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Advice for a Recovery with Other Dogs?
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31 January 2018 - 5:49 pm
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Hello. I own an 8 year old golden retriever named Buddy. He was recently diagnosed with a form of cancer that has completely wrapped his front left leg. We are on the fences on whether to amputate or to put him down. We have 2 mastweilers that are 90-100 pounds each and a 5 year old shepherd Rottweiler and she is about 80-90 pounds and we will have a struggle in keeping our dogs separated for a time to allow a time for recovery. Could I get some advice on how to handle this situation? Surgery to remove it has a very high chance of coming back worse than before. If we do not amputate or put him down, he has about 6 months to live. 

The Rainbow Bridge

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31 January 2018 - 8:25 pm
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Buddy and family, welcome. Thanks for joining us, your future posts won't need approval so post away.

Sorry to hear about the diagnosis. Buddy is still so young though, and has a lot of living to do. I'll bet he and your others dogs will be able to handle recovery like the best friends they probably are. Although I don't have multiple dogs in our family, here are some suggestions that come to mind:

- Is there any way you can get someone to dog sit the rowdiest of your dogs at their hours, at least during the first week? 

- Have you ever tried separating them with baby gates strategically placed around the house? You might be able to keep Buddy confined to a small, safe area in the house but not totally isolated, which would probably make him and your other dogs crazy.

I know we have members with other dogs in the family who can give you more ideas so stay tuned!

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Michigan
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1 February 2018 - 12:47 pm
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For most dogs recovery is about 2-3 weeks, so not too long in the big scheme of things.  We had 2 other dogs when Murphy had his surgery, but we didn't keep them separated.  They mostly left him alone - we were always right there, too, just in case, but they didn't really bother him at all.  They went outside together, hung out in the family room together, but they didn't bother his incision or anything.

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  

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1 February 2018 - 9:08 pm
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I’ve got a Chesapeake Bay Retriever (seventy pounds) 9 days post amputation, with a very high energy lab... so far she’s only knocked him down once and they are co-managing fine. Mostly she leaves him alone, which is unusual and interesting animal behavior.  Keep us posted - the decisions aren’t easy. My Gus has Osteosarcoma, which is certain to be eventually fatal.  Without surgery, I’d have to have put him down last week due to the pain. Instead, we amputated.  

Virginia
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1 February 2018 - 9:48 pm
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Just want to chime in on the fact that Bufdy does NOT have a timeframe stamped anywhere on that fluffy Retriever butt of his.  He doesn't care about days on a calendar.  Besides, remember that, six mo ths for a dog is equal to over three years in human years!  O e year for a dog is equal to seven human years!

Amputation will remove the painful leg and give Buddy a chance for more rummy rubs, treats and romping time with his siblings.  We all hope for good extended time, but without QUALITY, none of that matters.

You'll make a decision ojt of @ove for Buddy, and that is always the right decision!'' Let us know anymother questions you may have and if we can help in any way.

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 - 3:05 am
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Hello! 

Im so sorry to hear about the situation you are in, it is very difficult! Personally, I believe you should do what your HEART is telling you is right. For me personally it was amputation of my 7 year old poms back leg, and I know it was the right one! She recovered with 3 others dogs in the house and it was fine! They were all gentle with her the first few days, but as soon as they got a bit too playful with her they were separated. It’s been a little over a month and they all play just fine together. I don’t think having other dogs in the house adds too much extra stress. I hope all goes well for you and your family in this difficult time! ❤️

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2 February 2018 - 8:51 pm
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Thank you all for your incredible support. We are still undecided but your advice is truly helping us to make this tough decision.

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3 February 2018 - 11:40 am
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Just wanted to let you know that now that Gus is at 12 days post amp, he’s doing much better.  Did a flight of stairs today, and we are able to decrease his pain meds.  He ran this morning - faster than I could keep up with him, and gets up on the couch by himself - it’s amazing how well he’s adapted to life on 3 legs.  

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3 February 2018 - 12:19 pm
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This is a difficult situation to be in, and a very hard decision to make. My girl chy had a tumor on her back leg that wrapped around 80% of her leg (so almost all the way around!). Although it was a low grade tumor, and the chance of regrowth was slim, removing it was pretty much out of the question. There was a small chance we'd get it all, but there literally would have been no skin left to close. My options were to amputate, remove the tumor and nurse the hole leftover until it healed (with no guarantee that it would), or do radiation and hope the tumor shrank enough they could remove and have enough skin to close.

I had the same feelings you did. For much of the week after her diagnosis my mind immediately went to putting her down. What helped me is writing down her 5 favorite things, and I went through each one deciding if it weren't for her bad leg did she still enjoy doing them. I knew if she still enjoyed these things, and still had a will to live, that I didn't want to cut her life short because of my apprehension of what her quality of life would be on 3 legs. I also considered the facts, is she otherwise healthy based on the vet's tests? Has the cancer spread (lung mets seen)? Is she a good amputee candidate?

Ultimately you have to do what's best for your family. Amputation is inconvenient for a couple of weeks, but they go by so fast! It's weird, but animals can sense when one of their pack is not feeling well. Chy lives with two basset hounds, who pretty much have left her alone during her recovery except for the occasional surgery site sniff. She's co-mingled with them her entire recovery, and has never been separated. We just make sure that she has her space, and that no one bothers her.

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