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Darlas story
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Oshkosh, WI
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25 February 2017 - 3:03 pm
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Hi all, my name is Darla. I see that my Pawrent left the homepage open on this fantastic Web site/forum, and after taking taking a look around at all these hot looking canines (and felines) that you've got featured in some of the stories, I thought I'd add my own.

Kent, my Pawrent, is sound asleep, he thinks I'm napping too, we've been doing a lot of that thes past few day, for different reasons. For me, it's been because of this nasty bump/lump that seemed harmless at first, but after everyone wanted to take a closer look at it, apparently had set roots in my rear leg. And it keep growing, and growing, with vengeance, it was really narlly, gross looking. My doctor and Pawrent called is some jibber jabber stupid high grade soft tissue sarcoma. After discussing my options, which according to Kent, there was only one, amputation. So that's what happened to me last Tuesday, the 21st. That's the reason I've been so tired, now the other dude is sleeping in the middle of the day, because he's not sleeping so much at night. I keep catching him looking at me, in the middle of the night. That silly boy, where does he think I'm gonna go, I've got 3 good legs, I'm not gonna make a break for it, jeesh.

He promised me me one day turnaround, but I ended up staying 2 nights. I can't say the accommodations were that plush, much better at home. But the morphine drip they had me on was dreamy, because I did at lot of dreaming. I sure was happy to see him when he picked me up, he was happy to hear that I was eating and drinking The 1st day, and had already peed. Like I've ever had a problem eating, it's my favorite past time, goodness. But he parked clear across the parking lot, oh my, did I get tired on 3 legs.

He changed the whole house, built silly ramps on some stairs, put down traction runners on those shiny floors, got a new bed, and even got one of those fancy harnesses.  You know like the movie star service dogs use in some service work. The runners are a good idea, but I don't need no stinking ramps. This old girl (9.5 years ) is quite capable of navigating a couple of stairs, even with 3 legs, and on those stupid pills.

And speaking of those pills that he hides in my hot dog snacks (like he's fooling anyone here), I'm glad that he got the dosage finally better. I needed a few more than the doctor thought, to make this post-op journey a little easier. Why can't our Pawrents speak canine, we're all from the same planet, for pete sake.

So post amp, 2 days in the ER, I ate the 1st day, drank and peed the 2nd day, pooped when I got home the 2nd day, and have been hopping okay. Pretty unsteady yet, but when the door bell rang yesterday, I beat him to the door. Haha

He's gonna probably want to say Hello as well, maybe later today after he takes me out to poop. And speaking of the weather outside, I need to talk to whoever orders that stuff should be shot, Sleet, freezing rain, snow and 40mph winds are no way to treat a new Tripawd!

Tripawds Rock!big-grin

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 February 2017 - 7:35 pm
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Darla you are so adorably charming! We're hoppy to meet you girlfriend, and are glad that you came here to dazzle us with your wit.

We would love to see photos of you, got any? Here's a post about adding images to the Forums, let your humans know about it OK?

That's wonderful you're rockin' it on three legs. Just wait till that cruddy weather blows away. YOU will blow away all your humans, neighbors and everyone you meet. Rock on Darla!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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26 February 2017 - 3:15 am
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Sounds like you are doing great!  And the up side of pills hidden in hotdog is, of course, you get hotdogs! 

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Schofield, WI
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26 February 2017 - 8:09 am
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Well Darla sounds like you've got quite a well train d human there!  Welcome sweet girl and glad things are going well.  The days will only get better and better!  You go girl!

Oshkosh, WI
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26 February 2017 - 6:43 pm
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Hey there Linda, fellow Wisconsinitte!

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. 

Darla is doing outstanding, IMHO. I've done enough reading here that I thought I could prepare myself for whatever might arise for problems, I wasn't able to prepare for mother nature. But tonight should be the last night of walking in icy slippery sloppy, the forecast is warmer, for a few days.

Does anyone have any experience with licking of other of the remaining paws excessively? Dar's been liking her front paws quite quite a bit, I'd guess boredom, if all other things in her life were the same. I don't think she's doing any damage yet (like licking raw), but it's something that I've noticed.

And what do Pawrents do to avoid weight gain? Less activity, more treats typically equals an overweight canine. Does anyone feed twice a day? I've been feeding a tad less, but if there's links here about weight control (that I missed), I'd appreciate the direction!

I'm past the dreaded 3-4 day crash, hit the wall, that people have talked about. But I've braced for it, and could happen anytime, I guess. I did see her with a smile on her face, I haven't seen that for quite sometime before the amp. She's a tough girl, never complained much, but I know the leg was bothering her.

I work on getting some pictures uploaded. I know, I know, forum posts are soooo much better with pics, I get it.

Thank You

Germany
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27 February 2017 - 4:04 am
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Hello Kent, Hi Darla!

It's good to hear you're doing pretty good! I've experienced that Wisconsin weather myself a couple of years ago and compared to that northern Germany is almost mediterranean 🙂

The paw licking may be because of the extra strain on the remaining legs. Oftentimes they need a while to build up muscles so you want to build up her strength slowly but surely.

Gaining weight has been an issue for us even before the amp and on top we also have a thyroid issue...

However, getting around on three is actually quite exhausting so you might not get a weight problem at all. I tend to adjust Manni's portions according to the actual weight. I used to feed twice a day but we had stomach issues in the last couple of months until otisandtess pointed out that sometimes they get problems after chemo. So now we're actually on three feedings a day, with a little teeny portion late at night so his stomach doesn't go empty. We're actually doing a lot better in that department now and it hasn't led to any weight gain so far.

It's good to hear that Darla is smiling again and yes, we ARE waiting for pictures 🙂 🙂

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...

London, UK
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27 February 2017 - 5:13 am
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Hi Kent and Darla, and welcome! I'm delighted Darla's doing so well.

Does anyone have any experience with licking of other of the remaining paws excessively?

Yes, in Meg's case this happened pre amp. She had multiple operations in an attempt to save her leg and was severely restricted over a long period of time. For her, the leg licking was, I am pretty convinced, a psychological reaction to the stress of this. I tried to keep her occupied as best I could with mental activation games etc., and it resolved completely once she'd lost her leg and was able to get back out doing the things she enjoyed. 

Meg also licks the wrist of her remaining front leg occasionally (but that's a different, less obsessive sort of licking), and I keep a close eye, in case it's a sign of discomfort. The other thing is, of course, if there is salt down outside and that gets on her paws, in which case I'll wash them in warm water.

And what do Pawrents do to avoid weight gain?

For Meg, a low calorie kibble has been brilliant. She used to be on Orijen six fish, which was great for her, but I had to cut the amount down so much to get her to keep losing weight, that she was clearly left unsatisfied, and would sit and bark at the fridge. Our rehab vet suggested a new Royal Canin food, which is a combination of joint support and low calorie. I combine this with a small amount of homemade stew, as I did with the Orijen. This works extremely well for her and she's really in great shape, super-skinny, as she needs to be, but with plenty of energy, good coat etc. For training/treats/physio, we also use these low cal Royal Canin treats, or else just small bits of chicken breast.

All best to you and Darla,

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
Virginia
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27 February 2017 - 8:50 am
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DARLA!!! You are a ROCK STAR!!! Nothing's gonna' hold you back sweet girl!!

Your post gave me quite a chuckle! 🙂 Glad you were able to hijack the computer from your Dad so we could get to know you. You are a delightful and feisty gal!

As far as the licking, my Happy Hannah had a rear leg amp. She often licked her front paws a lot at first after the amp. I know one leg had a shaved spot for part of her work up and part of the surgery. In her case, I think her leg was "irritated" maybe from that and the shaving. However, that said, she also licked her other front leg/paw too...so not too sure about my theory!

Would @ove to see pics of Darla!! Hint!

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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27 February 2017 - 1:53 pm
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Welcome Darla and Kent.

My quad pug Obie is a paw licker, in his case it was a reaction to neglect.  I think it was long term boredom where he couldn't move around and didn't have anything to do.  I've seen several dogs here who have started licking after amputation and I think in most cases it stops when life gets back to 'normal'.

As far as exercise and weight- my current Tripawd is a little pug mix rear amp who is just over 2 years old.  Elly lost her leg after being hit by a car when she was 7 months old.  I got her at 10 months old and she was full of puppy energy.  Being part pug she is prone to 'beer keg' shape if you don't watch the calories!  I keep her strong and balanced and  burn up energy with food puzzles, games, balance exercises and obedience training.  You have to subtract what ever food you use for puzzles and games from their daily total intake of course.  In fact Elly usually gets her breakfast in a toy like this.  It is amazing to me how much energy they burn up when you challenge their brains! And when they are working for their food or treats it is a double win!

Another thing that has always worked for me is Trouble Beans which are simply green beans named after one of our Tripawd Heros!  I use the no salt added canned kind.  They are filling and very low calorie so you can replace some part of the meal without them being hungry.  All my pugs have loved them, Elly took a little while but she finally warmed up to them.

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

Schofield, WI
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1 March 2017 - 4:44 pm
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Did you get snow today?  Just wondering how Darlas doing in it if you did?  I'm definitely getting to the point where I'm ready for the snow to be done.  Hoping Darla's doing better and better each day!

Oshkosh, WI
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1 March 2017 - 8:23 pm
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Tons of THANKS for all the help, and suggestions.

Snow, yup, but it's never a complete WI weather pattern unless we get some other fun obstacles also. Started as rain, then sleet (so we'all have a wonderful ice rink base again), then 4-5 inches of snow. Then some wind, for desert. There will come a time when I spend more winter months with the silver top snow birds in at warmer zip code. But as long as my 92 Y/O Mama is with us, I'll be tending to her needs, as they come up. I do owe her 18 years, at least that's how I see it.

Darla is doing fantastic, again, IMHO. Still licking the front paws, but like some of you, I think that will lessen, once she gets back to her normal schedule. She is hopping around nicely, managing longer durations between pain meds without discomfort, lots of tail wagging and a occasional content look on her face. I had her outside today shoveling, even though the weather was horrid, I think she needed it.

I'm switching her to twice a day feedings, I should have done it sooner, years ago. I did some reading, other than the stories from the helpful people that posted them here. It'll be easier on her, and will work out fine into my schedule. I'm feeding science diet light now, I'm going to research if that's the best option for her presently, and in the future. Her water intake has reduced a tad, so I used a tip talked about here, chicken broth, worked like a charm. Just a little, maybe a couple tablespoons ( I didn't measure ), it's just like another treat for her.

I really can't praise this website, and the kind people that hang out here enough. Everyone here, the articles, stories, comment, articles, etc, have been invaluable to her recovery...and my sanity. You'all need a big fat pat on the back.

Pictures, I'm on it, I have some in a blog I started here, it seemed to be the easiest way to get some here. I tried to post a link, but am not succeeding. I'm usually not this enept on forums....ughh. blush

Oshkosh, WI
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1 March 2017 - 8:42 pm
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I don't have a lot of pictures , I'm not one to carry around around a camera, or my phone all the time. I'm not in the 100 selfie per day club, so so some of these pictures, I just took. This one is from the other day. Just hanging around outside, happy to be outside.

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Oshkosh, WI
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1 March 2017 - 8:47 pm
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A few days pre-amp

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Oshkosh, WI
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1 March 2017 - 8:50 pm
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She's on mole and vermin patrol, helping plow up the garden.

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Oshkosh, WI
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1 March 2017 - 9:00 pm
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FWIW, I have pics of her leg, after the lump was removed and then the cancer started growing back, hemorrhaging, they are not safe for children gross. I'm sure the pictures would have a purpose, certainly not in a happy thread. If someone has a need for them, for illustration reasons, I dunno.  I took them to send the vet via email, a few days before the surgery. I just wanted to make them aware of how quickly it was growing, in case they felt the need to move the surgery forward. Just an FYI.

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