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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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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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Newly Three-Legged, Difficulties
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The Rainbow Bridge



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22 May 2021 - 11:07 pm
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Yay for no more bandage! How is Maya's mobility now?

As for chemo, it's such a personal decision. Some decide to pursue it and others don't. Every situation is different and nobody will judge you here on whatever you choose.

The nice thing about chemo is most dogs do well and have no major problems. Statistically it does ensure better odds of survival but there are no guarantees, we see it go both ways. Some dogs outlive the prognosis after chemo and some do not. It's really up to you to decide what is best for Maya.

Have you talked to an oncologist yet? Has your vet referred you to one?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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23 May 2021 - 9:06 am
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Thanks for the advice guys!

Maya's mobility is getting better by the day. And yes we are in contact with an oncologist to schedule initial consultation and additional appointments asap.

Side note, do dogs get depressed or down? Maya's mood doesn't seem as vibrant as it used to be pre amputation. I know dogs are way more resilient than humans, and I'm not even sure if they're capable of feeling depressed, or if it's just us projecting.

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 May 2021 - 11:21 am
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You are so very welcome! I'm glad she's getting better.

As for dogs getting depressed or sad. We used to say no. But there is new science that shows dogs can definitely have emotions similar to ours. How similar to ours is TBD. It may or me not be depression as we know it, but they can certainly show us that something is off with their changed behavior.

If you are seeing a clear change in her personality, then it's likely related to the amputation in some way. We are so used to seeing our dogs bouncy and energetic, but remember, amputation is a BIG surgery and it takes time for the body to adjust. It's exhausting. When dogs are in pain from learning to get around on 3 (see these pain signals ), it often looks like depression, and also pain medications can make them seem depressed too. That doesn't mean you should stop pain control however. Sometimes it's just a matter of getting through the first several weeks of recovery and dogs get back to normal once they get their routines and strength back and they don't need pain control any more. But if you see Maya's personality continuing to change or seem off, it's worth mentioning to your vet.

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




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23 May 2021 - 2:26 pm
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Yeah, ditto Jerry.  Maya will get his sparkle in his own way and at his own pace.  It takes a lot of energy to recover from the surgery itself, all while adjusting to life on three..lots of physical and physical energy used up in both scenarios.  It may be that he needs pain meds extended....or  reduced....it's a catch 22 when it comes to figuring  that out.

Dogs feed off of our energy. What is your energy like?  Are you upbeat,  confident, calm and reassuring?? Make sure you aren't  showing stress or uncertainty, or even pity.

His vibrancy and sparkle will come back and he'll be jist like before....only without  that bum leg!

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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25 May 2021 - 4:30 pm
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Hi all. Does anyone have any experience Carboplatin chemotherapy? Any thoughts on it would be highly appreciated.

Thank you

Virginia




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25 May 2021 - 5:24 pm
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Guess like everything else around here, reactions and results vary from dog to dog.  

As far as my experience with Happy Hannah,  she had no side effects and it was smooth sailing for her.

She had four rounds of Carboplatin.   .Some Oncos suggest four....some five ...and some even six.  .I felt very comfortable going with the four based on her knowledge and expertise.

One HUGE factor for me going with chemo for her, was that she liked carrides and enjoyed going to the Vet.  Plus, this clinic had it set up and my circumstances  were such, that I could bring her in for an actual appointment,  wait for her to be done and we were out of there well within an hour. or less.  Finances were an issue the, but I was able to figure  out a payment plan.  I doubt that I could make the same decision  today because  of finances.  And if I had a dog that hated carrides, hated going to the Vet and had to drop her off for all day, doibt I would proceed  regardless of finances.   So no right or wrong EVER!

How's that special  Maya doing?♥️

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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25 May 2021 - 7:58 pm
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Maya is doing well. He's adapting swiftly on three legs. His energy and mood still don't seem to be back to 100% yet, but being fewer than 2 weeks outs from surgery, I'd say he's coming along nicely. Thank you for asking.

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25 May 2021 - 10:06 pm
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I would say that most people whose dogs with osteosarcoma who have opted for chemo have gone with carboplatin. It's the standard of care now and most dogs tolerate it really well. Why do you ask? Is there something specific that you're worried about? What kinds of questions can we help answer?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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11 June 2021 - 8:03 am
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Maya just underwent his first round of carboplatin yesterday. Too soon to tell if there're significant adverse effects, but he does seem slightly weaker/more tired. Anything we should keep in mind in the coming days?

thank you

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11 June 2021 - 10:35 am
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Oh cool. Well generally side-effects happen within the first 3-5 days or somewhere later around the 10 day mark, which is kinda odd but it's been known to happen. Best thing you can do is to make sure he just takes it easy, stays hydrated, and watch for appetite loss. If you think he's nauseated (licking/smacking lips and drooling), let your vet know and  they can prescribe you an anti-nausea med just in case (unless they already did). Most dogs don't have any side effects other than a little bit of tiredness and lack of appetite, they do so much better than people! 

Keep us posted!

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




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11 June 2021 - 10:36 am
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So etimes just the ordeal itself  can make a dog tired the next day.  And sometimes  the chemo can  make them a little lethargic for a couple pf days.  Just let him rest and go at their own pace and he'll shake it off.  My Happy Hannah never missed a meal, but some dogs may be a bit nauseous  for a day or so and not feel like eating.  The Vet should  give you Cerenia for that.

These are just some mild side effects that may, or may not happen.   If so, they pass in a few days.

Keep us posted.......and of course with more pictures!

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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24 June 2021 - 1:51 pm
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Hi Jerry, Benny, and any passersby,

Two questions:

1. Are there braces/sleeves that can help support Maya's legs? Hopefully alleviate some of the strain and pressure? Any advice to help him while he's standing or attempting to sit down?

2. This past week, Maya sporadically yelped loudly, as if in some sudden spastic pain. This occurred several times already, and we're not sure what to make of it. Any insights into this would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Raymond

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24 June 2021 - 2:49 pm
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myarnar said
Hi Jerry, Benny, and any passersby,

Two questions:

1. Are there braces/sleeves that can help support Maya's legs? Hopefully alleviate some of the strain and pressure? Any advice to help him while he's standing or attempting to sit down?

Hey there, nice to hear from you! So what about Maya's mobility is making you think that a brace is needed? What kind of trouble is he having? What does his daily activity look like? Could he be getting too much activity in right now? He has not been an amputee very long and all dogs need time and conditioning to adjust.

Generally when a dog is struggling, it's from weakness in the core and back muscles, not the legs. The real strength comes from abdominal and back muscles, just like a human. Yes, braces for Tripawds exist, but never use them without consulting with a rehab therapist, who can get to the source of problem. That's why Tripawds Foundation will pay for your first rehab visit ! Do check it out. 

2. This past week, Maya sporadically yelped loudly, as if in some sudden spastic pain. This occurred several times already, and we're not sure what to make of it. Any insights into this would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Raymond

  

When did it happen? It could very well be phantom leg pain , which can happen even this far out from surgery. It sounds like between the weakness you described, and the pain signals , that he can really use a visit with a rehab therapist. Can we help you find one near you? 

Meanwhile I would let your vet know about his pain signals so that you can get pain management started. Generally gabapentin and rest will help with the symptoms. But to find the source of the pain, you really want to have a therapist look at him. 

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




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24 June 2021 - 8:52 pm
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Can only ditto Jerry's detailed feedback, questions, etc.  Know it's s lot to think about but looking  forward to your reply. 

In the meantime, try massaging all up and down his spine,his neck and shoulders, around his hip area.  Just keep his muscles as relaxed as best you can.  Sometimes what looks like a leg issue, can be back/ disc related.

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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