TRIPAWDS: Home to 16212 Members and 1783 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 DogNEW! Be More Dog – Learning to Live in The Now

Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and 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
MCT complications, considering amputation, advice greatly appreciated
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
15 October 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
15 October 2020 - 4:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi all,

I’m hoping some of you out there have been in my shoes and will be so kind as to provide any advice and guidance in regards to my situation.

My boy is a 3 and 1/2 year old rescued Boxer Pit Mix named Kodiak and he is the absolute best part of my life. Less than a year ago I noticed a lump on his front leg but held off on taking him in because it never seemed to bother him at all until it started growing this past spring. I took him in and the vet told me it was just a cyst and nothing of major concern so we scheduled a surgery a few months out and waited some more. Through the influence of some unforeseen events that I’m now deeming divine intervention, I ended up moving to an entirely different city before the surgery occurred. And thank god I did because within 10 minutes of dropping him off at his new vet I got a phone call that what I had been told was a cyst was in fact a mast cell tumor. I went ahead with surgery last week and thought all was well until his histopathology results came back today and I found out it’s grade 2 and that the entirety of the tumor cannot be removed because it’s invaded too deeply into the tissue. With a high chance of reoccurrence I’ve set up an appointment with an oncologist for the end of this month. I know that radiation and chemo are viable options but they’re both expensive and not always curative. I’ve been looking at amputation as maybe the best option if it hasn’t spread anywhere else but for me it’s a very difficult thing to consider emotionally and since he’s not in any pain I’m not sure he’d even be a candidate. In the end I just want to kick this cancer in the butt and have a happy healthy pup but I’m struggling with what decision is best. 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28116
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
2
15 October 2020 - 6:43 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Kodiak and family, welcome. Your future posts won’t need to wait for approval so post away.

We are so glad you found us, but sorry you had to. Cancer sucks! And unfortunately we’ve had many members join us because of Mast Cell Cancer. I’m so glad you found a new vet who discovered it and got you on the right track. Nothing makes us more upset than to hear about an old-school vet telling a client to “keep an eye” on a lump without aspirating it (I’m assuming it wasn’t at first?). Sounds like this new vet is spot-on. Divine intervention rocks! 😉

Kodiak is such a young kid, with so many good years ahead of him. By tackling the cancer now, you’re giving him every chance in the world at a long happy life on three. No, it’s not an easy decision, but by coming here and talking to others you can see how amputation could give him a good quality of life. And while it doesn’t seem like he’s in pain, try to put yourself in his paws: how would a tumor growing inside your leg feel? You’d probably feel it and not be very comfortable. Dogs are such experts at hiding pain signals , odds are good that Kodiak is just masking the pain as his basic canine instinct to hide his weakness. Soon enough he won’t be able to do it, so it’s good that you’ve got him seeing an oncologist.

Right now, take a deep breath and check out Jerry’s Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books if you haven’t already. Our What to Expect Articles will also prepare you. And of course, ask as many questions as you’d like, we are here to help no matter what you decide to do. 

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3971
Member Since:
18 October 2009
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
3
15 October 2020 - 7:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hello and welcome.

My first Tripawd lost her rear leg to a MCT.  You can read Maggie’s story and about her amp and treatment if you are interested, the links are in my signature below.

I completely understand the uncertainty with the lack of pain signs. In my opinion and experience dogs with bone cancer are in much more pain with the ever present risk of leg fracture.  Maggie was a very dramatic Pug who always let me know when something was bothering her.  She had a leaf stuck to her paw once and you would have thought she had been shot! Anyway- Mag’s tumor was in her knee.  She never limped or acted like anything was bothering her, I only found the tumor when we were playing one day.  There was really no chance of tumor removal so we went straight to amputation.  It was very hard for me to come to grips with the fact that the best path forward for a small bump on her knee was to remove the leg!!

Radiation was discussed but I would not have pursued that option for Maggie.  It would have involved putting her under anesthetic multiple times and she had never done well coming out after a procedure- we almost lost her once.  Mag’s surgery was a long time ago and there are new treatments and meds available now that were not an option back then so I’m glad you are meeting with an oncologist so you know all your options.

Even though the tumor graded as a 2 that is not always indicative of how aggressive the cancer might be, a 2 could act like a 1 and be closer to benign or be more aggressive like a 3.  Ask about the mitotic index- that often gives a better indication of how aggressive the cancer is.  Another good reason to talk to an oncologist.

Keep us posted on how the oncologist visit goes, and let us know if you have other questions.

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




Forum Posts: 19740
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
15 October 2020 - 8:29 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Jist wanted to add my support to you and Kodiak as you navigate through your research. 

So glad Karen chimed in as she’s quite knowledgeable  about MCT from first hand experience.

It does sound like you are in good hands now with your new Vet and with your upcoming  Onco appointment. It doesn’t  sound like there would be any reason  that Kodiak wouldn’t  be a good candidate,  but an Orthopedic Surgeon can evaluate  him and give you the reassurance  you need.

Should  you move forward with amputation  we will be here the whole way to help you through recovery and celebrate  as  Kodiak enjoys being the fun loving  Kodiak that he is on four, but just on three.

Aire, rec is no picnic for the first week of two, or sometimes a bit longer.  But it does last furever!  With proper pain management and lots of rest, Kodiak will heal from the surgery and adjust to three like the Champ that he is!

Update when you can and stay connected.   Askmus any questions  that arise and we’ll try to answer them.

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS. Karen, the story about Stubborn Pug Maggie and leaf had me LMAO! 😂I always loooove stories about her….about all your Pugs! and of course, Elly 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!

Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
15 October 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
16 October 2020 - 9:38 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

jerry said
Hi Kodiak and family, welcome. Your future posts won’t need to wait for approval so post away.

We are so glad you found us, but sorry you had to. Cancer sucks! And unfortunately we’ve had many members join us because of Mast Cell Cancer. I’m so glad you found a new vet who discovered it and got you on the right track. Nothing makes us more upset than to hear about an old-school vet telling a client to “keep an eye” on a lump without aspirating it (I’m assuming it wasn’t at first?). Sounds like this new vet is spot-on. Divine intervention rocks! 😉

Kodiak is such a young kid, with so many good years ahead of him. By tackling the cancer now, you’re giving him every chance in the world at a long happy life on three. No, it’s not an easy decision, but by coming here and talking to others you can see how amputation could give him a good quality of life. And while it doesn’t seem like he’s in pain, try to put yourself in his paws: how would a tumor growing inside your leg feel? You’d probably feel it and not be very comfortable. Dogs are such experts at hiding pain signals , odds are good that Kodiak is just masking the pain as his basic canine instinct to hide his weakness. Soon enough he won’t be able to do it, so it’s good that you’ve got him seeing an oncologist.

Right now, take a deep breath and check out Jerry’s Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books if you haven’t already. Our What to Expect Articles will also prepare you. And of course, ask as many questions as you’d like, we are here to help no matter what you decide to do. 

  

jerry,

Thank you so much for the kind words. No our original vet did no testing on it, just a quick exam and I’ve always tried to take my dogs to the best vets so I just assumed he knew what he was doing. Looking at it through his eyes really helped ease my stress in regards to this decision. I never considered all the pain and discomfort he could be masking, and I can only imagine how it must feel to have something growing in you, especially with the tendency for MCTs to change size. I looked through the readings you suggested and I’m feeling much more confident in this decision. I can’t tell you how much better I’m feeling about this process by reading everyone’s replies.

Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
15 October 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
16 October 2020 - 9:50 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

krun15 said
Hello and welcome.

My first Tripawd lost her rear leg to a MCT.  You can read Maggie’s story and about her amp and treatment if you are interested, the links are in my signature below.

I completely understand the uncertainty with the lack of pain signs. In my opinion and experience dogs with bone cancer are in much more pain with the ever present risk of leg fracture.  Maggie was a very dramatic Pug who always let me know when something was bothering her.  She had a leaf stuck to her paw once and you would have thought she had been shot! Anyway- Mag’s tumor was in her knee.  She never limped or acted like anything was bothering her, I only found the tumor when we were playing one day.  There was really no chance of tumor removal so we went straight to amputation.  It was very hard for me to come to grips with the fact that the best path forward for a small bump on her knee was to remove the leg!!

Radiation was discussed but I would not have pursued that option for Maggie.  It would have involved putting her under anesthetic multiple times and she had never done well coming out after a procedure- we almost lost her once.  Mag’s surgery was a long time ago and there are new treatments and meds available now that were not an option back then so I’m glad you are meeting with an oncologist so you know all your options.

Even though the tumor graded as a 2 that is not always indicative of how aggressive the cancer might be, a 2 could act like a 1 and be closer to benign or be more aggressive like a 3.  Ask about the mitotic index- that often gives a better indication of how aggressive the cancer is.  Another good reason to talk to an oncologist.

Keep us posted on how the oncologist visit goes, and let us know if you have other questions.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

  

I will certainly add mitotic index to my long list of questions for the oncology appointment, thank you! Looking back there’s dozen of questions I should’ve asked when I got the test results back but I was so stunned hearing that some of the tumor was still there that I didn’t think about any of that. I had no idea that radiation would involve anesthesia, that certainly helps my decision. He’s a healthy young pup but I’d still be sick with worry during every treatment. I will be sure to update everyone once we see the oncologist. Are there any other important things I should ask the oncologist? I’ve got a whole page of them but as someone who’s dealt with MCTs first hand I would love to hear if you have any key points and questions. This is territory that I’ve never been in before and as I’m sure you understand, it’s overwhelming, so I want to make sure all my bases are coverd.

Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
15 October 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
16 October 2020 - 9:59 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

benny55 said
Jist wanted to add my support to you and Kodiak as you navigate through your research. 

So glad Karen chimed in as she’s quite knowledgeable  about MCT from first hand experience.

It does sound like you are in good hands now with your new Vet and with your upcoming  Onco appointment. It doesn’t  sound like there would be any reason  that Kodiak wouldn’t  be a good candidate,  but an Orthopedic Surgeon can evaluate  him and give you the reassurance  you need.

Should  you move forward with amputation  we will be here the whole way to help you through recovery and celebrate  as  Kodiak enjoys being the fun loving  Kodiak that he is on four, but just on three.

Aire, rec is no picnic for the first week of two, or sometimes a bit longer.  But it does last furever!  With proper pain management and lots of rest, Kodiak will heal from the surgery and adjust to three like the Champ that he is!

Update when you can and stay connected.   Askmus any questions  that arise and we’ll try to answer them.

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS. Karen, the story about Stubborn Pug Maggie and leaf had me LMAO! 😂I always loooove stories about her….about all your Pugs! and of course, Elly too.

  

Thank you for mentioning an ortho consult, I will add that to my list of inquires for the oncologist so I can get some referrals. And I so deeply appreciate the support from you and everyone else that has replied. I think amputation is the route I’ll favor as we develop a treatment plan. After reading so many stories on here my fears about how it will effect my boy have greatly diminished. 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28116
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
8
17 October 2020 - 2:55 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Yay! I’m so glad you are feeling better!

Are there any other important things I should ask the oncologist? 

Ask and ye shall receive:

https://tripawd…..ncologist/

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3971
Member Since:
18 October 2009
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
9
21 October 2020 - 11:22 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I remember our oncologist saying that treating mast cell cancer was so frustrating because it was so unpredictable.  That was certainly true for us. 

Some things I would want to ask about and understand from the oncologist (in no particular order):

What diagnostic tests would be done before surgery to see if there is any spread? Maggie had abdominal ultrasound, aspirates of lymph nodes, and something to do with her bone marrow I think- it’s been a while.  Also ask how accurate the tests are- that is something I didn’t understand.  For example: the needle aspirate of her lymph nodes came back clean but after surgery it turned out that there were lots of cancerous mast cells in the lymph node removed removed with her leg which indicated the cancer had already spread.  I learned later that it’s not uncommon for a needle aspirate to miss cancer cells or be inconclusive.

If an amputation is done would further treatment be needed?  What would the recommended treatment be and for how long? That may not be answerable until after surgery and full pathology or they might know now based on the path from the tumor removal. I went into Mag’s surgery thinking it would be curative and was shocked when we got the path report indicating the cancer had already spread.  I would have been better prepared if we had gone over the possibility of treatment being needed after surgery. 

What are the treatment options and success rates if you choose not to do an amputation?  I think it’s best to get all available options even if you think you can’t or wouldn’t do it. 

After amputation what follow up monitoring would be needed or suggested? Maggie had ultrasounds and other tests every three months for the first year.  Mag’s prognosis was poor and she was doing chemo, the monitoring was part of her treatment.

This is a weird one to some people- but I always ask ‘what happens if I don’t do anything?’. Again- I think it’s important to understand all options.  Maggie’s little sis Tani had multiple MCT’s over her life.  She had many other health issues and I chose at one point to stop doing anything about the tumors.  Tani lived to almost 15 and did not pass from the MCT.

Ask for cost estimates for everything, it may help in making some decisions. BTW- never feel bad about making decisions because of cost.  It would be great if we all had unlimited funds but for most of us it’s just not the reality.  Besides- throwing every penny at cancer doesn’t guarantee the result we want.

I hope this helps.  Keep us posted on your oncology visit.

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

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: jerry, krun15
Guest(s) 31
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1104
Members: 11530
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16532
Posts: 232560
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG