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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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Anyone lost their pet coming out of a surgery???
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MK
1
16 February 2020 - 3:49 pm
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My beautiful and beloved precious Oliver got diagnosed with osteosarcoma on January 13th 2020. He was a retired racing greyhound and a few months shy of his 8th birthday (April 12th). Long story short in November he started having rear limb weakness. Our home vet came and did acupuncture on him and he started improving a lot! We determined it must be a disc related injury, my boy was so active and loved to run and do his zoomies! He was arthritic but always very playful. Anyways, after hiking on my birthday in snow on January 11th, he had visible bone swelling on the rear lower limb the following day and wasn\’t bearing weight. He also had a random episode of screaming on the couch on the 12th. On the 13 we brought him in for x rays and after radiology was consulted they determined he had an aggressive bony lesion in the rear lower limb (osteosarcoma). The bone kept swelling and we took everything day by day. We did a met check in the lungs and all recommended places for met check the following day. Zero signs of mets. We also drew labs and all of his bloodwork was fantastic! I became more hopeful with all this information and we decided that a rear limb amputation was our next best option. We scheduled Oliver in for January 17th for procedure. He had such a fantastic week despite diagnosis. We were no longer able to go for walks or be active together but he ate all of his favorite foods and I just savored my boy so much, knowing that he had a poor prognosis despite no signs of metastasis. Osteo is so rapidly progressive and tends to micro metastasize. Things were looking in our favor though. I was looking forward to getting my boys afflicted leg off, he already had a micro fracture according to radiology. Fast forward to the 17th, we dropped him off, I gave him a kiss on the head and said love you and off he went with the tech. I got notified that everything was going great during procedure and he was stable in all regards. I even asked for photos of the amputation (I work in healthcare with a background in critical care and now hospice). All was looking good and the procedure had taken about 2 and 1/2 hours. My boy was very muscular, good tone, about 80 lbs! I got a call that he was waking up from surgery and they\’d wean him off pain meds and see how he fared. We could possibly pick him up in a few hours or he\’d have to stay overnight somewhere for observation, dependent on pain levels. I went into a specialty store to get him special food for recovery and 5 minutes later I got a call that he had had a massive heart attack, CPR and ALS had failed, he was dead and they couldn\’t revive him. I was driving, almost crashed into a bunch of cars in a parking lot and couldn\’t even really cry I was so numb. I literally broke down and just said \”why\” rnMy partner picked me up and we drove to the clinic as I requested spending time with my gorgeous boys body. It was helpful and I brought him outside in the open air to close our chapter together and give him all my last love and apologies and everything I felt was unsaid. I am not religious but I believe in honoring the spirit of our deceased always. He was my soul dog. He was like my son and my other life partner. rnIf anyone is curious yes my greyhounds surgeon understood greyhound surgical and anesthesia protocols. This particular clinic works on greyhounds all the time. The president of the organization I got my Oliver from works there actually. Anyways, it was a very difficult day. The biggest loss of my life and I have had some difficult other losses, believe me. rnI want to believe that it was the best death for him above any other and that it saved us from additional on going pain with his recovery, potential complications, potential and highly likely osteosarcoma invading again or metastasizing. It just still isn\’t easy and I miss him so much. He was a smiling greyhound and his signature trait even in his last week of life was \”roaching.\” When they roll on their backs and sleep. He was such a happy and joyful kid. A bit anxious at times and did have some cardiac issues which I specifically addressed prior to surgery. A grade 2 or 3 murmur and mitral valve regurgitation. I really thought we could have the rest of his life be bettered with the amputation of the afflicted limb and we would have at least a few months to a year of good quality of life. Nope, instead sudden and acute death. I\’ve since adopted a gorgeous baby girl pup whom reminds me so much of my boy, but I still am so heartbroken, it\’s a wound that will never heal because he engraved our entire life and profound love in me. The last week of his life I told him over and over that I loved him forever and always. I\’m so glad I got to do this but I still wish that I had had a sense of it being his last day on our surgery drop off day and gotten one more big hug in or one more I love you so much forever in. At drop off I was trying to be a \”normal\” pet owner. rnrnIt just all around SUCKS. I know and understand that life ends, things just looked so in our favor that week that it literally felt like the world crashed down on me when I got this call that my boy had died 5 minutes after supposedly coming out of surgery. 

Here and Now


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16 February 2020 - 4:16 pm
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So sorry for your loss! How tragic…very rare, but yes it has happened many times to Tripawds members over the years.

Please consider registering to take full advantage of this site, and your forum posts will not require moderation. Please feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline if you want to talk with others who understand. sp_hearticon2

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18535
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16 February 2020 - 4:36 pm
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I am in such tears reading this and shaking my head in disbelief.    So, I need to get my thoughts together when my tears subside a bit and come back.   What you described  has happened on rare instances, not that helps at all!  Not at all!!

I just want to say for now though, that your love, your Soul deep loce, comes shiny thrpugh si clearly.

And what you said:

    … .he engraved our entire life and profound love in me…..

one of the most beautiful  descriptions of love for a dog I have ever read.💖

Surrounding you with Oliver’s eternal light

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!

new hampshire
Forum Posts: 243
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26 June 2019
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16 February 2020 - 5:05 pm
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Oh my heart! sending you the biggest hugs! 

im so sorry that your going through this and i this very sudden unplanned way. I wish i had something to say that would make it hurt less.

You and Oliver clearly had a very special bond. Having a soul mate as special as this is truly the most wonderful and painful experience of our lives. If you need to talk, vent, cry or just want to reminisce we’re here for you.

My deepest condolences

❤ Bev, Moe cat, autumn angel Roane & angel dog Gypsy 

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

MK
5
16 February 2020 - 9:33 pm
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Thank you so much everyone. It’s so nice to connect in this community with those with tripawds and those whose babies have flown onward.  Your kind words and love mean so much to me.

I’ve spoken to vets I personally know and everyone says that he must have thrown a clot during procedure that no one would have known about, or he had an underlying cardiac defect we weren’t aware of and everything made his heart go haywire. I’ve been focusing a lot on not allowing myself to feel guilty. I sent him in for this palliative procedure but it was for his own good and to reduce further suffering or an acute crisis (like breaking the afflicted leg severely due to brittleness of the bone). I like to avoid crisis as much as is possible, so allowing a swollen cancer afflicted bone/limb to be walked around on all week didn’t seem favorable for any of us. I didn’t want him to hurt.

All week he even tried running around on his leg, my boy was an accident waiting to happen because he was so playful and puppy like even at age 7 with bone cancer! He was always accident prone prior to cancer. I guess I just feel badly how things transpired because my heart had never felt more confident in my decisions for his care during this time and it all went more downhill than I could have imagined in such a short time with so much careful and confident planning and love for him. We were also in such a hurry because the cancer spreads so quickly and everything aligned so perfectly I just was feeling like the universe had our back and we were headed in the best possible direction.

Things were flowing so well all week despite this horrible diagnosis. I mean, he got diagnosed, wasn’t metastasized according to scans and we were able to schedule a surgery so fast! Most people probably deal with diagnosis and decision making over a couple weeks time, maybe I’m wrong.

Anyways, life is hard. I’m focusing on the magic in it too. Just missing my angel boy and wishing I knew how he felt with everything. I”ll have to share some photos of my beauty. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 February 2020 - 11:56 am
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MK, it’s so clear that you loved him so much! You did everything right, and there was no predicting this could have happened. I’m so very, very sorry.

What a very fortunate dog to have you for a parent. He had a life that all dogs dream of, and right up until his last breath he knew he was so loved. That is the greatest gift any human can give to an animal. You are amazing.

No, it won’t be easy to live without him. Healing takes time and when you’ve been through a trauma like this it takes even longer. Be good to yourself and know that we are here for you. Please do consider registering as a member and also, share some photos if you’d like so we can get to know your crazy puppy dog even more. Here are instructions for adding images . If you’d like help, let me know.

Sending lots of love your way…

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




Forum Posts: 18535
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22 February 2013
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7
17 February 2020 - 8:04 pm
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SZtill shaking my head at how the tragedy of the surgery  unfolded.  So gutwrenching. 

As hard as it is to post here, thank you for the courage  to do so.  I hope it does help in some small way to revisit  all the RIGHT reasons  you went this path. 

There isn’t  a one of us who wouldn’t  have made the same decision…the same decision  out of love….the same decision  knowing  we were giving  our pups a chance at a quality  life…the same decision  knowing all the pre op work out showed everything was a go.  Sure, every surgery, little or big, always runs a SMALL risk of the unknown….yet we all make the decision to proceed because the benefit is so overwhelmingly positive. 

As you re-read your own posts, you will see that your logic is spot on.  You have navigated yourself to a thorough understanding  of why you did what you did with such awareness, such insight, such wisdom, a guided enlightenment.   I can’t  add any “advice” because you have already told yourself what we would be telling you and what you would be telling others.

None of this helps heal your broken heart and eliminates the shock and disbelief  you must still be feeling.  Eventually  all the glorious memories you and your beloved Oliver shared will help heal the hurt.  Oliver wants you to surround yourself with those happy memories.   

And please, when you can we would love to get to know your boy better. You and he are family.  We want to celebrate this very special boy with you❤  We already know he was loved and adored and the center of your Universe.

Extra higs

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!

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8
19 February 2020 - 8:15 am
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Thank you ALL! Every single person who replies to Oliver’s Story has helped me so much. All the kind words and the reminders of how Oliver wants me to cherish our good memories is so meaningful to me. I will upload some pictures of my boy. I’ve actually been thinking of the sweet things he used to do and his expressions of love and gratitude toward me. It still of course brings up so much deep sadness for me but I can also look back and smile. Our greyhound group FORG will be including another tribute in their next newsletter. I wrote it myself and I’ll share it when it’s posted! 

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9
19 February 2020 - 8:22 am
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I joined as a member. I’m still trying to figure out how to add images. I sent them to my email for now. May need some help. I have a collection of sweet photos of my fur kid from his great days last year and a couple from the last week of his life. I like to include them all as some from the last week of his life really highlight our last journey together and one can observe how illness had entered his body. 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 26533
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10
19 February 2020 - 11:17 am
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Hi MK, I’m so glad you joined and are feeling better about things. I am happy to help share the photos. If these instructions don’t work below, then just message me and I’ll put them up for you. We are looking forward to seeing the pics.

  1. Upload pics to a photo sharing site like Facebook, imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog
  2. Right click and copy the Image URL
  3. Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself if possible) in your post. It should automatically appear.

Let me know if this helps OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Here and Now


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21 February 2020 - 4:51 pm
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mkoliver111 said
I’m still trying to figure out how to add images. I sent them…. 

Beautiful… sp_hearticon2

oliver-1.jpgImage Enlarger

oliver-2.jpgImage Enlarger

oliver-3.jpgImage Enlarger

Here and Now


Forum Posts: 12172
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22 February 2020 - 2:58 pm
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mkoliver111 said
Thank you ALL! Every single person who replies to Oliver’s Story has helped me so much… 

Don’t miss the latest Tripawds Honor Roll tribute to Oliver, from and anonymous friend… sp_hearticon2

MK
13
23 February 2020 - 4:39 pm
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Thank you so much for helping with these photos of my beauty!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18535
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14
23 February 2020 - 5:52 pm
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Thank yoj gor sharing photos of your strikingly handsome Oliver.   Such a sweetheart.  And Olover  showing off his tummy doing rhe gest roach ever…..priceless😊

I KNOW Oliver is so proud of you for doing your best  to focus on all the thousands  of happy moments he shared with you.   When you get a chance, post to the link to the facebooger tribute.  Clearly  Olover touched a lot of lives…and yes, ours too💖

Hope you saw rhe Honor tribute to Oliver.  Because of a computer  thing, it kicks me out if I try to post.  But it’s yet another way that you can see Oliver touched us all.  Very nice of “anonymous “.

Pay attention….Olover will make a connection  with you in some form.  You will know he’s still with yiu in energy form.

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!

MK
15
24 February 2020 - 8:53 am
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YES! sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2 Such a good reminder. Thank you. 

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