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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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The saddest post - Kaya 7 year old Rottie
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Member Since:
7 May 2023
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2 October 2023 - 3:35 am
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Hello everyone, it has taken me almost 3 weeks to be able to write this post, we lost our wonderful Rottie Kaya to osteosarcoma on September 13th. Kaya was diagnosed in March, had her front leg amputated on April 12 and then 4 rounds of chemo which finished in July.

Kaya was amazing on 3 legs, her wound took a long time to heal which slowed her down at the start but once healed she was back to running, swimming and even able to scramble over rocks and go fishing with my husband, something we never thought she would be able to do again. We made sure she lived every bit of her time as we did not know how long she would have, we hoped that she would live well into next year. We had another Rottie with osteosarcoma 13 years ago, Conna, he lived 10 months after diagnosis. We hoped Kaya would have at least as long and hopefully longer. But it wasn't to be, after an amazing summer of holidays by the beach, a trip to the English Lake District, boat trips, BBQ sausages on the beach and so much love you could not believe she started to get ill.

We had decided not to do any scans for mets, we did not want her back to the vets again and have to have more sedation, we had decided that we would not put her through any more and wanted her to live as best she could for the time she had.

She developed a cough and an eye infection, I do not think these were lung mets, I think potentially infections from the low blood count after chemo, she was otherwise well and no signs of pain, loss of appetite etc, however she then started to lose her strength in her hind legs, we noticed she stumbled a little when jumping up steps but was still fine to go out for a walk, although perhaps with more resting than before.

Very quickly her hind legs got weaker, she was not able to jump into the car any more (previously had been fine to do so, although we always lifted her out) and she seemed to have trouble seeing, she had antibiotics for the infections which both cleared quickly but this was more of a vision issue and her hind legs got worse to the extent where she struggled to walk far, close to the end she started to walk in circles, our vet thought it could be neurological, perhaps the cancer got into her brain or spine, she had a very fast growing lump on her back leg (over a couple of days) and she lost muscle mass over a matter of a week, we also noticed that her stools had become black which is a sign of blood in her stools so something internal was wrong. The vet put her on steroids and pain meds (Pardale V), she was still alert, showing no signs of pain and we were not quite ready to say goodbye.

We had a very special last week with her, the weather was wonderful so we spent all the time outside on our deck (very warm for September in the UK) she reached her 7th birthday - friends came round and we had a BBQ outside on the deck and a whole egg custard tart for Kaya, a few days later we carried her into her favourite woods, took chairs and sat with her for over an hour, she was alert and looking around, we took her in the car for a last look at the sea where she spent so much time with my husband out fishing and then we knew the time had come, she was restless and her alertness had gone, she had lost the spark, you could see it in her eyes and she was so very weak, we took her to the vet and the lovely vet who had carried out the amputation and cared for Kaya all through came out to us in the truck, it was very peaceful, she went very quickly - we have no doubt it was time.

The grief we are going through is almost unbearable, we have lost 2 dogs before Kaya but this time it has hit us so much harder than we ever imagined, there have been daily tears for over 2 weeks and we are completely heartbroken, 7 is far too young and it is so unfair that she only had 6 months after diagnosis - however we take comfort in that fact that she had some great months over the summer which we very much wanted to happen, the end came quickly, she went downhill but she was still able to do her business and walk a little and she did not suffer.

We are getting better very slowly, Kaya is buried in a very beautiful spot in our garden next to a bench so we can sit close by with a cup of tea which we are already doing. She was a very special dog and will always have a massive place in our hearts. We do not have any other dogs and will not for some time, this last 6 months have been so very difficult, especially being the second time we have gone through this, my thoughts are with all of you who are living through this horrible disease.

Here is gorgeous happy wonderful Kaya, photo taken in early August sp_hearticon2

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Louise, Lance and Kaya x

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Pennsylvania


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4 July 2023
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2 October 2023 - 8:00 am
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Dear Louise,

I read your message with tears in my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss. Seven is too young, and 6 months far too short - all made doubly hard by your loss of dear Conna from this same difficult disease.

As I read, yours and your husband’s love for her seeps though every choice you made in your time with her these last 6 months. What a beautiful life. What amazingly poignant times together. And her face in the photo - the face of one who knows she is loved, and is clearly looking at someone she adores.

Your tea with her on the bench now is such a beautiful thing to picture. May it continue to give you some comfort, even as the wound of loss is still fresh, and the hole she has left will always remain, at least in part. What a gift to have loved and been loved so well.sp_hearticon2

Yours,

Natalie

Natalie & Juno (aka June)

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7 May 2023
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3 October 2023 - 1:31 am
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Natalie

Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean so much to us, we are moving towards some peace now and trying to focus on the wonderful memories we have of Kaya.

I read your Juno's story, she is such a beauty and it is fantastic that she is doing so well, your photo and comment about her beefy leg made me smile, Kaya's remaining front leg also got very muscular with all the work it had to do to compensate - it is amazing how quickly they adapt. Give Juno a special hug from me.

Louise

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 April 2007
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3 October 2023 - 11:11 am
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Louise and Lance, my heart broke when I saw your post. I'm so deeply sorry she got her angel wings. Your beautiful Kaya had the life a dog can only dream of, loved and cherished, the center of attention for seven beautiful years. What great parents you were to her, giving her everything from beginning to end, giving her all your heart and soul so that she could transition on in peace. What a gift.

We just never get enough time together, and as much as we think we know what's ahead with this crappy disease, when we are in the last stages, life is very, very difficult. You read her so well though, be proud of that. It speaks volumes about your bond and ability to respect her needs.

I'm so sorry you guys are going through this. I've always only had one dog at a time so I know what it's like to feel the impact of losing such a huge presence in one's life. Please know we are here for you both, now and always.

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