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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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4yo Great Dane - Osteosarcoma distal left radius - aggressive - amputation recommended? I'm not sure!
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Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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16 January 2015 - 11:21 pm
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Kirsty, Tony and Duke! Oh gosh! I remember the sheer exhaustion so well! It was just myself and I real l y don't think I slept more than two hours a night for the first seven days!! It could be that Duke may need Gabalentin added to the mix to help with the pain. Its crazy...reaction to the lain meds looks so much like a dog reacting to pain. The restlessness, the panting, could definitely be signs of pain. It's such a balancing act.

How much does Duke weigh and how often does he take the Tramdol and how many?

You got a bit of food down him, that's good, very good!!

Tippy and Vee! That comment whennyou were in the beach....sooooo insensitive! All we can do is pity people who don't have the connection we do to our enlightened dog souls! They are missing out on a depth of love that can only come from our relationships with our dogs!

Wonderful that Tippy enjoys her swim! She gets ro be Tippy and that's what she wants!!

Sending love to all!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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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16 January 2015 - 11:49 pm
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hey Sally

Dukes last weigh in before surgery was 74kg.  last night he was on 1 x 150mg sustained release tablet every 12 hours we up that to 1.5 tablets this morning and are having a restful day again. But I agree you are not sure it is med side effects or pain or ...??? 

We spoke the vet today and she recommended mirtazapine to get him eating again as we are still only getting a hand full of food into him. He was on 800gms of fresh mince and 5 cups of kibble a day....so we are a long way off a full meal.

it takes it out of him the walk out to the backyard to pee, I am hoping that will improve quickly as he grows in confidence and I think he is working harder than he needs to while works out his balance and centre of gravity again?.. Am I right or is that just the effect of losing 50% of his pepulsion? Which will take a months to gain strength and stamina?  He used to have such a lovely easy walking gait which he could do for miles

Thanks as always Kirsty and Duke

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17 January 2015 - 12:21 am
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Oops .... Sorry about that

thanks for all the support from a calmer Kirsty, Tony and Duke. 

Thanks as always Kirsty and Duke

On The Road


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17 January 2015 - 2:54 am
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Glad to hear you're feeling calmer. Breathe, and know that he will get stronger in time. Try to remember that instead of looking back and comparing what he used to be able to do, that he's still in recovery mode. It's much easier to take things day by day and remember that everything will be a "new normal" as he gets stronger and builds up his stamina.

I hope he gets his appetite back soon. It's good you're working with your vet on adjusting his medication.

Oh PS feel free to move over to start a new topic in "Treatment and Recovery" now that you've made it past the diagnosis phase.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Raleigh, NC
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17 January 2015 - 11:00 am
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I was warned that the first two weeks were going to be hard and you would question your decision.  I'm sure for most people, normal people, this two weeks is uncomfortable.  For someone obsessive like myself, it was like being in Alice in Wonderland!

When Nixon was KICKED out of the vet hospital for being his diva self, our world turned completely upside down.  Nixon was done with the hospital and let them know by just refusing to co-operate for anyone.  He'd stand when ever anyone walked by him but when they came in to take him out, he laid down.  They'd take him outside to potty and he'd refuse to walk and made them carry him.  They'd get outside and he'd just scowl at them and even if his bladder was going to burst, refused to potty outside.

They'd bring him back inside and as soon as they turned their backs, he'd create a masterpiece with urine and poop.  They did a lot of laundry in 36 hours.  He also kept convincing them that he needed more pillows.  I'm not sure how this jedi mind trick worked but the collection he had when he left was impressive.  As much as he wore them all out, they still felt an overwhelming need to accommodate him. 

He ate like a champ and enjoyed being loved on but from time to time, he decided to sing the song of his people and Nixon can really break your heart when he sings the blues.  That's when the call came to come get my dog.  He was upsetting everyone, canine and humane, with his tune.  No artist is ever appreciated in his own time.

I did not sleep that first weekend.  Nixon refused to let me leave him.  My husband was here but that wasn't good enough.  I was allowed to go into the kitchen and the bathroom, as long as I didn't close the door (and the door to the house OPENS to the bathroom and we have a window there...I really love my dog).  I slept on the couch, the floor, where I sat, any time that he was quiet, I tried to sleep.  The medications made him wacky.  AND he got lots of gas from laying around so much. Someone from the Yahoo bone cancer list told me that the panting might be gas and to try liquid simethicone for babies.  So I gave him lots of simethicone (gasx) and that made him happy.  Check with your vet on the dosage for a dane.  I think you can do one or two pills. 

For 3 weeks, I was glued to Nixon.  My job let me work from home for about 6 weeks although my performance suffered a bit.  One night stands out in a foggy haze.  None of the pain meds were on the same schedule.  Some were every 6 hours, some were 8, and some were every 12 hours.  We had setup alarms on google calendar to tell us when to medicate him and you can reach a point where you're too tired to read or speak clearly.  Nixon got a dose of Rimadyl early and missed a dose of something else.  I sat on hold with the ER vets for 15 minutes waiting for them to pull his chart to see if what we did was going to kill him.  I think my husband and I held each other and cried that night.  We just were so tired. 

My vet is a saint and there no amounts of carrot cake that I can give him to thank him and his staff for the kindness they showed.  While Nixon was healing, we went to the vet daily for laser therapy.  They started to babysit Nixon for me (for free) so I could at least shower, eat a hot meal, and maybe get a nap.  There were many accidents and Nixon peed on me more than once.  Our shower is on the second floor and according to Nixon, that was not allowed.  If I went upstairs, he wouldn't even bother to stand, he would just pee where he was!  I can only imagine how I smelled.  As long as the girls kept him in Dr. Huff's office or at the front desk, he was an angel.  If they tried to put him in a kennel with the other dogs, he'd decorate the place and then roll in it.  Divas will be divas.

I squealed the first time he did a successful downward facing dog.  The first time he played with a toy was priceless.  The first time he ran a lap in the backyard and play growled with Cookie was even better.  :)   And then I had to sit down because I was afraid that he'd get hurt.  I don't watch the play because it makes me worry. 

If Duke is panting when you walk him in the backyard, bring water with you.  You'll feel silly offering it to him but he just might need it.  The first 2 months, I don't think we walked halfways around the house before Nixon needed a drink.

Virginia




Member Since:
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17 January 2015 - 11:11 am
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Yeah.....I know you get tired of hearing this....but this is soooooo early in recovery! He is recovering fro major surgery and readjusting muscles, joints, etc.

Glad you upped his pain meds some too! And you may even ask your vet about every eight hours for a day or two. It's so much harder for the meds to catch up once the pain gets a head start.

I'm really glad Duke is going to have an appetite stimulant. I know it's worrisome thst he's not eating. Again, not unexpected though. Perhaps with the extra dose of Tramadol he'll get more rest and feel like eating.

There was an article posted on here a bit ago by a vet who said it generally....general l y but not always....takes about two weeks to start recovering well from aurgery, and about ine month for them to adjust to all the mobility issues. Right now he's probably a little dizzy from pain meds and that causes j uncertainty.

Duke will get his sparkle back and he will be loving his walks again!!!! Although, once dogs learn the joy of being a couch potato and getting all those tummy rubs, it may be harder to get him off the couch!!

Looking forward to more ypupdates AND your new thread!

Hugs to all!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

Hugs to Tippyy and Vee 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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20 January 2015 - 2:51 am
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Quick shout-out to OHMYNIXON - what a bittersweet, wonderful story and how beautifully told!  I could picture Nixon so clearly... and all-too-clearly picture how a love-struck dog owner could forgo any and all claims to human dignity and go to the loo with the door open so as not to traumatise their blues-singing diva more than was absolutely necessary!  Honestly - it's such a powerfully wonderful story.  Thank you so much for sharing.  And I do genuinely hope that you write for a living - you have a real gift for it.

I also want to update you all on Tippy's condition. The weekend started off terribly.  Her pain and lameness were extreme.  She wasn't eating.  I rang the vets who wanted me to bring her in for assessment - but I just didn't want to stress her out with yet another trip to the hospital. I knew she couldn't take anti-inflammatory tablets unless she was eating - so we decided to take her swimming instead.  It was brutally hot and she was tired and sore, but she was determined to swim with us.  It sounds like a mad thing to do, given the state she was in.  But, we just felt that a visit to her favourite beach and some time in the water, might do more than any vet could to stimulate her appetite and get her mind off the pain. She swam alright - for more than half an hour.  By the time we got home, she was exhausted and hungry.  She ate a whole roast chicken and a cup of brown rice. Success!  We got the Caprieve 100mg from our local vet and got 2 and 1/2 of those into her, along with the codeine.  By the evening - she was almost herself again.  Sunday was a great day - she was full of beans and raring to go.  Exploring and running and (to my horror) jumping up all over the place.  We took her to the beach again for more swimming and, once again, she ate like a trooper when we got home.

So we made it through to today pretty well.  Right now it is 8PM and she is passed out on the bed beside me.  The anaesthetic really took it out of her.  She had her first dose of radiotherapy at 5PM this afternoon and my heart breaks to see her like this.  Just one more dose to go tomorrow - and we should know fairly soon how successful the treatment has been.  I hate putting her through all this, but (if we just have a little bit of luck on our side) we may have succeeded in buying her some much-needed pain-free time.  

As an interesting aside, we actually had to take her to a private radiation oncology facility that is outside of Sydney and we had to get her in through the back door once they had finished treating their human patients for the day.  In Australia, the only linear accelerator for animals is in Brisbane - that's over 600 miles away from us in Sydney.  My understanding is that there are only 2 dedicated veterinary linear accelerators in the US as well?  I guess it's no wonder that not as many people go for the radiotherapy option?  Not to mention that, at $1,200 per treatment, it's pretty expensive.  Has anyone heard of any stories of radiosurgery treatments for OS?  I'd be interested hear any other experiences.

Well - I'll let you know how we go again tomorrow.  Sending love to Duke and everyone else out there in Tripawdia.  

Cheers,

Vee and Tippy

On The Road


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20 January 2015 - 11:08 am
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tippy said
Has anyone heard of any stories of radiosurgery treatments for OS?  I'd be interested hear any other experiences.

Don't miss these Tripawds News blog posts. You can search the forums above, or search all blogs here.

A Look at Colorado State University’s Animal Cancer Center

Bone Cancer Tumors and Treatment Options for Dogs

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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20 January 2015 - 11:15 am
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INGRID AND NIXON!!! OMD!!! What a G REAT chronicle! And because I've jad the lrivilege of meeting this magnificent dog and his pal Cookie, it makes the visuals even more enjouable!! Whe he was st the VIRGINIA TRIPAWDS LAWTY (pllug for pcoming event), he was a PERFECT gentleman!! Not one Diva outbreak at all!! Of course, he was getting tons of attention and we were all at his beckon call!! Yes Ingrid, quite your day job and write!!

VEE AND TERRIFIC TIPPY!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAY FOR THE BEST SWIM EVER!!!!! I love, love, love that you KNOW Tippy sooooo well and accommodate her accordingly!!! Great decision to skip the vet and give her a "treatment" that works like no other!!! This just has me smiling non-stop right now!!!clap

And eating too!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAY FOR TIPPY!!! Again Vee, you know your girl so well and I applaud you for staying true to who she is and what works for Tippy!!

I don't have an insight into the types of radiolog offered here, but it's wonderful that you found a place to treat Tippy!!!way-cool

VIDEO!!!!! PICTURES!!! We want to see more of this girl!!

Continue to stay in the moment and let NOTHING rob you of your time together!! You are a WONDERFUL advocate for Tippy!!

Love and hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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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13 January 2015
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20 January 2015 - 6:45 pm
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Hey Vee and Tippy

I have started another thread under treatment and recovery to document Duke's process if you want to keep track.

I am sorry to hear Tippy's pain is increasing.... The decision and options we had with a back leg were horrendous I really can not say what we would do with a front leg either....fingers crossed Tippy is pain free soon.

I must say Duke has amazed us.  He would never have gone down a ramp when he had four legs - but he is doing them like a champ! 

We are trying to get him back to his normal routine as much as we can and one of those is he generally sleeps all day in the home office while Tony works. So we took him up there with a ramp Tony built over the fours steps - luckily our hallway is really wide.  So 50% is ramp and 50% is the four steps. Anyway Tony and I were in the lounge talking about more permanent flooring options as we have floorboard and now lots of sticky mats everywhere.  When the little rascal pops his head out of the study and starts heading for the ramp / stairs ....Tony and could not get to him so we held our breath and he just wanders down the ramp to us - No problems at all!!

I am amazed at how strong he has gotten in the few days...from huffing and puffing so badly just to get to the back yard to now not even raising a sweat, it really is quite a sight.

We had our first Chemo today - fingers crossed all the bloods head in the right direction and another will happen in 3 weeks.

Stay strong and I wish you all the best with Tippy's treatment and swims!  (We may have to get Tippy to teach Duke - he figured out he did not have to swim for the stick...some other little dog would and he would just stand in the deep water with the other dog out of their depth so needing to swim and he would steal the stick off them as they tried to swim to shore - Devil!)

Hugs Kirsty

Thanks as always Kirsty and Duke

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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20 January 2015 - 6:56 pm
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DUKE! You naughty boy! Stealing sticks from little dogs!!! Not really naughty...just really smart!!way-cool

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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20 January 2015 - 7:43 pm
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Kirsty - that's awesome news about Duke's progress!  What a legend!  I'm so happy for you and Tony - all that anxiety and work tending to Duke's needs but it seems everything is moving in the right direction.  I'll definitely follow your new thread and I hope we can get Duke and Tippy to meet up once they're feeling more like socialising ;-)

We're about to head off to Gosford with Tippy now.  I'm dreading putting her through yet another anaesthetic and more radiotherapy.  Last night was not easy.  She cried a fair bit and just seemed so sad and confused.  Even when I eventually fell asleep myself, I kept dreaming that she was suffering and I couldn't save her.  It's all such a nightmare.  But we have to stay positive, right?  

Lots of love to you and Duke,

Talk soon,

Vee

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20 January 2015 - 9:00 pm
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Lol, stealing sticks! My husband and I had a good laugh over that! Ornery Danes are the best :)

 

Vee, I really hope Tippy has a better day today and that you both get some good, pain-free and restful sleep tonight. Keep your chin up and give Tippy a big hug for us.

 

-Kerry

Lily the Great Dane (she was actually a lot more than just "Great") joined our family as an ornery puppy on December 20, 2005 and changed our lives forever. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in early May of 2014 and her right rear leg was amputated on May 8, 2014. She sailed through 5 rounds of Carboplatin and 15 weeks of Pallladia. She hopped on 3 legs like she was born to it and continued to fight cancer with grace, valor and an abundant sense of humor...and always a *giant* smile on her face. Lily had two small nodules on her lungs but was brought short by a brain tumor in late December, 2014. Lily earned her wings on December 28, 2014 and we miss her terribly every day. http://lilyt.tripawds.com

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5 February 2015 - 4:06 pm
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Hi Vee,

How is Tippy ?

Warm thoughts and hugs - Kirsty

Thanks as always Kirsty and Duke

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