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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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Miss Maizy ... Right hock, some answers but so many questions
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Forum Posts: 14
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30 January 2016 - 4:16 pm
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What an amazing place this is!!!

My Miss Maizy is a 7 year old Bouvier Des Flandres. She is a bundle of energy and was born to run. She started to slow down at the end of walks a few months ago but i just passed it of as a little bit of arthritis in her knees. She has had TPLO surgeries in both back legs about 4 years ago. Then she only kicked at her poo pile with one leg. I was giving her a bath this week and as i was blow drying her hair i noticed her right ankle was a little swollen and warm. I made an appointment because i thought she may have hurt it playing or running but wanted to get it checked.

We saw our vet on Thursday evening and she was concerned, so she did some x rays. I looked like the bone by her hock joint was being destroyed by cancer and we sent them to a radiologist who has pretty much confirmed Cancer but as to the type it is unclear. Due to the location it could be a joint tumor that has invaded the bone above it or it is a bone tumor. Finding out the type via bone biopsy in my opinion is too much to put Maizy through. She is going to have to have her leg amputated regardless of the type and then we can have the biopsy done then. She had her opposite leg x rayed to see if it would be strong enough to support her. It is good and strong. Her chest xrays came back clear. The vet said her bloodwork is ok as well. We are waiting on the results from the fine needle biopsy to see if it can give us any insight as to the type we are dealing with. She is getting a urinalysis done on Monday. and the FNA results should be back by then. Our vet has been amazing in helping us deal with this and keeping us informed with all of the info as she gets it. She truly loves Miss Maizy.

I am absolutely terrified by all that Maizy has been through in her short life. 2 TPLO surgeries. She was spayed but had recurring problems and it turns out that she has an ovarian remnant still in her. They went in to try and find it. Nope. No luck. Could have sent her to a specialist but I did not want to put her though anymore trauma and now this. How much more does my little girl have to overcome in her life? I feel like I have failed to protect her. I will get the best care for her that I can. I will not let her suffer in pain. She just wants to run and play and roll around on the beach and in the mud.

My questions that are unanswered could possibly have answers when we can pinpoint the type of cancer.

But until then.. does anyone have any insight on amputation with no chemo followup, amputation with chemo or amputation with holistic type followup or a combination of both?

How do i help her learn to go pee and poop with only one back leg?

PS sorry for the log winded ramble.

Miss Maizys Mummy, Susy

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 January 2016 - 7:25 pm
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Hi Suzy and Miss Maizy, welcome.

I’m sorry for the scary situation you’re in right now. Lots of us here totally understand and have been through it, so you are not alone. First, please know that you are giving her the best care any dog could ask for. You did the right thing by taking her to the vet as soon as you noticed something, and you aren’t putting her through the painful bone biopsy, which shows me you’re doing your research. YAY!

Yes, this is a lot to think about, but do your best to take things one step at a time and you’ll both do great. Start with Jerry’s Required Reading List . Decide on amputation, then think about chemo after that. You’ll both be so much better off if you don’t overwhelm yourself. There’s a lot of information here and we’ll be around to guide you every step of the way. Breathe, and know you aren’t alone.

Talk soon. Stay tuned, more will chime in. And your future posts won’t need approval so post away OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Schofield, WI
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30 January 2016 - 7:50 pm
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Rene(Jerry) gives good advice.  Try to keep things chunked down for now so the journey doesn’t seem so overwhelming.  You’ve already decided that leg has to go so let’s get Miss Maizy through the surgery and recovery.  You’ll have time to seek out opinions from oncologists and holistics and decide if and which way you choose to go.  Take one day at a time just like Maize will be doing.  Worrying about what will come tomorrow will just rob you of living your today.  We will all be right here doing this journey with you and the beautiful Maize.  Every decision you have made for Maize has been out of love and to give her the best quality of life.  You are an awesome pet pawrent!  Keep us posted on Miss Maize’s journey we’re here for you both!  Hugs,

Linda, Ollie, Riley & Spirit Mighty Max

Michigan
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30 January 2016 - 8:03 pm
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Well, you’ve already made the biggest and most important decision, and that’s to help Miss Maizy to become pain-free.  It will take a little while, but she’ll get there.  Recovery isn’t always easy, it can be a roller-coaster for quite a few of us, but after the first couple of weeks things get better.

We’re probably evenly divided here about chemo, no chemo & holistic therapy.  You really need to do what you think is best.  Doctors will give you statistics, but many of us have stories of babies that have surpassed those, like our own Murphy.  He had histiocytic sarcoma, which is highly aggressive and had a prognosis of 12-18 months.  He had surgery, + lymph node involvement, 6 doses of chemo, a new mass discovered after chemo….and he’s still hopping around almost 3 years later.  We haven’t done any supplements, just a grain-free diet.

Maizy will figure out how to potty on her own, maybe the same as before, maybe differently.  Murphy can still dig with just 1 front leg!  He normally squats to pee, but when out for a walk he likes to lift, so it’s kind of comical when he is on the wrong side of a tree & wants to lift his left back leg – it leaves him a little bit unbalanced lol. 

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs

Donna.png

Forum Posts: 14
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30 January 2016 - 10:30 pm
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Wow, just wow. You are all so awesome. I am feeling so overwhelmed by all the info coming at me and trying to take the emotional aspect out of the equation and doing what is best for my baby. I think our vet has mid week lined up for us. I really am scared for her but I can’t let her live in the pain killer induced fog she is in right now. We took her for a walk today but have to be careful that we don’t break the bone off. She was overjoyed. I couldn’t keep her out of the puddles. Hence her nickname… Bad Little Puppy.

All of your advice makes so much sense. Our vet has given us a few ideas on the holistic route as well as the chemo route and we will be discussing it more at a later date. She has been awesome and stays in touch just to talk via phone and on facebook.

Miss Maizy is on metacam and gabapentin. I’m only giving her the gabapentin and  in the evenings to get her through the night comfortably. She gets her metacam with her supper as well. The gabapentin turns her into a zombie but at least dulls the pain. She gets up in the morning all happy and stub wagging like she always has so I think I found the sweet spot for her meds. She is alert and clear headed for daytime activities. If she shows signs of pain during the day I will have to add a morning gabapentin but until then I like to see the sparkle in her eyes.

So now its awaiting game for more results and setting a date for the operation. I have a belly band that i made for Maizy when she had her tplo’s done but I think i will be getting her something a little more heavy duty.

I can’t thank you enough for the reassurance that I’m doing right by her and avoiding the biopsy prior to surgery. And yes, It makes sense that I have time to decide what to do about after treatment.

Boy , my husband is right… I do talk alot.

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31 January 2016 - 12:52 am
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I love Miss Maizy’s picture (your avatar)! I have loved the Bouvier Des Flandres breed ever since I saw the movie, A Dog of Flanders, ages ago.

My Westie, Susie, had a biopsy in December–three months after she first started limping and whimpering in pain, because the vet thought it was a persistent infection for those three months and kept prescribing antibiotic after antibiotic to try to help her. I was in shock after learning she had a rare and aggressive cancer, and so was the vet! She had her right front leg amputated three weeks ago. I won’t lie–the first two weeks were pretty intense. But, once she hit the two-week mark (a week ago) and got her stitches out, I noticed a little bit of improvement every day. Before the surgery she was on Metacam (Meloxidyl) for pain, and after the surgery, the surgeon put her on codeine for a week. (I was able to get my local vet to give me another week’s supply of codeine, so she could be on it for two weeks.) She’s been off the codeine for more than a week now. Last week I asked the surgeon to prescribe Gabapentin, too, as she seemed to be having Phantom Limb Pain. Well, I gave her two doses (every 8 hours) the first day, and she nearly went into a coma! Like you with Miss Maizy, I didn’t want her to lose her sparkle, so the next day, I changed the dosing to just once a day, at bedtime. It has helped so much! They will allow me two refills of the Gabapentin prescription, but I’m thinking she may not need it anymore after this container runs out. I also think I’ll take her off the Metacam (Meloxidyl) after her current vial of the liquid runs out, as the surgeon did not want her on it any longer, because of the risks of medical problems.

Anyway, I didn’t feel I had a choice when it came to the amputation, because Susie was in so much pain. And now I’m so grateful to have more time with Susie, since she’s recovering and getting her sparkle back.

I still don’t know if we’re going to do chemo or not. Because Susie’s cancer is so rare, they have no clinical studies and no protocols. It seems to me as if it would be too much of a shot in the dark. But I’m certainly going to enjoy Susie for the rest of her life, and that’s what matters! She may not have her leg anymore, but she certainly has her spirit back!

Miss Maizy is going to have lots more days to be a bad little puppy and jump in mud puddles! She looks (and sounds) like a darling!

Also, take care of yourself, too, during Miss Maizy’s recovery. Buy your favorite snack ahead of time so you have something to munch on! (((hugs))))xxxx to you and dear Miss Maizy!

Nancy & Susie

Maryland
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31 January 2016 - 10:16 am
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Hi Maizy & Family,

Just like everyone else, I’m really sorry about this next challenge in your life. But you’ve already proven that you’re a survivor so I’m sure you’ll make it through this one too.

I know it can seem overwhelming right now, but take it one step at a time. First get through the amputation and immediate recovery. That can be quite draining emotionally so give your self time to figure out your next steps. If you choose chemo, most start about 2 weeks post-amp, when the staples are removed. Sometimes that is delayed (as in our case, because Ellie was having a rough recovery) but in any case, you’ve got time to figure things out, get some opinions and learn your options. 

Good luck, and be sure to let us know when you get scheduled so we can help you w/ the next steps.

Denise, Bill and Angel Ellie.

Active 10+ Pyr mix suddenly came up lame with ACL tear in left rear leg. Scheduled for a TPLO but final pre-op x-rays indicated a small suspicious area, possibly OSA, which could have caused the ACL tear. Surgeon opened the knee for TPLO but found soft bone. Biopsy came back positive for OSA. Became a Tripawd 9/18/14. Carbo6 with Cerenia and Fluids. Pain free and living in the moment. Crossed the Bridge on 7/12/15 after probable spread of cancer to her cervical spine. A whole lifetime of memories squeezed into 10 months. Here's her story: Eloise

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31 January 2016 - 8:55 pm
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Thank you everyone!!

We got some blood results back today. It looks ok. The FNA didn’t really have anything conclusive so we will have to wait for the results from the bone biopsy after the surgery. She’s getting a urinalysis done tomorrow. It looks like her date for amputation will be on Thursday the 4th of Feb. So scared for her. She is a strong little munkie so I hope it goes well for her.

Maizy’s gamma came for a visit today. She was so happy to see her. Especially when she brings presents!!! Miss Maizy is a present unwrapping machine!

We took her for a walk again today. The best time of the day besides breakfast and suppy! She’s having a gabapentin snooze under my desk atm. Anyone else here have their baby emit noxious gas while on this stuff? Holy I can cut i with a knife!!

I’m really trying to stay positive for her. I’m doing Reiki on her so I hope shes getting a bit of relief from that.  I made contact with the hollistic vet today so hopefully I will hear from them soon.

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 February 2016 - 9:40 am
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Sounds like things are going to move along quickly. As scary as it is, that’s good, you’ll all feel so much better when this is behind you.

Being big fans of Dr. Dressler and his “full spectrum” approach of both conventional and holistic therapies, we would love to hear more about your holistic vet as you both come up with a plan for Maizy.

Best wishes this week, please don’t hesitate to post with any questions OK?

(oh and no, gaba didn’t make our dog stinky)

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 14
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3 February 2016 - 10:11 am
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I wrote a post for Maizy… went to post it but poof..gone

Anyways, a shortened version.

My girl is going for her surgery tomorrow at 1. She’s been doing all the fun things she loves to do but toned down so she doesnt break her bone or cause more pain. She looked at me like I was on glue when i only threw her stick 3 -4 feet at the river. What a monkey.

I will be keeping you updated and asking more questions as we recover.

Knowing that there are so many of you wonderful people to lean on for encouragement and support has helped tremendously. Just knowing Maizy is not alone in this journey has helped me to help her. For that …I thank you.

Virginia




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3 February 2016 - 10:25 am
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Just catching up on the delightful Miss Maizy. What a personality! And what a very, very loved girl!

I’ll be back in just a couple of minutes but just wanted ro alert you to a “challenge” the site is having. Our techi people are working very, very hard ro u cover the cause.

Yes, you can be logged in, write a post, hit submit and POOF! You are logged out a d your reply is gone!

The solution for now: EFORE you hit “submit replh” COPY AND PASTE your reply, then hit submit. If you get logged out at that poi t, when you log back in you can hit “add a reply” and copy your saved post at the point. Hope that makes sense, maybe? Anyway, get in the HABIT of copying first!

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!

Schofield, WI
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4 February 2016 - 8:09 am
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Sending healing thoughts and prayers to you and Miss Maizy today her amp day.  Please let us know how it goes.  Hugs,

Linda, Ollie, Riley & Spirit Mighty Max

Virginia




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4 February 2016 - 9:37 am
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We are right here by your side sending all sorts of positive a d healing energy! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We understand.

((((((((((((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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4 February 2016 - 6:57 pm
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She made it through the surgery. Our vet said the operation went really well, she woke up singing her song. and she is sleeping now. I am a wreck. I will be bringing her home tomorrow. Now the wait for the biopsy results.

Schofield, WI
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4 February 2016 - 7:06 pm
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That is great news!  Step one done.  Now try to relax tonight and get some good sleep, because tomorrow starts step two and you’ll need to be rested and relaxed.  Remember we are here for you and Miss Maizy.  Let us know how we can help.  Hugs!

Linda, Ollie, Riley & Spirit Mighty Max

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