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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Mel's Journey and Diagnosis Limbo
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Forum Posts: 4
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22 March 2019
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2 April 2019 - 1:33 pm
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Hello Wonderful Tripawd Community – 

Our beautiful, almost 7 years young boy Mel just got diagnosed with bone cancer two weeks ago.  Other than the lump on his front shoulder, you would never know there was anything wrong with him. Still herding his little sister and racing his siblings to the door at every opportunity.  Sigh.

Biopsy results confirmed bone cancer but not definitive as to whether it is osteosarcoma or fibrosarcoma.  Pathologist and oncologist but think it is more likely the latter given several other indicators, but cannot rule out osteosarcoma for sure.  Only way to know is to remove the tumor, which would require amputation of his right front leg.  Initially was told his lungs are clear so scheduled the amputation.  But initial read of X-ray was not by radiologist – so oncologist recommended a radiology report.  

Radiologist saw one small spot in lungs which they cannot rule out as cancer spread, but also thought it could just be an artifact/superimposition of some other part of Mel, or a benign granuloma.  So, we are in limbo.  Oncologist recommended we postpone surgery a couple weeks and have another X-ray one month from the first.  (CT scan was other option, but we are saving all our money for the amputation and oncologist felt CT would not be any more conclusive than the X-ray if at the one month mark there is still just one spot.) 

If the lung X-ray shows more spots/cancer spread  than we will not amputate and just go with palliative care.  Realize that is not the choice everyone would make but after a long discussion with our oncologist and our family unit, we feel this is the best choice for our family.  

If the lung X-ray shows no spot – we are full speed ahead for amputation and fingers crossed that it is indeed fibrosarcoma.  If the lung x-ray shows the same 1 spot, well…. we don’t know.  Trying not to think about that now.

 Would love to hear from folks who were facing a similar diagnosis limbo.  We have tons of amputation, post-amputation questions too …. but since we are not there yet, holding on those questions.  

Mel is a relatively young, smart and agile Aussie so thinking if we get to the amputation he will probably adapt faster than me ; – ) And I am so glad to have found this community to help with questions, real-life experience advice and support.

For now, fingers and paws all crossed until Mel’s next X-ray in mid-April.

Mel’s Family,

Shari, Mack, TJ (humans) and Jax, Zoe, Casey (furry siblings)

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25228
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2 April 2019 - 2:09 pm
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Hey folks, welcome the club nopawdy wants to join. We sure hope your sweet Mel doesn’t need to, but if he does we are here for you!

Sorry about the uncertain situation right now. That is not at all uncommon. For many the deciding factor about whether or not to amputate is the level of pain the dog is currently in. That can be very difficult to see, animals are so good at hiding it. Keep an eye out for Mel’s appetite, mobility and any other common pain indicators. You may need to decide whether or not to move forward with the amputation before the one month mark arrives.

I’m curious why your oncologist wouldn’t recommend a CT scan over an x-ray, since the CT scan will pick up much greater detail if there is metastasis? 

Whatever you decide, we are ready to stand by you and help so please do keep us posted. And don’t forget to share photos of Mel, he sure looks like a handsome doggie! Here’s a post about adding images to the Forums, just bark if you’d like assistance.

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




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5 April 2019 - 10:06 am
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Love that ava pf uour handsome boy!  Oh my goodness, such a sweet smoochable  mug!!!

Be real clear on this, okay?  You know Mel better than anyone.  You know your own personal  situation better than anyone, INCLUDING  finances.  Thus, any decision  you make will be out of love for Mel and that will ALWAYS be the right decision!  We are all faced with having to make “forced choices” around  here based in our own individual circumstances  and our own knowledge  of our dogs.  There is never any judgement here, okay?   

For whatever it’s  worth, we do see scenarios  around  here where “something” inconclusive  shows up on xrays.  My own Happy Hannah had sort of a  “spot”.  I could not afford a CT scan.  Two Radiologists  could not determine what it was.  Leaned more towards it not being a met.  Anyway, just though6 I’d  throw that out there.  My Happy Hannah  enjoyed  being the most spoiled tripawd on  rhe Planet for over a year and two months!

And even IF mets do show up, you can still get some good extended  quality time with pain management and some alternative  therapies.

Whatever the outcome, we are here with you the whole way cheering for that handsome fella!!

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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7 April 2019 - 12:00 am
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Thanks for the words of support. Mel had a good week and now only 6 days until next X-ray.  Guardedly optimistic. 

– Mel and family

Virginia




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7 April 2019 - 9:06 pm
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Paws crossed for good outcome!  In the meantime,  we would love to see pics of Mel.  You can try this link for adding images .

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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8 April 2019 - 11:12 am
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Wooohoo! We have all our paws crossed for another good week and great x-rays!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 4
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13 April 2019 - 9:34 am
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So very sad to report that the results of Mel’s chest x-ray were not good.  The one spot in his lungs is now multiple spots in his lungs.  As you all know, this means the cancer has spread, which in turn means it is indeed Osteosarcoma and not the slow growing,  Fibrosarcoma.  Given this devastating news, we have switched gears from the planned amputation to palliative/hospice care.  For now, other than an almost imperceptible limp, you would never know that Mel was sick.  He is extremely energetic, playful, eating well and otherwise doing all things dog with both his two-legged and four-legged family members.  We are going to work with his oncologist to keep him happy and comfortable as long as we can and do everything he loves as much as we can.  Thank you for your support and all your well-wishes.  Already feeling a Mel-sized hole in my heart, but going to be as dog as I can for him for as long as he is with us.

Tried to insert photos from Snapfish per the instructions above but did not work.  After I added URL, it asked for dimensions and I had no idea what to put in so just clicked OK and that just kept putting in an empty box/image not found error message in my post.  I must be missing something in the instructions.

Thanks again.

With heavy heart,

Shari

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 April 2019 - 3:13 pm
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Darn I’m so sorry Shari. That is a real blow to your pack, my heart goes out to you. Cancer can be so mean. But it can also be surprising, so you just never know if it will behave for better or worse. We will all hope for the best for a long, long time together of Mell living with cancer and keeping it at bay.

For now, you are so correct about your observations of Mel. He is the same dog and still loving life as always. He does not know what the lab report says, all he knows is that his job is to make you happy and enjoy life. So be a good student of Mel’s! Continue making the most of every day and your energy will be exactly what he needs. 

Let me see if I can help you with the photo. Can you copy/paste the image URL just right into your post? Try that and see what happens. You can also contact me and I’ll be happy to put it up here for you, I’d love to see your handsome boy.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 4
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13 April 2019 - 6:31 pm
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Thanks!  Just emailed the URL to you.

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 April 2019 - 10:02 am
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WARNING!!!

Major cuteness overload ahead! 

Introducing, MEL!

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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




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15 April 2019 - 11:39 am
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I’m so sorry about the mets, cancer is such a sneaky, nasty bastard.

Mel is quite the looker! He is quite adorable…and he has a hedgie!  The official toy of Tripawds everywhere! Well, actually the official toy of two Tripawds that are in two counties smiley4.

Well, actually, Super Stu is the king of hedgies.  My Elly got one for her birthday last December, but it is her favorite toy!

Treasure each moment with your beautiful boy!

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: 17552
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17 April 2019 - 9:35 am
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Not the news you want to hear.  As everyone  noted, Mel didn’t  hear a word of it and he is just enjoying  being Mel.

And those pictures…OMD!!!!  ADORABLE!!!!  CUTEST PUP EVVVVER!!!!!  His personality  comes shining thrpugh!!   This guy just melts my heart!!!!!!

We’re  all cheering for Mel and sending  tons of pawsitive  energy!  This guy is a fighter and a lover!!!

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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