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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I read crumbscraping’s moving post about Onyx. We are in almost the same situation, except that we haven’t scheduled the final visit for euthanasia yet. We will probably call later today, an set up an appointment for tomorrow, Friday, or if we think it isn’t too late, for Saturday.
Lucy did start showing some signs of decline around December 1, but I thought she just had a gastro bug. She would still run, run, run each day when we would bring her to the local schoolyard after all the children left. Lucy ran like the wind–even after her amputation (front left). But she started to get up later each day. Then, last weekend, it seemed like a notable decline in energy. Tuesday the vet took x rays and saw significant fluid in her lungs–she tapped a liter from our poor dog. That afternoon we went for about a 3/4 of a block walk–likely her last one–and she seemed pretty good at first. But by evening she was again lethargic. Wednesday we went in again to the vet and she had some more fluid tapped. The doctor wanted to start her on Palladia as a last ditch measure–I took it home but haven’t given her any because it seemed as if now we would be prolonging the life but not our Lucy’s active spirit. We did give her some prednisolone and gabapentin, and that seemed to help her yesterday and last night–she even came into our dining room to beg a piece of walleye at dinner last night! But today they don’t seem to help in the same way,
What has complicated things is that we have to leave Sunday for Christmas in another state where my 92 year old father is not doing so well either, so no chance of cancelling that trip. We cancelled her stary at her usual kennel, and made one to board her at the vet instead. But Lucy was miserable when she had to stay there before–frightened and anxious. Faced with the prospect of having her stay there in such a state for four days, when we might just have to say good bye soon afterward–or worse, that she might die or be euthanized when we were still out of town and not with her–we have come to the conclusion that it is better to say good bye now. Oh, but it is such a painful decision, as you all know.
She went outside twice this morning briefly, but since about 11 AM (2 PM here now) she has just lain on her bed in our living room; she can look out a big window there, and I have an armchair right next to her. Mainly though she s just curled up, sleeping. Lucy slept with my 20 year old stepdaughter last night, home from college; tomorrow she leaves with her mother, so today was the last time they will see each other. They are very close too.
It has been 11 months since her diagnosis, and 10.5 months since her amputation–with a round and a half of chemo as well, last spring and then this summer. How silly it is that I wanted her to get to a full year–February 1–just so we could say she was in that 50% who made it that far! But in truth we wanted her for years more of course. She is probably about 8.75 years old; she was a rescue of somewhat over 4 years of age when we got her in July of 2013. So we will have had her love and companionship for just shy of 4.5 years. Not enough, not by a long shot. What a beautiful, fast, brave and loving dog Lucy is.
22 February 2013
I KNOW this was soooo hard write….And our tears are falling with yiurs right now. Sweet Lucy showed she was made of “the right stuff” from the get go!
Lucy knew you had what it took to give her some really great vonus time for loving and spoiling when you did the amp! And she knows you love her enough to release her as her earthly body continue to fail her.
Have a conversation with Lucy. I’m just guessw she might say she doesn’t need another “possible” few weeks for .ore spoiy and loving if it meant being in a ken el, being away from you most of the time.
I think Lucy would say she’s had all the loving and spoiling that a sog could EVER have….and it’s been quality time too. It sounds like though, that the scales are starting to tip out of her favor. Fluid is a nasty thing to go through. Generally it fills back up relatively quickly after draining.
My apologies as I have to run to work. And yes, my eyes will be red once again as I cry with you. I will also jave a smile on my heart thought as I stand a salute this joyous Warrior who never wasted a moment of life and lived itnto the fullest! Keep that memory of her voing after that walleye last night. That’s yiur gal!
Remember, we have the Tripawds Helpline . 1 844 TRIPAWD.
Surrounding you with love and strength and clarity
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!
Thank you, Sally. I have so admired your kindness, empathy, and support of so many others in this group, and am grateful to receive it once again myself. It really does help to have people understand the whole tripawd process, existence, and end. I will keep the hotline in mind too.
I am so sorry that things are so hectic for you right now. It is bad enough to deal with either situation, but much tougher to have to deal with both at the same time. You have thought this out very well and I believe you are accurate in your decision. I don’t know if it is any consolation to you, but I have assisted with the process of tapping fluid. It does come back quickly, and it is uncomfortable. If she already stresses out not being home, the kindest thing you could do for her would be to follow out your plan. I know it is a painfully hard choice to make, but it is also selfless love and the chance to be with her when she crosses over. I am not a vet, but it sounds like the odds of her being around for your return are not good, I am so sorry. My thoughts are with you through this tough time.
Sending big hugs,
Jackie and Huck
13 August 2015
Loving them enough to let them go is truly our last gift to them although it breaks our hearts. You have rationalized it out so well. Truly if the fluid is building up that fast it will be an ongoing battle to keep her comfortable. I too am crying with you….this last part of this journey is absolutely the hardest and I will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. I wish your Warrior Lucy a gentle crossing and a joyful meetup with all our Angels.
Linda & Spirit Mighty Max
Yes, you are right Linda. It is the selfless decision knowing in your heart what the right thing to do is and then doing it. We all hope that we will kiss them and they will pass peacefully in their sleep. The hard truth is that rarely happens. Harder yet is when they bounce back and forth and you are filled with doubt. You never want to end it too quickly, but you don’t want them to suffer.
I love that name binkycat, it is so unusual. Catherine, I am sending you hugs. That won’t fix a thing and I cannot take your pain away but know I have been in your shoes and I feel for you. I will keep an eye for you, if you need please call the helpline. 1-844-TRIPAWD I wish I could make it easier for you.
Thanks to you both, Linda and Jackie. It helps so much to have this support, as we prepare to say goodbye to our beautiful girl. We have had a nice evening sitting near the fire, with her lying on the couch next to me; she usually isn’t patient enough to stay there for long. But she is tired physically, and may sense that the time is coming.
Binkycat was the nickname of one of my much loved Maine Coon cats, Bing. I use it both in his honor, and because it is easy to remember! Hugs back to you for your kindess.
18 October 2009
Such a difficult time.
One of the things I told myself when I was nearing the end with Tripug Maggie was that no matter what we did the underling issue, oral melanoma, was not going to get better. When I talked with my vet when I called to make the last appointment we discussed trying to mix and match pain meds (the tumor was breaking though into her jaw) to try and find something that might work. Even if we found something that might work it MIGHT buy us a week or two. And there was no telling what her life quality would be.
I thought of Mag when you said you took the palladia home but didn’t use it. There is a point when all the meds in the world won’t make for a good life quality.
I had made the appointment for the end of the day and my parents came over to say goodbye. Maggie perked up and went to the park with my Dad and I started doubting my decision. But I went back to the last couple of bad nights and reminded myself that while she might still have a few good moments there were more bad hours and that wasn’t going to get better.
Sending strong thoughts for you and your family.
Karen and Spirit Maggie
Karen, that is a very touching story about Maggie and your Dad going to the park. Lucy has perked up a few times in the last few days: she even briefly chased a deer out of our yard this morning–a real thrill. And of course it is that kind of moment that has made me worry about whether we are acting too soon. But the fact that more of the moments now are just her sleeping, or resting, when she was always a girl on the go, reassures me that she is readying herself to leave. Thank you for your insights.
2 April 2013
I’m just now reading this, as I’m not here as often as I used to be (sorry for that, sometimes it’s just too hard). It’s Saturday night, so … I’m so very sorry about Lucy. The decision is always such a hard one to make, we never want to make it too soon, but we don’t want them to suffer either. There’s nothing easy about this journey.
It sounds like Lucy was a very special girl, and she found you right when she needed you the most. She was able to live out her life in a loving home, being spoiled and knowing the best there is to know. And she is now able to rest, pain-free. She can chase those deer all day long if she wants, and run around all the playgrounds to her heart’s content.
Hugs to you and your family, from all of us here.
Tonight it will be a week since we said goodbye to Lucy. She had a good last day: a beautiful snowfall when it was still warm enough to take her to the school yard she loved to explore. Lots of human food treats: poached chicken breast, walleye, and a taste or two of vanilla ice cream with whipped cream. Bob and I were with her all day, and we took her to say goodbye to two dog friends (her first real dog friends) and the wonderful humans with whom they share a life. The compassionate and kind euthanasia vet came to our house around 7:30 PM, and by 8:30 Lucy was gone, peacefully, while we petted her and sent her off with lots of love.
That day I read posts here by people whose dogs had good last days to remind me that it was better for Lucy to go like that then to start having really bad days. And she did rest most of the day, between the walk and the treats. We left town the next morning and for once didn’t have to worry about her at the kennel or the vet. And I know she is running free, back on all four legs, chasing trash-talking squirrels. Today I have finally been collecting her toys, washing her towels, and throws, and her bed cover.
She was a beautiful, sweet, girl, whom we will love forever. Thanks to all for the support and advice, since her diagnosis last January, her surgery February 1, her chemo last spring and again this fall. You are truly the best people, and may you be blessed for your kindness. Catherine
Just got in from out of town late last night. I know that you made a hard decision but I’m so glad your last day was spent happy and loving each other. Those memories will stay with you forever. So many don’t get that. And you had peace of mind and not worry while you were away. Sending lots of love and hugs your way with good wishes for the new year to come.
Jackie and Huckleberry ❤️❤️
And you as well. 2017 is leaving a tough year behind for quite a few of us and for many different reasons. I hope 2018 is a more peaceful happier year to come.