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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Sudden loss of Piper
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Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
3 January 2020
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18 January 2021 - 6:35 pm
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I'm sorry I haven't been a regular on this forum but it was very helpful to me in the early stages of Piper's diagnosis and pre- and post-amputation. Piper was a Golden Retriever, 7 years old when diagnosed with osteosarcoma Christmas Day 2019. She had her amputation January 14, 2020 and started chemo 2 weeks later. She did wonderfully - never missed a meal, was ambulatory from Day 2 and even learned quickly how to swim after balls again. We called her "The Amazing Piper" - she never let her handicap get in the way of enjoying life. She went for 3-monthly checkups to the oncologist, x-rays and check ups revealed no sign of mets. Then about a month or so ago, every now and again, but not often, she would have a short cough. I got a little concerned that maybe something was setting in, but she was never out of breath or energy (she initiated playtime with our 2-year old Golden more than the 2-year old did with her!). It wasn't every day, but she was due soon for her check up (my husband is a vet but I still bring her to the onco for check up and x-rays) so I figured we would see what was up. She went on December 31 and x-rays looked good - after a radiologist looked at them, she saw what might be a small nodule but also could have been an artifact so we decided to come back in a month rather than wait 3. I mentioned the cough but stressed that it was very occasional - the xrays certainly didn't see any cause for it. That Saturday, 2 days later, Piper became very anxious, like there was a thunderstorm coming but the weather was very clear. She was doing a little more of the coughing but not significantly and she ate dinner with no problem. Then that evening she just couldn't settle down and the hacking was worse. She couldn't sleep so around 2-3 AM I gave her a trazodone - something she has taken before for thunderstorm anxiety. Later that morning she was still collapsed but I thought it could be the effects of the trazodone -she was much calmer and just sleeping. I really didn't want to take her up to the emergency that day because they just would have hooked her up to fluids and put her in a cage. She didn't seem uncomfortable and she wasn't having trouble breathing. The coughing had stopped. But she clearly wasn't right. Later that afternoon, when it was clear she wasn't going to improve, we carried her downstairs and did bloodwork and took xrays of her throat and abdomen. Nothing remarkable. At that point she just got less and less responsive, and literally just slipped into what must have been a coma. She took her last breaths just before 11pm that evening. No seizures, no agony, just stopped breathing. My husband, who has been in practice for over 40 years has no idea, the oncologist has no idea what happened. I had even scheduled an ultrasound for the next day. I'm just mystified as to what could have taken her life so suddenly? Another tumor somewhere? Has anyone else had this experience? I thought we had more time since she was doing so well. Just looking for some answers, not that it will bring her back and not that I expect I will find any but it doesn't hurt to ask. Missing our Pipey-pipe.

New York, NY
Forum Posts: 629
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24 March 2020
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18 January 2021 - 7:31 pm
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I am so very sorry for your loss.  While losing our companions is always in our minds when fighting cancer, losing Piper so suddenly seems especially cruel.  I hope you find the answers you seek, and I wish you peace in the days ahead.  May Piper's memory be a blessing. sp_hearticon2 Stacy

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

London. UK
Forum Posts: 55
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10 January 2021
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19 January 2021 - 6:06 am
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This is so awful, but it does seem like she went peacefully with her home and family around her, that is really all you can hope for in this life. 

  • "what shall be done for these innocents? I have been warned not even to raise the question of animal immortality, lest I find myself “in company with all the old maids”. I have no objection to the company" - C S Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
  • "Mr Toplady was touched by the cruelty of the scene, and exclaimed, ' Who could bear to see that sight, if there were not to be some compensation for these poor suffering animals in a future state' 'I certainly hope,' said my grandfather, ' that all the bulls will go to heaven; but do you think this will be the case with all the animal creation' 'Yes, certainly,' replied Mr Toplady, with great emphasis, ' all, all!" - Josiah Bull (recording a meeting with the great A. M. Toplady, author of "Rock of Ages" in "Memorials of the Rev. William Bull of Newport, Pagnel")
  • "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God" Luke 12:6
The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 31088
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19 January 2021 - 10:58 am
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Oh no! I'm so sorry to read this, what a terrible shock. My heart goes out to you and your family, it's gotta be so ruff for you.

Did your husband say anything about doing a necropsy? That's the only way to know for sure, and I know it must be making your mind go to a million different places not knowing the cause of her passing.

For now I hope it brings you at least a little comfort to know that Piper was an amazing example of the possibilities of life on three legs. She was an inspiration to all she met, and left an impression that will always be remembered. She made a difference in this world.

My condolences to all of you, I'm so very sorry. If you'd like to share photos, here's how adding images to the Forums works. If you're not up to it, just email me a few and I'll share them for you. (((hugs)))

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 6
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3 January 2020
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19 January 2021 - 5:01 pm
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Thank you all, and Jerry, it's hard to do a necropsy on your own dog, so we opted not to. We'll never know but I guess in hindsight I would have investigated that cough more seriously. I'm really not sure too much could have been done about it. Anyway, we miss her so much - she really was the life of the party in many ways. 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 31088
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19 January 2021 - 6:54 pm
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Ohhh yeah I didn't think your husband would want to do it, I know I sure couldn't. And you're so right, probably nothing could have been done about it either. Try not to beat yourself up. Even in the best of these tough situations it's easy to do.

Please tell us more about sweet Piper, we would love to remember her life with you and celebrate your bond when you are ready.

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




Forum Posts: 21434
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22 February 2013
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20 January 2021 - 1:04 pm
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One 5hing that stands out....Piper could not have been more loved❤

And ifit was her rime to transition, you can find comfort  in knowing she was not in a horrible  debilitating  pain and she was in her own envir with her be.oved humans.  She knew she was adored and loved.

I'm  sure as she headed to The Rainbow Bridge her welcome back home pawty was in full force.  She definitely  added a whole new level to "life of the pawty" when she serived.....and they haven't  stopped pawtying since.

We send you our love and hope all the hapoy memories  you shared will help your heart heal.

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!

Pennsylvania
Forum Posts: 110
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14 November 2020
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20 January 2021 - 3:23 pm
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I'm So Sorry about her sudden passing . I went thru something similar with my Rottie Samson . A few days prior to his 2nd rescheduled surgery date for amputation He had thrown up in the am but nothing in it to be alarmed about . He didn't tolerate the Gabapentin well , the rest of that day he slowed down alot compared to his normal self and started breathing faster . The Dr. thought it was just a side effect of him not wanting to take the pain pill and it might be an IG thing . So I gave it 24 hrs like he said to try , by Friday he didn't want to drink or eat all day , just wanted to sleep and be near me . Friday afternoon I brought the water bowl to him and sat with him while he drank the whole bowl , I got up refilled it and put it next to his food bowl and called the Dr. to let him know his was drinking again, Samson got up and finished the 2nd bowl of water , then laid down behind me and twitched his head like he was going to throw up but didn't, then he moved next to me and laid down and passed away next to me only minutes after drinking his water and moving around .

But in the days before Thursday and Friday he was moving like a spunky 5 yr old ( Samson was 8.5) . His xrays and scans showed clear lungs and heart , so his Dr. could only guess that it was mostly likely a blood clot from the Osteosarcoma in his front leg and maybe part of the bone broke causing it . I didn't have a necropsy done either .. But his passing was just sudden and out of the blue .

I really am so sorry for your loss and my heart goes out to you and your family in this terrible time .

Samson aka Lunkhead.  Diagnosed with osteo on11/12/20, passed before he could fight it  11/20/20. You came to me to save me after my Loki passed 1 month later in 2/16 and we had 4.5 great yrs . You were the greatest boy . I couldn't ask for anything more from you but you have me so much more .. The clown of the house ... Daddy will always love and miss you .Stay safe and happy on the other side of that bridge and teach them your soccer moves ...

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