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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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New diagnosis of osteosarcoma - need advice
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Forum Posts: 15
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17 July 2019
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17 July 2019 - 9:28 am
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Hello. I’m a new member and have never been part of a blog. I wanted to reach out and find as many resources as possible to help with our Chloe. She is a nine year old, 75 lb. Rottweiler and was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her right shoulder after developing a horrible limp. We have explored treatment options and have come to a sad but peaceful conclusion that we will most likely amputate the leg to relieve her pain. She has a surgical consult on Monday. We cannot afford chemotherapy or immunotherapy so want to make the time she has left as pain free and happy as possible. Chloe, like most rotties, is a bull in a china shop and not very graceful so I am concerned about the surgery recovery. Any tips or advice about post-op care, specifically about assistive harness use or braces of any kind would be much appreciated. Also – Chloe is currently on a schedule of Carprofen, tramadol, amantadine, and gabapentin. Does anyone know of anything else we can do to make her comfortable?

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 July 2019 - 9:41 am
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Hello there, welcome. I’m sorry to hear about Chloe.The osteosarcoma diagnosis is such a difficult situation, many of us here have been through it an understand all of the emotions you are feeling. And we are here to support you, so we are glad you found us!

As a 75-pound Rottie, Chloe is still relatively small so she should do just fine on three. How does your vet feel about her being a Tripawd?

It sounds like your surgery will come quickly after the consult. As far as I know (and I”m not a vet so take it for what it’s worth), the pain meds she is on are about all you can do until then, aside from a Fentanyl patch, to alleviate her pain. If she is giving more pain indicators while on the meds, ask your vet to see if they can apply one until surgery day. It’s good that she is medicated now, because it will make post-operative life much easier over the first few days (her body and mind is already used to being on the meds). 

I’m sure your vet told you but you also want to make sure she doesn’t get a lot of activity right now, or that bone could shatter.

Don’t beat yourself up about not doing other treatments. Amputation is the fastest and best way to alleviate the pain and it can buy more quality time together. Many dogs here have beaten the odds without chemo (our Jerry included: two years!), so you just never know. Stay on the path you are on, know that you are doing right by your girl, and she will surprise you with her resiliency and amazing attitude after that bad leg is gone. 

In the meantime, we have lots of tips in Jerry’s Required Reading List and our featured blogs about exercise, like the Tripawds Gear blog , and the Tripawds Nutrition blog will also give you lots of diet tips too. There is a LOT you can do for her aside from traditional treatments, and the very best medicine of all is a pawsitive attitude on your part. Sounds like you are getting there! Stick with us, we will show you the way.

Keep us posted and let us know how Monday goes. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 82
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17 July 2019 - 11:11 am
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Just wanted to welcome you and chloe to the family ❤ i know how devastating the osteosarcoma diagnosis can feel but it sounds like your taking steps to give chloe the best quality of life possible. 

Right now keeping her quiet and giving lots of good love is best. It sounds like she’s on a good mix of meds which should help with that until you can get her in for surgery.

We have a bit of the bull in the china shop at our house also😉 but when shes focused it amazes me what she can do. Stubborn! We used a reusable grocery bag sling to help keep roane steady after surgery. After the first week or so she really didnt need it any more. I think it was more that she put up with it to humor mom!

As far as chemo some do it some dont. There is no wrong choice. We opted not to do chemo with Roane instead we’re going a more holistic route as well as changing her diet. The big thing is dealing with that bad leg after its gone she’ll feel sooo much better.

Jerry has some great reading in those links he gave you & The tripawd comunity is a huge source of personal knowledge and support. Ask away if you have questions. 

Sending good vibes to you and chloe, keep us posted.

❤ Bev & Roane🐾

❤ Bev, Roane & nurse Moe

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17 July 2019 - 12:53 pm
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Thank you so very much for you r kind words and support! Also for the valuable links. I will be sure to check them out right away!

Virginia




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17 July 2019 - 5:08 pm
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Chloe sounds like an absolute  delight…as well as a tough cookie!  Good traits to have on this journey!  And you clearly  are a powerful advocate for Chloe and that’s  another big plus!

No, no one wants to be here.  As you can see from rhe jnput fron Jerry and Bev, you are definitely  in the right place for support and information from people  who understand.

Can’t  wait to see pictures!  Here’s  a link for adding images .

After you review  the links, let us know what questions you have, okay?  Sounds like you have her pain well managed with the meds.  Good job.

And just remember,Chloe does NOT have a timeframe  stamped anywhere on her vutt! She could care less about days on a calendar!  All she cares about is being  spoiled and loved…..and I think you have that well covered!

Oh, and a tripawd member here named Clyde  has celebrated over two years living life to the fullest as a tripwad pain free…..and with NO chemo!

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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18 July 2019 - 9:17 am
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Thanks so much for your words and the hope you’ve inspired. I’ll make sure to update after Chloe’s surgical consult.

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19 July 2019 - 8:55 am
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I am sorry you and your dog are going through this.  There is no denying that the next few weeks are going to be difficult.  What will carry you through is the love you share with Chloe and the knowledge and encouragement of people who have been through this too.

My dog is well over 100 lbs.  He is a mastiff mix and it seemed incomprehensible to me that this guy with his big chest and large body would be able to function without a front leg.  I was not prepared for the 3 days or so post op and would have lost my mind, and perhaps even my wonderful friend, without this site.

That being said, we are one month out.  We don’t need any pain meds and my dog is back to his big goofy lovable self.  He does everything he used to do, albeit with a head bob now as he hops along.  He is pain free and I can see that he is happy.

I believe he knows that he was sick and he seems so appreciative that we didn’t stop loving and caring for him just because he had an issue.  I am so glad we did this.

Please check in and tell us how you and Chloe are doing.  

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25 July 2019 - 7:23 pm
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Well you were all right!!! It’s been a whirlwind since Chloe’s surgical consult on Monday. She was put on the OR schedule for Wednesday and we got her home with us today. I was prepared for the worst but was so surprised at her reaction and resiliency! Once we got her home and took her out to relieve herself with a sling, she tried to run back inside. We had to struggle to keep up with her. That said, we are keeping her very cool and quiet. But it’s post-op day two and she’s eating, drinking, and eliminating as usual. I was told that after her amputation, the vet dissected the tumor and found a hole in the bone all the way to the marrow. If that’s not confirmation that we did the right thing, I don’t know what is. We go in tomorrow for a dressing change and a drain check. I want to thank you all again for your wonderful support and willingness to share your experiences and knowledge. We don’t know how long we have with Chloe but now we have faith that it will be quality time and that matters the most!

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25 July 2019 - 7:52 pm
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I am so happy to hear these great news.  That is a fast recovery.  I think it is because you prepared yourself – knew what to expect and were able to render appropriate care.  Great job!

Virginia




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25 July 2019 - 8:45 pm
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WOW!!!  SPECTACULAR  UPDATE!!!!   Eating, drinking, pooping and peeing…YAAAAY!!!!  We’re  all so happy for you and Chloe!!!

tifkitten said
We don’t know how long we have with Chloe but now we have faith that it will be quality time and that matters the most!

  

BINGO, BANGO, BAM!!! You just got the lesson of this journey and that makes you and Chloe VICTORIOUS ocer thos piece of. poopicon disease.!!!  

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 July 2019 - 9:52 pm
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Aww that is terrific news she’s doing so well! Sounds like she was definitely on the verge of a painful fracture, so glad you guys didn’t go through one.

Sometimes a dog may hit a wall and slow down dramatically after coming home with so much energy. If she does, try not to panic. Just keep your vet in the loop if her behavior seems way off. 

Now that she’s gone to the head of the class you can post updates in Treatment and Recovery if you’d like. Her fans are waiting 🙂

Yay Chloe!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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26 July 2019 - 6:15 am
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Go Chloe! Welcome home!!!!!! ❤🎉❤🎉

So happy to hear that Chloe’s doing well! It sounds like shes got a great head start on recovery. Lots of love and rest and she will do great. As jerry said dont be alarmed if she has a few quiet days, rest is good. 

Judging by what the vet said after looking at the tumor you definatly made the right call and in good time! 

Look forward to her next update!

Big hugs🐾❤🐾

❤ Bev, Roane & nurse Moe

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27 July 2019 - 4:49 pm
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Well I’m glad you guys warned me. Chloe is very quiet and sleeping a lot, even more than yesterday. I made her get up to eat, go outside to pee, and drink some water. I know she’s putting a lot of energy into healing but it’s hard not to worry. Also, can anyone tell me how much wound drainage is too much? She hasn’t really had any (visible) until today. Now there’s a spot on her dressing where it’s seeping through. About the size of my fist. Is this normal?

Virginia




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27 July 2019 - 9:04 pm
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Yeah, sounds like Chloe is just experiencing  the normal “crash” that happens right about now.  And she is using her energy to heal.  And even thought she’s  walking very little, it takes a lot of energy to adjust to three during recovery.  Continue to make sure you stay consistent  with her pain meds.

We aren’t  Vets so you can send your Vet a picture  of the leakage.  We can tell you from experience  though that some leakage does happen. If it’s  stinky or puss or bloody you”ll need a Vet visit.  If it’s mostly clear, no odor, it’s  probably  just normal seepage.  Sometimes leakage can be so  very much that a drain needs to be put in. In the meantime, also check out seroma

Hang in there! Recovery doesn’t  last furever!  Try and get some rest.  Chloe is eating, drinking peeing and is mobile…all GREAT milestones  rhis earlyz!!!!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 July 2019 - 11:27 am
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Sally’s input is spot-on. seroma ‘s aren’t unusual at all, and usually resolve on their own, but to be safe just let your vet know what’s going on. 

Remember, rest is medicinal. Don’t make her do too much right now, just bare bones outside potty trips, and drinking water. She’ll find her way back to normal before you know it.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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