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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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I will never forgive myself: Sissy suffered
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Forum Posts: 7
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14 August 2018 - 10:47 pm
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I watched my 10 year old Black Lab, Sissy, die yesterday. It was unexpected and it happened faster than I could react. I am in complete shock and my heart is so heavy. 7 weeks ago she was diagnosed with Mast Cell III and the tumor on her leg was growing by the day. Removed, but came back with a vengeance a month later. The tumor began to rot and was the size of a grapefruit. I made the call to amputate. That was 7 days ago. Vet did not give me any specific instructions and basically sent me on my way. Did not warn me that she would slam on her other leg (elbow) due to the amputation. Well, I noticed her elbow was red and raw and I kept putting it off until it opened up and pus was draining out. I called the vet right away and she told me that she should be fine and to get antibiotics the next day. Yesterday, I woke up and my girl was acting abnormal and whimpering. I jumped in the car and grabbed antibiotics and pain meds. I got home and tried to put them in her throat and make her swallow, but then I noticed her breathing was labored and her eyes were shaking. The crying became so loud and it was so horrifying to see her and hear her. I had no service, so I grabbed my two kids and ran to my neighbors for help. I was gone not even 5 minutes and we ran in to find her on the end of her death. I kept calling her name and petting her face, but I could see that her eyes were blank and she was gone even with her body still jerking. I considered CPR, but something told me not to. I am so upset that I put her through this. I had to make a decision quick because the tumor was rotting and she was in pain. I was not prepared for the amputation and the vet certainly did not give me info that I needed to help my girl. I have no idea why she died, but I know that it was absolutely horrible for her and I wasn’t there for her. I was annoyed that she wouldn’t take her pills, and that’s when I ran to get my neighbor. I can’t believe that I didn’t see that she was trying to tell me for days that she wasn’t feeling good. I did not want to believe that she was dying, so I tried shoving pills down her throat thinking that would immediately help. I am reliving this nightmare through out the day and every time I wake up to nurse my child. We buried my girl that we have had for 9 years. I am in total shock.

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 August 2018 - 7:12 am
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I am so truly sorry, I wish I could reach through the screen and hug you. 

Right now I wanted to get your post approved so others can see it. I am on my phone now but will write in just a bit….

I am so sorry. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Latham, NY
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15 August 2018 - 8:42 am
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I am crying with you, crying for your loss, crying for your pain, which is so evident.  

We always do our best for our loves.  Accepting that is important.  You can second guess decisions you made, messages you may have missed, but all the while, you were doing what you felt to be best for your girl.

Please try not to beat yourself up over this.  I wish I could hug you too, for your loss, for your pain, for all you did for Sissy despite your obviously full plate.  You need to know that this is not your fault.  When things are so fresh, so raw, it’s hard to see clearly.  We only feel the pain.  You’re only seeing the impossible position you were put in and how the outcome was so negative–not all you did to help.

Cancer sucks.  I hate it.  It puts us in places we’d never choose to be, it steals from us–our loves, our lives, our lifestyle…forcing us into situations we’d never choose, making choices no human should need to make.  I absolutely hate this piece of crap disease.

Please know I am thinking of you…and your family, and Sissy.  I am so, so sorry for your loss, so sad for all you went through, so sorry for all the pain you’re feeling now.

I have tons more to say, just don’t know how to convey it–Sending hugs.

Fallon  8/28/06--9/6/18.  My Heart.

Fallon's left front leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma on 10/11/17.

Nothing But Love in Her Heart - dawn3g.tripawds.com

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25442
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15 August 2018 - 11:19 am
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I’ve been thinking about you and Sissy, and wondering if there is any way at all to help you cope with such tremendous grief. I’m not sure I can, but I will give it my best.

First, know that you did your absolute best for her. You cannot blame yourself for things you did not know. Mast cell cancer is a tricky, nasty condition, and based on your comment you left here, it sounds like you had a vet who didn’t provide her with the level of care that the condition requires. You had no idea though, how were you to know? Most of us didn’t understand anything about how to care for our animal during a time like this, it’s trial by fire and I’m just so sorry that Sissy didn’t make it through.

Please, try to forgive yourself. Sissy knew she was loved. Dogs are so forgiving of our humanly faults, she would never hold any of this against you. And keep in mind that her life with you cannot be measured in the last few moments she was alive. She was so much more than that! Nine years of beautiful times with the people she loved cannot be stolen by what happened. It’s all the love you showed her, all the care she had, that adds up to who she was and what her legacy is. Hang onto those magical moments you had together, and know that Sissy’s life was a gift that will always be treasured by you and your kids. Cancer can never steal that away.

Animals teach us so much. Sissy’s death was tragic, but it was not your fault. In time as you grow stronger, you can take what you learned from it and apply it to the care you give to your other animals, and they will be furever grateful to your sweet girl. Her legacy will always live on.

Sending many, many hugs to you…..

P.S. If you would like to share some photos of her, here is a link that explains adding images to the Forums. Let us know if you’d like help OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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15 August 2018 - 11:20 am
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Oh baby girl, I hear you 😞

That was a horrible experience you’ve just been through but, as sweet Dawn has mentioned, none of it is your fault.

You tried your best to the very end.

Yes, you panicked and run around in circles but who wouldn’t ?

We are humans therefore we are not perfect.

Animals are.

Your Sissy had to leave you, she earned her wings in a stressful moment but the important thing is this all took an instant and now she is in a better place and feels no pain.

You can be absolutely sure she is not reproaching you for anything that happened during the nine years you had together and she is not reproaching you for anything, as her time came to leave you.

She is watching over you and your children and nothing can change that.

She is still your girl, even if you can’t see her, touch her, feel her soft coat.

Love never dies, sweetie.

We, as humans, tend to remember the bad bits and dwell on them, we allow them to come back to haunt us.

Please, as hard as it is, try your best to forget Sissy’s final moments and replace that memory with happy memories of the trillions of times you had fun together. 

I know it’s hard but I also know this is what Sissy would want for you. 

My heart is with yours.

I feel your pain.

Let me and all others surround you with love, you are not alone ❤️😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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 :-) 

Schofield, WI
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15 August 2018 - 5:29 pm
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Just want to wrap you in love and hugs!  Please please don’t blame yourself.  You did all you could do for your Sissy.  If your vet didn’t pick up on how sick Sissy was how were you to know?  Your beautiful girl knew you were with her at the end.  She also knew it was time to shed her earthy clothes and the body that no longer served her.  She left on her timeline after 9 beautiful years of being loved.  Hold on to those 9 years of happy memories.  Sissy would not want you to blame yourself.  If you have to place blame choose to blame the evil cancer…..because that is truly the villain here.  Cancer shows no mercy and takes what it wants.  You did all you could to fight it…..sometimes things are just out of our control.  Sending you healing light and praying someday your heart can heal.  You gave it the good fight but sometimes we just aren’t able to win the fight.  Tonight go out and find the brightest star in the sky and then know that is Sissy’s light shining down on you….still with you for always! ❤️

Sending love and hugs

Linda & Spirit Mighty Max

Minneapolis, MN
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15 August 2018 - 7:07 pm
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I am so deeply sorry for this terrible ordeal you and Sissy went through.  I am sorry you did not have the support you needed nor the quality of information on the procedure and after care that you both surely deserved.

I know these images are agonizing. I had a pet die in terrible, unforeseen circumstances before and the shock and guilt were overpowering. But what I came to realize and what I am going to share with you now is that as unbearable as those moments were, Sissy is not those moments.  She is not this heartbreaking passing you just witnessed. None of us would want those last moments to be who we are and how we are remembered.  Sissy is the some total of her happy life with you. So many happy, happy days. So many wags of her tail and smiles from her and playful barks to get your attention.  

And I know this is still soul crushing, but you must honor all the happiness and joy she brought to your life by remembering it, too. I’m not going to tell you how to grieve, but these images are not the ones she would want you to be dwelling on. I had to force myself to push those bad images out of my mind and replace them with beautiful images of my beloved pet.  I had to train my brain to redirect itself or I would not have been able to move through my grief. It won’t erase your grief and you really won’t forget what occurred. But you’ll remember the real Sissy – the Sissy she was for most of the rest of 10 years. Your beautiful and dearly loved companion.

If it helps, share stories about your wonderful girl. Share pictures.  We will mourn her and love her with you.

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His Daddy and I miss him terribly along with his canine sister, Mia, and two feline siblings, Lucia and Cliff.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 August 2018 - 7:11 pm
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Lisa, I am so sorry you also endured such a terrible tragedy. Thank you so much for opening your heart and sharing your wisdom. It is truly a gift to all of us.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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15 August 2018 - 7:25 pm
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I am so sorry to hear about Sissy.  It is hard enough to deal with a decision to amputate and then not have a good follow up and pain meds.  Do not beat yourself up.  You did your very best you could do.

Sending love and thoughts during a very hard time.  Watch for signs.  Sissy will send them to you to let you know she is ok.

hugs

Michelle & Angel Sassy

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

Virginia




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15 August 2018 - 7:51 pm
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We are all absolutely  gutted to hear your beloved Sissys beauiful spirit  had to leave her earth clothes.  She needed to make that transition.  She needed to be free of her failing earthly body.

And once she knew that, she needed to exit on her own terms without intervention.  Sissy is the one who told you not to do CPR.  That’s  how bonded and connected you two are at the Soul level.  Yes, you were with her as she was shedding her earthly body and it had to be unbearable.  But what you MUST remember,  is her body had nothing  to do with her Soul, her energy, her Spirit staying connected with you.  Her Soul knew you were there.  And that’s  the truth.

Please re-read everyone’s  heartfelt post.  Feel the love and support.  Absorb the wise words into your being.  You will find comfort at some point.  At some point these words of love will resonate with you.  Right now you are too broken.  All you can do is take one breath, and then another.  Amd that’s  all you need to do right now…….that, and stay connected  with us.

On occasion  we see scenarios  like this where that brutal, savage piece of crap disease  has already taken its course.  It’s  sneaky and brutal.  And I really doubt that there could have been anything  done to change the course.  There really were no “signs”  that could have been separated  out from the way the  very early part of recovery looks.  And it always looks rough early on.

Sissy needs you to do something  for her, okay?  She knows you are crying  hysterically and she knows what she’s  going to ask you will be hard.  But she also knows you love her so much you can do it.  She needs to see you do this.  And she’s  right by your side watching,  so you better do it!  You know the look she gives you when she’s  watching you….. yeah…that’s the look.  She needs you to close your eyes for just a moment and take a deep slow breath…exhale slowly…now jnhale again, and as you do,  think of the silliest thing Sissy ever did.  One ridiculously  silly thing…..think….yeah….that’s  it…that’s  the same one ….that’s the same one Sissy is thinking of too!  

When you can, will you share that silly thing she did…or maybe even two silly things?

Surrounding  you with all our love, our strength, and with Sissy’s eternal bright light  that can never, ever be dimmed.

Sally and my Chunky Spiritual Being 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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16 August 2018 - 9:08 am
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Every single comment from my post has given me the strength to get through this. I have a husband that doesn’t see why I am so upset and my mother telling me to “just put this to bed”. I have a few people in my life that understand because they have been through this and others that don’t see why I’m so heart broken. Caring for Sissy started two months ago, but should have been way sooner when I first sensed there was trouble. Putting things off has become the norm for me and now my girl is gone. I have invested so much time, energy, and money into finding ways to improve Sissy’s quality of life. In doing this, I put other things aside like my health, my other dogs and my family. I became so obsessed with “fixing” Sissy that I couldn’t function in other areas of my life. What I hate the most is that instead of just loving Sissy and spending time with her, I allowed myself to get stressed out and began to distance myself from her. That was a terrible thing to do and I know that was a protective measurement for myself as I do that with people too. After the amputation, there were brief moments where Sissy was herself and she would look at me with those “people eyes” and wag her tail. She would flop on her good side and let me pet her. I promised her that things would be good and that we were going to get through this. As each day went on after the amputation, Sissy seemed less and less like her self and I figured that she was just adjusting and in pain. The day before I sensed deep down that she was going downhill. I was in denial. I actually allowed myself to sleep in the next day because I did not want to face things. Sissy was alive and wagged her tail, but I could hear a low cry. It increased over minutes and everything unfolded before my eyes. I’ll never forget how she cried and I left her to get help. It’s weird though because my cell phone booster quit and I could not call my neighbor. If It had worked then I could have been with Sissy while she passed, but I’m thinking that I don’t think I could have handled it. I was there for her when her eyes were open but blank. Body was shutting down, but still moving. My friend and I shared this moment together, so I was not alone. Sissy died, but I am grateful that her sister “Abby” and brother “Jake” were there while I was running to my friends house. I hate that it took Sissy’s life to help open my eyes, but now I see how important it is to pay attention to the signs our babies give us ❤️🌈

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 August 2018 - 10:24 am
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We totally understand the grief that is experienced when losing a beloved animal, the heartache of feeling we could have done more. It’s sad that others in your life cannot, but it’s their loss. Sissy’s death was a tragedy, but you are learning from it, the wisdom you have gained will serve you, your animals and your children well in time.

But that’s just what it takes…time to cope, to accept, to understand why things happen the way they do. You will get there and however it helps you to do it, whether it’s pouring out your heart here, creating a tribute for Sissy, maybe planting a tree with your kids, whatever you decide to do is one step closer to learning how to Be More Dog and turning into the kind of humans our animals believe we are.

{{{{hugs}}}} I hope today is a little bit better than yesterday. Don’t expect too much and know that you are on nobody’s healing timeline but your own.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Latham, NY
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16 August 2018 - 10:46 am
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snoopy1612 said
I have invested so much time, energy, and money into finding ways to improve Sissy’s quality of life. In doing this, I put other things aside like my health, my other dogs and my family. I became so obsessed with “fixing” Sissy that I couldn’t function in other areas of my life. 

This is me, too, I totally understand what you’re saying. I’m still not balanced, but am getting there–well, working on it, anyway.  It’s been a roller coaster ride.  It’s good you recognized it early, you have a lot of other responsibilities I don’t have to deal with.  Recognizing it is the first step smiley

Hope things continue to improve for you–on your own pace, I know you know you can’t let others dictate that for you.

Still thinking of you and wishing you peace and comfort…

Fallon  8/28/06--9/6/18.  My Heart.

Fallon's left front leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma on 10/11/17.

Nothing But Love in Her Heart - dawn3g.tripawds.com



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16 August 2018 - 6:09 pm
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I think it is a human feature if something is going to hurt so unbelievably much we may automatically and instintively move away from it.

Our brain will take us somewhere else and our body will follow.

I know I did that in the past.

It also took me going through a vast pain, one of the biggest pains in my life to, in time, comprehend how and why I reacted the way I did.

It took time and courage to firstly forgive myself and subsequently accept I couldn’t go back in time to change the events.

But I have learnt from it and became stronger so that in a similar circumstance I will stay and witness and be present, and hold their heart in mine. 

Life is a learning curve.

Your beloved Sissy knows you better than you think and is holding absolutely nothing against you, she adores you!

And she was not alone, she had Abby and Jake with her.

Dogs communicate in a different level so I am sure they helped getting her beautiful silver wings in place as she got ready to fly away, free and happy. 

A lot of humans are not humble enough to recognise true, pure love as we share with our pups, please forgive them for they know not what they are missing.

You have us on and by your side, we understand, we hear you. 

Sending you a big, tight hug sweetie 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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 :-) 

Westminster, MD
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21 August 2018 - 8:36 pm
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I cannot add anything more, or better than everyone else already has, but please accept my sincere sympathy on your loss of your sweet Sissy. She absolutely had the best life with you, and she was very loved and cared for, so please don’t beat yourself up regarding her untimely and heartbreaking passing. The “ugly c” is a mean, f-ing, total crap disease, it does what IT wants, period. You aren’t alone here, you have all the support you need to help you through ❤️

Keeping you in my thoughts, 

Bonnie, Angel Polly, Pearl, and Zuzu 🐾💞

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