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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28 May 2008
Hi Kristen – wonderful news that she is up and about! They are amazing, amazing souls our fur kids!!!
We'll keep you and Brandy in our thoughts and prayers – hope everything is smooth sailing. Please keep us posted and let us know if you have any questions along the way – the next couple weeks are a bit ruff, but completely 100% worth it!
Heather and Zeus
Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together
25 April 2007
Yaaaahooo! Thanks for the update Kristen. But the “green stuff”??? Eeeewwwww! Do tell when you find out what the heck that is all about.
Hey, just to let you know we moved this topic you started to the “Beyond Cancer” Forums area so other Tripawds facing amputation but not cancer can read up on Brandy's progress.
Stay strong, and be a pawsitive pack leader. She'll need your help when you take her home, but we're betting you'll be amazed at how quickly she recovers.
Keep us posted. We are thinking of you both.
I thought I'd give an update on my girl…For starters, she is better than ever!!! She has had a full appetite, has NOT needed hardly any pain meds, and getting around awesome. I was prepared for the worst during the first 2 weeks and she has had zero problems. I haven't had to help her do anything!! Today is 1 week since her surgery so she went back to have her staples removed. The surgeon was amazed at her progress and she even gained a couple pounds which he was very happy about. Now comes the problem… The “green stuff” tested positive for deep tissue melanoma cancer. The surgeon said in his 38 year career he has never seen this. He said it also seemed to have stayed in one isolated area (below her elbow). An xray was done of her chest the day of her surgery and it all looked clear. My regular vet agrees that this is very, very rare. He called FVS (Florida Vet Specialist) and they said the same. It has been very, very slow growing and does not appear to have spread. Obviously it could have spread and she had an appt with FVS on Monday so they can go over the pathology report, xrays, etc… FVS told my vet that if it is deep tissue melanoma cancer then it is extremely rare and there is a melanoma vaccine that she may be a candidate for. So on that note if anybody has had this same situation, I would love to hear from you. Thanks, Kristen & Brandy
28 November 2008
Sounds like Brandy is doing great recovering from the surgery. I'm certainly hoping you get a good report from FVS on Monday on the melanoma. It sounds promising.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul. Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.
Thanks for the update and info! Best wishes for the vaccine program, we're looking forward to hearing more about that.
Well Brandy's FVS visit went very well. The vet was pretty certain that, because of the cancer being melanoma type, that it had probably spread somewhere…But after xrays and ultrasounds and blood work and a full day of test…they found NOTHING!!!!YAYYYYY…It does appear the cancer was in fact isolated to that one area and they feel they got it all. What a relief!! She is really doing better all the time. She loves going for car rides again (without the fear of hurting her leg). She can lay on her amputated side now (which was always her favorite side to sleep on).She does NOT like her harness though. When I put it on her she looked at me like I was crazy. She wouldn't move. She just barked at me. Then I took it off and she was hopping all around like normal. Whatever works for her I guess. She has gotten off balance a couple of times but always recovers well. She literally hops around like a puppy sometimes. Just amazing. I really can't thank everyone here enough. Everybody had been so supportive an such an inspiration. Thanks again…Now I look forward to telling our story to hopefully inspire and encourage others. God Bless… And Happy Mother's Day
Kristen and Brandy
Kristen – I'm so happy to hear that Brandy is doing so incredibly well!!!! She sounds a lot like my Smokey :). We went through the same kind of situation – during the amputation the surgeon noticed his lymph node looked funny so he removed it and then it ended up testing cancerous. Because of the type of cancer (skin) that Smokey had, he was eligible to receive a vaccination type shot from the oncologist so we did that as soon as we could – 4 shots over 8 weeks… and it's been 6 months since his last one and now we're due back again this week/early next for x-rays to make sure it hasn't spread into his chest and then another shot if the oncologist feels it's necessary. I think we got it all though because his strength has been amazing and he's still not losing any weight and just seems perfect to me. We thought we got it all and the vaccine was meant to be more of a preventative measure in case there were cancerous cells hiding anywhere. But I do believe we got it! Hopefully I'm right 🙂
Isn't it the best when they're ready to hop back in the car? Smokey LOVES the car and everytime we hop by it he wants to jump in! We are so, so, so very happy to hear that Brandy is doing so great!!! Happy Mother's Day!! Have a fabulous day…
Wonderful news indeed! Your story is certain to inspire others faced with the same difficult decisions. Thanks for sharing.
It's been a while since I've posted anything but still enjoy reading everyone's success stories. It has been now about 20 months since Brandy's surgery and it was truly the best decision made. She will be 15 in February!!! We did have a scare about 5 months ago where she went into a coughing/gagging episode. I thought she may be having trouble breathing so took her to ER vet and was told she has a windpipe the size of a toy poodle??? The vet gave me no hope and said she has had this “condition” her whole life and now can't breath. So for 14 years she's been breathing fine and now she can't breath??? No, that didn't set well with me so I took her to my vet when he opened in the a.m. and he seemed to think, judging by the xrays taken that something (perhaps another mass) was pressing against her windpipe causing it to spasm, hence the coughing. Weird thing is she recovered very quickly and was barking as usual in the vet office. I have no idea but she hasn't had another episode since. She is on a small dose of prednisone (1/4 pill every other day) to keep that area opened just in case. Problem now is she has lost soooo much weight. I thought the prednisone would beef her up some. She still has a terrific appetite, gets up and potties on her own, greets me at the door everyday, begs at the dinner table, barks like crazy, is not in any pain, etc. So basically is normal except very, very skinny. Her back end is just bones. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this. I know she's elderly and weight loss is to be expected but I really thought her eating would have subsided too. I'm starting to feel silly going to the vet saying “she's great, just skinny”. Of course I don't want to release her to heaven yet (selfish maybe) if she is happy and painfree. I don't want to let her go because she's skinny!! Everyone tells me I will know when its time and I hope they are right. If anyone gets time and has experienced this same thing I would appreciate a shout back. I would like to know I'm not alone, crazy, etc. Thanks and everyone have a blessed Christmas and healthy new years. Kristen and Brandy
Thanks for the update! And don't worry, you're never alone here, and we're all crazy!
Regarding that whole “letting go” business, you will know when it's time, because Brandy will let you know. Many members have found our post detailing our last days with Jerry to be very helpful for coping with anticipatory grief when preparing to make those final decisions.
I want to thank you for suggesting I re-read your post detailing the last days with Jerry. At first, I thought to myself that his situation was so different from Brandy's…He was still chasing balls and very active, had never wet himself, was 10, etc…Brandy's almost 15, has been incontintent since she was 5 and hasn't chased a ball since I don't know when. Denial. Then I read some more loss stories of the dogs in pain that had to be let go to their eternal resting place. So Tuesday, Dec 21 at 2a.m. Brandy began pacing the house, breathless, drinking tons of water, had 2 mistakes in the house, and seemed more tired than usual to me. I layed with her on the bathroom floor and she looked at me sooo tired and tried to bark (her fav thing to do..lol) and couldn't. She was so tired. I picked her up and put her in my bed and she slept soundly through the night. Later that morning I woke up to her barking, wanting to get down and eat. She ate like normal, hopped outside to go potty like normal. Everything was the same as every other day. I just couldn't stop thinking about how tired she seemed the night before and about the last days with Jerry. So I hesitantly decided to make an appt with my vet and have him evaluate her and give me his opinion. She happily went for a car ride (another fav thing to do), hopped into the vets office greeting everyone as usual. Nothing was different. Then she stepped on the scale. A dog that, at one time, weighted 95 lbs (too heavy I know) now only weighed 52 lbs. Guess I wasn't being so crazy saying she was sooo skinny. At that point I pretty much knew. After the Dr. examined her he agreed seemed to be painfree and great spirits…BUT something was brutally attacking her internally for her to be losing the weight she was. She had lost another 15 lbs since June. She was tired and brittle. He felt her quality of life wasn't the best right now. Of course he offered tests, etc. I didn't want her to go through more tests, pain, another restless, tired night, falling anymore, losing anymore weight and so on…So with the Dr and two assistance that have known and cared for Brandy since she was 6 weeks old, my two daughters and my ex husband (he and I got Brandy together) all there we said goodbye to our angel. She was happy, painfree and I'm sure wondeing why in the heck we were all staring at her crying when she was happy…lol She went to sleep in my lap. It was truly the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life. But I know she is chasing balls and swimming and playing again and smiling down on us. My first post to this forum was titled …”The right decision???” That was in reference to her surgery and yes everyone here helped me make “the right decision.” Again about 20 months later I found myself posting again “The right decision???” and once again you helped me make “the right decision.” Thank you. Kristen and Brandy
1 January 2010
I'm so sorry to read about Brandy. But you were so selfless in letting her go. She was happy up to the end, surrounded by those who loved her best, which was a blessing. We'll be keeping you in our hearts.
Holly, Zuzu and Susan
Holly joined the world of tripawds on 12/29/2009. She has a big little sister, Zuzu, who idolizes Holly and tries to make all of her toys into tripawds in Holly's honor. And she's enjoying life one hop at a time!
Bless you for all you did for beautiful Brandy. And thank you for sharing your very personal last moments with the Tripawds community. It is certain to help others facing those same difficult decisions.
May your sweet girl run free of pain and rest in peace at the Rainbow Bridge.