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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30 September 2009
Polo became a Tripawd last year in late September when his left front leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma. When Polo was diagnosed, we found wonderful support in the Tripawds community. Many of you expressed loving thoughts and gave us excellent advice.
We decided back then to follow one course of action, which for us was low dose chemo, continue doing everything normally, and hope for the best. We decided against radiation and heavy chemo and told the doc we didn’t want to know everything. We also decided that we would end the fight when Polo could no longer do, or lost interest in the things he loves to do. We adopted Polo from a rescue organization when he was a young adult so we don’t know his actual birth date but he was over 10 years old. We feel that’s pretty close his natural lifetime for which we are thankful.
Polo recovered from surgery quickly and we have been so very proud of him during the last 10 months. No one told him he had cancer or lost a leg so he pressed on like a champ from day one. We walked regularly, he played catch and tug of war with his brothers, and he loved being outside. Polo never had a side effect or a bad day until this 4th of July when he suffered a mild seizure. We discovered lung mets the next day upon visiting our doctor. He thought that perhaps a traveling particle from one of the mets caused the seizure. We discussed epilepsy but didn’t focus on it. He told us that his condition would decline soon.
Early on, we promised Polo that we’d do our best to prevent him from suffering. That turned out to be very tough because he didn’t show pain and would have done anything we asked him to do.
Over the next few weeks his health did decline. His breathing became progressively worse—either extremely rapid or shallow, he was coughing more and more, and we could hear his lungs wheezing. Some nights we thought he wouldn’t make it until morning but he would rebound. He stopped eating and lost interest in his toys and things. Last week we decided that if he worsened over the weekend, we would end the fight. The weekend was very difficult and we decided it was time. He rallied Monday morning and we considered postponing but then realized that any improvement would be brief. We accepted it as a blessing.
Polo would have toughed it out longer, maybe a week or two but he was suffering and we couldn’t bear watching him break down. We could see the difference in his eyes—he was holding out for us, which made the decision very tough. The only thing that sparked his attention was one of us entered or leaving the room.
We are agonizing over our decision—not whether it was the right or wrong thing to do but that Polo would have continued until he absolutely couldn’t. It would have been easier if he weren’t so tough—but that’s why he was the Big Dog. He absolutely didn’t lose the fight—he kicked cancers tail, we just decided it was time to stop fighting.
We love and miss Polo very much.
Thank you all for your support and kindness,
Mike and Jenny Jones, and Polo’s brothers Pete and Rocco
Polo Jones, Golden Retriever, Shalimar FL
27 February 2010
Rest in peace, Polo.
Polo sounds like he lived a good life - as a Tripawd, still enjoying the things that dogs do. Who can ask for more than that for our beloved friends? The promise we make to our dogs - to not let them suffer - is difficult to keep when your're dealing with dogs like Golden retrievers.
As a true Golden - never let "them" see your pain. My Sophie was the same. She never showed pain - ever. It was so hard to tell if she was suffering - because she never let me see it. She had a couple of bad injuries over her lifetime - and I never even knew about them for several days because of this Golden Retriever trait. This past Wednesday evening was the first time in her life that I have ever seen Sophie show pain. We ended her fight on Thursday morning. As Polo would have done - she would have continued the fight.
I'm so sorry that Polo had to battle with this horrible disease. It has taken so many of our Tripawd friends.
Take care, and my most sincere sympathies to your family and Polo's brothers.
Tana and Angel Sophie
Sophie (1998 – 2010)
"Going Dog" def: living every day in the moment
"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are."
28 November 2008
I am sorry to hear of your loss. Making that final decision is so hard, but the folks here make it with such grace, love, and strength. I admire that you allowed Polo to be a dog, live a dog's life and enjoy his remaining time. That says so very much about how much he was loved.
You are in my thoughts as you face the adjustment of having only the Big Dog spirit to comfort you.
RIP sweet Polo. Run Free at Rainbow Bridge .
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.
10 March 2010
Rest in peace Big Dog.....I am so sorry Polo has finished his journey with his family on earth, but know that he runs free on all four legs with all the Tripawds that were waiting to greet him....it is so hard for us but it sounds as though he was a real warrier. Hugs to you all
28 September 2009
I am so sorry Polo's fight has come to an end. My prayers and thoughts are with you during this very difficult time.
Rest in Peace Big Dog, Polo
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….
He absolutely didn’t lose the fight—he kicked cancers tail, we just decided it was time to stop fighting.
A beautiful way of looking at it......and I agree. I just don't know what to say other than what a tribute to a beautiful golden boy. I'm sure my gaggle of goldens (plus a labbie & a kitty) at the Bridge greeted Polo....they'll take him under their angel wings and show him the ropes until you are together again.
Godspeed, Polo. Run fast, play hard.....I look forward to meeting you on the Other Side.
P.S. Shelby and so many others will continue the fight in your honor and memory.
25 April 2007
Mike, Jenny, Pete and Rocco,
Our hearts go out to you, we are deeply sorry to hear this news.
Polo was a true fighter, who did indeed show the world that life can be beautiful after amputation and diagnosis. How fortunate he was to be able to have so much extra time. I hope that's of some comfort right now, although I know it's difficult to rationalize that right now.
For those who aren't familiar with Polo's journey, here are some links to his courageous fight:
Polo's last days were very reminiscent of our Jerry's. Thank you for being courageous enough to share them here, I know how hard that must have been. Some day, a pawrent will find much comfort in knowing what to expect, and how you coped.
We send our love and condolences your way. Please give Pete and Rocco lots of smooches from us.
Mike, Jenny, Pete and Rocco,
So sorry to read about your loss. Polo is having a good old time now at Rainbow Bridge , running with all the other Spirit Tripawds. I'm sorry his journey had to end, but the love you shared with him will live forever!
Sending you all hugs...
14 August 2009
I'm so very sorry that Polo's journey has ended. I am also so sorry that I didn't get to know him. May Polo remain the healthy and happy furbaby in your heart and memory.
And may you be blessed again in the future to find another wonderful pup in need that will warm your heart.
Comet - 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.
13 September 2009
Mike, Jenny, Pete and Rocco...
I can barely type through my tears... I know how sad you must be feeling right now... Even though Polo had a wonderful extra 10 months after his diagnosis/amputation... it's really never enough time.
Be sure to pay extra attention to Pete and Rocco now... They may not understand why their big brother is gone, or why their mom and dad are so sad... Wolfie got so depressed after we lost Jake... But Pete and Rocco have each other, so maybe they will be OK...
Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this very sad time... There is nothing I can really say to make your pain any easier...
Sending you all a big loving hug!!! Rest in peace sweet Polo...
Angel Jake and Wolfie's Mom
Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!
23 May 2010
You have my sincere condolences over the loss of your beautiful Polo. Peace and comfort to you all.
Daisy, 12 years young, had left forelimb amp on 5/19/2010 due to osteosarcoma. She left her body behind and joined the other spirit tripawds on 7/16/2010.
So grateful for each day with her!
Lexi (Daisy's momma)
8 February 2010
Every loss on this site really gets to me; I am so glad that you can remember Polo for his brave fight against this terrible disease that we are all battling.
Chuck & Rusty
Rusty is a Labradoodle who was diagnosed with level 3 Fibrosarcoma on January 16th, 2010 and had his left hind leg amputated on January 25th, 2010 five days before his 18 month birthday. Please see Rusty's blog @rusty.tripawds.com. He is putting up one heck of a fight against this terrible disease.
12 February 2010
we're so sorry to hear of polo's passing - you gave him a final gift by ending the suffering. our tripawds are the bravest and, as you said, will not quit on us even when the pain is unbearable. we hope you find comfort on all your wonderful memories of the Big Dog, love never ends.
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
13 July 2009
Dear Polo's parents
Of course we remember Polo and are glad to hear he did so well since last September. But I am very sorry for the pain you are feeling now. You definitely gave him a gift by relieving his pain when you did. I hope you start to find happiness in your memories of the Big Dog.
Susan of Tazzie Two
30 January 2010
I am so very sorry to hear about Polo.
I can imagine him running like the wind with all of his new Tripawd friends at Rainbow Bridge , where he will wait until you come to him and are reunited. He definitely kicked cancers tail and did so with gusto and a zest for life that nothing could take away. Thank you for being strong enough to release him from his pain and allowing him to continue on his journey. Til you meet again live with his happy memories and golden smile forever in your heart.
Laura and Tai
Tai – 9 yr old lab. Diagnosed Osteosarcoma Dec 18/09. Front right leg amputated Dec 21/09. Started chemo Jan 7/10. Lung mets discovered Sept 16/10. Valiant to the end on Oct 26/10 when cancer reappeared in a leg and we made the decision to set her free. Forever in my heart where not even cancer can take her from me.