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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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Amputation Decision
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Forum Posts: 16
Member Since:
18 November 2019
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21 November 2019 - 7:36 am
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So a bit of a change of plan. The Vet phoned me today to say that upon reviewing the pathologist’s report from the aspiration it’s not conclusive that Dave has cancer. She still thinks it’s the most likely diagnosis but there is a chance it could be something I can’t remember the name of due to trauma.  The chance is very small but a biopsy is the only way to be sure so we will be having a biopsy done first.  Results will take 7-14 days depending on several things that I also can’t remember (I was a bit in shock as I had sort of come to terms with the amputation being the only thing to do now), but as a family we feel that we have to be sure this is the only option for him before we proceed.

So it’ll be a couple of weeks, but I will be back to let you know the outcome. I’m trying not to hope too much as she did emphasize it’s a small chance but felt we needed to be told so we had all the information available on which to base a decision. She also felt that since if it is cancer they believe it to be a soft tissue sarcoma, which is less likely to metastasize than bone cancer in a short space of time, we probably have time to do the tests without affecting his long-term outcome.

Thank you for all your support so far. Obviously I’m back to hoping Dave won’t need to join the tripawds club, but at least having found you guys I now feel it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he had to.

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21 November 2019 - 8:40 am
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Keeping fingers, toes,  paws, and tails crossed for you.  Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers,  please let us know how you do!!

Hugs, 

Jackie and Huck❤

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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21 November 2019 - 11:28 am
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Good luck, we are wishing you all the best. Eva says tell Dave to keep wagging he’s got this!

The Rainbow Bridge



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21 November 2019 - 11:58 am
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Oh wow that’s hopeful! We hope you don’t need to be here too icon_lol Even with that small chance, it pays to look into it. We will keep sending pawsitivity for good news in a couple weeks. Let us know!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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3 December 2019 - 6:13 am
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So the results are in and it’s an intermediate (grade 2) soft tissue sarcoma. 

The vet said there is a low chance of it spreading so we can either leave him and monitor for pain before doing any more treatment or go ahead and amputate. She didn’t feel there was any rush to make a decision urgently.

He’s fine after the biopsy, stitches come out on Friday. While he was under they debulked the tumor but couldn’t remove it all.  Though since the surgery he won’t use his leg if avoidable so is hopping around on 3 at the moment.

I’m thinking of asking for a referral to an oncologist before making any decisions but was wondering if anyone had any experience of this type of cancer they could share?

Thanks for listening.

Virginia




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3 December 2019 - 8:33 am
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The fact that Dave is already showing  you he can handle being on three is a good sign IF  youneed yo  proceed with amputation! 

 So often biopsies  come back inconclusive too, so glad you got a definitive  answer.  Not surprising that he’s holding his leg up as the biopsy  surgery  is usually painful.  Is he in any  paun meds?

Low grade is good!  Others can chime in in their spec experience.   I know the mitox (?) number is important ro help develop  a treat,ent plan…the lower  the better. 

Give that handsome boy a big smooch for us😊

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 December 2019 - 11:06 am
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davethedog said
I’m thinking of asking for a referral to an oncologist before making any decisions but was wondering if anyone had any experience of this type of cancer they could share? 

GREAT IDEA! Yes, do it. Here’s why:

When it comes to STS tumors, many vets are unfamiliar with a treatment called electrochemotherapy and intralesional chemotherapy. One of these two treatments may be able to help save Dave’s leg from amputation. 

I really, really encourage you to ask an oncologist about these therapies. Although many oncos don’t practice these treatments in the US because of a lack of studies here, overseas these treatments are quite common on people and pets and with good success. Some Tripawds here have tried these treatments with success, which enabled them to survive and thrive after a tumor appeared on one of their remaining limbs. So, if your onco isn’t familiar with it, please let us know and we can try to find one who is.

So glad to hear you have some time to think about this. Meanwhile if Dave is limping, you may need to address that with pain management . Did your vet prescribe anything?

Keep us posted OK? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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3 December 2019 - 1:37 pm
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He has had metacam, paracetamol and amantadine for pain relief. He’s only taking the metacam at the moment as he’s not showing any real indication of pain any more, not like when he first got home from the vets. There’s no licking or worrying of the wound, he has no retraction response when you touch it. When he does use it his leg shakes a bit like it can’t support his weight or something. But I will re-introduce the other meds and see if he’s happier using it.

The vet did say before the biopsy we could be referred to an oncologist if we wanted after the results come back. I’ll ask about the treatments you mention. I’m in the UK so we’ll see if they’re familiar with them.

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 December 2019 - 1:44 pm
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Oh sounds like he’s holding his own, that’s wonderful. And yay that you’re in the UK. I didn’t realise that, so there’s a chance that you may be able to get better info about those treatments than US vets typically provide. Keep us posted oK? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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16 December 2019 - 3:31 am
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Spoke to the oncologist, had a CT Scan of Dave’s lungs and the good news is there’s no sign of spread currently. Bad news was he recommended amputation at the hip as the best option for treatment.  So Dave is going in tomorrow morning and we expect him home, a fully fledged member of the tripawd gang, on Wednesday.

We’ve ordered non-slip runners for the hallway and kitchen, they’re coming tomorrow. I’ve prepared several days worth of chicken pieces and chicken stock and I’ll batch cook some rice tonight in preparation.

We’ve got a fabric shopping bag to make a sling from, arranged leave/dog sitters from now until I finish for Christmas on Friday and an air mattress is on order so we can take turns sleeping downstairs with him. We’ve put non-slip matting down on the decking which is outside our backdoor already since he’s avoiding using his bad leg. I think we’re almost as prepared as we can be.

The only thing that’s worrying me is getting him into the car to bring him home from the vets on Wednesday. He normally travels on the back seat but I’m concerned about how we get him in, when he won’t be able to jump up, without hurting his leg or pulling any stitches. He currently weighs 103lbs. My son will be coming with me as a bit of muscle to help, and hopefully the vets will have some experience with this, but if anyone can suggest anything that might help that would be great.

Thanks

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16 December 2019 - 5:33 am
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Wow, you are all over this,  way to go! Getting him into the vehicle will be harder than out and between the 2 of you and tech’s that will help you’ll be all set,  don’t worry about it.  Using the sling to guide him out with your son should be no problem either.  You can let the sling help you ease him out while the other one holds and guides. 

Wishing you the best for a simple and quick procedure,  you’ve got everything covered! I can see by your preparation that you’ve done a lot of reading! 

You got this. I know it’s scary and the road to recovery can be bumpy but your determination and love for your boy will get you through it.  You will have support here too!

Please give your gorgeous boy a hug for me.  He is lucky to have you💖

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 December 2019 - 9:41 am
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Well dang sorry about the amputation recommendation but you are ALL OVER THIS! smiley_clap Kudos for being as prepared as can be! I love that you are putting so much traction down, as that’s one of the most important keys to a good recovery. Your attitude sounds great too.

Don’t worry too much about putting him in the back seat. It’s been our experience that the vet techs will help, and he will likely be so wonky that it will be relatively easy. As for getting him out, you can use the grocery bag sling to spot him, and with others there to help you it should be pretty straightforward. As a rear leg amputee you can also use a Ruffwear Webmaster or Flagline harness to help you help him (the straps shouldn’t rub any incision area), but my guess is that you won’t need to use it yet.

Stay strong and just holler with any questions. We are here for you!

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