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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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Huge relapse months after surgery... need moral support
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Forum Posts: 6
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4 May 2020
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5 May 2020 - 10:27 am
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Hi everyone. My dog, Quincy, was 3 years old when he hurt his leg in October jumping into a friend’s car. At the time he weighed around 95 pounds; he’s mostly a GSD-lab mix. His leg never got better and after many visits to many vets, multiple biopsies, sedated x-rays, etc., they found cancer cells in the lymph node in his hurt leg and recommended amputation of his rear right leg. The amputation happened in mid-December. After his surgery, the cancer cells in the amputated leg were identified as hemangiosarcoma, which his vets found very unusual. It was not good news since it’s such an aggressive cancer.

But by early January, Quincy was fully recovered. I really, really regret now that my fiance and I were so thrilled at his bounce-back that we did not limit his activity at all. We were just so happy to see him running around again; it was like we had our dog back.

In early March, Quincy began showing signs of weakness in his remaining rear leg. His leg would buckle under him when he was stepping onto our couch or putting other increased stress on the leg. We stopped his daily pack walks/hikes to let him recover, and kept reducing his activity from there, but he just continued to deteriorate. Now it’s two months later and the poor guy can barely walk around without pain. He is always contorting himself in a failed attempt to walk comfortably. He seems to re-injure himself on a near-daily basis. He’s seen his regular vet, whose opinion was that he was mostly healthy (i.e., not dying of cancer just yet) and just had some sort of muscle weakness/injury and needed more painkillers. So I started him on the painkillers and took him to a vet for physical therapy. He’s had three sessions there and just continues to decline. Due to the pandemic, I attend the vet appointments via Zoom in my car or not at all; he goes in and comes out an hour later and I have limited information. I emailed the PT vet over the weekend to get an update and express my frustration with his lack of progress, but haven’t heard back yet. It’s almost infuriating after spending so much money on seemingly useless veterinary care.

It’s so incredibly stressful to have a sick and injured dog. When we were ready for another dog in 2017, we got a puppy because I was so scarred by my previous dog’s illness (also eventually diagnosed as cancer, but in his belly), decline, and death. I just wanted to have a healthy dog for a while. And now we are already facing the end of Quincy’s life and a marked decline in quality that seems impossible to fix. I’m so sad to lose him and I’m mad at myself for allowing him to get injured on my watch–literally, I’ve been stuck working at home with him due to the pandemic since early March, so I’ve been able to supervise him nonstop.

I’m going to take him to his oncologist for a check-up tomorrow to see if they can give me any other information. And then it might be time to switch his rehab vet. All of this costs so much money and we can afford it for now, but it’s a definite strain on finances. It’s also a strain on my relationship with my fiance. He’s not supportive about the stress I feel because of Quincy’s health, doesn’t understand why I’m so upset, and I just feel really alone, helpless, and hopeless. I would appreciate any moral support or stories about your dogs recovering from injuries after amputation.

The Rainbow Bridge



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5 May 2020 - 2:46 pm
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First, ((((hugs))))). I’m so sorry you are dealing with such a difficult health issue right now. On top of everything else, the not knowing what’s wrong with Quincy is so frustrating. And I’m super sorry that you are coping with cancer again, my heart goes out to you. What a devastating blow. All I can offer is this: Quincy was sent to you because you were the right person to help him overcome such a tough situation. You have gone above and beyond for him in the short time you’ve had him, and I have no doubt that he is grateful you are able to give him a level of care that nobody else could. As sucky as cancer is, you have the experience and advocacy skills to make sure he gets what he needs. Quincy instinctively knows that.

You are on the right track by asking the PT to be more clear on why he isn’t getting better. I’m sorry that he hasn’t. I wish PT could solve every post-amputation physical problem, and usually it does, but it takes finding the right practitioner. You may not be with the right one this time out, but I know there is one out there. It may take more sessions to help him feel better, that wouldn’t be unusual at all. pain management is a multi-modal approach that usually involves pharmaceuticals and hands on therapy, so you are definitely on the right track. 

Also, I think that taking him to the oncologist is a smart move. Being that he was diagnosed with hemangio, his situation could possibly be tied to the cancer, but I hope with all my heart that it isn’t. Be sure to jot down every symptom, when it happens and the frequency, to give the onco vet a clear picture of his behavior. 

Please don’t beat yourself up. Everyone has a learning curve when it comes to knowing that is good and bad activity for a new Tripawd. We have all allowed our Tripawds to be too active for too long at some point or another. Whatever is going on with Quincy, it’s not your fault. Be proud of how you took action and got him into PT…many people wouldn’t think of that but YOU did! Great job

I hope your PT can give you some insight, as well as the onco vet. Please keep us posted on how things are going OK? And remember, you are absolutely not alone. We are here for you.

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




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5 May 2020 - 3:45 pm
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As you can tell fro. Jerry’s response  you are definitely  NOT ALONE!!!    WE UNDERSTAND ALL YOUR EMOTIONS, OKAY?

Definitely, FWIW, get a different CERTIFIED  REHABILITATION  SPECIALIST!  The TRIPAWDS FOUNDATION will pay for the first consult.

In the meantime, when you speak to the PT person, a couple of questions co e to mind.  They should have all of the answers to the questions below..

+What specific “tests” , range of motion, , manipulation of the leg, etc were done?   Did the PT eliminate  any cruciate test, ligamenttest, etc.  If so, how?

+  What was the conclusion  on the PT and what therapies  did they perform..   Obviously there is a disconnect  as Quinn hasn’t  gotten better.  Could be wrong therapy, wrong conclusion,  etc.

+ Have any back issues been eliminated.pinched nerve, disc issue, etc..you can massage up and down his spine, his neck, his shoulder.   Does he show any signs of tension in any of  these areas?

Even IF, there is some sort of cancer, there are things that have been effective,  like mushroom therapy, etc.  

And goodness gracious, many of is jave let oit dogs do what they feel like doing for all the reasons  you said.  Surgeons basically say the sirfery we t great now townhome and enjoy life with many guideline at all.

For now, continue with the pain meds and rest.  What pain med is he o ?  Is he also on an anti-inflammatory like Rimadyl?

Hopefully you feel less alone  now and more reassured that this is most likely  something that, with the RIGHT Rehab Specialist!!

Where do you live?  Rene can help ypi find a good Specialist  in yoir area of you are having trouble finding one.

Gice that sweet pup a smooch for us and we would love pictires!!!

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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6 May 2020 - 2:02 pm
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Hi, thank you so much for the support. I took Quincy to the oncologist this morning, and they found masses in his lungs. So he likely only has a few weeks left. The x-ray showed some spots around his hip as well; they couldn’t be sure it was cancer, but they said the timing seems suspicious. I’m going to go hang out with him for a bit, but wanted to update you. Thank you again.

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 May 2020 - 3:05 pm
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Oh noooooo! Oh my gosh I’m so sorry. This just breaks my heart. I’m so very, very sorry. Unbelievable.

Please focus on Quincy right now and let us know how we can help you stay strong during this tough time. We are here for you. And I know it’s hard but remember that Quincy didn’t read the x-rays. He doesn’t know what the vet says. All he wants to know is “Can we go have some fun now?” Even with mets, you just don’t know what the future holds. We hope with all our hearts he has many more good times with you.

Spoil that boy rotten and please keep us updated OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19514
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6 May 2020 - 3:29 pm
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A kick in the gut, for sure.  Shaking my head in disbelief.  And it still may be….may be…that the leg issue is not   related.  So I would still try and get answers from some of those earlier questions to your PT.

I say that because,  IF  the leg issue is NOT related, some more quality  time can still be ahead.

Did the Onco mention options like Palladia for  example for keeping the mets at bay?  How is Quincy sort of symptom  free from the lung met as far as not having breath issues, no heavy cough, etc.  Still eating, engaged, wagging tail, etc?

Can only ditto Jerry.  Quincy  didn’t  hear a word of what the Onco said, and could care less what xrays show.  As hard as it is, and it’s hard, it’s soooo imp to con to make every moment  count.  It’s so important  to stay in the NOW, in the present.   Quincy has no worries about the tomorrows.   He only wants to experience all the joy and love that he gets from you every moment of every day.  Do not let that piece of s++t disease  interfere  with your time together.  Quincy sure isn’t!!  You still can make treasured  memories that include lots of tummy rubs and doggy butt rubs.

We would love to see pictures  of this amazing  boy.  And fill is in on all the ways you are continuing  to spoil him.  And heck, “nutrition” can now  include some ice cream, lots of cheese pizza, a piece of cake smothered in whip cream!  We would love to see some pictures like that!

Stay connected.  We are here for you every step of the way❤

(((((((((((((((((((((((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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6 May 2020 - 4:20 pm
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I just wanted to say I am  so sorry to hear about Quincy. I just went through th is myself, but I am not going to say I know how you feel, because I don’t. Only you and Quincy know that. Spoil him rotten.

But As Jerry and Sally say all the matters is Quincy is here with you now. 

Quincy and you will be in our prayers.

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!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

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11 May 2020 - 1:08 pm
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I’m heartbroken to tell you that we decided to euthanize Quincy last Thursday. After getting the bad news at the oncologist and knowing his mobility wasn’t going to improve the way I had hoped, he actually started declining at an even more rapid pace. Sadly, I think the exams and x-rays by the oncologist and orthopedic surgeon really hurt him (poking around and moving his injured leg, walking him from one clinic to the other and back, etc.), which just breaks my heart. But on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday, he was not able to move on his own at all, had lots of diarrhea, and was panting nonstop after we helped him up to go to the bathroom.

I don’t have much to say other than we are really, really hurting. His illness was tough, but not having him here is a million times worse. I’ve been through this before with my previous dog, but it doesn’t get easier. I’m so sorry for everyone who has to go through this.

I can’t figure out how to insert an image here, but here are some links to pictures and one video of our very big, beautiful Quincy:

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

The perfect dog

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27803
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11 May 2020 - 2:19 pm
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Oh my gosh my heart is aching right now, I’m so very, very sorry. Of course you are hurting, this is not what any of us expect, not this quickly. I wish we could help ease the pain and the loneliness of having to let him go so fast. 

When I look at these photos and that beautiful movie, I see a dog who was truly loved, and a big part of the family. He had such a great life, and when he needed you most, you were there for him. What a gift to him, and to you. He will never, ever be forgotten.

Having to part ways is incredibly rough, and in time your hearts will heal but right here, right now, it doesn’t feel like it. As you cope with his loss, know that we are here for you and understand what you are going through. Please come back anytime to share his live with us OK?

With deepest condolences to your pack from ours.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19514
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11 May 2020 - 3:25 pm
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Just too gutted offer words…there are none anyway.  But right now, just send you love thru the tears. I’m just so bonrdeep sorry. 

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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11 May 2020 - 6:56 pm
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I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet pup.  We had to say goodbye to our dear Lucky Friday morning, and so I know how you are feeling now.  The sadness is overwhelming at times.  Your sweet Quincy looked so much like my Lucky.  He was also a black lab/GSD mix.  I hope that you will be comforted in knowing that he isn’t in pain anymore.  That was the deciding factor for us.  I wanted so badly to keep him with me, but I knew that wasn’t what was best for him.  My thoughts and prayers are with you all.  Rest in Peace sweet Quincy!

Pam

Virginia




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19 May 2020 - 6:06 pm
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Jist want you to know we are thinking  of you.  We know your heart is still shattered  and the void  hurts, just plain hurts.

These pictures of Quincy are beautiful.   He really can look into your Soil with those golden eyes.

 I’m so glad uou have that video of him hacing soooo mich fun frolicking  in the water.  This says it all.  Quincy  loved being Quincy.  He didn’t  care about the length of his days, just about how much joy and love he experienced  in each moment❤  In Quincys world, that’s all that matters.

Just like Pam did FOR Lucky, Nancy did FOR Brownie, you did FOR Quincy.  You released him from his failing  earth body and set him free to be Quincy again.  He KNEW you loved him enough  to do that.  Of everything  we do for our dogs, releasing  them when it’s time is truly the greatest gift of love we can ever give them.

Thanks for sharing  Quincy with us.  It’s an honor to know this cery special  voy.    May your shattered heart continue  to heal and fill up with hapoy memories  of your hapoy boy ❤

Love and light

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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19 May 2020 - 6:13 pm
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Thank you so much for your very kind and thoughtful words. 

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