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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Amputation tomorrow, what to add and change to diet?
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New Haven, CT
Forum Posts: 1193
Member Since:
27 December 2012
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27 December 2012 - 12:05 pm
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We’re devastated over the news of Jackson having osteosarcoma.  He’s a young, active 8 year old huskie-boarder collie.  He weighs 62lbs.  His right hind limb comes off tomorrow.  I’ve done reading and research and found this site very helpful and supportive, but also getting some answers is tough.  An oncology appointment won’t take place until Jackson has healed, so in about 2 weeks.  Here are my random and important questions:

1. Can I give Jackson people fish oil pills?  We take them daily, so it’d be no problem sharing our “Nature Made Fish Oil, 1200mg (360mg omega 3)” pills.  Do we start these now or after chemo/metronomic therapy?  Should we give Jackson pills or liquid oil?  Will the liquid oil in the fridge go rancid and/or lose potency? 

2. I’ve ordered an Essiac tea supplement from Only Natural Pet and Only Natural Pet’s immune strengthener (which has all those magical mushrooms and more in there).  Do I give these now or wait until chemo/metronomic therapy?  I saw a video on where the Vet Oncologist said taking loads of antioxidants during chemo isn’t helpful and wastes resources.  I’m really confused here.  I’d think we’d want to load Jackson up with whatever he can take during chemo and for the rest of his life to keep cancer at bay.  We don’t know if we’ll do chemo, etc., but if we do I certainly like the idea of giving Jackson all the supplements we can.

3. We currently feed Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul large breed adult.  The folks who make this food also make Taste of the Wild.  We like this food and are happy to stay on it.  Maybe we’d switch to some flavor of Taste of the Wild.  To this food, should we top it off with cottage cheese?  How much?  Jackson gets breakfast and dinner, so at both meals?

4. What’s your favorite joint supplement?


This sure sounds like a lot of pill popping!  Please advise.  I’m drowning in information and stress.


Jackson’s Mom

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Forum Posts: 3754
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27 December 2012 - 12:22 pm
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You are asking some great questions, and most of us altered the diet to some degree to insure our dogs were getting as much nutrition as possible. 

One thing to consider is whether or not you will do chemo.  If you do, your vet may prefer that you not change anything until the chemo is complete.  This was our vet’s request.  He did not want to guess whether medical changes in Trouble were a result of the chemo or food/supplements we had changed at the same time. 

If you are considering chemo, please have this discussion with your vet.  Some of them are ok with dietary changes, others would prefer you wait.

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.

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27 December 2012 - 12:49 pm
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Hi Jackson’s mom.  I know everything is so confusing at times.  Our minds are going in a million directions and we want to do everything right to help our pooch.  We decided to have chemo after Cadence had her amputation.  We started her on a raw diet.  Thankfully, someone here posted that I should ask my vet first to make sure it was alright.  When I asked the oncologist he said it would be better for us to wait until after all the chemo was done.  We already had her on a good natural dog food so we continue to give it to her.  We are sticking with the same brand but we are going to start giving her the higher protein version of it. 


Maybe you can give the oncologist a call to see what he suggests.  I know the appointment is not until 2 weeks but I’m sure he/she wouldn’t mind answering a few question for you.  It will give you one less thing to worry about.


Wishing you and Jackson the best tomorrow.  Cadence is an 8 year old,  left rear amputee and was 95 lbs prior to the surgery.  Jackson is going to amaze you on how well he does.  If I could give you one piece of advice, which was given to me, is to be patient.  The first couple of weeks are filled with a few bumps, but it gets better.  Cadence still has her zest for life, still runs around and has fun and still puts a smile on our faces each and every day.  Good luck and please keep us posted.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.” ― Milan Kundera

New York, NY
Forum Posts: 1412
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3 December 2012
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27 December 2012 - 12:53 pm
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Hi there! Well I don’t have anything to add as my Jill is a tripawds kitty but I just wanted to wish you the best of luck for tomorow. My other kitty’s name is Jackson and he will make sure to send YOUR Jackson positive thoughts!!

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at xoxo

27 December 2012 - 12:55 pm
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Welcome to Tripawds- I’m sorry to hear about Jackson’s cancer.

I did not change Maggie’s diet while she went through chemo- as it turns out she was already eating a low carb, grain free food because my other pug had stomach problems. But like hugapitbull, our oncologist didn’t want to complicate things by changing diets during chemo.

My other pug, who is Maggie’s little sister, is now battling mast cell cancer, which is what Mag lost her leg to.  I am treating Tani holistically (mostly) and not doing chemo so I am giving her lots of supplements, including fish oil.

Lots of pill popping on the cancer journey!  With my current pugs the supplements go in their food, and the meds are hand fed so I know they get them.

For a joint supplement I am using Dasaquin at the suggestion of my vet.

Good luck with the surgery tomorrow- let us know how Jackson is doing.


Karen and the pugapalooza


The Rainbow Bridge

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27 December 2012 - 2:46 pm
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Hi Jacksons Mom, welcome. I”m so sorry you’re dealing with this disease, but we hope the great stories of other Tripawds who have had great lives despite of it will give you hope.

It’s very easy to get overwhelmed when figuring out how to approach this disease, nutritionally. The fact is, that many of the successful nutritional therapies are based on anecdotal evidence only; what works for one dog may not for another, there is no science-based approved diet guaranteed to work, so you have to go with your gut feeling. What we decided when fighting it was to not get overwhelmed with too many pills and foods; we chose a few to try, and as long as they worked, we stuck with them. Becoming too focused on an overwhelming amount of pills and foods just seemed to take away from our quality time together. 

Have you seen our Tripawds Nutrition Blog? This is a great place to start when researching grain-free , low carb anti-cancer diets and nutrition, you can see lots of examples of how other Tripawds eat while fighting cancer. One of the best resources we’ve found is Dr. Dressler’s Dog Cancer Survival Guide. He addresses how to eat properly while fighting cancer, both during and after chemotherapy is over, and provides a few different directions you can go in.

In general though, wait to see what your oncologist wants you to do. Sudden dramatic changes to a dog’s diet during therapy can sometimes create confusing side-effects and make them hard to treat, since you don’t know if the chemo or the food is causing issues. Talk to your onco doc first, and be sure to not get overwhelmed. 

Hope this helps.


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San Diego, CA
Forum Posts: 2503
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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27 December 2012 - 5:11 pm
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Hi (again) Jackson’s mom – I should have mentioned in my PM like othes have said here – a lot depends on if you do IV chemo. We were also advised to not make much in the way of changes to Abby’s diet until she was done with chemo. We already happened to have her on a grain free food as it was the same food our previous dog had gotten, so didn’t have to worry about switching tht. 

I would also reommend the Dr. Dressler book – there’s so much info out there and he does a good job of consolidating it in one spot. I made most of Abby’s treatment and supplement decisions based on what I read there, in conjunction with discussions with our onc.

All the best and keep us posted,

Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom 

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

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