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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Questions/concerns regarding significant increase in appetite
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Forum Posts: 12
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29 June 2016 - 2:41 pm
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Quick background:

-Female rough collie (7 yo) with diagnosis of extremely aggressive fibrosarcoma and extreme amputation of rear left leg in January 2016. Clean margins achieved in surgery. This type of cancer usually does not metasticize. 

-Precautionary chemo (doxorubicin) completed in May 2016. One month post-chemo blood work looked outstanding.

-During recover and treatment, she maintained a healthy weight. We slowly/carefully (with oncologist guidance) helped her to lose about 5-7 lbs to help her better adjust to being a Tripawd. She was never overweight but we knew she would function better on the leaner side. She never seemed effected negatively or seemed hungry during the modified diet.

Bella has never been a "foodie" - really only eating all of her food so her Golden sister doesn't eat it. We went through a serious issue with her not eating and drinking (long story) after second round of chemo but we were finally able to get her through with the help of our vets. After getting her through it, she returned to normal eating patterns and had no issues through the completion of her total of five rounds of chemo. Fast forward....about three weeks ago, she started acting like she was starving! My normally well mannered collie was/is attacking her bowl and begging for food in between. I am controlling intake to maintain her weight but feel awful that she never seems satisfied. My  three dogs are fed twice daily with bedtime cookies.

She has always had allergies and chews on her feet. We were doing the desensitization program and it was helping but stopped when all of this started. She is currently taking Temeril-P to help control allergies because her feet were bad and she needs them in good shape for obvious reasons. In the past, this has never, ever caused her to eat more. The only other thing she is on right now is DES (hormones 2x per week) Tumeric - 750 mg and high grade salmon oil.

I will be taking her to her vet because I know there can be many causes including parasites, etc. My biggest fear is of course a reoccurrence of the cancer.

Before I went to the vet, I wanted to see if any of you may have dealt with a similar situation and how it may have been related to the cancer or treatment and what the outcome may have been. I just want to go in with understanding as many possible causes as possible.  I have gotten so much useful info here that has helped even when a vet had never heard of it. I LOVE my vet team but more info is always helpful and they are open to learning and gaining insight from this group as well.

Virginia




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29 June 2016 - 4:24 pm
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Okay, right off the bat, I don't have much specific insight, although a thyroid test may be helpful.

I know every little hiccup throws us into a panic but I don't think INCREASED appetite is nearly as scary as a DECREASED appetite!

Perhaps you can include another feeding of somethi g that will make her feel less hungry, but not add calories. Maybe a cup or two of green beans? Others will chime in with more input.

Did all of her leg issues clear up from earlier? How is the rest of your pack?

Will watch for your update. You are a REALLY good advocate for your precious Bella! 🙂

Hugs!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 June 2016 - 4:46 pm
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Hmmm...Yes, a visit to the vet is in order just to rule out underlying issues. I don't know anything about those hormones but when did she start taking them? Have the dosages changed?

If it's any comfort I've never heard of increased appetite due to cancer, it's the opposite issue that you need to be on the lookout for, anorexia.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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29 June 2016 - 7:33 pm
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I don't know if your vet has asked for one, but I would be inclined to bring in a stool sample, just in case. The only time we had a dog who went from a normal eating pattern to being voracious almost overnight was when he got a tapeworm. No idea where he picked it up, but the eating problem went away as soon as the worm did.

I found it interesting that DES is used in veterinary medicine. I did a bit of a search to check it out. As a DES daughter myself, I know that the use of the hormone in humans has been seriously curtailed. As a point of knowledge, it was used to prevent miscarriages for many years. As the daughters (and some sons) got older there were a myriad of health problems that have been attributed to DES...and I seem to have managed to be one who got almost all of them. Women who are now pregnant or planning to become pregnant are warned to stay clear of it.

Kathi

Murphy is a five year old Lab/Chessie cross. He was hit by a car on 10/29/12 and became a Tripawd on 11/24/12. On 2/5/13, he had a total hip replacement on his remaining back leg. He has absolutely no idea that he has only three legs!

UPDATE: Murphy lived his life to the fullest, right up until an aggressive bone lesion took him across the Rainbow Bridge on April 9, 2015 and he gained his membership in the April Angels. Run free, my love. You deserve it!

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30 June 2016 - 1:52 am
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Thank you for the feedback. I am trying to not be paranoid. 🙂 I had read somewhere along the way about some types of cancers - or maybe it is location of the cancer - that can rob the dog of nutrients therefore making it crave more food. I don't think that is it but keeping it in the back of my mind. She has been this way for about three weeks or so.
    The DES is used to control bladder leaks - mainly while she is sleeping. She started having leaks in her sleep about 4 years ago. She was spayed during the time when the school of thought was to do it before they went into their first heat. She was about 9 months old. Now they have learned it is not good for dogs to do that and one of the side effects in females can be the bladder leaks. She has zero leaks if on the medicine. If she is off, it starts again within 2 weeks. I never even knew it was used on people. I will definitely look into side effects in dogs and look for an alternative if appropriate.
   We do have plenty of green beans in the house and I have started adding that about a week ago to try to help the issue. I buy in large quantities or I would have a HUGE golden retriever. 🙂
    I am leaning toward this being some type of worm but want to see what the pro's think and get feedback from others that have been through similar circumstances with the cancer/chemo.
    Her leg issues did get better. She repeatedly re-injured the remaining back leg by slipping/falling. I kept her confined to carpet or grass while she healed her sprains/strains. The key was then putting on the Dr Buzby's toe grips. Now the only time she falls is when she gets knocked down by my hyper dog and we are currently working on her. We do have runners every where in the house that doesn't have carpet but she is a Velcro dog and would not stay on them.
     Bella is doing great otherwise. We are currently looking into seeing if she can be a therapy dog at St Jude's Children's Hospital which is where we live. I can't imagine a more perfect fit. I am waiting to hear back about their dog therapy group to make sue they will take her since she cannot get her vaccines for three years.

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30 June 2016 - 1:53 am
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I don't want to seem like i'm stating the obvious but could it simply be that she is feeling better now all her tumour pain has gone, her pain meds reduced and the chemo side effects (even if they weren't noticeable in her behaviour) have gone? She'll be using more energy now hopping around and I assume her mobility is getting more now she has recovered from her surgery? I really do hope its nothing horrible, she is a beautiful lady xxx

Zuki Wuggafer 30/09/06 - 11/11/16. Right hind tripawd due to Osteosarcoma. He had a strong 5 and half months as a tripawd but unfortunately a secondary issue with his spine ended our battle. He loved life, loved our family and was the best dog I could ever ask for. Truly my first love, forever in my thoughts and heart.

Read our story: http://zuki.tripawds.com/

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30 June 2016 - 10:56 am
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🙂 That is definitely a possibility. She did feel bad during chemo, we were just able to keep her eating normally. That was the hardest part of chemo....she would go through the bad and start to feel better and get that twinkle in her eye and it would be time for her next round.

We thought the eating thing would pass but she only seems to be getting more intense with it. Her personality has always been very prim and proper with all things. She is like that with other things again but just eats like a line backer after practice. When I give her a treat, she is literally slobbering on everything around her while pushing the other dogs out of the way.

I think I am just erring to the side of caution. I am praying it is just a side effect of feeling better or some personality change/issue.  I just don't want something going on and not catch it but really trying not to be too paranoid. Luckily my vet gets it and won't think I am a hypochondriac. With my Golden's annual visit this year, there was a question I had about something. I asked what the chances of this being a problem were. My wonderful, sweet vet looked at me sadly and said, "Diane, I feel awful but if this were any other patient, I would say there is little to no chance. But you are like the lady that keeps getting struck by lightning over and over again. I am scared to tell you it will be okay with your dogs because it seems like you keep making up that small bad percentage of what can go wrong."

I had two dr's at her primary vet AND her oncologist who had no idea and had never heard about the permanent darkening of the skin/tummy area after amputation. It wasn't until I talked to other collie-Tripawd moms that I found out this was a normal occurrence. One had pictures where all the skin on the back 1/2 of the dog turned dark. I eventually showed the dr's the pics of the other collie bellies and they thought it was fascinating. I still don't understand why that happens but it is good to know that it is normal after they lose a leg. It is weird stuff like that that has me asking the question like that here. The combined knowledge of this group is amazing.

Virginia




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30 June 2016 - 11:13 am
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I think Zuki's input makes some sense!

I had to LOL at your the visuals you painted of Bella being a "linebacker"'and slinging drool 🙂

And I love your vet!

This may be a good time to revisit BEING MORE DOG! Let NOTHING interfere with staying in tne moment, in tne NOW with Bella. Obviously Bella isn't letting anything or anyone interfering with her getti g to her treats! We need video!

Hang in there! 'Let us know what the vet says.

Hugs!

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!

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3 July 2016 - 3:45 pm
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Quick update about talking to primary vet:
-He actually called me and left message to check on her and get the info for the toe grips. I stopped by to drop off info and we talked. He was initially very concerned. It seems it isn't too unusual for a dog with cancer to have a ravenous appetite as some cancers will steal the nutrients from the dogs and they are trying to replace them. However, he said if she wasn't showing a noticeable drop in weight with the increased appetite, he isn't nearly as concerned. He pulled the bloodwork recently sent from oncologist and says without any weight loss, he is much more inclined to believe it is psychological and even saw it in one of his own dogs. Since Bella was already the by-far, most submissive of my 3 dogs, she may be feeling as if she needs to secure her pack position. He said from an evolution stand point, an animal that cannot "keep up with the pack" may feel they are going to get booted, especially when she was already at the bottom in her mind. And while I have tried not to, I may have been sending signals that I felt sorry for her. So.......for now, we are just going to watch her closely to make sure there are no physical changes and do some work on her self-esteem. 🙂

I have read and greatly appreciate all of the posts/comments/suggestions. It is so nice to know there are others I can run to that "get it".

Virginia




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3 July 2016 - 5:44 pm
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Oh yeah, we understand and we "get it" alright! You're in greaat company!way-cool

I loooove your vet and the way he thinks!! Bella isn't feeli g sorry for herself and she certainly feels empowered enough to retain her "right to eat" pack position!way-cool

So glad you got the reassurance you needed from the vet. We all need it all the time on this crazy journey!

Now go give Bella her very own steak with a scoop of ice cream 🙂

Hugs!

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!

Schofield, WI
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5 July 2016 - 8:47 am
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Just wanted to pop in here and comment on what a beauty your Bella is.  I'm partial to collies, having one currently and have always had one in our two dog families in the past.  I love that sweet collie temperament.  Of course I love all the different breeds, but I've always had a special spot for collies.  Must've watched too many Lassie episodes as a kid. 😳  Anyways as the others have said it's easy to jump to fear the worst in this journey, and indeed we must be always vigilant in watching them, but we can't let worry rob us of our today's either. It's such a fine line to walk.  Please keep us posted on beautiful Bella.  Hugs!

Linda, Riley & Spirits Mighty Max & Ollie

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