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Sammy is getting weaker
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Greater Western Washington area
Member Since:
25 August 2010
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23 December 2011 - 6:58 am
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I don't know what is going on.  We just went to see Dr. Pam before she went on vacation a couple of weeks ago.  I noticed a little bit of it then but it is becoming more obvious to me now.

Here is what I am seeing:  Sammy is sleeping more.  He is falling a lot more.  He doesn't want to hop very far.  He didn't want to eat his dinner the other night and only ate it after I sat with him.  I was rubbing his back the other day and he lifted his lips at me, almost like I was bothering him.  He doesn't want to go far out into the yard to go potty anymore.   He has within a few days just finished his antibiotics for a microscopic bladder infection.  He will get re-checked when Pam gets back.  If it isn't gone, we can't do metronomic chemo anymore for him.

Also he has lots of good moments, like tail wagging growling happy to get food moments, barking at the neighborhood dog moments, prance in circle moments.  Everytime he catches my eye he does a full throated growly "love ya" mom noise complete with tail thumping wags.  He does want to stay outside and watch the world go by.  He smiles with all his teeth still, head down, tail full throttle.

Pam had said that he would benefit from accupunture and we will do that, but it can't be for another couple of months.  I have tramadol I could give him, but I am not sure if it is pain, or if his front leg is giving out.


What should I be thinking?


Elizabeth and Sammy

Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the right front leg 8/23/10,

leg fractured 8/27/10,

leg amputated 8/30/10


I couldn't begin to say how special Sammy is to us.  Living and laughing with and loving this wonderful boy is priceless.

Edmonton, Alberta
Member Since:
11 January 2010
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23 December 2011 - 7:57 am
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Elizabeth, I hope this doesn't get posted twice because I just typed a response but it doesn't show up...

I truly hope this is nothing at all. I can't tell you what to think because Sammy's behaviour parallels Catie's downhill slide in the spring so I'm not really objective at all.

But I can tell you to enjoy even good moment, every nose in the fur snuggle, every smile.

Thinking of you and hoping it's really just a blip in the journey.

Sending hugs.


Catie -

Birthday – November 4 2003

Amputation – January 13 2010

Crossed the Bridge – June 2 2011

 Catie Caitlin 

Chicago, IL
Member Since:
5 March 2011
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23 December 2011 - 8:25 am
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I don't know if this holds true for dogs but last summer my mom did a sudden downhill decline.  Weak, confused, sleeping and not eating, the works.  It turned out to be a bladder infection.  I couldn't believe a bladder infection could cause that much trouble.  Once they got it cleared up, she improved immensely.  I was astonished.  So I would not wait until Pam gets back if you can help it.

I can't say if Sammy's behavior parallel's Tate's at the end or not, but he never declined pets and hugs.  Not at the end.
August 16, 2006 to November 28, 2011
TATE ~ Forever in our hearts.

Dayton, OH
Member Since:
9 January 2011
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23 December 2011 - 8:28 am
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Elizabeth - Like Catie's mom I hope with all my heart that this is just a temporary setback for your sweet Sammy.  And like her I am certain that you will always be grateful for every moment you can enjoy with him, savoring the toothy smiles, the wags, the barks, the prancing!!  And when you can, the close snuggling - the touch that he might occasionally look askance at will be the most important for both of you no matter where this next phase of the journey takes you.

Also sending hugs and hope to you and Sammy.

- Karen and Sweet Spirit Sylvie

Sweet Silly Sylvie, the Old English Sheepdog

Diagnosed with osteosarcoma 11/04/2010 at almost 7 years of age * Left hind leg amputated 11/09/2010 * Chemo on 12/10, 12/17, 01/10, 01/31

Sweet Sylvie's earthly journey ended on Nov. 3, 2011, one day short of a year since her diagnosis and 6 days short of her one-year ampuversary.  Her family celebrates her life as a sheepdog – ever the puppy, ever silly, ever sweet – and are grateful for our 7 years together.

Member Since:
10 February 2011
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23 December 2011 - 8:51 am
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I do't know but Im hoping he feels better soon!

Hopefully it's the weather or his infection.

We will be cheering for him!

Do keep us posted!

Orange County, CA
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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23 December 2011 - 9:32 am
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I don't really have any advice either, as Max never displayed any of what you're describing.  But I hope he gets to feeling better soon.  Sending positive thoughts your way.

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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23 December 2011 - 9:36 am
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Hope it is something easily fixed. We'll be sending out pawsitive thoughts to you and Sammy.

As others said, enjoy all the good moments. Savor them!
Jackie, 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!

knoxville, tn
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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23 December 2011 - 9:47 am
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maybe i'm stating the obvious, but here goes.  sammy was gayle's man, and she was his forever love.  perhaps, sammy is still mourning the passing of his girl and his heart is heavy with this.  please tell him that gayle will always be his girl, and she is right now looking out for him and sending her special 'gayle kisses' to him.  sammy, we love you and you will always be part of our family. 

hugs to you all,


charon & spirit gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends


Member Since:
1 February 2011
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23 December 2011 - 9:56 am
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I too hope that our man Sammy is just having a bump in the road, but I also wouldn't wait to get him checked out. The peace of mind alone that answers bring cannot be overrated.

Sending our big old' lover boy, Sammy, some hugs from his Washington girls.

Micki and Rio

the Woo

~ ~ Rio ~ ~
Forever in my heart...

April 2000 – January 20, 2012
Diagnosed with Mast Cell Cancer in June 2007. Left rear leg amputated Feb. 8, 2011.
Mets discovered Aug. 31, 2011. Read more of Rio's story here.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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23 December 2011 - 1:14 pm
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I'm betting that his behavior is a sign of pain from some kind of achy joints. The lip curl is one sign that he's not feeling well, and the lack of appetite could be a symptom of pain too. But his other behavior sounds pretty pawsitive. I vote to have him checked out soon. If he stops eating completely or cannot go potty on his own, do it sooner rather than later. Like Micki says, the peace of mind of having a pro look at him will help you both tremendously.

Paws crossed that it's just some mild aches and pains. Keep us posted.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Greater Western Washington area
Member Since:
25 August 2010
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23 December 2011 - 1:27 pm
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I think it helps (as always) to have people to bounce things off of.  I read and re-read everyone's posts, including mine.  I then called and got some financial stuff switched around and will be calling to get his acupuncture set up as soon as possible. 

I think maybe his infection is messing with him? Maybe his neck is still tweaked?  I think too he grew to love Gayle so much, we would read her blog to him and her stories, and he would sniff the fur she sent him, maybe he is missing his forever love too.  I cried hard the day I read about Gayle, I wasn't expecting to see that she had gone, and I know it affects him when I am sad.  He just knew somehow that his girl had gone to the bridge.  I didn't want to tell him, but I haven't been reading him anymore stories either.  He loves his family in Tenn, Charon, he sends his love your way.

Dr. Pam is the best vet I have ever met, she loves our Sammy and is completely knowledgeable in all things dog.  She is also very loved by Sammy.  I don't trust anyone else who doesn't know his circumstances, or I haven't dealt with them personally to take care of my most precious boy.  She will be back in 10 days, so we will wait (unless something awful happens.)

I just came home from buying replacement carpets.  There are many spots that Sammy falls because of our hardwood floors.  When he was going through chemo he had a few accidents and the runners were never replaced.   I am going to be covering as much of the hardwoods up as I can and if my husband says ANYTHING, I will refuse to make him dinner FOREVER.  Ha. take that! No more of your favorite spaghetti night MR.  He won't ever read this so no worries 🙂

Any who, thank you all who have chimed in, I am just so scared.  I don't want to watch my puppy die.  I can't handle it.  I have begged God to help me to keep him, to cure him.  He has done nothing to deserve this.  He is still so young to me, my lifetime little boy.  I wish I could fight this fight for him, to protect him.  I guess at this point I am just rambling.  I HATE CANCER. 


Elizabeth and Sammy

Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the right front leg 8/23/10,

leg fractured 8/27/10,

leg amputated 8/30/10


I couldn't begin to say how special Sammy is to us.  Living and laughing with and loving this wonderful boy is priceless.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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23 December 2011 - 2:09 pm
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Oh Elizabeth!

I'm so sorry Sammy isn't seeming well!  It always breaks my heart.

Are you sure that he isn't just getting older and maybe his symptoms are his older age and him being three legged?  I know this took it's toll on Comet when she hit 11 years old. Maybe it's not the cancer, maybe it's just old bones!  I know Sammy is younger but he's over a 100lbs and 9 years old considered geriatric in a dog his size.  I know I hated the word too.

Or maybe you just are noticing everything a little more with Dr. Pam being gone and our beloved Gayle passing away?  I remember when Comet was here and we'd lose a beloved tripawd, I started noticing things in Comet because death was close to my mind.  And maybe with Pam being gone you feel your safety net is missing right now?

I don't know if any of this is case, but I sure hope Sammy isn't sick.   

I say this lovingly, please don't be scared.  Sammy needs all of your inner bravery.



Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

St. Louis, MO
Member Since:
16 September 2011
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23 December 2011 - 3:01 pm
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I hope this is just a bump in the road.  Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers to Sammy!!! 


Ellen & Charley


DOB: 3-29-08, male chocolate lab  
Dx: OSA L proximal humerus 10-19-10

Amputation: L front leg & scapula 10-28-10

Chemo: 5 rounds of Carboplatin

Video (12 weeks post amp):Tripaw Charley Playing

♥♥♥ Lots of supplements and love!!! ♥♥♥

Plainfield, Illinois
Member Since:
14 May 2011
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23 December 2011 - 4:16 pm
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Oh Elizabeth,


I hurt so much for you.  I am hoping that it is just his bladder infection that is causing him to slow down and be a bit more grumpy.  It's so hard when they can't speak to you and tell you what's bothering them. 

We are keeping our fingers and Finchy's paws crossed that this is just a bump in the road and Sammy will be here for many years to come.


Sending you hugs and praying for you lots and lots!


Jenna & Spirit Chili Dawg

Diagnosed with OSA: 5/2/2011 Ampuversary: 5/11/2011 OSA returned in hip: 8/26/2011
Chili Dawg crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 8/30/2011 & is now pain free. He was my heart dog, and I miss him every day.

Rock Hill, SC
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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23 December 2011 - 6:29 pm
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Please know that you and Sammy are in my prayers.  You have been so kind and generous to us since I joined this site and I am sorry that you are going through a hard time.  Please keep us posted.


Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...

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