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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Our dear dog, Ginger, had a "mild" heart murmur when diagnosed at 10 years old with osteosarcoma. She also had some arthritis in her lower spine, but our vet thought she was fit and healthy enough to cope with an amputation and recovery.
She had her front leg amputated on February 21 and we proceeded with chemo. In preparation for her 4th and final chemo treatment, they did a chest x-ray to check her lungs. The good news was that her lungs were clear. The bad news is that the left side of her heart was enlarged. We took the first appointment we could get with a cardiologist, which was 2 weeks later, and completed her last chemo treatment.
We noticed she was breathing heavier and not wanting to play as much, but we thought she just needed to be on heart medication. By the day of her appointment with the cardiologist, she was in full heart failure and needed to be hospitalized. With the injections of heart meds overnight, her recovery was considered successful, with all fluid gone from her lungs. They didn't know if it was her heart murmur or the stress of getting around on 3 legs that caused the heart failure.
We brought her home the next day on Wednesday and celebrated having her alive and just needing to be on meds for the rest of her life. She ate dinner that night; but other than two treats on Thursday, she refused to eat. We called the cardiologist on Thursday; he said to continue with the heart meds but to monitor her breathing. If her breathing worsened or she continued to refuse to eat, we needed to have a kidney panel done to make sure the new heart medications weren't causing kidney complications. We tried the antinausea medication we had from chemo to try to get her to eat. On Saturday, she received two injections of antinausea medication (one from the vet, one from us). Her breathing was fine, but she still refused to eat anything. On Monday, June 29, we took her back to our vet for a kidney panel. Two of the three counts were elevated (one severely) and she was dehydrated, even though she had been drinking her normal amount of water.
Our options were to spend two days at the vet on fluids, change heart medications, and continue to monitor blood work for additional side effects. There were just too many "ifs" and "maybes" and "we could try" that we decided, instead, to say good-bye. She had been such a wonderful trooper over the last four months, enduring everything we did to save her life. But she was hating having to go to the vet and the VCA clinic where she got chemo and saw the cardiologist. She hated it so much, we were literally having to drag her out of the car. With the COVID restrictions, it increased her anxiety when we weren't allowed to be with her during any treatment, check-ups, bloodwork, etc. Enough was enough, and she went peacefully (the vet allowed us to be with her).
This site calls it sending her "over the bridge." We call it "doggie heaven." Whatever it is called, it is so devastating to lose her and only time will heal our broken hearts.
Ginger is now happily running around on all four legs again, never to have to endure chemo or other vet visits again, never having to be afraid of fireworks and thunder again, never having to be in pain again. She was the most beautiful, fun, goofy, expressive, lovable big ball of fluff ever.
I'd attach another couple of photos of her but, through my tears, I can't remember or figure out how to download a photo. If someone would please explain it to me, I'd like to show you how beautiful she is. Thank you!
4 April 2019
I'm so sorry to hear about Ginger and I do understand your heartache. Cancer and everything that comes along with it just sucks, and isn't fair.
So I read Ginger likes cookies. Well I guarantee you that Brownie is showing Ginger where all the best cookies are. When Brownie first passed people would tell me he is still with you, and I would think "yea right". But I tell you what. I have lost a lot of pets that I truly loved, but this time is different. Yes it hurts, but I do feel him with me. It's a feeling I have never had before.
You did everything you could for Ginger, and she does understand. Dogs are so much smarter then we give them credit for. Ginger is enjoying being whole again in Doggie Heaven, and she will be watching over you, and even coming to visit.
I think when we go thru this cancer journey with our pets it makes are connection so strong. But just because they shed their earth suit does not mean they are no longer with us. I truly believe that now.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Nancy and Angel Brownie
My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019. With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer. I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud! He will live forever in my Heart!
04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020
22 February 2013
This just breaks my heart to hear and cert wasnt expecting this. To know she was rocki g the nasty crap disease to the curb, and then to have her pass become heart and kidney issuee. Just so hard to process.
Unfortunately I had a dog pass due to heart issues similar to what you describe. I do not thinkin any way, shape or form Ginger being a tripawd had anythi g to do with the escalation of the heart disease. Ginger. It's just aich a sneaky disease.
You did what every single one of us would have done.....given Ginger a chance. The professionals deemed her a good candidate and Ginger certainly was not ready to give up yet either. She wanted that chance! Ahe knew you loved her enough to give her than chance.
And she also knew you loved her enough to release her when she let you know her earthly journey was done. To kmow your Ginger so well....to know she would NOT want anymore poking and prodding and Vet visits shows the depth of connection you had. That bond is unbreakable.
The void seems unbearable and the break in routine makes you feel like your world has stopped. It will take, awhile, but slow all uour thousands of hapoy memories will start to push the sadness away. They will help heal your heart. Ginger knows uou are sad, but she wants nothing more than for you to celebrate the great lofe she has with you. Yes, "has" with you. Her energy is still present t and she will connect with y7oj to confirm that. So pay attention and let is know wjat signs she sends you.
We definitely want to see more pics of that adorable Ginger. And please share more snippets of her life with you, how she made you laugh, how she "trained" you to give her treats when she wanted.
Surrounding you with Ginger's eternal light and love 💖💖
Sally and Alumni 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!
24 September 2009
Oh no we are so sorry! What a tough situation, and so unexpected. Our deepest condolences to all of you, it's so difficult to set our beloved animals' sprits free whatever the circumstances. And especially now. I'm so glad you got to be with her.
Please try to take some comfort in knowing that you did right by her, you came through in a big way and she will forever repay you for that by staying strong in your life, in all sorts of ways. Watch and listen for signs, that little fluff ball will never be far away.
We have these instructions for adding images to the Forums. If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know. It’s pretty easy:
- Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog
- Right click and copy the Image URL
- Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself if possible) in your post. It should automatically appear.
We look forward to seeing your sweet Ginger's life in pictures when you have a chance. Much love & hugs coming to you from all of us.
16 October 2012
I am so sorry for your loss. This is so hard. Run free sweet Ginger.
Michelle, Snickers, Jasmine, Chief & Angels Sassy , Bosch and Baby Simba
Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
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."