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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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Lump continues to grow on dog's leg
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Virginia




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30 April 2020 - 8:08 pm
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Try this link.  It may not be up to date but can maybe give you a general, a very general idea of costs

https://tripawd…..you-pay-1/

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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2 May 2020 - 7:53 am
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I am so sorry to hear about Beesly.  

In Feb of 2019 I took Brownie to the vet after three days of limping. They took an xray and said it was too early to see any thing and come back in two weeks. After two weeks we went back for another xray, still no swelling  but a tumor did show up on his front left leg and he recommended amputation. so i asked the vet about an biopsy and he said he doesn’t recommend it. They are inclusive and the recovery from the biopsy can be more painful then the amputation recovery. They also told me that there is a risk of the bone breaking during the biopsy. So we went home with tramadol, gapetin, and Brownie also wore a pain patch. I wasn’t going to amputate at first Brownie being 10 days from his 12th birthday.  But  after two weeks the lump started to appear and the pain medication was not working anymore. Other then the pain Brownie was healthy and still full of life. So we amputated and I do not regret it at all. He breezed thru recovery. Him being a senior it took about three weeks for him to get his personality back. But after recovery he was a happy dog again. Brownie was diagnosed with bone cancer.

As far as the cost Brownie’s amputation, including blood work waz 2200.00.. Since Brownie was a senior I wanted every blood test available, and  I had him stay two nights.  I live alone and he is such a light weight with medication, and I just wanted him t be cared for for two days.  Brownie’s vet did his surgery, but he had a lot of experience with this type of surgery and dealing with cancer and amputation with his own dog. Most vets will accept care credit. It a a credit account for human doctors and vets.

Hope you get to the bottom of this soon, and please keep us posted. 

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

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"March Saint"

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2 May 2020 - 7:55 am
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By the way, in his avatar picture, the bandage around him is protecting hos pain patch. That pic was taken the day before surgery. 

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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3 May 2020 - 4:48 pm
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Good to hear you got another opinion so quickly. Hopefully the surgeon can remove the lump and your girl can get back to being pain free. And thank you (and also Sally) for asking about Copper – i am happy to report she’s doing very well at this time. Cop & I are rooting for Beesly – wishing you a quick answer (from the ortho surgeon) and easy surgery! 

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 May 2020 - 6:08 pm
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cophops said
And thank you (and also Sally) for asking about Copper – i am happy to report she’s doing very well at this time. 

Oh that’s so good to know! We would love to hear more in a new topic if you get a chance. And pictures would be great too!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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4 May 2020 - 3:43 pm
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We are still waiting to hear from the orthopedic surgeon. I have called and she said it might take a couple days to hear back. I am hoping we will hear something by the end of the day, but it could be tomorrow 🙁

Beesly’s lump seems to be getting bigger, even in the last couple of days. It is a more rapid rate than we have seen before. This really worries me and again I am frustrated at the numerous vets that we have seen that have not really done much for her. 

Virginia




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4 May 2020 - 3:51 pm
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Grrrr…..this has to be incredibly  hard!  To see thos thing grow and cause your sweet pup so much discomfort just sucks!.

Okay, I know I’m  jumping ahead with “possible  options”.  What if you actually went ahead and set up an appoi withnthe Sirfeon for amput.  NOT saying you mah need to do that.  But am saying it because  it may take a week or two to get him scheduled in.  You can always cancel of necessary..

Give Beesley  an extra smooch on his forehead for us❤

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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4 May 2020 - 3:53 pm
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Oh my gosh I’m so sorry, that is so frustrating. Thank you for the update. I hope you hear back sooner. We are all sending lots of pawsitivity that you will!

Call them by lunch if you don’t hear back. Some gentle but firm advocacy goes a long way. Let them know about the rapid rate of growth, and how scary it is to you, that will hopefully get their attention.

Poor Beesly, I’m so sorry your girl is going through this. Stay strong as best you can and remember she is following your lead.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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4 May 2020 - 6:04 pm
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We heard back from the orthopedic surgeon. He said that this lump is either cancer or osteomyelitis. He also said removal of only the lump is not possible. So our options at this point is:

1. chest xray to see if (it is cancer) it has metastasized(How quickly does this cancer spread? Would it be there for sure?)

2. Chest X-rays and repeat biopsy with culture and histopathology (we would have to wait another week for results on this and she has to go through another biopsy)

We are very torn on what to do… because if it is cancer, we re not sure that we want to amputate (Beesly has bad hips). However, the actually data and tests (biopsy and culture) so far show no cancer…the only reason we have to think it is cancer is that two vets say “it could be cancer” and the fact that this lump is growing- which could also be because of osteomyelitis. 

Our options for removal could be:

1. Amputation

2. Fuse the healthy bone and she could keep her leg. (this is only if it is osteomyelitis).

In your experience of bone cancer; How quickly does this type of cancer move through the body? Did your dog’s lung x-rays show metastasization at this point? She has had this lump since the beginning of February. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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4 May 2020 - 6:28 pm
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What a relief to hear back. Tripawd Power works! 😉

First, did the vet say that the leg bone is or is not destroyed beyond repair because of the lump? It sounds like there’s a chance that the leg could be saved IF it’s osteomyelitis? Just wanted to be clear on that.

Nobody wants to remove a leg without a definitive diagnosis. But if the leg is destroyed beyond repair, then amputation makes sense. But if it’s not destroyed, then unfortunately a third biopsy sounds like it’s necessary to get closer to a diagnosis (and hopefully reach one). If you go forward (as much as it would pain you to do that–and her), make sure to get her really good pain management (let them know how painful it was for her the last two times) and then arrange a consult with someone like Colorado State’s cancer center, to have a fresh set of eyes look at the next path report. 

Finally, did the vet say anything about Beesly’s hips? MANY people think their dog isn’t a good candidate for amputation because they were told at some point their dog had arthritis or bad hips or some other orthopedic condition (us included). Almost every time the dog gets the all-clear by the vet and does fine on 3. An ortho vet is the best person to tell you if she can handle the load of living on 3 legs.

I’m in the Tripawds Chat for a bit if you want to talk, and you’ll find me there tomorrow afternoon too. I hope this helps. Stay tuned for feedback from others. I’m so sorry for the lack of diagnosis, it’s so frustrating.

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



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4 May 2020 - 6:33 pm
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tbishop said

In your experience of bone cancer; How quickly does this type of cancer move through the body? Did your dog’s lung x-rays show metastasization at this point? She has had this lump since the beginning of February. 

 

I forgot to answer this. It really depends on the type of bone cancer, what the path report shows and how it’s treated. On average, an osteosarcoma prognosis is 6 months with amputation alone, one year with chemo and now with osteosarcoma vaccines dogs are living even longer, two years and more. But even with all these stats, dogs often defy the odds and outlive the worst case scenario. Some don’t make it to the prognosis at all, even with full treatment. So really, it can be a crapshoot. 

When you’re facing amputation, the important thing to focus on with any kind of limb cancer is to look at quality of life not quantity. A prognosis doesn’t mean a thing to a dog, but what really matters is what life is like during the time s/he has left. They have mastered the art of living in the now. We call it learning how to Be More Dog .

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

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4 May 2020 - 6:39 pm
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so I am sorry to hear about what is going on.  First Sassy had 2 bone biopsies that both were inconclusive.   I said i wouldn’t ever do another one because in the process she did end up with an infection in her bone.  We amputated and it was Osteoscarma.

Second had my boy Bosch who had a lump on his hock (not sure where your dog’s lump is)  we did a needle aspirated and no cancer just blood and a few cells but we didn’t go the bone biopsy route he was almost 13.  We also didn’t amputate because of his age and having arthritis in his back and front feet. 

My suggestion and I am no vet and have read that you have gotten several opinion from them is to amputate as long as your dog is a candidate.  It takes the pain away. 

I know the frustration you are feeling.  Sending good thoughts

Michelle, Snickers, Jasmine and Angels Sassy, Bosch and Baby Simba

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

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6 May 2020 - 6:00 pm
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Hi Everyone, 

So without an absolute diagnosis, I am leaning toward just amputating the leg and sending the whole thing to be biopsied. I just can’t stand waking up every morning with the hopes that this lump has decreased in size only to find that it has gotten bigger. 

My husband is thinking we should biopsy first with the hopes that it ins’t cancer and then try some other things to cure the osteomyelitis. 

We have talked to four different vets/specialist and they are split on what they think it is. Half think it is most likely cancer, half think that cancer is unlikely because of her age and breed. 

So with all of these opinions, I just want Beesly to feel better, to be able to run around and go on walks. 

To answer your questions:

They all agree that the leg is not salvageable at this point because the lump has just gotten so big.

Our original vet said she had bad hips/ or her “hips are off”- my husband can’t remember the exact verbiage. The vet was more concerned about the lump at that point. (Would that put her as not a good candidate for amputation?)

The lump is on her hock joint.

Thanks for all the support! I will let you know when we come to an agreement/decision on what to do. 

Virginia




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6 May 2020 - 6:23 pm
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Generally, “bad hips”, or arthritis are not a reason no to amputated…generally.

The Orthopedic  Surge is the one to best asses if Beazley  is a good candidate.   And the way he was running  around and playing  prior  to this, it sounds like the hips are too bad.  Again, the Surgeon can guide you

And, unfortunately,  we’ve seen where pretty much any breed, or mix, or age can get this rotten disease.   

The one thing thst continues to stand out IF I’ve read these posts right.  The lump cannot be removed and the bone is already damaged?  Is that right?

What is your husband’s main concern /fear about proceeding  with amputation.   Don’t  misunderstand me, we certainly  aren’t  “pro amputation”,  and it’s not something to take likely, although it may sound like it!.  We just know that dogs handle three with remarkable  adaptability!

I know this is so frus to have conflicting  opinions with no conclusive  answers.  I’m sorry you’re  in that position. 

Oh, one more thing….and maybe I made this up.  But didn’t  one of the Bets say they didn’t  want to do another biopsy  dor some reason….risk of infection, or damaging  the bone more???

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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6 May 2020 - 6:32 pm
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tbishop said
Hi Everyone, 

So without an absolute diagnosis, I am leaning toward just amputating the leg and sending the whole thing to be biopsied. I just can’t stand waking up every morning with the hopes that this lump has decreased in size only to find that it has gotten bigger. 

My husband is thinking we should biopsy first with the hopes that it ins’t cancer and then try some other things to cure the osteomyelitis. 

We have talked to four different vets/specialist and they are split on what they think it is. Half think it is most likely cancer, half think that cancer is unlikely because of her age and breed. 

So with all of these opinions, I just want Beesly to feel better, to be able to run around and go on walks. 

To answer your questions:

They all agree that the leg is not salvageable at this point because the lump has just gotten so big.

Our original vet said she had bad hips/ or her “hips are off”- my husband can’t remember the exact verbiage. The vet was more concerned about the lump at that point. (Would that put her as not a good candidate for amputation?)

The lump is on her hock joint.

Thanks for all the support! I will let you know when we come to an agreement/decision on what to do. 

  

Ok I have worse pictures but this is what Bosch’s looked like.  I can show you if you want what his looked towards the end.  But is this what hers looks like??? if so then I am going to say cancer even though I am not a vet but that is what this was.  And it grew pretty fast when I noticed it wasn’t this big.  By March it wasn’t good.

IMG_20181208_100546310.jpgImage Enlarger

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

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