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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Sudden Back Leg Problems
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Forum Posts: 65
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18 December 2011
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26 February 2012 - 7:27 am
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Hi everyone!  It's been a while.  Things have been going so well...almost too well until yesterday.  Tasha had her 3rd round of chemo and only has one more to go.  She has handled chemo great with almost no side effects at all.  Yesterday she was walking around and jumped into the back of my SUV as usual without any issues.  Several hours after we got home I took her out to go the bathroom.  When we came back in she was unable to get up the stairs.  She would put one paw on the step but couldn't get up at all.  I had to carry her up the stairs which at 70 lbs isn't easy!  I called the on-call Oncologist and he called me back.  He said that the issues with her back legs aren't a side effect from chemo and it could be that her osteo has spread to her back legs or that she pulled something or possibly arthritis.  It is just odd to go from being 100% healthy and running around to suddenly not being able to climb stairs.  She seems to struggle a little getting up when she is laying down.  He suggested I could put her on Tramadol which I haven't.  I'm trying to decide if I should bring her to the vets tomorrow or wait and see if she gets better.  I feel like I am overly paranoid and worrisome but being overly paranoid and worrisome got us to where we are today.  Any thoughts or advice???  Thanks!

Tasha was a German ShepherdBorder Collie mix who was diagnosed with OSA at age 8.  On December 29, 2011 she had her front right leg amputated and received 4 rounds of chemo.  Sadly and suddenly Tasha became sick and we discovered she had liver cancer that had spread to her lung.  After almost 19 months, Tasha earned her wings on July 17, 2013. No regrets and never forgotten. 

Rock Hill, SC
Forum Posts: 875
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26 February 2012 - 7:44 am
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First of all, try not to panic.  There are so many possible reasons for this lameness and most of them are way more innocent than the spread of the cancer!

One week after surgery (with Zeus getting around remarkably well during that week), he suddenly became much less active and would whine sadly when we picked him up to carry him up/down stairs.  I took him to the vet who diagnosed a strained back.  Dr. R said the spot was obviously tender and he found no problems at all with the legs or anywhere else.  That exam was tremendous comfort to us.  We used moist heat (one of those beaded bags that you heat in the microwave) and Tramadol for a couple of weeks until he felt better.  Since then, he's had a couple of instances of soreness and we can almost always attribute it to a jump or a stumble.

If you can, I would get him to the vet.  Knowledge is power, so knowing what the problem is will allow you to treat appropriately and have some peace of mind.

Good luck and keep us updated!

Lisa

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...
http://zeuspod......pawds.com/

knoxville, tn
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26 February 2012 - 9:43 am
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we agree with lisa - knowledge is power.  we recommend going to the vet too, getting tasha checked out.  it could be a muscle pull, or maybe she tweaked her back, or many other things...  don't go down the road of fear, you don't have a reason to do that at this point.  we're sending our best 'ET juju' to you guys, and will hope for good news.  let us know what you decide to do and what you find out.

 

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

http://etgayle

San Diego, CA
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26 February 2012 - 10:50 am
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We had scares too with Abby. Once when she suddenly stopped walking and seemed to have gone lame n her remaining front leg I was afraid to take her to the onc and get bad news, but it turned out to just be a sprained toe! It's best to go and know!

We will send pawsitive thoughts your way. The power of Team Tripawds pawsitive thinking is an awesome thing. Here's hoping it is just a strained muscle!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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26 February 2012 - 11:11 am
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Yes, I agree, only your vet will be able to tell you what, if anything, is going on. Hopefully it's nothing serious, and usually, it isn't anything more than just a muscle strain. Many Tripawds overdo it when they feel good again, they start to think they're back to their invincible selves!

While you're waiting try to review her activity over the last couple of days. Was she jumping around? Hopping into our out of a vehicle, bed or piece of furniture? Playing hard with other dogs? Slip on the floor? Think about what might have caused her to be in pain like this. Chances are it's nothing serious.

You may want to give her the Tramadol just in case, if she is able to be on it without seeing pink elephants.

Also try gentle doggie massage too, which will help take your mind off of things.

Keep us posted. We hope it's nothing.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 76
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26 February 2012 - 11:24 am
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Wow, your story reminds me so much of Crystal just a couple of weeks ago.  Crystal's back legs also gave out and when I took her to the vet, they said it was due to low WBC because of the chemo and hypertension, which is rare in dogs.  I don't think what's going on with Tasha is the same as what was going on with Crystal but I thought I'd share in case it's helpful.

Greater Western Washington area
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26 February 2012 - 12:37 pm
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Sammy had a couple of side effects from the chemo (carboplatin) which were after the 4th round he got too weak to go outside and go potty, we had to get him to the door.  We also had to hold him up a couple of times to get water, and eat.  Chemo has a cumulative effect, so it continues to get harder on the dogs as you go.  His last round had him shaking like he was very cold, and we covered him with warm blankets.  He was also too weak to do more than lie around for a day after chemo.

 

I don't actually agree with what your vet is saying, based on our experience.  But, I am not a vet, so a second opinion from a qualified professional is probably better than mine 🙂

 

Elizabeth, Sammy's mom

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

leg fractured 8/27/10,

leg amputated 8/30/10

http://sammyand.....pawds.com/

 

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

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26 February 2012 - 6:52 pm
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts and advice.  The good news is Tasha is going up the stairs now.  She makes it up the first set to the landing and then takes a few seconds and gets up the second set.  I did give her one Tramadol this afternoon and I have taken tomorrow off from work so I can bring her to the vet.  The oncologist scared me (thought I am sure not his intention) when he said the osteo could have spread to her back legs.  I'm a total over-thinker by nature and this roller coaster ride certainly doesn't help.  Thinking positive thoughts that it is nothing serious. 

Tasha was a German ShepherdBorder Collie mix who was diagnosed with OSA at age 8.  On December 29, 2011 she had her front right leg amputated and received 4 rounds of chemo.  Sadly and suddenly Tasha became sick and we discovered she had liver cancer that had spread to her lung.  After almost 19 months, Tasha earned her wings on July 17, 2013. No regrets and never forgotten. 

Georgia
Forum Posts: 186
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20 August 2011
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27 February 2012 - 5:44 am
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Spencer woke up 2 days after Christmas really favoring a leg.  Since he has fibrosarcoma I wasn't worried that the cancer was doing it; but I was worried that he had fractured a leg or something.  But... it was just a sprain or something like that.  He was fine with rest and an NSAID for a few days.  But I agree with the others, it takes going to the vet to find out for sure.  Hopefully you get good news!

Jac and Angel Spencer.  Spencer was 5.25 years old. He fought a grade 3 fibrosarcoma, started on his shoulder.  Left front leg amputated in August 2011.  15 weeks of chemo finished 12/22/11 (mytox and adria).  Lung mets found on x-rays 12/28/11.  Started carboplatin 1/6/12. Went to Heaven on 2/27/12. I miss him like crazy every day.  See his blog here:  http://spencer.tripawds.com/

Forum Posts: 65
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27 February 2012 - 6:01 pm
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I brought Tash to the vet this morning.  They did a physical exam on her and really pushed and pulled at her back legs and she gave no indications of pain.  He said her knees were very strong which was great to hear. The doctor's opinion is that she may have pulled a muscle or might have some arthritis since she is 9.  He said that now that she has three legs she is using different muscles than before.  I asked about doing x-rays and he said we could definitely do them if I wanted but they would need to sedate her to get her hips.  I went back and forth trying to decide and finally the doctor and I agreed to put her on Rimadyl and they would check on her later in the week. 

Tasha was a German ShepherdBorder Collie mix who was diagnosed with OSA at age 8.  On December 29, 2011 she had her front right leg amputated and received 4 rounds of chemo.  Sadly and suddenly Tasha became sick and we discovered she had liver cancer that had spread to her lung.  After almost 19 months, Tasha earned her wings on July 17, 2013. No regrets and never forgotten. 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 31074
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27 February 2012 - 7:06 pm
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Oh well that is a really good sign! Isn't it a relief to get a professional opinion?

Paws crossed that she continues to feel better. Keep us posted.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Rock Hill, SC
Forum Posts: 875
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28 November 2011
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27 February 2012 - 7:21 pm
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ksplaine said:

The doctor's opinion is that she may have pulled a muscle ... He said that now that she has three legs she is using different muscles than before. 

Almost exactly what Dr. R told us the week after surgery when Zeus was so painful.  I know it sounds terrible, but yay for a muscle strain!!  Hope she improves quickly!

Lisa

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...
http://zeuspod......pawds.com/

krun15
13
27 February 2012 - 8:20 pm
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We constantly find ourselves here rooting for muscle strains or the like, as long as it is not the 'C'!

Hopefully the rimadyl will do the trick.  Quad pug Tani has arthritis.  We started her on rimadyl last year and it made a big difference.

Do you have her on a joint supplement?  If you don't that could really help too if she has some joint pain.

 

Karen and the pugapalooza

Las Vegas, Nevada
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27 February 2012 - 8:29 pm
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Paws crossed it's only something minor and this next week finds her back to normal!

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.

Forum Posts: 166
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18 January 2012
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27 February 2012 - 9:14 pm
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Yay!  So happy for non-C news!  Hope the muscle heels fast. 

 

Wags and Slobbers

Judy and Baby

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