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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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Devastated , we were just told my boy has cancer in the right front leg
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17 November 2020 - 3:27 pm
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I think it’s great that you are exploring all avenues.  Samson is in good hands!sp_hearticon2

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

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17 November 2020 - 7:02 pm
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It is so so so good you are looking into your options. As others have said, you know what you and Samson need and what is best for him. There will be times where you will doubt that, but try to remember to trust yourself. At every step, you are making the best decision you can with the information you have. Information can change — that doesn’t mean your earlier decisions were wrong. If you are deciding based on what you believe is best for him, you cannot be wrong, whatever you decide. 

For what it’s worth, I though I’d share a bit on our experience. Our girl Maddie is seven weeks post-amputation. She sounds a bit like Sampson, in that she is also 8 years old, a big dog (around 100 lbs), and has high anxiety at times. I was extremely nervous about how she’d behave at the vet and how that might affect their treatment of her, as well as how well she’d bounce back from amputation. She also seems to feel the effects of sedation a bit longer than they expect. We have a few stairs leading to all entrances of our home and a second story. She HATES being carried, and at 100 lbs we can’t make her let us. 

But we found ways to address these issues that worked for us, which may be different that what has worked for other people or would work for you. We built a ramp for a set of outdoor stairs. For the first few days, we also used a dog bed to carry her up and down those stairs when her mobility was still limited (we called her Cleopatra during this time, which still makes me laugh). I was *astounded* at how well she has recovered to her amputation. It was honestly harder for me to adapt to the idea that it seemed to be for her.  This is not to say it is always easy or amazing — there are challenging times — but she has recovered from surgery, continues to adapt to how her new body moves, and is happy and pain free in her leg. 

Maddie isn’t your dog, and so I do not presume to think our experience will necessarily be yours, but I know I was nervous given her age and size to do amputation, and it has been okay.

You may decide a different treatment route is best for your dog, and that is okay. Whatever you decide is the right decision. 

Pennsylvania
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20 November 2020 - 7:34 am
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Thank you , That does help knowing what you went thru and how Maddie and Samson are so similar. But Know i feel as if I let him done by waiting to get all of the info from different Oncologist service that uses SRS technique . They just sent over a video of there findings and what there prognosis is. The biggest difference between them and Samson’s Dr is there’s no amputation but a 40% higher cost and 4 days of driving him there and back for the treatments that will last approx 3 with him being knocked out or longer  ( its a 2.5 hr ride each way) but the done side to SRS is that he has a 40% chance that the bone will fracture after 6 months leading back to amputation again . But he would be pain free , but Samson is not one to not jump or bounce around . And by waiting for there review if his records and the video we missed the soonest appt for surgery with hi Dr. which was yesterday afternoon . 

And know he is in alot of pain ( heavy breathing , not hungry barely moving ) He threw up Wed night ( mainly his food and some of his Gabapentin) but he went outside pottied , then laid down in the grass to relax . He loves the chilly winter mornings , well a fed ex delivery showed up unexpectedly when my back was turned and Samson took off and scared the poor guy by barking at him but also hurt his bad leg doing so . We got him in tried an ice pack on his leg , then he had to go out and vomitted a small amount of food and some of his pain med . He insisted on staying outside and just walking a around the yard for 4 hrs . But now he wont eat and is painting very heavy and refuses to take his meds ( you cant force him to take them as he will snap at me ) Just for perspective I recently had spinal surgery and have issues getting around for now , so picking him up couldn’t happen .

I just feel like by me waiting for a different option I made it worse for him . And I’m leaning to go with the amputation and chemo because there’s less stress on him without all of the driving for 4 days straight ( and he freaks out in hotels , tired it once not a good idea) But his Dr.s next available day is next Wed , and I hate to see my boy in so much pain .

I’m going to try some different foods to see if i can get this pain med in him to help . 

I just feel so helpless right now 

Samson aka Lunkhead.  Diagnosed with osteo on11/12/20, passed before he could fight it  11/20/20. You came to me to save me after my Loki passed 1 month later in 2/16 and we had 4.5 great yrs . You were the greatest boy . I couldn't ask for anything more from you but you have me so much more .. The clown of the house ... Daddy will always love and miss you .Stay safe and happy on the other side of that bridge and teach them your soccer moves ...

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20 November 2020 - 10:36 am
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Sorry to read that Samson is in pain.  When Brownie’s pain got worse his vet called in a prescription for a Fentanyl Pain Patch.  It made him loupe, but it did work.  The patch is good for three days.  If your vet calls you in a prescription, make sure you go online for a coupon.

Hope Samson gets to feeling better soon.  And don’t blame yourself.  You are just checking out all avenues, because you love him so muchsp_hearticon2

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 November 2020 - 10:53 am
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Oh poor Samson. First, please do not blame yourself. You ARE acting quickly, and getting all the facts before making a decision will help you feel better about the path you take. 

Sounds like he’s experiencing breakthrough pain which is pretty bad, enough to make him vomit. That’s typical, and I know it hurts so much to see him like that. You can address his pain better by calling your vet and letting them know what’s going on. They can administer a stronger medication like Fentanyl to help him feel better. Please call them today and let us know what they say OK? 

If you’re still leaning toward SRS here is a story about Hazel the Great Dane that you may want to check out. 

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




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20 November 2020 - 12:12 pm
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My connection is cery, very slow eight now…take forefer to type o e letter

So quick question……what is main reason holding you up on proceeding withamputation?  Sedation? ?

Is it possible his leg is fractured  now….this the extra pain?

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!

Pennsylvania
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20 November 2020 - 2:01 pm
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I did speak with his Dr. and he thought it could be a GI tract issue ( maybe something he ate or a side effect of the Gabapentin) For now he is resting the drooling has stopped and his breathing has normalized deep and constant ( like normal ) but he’s not interested in food still. I doubt his ankle is fractured now as he let me rub both legs and feet with out any indication of discomfort ( and he’s not 1 to shy away from nipping me if something hurts ) . The Dr stated if he does change or settle down to bring him in right away . He’s resting now but if he stays the same later tonight or in the am he’s going to them . He has walked around but favored the paw ( but hes been doing that since he first hurt it ) uasually to move from one spot to the next. 

Its not so much the sedation that’s holding me up as his Dr. will be keeping him there for 4 days and nights to monitor him and help him get used to the loss of a limb , their doing this mostly for Samson but also for me as I just had spinal surgery on 10/28 and can barley lift a milk jug right now .But Samson Dr. and I spoke and agreed to seek out other viable alternatives to amputation , which is SRS radiation treatment ( but its almost twice the cost of surgery and chemo ) with the same length of time he would be around . The only thing the scares the crap out of me is the SRS also has a 40% chance of bone fractures after 6 months , meaning worst case scenario he’ll need amputation then !! But with SRS he keeps his leg IF the bone isn’t to fractured , they haven’t told me if he’s a good candidate yet . I have a tele conference set up with them for Tuesday ($200 fee for it ) for them to let us know if he qualifies of not and what he treatment plan would be . The plan for his condition can vary between 7300-8500 on average or more if further treatments are needed . And if we went that route ( if I can find the extra$$) its a 2.5 hr ride each to the hospital , then the sedation , treatment 30-45 min and then 2-3 hrs before he comes out of sedation ( he does very poorly with it ) and this needs to be done once for the ct scan then 3-4 days in a row for the treatments . 

So I’m just trying to weight the be possible option, least stressful option for my boy . I owe him atleast that much since he has done and given me so much more then I could ever put into words …

Samson aka Lunkhead.  Diagnosed with osteo on11/12/20, passed before he could fight it  11/20/20. You came to me to save me after my Loki passed 1 month later in 2/16 and we had 4.5 great yrs . You were the greatest boy . I couldn't ask for anything more from you but you have me so much more .. The clown of the house ... Daddy will always love and miss you .Stay safe and happy on the other side of that bridge and teach them your soccer moves ...

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 November 2020 - 3:49 pm
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Awww I’m glad he’s settled down a bit, poor guy.

You are doing such amazing research. Who is the oncologist you’re consulting with? Just curious.

Always remember that there are no guarantees with the timeline projections. They are just educated estimates, and many dogs will blow those prognosis numbers out of the water, we see it happen often. So when you’re trying to make a decision, focus on quality of life on a daily basis, not just how long a dog is “supposed” to live out their treatment results.

Keep us posted! I hope he continues to feel better.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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20 November 2020 - 4:53 pm
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Ditto to what Jerry said. Brownie was one to beat the odds. Brownie was given 2 maybe 3 months without chemo, and 10 months with. We did the amputation and did not go thru with chemo. Brownie lived an additional one year and eight days. His vet is still in shock. lol

Just remember every case, and every dog is different, and you know Samson better then anyone.sp_hearticon2

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

Pennsylvania
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20 November 2020 - 6:30 pm
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First off I just want to say Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone’s kind thoughts and wishes for Samson . He did start drinking some water and getting up and moving around abit after some major head and belly rubs . But then he moved close to at my desk curled up in a ball ( thought he was going to nap) then he got restless and his tongue started to hang out sideways and he stretched out to me , by the time I got to the floor to him he had passed .. His little buddy even walked up to him and put her pink bunny toy on his face as to say good bye..icon_cry

I know he would have appreciated everyone’s thoughts and wishes for him as much as I have . But now my best friend ,alarm clock and therapy buddy has moved on to the rainbow bridge . I know he’s in a place free of the pain of the cancer but I will forever hurt at his loss…

RIP Samson .. 8/2012 – 11/20/2020

Gone in body but forever in spirit..

Samson aka Lunkhead.  Diagnosed with osteo on11/12/20, passed before he could fight it  11/20/20. You came to me to save me after my Loki passed 1 month later in 2/16 and we had 4.5 great yrs . You were the greatest boy . I couldn't ask for anything more from you but you have me so much more .. The clown of the house ... Daddy will always love and miss you .Stay safe and happy on the other side of that bridge and teach them your soccer moves ...

Virginia




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20 November 2020 - 8:40 pm
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SHOCKED AND STUNNED!!!   I cannot even phantom what I jist read.  Read it five times before I could even believe it.  

At this moment t, the only words I can possibly  get out….Samson  made HIS decision.  He made a decision  that did not put him or you thr any ad stress on so many levels.  He transitioned  AT HOME and with uou by his side.  He was surrounded  by your love and by the bunny toy his buddy gave him

I’m  sure you are in a state of shock eight now.  I hope you do find co mfor in Samson leaving his earth clothes on his terms and in a way that brought him most cl fort….at home…no Bet visits….nompomk g and prodding ..just being  surrounded  by hooman Soulmate.

I keep writing as though I can find so e words.yet I m ow there are no e.  That piece of crap disease is brutal and sneaky and cunning.  It had already charted it’s course with your sweet boy, but Samson did beat it jn a way bec he deprived it of putting him through all those therapies that would have been futile anyway.

For now, p,ease feelmojr love and our support . We are all privileged to meet this special boy and to see the bond and devotion  you two jave with each other.  Please stay connected.   Samson and you are family.  We k ow you have so e rough days ahead and the void  will hurt.  When you can thpugh, we would love to know more about Samson  and all the adventures you two have shared.  Samson will always be with you and he will let you k ow that in his own way.

Surrounding  you with our love and Samson’s eternal ,light.

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!

Pennsylvania
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20 November 2020 - 8:46 pm
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I held him and told him it was ok to go , ok to cross over and 20 minutes later he did all I feel is emptiness .I just wanted to reassure him as he has always been my protector ever since he came here 

Samson aka Lunkhead.  Diagnosed with osteo on11/12/20, passed before he could fight it  11/20/20. You came to me to save me after my Loki passed 1 month later in 2/16 and we had 4.5 great yrs . You were the greatest boy . I couldn't ask for anything more from you but you have me so much more .. The clown of the house ... Daddy will always love and miss you .Stay safe and happy on the other side of that bridge and teach them your soccer moves ...

Virginia




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20 November 2020 - 9:17 pm
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And you did reassure him.  Samson needed to hear it was okay for him to protect you from The Rainbow Bridge now.  It took such selfless  love on your part to give him that gift.  💖

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 November 2020 - 10:53 pm
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I’m so sorry to hear this. I wish I had more profound thoughts and words of comfort. I’m so glad for both of you he got to be with you. Thinking of you. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 November 2020 - 11:34 pm
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I’m so stunned and sad to read this! My heart aches for you, I don’t even have the words right now except I’m really sorry.

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