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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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How to know when it is time
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Member Since:
10 February 2010
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1 June 2010 - 4:12 pm
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Not a topic I want to discuss but everyone says you will just know when it is time...but I do not know and Henri is not feeling well.  I thought he would bounce back from a vacation away from home but he is not. Henri is very very tired and appears to be in discomfort.  I took him into the ER Vet last night and was there until 11:30.  His vitals are good, heart, breathing and lymph nodes but we did not do a CBC because we have an Oncology appt tomorrow at 3:30.

The Vet did mention last night that with Goldens, they are such people pleasing dogs so they will not always tell you when it is time or that they are in pain.  : (

Henri is not showing interest in moving, getting up, going out .....anything.  And he started to pant like he was in pain so I have given him Tramadol.  I have been a mess ALL day today crying and carrying on because I think in my heart that it is time. We are having to physically pick him up and put him on his feet to get him to get up, otherwise he trys to get up and cant...then he gives up and lays back down.  It hurts me so bad to see him like this.

Just wanted advice or thoughts from others who have been through this....


Please keep Henri and I in your prayers....I am one sad momma and my heart is hurting so bad. 

He is eating and drinking when I bring it to him although he did not show interest in eating his breakfast : (

Member Since:
20 May 2009
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1 June 2010 - 4:33 pm
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Please don't think me insensitive because I know from experience how hard this is.  I think that if Henri has been like for awhile he is telling you it is time.  It broke my heart to say goodbye to Emily but I knew that she lost her desire for all things when she couldn't run. or even walk without extreme help.  We were lucky in that we found out it was the cancer had gone to her spine.  We didn't really have to make a decision; the cancer did it for us  With Henri it is different and a horrible decision to have to make. 

One article I read said put a red marble/pebble in a jar for good days and a blue one for bad days.  When there are more blue marbles than red it is time.

I will definately keep Henri in my prayers.  And you even more so because we do suffer with our fur babies.

Part of my prayer is that the oncologist was able to give you answers and give Henri some meds that will bring joy back into his life.

Debra & Angel Emily

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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1 June 2010 - 4:39 pm
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So sorry to hear about Henri's condition, but it is never to early to prepare yourself for the inevitable. My best advice is to ask yourself how you want to remember Henri.

These existing posts* and topics may help answer your questions …

Tripawd Forums: Question Yourself to Prepare for Pet Loss

Spirit Jerry: How We Knew His Time Had Come

Emotional Health: Fear, Guilt and Anticipatory Grief

Emotional Health: Free Counseling from the Argus Institute

Emotional Health: Acknowledge There Is Nothing Left To Lose

Emotional Health: Understand The Truth and Welcome Reality

(*Taken from the "Coping With Loss" Section of the New Tripawds Required Reading List.)

Best wishes during this difficult time, we've moved this post here to the Coping With Loss forum so others seeking similar advice may find it easier.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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1 June 2010 - 4:40 pm
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I hope that you will get some answers from the oncologist but the panting and lack of movement does make me worry about spinal mets.  This is exactly what happened to Tazzie; she had 2 nights of increased panting and restlessness and then one day she just couldn't get up.  I wasn't ready but I knew it was time because spinal mets are so painful!

Hopefully Henri is just having some muscle or joint pain but the panting is concerning.


Edmonton, Alberta
Member Since:
11 January 2010
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1 June 2010 - 7:22 pm
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Oh, this sucks. What a terrible time for you and Henri. I haven't been through this with Catie, but oh, I can appreciate the worry and grief you must be going through. I too hope the oncologist can give you some answers tomorrow. You are definitely in my thoughts. Sending many hugs,

Carmen, Catie and Riley

Catie -

Birthday – November 4 2003

Amputation – January 13 2010

Crossed the Bridge – June 2 2011

 Catie Caitlin 

Member Since:
10 March 2010
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1 June 2010 - 8:35 pm
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Oh this does indeed suck big time.....I am currently on the same watch as you are and my heart just aches for you..just aches.

You know him is so so hard and know that we are all here to support you as you go through this and know that tonight there are many tears being shed for you and Henri...bless you

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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1 June 2010 - 8:49 pm
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I wish I could reach out and do something, or say something that could make you feel better.  My heart just breaks for you as you struggle to make this decision.

I almost think you have made it, just haven't come to terms with it yet.  Take your time. This is probably one of the toughest decisions of your life.  These guys are so much a part of us and our lives.

Hugs, prayers, and good thoughts to you.

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.

Los Angeles
Member Since:
2 November 2009
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1 June 2010 - 8:49 pm
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Oh I'm so sad for you and my heart goes out to you.....I can just feel your pain.  This is the most difficult decision to make.  I lost my other dog to lymphoma and was heartbroken when we let her go but we knew it was time as difficult as it was.  It's such conflicting emotions and you don't want to make a decision too early or too late.  But one of the things I remember from reading on this website that always stuck in my mind is that sometimes it's better to let them go before they let you know vs. letting them go when it's past their time to let go.  I hope that makes sense.  You are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope you are able to find peace with whatever decision you do make.   Good luck with the oncologist and I really pray that Henri will be ok. 

Kami (Mackenzie's Mom)    

My sweet golden Mackenzie.  She became my angel on Dec 29, 2010 at the age of 8 1/2  although she was always my angel from the time we brought her home.  She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in Sept 2009 and officially became a tripawd (front leg) on Nov 5, 2009.  She will be forever in my heart and now she's running free with all of our other tripawd heroes.  I love you Mackenzie!

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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1 June 2010 - 9:01 pm
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Dear Henri's mom,

I can't imagine the pain in your heart.  I haven't had to make that decision to know (mine always come unexpectedly).   I want you to know that we are here for you and our heart breaks for you.  Please don't feel alone.  I know we are strangers but we do feel your pain.  Please don't suffer in silence.

Just a little tiny bit of advice, you may have to let him know - it's okay for him to let go.  It's a hard thing to do but let him know you don't want him to hang on for you.

And of course it goes without saying that I hope dearly it is only joint pain and nothing more.

Here's wishing you peace in your heart with a lot of hugs.

Comet's mom

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Member Since:
28 September 2009
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1 June 2010 - 10:18 pm
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 I am so sorry to hear that Henri is having such a difficult time. I hope you get good news from the oncologist. We will be praying for you and Henri.


Jo Ann & Tasha

Tasha 8 years old, First cancer diagnosis 6/26/09, Last cancer diagnosis 9/26/09, Amputation 10/01/09, Loving our girl moment by moment.

Tasha lost her battle and became my Angel on May 4 2011. Forever in my heart….

Coquitlam, B.C. Canada
Member Since:
28 November 2009
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1 June 2010 - 11:34 pm
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My heart is breaking for you right now. We had to make this decision three months ago almost to the day and it was the hardest decision of our lives. For us we saw it in Tehya's eyes there was no life left in them and it was like she was giving us a sign to say enough is enough.

It seems as if Henri might be trying to tell you the same thing and I know that last thing you would to do is have him suffer. Please know that I am thinking of you and sending you a very huge hug!



Angel Tehya's Mom

Member Since:
30 March 2010
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2 June 2010 - 6:20 am
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Dear Henri's Mum,


I know what you are going through right now,I have been there with my Don, Golden as well, exacly two months ago. So I understand and feel your pain and sadness,it almost feels like am reliving it all again. And was definatly the sadest time of my life.... the end I didnt find a decision that hard to make cos I just knew the time has come and he made sure to let me know. And yes Goldens are very stoic dogs that dont complain much and its really very hard to tell when they are in some pain and discomfort. What you should do,and probably are is talk to him... I know I used to lay beside Don and just whisper in his ear telling him that its ok to show he has had enough,and that I will be ok and will do everything to ease his pain no matter how hard it will be for me,but just want him to show me a clear sign that he is ready to move on. A couple of days later he completley started to refuse food,couldnt even get on his back legs,but the most clear sign was in his eyes. You wont miss it,you will just know. All glow is gone from them and they just look tired like they are saying: Mum,I am ready,let me go.

But well,before I was completley sure to make that decision I wanted to make sure at vets that there is nothing they can do for him anymore,or at least nothing longer term. So,I suggest you dont give up just yet,see his onclogist which can try determine is there some met going on or something,or maybe something that could be fixable for a while. Hope to hear from you soon with some better news.

Henri and you are in my prayers...hang on,you are not alone.

       Lots of hugs,


    Daniela, Angel Don's Mum 

knoxville, tn
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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2 June 2010 - 6:35 am
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wendy, our prayers and blessing are sent to you, this is so hard - loving enough to let go is hard to grasp.  i agree with comet, it can help to let henri know he's done his job well, and he can go if he's ready for his next adventure.  peace go with you during this time.

charon & gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends


Member Since:
14 April 2010
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2 June 2010 - 6:39 am
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Henri and family, so sorry that you are at this part of the journey. From the start of our journey the main goal was quality of life for Gus, and the fact that I think he knows we have taken his pain away with the amputation and he can be himself again  makes all my decisions easier because he knows we are helping him feel better. Just know you have done everything you could for Henri, and I truly believe he knows that, and whatever you decide from here is for for his best interest and comfort. This part never gets easier, my heart goes out to you all, know we are thinking of you and that  you are part of the family and your not alone. Gus and Dan 

My buddy Gus had a left front amputation on April 7, 2010 and lived a great life until July 26,2010

Member Since:
1 January 2010
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2 June 2010 - 7:22 am
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We're so sorry to hear this latest about Henri.  We're hoping that the oncologist will have something more to try for your beautiful boy. Wendi - please know we're all here for you, and are keeping you both in our hearts.  Sending lots of hugs and pawsitive thoughts...


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!

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