current concerns are pretty typical

Hi Escher and Pawrents

Im sorry that you find yourself in such a heart wrenching situation. We can all definitely relate to those heart stopping moments when we were faced with the huge decision to amputate, or not to amputate! Paul and I were initially horrified at the thought of amputation, then we came home and found Tripawds!!! We knew that without trying, we would lose Stewie in too short a time. But we also came to realize  that taking his painful leg away would make his life a whole lot easier and happier. We still don’t know when Stewies journey will end on this earth, but we don’t worry about that right now... he is almost 7 months past amputation and we couldn’t feel more blessed!!

1) is this surgery going to really be the big pay off I'm expecting?  Will she be happy on 3 legs?

The pay off is huge... We didn't realize just how much pain Stewie was in before his surgery. After getting through the first 3 weeks of recovery, we saw a whole new pup emerge!! The frown on his forehead disappeared and even now we comment on the lovely deep sleeps he has!

Escher will be super Hoppy on 3 legs! She will amaze you, I promise! Escher has had a few extra issues that she has had to deal with in the past, but you have pulled her through those times right?! You will both rock this thing! 

2) her current mood is declining.  She is becoming more lethargic seemingly each day.  Is that normal due to the pain?  Prior to the limping she was very playful and active.  Now there is a lot of understandable laying, and panting.  She is still very food motivated, so that is my one big re-assurance.  

I would have to say that yes, Eschers mood is more than likely due to the pain. Bone Cancer is extremely painful!!! I can not imagine the pain and i think if i was them, I wouldnt just be a bit moody, I would be screaming bloomin’ murder and wondering when the next shot is coming! Stewie was definitely not himself prior to his amputation. Patience and having a calm assertive manner around Escher is going to help immensely during this journey, she will be looking to you for positive reassurance and direction.

Yeah for food motivation... she will tell you at times that she doesn’t feel hungry, so having extra stinky, treats and such will be needed to bribe them into thinking otherwise. I fed Stewie Steaks, Roast Chicken, Salmon, you name it, we tried it... most times it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

3) Chemo! What should I expect?  Do all dogs experience vomiting and diarrhea?  

Stewie had 6 rounds of Carboplatin Chemotherapy (administered by IV) right after his stitches were out and he rocked it!!! He was tired after and each session and we had trouble with his veins, but we managed as a team and Stewie was sooooo well behaved, even Dr. Laurie was amazed!

He didn’t have any trouble with his appetite during this time and no vomiting or diarrhea. I have noticed that his undercoat is not growing back, even now, he is still ‘thin’ in his coat, but I can not say if this is due to the Chemo or not? I dont know if other people have complained or noticed that their dogs coat is different after, its just something i noticed with Stewie. 

Thank you in advance, I feel quit lost and constantly sick over this decision.  

You don’t need to feel lost anymore... there are many people that are here to help you navigate this very difficult time. Yes, we understand the sick feeling and the anxiety that it can produce, but please know that it will get better, Escher will get better and she will show you and thank you for giving her this beautiful life on 3!

Please take care and stay in touch. Thursday seems like a long ways away, so take all the time in the world to give your girl the extra lovin’ that she deserves!

All my best wishes from Petra, Stewie 🐾 and his Pride >^..^<

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

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4 February 2018 - 11:39 am
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Hi Escher and family 🌺

You sure had great advice already, so ... see?

It can be done and Escher will be a super happy bunny on three!

I went the chemo route with my baby girl Eurydice and she never had any trouble at all.

We even did extensive travelling between chemo sessions, it is really amazing how well our babies do after surgery, happy and full of love for life 💗

And we are all here for you and Escher, you're part of our family now 💕

Sending you a huge hug and cuddles 😘😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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4 February 2018 - 5:19 pm
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It is the right decision! I say that even though Otis had some complications after surgery (nothing that wasn't treatable, but it did stress me out)

The first two weeks are not fun. Tomorrow will be a month since surgery and I can say Otis is acting more and more like himself. We don't go on many walks now, but we hop a few houses down the street and there are lots of tail wags. 

Two pieces of advice:

1) If something doesn't seem right or you have questions, call your vet, surgeon or general practice or both! I got valuable advice from both of my vets on the phone and was able to avoid a more problematic situation by calling them

2) do not be afraid to ask questions here! Tripawds saw me though my decision making, the recovery, and then some (including how to clean dog ears!). People here will calm you down and understand what you're going through. That is invaluable.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Camille & Otis

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5 February 2018 - 12:45 pm
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Wow, thanks so much everyone!  I can see this is going to be a really helpful resource already.  Cried myself to sleep last night thinking about putting her down, and then woke up to all of this encouragement and hope. 

To answer  Benny55, is yes, she is on Tram, and Gabepenten.  Some days are better then others.

She does have arthritis in her remaining hind leg. Have any of you been in that situation? 

Does anyone have suggestions on dietary changes I should make?

Also, what should I expect post surgery in terms of taking time off.  My mom in visiting and willing to help, but Escher is big and Mom has issues in both shoulders.  Will I need to take time off?  If so, how much?

Again, thank you all so much for the warm welcome and support.

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5 February 2018 - 12:51 pm
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Also, with the surgery approaching soon, is there anything in particular you guys would recommend I buy?  right now I am using a towel to help her move around.  Harness? kennel? wagon?

Virginia
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5 February 2018 - 1:20 pm
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"Waking up to encouragement and hope"...... BEAUTIFUL way to start the day.....and this journey!! 🙂

Yes, having someone with Escher the first sevral days after recovery is pretty much a necessity.   So you...or your Mom....would be a good plan.   It was just my self with my Happy Hannah so I was off work five days.  

I have a small "den nest area" where I spend most of my time.  So Happy Hannah was just fine staying in that area with her bed and it was safe for her to "roam" if she decided to while I was gone.  Mostly though, she just wanted to rest and lay sround those first couple of weeks.

If Escher is mobile within the first 24 hrs, as are many, then you won't need a sling of any sort initially anyway.    Personally, I would hold off on a harness for a few days to see if "help" is needed.  It may be that a towel sling is you woukd need anyway.  My Happy Hannah just froze when I tried to help her with a towel sling anyway.    Meep in mind that some dogs take several days to get their sea legs, so don't be concerned if that's the case, okay?

If you have hardwood floors, you'll want non-slip scatter rugs for traction .    

And yes, many dogs have arthritis and even hip dysplasia,  and have done just fine with three legs.  Your Ortho Surgeon can guide you, but that shouldn't be an issue.

Will Escer be spending the night in a 24/7 clinic?

Canvas shoppi g bags can also be used if needed initially.  

STAY CONNECTED!!   GRAB THE CHOCOLATE  (for you, not Escher) 🙂   Remember to breathe! It helps! 🙂  You'll do fine and so will Escher!

Lots of 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!

Here and Now

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5 February 2018 - 2:45 pm
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scandela said

She does have arthritis in her remaining hind leg...

Please consider taking advantage of the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab. A professional evaluation by a CCRT or CCRP can prove very beneficial, identify specific problems with your pup, and provide exercises you can do at home to help keep her fit and strong. Or download Loving Life On Three Legs for more rehab/exercise tips, videos, podcasts and other helpful links.

Does anyone have suggestions on dietary changes I should make?

Weight management is the most important part! Check the Tripawds Nutrition blog for plenty of helpful recommendations, and don't miss Jerry's diet and supplement regimen.

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5 February 2018 - 2:45 pm
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She is scheduled to stay overnight.  

Canvas shopping bags???

12 months!! That's wonderful.  Great job.

Canada
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5 February 2018 - 3:26 pm
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Hi Escher and Mum

im sorry you had such a heart wrenching cry last night, but i am really pleased that this site offered you some relief! As most of us can probably attest to as well!

Sally and Admin gave you excellent advice, especially in regards to the chocolate! 😉 

It is excellent news that she is already using your assistance with the towel. The canvas shopping bag idea is this... you know those cloth shopping bags that are almost square shaped, well imagine cutting out the sides and having only the handles and the main body of the bag to help support Escher. Similar to using your towel, but with handles. My friend sewed the sides on mine, but Stewie didnt like it, as he is a front end amputee 😉 so the bag (and harness) irritated his incision site. 

Escher will probably want to do everything herself, we just need to be close to support them when needed and to ensure that they don't overdo it. We put Stewie’s regular collar on him and I had his extendable leash, so we were able to work with each other on the maneuverability end of things. It is definitely a learning process as you go and each dog is definitely different! Right Frankie?! 😉

As Sally mentioned, the closed off living room area worked for us too. Stewie was able to get up and comfortable change position and I could be close to him, lying next to him when we both needed! 😉 Be sure to have a variety of tasty foods for her to eat, they get finicky and will turn there nose up at the most amazing things, but don’t get discouraged, its pretty normal over the first few days. Lots of rest, lots of water, pee breaks when needed, more rest, more water, more rest, food whenever you can and tons of loving for you both! The 💩 thing can also be a few teeth clenching days for both! what-ever

I am fortunate that I can be home with Stewie. Like Sally also suggested, probably a week, would be a good amount of time to book off, and Maybe your Mum can come in and do checks the week after? 

As far as Eschers current hind end issues, I think if you offer her that extra support and tell her her limitations, plus the benefit of rehab if possible, then she will be on the road to Tripawd recovery in no time.

Best of luck through surgery and dont worry about fretting, we all do!winker

Petra, Stewie 🐾 and his Pride >^..^<

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

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5 February 2018 - 3:30 pm
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Otis never needed a sling. Now that he's healed up, we've tried a harness, but I haven't found a use for it yet. He goes up and down stairs (not full flights) easily. I don't let him jump out of the car, but he weighs over 105 pounds (post amputation) and I can hold him and set him down outside of the car without an issue. 

Traction and homemade dog food were the two most important preparations I did. It was mostly just me and Otis alone for the first two weeks with strategic visits by my parents to help out, but Otis was confined to our living room and kitchen and tolerated his confinement fairly well. The one new thing i did buy was an inflatable pillow that went around his neck. It was much more comfortable for him than his cone. Less than $20 on Amazon and worth it.

Big hugs!

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