TRIPAWDS: Home to 20839 Members and 2043 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG
All sites currently ad-free!

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.
JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!

REGISTER   |   LOG IN

Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope


Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
Even with amputation, life expectancy with an osteosarcoma is 4-6 months???
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Member Since:
3 February 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
3 February 2022 - 11:47 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Back in early December, I noticed my almost 10 year old Aussie was holding up his leg while he stood around. I took him to the vet, they did an exam, and since they didn’t see or feel anything on the outside, they sent us home with pain and anti-inflammatory meds with the understanding that if it didn’t improve, we needed to bring him in for x-rays. It didn’t improve, so we had x-rays done and they found some mineralization around his knee. They referred us to an oncologist who ran a bunch of tests and confirmed it was likely an osteosarcoma. Next step was to get his leg amputated. That seemed aggressive at first, but after doing some research, I accepted that it was the best course of action. The more I read about amputation, the more comfortable with the idea I became. Yesterday, we had a consultation at the vet that will be conducting the surgery. The vet was able to put my mind further at ease about the amputation, but she told me that he would only likely have 4-6 months post surgery. What?!? I’m so upset. Even though all of his tests and scans and x-rays came back clear, and we’re essentially cutting off the cancer, he’ll still only have 4-6 months? Plus, we’ll soon have to make the decision about chemo, but that only potentially extends his life expectancy to a year. 

Is that estimate worst-case scenario? Without the limp, you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong. His behavior hasn’t changed at all. He still keeps his younger brothers in line! I’d be curious to hear if anyone has been in a similar situation and had their fur baby live several more years post amputation.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
3 February 2022 - 3:32 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Hi Lauren, welcome. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.

I’m sorry for the diagnosis, it’s such a gut punch especially when your dog seems normal otherwise. You’ve done your homework though, and are on track for helping him feel better. The oncologist is correct in the projected lifespan but it is not a crystal ball by any means. Usually 4-6 months is projected for dogs who don’t get amputation and chemo. It can go up to a year if chemo is provided. BUT, here’s why you should not panic:

Those are statistics, and they are based on other dogs, not yours. AND my guess is that those figures also don’t take into account the advances in treatment and longer lifespans that have occurred just over the last few years. Now we see that a great number dogs actually outlive the prognosis, especially when immunotherapy is provided (did they mention things like the Torigen or ELIAS vaccine?). Our own Jerry had osteosarcoma, and he lived two years more without chemo, up to his expected lifespan for his breed type. Other dogs like Dexter have gone over a half dozen years or longer with immunotherapy. Not every dog will, but anecdotally speaking the lifespans seem to be getting longer based on the members who join us here.

Not every dog will outlive the prognosis, and some won’t even make it more than a few months. It’s depressing to think about so focus on the possibility that your dog will be one of the outliers, because it really can happen. And in the meantime by amputating you are taking the cancerous leg and associated pain away, and giving him back quality of life so he can keep bossing his brothers around!

Finally, remember that dogs don’t keep calendars. They are the most present, live for the day creatures on earth, and whether a dog has six months, six years or more, as long as every day is spent pain-free and happy, that’s all that matters to them. Watch your dog and follow along. Be More Dog as we like to say around here!

I hope this helps. Stay tuned for feedback from others and keep us posted.

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

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
3 February 2022 - 6:27 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

As you can see from Jerry’s response, you have defi come to the right place for support, information  and understanding.   Everyone here knows the panic in hearing g the diagnosis, the word  ‘”amputation ”   We understand the fear, the uncertainty, the physical and mental exhaustion  as you try and figure out the best path forward.

Ae are humans.  We don’t  have the enlightened wisdom  our dogs do.  Dogs could care less about days on a calendar and yoir sweet Aussie boy sure doesn’t  have any timeframe stam on his butt!  He doesn’t  care about any one’s “prognosis schmognosis “.He ONLY cares about being pain free, getting loved and spoiled and lots of treats all while holding  his brothers in line!

As Jerry said, basically there are no guarantees with or without chemo….no guarantees  how much time a dog, or cat, or  any of us have.  We, like our animal partners, want what time we have to be one that allows us to ,live our loves to the fullest.

One of our long term members was owned by a very Stubborn Pug named Maggie.  I may be off a bit on specifics and timeframe, etc.  But I believe Stubborn Pug Maggie had the amp and then, after the path report, her hooman was told she only had a few months.  Stubborn Pug Maggie lived another four years and passed from something  other than osteo.  Her hooman would not have proceeded  had she had the “timeframe”   of just a few months.   Stubborn Pug Maggie would have been PTS almost immediately.

Another puppet that comes to mind is Murphy.  Again, was given a several month “statistic”.  Four years later he passed from another form of cancer.

Great Dane Nova was  a six year survivor….or maybe even more???

As Jerry said, some dogs get less time, some more.  The only thing we pretty much know is, once a dog is holding  up their leg or limping, they are in pain..  And the pain only gets worse.  

Keep things chunked down for now.  You can make a decision  about chemo or follow up treat, alternatives,  etc later.  Take time to process everything.   It sou ds like you have done an excellent job of researching  amputation.  You got to a place where you were “comfortable “.

What’s your pups name?  What would he want?  Would he want a chance at an extended  pain free quaility.

The most profound lessons our dogs and cats teach us on this journey  is to live in the  NOW.  Live in the PRESENT.  They flow effortlessly from one moment to the next.  No worries, No regrets.  Just make each moment be the best moment possible.  Days on a calendar  mean nothing.   The bliss of the moment of bei by your side, pain free, is all that matters.

STAY CONNECTED  and let is know any ques you may have, o,at?  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

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!

Member Since:
3 February 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
4 February 2022 - 6:50 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I can’t thank you two enough for your responses! The shift in mindset for me has been huge just from reading your words. I know Max will be an outlier. That’s why the 4-6 month prognosis was so ridiculous to hear! He is out of surgery now, on some really good drugs, and we will get to pick him up this afternoon. The vet said he did really well…but of course he did! 

I will definitely keep everyone posted once he’s home. Thank you again for all of your words of support and encouragement. I’m so lucky my vet told me about this website. I only wish I had heard about it sooner. sp_hearticon2

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
4 February 2022 - 10:02 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Thank YOU for stepping into that wonderfully  confident  and pawsitive energy you had within you all along!!    You are the reason Max has thrived and shall overcome all hurdles with glee!!😎

So glad he did well in aurgery…..as you said, “of course he did”!👏👍

When you go to pick him up, don’t  even bother to look at h9s inc or draw atte tion to it.  All he wants to see is YOU and your smiling face telling him what a good voy he is!!!

Now. bringing  Max home the same day of surgery can be a bit rough for the first 24-48 hrs.  It’s better to have him with you though than to leave him at a clinic that does not jave 24 he care.  He’ll be shaking off the anesthesia  and still have strong hospital  meds in his system.   He may come home with a Fentanyl  patch too.  All of these things can make him quite whacky and vocal and whiny and restless….OR….just zonked him out completely  for awhile.  Each dog reacts differently.  

Thank you for the update and please  continue  to stay connected.  We already are in love with Max and cheering for him madly!  We are here with lots of support  and first hand experience  to help you navigate through  the recovery and onto seeing him as his sparkle returns!

Oh, most dogs come home with Gabapentin,  Rimadyl (or some form) and an antibiotic.   As mentioned, he may also have the patch.  Make sure you have a contact number for your Vet after hours the first night or two.  

Right now, it’s all about rest, rest, rest and more rest.  He may not have any mobility yet and may need assist standing.  He may pee in the bed.  All normal.  Then again, he may have mobility and want to go out to pee.  Every dog recovers  in their own way at their own pace.

You and Max are a great team!!!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS…Love that your Vet referred you here.  Check out our Outreach Program.  May want to give him so e Tripawd brochures,  etc for him to keep at his office.

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:
3 February 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
5 February 2022 - 10:48 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Max has been home now for 24 hours. He was pretty restless through the night, but that was to be expected. He’s hopping around like a champ, but does seem to struggle a bit to get up. He eventually figures it out, but it takes him a few tries. And apparently, he always favored his left side because that’s the side he always wants to lie down on but can’t because of the incision. Hopefully he’ll be able to rest on that side soon.

I was a proud mama yesterday because he went poopicon all on his own! I figured that would be difficult at first, so I was pretty excited to see that he could manage. We’ve had a few pees, all outside. Thankfully, his brothers are leaving him alone for the most part. They were curious at first, but I think they understand that he needs his rest. We’ve been taking him out the front because he only has 3 steps to go down to use the bathroom. The dogs typically use the backyard, but the deck has more like 5 or 6 stairs. He wanted to go out that way, but he didn’t seem to be ready to try that out just yet! 

He managed to eat enough for us to feel comfortable giving him his meds. We’ve supplemented his meals with some chicken breast, which he doesn’t seem to mind. smiley4

All in all, I am so proud of my little man. He has handled this like a pro. I know he’ll be back to running the place in no time.

Thanks again for all of your words of support. It has been so helpful for us as we navigate this experience for the first (and hopefully last) time!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
5 February 2022 - 11:07 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

MAAAAAAX!!!!!   SPECTACULAR  UPDATE!!!  STANDING OVATION FOR YA’ FELLA’👏👏👏

So much to celebrate!  Eating drinking, peeing, mobile  and a nice 💩💩💩

Yeah, just like hoomans, dogs have a preference sleeping side and sometimes that’s at odds with the incision.   Once the surgery site heals further, he’ll reclaim his sleeping  

Now, even though he is doing soooo extraordinaryly well, he may, or may not, have a bit of a crash once  all  the hospital  meds are out of his system.  

Thanks for the update… made my day!!!😊

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!

Member Since:
28 December 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
5 February 2022 - 5:45 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

My 10 yr old Coco pretty much is in the same situation and I dont regret the amputation. Unfortunately, she has histiocytic sarcoma. Her prognosis is grave. I plan trying on the chemo. We meet with the oncologolist onTues. Shes getting around wonderfully, see my previous post. She also went down my 15 basement steps(her choice) and back up them with ease. They are stronger than we think. I completely understand every single emotion you and everyone on this forum has gone through. Jerry and Benny have given wonderful and seemingly flawless advice with every situation that I have read with great care and compassion. Best of luck to Max and you. I know your gonna be amazed at Max’s progress each and every day.

Member Since:
28 December 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
5 February 2022 - 5:52 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost
On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
5 February 2022 - 7:28 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Awwwww she is just such a sweetie! @duckdiggler13 thank you so much for your support and encouragement to others, not an easy thing to do while you’re going through it yourself. And thanks for the kind words, it makes our hearts happy knowing that people find community and support here. Give Coco sf-kisssf-kisssf-kissfrom me!

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

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
5 February 2022 - 8:47 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

OOOOMMMMDDDD!!  That picture of Coco is an example of a dog experiencing  pure bliss!!!  I cannot stop smiling!!  😁   Love it!  And YAY for being a master of the stairs!  Coco  has what it takes to keep on keeping  on for a loooong time!

And yes, thank you for reaching out to others offering support and information ♥️♥️  

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!

Member Since:
3 February 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
7 February 2022 - 8:26 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

@duckdiggler13 – I’m so sorry to hear that Coco doesn’t have a good prognosis. That’s so hard to accept, especially when they seem fine otherwise. I’ll be thinking of you and Coco in the coming days. We lost our first dog, Reese, to lymphoma. All I can say is, make sure Coco gets to live her best life in her final days. We took Reese to all of her favorite places, took lots of car rides, and gave her all of her favorite treats. It’s so hard, but remembering the good times and thinking about what a wonderful life she had makes it a little bit easier. Dogs are the best. We often don’t deserve them. sp_hearticon2

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
7 February 2022 - 8:35 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

One of my favorite descriptions  of how dogs feel about “prognisis” came from our Admin Guy. 

  Their take:  prognosis schmognosis..

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:
3 February 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
16 February 2022 - 3:44 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

A quick pupdate on Max. Good news/bad news situation. He gets his staples out tomorrow, so he’s really excited about that. Hopefully, only a few more days with the cone of shame and he’ll be good as new. You would never know that he had his leg amputated. He has resumed all normal activities and funny behaviors, so we are so grateful for that. Now for the bad news. Unfortunately, his pathology report confirmed osteosarcoma. We were expecting that, but there’s always that little glimmer of hope!

So, I guess our next step is to talk about chemo. This won’t be our first time experiencing chemo with a dog. Our first dog, Reese, was diagnosed with lymphoma and went through chemo. Overall, it was a pretty positive experience. She didn’t really have any bad side effects (at least none that she let on about!). That is my #1 concern. I don’t want Max to have a tough time with chemo, especially if he potentially only has a year left. I’d hate for his last few months to be miserable. 

What are your thoughts on pursuing chemo? We’ll definitely talk to our vet about it, but I’d love your input. How long after amputation do people typically begin chemo? How do you know it’s the right course of action? Are there different options?

Thank you so much!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
16 February 2022 - 4:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Delighted that Max is doing so well….and it’s still kind of early on too!!  So that’s  great news👍

Can only give you my thought process when it came to chemo for my Happy Hannah.  At the time. I was able to find a way to financially afford (or more like put on every credit card I could get approval 🥴).  Now, I doubt that could ever be a possibility financially.   Anyway,  Her oncologist  suggested four rounds of Carboplatin. 

It wasn’t until after three weeks that she had her first treat as I felt like she needed more surgery  recovery time.  I think “generally ” Oncos like to give treat in that two to three week window.  Sometimes  it has to be delayed a bit longer due to other challenges that my face a new tripawd (incision  infections, etc)

One deciding factor was that IF she did have bad side effects she  could stop anytime with no residual issues.  She sailed through all treatments with no side effects.  Some dogs experience  a bit of nausea  for a couple of days, but the Oncos will send you home with Cerenia jist in case.  I think some Oncos go ahead and give a Cerenia injection  at time of treatment.

For me for Happy Hannah, I knew it was the right choice, again, because  she could stop, and because I felt like I needed to leave no stone unturned.  Also, she loved going to the Bet.  Thst was important. And I sort of drew the line in the sand at that point and said that was as far as I would go treatment wise, unless it was just popping a pill, something holistic, etc

To be clear, THERE ARE NOOOO GUARANTEES  WITH, OR WITHOUT CHEMO!!!   We have send dogs blow statistics  out of the water with NO chemo.  We have seen some get mets even before chemo rounds were completed!  We have seen some blow statistics out of the water with chemo!!   Some have tried alternative approaches and have had their dogs do very wesome tried that approach with no extended  time.

It is a personal choice.  No right.  No wrong.

The best resource I can suggest is The Dog Cancer Guide Book by Dr Tresslor and Dr Ettinger.  He comes from an alternative, holistic approach for the most part, and she comes from more of a Western approach. 

Others will chime in.  Just offering  my information in the FWIW column.

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!

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 63
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1214
Members: 15751
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 17769
Posts: 247010
Administrators: admin, jerry, Tripawds
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG
All sites currently ad-free!