Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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Hi everybody! I haven't posted in a while -- had intended to keep active, but life is stupidly busy. Jonesy (12 y/o, amp 2/3/21) has been doing wonderfully, but we've had a bit of a hiccup. He had been eating canned food each morning with Cosequin mixed in, then we ran out of Cosequin, and he was off it for about a week. Really kicking myself for this. He started looking stiff and just seemed down, and has gotten picky about eating. We did get him some more Cosequin, but it has been hard getting a consistent, full dose into him, due to the pickiness. I am hoping that, if we can get it back into him, he'll feel better, and be more excited about eating (fingers crossed). He is great to take pills, so I am wondering if there might be a small tablet out there with the same ingredients? I looked on Amazon and Chewy a bit but then thought it would be good to check with the experts and see if there are any first-hand recommendations.
I realize that this could be a coincidence and that something else is going on, but since his pickiness/malaise coincided with the lack of Cosequin, I think it is worth pursuing a different form, or at least getting some ideas. He is generally doing okay and I think he is eating enough to get by, I would like him to be doing better.
He is great to take pills, so I am wondering if there might be a small tablet out there with the same ingredients? I looked on Amazon and Chewy a bit but then thought it would be good to check with the experts and see if there are any first-hand recommendations.
Hey it's good to hear from you! We always assume no news is good news around here so this is a pretty good update overall. YAY JONESY! HOPPY 3 MONTHS ON 3!
Thanks for thinking of us about the Cosequin! Here's something that Purrkins recommended:
And speaking of Purrkins, his Mama Holly shared these tips last month:
Let us know what you decide. And yeah, while it could be a total coincidence that he's off his game right now, this is a good place to start. Food pickiness and being sluggish are pain signals . Keep an eye on his other behaviors and if you notice more changes let your vet know right away. You're doing a great job being Jonesy's therapy team, keep it up!
6 July 2017
I am not on here too often these days, so consider this a belated welcome. My cat, Tuxedo, is almost 14 now and lost his rear leg and partial pelvis right at 4 years ago due to a dog attack. Last fall I noticed him moving a bit stiffly, so I started him on Glycoflex 2 which I get at Amazon on a subscription basis now. It is a chewable and I give it to him as a treat each evening. Both of my cats, Tuxedo and Lilly, come running for it when they hear me open the package so it must taste pretty good to them.
Dawna, Tuxedo, Lilly, and Angel Dazzle
As always, I want to thank everyone for taking the time to reply, and to apologize for my lateness. Also want to apologize for always apologizing. ☺️
In this case, no news isn't good news, unfortunately. We took the advice given here and from Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats , and had a few steps steps forward and then some back, re: getting Jonesy to eat consistently and to get Cosequin back into him. With the situation not really improving, we had him back to the vet earlier this week for x-rays and blood work, and it appears that he now has cancer in his lungs.
He is hanging in there pretty well so far. Seems content most of the time. Sleeps a lot and loves getting loved on and petted. Grazing on food throughout the day and hating syringes of any kind at this point....we have been giving him high cal food through a syringe once a day, with Cosequin mixed in. Vet has him on an antibiotic (white count was a bit high), an anti-inflammatory, and he got a B12 shot.
This is obviously such a sad situation and I am having really mixed feelings about our vet. About a month after the amputation, we spoke about coordinating care with the oncology department at a university in the region (no oncologist in our city), but I didn't hear back from her. Meantime, life seems to want to hurl crud at me lately. The human family and other kitties are good, thank goodness, but along with a stressful job/working long hours, my mom had cataract surgery and was fairly disoriented in the time to follow, so she needed lots of help.
To add to all of that, In mid-April, I had a notification from the Nextdoor app about high levels of radon being prevalent in our area. We bought a radon detector, and sure enough. You want average levels to be less than 4 pCi/L, and downstairs, they averaged 11. They were higher than 4 upstairs, too. We are getting a mitigation system installed this week (radon companies are backed up). As you can imagine, my thoughts immediately turned to Jonesy. Given that his type of tumor (carcinoma) typically metastasizes to a limb from other places (like the lungs), I really wonder if something was going on there to begin with. Probably no way to ever know for sure.
At this most recent vet appt, we spoke about forwarding the x-rays/labs to one of the universities. I asked her to follow up about pricing, and haven't heard back. I know she is extremely busy and has been advertising for months for another vet to join the practice, but yeah. Meantime, I have found that there is another vet in the area who describes herself as having a strong interest in cancer treatment, and that she regularly consults with oncologists. I tend to think Jonesy's cancer is too aggressive to do much about, and we're already almost 6 months out from when he first started showing symptoms, but I would like to know if there are any options, so I am contemplating taking him to her.
Advice and good thoughts are always appreciated. Thanks again (and again) for all the help and commiseration! 🧡
Aww I'm so sorry the news was not good and things have been so crappy in your furmily right now. Radon? Ugh! That's extra tough going! I'm glad you came back to post, if anything just to vent and know that you are not alone.
How far along are the mets? Are there many? One big one? Just curious. Oftentimes that determines how to proceed. The good news is that overall he sounds pretty darn stable and enjoying a good quality of life. That's the goal with this awful disease. You are taking terrific care of him and working around his preferences. Spoil that boy rotten as you are, he's such a good kitty.
It's a total bummer about your vet. That bites and I'm sorry. As a whole, vet practices and their lives have been thrown into chaos because of the pandemic, and I really feel for them, especially smaller practices like yours. Then, when you really need them to be on the ball in a situation like this and they are not, it doesn't help matters. If you are able to connect with the other vet that will be helpful to know about your options. You can also call your vet's practice and if there is a practice manager, ask them to get you into the university's oncology department. Whatever it takes to help you feel better about the upcoming decisions you will make. Let us know what you find out, and bounce any ideas around with us if you'd like. We are here for you both. And I hope your mom is doing better. Give her a hug from us and a scritch for Jonesy. Keep us posted.
Hi!! Thanks as always for the support and perspective (pawspective?). Some news from this week: I emailed the our vet with questions and got some of them answered. She said she had forwarded his x-rays and info to the University of Iowa and got back: "With declining clinical status and thoracic radiographs, adjuvant chemotherapy will not likely have a clinical benefit." She then said that, if we do want chemo, available options are Carboplatin and Palladia and gave the costs for both, along with consultation and advanced imaging. She did say that both of his lungs appear to be affected, but didn't get more specific than that.
We are still thinking about things (knowing that time is of the essence, here), but tend to think that chemo probably will not be worthwhile at this point. We did get his meds refilled -- he has been on Orbax and Meloxicam. We have supplies to give him further B12 shots, and now have Gabapentin to administer when it seems necessary. As far as when to give it to him, I guess we'll know when we know?
We have been looking into Wormwood/Artemisia and I have done some checking on the forums here to see if anyone has used it with their cats and how it went. I haven't been able to dive into it much, but will keep looking. If you (Jerry) or anyone can point me toward any info/anecdotes that you know of, that would be much appreciated. It seems like it would be worth trying, but we want to make sure to get the right thing and give the right amount of it, of course. I will likely start a separate thread in case someone with experience is looking through the topics.
We did get our radon mitigation system installed this week and are sleeping a lot better knowing that it is in place and providing protection for our human family members and the rest of the kitties. Again, can't be sure if a line can be drawn between the radon and what has happened to Jonesy, but I'm sure it is a good possibility. It was really high downstairs, and most days he napped down there all day. 😔
As far as how Jonesy is doing, he was actually eating much better in the earlier part of the week, and even seemed to be filling out a bit, but over the last two days, his appetite seems to be at an all-time low, so we've upped the syringe feeding. He is getting plenty of water. Seems to be voiding fine and still up and down the stairs to the litter boxes, although he is tired by the time he gets upstairs. We'll move one upstairs for him before too long. He seems about the same, otherwise; sleeps a lot and is in fairly good spirits. We are encouraged by the fact that, when he is awake, he still wants to hang around with us. Such a sweet boy!
Hugs all around from Jonesy & me!
Awww sweet Jonesy. He's like "What me worry?" He is doing what cats do best, and making the most of inbetween his mega snoozes. Give him extra smooches from us!
I think your plan sounds good. As for the Gabapentin...I'm not a vet but it's my understanding that it is not a type of "as needed" pain relief drug but rather should be given consistently over time to have any effects. I would ask the vet for clearer instructions. By the time pain signals appear the pain levels are so high that it takes twice as long to bring them down. You do not want to wait until things are so obvious, you want to stay ahead of the pain.
Can't recall anyone who used Artemisia with a cat off the top of my head but let us know if you do. Have you thought about consulting with an integrative vet to come up with some alternatives?
Glad you got the radon issue under control. Hard to say if that's what made Jonesey sick but I really believe that animals are the proverbial canary in many cases. We will never know unfortunately. But you guys are doing amazing with him, he's so lucky to have such loving parents!
Hugs back at ya!
Okay, good to know, re: the Gabapentin. I will ask about that.
Interestingly, there are some kids who live around 100 miles west of us who were doing research on wormwood and its anti-cancer properties and won scholarships for their work. It popped into my head that I had read about this, and I Googled the article, then Googled "wormwood for cat cancer", and one of the first results was from Tripawds. 😊 It links to a blog post from Dr. Lena McCullough/A Path With Paws that says Artemisinin is fine for cats and has the dosage she recommends. I will run this by our vet, too, and if she's not down with it, I have a line on a vet who is open to alternative treatments.
The cancer Jonesy has is sure some nasty stuff, but I am feeling a bit of optimism at the thought of a different approach. Would so love to help our boy get better or at least have more good-quality time with us.
Funny, after we got the Kaiserin care package, he was doing so well and I felt a little bad -- like there is some other cat or dog out there who could have used it more. It is coming in pretty handy now.
You guys are doing great work -- I can't imagine having gone through any of this w/o Tripawds. 😊
Oh DUH! Thank you for reminding me about Dr. McCullough. So glad that article came up on Google!
Yes she did discuss it and uses it for her clients. I was thinking too narrowly in terms of direct member experiences here. Maybe you could call her and ask for a consult? Or at least for her to put you in touch with clients who tried it? Or have your vet do it, might up the odds of a successful connection.
It makes our hearts hoppy to know that the package is bringing both of you comfort! That's so sweet. This journey can be so up and down. I'm glad it's there for you. I'll pass that along to Natasha so she knows it too.
Keep us posted! We are glad to help any way we can. Give Jonesy a big ol scritch from us
9 February 2021
I haven't been on this forum for a while, so I'm late in seeing this. I'm so sorry you and your sweet baby are going through this. Like you, I would be suspecting the radon as well. Ugh!!
Have you considered energy work? I know it's a bit woo-woo and may or may not be able to help. When my cat had cancer years ago, I worked with a cat nutritionist (katesolisti.com) and energy work, along with high-quality supplements and high-quality raw cat food. My cat's tumors could be surgically removed, and I then had to find a way to stop them from growing again (they'd popped up twice already). So, I think that's easier than getting rid of existing tumors, like your cat has, but it's just an idea.
Much love and hope and positive thoughts for Jonesy.
Hi there -
So very sorry to report that Jonesy took a sharp downturn over the weekend. He was extremely weak and struggling to breathe. We said goodbye to him on Sunday. 😭😭😭
Making it especially difficult was the fact that I had just found that an integrative vet practice recently opened in our city. We had some hope that he could be helped -- at least to get some better relief, if not to work against the cancer, and I had an appointment set up for him yesterday (6/15). But by Sunday it was obvious that he was just too far gone. He seemed more than ready to go. We were all a mess. Still are, but mostly keeping it together.
Fortunately, we had the best possible experience at the e-clinic -- the vet was so kind, compassionate, and reassuring. It was very peaceful and quick.
Along with all tragedies come some some gifts, and one was to experience the love, commiseration, and great info given here. I will never forget it. 😌
Oh no Melissa! My heart goes out to you, I'm so sorry to read this update. Thank you for finding the strength to let us know, it couldn't have been easy.
Seems like no matter how much we know what's coming down the road, we are never prepared emotionally. Give yourself time and space, know that your grief is yours and yours alone. You've been through so much with Jonesy. Grief hurts.
I'm glad his transition was peaceful. He was so lucky to have you.
Please feel free to post a tribute if you'd like, so that we can honor your sweet angel.
22 February 2013
Never any words, just never any words to ease your grief. We cry with you today. Jonesy is such a huge inspawration here. And such a loved and adored special boy.♥️
I had been following your recent updates these past two or three weeks and felt like, all things considered, Jonesy was doing pretty darn good. I was going to come on last night and ask for an update. I was shocked to see your post today and, at the same time, not surprised. This piece of crap disease is snow nasty and brutal and cunning and can go downhill so darn quickly.
I have no doubt your love and devotion are what got Jonesy this far or his amazing journey. We are soooo privileged to travel it with him and with you. A true Warrior.
For Jonesy to be surrounded by your love as you released him peacefully to the next phase of his journey is exactly how he would want his transition to be. He knew you loved him enough to give him that gift when he let you know his earth clothes were no longer serving him.
We are surrounding you with our love and with a knowing Jonesy is running free now♥️
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie
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!
Thanks soooo much, you guys. I can't tell you how much I hated to log in here and share the news. It would be a complete understatement to say that your replies and condolences really touched me. 🥰
Seems like no matter how much we know what's coming down the road, we are never prepared emotionally.
So true -- there's never a way to truly prepare. In this case, even though it was obvious that he was ready, it felt so strange to let him go after all the time, care, and emotion we put in before and after the amputation. He was like the star of the house. And that he got so bad so fast...we were just really shellshocked.
This piece of crap disease is nasty and brutal and cunning and can go downhill so darn quickly.
Yep - 100%. Thank you so much for your kind words -- a loved and adored special boy for sure. Best damn cat ever, as my husband put it.
Can you believe that during all of this, we had houseguests? My siblings are in town to get my mom packed up and moved out of state, which is a whole different cluster of emotions. Fortunately, it was just my sister and niece at that time; they love cats and completely understood how we were feeling.
I tell ya, I am starting to want 2020 back!
Thanks again, so so much. I plan to continue to pop in from time to time and will absolutely continue to advocate for Tripawds. 😊
You are so welcome. I'm glad you checked in, thank you for taking the time.
Yes, best damn cat ever, I agree! We fell in love with him the moment you joined us. He was a spunky, sweet boy and I know you'll miss him so much. That's so nice that your sister and niece were able to be there for you, especially when Jonesy's passing happened during such a difficult change in your mom's life. Oh boy. Well, when people get it, they get it. When they don't, well, it makes things so much harder. Glad you didn't go through that.
Be good to yourselves and know that your boy's life made a difference to everyone he met, and even those he didn't meet in person. His pawprint and beautiful spirit will always be part of the community, and so will you. Yes! Keep in touch when you can.