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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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Completely overwhelmed....
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Scotland, ON
Member Since:
24 August 2016
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25 August 2016 - 12:20 pm
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Our 6 year old Bouvier, Bruce, was diagnosed 2 days ago, we went in to see an orthopedic surgeon after having x-rays at our regular vet, who thought he had suffered a knee injury, possibly requiring a surgical repair. The orthopedic surgeon thought he saw something in the bottom edge of the x-ray and felt it was necessary to do a few more x-rays in order to know what we were dealing with. The x-rays showed a tumor in the distal left tibia, chest x-rays show one very small spot close to the heart, which the surgeon felt could be a blood vessel, but he's not 100% sure.

Yesterday my husband and I determined that whatever else we decide, amputation is definitely what we will be doing, we contacted Guelph University this morning, they are running a study that Bruce may be a candidate for and, they said that we should have an answer within 24 hours as to whether or not he is suitable, this is the link to the study http://ovc.uogu.....teosarcoma. We had not decided if we would pursue chemo, and if he isn't a candidate for the study, it will give us a little more time to make that decision.

I am just completely overwhelmed by his diagnosis, and feel absolutely terrible that he is in so much pain, he is on Metacam and Tramadol right now, but I am anxious to get him booked in for surgery, in order to get him on the road to recovery as soon as possible, and as much as I know there will be pain from the surgery, from everything I've been reading he will be much more comfortable in a fairly short time frame once his leg is gone.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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25 August 2016 - 1:08 pm
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Welcome and best wishes for Bruce's speedy recovery! Your future forum posts will not require approval.

It's perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed, but ssshhhh. Don't tell Bruce! He doesn't know he has cancer, and he will follow your lead. Our best advice is to Be More Dog .

Bookmark Jerry's Required Reading List for lots of helpful links or consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns. And start here if you ever feel overwhelmed about the vast resources available here at Tripawds!

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



Member Since:
21 May 2016
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25 August 2016 - 4:02 pm
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Hi Bruce and family ❤️

I am very sorry you are joining us but we are all here to guide you and share our experiences with you.

Having this diagnosis is always such a huge shock ...

I remember feeling totally baffled and desperate when I was told, I couldn't believe my wonderful, young, healthy girl could be suffering from cancer ...

But, exactly like you, once I realised what we were up against, I was totally anxious to get the surgery done at the earliest date.

I have zero regrets and although sometimes my heart sinks when I see my girl hopping on 3 rather than running on 4 I remind myself we were given 2 weeks to 3 months if we didn't choose amputation, so at almost 4 months pos amp now, it means she would be no longer here. 

We decided to go for chemo, Eurydice had 5 of 6 sessions already with no side effects.

You've got to prepare yourself mentally for the first couple of weeks, as during that time there are a lot of up and downs but as soon as stitches come out everything will get better and better. 

Make sure you have traction covered if you've got hard wood or tiled floors as it is crucial our fluffies don't slip whilst learning to hop on 3. 

Also, Bruce will need a good harness, we use a ruff wear harness which is great as it has a handle and that helps enormously getting our furry babies in and out of the car etc. 

I am sure you will get loads of good advice from others soon.

Keep us updated, you can do this and so can Bruce!

Sending you a cloud of pawsitive energy and a big, big cuddle to your cutie pie ❤️🐾

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

Los Angeles, CA
Member Since:
13 June 2013
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25 August 2016 - 5:01 pm
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Hugs!!! I am sorry you are finding yourself here .... but you are in good hands! We have seen a lot here and there is a lot of personal wisdom and while we aren't (for the most part) doctors /vets we can help support and guide this journey! 

Indeed Bruce will be happier once that painful leg is off! Dogs mask pain SO well it's hard to tell they are even in pain! The recovery can be tough but you will see that sparkle come back and Bruce will be Bruce!!!

Keep us posted!

alison with spirit shelby in her heart 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Scotland, ON
Member Since:
24 August 2016
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5
26 August 2016 - 8:18 am
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Thank you both so much, just being able to read stories and hear from people who have been through this is a tremendous help. I did hear back from the study co-ordinator at the university last night, and both an oncologist and radiologist have looked at Bruce's chest x-ray's and they think they are clean with no obvious pulmonary metastases, the files sent from the first vest were not in the preferred format, so they will try to get those today and we should have an answer from the fairly shortly. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 August 2016 - 9:58 am
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Hi Handsome Adorable Bruce and family!

Sorry yiu have to be here. Under the circumstances, there is no better place to be for support, understanding and information. We know how scary this part of the journey is. You are full of fear and uncertainty of the unknown. We also know that Bruce does not care about any ol stupid diagnosis or statistics. Nothing has changed in Bruce's life. All he cares about is getting rid of that bum leg and soaking up all the loving and spoiling that you will be giving him every second of every day!

It's wonderful news that the x-rays are looking good. It sounds like he will be a good candidate for the surgery and for the clinical trial.

Stay connected and let us help you navigate through the recovery.. It can be pretty rough for the first couple of weeks, especially for big dogs. But once the recovery is over Kama you will be amazed at how well Bruce will do hopping around on three legs and being free of pain.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We are all right by your side the whole way! We look forward to hearing about the many victories that you and Bruce will have along the way!

Lots of 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!

Norene, TN
Member Since:
21 October 2014
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26 August 2016 - 10:22 am
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Howdy and welcome!!

No, you are definitely not alone and it's totally normal to feel overwhelmed. That just shows the depth of your dedication and love to your sweet fur-baby Bruce; a badge to be proud of my friend!

Stay close, take solace knowing you're not walking this journey solo.

Pam

Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey



Member Since:
21 May 2016
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27 August 2016 - 5:49 am
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Keeping our fingers, paws and tails crossed too 🐾🐾🐾

Woof woofs from Eurydice to Bruce ❤️ and hugs to you 

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

Scotland, ON
Member Since:
24 August 2016
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27 August 2016 - 8:17 am
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I can't tell you all how happy I am that I stumbled across this group, the kindness shown here is incredibly heartwarming. I just wanted to share a wee bit of good news, we haven't officially been accepted into the U of Guelph trial yet, but we do have an appointment with the team on Monday morning at 9:30, they will do a few more x-rays and if everything looks good, Bruce will be enrolled and hopefully be having surgery early in the week.

Schofield, WI
Member Since:
13 August 2015
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10
27 August 2016 - 8:18 am
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Welcome!  This is a wonderful place for support as you are finding out.  Sounds like things are falling into place to be able to get your handsome boy out of pain.  We'll be here to help you if needed.  Please keep us posted on Bruce's journey!  Hugs

Linda, Riley & Spirits Mighty Max & Ollie

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11
27 August 2016 - 9:32 pm
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Tell ha' what, if "cuteness"'was a criteria, Brice woukd be accepted in the program in a heartbeat! 🙂

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!



Member Since:
21 May 2016
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29 August 2016 - 4:06 pm
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Hi Bruce and family heart

How did it go this morning ???

Lots of love and cuddles flying your way heart

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

Minneapolis, MN
Member Since:
23 April 2016
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13
29 August 2016 - 6:14 pm
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I have a softness for Bouviers - and that face, Bruce, well that is a winning face.

Checking in to see how everyone is doing!  Hope you can update us soon.

Lisa, Minneapolis

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.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

Scotland, ON
Member Since:
24 August 2016
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30 August 2016 - 8:21 am
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Thank you so much for your concern Lisa and Pofi, and I must agree about my Brucie's beautiful face (I may be a wee bit biased). Things are moving forward, we took him to Guelph yesterday and decided against proceeding with the study, he is booked to have surgery tomorrow at our local vets and in two week he will begin chemo in Guelph. In order to participate in the study there were several testing procedures that would have been necessary (and fairly expensive), one of which was a biopsy, which I don't feel is warranted, especially with the risk of fracture, our vet will send a sample of the tumor to a pathologist for confirmation after the amputation. Financially it makes more sense for us to have our vet due the amputation as their fee is roughly a quarter of the fee at the university and the cost of the chemo is really very reasonable. I will be taking Bruce in tomorrow morning at 8:00 am, and our vet seemed to think that if all went well we could pick him up at 5:30 pm, if there is any doubt as to how he is doing he will spend the night at the vets.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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30 August 2016 - 10:18 am
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I'm glad to hear you were able to decide on how to treat Bruce and that you made the choices with his best interests in mind. It's exactly what we mean by "There are no right or wrong choices." The love you have for him shows crystal clear!

Keep in mind that if you do bring him home the same day, it may be rough going that night. Ask your vet for emergency contact phone numbers, get clear instructions on medications too OK? Also, if you do leave him overnight, please make sure they have 24-hour care. If they don't have anyone on site working the night shift, he's better off coming home with you.

We send all our love to you all for a successful surgery and speedy recovery. Keep us posted.

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

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