TRIPAWDS: Home to 20093 Members and 2005 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

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

Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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
Just diagnosed yesterday and trying to weigh options
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Member Since:
25 May 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
25 May 2013 - 2:54 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hello my name is Janelle and the love of my life a rescued pitbull names Athena was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma yesterday in her hind leg. I have spoken to two specialist and they have told me completely differing stories of what is in her best interest. She has no xray evidence of the cancer spreading to her lungs as of yet but I am told 90% of the time it is there just microscopic.

One vet wants me to amputate and discuss chemo, the other does not want me to amputate at all just manage the pain and if she has a pathologic break due the cancer we will amputate and do chemo at that time. I just didnt know if anyone was told this upon diagnosis it seems to go against everything I have read. I obviously want to do what is best for Athena to prolong her life and improve her quality of life. I just do not know anyone else who has gone thru this to ask questions of and I found this forum last night and thought I would look for feedback.

Thanks in advance for you advice, knowledge and information

Janelle

 

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
25 May 2013 - 8:00 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Janelle,

Thanks for joining us (sorry you had to!). Your future posts won't require approval.

You have the second Athena of recent days with osteo to join us! The other Athena is doing really well!

It's very clear that you love your girl and want to do everything possible to help her. Just by talking to two different vets, you are super smart and doing great!

Now, in my opinion, and I'm not a vet, but my personal feeling is that I can't believe that second vet would say something as horrific as wait until the break. A pathologic break is a horrible, awful, traumatic event for both person and dog (we've seen it happen here), and I wouldn;t wish it on my worst enemy. Plus, if you wait that long to treat osteo with any kind of chemo, your dog's long-term survival chances go way, way down.

Only you can decide what's best for her, but what I can tell you is this; even without chemo, a dog who is able to be relieved of the horrific pain of osteosarcoma can go on to live a great life, sometimes for years. We have seen just as many dogs do well with chemo as without, so my best advice is to take things one step at a time. If she's a good candidate for surgery, go back to the first vet and take it from there.

To put your mind at ease as far as how dogs get along on three legs, look around here, check Jerry's Required Reading List and our ebook library too, and then have a long talk with Athena to find out what she wants. She may not be able to tell you in plain words but her heart will say it all.

Good luck. We are here to support you as you figure out what to do next.

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

New York, NY
Member Since:
3 December 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
25 May 2013 - 8:02 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Janelle,

 

Amputate the leg now!  There is no reason to wait around for the leg to break and sit around waiting for that cancer to possibly spread.  I've only been on this website for almost 6 months now, but I've never heard a vet say to sit around and wait for Osteosarcoma to sit there and not amputate.  If you have the means and resources to do it, get that leg off now, get rid of that nasty cancer!

 

Come on over to the chat room if you get a chance!  There's usually some of us in there and it's nice to be able to chat about it.  Dogs (and cats in my case!) do great on three legs and I'm sure your Athena will do so as well!!

 

All our best, 

Erica & Tripawd Kitty Jill

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com. xoxo

hhackett
4
25 May 2013 - 8:38 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I agree with Jerry.

 

I am a veterinary technician, not a veterinarian, but the only reasons I could see the vet opting to postpone amputation would be if you as the pet owner were extremely against amputation, or if Athena has underlying health issues that would make surgery extremely risky.

 

If Athena is healthy enough for surgery, and you are financially and emotionally prepared for amputation, I don't see why any vet would choose long term pain "management" over amputation. I placed management in quotation marks because I feel that it is really hard, especially with pitties who usually have a high pain tolerance, to determine what kind of pain that a pet is really in. Put yourself in Athena's happy go lucky dog brain: would you rather live dependant on a bunch of pain killers daily, or be pain free minus a leg?

 

I wish you the best of luck in your journey with Athena.

New Jersey
Member Since:
27 December 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
25 May 2013 - 8:53 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I also am for amputation as soon as possible-for the pain and the cancer. My Lily started limping on Monday-xray on Tuesday-showed osteo-amputation on Thursday. She had no lung mets either. She is now 17 months post amp! I know how shocking this all is-you will find so much support on this website. I am so very sorry that you are going through this-we have a sweet pittie and a greyhound (Lily, our greyhound is the one with osteo). You are in our thoughts.

Joan and Lily

Our beautiful Lily was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her front leg on 12/14/11 at age 8 and had amp on 12/16/11. She completed 5 rounds of carbo. She was so brave and kicked cancer's butt daily! She lived life fully for 4 years, 3 months, and 15 days after her amp. My angel is a warrior princess. I miss her so much.

Southwestern Ontario, Canada
Member Since:
22 November 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
25 May 2013 - 9:16 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I'm sorry that you are going through this right now.. but.. we have all been there and totally understand your feelings... questions.. and fear.   This is a great site to help you learn and get prepared.. everyone here is so helpful and willing to educate you.. it certainly helped me get through my guys amputation.

My Franklin was 14 when he was diagnosed in September 2012.  I never thought about amputation with a dog that old.  So we just took him home to let him be a god.. but.. he was not slowing down.. lol  So he had his amputation on Dec 4, 2012.  I regret not amputating as soon as we found out.. but I was really uneducated and unsure what to do.  I do know that if you are going to amputate when your pup blows a knee.. then why not amputate now and prevent that pain and stress... for both of you!

and.. if there is a chance that the cancer has spread with just a tiny cell to the lungs.. I would still do the amputation and give them a pain free life until that day comes.

I just lost my guy on May 15th as the cancer had spread to his lungs and we could not let him struggle breathing any longer.  I got almost 6 extra months with my sweet handsome man.. and I would not change that for the world.

Good luck with it... She will come out of the amputation with her tail a'waggin!!

Christine.. with Franklin in her heart ♥

 

Franklin, he was the Happiest Dog on Three Legs! Diagnosed 09/26/2012 with Osteosarcoma, amputated 12/4/2012.  Had a wonderful 5 1/2 months painfree until he ran for the Bridge on 5/15/2013.  Always in my heart, and always a guardian angel of my pack...   You can follow his Tripawd Adventures, before and after, in my blog, Frank'n'Farter!

Rock Hill, SC
Member Since:
28 November 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
25 May 2013 - 9:34 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Janelle.  I'm sincerely sorry to hear about Athena's diagnosis.  This is a very hard pill to swallow, but to have it all complicated by conflicting opinions is terrible.

I agree with the others above.  Yes, dogs are very stoic which means if Athena is showing signs of pain, then it is bad.  And yes, all research indicates that early treatment greatly increases survival time.  Here is another thought:

When our Zeus was diagnosed, our vet stressed to us how incredibly painful OSA can be.  Although we believed him, it is not like our dogs can communicate to us how bad it really is.  I did an immense amount of research and this is what stood out to me the most:  OSA is the same bone cancer that humans get - and humans can communicate what they feel.  If you read any of the literature about human OSA, it is described as "excruciating" and most patients report that even with narcotic painkillers the pain is almost unbearable.  This was the tipping point for me - I would not allow him to suffer for months with the pain of the tumor just to suffer even more once the leg broke.  Even if he only had a few months left, I wanted them to be pain free.  Leaving the leg on completely destroys the quality of life.  Whether you choose to do follow-up treatment/chemo or not, removing the leg immediately removes the awful pain of the tumor itself.

Do your research.  Get a third opinion if that is what you need to give you peace of mind.  Good luck.

Lisa

Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...
http://zeuspod......pawds.com/

Member Since:
25 May 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
26 May 2013 - 10:51 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you all for sharing your stories and advice. The only underlying health issue she is has is hemolytic anemia but she has not had a flare up of that in years. We do have a veterinary oncologist in town and I am surprised that she is the one who said she saw no greater survival rates in dogs with and without amputation so leave the leg on until we have to take it off. I can not stand the thought of her being in pain and even though we are on tramadol 2x a day and Novox and methocarbamol once a day, I am sure she is not pain free. We have a meeting with a surgeon and an internal medicine vet on Tuesday and hope to make decisions then-I wish we could meet earlier but the holiday weekend made that impossible. 

New York, NY
Member Since:
3 December 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
26 May 2013 - 11:01 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Janelle,

 

Again, I'm not a vet, but Jill had NO pain and they wanted her leg off ASAP.  Come on over to the chat room right now if you are around theres some of us in there!

 

Erica

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com. xoxo

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
26 May 2013 - 11:26 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

There is much discussion in the vet oncology world about removal of the primary tumor expediting OSA metastasis. Dr. Lucroy discussed this in our Ask An Oncologist chat a while back.

But waiting for a break? Seriously? pain management only works so well, it's all about quality of life! Bisphosphonates or radiation can at least be prescribed if waiting to amputate is recommended.

Don't miss this related Tripawds News blog post:

Does Amputation Speed Cancer Metastasis?

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

hhackett
11
26 May 2013 - 4:46 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thanks admin, that is a really interesting article!

Virginia
Member Since:
12 April 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
26 May 2013 - 10:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Janelle,
My Athena was in a lot of pain before amputation, even with the tramadol and deramaxx. She started limping, and in the about 3 weeks before her amputation was done (even in that short amount of time) she slowed down more and more. I was so paranoid about her getting a fracture or break in the leg and could just imagine myself taking her to the emergency vet in the middle of the night. It took a little time after her amputation, but Athena is now feeling and acting like herself again from before the limping started. So much happier to be rid of the pain! Good luck with your meeting on Tues.
~Jessica & Athena

04/09/13- OSA Diagnosis ~ 04/23/13- Left Forelimb Amputation ~ Carboplatin Chemo (6 total)

 

July 2006-November 18, 2013

I will always love you, Athena.

 

http://athenass.....ipawds.com

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
13
27 May 2013 - 10:31 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Janelle---just saw your post and wanted to "ditto" all of the above. I know all this is cover whelming and feels like a kick in the gut. Once you get things sorted out and go forward with a plan, you will far more confident and calm.

Everyone here pretty much focuses strictly on quality and living in the moment.....fully focused on the present-----just as Janelle is. No worries about any old diagnosis or timeframes------she just was a pain free happy life full of love and joy and all the spoiling she can get:-) :-) :-)

We are here for you and look forward to your update. Go hug sweet girl right now-----it will make you both smile:-)

Sally and Happy Hannah

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:
15 May 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
27 May 2013 - 11:59 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Janelle, my collie was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her front left leg exactly 2 weeks ago today. That Friday she had the leg amputated. Here it is, just 10 days after surgery and her whole disposition and look in her eyes has changed (for the better). Even though she was still getting around on 4 legs, the pain in that leg from the cancer must have been excruciating. One month prior to her diagnosis, it had xrayed clean.

I am so glad we proceeded with the surgery. Right now we are not opting for chemo so if we get just a few months with her, it has been worth it as she is right now free from the horrible pain.

A vet friend told me that the pain from the osteosarcoma is horrible and excruciating while the pain from the amputation is temporary and different.

I now feel that we have "done right" by Zoey. The pain is gone, she is happy and that is all that matters.

Good luck. I am so sorry you are going through this.

Canada
Member Since:
2 April 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
27 May 2013 - 5:45 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I echo everyone's advice above. And, like Zoey above, Roxy's personality started coming back almost immediately after amputation. In fact, I hadn't realized how much pain she was in until i saw the sparkle in her eye back again. I just thought it was her getting older and losing her spunk. Well her spunk is back now! Her recovery has been amazing, and she is so much happier now.

This is a difficult thing to go through, but she is very lucky to have you! Best wishes, you two!

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: Shelby, benny55, tazmania30, tiger
Guest(s) 100
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1185
Members: 15004
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 17580
Posts: 244917
Administrators: admin, jerry, Tripawds
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG