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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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Gracie the Resilient Princess
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New York, NY
Member Since:
24 March 2020
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11 July 2021 - 7:41 pm
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Meet Gracie, a 10ish year old golden retriever mix who I busted out of the NYC public shelter a few hours ago.  Gracie was surrendered by her family due to eviction and is severely underweight (currently 29lbs).  She is so very sweet and calm, but definitely had pep in her step on a short walk after we arrived back home.  She is also super smart – check out the video of her tricks below!  Gracie will be staying with me until she gets healthy and we find her new family!

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Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11 July 2021 - 9:01 pm
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Oh Stacy, you clearly have one of the most loving and kjnd and giving hearts of anyone on  on the Planet!💖

Hmmmm…..and wasn’t  just a few days ago you were going to take a bit of a break from fostering???  I could be wrong.  Regardless, the bottom line is you are  this dog’s personal Earth Angel and her  miracle.  I shudder to think of the outcome if she had been left in the she in that condition on the very slim chance someone would adopt her.

 For this poor girl to be surrendered at a “mature” age just breaks my heart.  And to be so undernourished  adds another layer of sadness to her sweet sad face.  But it thrills me that she’s out of the shelter and home with you.  I  know things  will only get better for her from here on out.

It’s great to have these “before Canine  Nurse Stacy’s magic” pictures to compare to the “after” she has been in your care for awhile.  😎    I could get the Utube arrow to work…..I heard you telling  her she’s a gooooood girl, etc, but couldn’t  make the video  work.  Probably  a tavlet hiccup.  We’ll see if it works for others. 

Welcome Gracie!!!

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!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11 July 2021 - 9:03 pm
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PS…just got the video to work.  Thos dog melts my heart!  -OMD!!!   So gentle!!💖💖

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!

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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12 July 2021 - 10:42 am
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Aww THANK YOU Stacy! What a blessing you are to this gentle girl, she is so very fortunate to have good human like you helping her get to a good place. She came from some difficult circumstances, her poor family. I can’t imagine.

What a sweetie. And smart too!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

New York, NY
Member Since:
24 March 2020
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11 August 2021 - 8:24 am
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Hi!  I wanted to provide a quick update on Gracie (I’ll write a longer blog post soon) and ask this Tripawds community for their wisdom/insights.  Gracie struggled to eat for about 3 weeks before having an ultrasound on July 29th.  During that same procedure, a fine needle aspirate was done on one of the lymph nodes in her stomach and the findings were “compatible with high-grade lymphoid neoplasia”.  I’m not familiar with treatment options for lymphoma and I’m hoping others here will be willing to share their stories and experiences with me.  I’ve also reached out to Griffin’s oncologist in the hopes that she will have suggestions.  We have an appointment to return to the vet on Saturday and I’d love to have a clear set of questions/suggestions to bring with me.

Gracie started a course of Prednisone on the day of her ultrasound and the results have been miraculous.  She is eating well (anything and everything, to be exact!), having regular bowel movements, and has a ton of energy.  We were on vacation in Lancaster County, PA last week at one of Griffin’s favorite places on earth and she enjoyed it just as much, although she only jumped in to swim when I drifted too far away from her!  She is definitely gaining weight and loving long walks in the park, so her quality of life right now is much improved from when she first came to live with me a month ago.  I noted in my first post that she was about 10 years old based on the shelter vet’s estimation, but when she was surrendered, her family said she was 5 and two different vets since then confirmed that she could be around 5-6 years old.  She is an amazing dog and I hope that we can figure out a treatment plan that will give her the best life for as long as possible! sp_hearticon2

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Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11 August 2021 - 8:55 am
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Ohhh Stacy….to see these pictures of Gracie….and to see her on the floaties with you……heart melting yet again!!  To know that she was willing to “risk it all” by jumping in the water to “save” you….sweetest thing ever!!     She looks sooooo much better than her first pics.  The one of her sitting on the bench by the tree is just beautiful. 

Have no insight  into her health  issues.  You might hop over to Ask A Vet while waiting  for your Onco appt.

Oddly enough, “our Vet” just made a comment  on a post by Winnie’s Mom basic about Prednisone  being helpful in that dog’s case.    And Winnie also has had a huge turn around when put on the Prednisone. 

Delighted  to hear how well she is doing now.  Veing under your care, being watched over by Griffin and visiting  some of Griffin’s stomping  grounds…..very therapeutic 💖

Thanks for checking in Stacy.  We all think about you and Griffin so often💖

Love and light

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!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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11 August 2021 - 2:25 pm
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You are such a great foster mom! The two of you look like such a great match. The stars were aligned so she could find her way to you and together you can beat the lymphoma diagnosis and help her go on to a forever family who treasures her like she deserves. I’m sorry you got that bad news though. Ugh! 

So here are some random thoughts about lymphoma based on Tripawds conversations:

Nitro’s mom Paula has dealt with lymphoma in her first Dobe. She’s on the Helpline on Thursday mornings, Central time, you might want to call in and bend her ear a bit.

And Sessy’s mom Gayle, our Friday Helpline Host (Pacific time) has also dealt with lymphoma in one of her dogs. She’s another great resource.

Riot and Czar’s mom mentioned that their oncologist wanted to give this lymphoma treatment a try. Maybe something to look into.

Hope this helps! Let us know what you come up with.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Green Bay, WI


Member Since:
18 May 2014
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12 August 2021 - 9:50 pm
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It was really good to talk to you today Stacy! Hope I helped….Gracie is ADORBS! Good luck moving forward, can’t wait to hear what comes next.

Paula and Warrior Angels Nitro and Kodi

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tripawds.com

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

New York, NY
Member Since:
24 March 2020
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27 August 2021 - 2:13 pm
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Hi all.  I just published a full Gracie story with photos/videos here – https://griffin…..t-27-2021/

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Since I last updated on the forum, the rescue had decided to proceed with a very conservative oral chemotherapy approach to treat Gracie’s lymphoma and the plan was to move forward with finding her a forever family that would understand and be up to the task of caring for a dog with cancer.  Then about a week ago, Gracie exhibited lameness and swelling in her right hind foot that was diagnosed as a soft tissue injury and she was prescribed gabapentin for the pain.  She bounced back quickly and was walking normally a few days later.  Three days ago, Gracie woke up with pronounced weakness in her left hind leg – limping, swaying when standing, staggering when walking, and having difficulty getting up and down.  I initially thought that Gracie might be experiencing a delayed reaction to the gabapentin, which can cause ataxia in dogs, especially in their hind legs (I actually remembered that Nancy had made that point when I thought Griffin was having a reaction to that drug months ago).  More worrisome, the thought also crossed my mind that her cancer could have spread to her spine.  We made an appointment with the neurology department at the Animal Medical Center (the hospital where Griffin was treated) and Gracie was seen there yesterday.  A physical exam revealed that Gracie was very painful in her left hip and femoral area.  Subsequent pelvic x-rays showed severe osteoarthritis in both hips; the vet said that it was the worst case of osteoarthritis in the hip area that she had ever seen.  Both of Gracie’s femur bone “balls” are out of the “sockets” in her pelvis.  It is unclear if the recent lameness in her right leg caused the condition of her left hip to worsen, but this is a medical condition with which Gracie has been living for quite some time.  Until three days ago, Gracie was compensating well for her condition and our hope is to manage her pain well enough to allow her to return to that level of mobility.  In addition to the prednisone and gabapentin, Gracie will start taking amantadine long term and codeine for the next 5-7 days.  Once she is fully mobile and pain free, we will decide how to continue treating her cancer.  If Gracie does not show improvement to the level of being able to walk comfortably in the next 10 days, we will likely make the decision to humanely euthanize her as her quality of life would be so significantly compromised without the ability to take pleasure in doing the things she loved best.

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When I agreed to foster Gracie, I thought I was getting a dog that needed to be well fed for a while.  I did not anticipate that Gracie’s medical issues would so closely mirror Griffin’s – struggles with cancer, inappetence, and mobility.  So many times in the last few weeks I have found myself grieving for Gracie and for me, struggling to stop comparing her experience to my boy’s, and hoping that Gracie would find a forever family that would love and care for her for whatever time she had remaining so that I could avoid the pain of her dying while in my care.  And then a few nights ago while watching a César Milan show, I heard him say, “You don’t get the dog you want, you get the dog you need” and it stopped me in my tracks.  I know I have been a better advocate for Gracie because of my experience with Griffin. I also know that her quality of life is vastly improved from when I first met her because of those advocacy efforts.  And while I’m still trying to figure out what I need to learn from loving Gracie, perhaps it is enough to know that I got the dog that needed me.

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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27 August 2021 - 6:37 pm
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Oh my dog I have tears in my eyes right now. You are Gracie’s Angel, you are the person she was meant to have at this time in her life. No matter how things turn out, this arrangement was written in the stars…or at least orchestrated by a very special pup in the sky named Griffin.

Thank you for all you are doing for her. She couldn’t be in a better home, or getting better care, than what you have provided for her and how you have advocated. Your strength shines through brightly, all the way across the universe.

We are sending lots of love and pawsitivity to you both. Keep us posted.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11
27 August 2021 - 10:51 pm
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Oh Stacy, add me to the “tears flowing” group😥 

I’m crying because  I’m so sorry this is happening  to Gracie the Princess.  I’m crying because  this brings back some of the sad  memories when Griffin  was done fighting.  But I’m also crying tears of gratitude because  you are one of the most beautiful  Souls Tripawds has ever had to grace this site,  You have written with such heart and so poignantly and to know you and Gracie are in this together for however long ahe’s in her earth clothes.  

And I loooove Cesar Millan and how he has evolved  and grown and shares   “life lessons” into his programs.  And yes, the whole time I was read this I was thinking  about how Cesar  always says.  “You don’t always get the dog you want, you get the dog you need”.  Truly, I was thinking about that as I read your post!

I’m not sure what Gracie’s lessons are, but one thing she definitely is showing  you,…well….without sounding  “too out there”….is that you are an enlightened  Soul who is the epitome  of selfless love.   She is showing you that you are stronger than you realize.   As much as you dreaded gping down the “cancer path” with another dog and knowing the grief you may face, you had an inner know that you and Gracie are meant to travel this journey together.  And it is sooooo true, no one could give her the care and the best life you are giving her. 

So I also cry good tears knowing she is having THE BEST LIFE with her Earth Angel that no one else could ever give her.  Absolutely  Griffin had his paws all over this!!!

I know your entire trpawd family is sending every ounce of pawsitive healing in the Universe  to Gracie.  To know how bad her arthritis is and yet she hid her pain because  she just focused on how Happy she was to be with you♥️. No matter what happens, to know you have given this sweet dog so much love and care and joy as she goes into her sunset years  is such a lovely, lovely gift.

And ya’ know, maybe it’s about what you (and Griffin) are teaching Gracie.  You are teaching  what love feels like, what joy and happiness  feel like, what it feels like to be valued and safe and secure.  Such a beautiful  gift.

Yes, you got the dog that needed you😇💖 

And Gracie got the hooman who needed her😇♥️

Love and light

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!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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27 August 2021 - 11:07 pm
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The sweet picture you posted reminded me of another sweet picture

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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!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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28 August 2021 - 11:17 pm
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I’m sure whoever wrote this was thinking of you………..we sure are ♥️

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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!

New York, NY
Member Since:
24 March 2020
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31 August 2021 - 4:16 pm
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Thank you all – Paula, Michelle, Sally, and Rene – for the kind and uplifting words after my last post.  The comments on the forum and blog reminded me that I am not alone and the support has been so very appreciated. sp_hearticon2

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Gracie is holding steady.  She has been eating, drinking, and eliminating normally, taking her meds without issue, and resting comfortably (finally enjoying Griffin’s bed!), all of which are quality of life issues that I do not take lightly.  She is still not able to get up on her own and requires a steadying hand for a short time once she is standing, but she is able to walk for short distances (we walked 4 blocks this morning) and her gait/limp has improved since her visit to the hospital last Thursday as can be seen in these videos:

Gracie walking on August 27th

Gracie walking on August 31st

While her mobility today is not even close to what it was just a week ago, I feel confident that Gracie is not in pain and has made some forward progress.  So for now, we will give Gracie time to see if more improvements can be made.

I am a problem solver by nature and it is always difficult for me to surrender to situations where I am not in control.  I have thought a lot about the words of wisdom that this Tripawds community shared with me, and what has resonated the most is to focus on the things that I can do instead of lamenting Gracie’s current diagnoses.  So, my new mantra is this – It is not my job to fix Gracie, it is my job to love her.  And I will continue to do that for as long as she is with me.

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

Green Bay, WI


Member Since:
18 May 2014
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31 August 2021 - 4:23 pm
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You are a special, special lady…never doubt that! 

Paula

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tripawds.com

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

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