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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Hello all, My beautiful girl, Brinkley, was diagnosed with a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor in her brachial plexus (T1 and T2 nerves). She has had lameness since April and after multiple visits to my vet and finally a neurologist, I received the devastating news last month. All along I thought it was a carpal injury, perhaps torn ligament. She had stereotactic radiation almost 2 weeks ago. The oncologist gave me a bunch of options and surgical removal was not recommended as the tumor is too close to her spinal canal. This type of radiation will hopefully stop the growth of the tumor and alleviate the pain. She is taking 300mg of gabapentin 2x per day and 1 prednisone per day. The radiation did not help with her lameness and I think it might be beneficial to amputate her left front leg. She already does well using 3 legs. It’s as if there are non stop spasms in her entire left leg. The oncologist mentioned that amputation might help later on if the leg got worse. I am following up with the neurologist in a few days, but just wanted to reach out in case anyone had advice. Thank you! 🙁
25 April 2007
Hi Cathy and Brinkley, welcome. You’ve joined the club nopawdy wants to be part of, but we are so glad you found us. And yeah Brinkly is adorable!
Where is she getting treated? Just curious, sounds like you have a great vet team. I’m surprised the SRT isn’t helping with the pain. What else are docs prescribing to manage it? Amantadine is often prescribed for pain in these situations. Have you tried any other therapies like acupuncture?
23 April 2016
Hello, Cathy and Brinkley – what a gorgeous girls she is.
Pofi’s mom here. The fact that you have stereotactic radiation treatment as an option is just phenomenal – we did not have it any closer than 9 hours away.
So they would remove the leg, but not actually try to remove the tumor at the same time even possibly after it has shrunk some with radiation? Pofi’s diagnosis took a full year. He was intermittently lame and then very lame at the end. Because he did not really use the leg anymore and also because of the pre-op regimen of Gabapentin and other pain management , he really sailed through recovery and adapted very easily to being an actual tripod rather than a virtual tripod.
His tumor was very close to the spine – 4 cm from it – so we did not get fully clean margins, but the surgeon tried.
What else can I share? Sending to your girl.
On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly. His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.
Jerry and Lisa, thank you so much for reaching out. I feel like my life has been turned upside down since getting this diagnosis. Brinkley is almost 5 years old. I live in NYC, but my vet recommended Garden State Veterinary Services in NJ once he saw that her limping was not getting better. They have been amazing there; all of the doctors have been extremely caring. She is only taking the gabapentin and prednisone , but I will ask about amantadine and acupuncture. The doctors wanted to wait the 2 weeks to see if the radiation would help. She can still use the left leg, but the muscle is badly atrophied all the way up to her shoulder; I believe it’s only hurting her quality of life.
The oncologist did not think removing the tumor was a good option since he was fairly confident that they would not be able to get it all even with amputation. I am not certain exactly how close it is to the spine other than it’s on the T1 and T2 nerves, which from what I have read has a poor prognosis. Both the neurologist and the oncologist have told me her prognosis could be a year and a half.
I wanted to post this prior to the follow up with the neurologist to help with questions from those who are experienced, so I truly appreciate your suggestions.
Lisa, I read your blog about Pofi at work today and I had to hide my tears. I cannot thank you enough for detailing what you and Pofi went through; it really helps someone like me who has no idea what to expect.
22 February 2013
Your Brinkley is beautiful! I’m in love❤
Just want to add my welcome and letting you know you have a TEAM now and you are not alone!
To add to the great advice you’ve already gotten just want to remind you statistics don’t mean much around here! We see dogs blow them sky high all the time!! And if you’ll look closely at Brinkley’s butt…go ahead, do it… you’ll see she doesn’t have a timeframe stamped anywhere on than pretty butt of hers!😉
You’re a wonderful advocate for your girl and we can see the deep love you have for her.
Hold onto us, okay? Looking forward to celebrating all the victories awaiting Brinkley😁
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!