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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We are not happy to be here, but so happy to have found this wonderful community. Our dog was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma. She is a lab/pit mix, 47 pounds, and about 9 years old (we just rescued her 7 months ago).
We have already found this community to be so helpful and full of resources. We are curious about a few things:
- As of a few days ago, the cancer had not spread to her lungs. We can't get an appointment for surgery until the end of March. We don't know if in that time the cancer could spread?
- Are there other diagnostic tests that you got for your pet to see if it had spread to other places?
- If we move forward with the surgery, we live in a house where there are stairs to enter the house - how realistic is it for us to bring her home right after surgery to do her rehab and heal?
Thanks so much!
Hi Birdie & furmily, welcome! We are so glad you found us too, and happy that you found our resources and community so helpful. Please feel free to post anytime, your next posts won't need approval anymore.
I'm so sorry about the diagnosis. It's tough and at a time like this when it's so hard to get into a vet clinic for anything much less a major surgery, it can be very stressful. Fear not though, at least you have time to do some research and prepare yourself, and your home.
Is she on any pain management for the tumor? She should be if not. This is the most painful type of cancer around.
I'll try to answer your questions:
As of a few days ago, the cancer had not spread to her lungs. We can't get an appointment for surgery until the end of March. We don't know if in that time the cancer could spread?
Well, it usually doesn't. But if there's one thing that this diagnosis teaches us is that it reminds us that anything can change on a daily basis, whether it's something in our life, our home, our health. Cancer is such a strong reminder that all we have guaranteed in life is this moment in front of us, really. So yes, anything is possible, it could spread. Chances are, it hasn't. But thank dog we have diagnostics that can tell us right? Hang in there. The end of the month is a long way off, but hopefully a cancellation will happen and you get get in sooner (be sure to ask to be put on the clinic's cancellation list).
Are there other diagnostic tests that you got for your pet to see if it had spread to other places?
A CT scan is the most accurate way to tell. It will pick up micromets that xrays cannot. Most vets don't do a full body scan though, they just scan the lungs. If you're worried you can request it, but it will be considerably more expensive.
If we move forward with the surgery, we live in a house where there are stairs to enter the house - how realistic is it for us to bring her home right after surgery to do her rehab and heal?
How many stairs do you have? If it's less than say, 4, she should be just fine and will eventually be able to do them without help. In the meantime, put traction down in as many places as you can. And consider investing in a Ruffwear Flagline harness to assist her in the meantime. The handle on top allows you to help her on stairs, in and out of the car, etc.
If you haven't already be sure to check out our What to Expect articles , Jerry's Required Reading List , and the Tripawds e-books library for all our best tips at your fingertips. And don't hesitate to ask any questions here.
Stay tuned for feedback from others. Keep us posted!
Thank you for your response! Yes she is on a pain medicine even though she really doesn't seem to be in pain. We don't have more than 4 stairs so it could likely be okay. I did also read about putting traction down on the floor! Thank you!
You are so welcome, anything we can do to help.
That's good she's not showing pain, but it's always a good idea to brush up on pain signals . Dogs are so good at hiding pain, for me it's always startling to look back and see how our pets were masquerading their hurt. I'm glad she is on pain meds.
Whatever we can do just holler!
22 February 2013
As always, you received invaluable advice and links from Jerry.
In my Hapoy Hannah's case, when her limp first started the bet just treated her for a sprain and after some Rimadyl, the limp cleared up....until it started up again about a month-ish later Guess it wasn't least about a month after that when she had the surgery. Also, only did xrays and lungs were clear, so proceeded. Jist bringing that up to say often it's a couple of months before the oseomis disc anyway. So, even thoughnit seems like an eternity, the end of the month surgery is still faster than many experience while waiting form proper diagnosis. I honestly don't even remember if CT scan was even suggested. Many here just go with the xrays. Just an individual choose also based, in part for many on finances.
If you were asking about bringing her home same day as surgery, if you have an overnight fully staffed clinic, that is the best route. If you were asking about Rehab therapy right after surgery, it's my understanding recovery from the major surgery itself needs to take place first.
Let us know how recovery is going, okay? Sloooow and easy for the first two weeks. Short potty breaks and back in for more rest.
We'll be cheering for your sweet Birdie and look forward to celebrating as his sparkle starts to come back!
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!