Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
Tripawds is your home 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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I'm so glad that my frieind found this site for me. I so hope that someone will take me under their wing to help me.
My golden boy Wilson just turned 4 in December. On Feb. 19th we found out that Wilson had osteosarcoma. On Feb. 24th I took him to the University of Auburn to the vet school. The next day they removed his back right leg. Before the surgery the Dr Henderson told me that by looking at the x-rays and going back over all the lab work...what he hoped what he was seeing was one of the lesser cancers.
When we brought Wilson home Dr Henderson told us it would be 14 days before we would know what kind of cancer and what type of chemo. I'm so upset right now, I have been calling Auburn since day 14 and today makes it day 22. They still can not give me a answer. I cry each morning and every night. I feel so helpless cause all this time we could be doing chemo.
Neither my vet or Auburn has given me any type of diet, tell me what weight he will need to be or talked to me about supplements...I'm lost.
Wilson is doing OK...eating, peeing and pooping just fine. I've seen a change in him. He will not pickup his favorite toy and will not have a thing to do with his brother Rocky.
Wilson was on Tramadol for 10 days when we got him home. I did start adding Milk Thistle to his kibble. I feed him and his brother a mixture of collard greens, green beans, salmon, small amount of pumpkin with a 1/2 cup of Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Fish.
Sorry for rambling....I don't know which way to turn.
Wilson & Rocky
I'm sorry you got that diagnosis…it's really overwhelming. And I'm especially sorry the vets are not being responsive or helpful. Can you go above someone's head and demand to talk to a higher being there, or have your regular vet call? I think by now I would have gone there in person, shoved my way into someone's office, grabbed someone by the collar and demanded an explanation! In fact I don't think I would have, I know I would have. (Red hair, temper…)
Anyway. This site might also be useful:
There's a lot of information out there. Also read Jerry's blog on this site, and through some of the discussions here. I decided, on the advice of my vets and an oncologist, and after research, not to do chemo for my Rottweiler. I am not going nuts with supplements….from everything I read, you want to feed a low-carb diet to Wilson so cut out the vegetables at least. Google Dr Oglivie cancer diet for more theory on cancer diets from Colorado State. I have always fed raw primarily, and am continuing to do so. My dogs also have gotten fish oil caps (the canned salmon, or mackerel, you're feeding is also a great source) and I've upped them, along with vit E, for Cooper. He was losing quite a bit of weight initially, but it's stabilized - his amp was only five weeks ago.
It doesn't sound like Wilson is that unusual in still lacking some energy…his body is dealing with a lot, and it's good that he is eating, drinking and all just fine. Give him a little time and you have taken THE most important first step for him with the amputation, which is very brave.
I would definitely enlist someone like your vet to call these yahoos over at Auburn vet school, or call the directors office, or otherwise make a big stink.
Hang in there and hugs to you and yours and Wilson too.
(Red hair, temper…)
Oh my, you must be a redhead…that would be two of us.
Carina….thanks so much for all your kinds words and info. Wish I could get into my car and drive to Auburn…it's a 5 hour drive from here……the person I talked with today kind of figured out that I was a redhead by the time I was finished with her….my vet has been calling everyday…..My vet keeps telling me “Charlotte this is bone cancer and love Wilson everyday”….It's like they all have written him off…NO WAY
Tomorrow I don't care how many times I call Auburn…I'm going to get Dr Henderson on the phone.
Wilson & Rocky
Yes well, it's only still red because it comes out of a bottle nowadays. LOL!
Could be some hitch between the lab and Auburn, if they sent it to an independent lab...I dunno. Auburn...Alabama?
It's an emotional rollercoaster, for sure...this is the second dog I've had with osteosarcoma; the first by the time it was diagnosed was already in his spine, it went very fast and there was no controlling the pain. So while horrible and never easy, the decision of what to do was simple...he simply couldn't continue in the pain he was in. With Cooper, amputation resolved the pain, but nowadays there is such an overwhelming array of choices for treatment. The first time was before everyone and their sister had internet access...I don't know if having all this knowledge at my fingertips makes it easier or not.
I opted for oral neoplasene, along with a little supplement and diet tweaking but since it's already metatastized, I have come to an acceptance...balancing that with fighting is a hard choice and everyone does what feels right. No matter what choice, there are no guarantees...someone I know personally just lost her dog earlier this week five months post diagnosis and amp, and she did chemo. But her dog had a good five months, and that's what counts.
But the "not knowing" would make me crazy! Cooper's ortho surgeon doesn't see any practical purpose in doing next week's follow up xrays and ultrasound, but acknowledges that I'm the sort that needs to know. I've asked myself questions like...what if a large tumor is found in his spleen, would I opt for a splenectomy? I don't think so. He had major ortho surgery in October, never fully recovered, then the amputation...I don't think I would put an eight year old Rottweiler with osteosarcoma through another surgery. He has been brave and amiable and wonderful with all the vet visits and so very patient...he is doing good TODAY and that's what counts.
Anyway I'm rambling and have to take him for his evening hop around the block before going to agility class...please stay in touch here and all fingers and paws crossed here for Wilson!
If I understand correctly, you are waiting on the final biopsy before beginning chemo?
The problem with bone biopsies is that they need to be decalcified before slides can be made, and this can take a long time--weeks, for a big bone from a big dog. But sometimes the pathologist can get what he/she needs for a diagnosis earlier than that, from surrounding soft tissue or a scrape out of the marrow cavity.
Have you spoken to your oncologist? Maybe that will get things moving.
I so hope that someone will take me under their wing to help me.
You've come to the right place, everyone here will. Just use this topic to provide updates and get your questions answered.
Keep in mind too that most questions have been answered already in quite detail throught these forums and the blog. Try spending some time searching for specific concerns. And be sure to review our top ten canine cancer questions and answers.
Fourteen days may be a long time to wait but Wilson only needs lots of rest and recuperation for the next couple weeks anyway. Do attempt to get answers, but try not to be upset. That will only make things worse, especially for Wilson who needs you to be a strong and calm pack leader, now more than ever.
Thanks for joining the discussion, and best wishes for a speedy full recovery!
Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet
After making two more call yesterday to the University of Auburn. I talked to Dr. Henderson both times...finally.
At 5pm he called me back. My Wilson does not have Osteosarcoma...Wilson has Fibrosarcoma/Low Grade...which Dr. Henderson said this is one of the lesser cancers....also he himself does not know that much about this type of cancer and that he would be talking to another doctor on campus. He could not tell me what type of treatment as of right now...that we would have all that in the report that would be faxed to my vet on Monday.
We all were doing the "Happy Dance".
Today I will search this site/forum on Fibrosarcoma. Do any of you know about this cancer????
Time to start a new journal page for Wilson.
Wow. I can't tell you how happy I am for you, but also how envious.
When I was talking to the pathologist who is doing my dog's final biopsy (one of the perks of being a vet student, I can just track them down if I need to) the other day he told me that osteosarcoma is one of those diagnoses that you never, ever want to get wrong because the consequences can be terrible, and that's why it is often difficult to get a straight answer out of them unless they feel they've found absolute proof that's what it is. Because many pet owners will euthanize outright, and even if they go for treatment, that has side effects, risks, and considerable expense.
But he basically said something along the lines of, “I keep looking and hoping that I won't see osteosarcoma… That instead I'll find evidence that it's a fibrosarcoma.”
What I know about fibrosarcomas really just relates to soft tissue fibrosarcomas--bone FS are pretty rare, I think. But if bone FS behave like soft tissue FS, this is very good news indeed! In soft tissue, they have a fairly low rate of metastasis (unlike the >90% in osteosarcoma) and even though they are very locally invasive, if you get good clean wiiiide margins they often won't come back. I hope that ends up being the case.
Anyway, pretty much any other bone tumor besides osteosarcoma is good news–congratulations!
All I know is what I just googled. 🙂 It's apparently not highly metastatic...so hopefully the amp has cured him. I imagine they may want a follow-up in a couple of months, to check lungs and so on, just in case?
That's the opposite news I got for Cooper....MSU declared it was "not osteosarcoma" but either synovial cell sarcome or hemangiosarcoma...his tumor was in the elbow, an unusual place for osteo and the radiographs threw them off. After the amputation, the path report came back for osteo, right down the the types of cells involved. I am assuming it's correct, anyway....I had one false negative needle biopsy for cancer cells, and then paid MSU a rather large sum for them to tell me it was a different cancer but they didn't know what sort....so my faith in veterinary diagnostics isn't exactly absolute at this point!
But in both Cooper and Wilson's case, whatever the flavour of cancer, amputation was the correct next step. And yay for Wilson! Keep us updated.
MotherHen and Wilson,
YEAY! We are so hoppy for you, this is good news all things considered.
About fibrosarcoma . . . well, we haven't had too many dogs here who were diagnosed with it. But just last week, user "Joshpar" and his dog "Puppy" wrote about their fibrosarcoma diagnosis, which you can read about here. Since you're both going through this together at the same time, you might want to PM Joshpar to say Hi.
Last July, Angel told us about her fibrosarcoma diagnosis.
And earlier in the year, Charlie Brown wrote about his fibrosarcoma diagnosis and experience.
We found a good article "Fibrosarcoma in Dogs (Bone Cancer)" that might help.
Please keep us posted. We are with you every hop of the way!
Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet