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Feeling hopeless. Is this the end for our sweet boy? | Coping with Loss

Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Feeling hopeless. Is this the end for our sweet boy?
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Forum Posts: 9
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11 August 2018
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14 November 2018 - 6:23 pm
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Hello to all, 

Titan had his back leg amputated in September due to osteosarcoma. His recovery went so well, he adapted to being a tripawd like a pro. We have had 2 great months of pain free, cancer free happy Titan. 

Saturday we got the devasting news that another tumor is now growing in his good back leg. It has not yet spread to the lungs which at this point we will take as good news.

We are accepting that this may be the end, he has had 11 very happy years and with a baby on the way how realistic is it to have a 2 legged dog? Let alone the cost of another amputation and getting him a wheel chair .

I feel hopeless towards a fight that I thought we were winning. The pain was so bad in the leg we amputated, it was unbearable to watch. Everyday I dread knowing that the same pain will be coming back to his good leg. 

I know this is question no one can answer, but is it time to let him go? Has anyone gone through the cancer returning to the other leg? If so what did you do? 

Thanks, Christine 

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14 November 2018 - 6:47 pm
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Hi Christine,

Very sorry to read about the cancer returning in Titan’s remaining back leg. This disease is so dirty and so unfair. 

Have you looked into radiation therapy? That was one of the options we were presented with in lieu of amputation. I ended up going with amputation, but maybe it’s an option for you since amputating another leg is going to be tough? That may be worth checking out. 

I know there was somebody here whose dog ended up having two legs amputated, and if I remember correctly they did well for a while afterwards. 

Rocky had his right front leg amputated due to osteosarcoma. It ended up spreading down his side and to his rear left leg. Unfortunately,  we didn’t find this out until that leg suffered a pathological fracture in the middle of the night. As tough as he was – he never cried or whimpered with the broken leg – I decided he had had enough. But I probably would have looked into radiation if we had discovered the new tumor under better circumstances. 

I don’t know how much that helps, but best of luck to you and Titan with whatever route you decide to go. 

David

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 November 2018 - 6:58 pm
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Christine, I am so sorry. This is such a rare thing to happen, and when it does, we all grieve knowing the heartache you are experiencing. I cannot imagine. 

I know this is question no one can answer, but is it time to let him go? Has anyone gone through the cancer returning to the other leg? If so what did you do? 

Did the veterinarians recommend anything like radiation therapy or bisphosphonates to control the pain? 

One person in our community did decide to amputate her dog’s third leg. You can read about Kokomo here and here. She did not blog about the experience here but I believe shared it on Instagram. We do not know the outcome, and have not heard from her since.

I’ll be honest…sadly, most times when a secondary tumor on a limb appears, it’s not too long afterward (weeks, maybe?) when the pain is uncontrollable even with the strongest pain drugs. I’m hoping that your veterinarian has prescribed a good regimen for him? Also, you are probably already aware that there is a risk of a pathological fracture in that leg. That old saying “better a day too soon than a day too late” is something many people here have found true in situations like this. 

I’m not sure this helped. Please know that we are here for you, and you can vent, cry and scream all you want. This is such a tough situation. My heart goes out to you.

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




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14 November 2018 - 8:03 pm
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Oh Christine, this just sucks.  

Titan is such a tough dog.  I’m  glad he is doing so well and has been making the best of this extended bonus time.

Yes, definitely  check into the options David and Jerry mentioned!!

I hope Luke sees this as he may offer some insight  into the route he is going with his pup that doesn’t  involve amputation. So far , along with some nutrients  and supplements,  it’s working really well!

And it IS good….and I mean this….that Titan is not showing  any signs this is bothering him.  And he certainly  is continuing  to be Titan and didn’t  hear a single word the Vets said. 

And no one knows how quickly, or even how slowly, his leg may become painful.  Heck, some dogs are diagnosed  because of some other reason, not because of a bad limp or a lot of pain.  Look at it like this.  Many dogs, including my Happy Hannah, were misdiagnosed  when a limp first showed up off and on for several months and were treated as a sprain, or a bit of arthritis.   And, in Happy Hannah’s  case, even when the pain did become more noticeable and she was diagnosed with osteo, I still was able to manage it with pain meds for her for an extended time.  This was before I found this site and it took me about a month and a half to finally wrap my head around amputation surgery.

No matter what, just like you always have done with Titan, make each day the best ever!!!   And continue to let him be your role model and Be More Dog !!!   Don’t  let that piece of crap disease  interfere  with your time together….Titan sure isn’t!  And you do, indeed, still have time together!!  Stay in the NOW!

You have your whole tripawd family  by your side, okay?  We are sending  pawsitive  energy to our beloved Titan and best wishes for more quality time.  Try not to jump ahead, just continue  making wonderful  treasures memories with lots of pictures.  And make every meal full of yummy foods, lots of treats and ice cream, followed up by tons of yummy rubs!

Extra 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!

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15 November 2018 - 1:24 am
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Christine,

I am sorry to hear this. First of all is it certain that it’s another osteosarcoma in the back leg or could it possibly be something benign? if it is indeed osteo and you don’t want to amputate again I would also recommend looking into bisphosphonates . According to my vet they only work on tubular bones but I would definitely check into those, maybe they could work for you guys. 

Manni never got mets but developed a second osteosarcoma 18 months after amputation. His wasn’t on any of the other limbs but on his ribcage, underneath the remaining shoulderblade and was thus deemed inoperable. I was also extremely scared of the pain to come and I knew that I would have to draw the line at a certain point to not let him suffer. We did make it another 6 months and I believe it was due to approachable vets and a very very good pain management – until that wasn’t enough anymore. You know Titan best – don’t ever let anyone tell you differently and you will know when the pain gets to great.

Please keep us updated and give a shout if you need advice, help, or a virtual hug

Tina

without Manni

Guardian of Manni the Wonderdog. -Or was it the other way around?
Osteo and amputation in Dec 2015. Second, inoperable, primary osteosarcoma found in June 2017.
The end of our adventures came Dec 10, 2017. 2 years to the day.

Manni's blog -dogblog-



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15 November 2018 - 5:31 am
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Darling Christine 🌷

I am really, really sorry to hear the news 😔 …

But please do follow through on the other’s suggestions as they have and are working with other of our doggies ! 

Luke can update you fully on his experience as he did not amputate his dog, Simon, and Tina can update you fully on pain management and rehab, which she did extensively with her dog, Manni.

This should not be the immediate end of the line, there are still routes you can follow.

And in the meantime, enjoy every day and build wonderful memories with your sweet boy.

Sending you a very tight hug and tons of cuddles to Titan 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹 

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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16 November 2018 - 12:03 am
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If you can afford cyberknife radiation.. 3 consec days of radiation.. go for it..  My onco vet says this and some new devices in testing.. should hopefully replace  amputation. simon was diagnosed 2/1/18… he had cyberknife 2/15, 16 and 17 and as of today he is doing well with no lung mets…   avg cyberknife could be 8-10k for the 3 treatments… vets use the  machines  at places that people  get their treaments..     

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18 November 2018 - 10:14 pm
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Thank you all your supportive and informative replies. These have been incredibly difficult days for us.

Our vet told us that there are 2 types of cancers that can not be helped by radiology or chemotheray. This is one of them.

Since posting this, the tumor grew the size of a golf ball. Titan stopped walking because of the pain despite pain medications and was constantly whimpering.

We said our goodbyes on Saturday. It was the most painful heart wrenching thing I have done but seeing the pain our boy was in broke our hearts.

Thank you to the members and creators of this site for helping us and supporting us along the way during his amputation. 

Please hug and snuggle your fur babies extra tight.

❤️ Christine 

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 November 2018 - 12:11 pm
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Ohhhhhh Christine, my heart aches for your pack, I’m so sad to read this terrible news. Nobody should ever have to go through this. 

Titan was so fortunate to be in your family. To have people like you love him so much that you were able to make that terrible decision through the tears, your actions speak volumes about how much he meant to you. 

No pup could ask for more in their lifetime. Your boy is now free, whole and an eternal spirit that will never leave your side. And we are here for you always as you cope with such a difficult loss.

We are so sorry. And in Titan’s name, and all those other Tripawds who got their wings because of cancer, we will keep fighting this awful disease so that some day nobody has to experience such a tragic loss.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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19 November 2018 - 12:16 pm
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what type of cancer did this dog have? 

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 November 2018 - 12:21 pm
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luke4275 said
what type of cancer did this dog have?   

Osteosarcoma, originally. Not sure about the secondary tumor.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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19 November 2018 - 12:22 pm
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thanks for the reply. I asked bec I was wondering when the onco said the tumor wouldnt repond to chemo. what kind of tumor the second one was..



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20 November 2018 - 8:51 am
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Darling Christine 🌹

I am so, so very sorry to hear your news 😔

It is unbelievably devastating having to decide when to free our babies and, in my case, I was extremely terrified of not getting the timing right.

“Luckily” I did do it at the right time, my baby had a marvellous life but then we got to the point where I was told by the vet she would not survive that evening … I knew she was right and with a shattered heart I went ahead and freed my baby.

You, sweetie, were in a similar situation as there was no doubt there was nothing else you could do for your baby boy.

He was in great pain and it would only get worse 😔

You did the right thing, you thought about his well being and gave him his silver wings and I am SURE he thanks you for it.

Titan is free now, Christine, he has no pain and is flying from cloud to cloud deliriously happy with all of our other Angels🌟

He lives in your heart and he will never, ever leave you, if you close your eyes and listen he will show you he is still around 💞

They always do.

Sending you the highest of hugs and wishing you peace, sweet friend 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

Virginia




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22 November 2018 - 6:26 pm
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I can only echo the well said sentiments pf Jerry and Eurydice.  Our tears fall with yours.  So very, very sorry.

  It’s  a POS disease, but, no matter what, it could NOT break your bond with Titan.  You tried everything possible for Titan… as he knew you would,  and as he wanted you to.  And when he told you he had enough and was ready to go to the Rainbow Bridge , you gave him the most loving gift of release we can ever do for our dogs and cats…as he knew you would ❤   

Titan IS free from pain Christine and he is released from his earth clothes, but his energ thst makes Titan who he is still floats effortlessly in another dimension.   And from that dimension he will make his presence  known to you.  He will, sompay attention.

As “short” as his extended  bonus time was, to Titan it was an eternity  full of more loving and spoiling  and fun times that gave him a chance to be Titan…and gave uou a chance to experience  more precious adventures. 

We know all to well the devastation  you are feeling, and will feel for quite awhile.  The void and break in routine  are crushing.   We also know, and we all promise you this, the good times will eventually  start to push the sadness firther jnto rhe background.   Titan is soooo thankful for the time he got to share with you in his earth clothes.  He got to head to the Veidge knowing  what joy felt like, knowing what love felt like, and knowing  what it felt like to be a Soulmate  to his favorite  hooman❤

When you can, please share some more about your sweet boy with us….and with pictures of his adorable self.  How did he get his name?

Surrounding  you with our love

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and 

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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