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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Joey is an 11 yr old Great Pyrenees/ St Bernard who weighs 139 pounds. Arthritic in all 4 legs. Front legs have been the worst and vet treating him for 6 mos specifically for this. Xrays done yesterday and link enclosed so that you may see them. First was told it OSA then maybe a slow growing cancer or maybe arthritic changes. She doesn't think Joey could handle a front leg amp w/ arthritic back legs. I am totally lost on this. We have had several online vet friends take a look and either get he's loaded w/ cancer or or is just arthritis. Would someone be willing to look at his xrays and offer their opinion if cancer or not and could he handle an amp. If not candidate for surgery would depomedrol injections help w/ the inflammation. We currently have an 85 pound front leg/shoulder tripod Great Pyrenees for OSA and she has been in remission for 3 years and 5 mos
For reference he is fed Wysong (low sugar)
Glucosamine 1500mg/Chondroitin 1500mg daily
Flea Away tabs (b12 and brewers yeast)
Adequan 3.3 ml every 3 1/2 weeks
Collagile powder 3 tbsp per day
Meloxicam and Gabapentin
This is the link to his xrays https://www.ide.....kfa0rq1p.1
A million thanks for your help
Hi Mary. I'm sorry you are dealing with possible osteosarcoma again. That's pretty incredible your other pup is 3 years out. Please consider sharing her story here to give hope to others with giant breed dogs.
I left your post here for our Fairy Vet Mother Dr. Pam to see what she thinks about the situation. Meanwhile, you may also want to consider a long-distance televet consult with ortho vet Dr. Sherman Canapp. If you are near a veterinary teaching hospital, that's another good resource for a complicated situation like yours.
Keep us posted and please consider registering as a member so your future posts won't need to wait for approval.
Appears we are dealing w/ OSA, had 3 fb vet/radiologist friends say they believe there are lytic lesions and OSA. We've almost resolved ourselves that he may not do well being amped. There has to be some kind of "anti-inflammatory" drug or chemo that may slow down the progression? This is our worst nightmare
Mary, I found your account and am sending you a PM.
Don't give up hope, there are more options than ever before for dogs who are not good candidates for amputation surgery. My best advice is to consult with a veterinary oncologist to find out which ones may work for your pup.
I do not see any arthritis in his wrist or elbow but unfortunately there does appear to be a lytic bone lesion in the proximal humerus. It is hard to see because his trachea (windpipe) is overlapping the exact area of concern and you do not have the typical "sunburst pattern" of new bone growth. If he is very lame in that spot then that increases the chance for cancer. I would try and get a better Xray and also take his lower back/hips/knees to see if he has arthritis in these joints before you make a decision. I am not sure where you live but some parts of the country do have fungal disease such as Blastomycosis or Valley Fever that sometimes will give you similar lesions but usually not in that location. In a giant breed dog OSA is the most likely thing.
I am not sure if you are asking about DepoMedrol into the joint or SQ but either way that is not a good idea. If you do not amputate the best option is an NSAID such as the meloxicam that he is on as well as gabapentin and sometimes a narcotic. 139# is certainly not too large to amputate but I would also run some labwork to make sure that he is otherwise healthy at his age.
Thank you so much Dr Pam. We are so limited w/ vet services in MI because of covid. We have found one other Dr that could possibly do an amp if he is a viable candidate. Will make his appt Monday morning for consult, xrays and bloodwork. May need physical support for hubby if he has lift 2 tripods arounds 🙂 We are in Michigan so fungal infections are not probable I"m told.
If in the event he is not candidate for surgery have you had experience with the tagamet/benedryl protocol or is that more like snake oil?
Again a million thank you's for your time
one last entry... our sincerest thanks to you and Dr Pam for your help. Our Joey is gone. He was acting off all day yesterday yet he took specific time to come to both Russ and I and just stare at us w/ those human like eyes and push in for cuddling. Yesterday was first time he refused to eat. At 8pm we gave him anti nausea med and his gabapentin. Shortly thereafter he began panting uncontrollably. I stayed up until 5am and he seemed to calm down quite a bit. I fell asleep and at 6am Russ found him gone. I suspect his heart gave out
Oh no! Mary, my heart aches for you, I'm so sorry. We all are! There is just never enough time with our dogs, they are angels on earth. I hope you can find comfort in knowing that you gave Joey the kind of life every dog deserves. There is no greater gift, you are an amazing dog parent.
If you feel up to it sometime, please come share his story in Coping with Loss, and we can honor his life together. Know that we are all keeping you close in our hearts.
22 February 2013
'Been follow your posts and am so very, very, very worry to know Joey had to go to The Rainbow Bridge. Such gutwrenching news. Our hearts break for you and with you.
Your deep love commitment to do everything possible for your Joey and always with his best interest front and center came shining through.
I do hope through all your devastating grief, you can find comfort in knowing Joey was at home and surrounded by love. He was not at some RR clinic being prodded and poked by strangers with the end result being the same....except you would not have been with him to comfort him.
This piece if crap disease or some other unforseen issue had already run it's course and clearly had taken over. You were faced with a rough decision regarding all the uncertainty about amputation, quality of life with arthritis, etc. As and as we know now, other issues were hidden and lurking in the background.
Sweet Souls like Joey are enl far beyond us humans. They have no fear of crossing over to the other side of this life. Sometimes they make that "decision " on their own terms and in their own way. K truly believe Joey had a "knowing" it was time to ease out of his earth clo and be free of any further pain and loss of quality that may have been facing him. Sadly we do see times where a dog may only live a couple of weeks after amputation because the disease already had progressed undetected, even with the best medical tests prior,
Your avatar photo shows a very Happy boy. When you can, we would love to jear more about your sweet Joey, and with more pictures too. With your first post he jumped into our hearts. You and Russ and Joey and your other pupper are family, regardless of the number of legs💖
Surrounding you with Joey's eternal al light and furever happy smile
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!