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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Lung metastasis in my sweet dog - what to expect?
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Forum Posts: 12
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9 January 2021 - 1:13 pm
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Hi all!

My sweet Sophie had an amputation of her hind leg due to osteosarcoma back in January 2020. One year exactly. She had a few chemo treatments but it didn’t work out for her. She got very sick and almost died. After I stopped the chemo, she bounced back and actually was enjoying life for the most part. She loves going out for walks, plays well with her sister GS and has a great appetite. Loves to eat.

A few months ago I took her to the vet, she was coughing a bit, and due to the covid I had to leave her there and talk to the vet over the phone. He said there are tumors in her lungs, median size and that she probably doesn’t have much longer. This was back in November, and she’s is still here, eating well and happy. I do notice she coughs at night, and it worries me every time. But only at night so far. I do not want to do more surgeries or complicated treatments on her. She’s 11.5 years old and went through a lot. I want her to enjoy the rest of her life. I was just wondering, when is it time for me to start thinking of putting her down? What are the signs? Terrible breathing? I don’t want her to suffer. As I said, she seems ok for now, but I know it’ll be time soon. I worry because I want to be with her, and the vets don’t let you go inside in California. Will have to find a vet that can come to my home..Thanks!

The Rainbow Bridge



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9 January 2021 - 2:16 pm
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Hi Sophie and family, it’s so cool that she has really kicked butt over the last year and even with mets she is happy and doing well.

You ask great questions. I’ll try to help answer them and stay tuned for feedback from others too.

About saying goodbye … I’ll answer that first because sadly we just had that experience with our Wyatt Ray . Most vet clinics are allowing at least one person to be inside the clinic with their pet when it’s time to say goodbye. We asked our clinic if we could do it outside on their patio and they agreed. But you really have to double check they will allow it, because on the day we arrived the clinic staff wasn’t fully informed of our request and almost refused, asking us to go into the clinic instead. We had to make a stand to do it outside in the fresh air, so not fun on a day like that. So, if your vet won’t allow you to be with your dog, call around and consider a home hospice vet who will come to your home. Although what I found is that these angels are super busy because of Covid, so you really need to do your homework ahead of time. It costs 2x as much to have them come to you but it’s so worth it. If you’d like me to help find one for you, message me.

About the mets… most dogs will start to slow down, lose their appetite and start showing a lack of energy. Our Jerry panted a lot at night when he tried to get comfortable, and eventually it got so bad that we knew it was time, nothing was helping him. If you notice that Sophie is showing those signs, it would benefit you to get a chest x-ray or at least have the vet listen to her lungs to gauge where she’s at with the mets progression.

We have the Forum topic about metronomics and lung metastasis with lots of links to articles and things that you may find useful.

Keep us posted on how she’s doing OK? You aren’t alone in this journey, we get it. And spoil that girl rotten, she is a real superstar and inspawration to all of us!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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10 January 2021 - 8:59 am
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Hi, I am so sorry what you are going through. All I can tell you is what I went through with Brownie.

Two different vets missed the Mets on Brownies lung Xray. But I knew something was wrong because he had a terrible hack that was getting worse. He would get out of breath easily. On the third xray a very large mass showed up in his lung xray. He started to having issues at night. He had a hard time breathing when laying down. Once Brownie coughed up blood we said goodbye. Now, he may have lived longer but Brownie was a senior at All most 13 and he was just so tired, and having senior issues as well. So I thought it would be best to let him go.

Now there are alot of dogs that have lived a long time after lung Mets are discovered. Each dog is different. You know your dog better then anyone, so you will know what to do.

By the advise of Brownie’s vet I did give him cough capsules that did help with hos hack. So you might want to talk about that with your vet. Some have given preidone.

The only other thing I can say is to embrace each day❤

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"

Virginia




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11 January 2021 - 8:41 am
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Sophie clearly is a very loved and well cared for dog♥️. 

You’ve  gotten great input from Rene and Nancy. .

It is good to have “plantain p,ace” to some degree so you can put that aside and stay fully focused on enjoying Sophie!  So yeah, maybe you can check arou d for home visit Vets.  Lap of Love provides  that service in a lot of different states.  And yes, double check with your Vet, or any Vets, as most do allow you to be I side with your pet when the ti e comes for transition.  Or certainly  outside at the very least.  Once you can find a source you are comfortable  with you can get that stress off your plate.  

Every situation is different t, but “generalky”, not always,  there is a “decline e” that, again, generally” doesn’t  result in a “crisis “” situation.  So you have time to follow up with whatever source you connected  with earlier.  

In the case of my Happy Hannah, she got some really good extended quality  time after her met was discovered.    She never developed a cough.   She just got more and more “tired”.  Her breathing  did show signs of stress off and on.  In her case, and in most cases,(not all) mets aren’t  necessarily a painful type thing.  They just interfere  with quality, if that makes sense.  Anyway, she became  ore and more tired, but always enjoyed being a couch potato  anyway.  When she couldn’t  seem to get in a comfortable  position to sleep because her breathing  was compromised, that was her time to be released.

Now, with lthat said, let’s talk about the NOW with Sophia!!  She is doing so well NOW and that is such good news!!!

If she does show symptoms, there definitely are things yoj can do to continue  quality  and comfort.  As Nancy suggested, talk with your Vet about cough medicine.   While  my Hapoy Hannah did cough, her Vet gave her   Prednisone to help reduce any  inflammation that may be caused  by the meds.  I also ocassionally gave her a pain med to help her relaxe and sleep at night and be comfortable.  

So no, this is not the end of the road by any means!  There are lots of tools to continue  to give Sophie good qua time.  The best tool is to spoil, spoil, spoil!   Do lots of everything  she loves tincluding favorite foods, especially ice cream and cheese pizza!!   Continue  to Be More Dog ….Be  More Sophie!

We would loooove to see pics and videos!  Hint!

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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11 January 2021 - 12:07 pm
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Thank you all for your warm replies and suggestions. Definitely learned a few things! As I said before, she’s doing really well so far given the mets in her lungs. Yesterday we went to the beach, (one of her favorite places in the world), and she begged and cried for me to throw the ball so she can run and grab it, (I don’t throw it very far of course). Also, I hardly see her panting.. and it’s not every day that she coughs either. I know things will change soon, and I sorta wanna prepare myself for it, but it makes me depressed just thinking about it. I appreciate the support. Also, I forgot to mentioned that she’s been taking piroxacam (prescribed by her surgeon, for a year now), and this might be helping a bit. She has blood checks every month. I saw on this forum a page on Chinese herbs for cough and lungs, and I purchased it. Fingers crossed. She is terribly spoiled, as she deserves. I cook her meals and am always by her side. She’s one of my greatest love, and it’s hard, as you all know. Thanks again!

Here is a video of my 2 sweeties (Sophie and Nina). Hopefully this works.

Sophie and Nina at the beach

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11 January 2021 - 12:44 pm
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Now that dog looks happy!

  • "what shall be done for these innocents? I have been warned not even to raise the question of animal immortality, lest I find myself “in company with all the old maids”. I have no objection to the company" - C S Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
  • "Mr Toplady was touched by the cruelty of the scene, and exclaimed, ' Who could bear to see that sight, if there were not to be some compensation for these poor suffering animals in a future state' 'I certainly hope,' said my grandfather, ' that all the bulls will go to heaven; but do you think this will be the case with all the animal creation' 'Yes, certainly,' replied Mr Toplady, with great emphasis, ' all, all!" - Josiah Bull (recording a meeting with the great A. M. Toplady, author of "Rock of Ages" in "Memorials of the Rev. William Bull of Newport, Pagnel")
  • "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God" Luke 12:6
The Rainbow Bridge



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11 January 2021 - 2:47 pm
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Awwww that is the perfect day! How beautiful! Are you in Southern CA? Lucky dogs at the beach!

Sophie and Nina look like the best of friends. 

You are doing all you can to give her a great quality of life. Yes, focus on the here and now, there will be time to grieve some day in the future, hopefully a long, long way off. This is the time to be in the now and treasure every moment. Good job! Keep us posted and feel free to share any pics or videos.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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11 January 2021 - 2:48 pm
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A happy dog indeed!!!!👏👏👏     Definitely this is their “happy place”!!! 

I  love how Nina wanted to play with Sophie and Sophie engaged back….but by letting Nina do all the work!!!!!

Just remember, there is a way (from Sophie’s perspective) to really beat this piece of crap disease.  That is to  not let it interfere with all this glorious quality  time you have together.  To not let worry and fear and anticipatory sadness rob you of being fully present in each wonderful moment with Sophie.  Not saying g it’s easy when yoj first hear the “news”, but ot gets easier.

Oh, and my Vet also put Hapoy Hannah  on Piroxicam for awhile too.  There  are some instances where  it shows promise in shrinking  tumors, among other benefits.  Obviously  you can’t  use Piroxicam and a steroid (prednisone ) at the same time.    

Another  little side note.   My Vet reminded  me that sometimes a dog will pant or have a little cough every now and then  never paid any attention  before the  met.  Thought it was a good point.  

Ood for checking  out the herbs.  I’m a big believer in herbs, suppleness,  etc ro boost a dog’s I’mmune system on many levels. 

Tha ks for posting that de.ightful video.  Going to watch it again!  Nothing better than dogs being dogs!!!

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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11 January 2021 - 3:02 pm
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I’m in San Diego. This is Del Mar dog’s beach. A haven for dogs. Nina is 2 years old and loves Sophie so much. She’s a bit wild and rambunctious though – have to keep an eye on her, haha. 

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11 January 2021 - 5:09 pm
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Now that is two very happy dogs! I love seeing them play. I love how Nina jumped over Sophie!

Just priceless!

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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12 January 2021 - 9:33 am
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San Diego here too! 

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12 January 2021 - 12:18 pm
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That’s awesome Lucy’s mom. How’s she doing? Do you have a good vet here? Sophie saw Dr. Ogilvie at California Vet Specialist in Carlsbad, for diagnosis and amputation, but now I check with my regular vet. But I cannot go inside with her due to covid. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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12 January 2021 - 12:29 pm
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Oh wow Dr. Ogilvie is PAWESOME! You and Sophie are so fortunate you got to work with him.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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12 January 2021 - 12:37 pm
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Yes, Dr. Ogilvie is pretty good, he is the one who swears by piroxacam. The surgeon was great as well, Dr. Osmond. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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12 January 2021 - 5:05 pm
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If you have a sec, be sure to leave a review in our Tripawds Vet Specialists Forum!
https://tripawd…..referrals/

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