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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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Hello again, a twisted turn of events.
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Forum Posts: 113
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26 June 2019
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11 July 2019 - 12:43 pm
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Just wanted to send some love and a big hug from Roane and I. 

The waiting is the pits but your on the right track. I can sympathize on the work end of things. Even though i knew my husband was home with roane my head just wasnt in the game. I think i had a break down everyday on the way to work because i didnt want to do it in front of Roane. So please feel free to vent, scream, cry, have a dozen chocolate bars anything you need to do to feel better. We’re all here to listen. 

As far as treatment, go with your gut he’s your baby there is no wrong choice. Any choice you make will be made out of love.

❤ Bev & Roane

❤ Bev, Roane & nurse Moe

Forum Posts: 53
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11 July 2019 - 2:48 pm
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There’s not a lot you can to prepare for chemo. Depends on what they give him. denamarin a liver protector is a good one. It’s expensive, but depending on  your insurance, if you have it, you could claim it back depending on your policy. I’m also using a mushroom complex to help with immunity. Also some mushrooms have good anti cancer properties such as turkey tail. Depending on chemo they use, see whether they will give Knoxx an anti sickness injection. Not all chemo has this effect, so that’s why I say depends on drug and best to go duly with your oncologist. Hope that helps.

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11 July 2019 - 7:11 pm
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To speak to your question about whether or not to move forward with the CT scan, one way to think about that might be to think through how the results would change your treatment plan. I say this knowing it is a very personal decision.

Option 1: The CT is clear! Yay!! Move forward with amputation and chemo or whatever treatment plan you and your oncology team have chosen. 

Option 2: The CT shows the cancer has already spread to the lungs. While this sucks, some dogs still live for quite awhile after metastasis is discovered with good quality of life and obviously some don’t. We were told dogs live an average of 3-4 months after mets are discovered; our dog lived four months almost to the day after mets were discovered. Some dogs on here have defied those odds for sure and their stories are what gave me hope we might defy those odds too. There is just no way to know in advance where your dog will fall on that spectrum which is really hard. Knowing the range of outcomes would you still want to amputate? To me personally, the biggest issue would be the pain related to the primary bone tumor. Without amputation the pain from the cancer quite quickly becomes very hard to impossible to manage with just meds, even heavy duty meds, and you will always have to worry about the risk of fracture. I imagine from what I’ve learned on Tripawds that euthanasia due to pain or fracture will likely have to occur before there would be visible signs of compromise from the lungs mets.

Option 3: The CT is inconclusive. This is what happened to us and it was so frustrating! The radiologist thought he saw a very small met but other members of the oncology team thought it was a blood vessel. There was no way to confirm with an ultrasound guided biopsy as the spot was too small so we had to make decisions with unclear information. I don’t regret that we pursued aggressive treatment even though it turned out to be a met and our dog only lived four months afterwards. We did the best we could with the info we had at the time and I had to assume our dog would be one of the miracle cases just to survive and maintain some shred of sanity when all I wanted to do was curl up in the fetal position and scream and cry all day. And you know what, some days I did just that and I’m okay with that too. 

We are all here for you and Knoxx 💕💕

The Rainbow Bridge



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12 July 2019 - 11:32 am
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You are not rambling at all, promise. These are all important things to consider when faced with such a tough situation.

 How have you guys coped with life continuing?? Like how I am supposed to keep working like nothing happenned?

Well, you learn to Be More Dog . Step 1: accept the situation, you cannot change the diagnosis. Step 2: gather your facts, make a decision for treatment. Step 3: Watch and learn from Knoxx. He only wants to feel better. Once that bad leg is off, he will get back to living life as he did before, with all the gusto and excitement as ever. Knoxx, like all animals live in the moment. They know that the most important thing in life is what is in front of them right here, right now. 

If you allow the cancer to cause you so much worry and stress that it affects your time with Knoxx and the pack, then cancer wins. If you don’t, you beat that darn disease! You have the power!

Regarding the CT scan. You may want to check out a blog post we wrote about Zeus. He had a CT scan that showed mets, and they still proceeded with amputation. He did great!

This post may also help, about Xrays versus CT scans.

Most people get standard radiographs, not CT scans. Even if a CT scan shows signs of mets, many forward-thinking oncologists will still recommend amputation as a way to give the patient quality time with their human. Most often, that’s exactly the way things work out. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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12 July 2019 - 2:59 pm
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Never feel bad about having to consider finances!  We all wish we had unlimited funds when facing this battle but the fact is most of us don’t. Besides- even if you throw every penny you have at cancer sometimes it just doesn’t matter.  You do the very best you can with what you have.

How have you guys coped with life continuing?? Like how I am supposed to keep working like nothing happenned?

I agree with what Jerry said and I want to add something one of my cousins told me.  Her husband had been diagnosed with cancer and their whole world came to a halt (of course it did!). But as they developed and implemented a treatment plan they did not get on with their lives, she took extended leave from her job and was always home.  They didn’t meet with friends or go on trips, she said in short that cancer was controlling their lives. A few years later the cancer returned but this time they went on with their lives as long as they could- they chose to live with cancer as part of their lives not let it be their whole life. Their story came to a sad end as so many cancer stories do, but my cousin treasures the good memories they had together after the recurrence, but the memories of the first months after the initial diagnosis are painful- she feels like she wasted precious time.

There will come a time when the world needs to stop but that is not now.  Knoxx needs you to be strong for him and you need to keep his world as normal as possible.  Don’t listen to stats and prognosis’, those are not about Knoxx they are based on other dogs.  Who knows what the future will bring but you can control how you face this challenge, and you can make every day a great day for Knoxx!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Virginia




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12 July 2019 - 9:49 pm
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Sooooo much heartfelt jnput from some very wise Souls❤

This quote was posted by Elizaveth (Blue-eyed Jake). Yet one more took to add to your “coping toolbox”.

Here’s a great wuote from Hunter Thompson that I think Knoxx would agree with:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow!”

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!

Westcliffe, CO
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15 July 2019 - 11:53 am
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I cant thank all of you enough. Somehow you know just what to say. 

On Friday I recieved a voicemail from an oncologist at CSU. They have an amazing cancer center from what I have been told. There is a clinical trial for a Listeria vaccination that Knoxx seems to fit the criteria for, but they would like to evaluate him as well as do the amputation. (The study also “includes” standard Chemo treatments, and then they begin the vaccination study, but the only thing they compensate is the vaccine) That sounded fair to me. I like the idea of one place doing everything we need. Even if it is 3.5 hours away. 

So over the weekend, I built up hope that maybe we could bring him in Monday morning (this morning). Well if CSU has a harrassment list, I am now on it. I tried 3 times to speak to the Oncologist who called me, with no luck. Along with a few emails…  I then decided to call scheduling, to see if Knoxx needed an appointment for an evaluation. July 31st is the first available. W. T. F. He has CANCER. We dont have time to waste. Gosh, I am having a really hard time understanding why the rest of the worlds schedule does not revolve around my handsome prince. 

So luckily, we already have an amputation scheduled for Weds, and his first chemo set up for the 1st. We did opt out of the CT scan, as we felt that it would not alter our game plan anyway. And like one of you lovely folks has already told me VRCC does offer this same vaccine. So yay! After reading about it, I am all in to give it a go. I may or may not give up on CSU, depending on if they can get us in this week. Lord knows, I am not wasting our precious time.

And I have done much better being more Dog. Knoxx knows it too. We are spending lots of quality time laying around in the dirt and choosing the bestest sticks to chew on. Well okay, maybe Im not chewing sticks but, close enough. 

Thank you all again for your kind words and support.

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15 July 2019 - 12:46 pm
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We had the same issue with CSU last summer and I can completely relate to your frustration and worry knowing that time matters. They do get cancellations so hopefully they’ve put you on the cancellation list just in case. We got bumped up by several weeks for our initial consult.

The good news is that regardless of CSU, you have what I’m sure is great care lined up for the amputation and you will definitely be in great hands at VRCC. And as a plus, you are saving a lot of money by forgoing the CT scan that you can put towards other treatment (and treats)!! So glad to hear you’re able to Be More Dog for your bud and that he will be saying goodbye to that painful leg in just a few short days! 

– Heather 

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 July 2019 - 2:27 pm
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You are doing great so far! I love your sense of humor and your great attitude, that is serving you well and will continue to do so. 

With everything all lined up, time is going to fly by, you’ll see!

P.S. Had I known that CSU was an option for you I would have mentioned the Lucy Oncology Center earlier. We are huge fans, just see:

https://tripawd…..om/tag/csu

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Westcliffe, CO
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17 July 2019 - 1:31 pm
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Great news yall! We were able to get Knoxx in at the Flint Animal Cancer Center at CSU today! He is undergoing some tests as I type, to see if he qualifys for this study. Another aspirate to confirm osteo, an abdominal ultrasound to see if it has spread anywhere or to see if there is anything of concern. Either way, we will know more about his diagnosis by the end of today. The Oncologist believes that it is osteosarcoma, but of course they want to make sure. She says that we can likely get him in for amputation early next week if all goes well today. So far, I am really impressed with this place. Although it is very sobering to be here in a place where so many people have had to say goodbye, I feel a small glimmer of hope. Will update later with news from today!

Btw.. Knoxx was the loudest one in the waiting area. Even let out a few of his signature howls. What can I say.. he is a chatty Kathy. 🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

Virginia




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17 July 2019 - 2:10 pm
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I know you are relieved!!!  Sounds like you are in great hands!!

And ya’ know why I think Knoxx let out his signature  howl?  I think he sees it as a place to say HELLO to being able to live life to the fullest again, and good-bye to a painful leg that was hold him back!!

YAAAAAAY FOR KNOXX!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 July 2019 - 5:58 pm
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Wheeeee! This is great news! I’m so glad CSU was an option for you. He is in great hands!

Keep us posted.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Westcliffe, CO
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18 July 2019 - 8:21 am
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Yesterday during their evaluation, they found 2 nodules. One on his spleen, one on his testicle (yes we have let him keep those things.. so far). We were not able to hear the results until this morning, but thankfully they were benign. They had to do another fine needle aspirate in his leg (bc our vet didnt send it to a lab 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️), and that came back with Osteosarcoma. Luckily we have already swallowed that pill. So today, maybe even right now.. its off with the leg! And the surgeon suggested we neuter Knoxx as well. He says that otherwise, the testicles endure quite alot of swelling after hind leg amputation, and they are much more exposed. So off with the leg, and off with the balls! He is going to be a whole new Houla when we pick him up Saturday. I cant wait to kiss his squishy face. 

Sally- I agree. He wanted everyone there to know that he means business!

Jerry- (btw I know thats not your name but idk what else to call you) is the Lucy oncology center a part of CSU? I looked into it but couldnt really figure much out. 

Virginia




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18 July 2019 - 9:34 am
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Whew!  Love the word BENIGN  aeound here!!!

Yeah, Knoxx is ready to get on with this and have that bum leg removed!    Shhhhh……not sure he’s in total agreement  about ball removal,  it that can be the Surgeon’s little secret.😉

So glad everything  is moving forward now.  Let us know when surgery is done.  Get some good rest.  He’ll be seeing  pink elephants tonight and feeling no pain.

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!

Westcliffe, CO
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27 December 2018
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18 July 2019 - 9:48 am
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