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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! First time poster preparing to be a Tripawd
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Forum Posts: 8
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4 February 2020
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4 February 2020 - 8:07 am
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Hello,

I am a first-time poster facing the heartbreaking decision to amputate.  Our 10.5 year old golden retriever, Penny Lane, was just diagnosed with histiocytic sarcoma of the elbow with metastasis to the axillary lymph node.  We are absolutely devastated and left wondering how long it’s been there.  She first started limping in June but we were told it was arthritis.  Eventually we noted an elbow mass and shortly thereafter we got the diagnosis.   Throughout it all, she has remained her happy, sweet, and playful self so we are looking to pursue amputation and CCNU chemotherapy.  We are hoping that this provides her the best opportunity for a pain-free, happy life (however long that might be).  She has an appointment with the surgeon today and will hopefully have the surgery done this week.  We feel obligated to move quickly knowing how aggressive this cancer is.  We found this forum by accident and it has provided us with a lot of reassurance that we are making the right decision for our little girl and hope to share our progress through the recovery process.  Has anyone faced this horrible diagnosis and pursued amputation? Any words of advice or encouragement are appreciated!!

Thank you!

Here and Now


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4 February 2020 - 10:26 am
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pennylane said
Penny Lane, was just diagnosed with histiocytic sarcoma of the elbow…
We found this forum by accident… 

Finding Tripawds was no accident, you will find the support and help you need from others who understand.

Don’t miss last week’s Tripawd Tuesday feature all about Histiocytic Sarcoma survivors:

Tripawd Tuesday: Canine Histiocytic Sarcoma Heroes

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation. Meanwhile, start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19092
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4 February 2020 - 1:38 pm
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WE ARE ALL ON TEAM PENNY LANE! YOU ARE. NOT ALONE!!

We we understand the fear and the panic and the uncertainty. We’ve all been there. We also understand how relieved you will feel once recovery is done and her Sparkle comes back bigger and brighter than before.

Chexk out Be More Dog .  The story of Jerry’s journey.   The most important lesson in this journey is to stay in the moment and make every moment count.  Penny Lane doesn’t  have a timeframe  stamped  on her  vutt snd xould care less about  days on a calendar.   All she cares about is being loved and spoiled by you. And I’m sure she has an abundance of that every second of every day.

Continue to do your research and read the links the Admin  guy posted above. Let us know any time questions arise. There is nothing like first-hand experience to help you navigate through the recovery and onto a wonderful future for Penny Lane with no pain!!!

Penny Lane will spend the first night at the clinic, maybe even a second night. Larger older dogs sometimes need a little extra time to get their mobility and to shake off the anesthesia. The first two weeks it should be nothing but short least potty breaks and then more rest. She may not feel like eating much at first and she may not poop much at first, but drinking and peeing are important. The vet will send you home, most likely, with Gabapentin, Tramadol, Rimadyl and an antibiotic. Sometimes it takes a little bit of tweaking to get the pain goes and frequency balanced in a way that supports Penny Lane best.

The only extra little tidbit I’ll offer now is, when you do go to pick up Penny Lane after surgery, don’t even bother to look at her incision or draw attention to it. All she wants to see is your happy smiling face telling her what a good girl she is and she’s going home!

You are making the best decision for Penny Lane out of love and that is always the right decision. It may not feel like it at first. You may feel like you were doing something TO her. After a week or two or three you will realize you definitely did this FOR her

Keep us updated when you have a chance. And we would love to see pictures of your sweet happy gentle golden.😊

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!

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4 February 2020 - 3:21 pm
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Thank you for the words of encouragement and recommendations for managing her post-op.  Events transpired a little quicker than I anticipated and she actually had her surgery today immediately following the consultation.  She is now extubated and doing well.  I, of course, spent all day reading about the disease and stories on this site.  Having a medical background is both a blessing and a curse.  Assuming all goes well with her recovery, we will plan to start CCNU in 2 weeks!  Knowing how aggressive this cancer is, I am so glad to have it removed and start the next chapter on 3 legs!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19092
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4 February 2020 - 3:33 pm
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WOW!!    Well, we can now say, YAY, SURGERY IS DONE!!!    It is good they were able to go on and get it done!  

She’s resting  comfortably  and seeing pink elephants  now.  So it’s time for you to try and get some good rest.  

Oh, and if you have hardwoods, get some non slip scatter rugs for traction .  

Grab some chocolate, take a hot bubble bath and get some resr.  Penny Lane is going  to amaze you once recovery  is done.  You’ve got this!

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!

Here and Now


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4 February 2020 - 6:06 pm
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Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Start here is you need help finding the many Tripawds resources and assistance programs, and please keep us posted.

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4 February 2020 - 6:44 pm
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Hi,

I am glad that Pennylane is through surgery and is recovering.  I agree with other posts that reminded you to relax tonight and get a good night’s sleep.  I know that you are nervous to see her and to bring her home.  Honestly, it is shocking the 1st time you see your furbaby after surgery.  I remember that I was most surprised to see that they had shaved my dog Lucky’s fur from his mid abdomen back to the amputation site.  It didnt look bad, just weird.  You will be surprised how quickly Pennylane recovers.  The 1st few days can have a definite learning curve, especially with figuring out medications and Pennylane’s new normal.  Just plan to spend lots of time relaxing and cuddling with your sweet girl.  Lucky did incredibly well from the get go, although all dogs are different in their recovery process.  Before long, she will get her spark back and will be doing everything that she did before.  Lucky had his left hind leg amputated on December 17th and yesterday had his second round of chemotherapy.  He is doing so great!  He does everthing that he did before including chasing tennis balls!  The first time he took off running I almost cried!  I wish you the absolute best !  Keep us updated on Pennylane’s progress!

Have a good night,

Pam

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4 February 2020 - 7:15 pm
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Hi,

Love the avatar of Penny. Golden Retriever? Brownie was 10 days from being 12 at time of amputation of front left leg due to OST Bone Cancer. I agree with Lucky ‘s mom.  Brownies incension site loked fine, but i was like where did all his fur Go?  But it did grow back.

Also with what has been said about all dogs are different is definitely true. Brownie was given three months. The 26th of February will be one year since Brownie was diagnosed. 

So as Sally said  no one has a date stamped on their butt. Just love her every day. 

Sending good thoughts your way for a speedy recovery!

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"

Forum Posts: 8
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5 February 2020 - 9:20 am
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Hi all,

Thank you for all the advice and positive thoughts.  She is a golden retriever and pretty active at 10.5.  One of the other dog mom’s at the oncologist thought she was 3 or 4!  She’s also pretty petite (49-50 lbs) so we are hoping that bodes well for her recovery.

We kind of committed the cardinal sin and when to visit Penny Lane post-op last night.  She’s doing well but still figuring out how to manage on 3 legs.  The scars and shaved fur didn’t bother us too much– probably because she’s had several benign masses removed that we are used to seeing sutures and shaved fur.  

Amazon will be delivering our non-slip mats today and we have the Ruffwear harness on the way.  I know a lot of people recommend using this when the staples are out although some people use it right away.  I think we will see how a towel sling works and how she is managing when she gets home.

She’s a very special girl and we feel she has a lot of life left to live (in as pain-free manner as we can provide).

Here and Now


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5 February 2020 - 12:48 pm
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pennylane said
I think we will see how a towel sling works… 

You can also make a handy sling, from a reusable canvas shopping bag:

Make a DIY Dog Sling for Your New Tripawd

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19092
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5 February 2020 - 7:31 pm
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Your .ove fot sweet Penny Lane comes shiny through❤  She’s very lucky to have such devoted  hoomans helping her to navigate  thru eecovery and onto living life to the fullest😎

Shhh…..our secret….I stayed at the Clinic where my Happy Hannah had her surgery ALL DAY and into the night.  Her surgery was delayed a .little and them it took a bit longer than expected.  I want  going to leave until I could see her.  They let me back to see her after the surgery.  .  She was “resting comfortably ” in her druggy sleep. She was kinda’  breathing hard..  I sat by her, petted her and told her what a good girl she is.  Her breathing  relaxed.  She knew I was there❤❤❤  

Penny Lane will figure out her new gait.  Right now she’s on strong hospital meds and feeling very woozy.  Sometimes larger dogs take a bit longer to find their sea legs and fogure out how to get up on their own and take a few steps.

Thanks for the update.  Can’t wait for the homecoming celebration!

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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5 February 2020 - 9:57 pm
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She definitely has a lot on her side to do well as a Tripawd. Sounds like things should go pretty easy during recovery. There’s always a risk of some ups and downs but your great attitude will make it much smoother of a ride.

Good job getting your home ready! Let us know how she does.

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6 February 2020 - 11:09 am
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Hi all,

Penny Lane seems to be doing quite well post-op.  She has a great appetite and overall I think pain seems controlled (sometimes she seems a little out of it even).  She has been able to walk assisted to go potty (poop and pee!) and even got up on her own and walked to the table to get a bite of our steak.  We put a mattress on the first floor and will be sleeping on that until she can do stairs.  She slept with us (like always) so that made us feel like things were right back to the way they should be.

I am trying to attach some photos of her first night back homesmiley4

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Virginia




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6 February 2020 - 2:41 pm
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 MELTING MY HEART OVER HERE!!!  PENNY LANE IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!   She just oozes  sweetness and gentleness 😊

This is a wonderful update!!  Eating, drinking,  pooping,  peeing AND got up on her own to go get that steak……WONDERFUL!!!   The incision  looks good too!

Yeah, the mattress on the floor so everyone  can sleep together is pure bliss for all!😊

Hugs….and steak every. night for Penny Lane!!

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!

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7 February 2020 - 11:56 am
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I LOVE the look on her face. She’s like “yeah, I got this!” She’s doing great!

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

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