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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 here and not sure what to do - osteosarcoma diagnosis
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Forum Posts: 2
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24 July 2021
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27 July 2021 - 12:27 pm
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Hi there, 

I found out last Thursday that our sweet boy has osteosarcoma in his right front leg. He started limping about a month ago, be we had assumed is was an injury from running (He loves to run full speed and jump over rocks). After two weeks of the limp getting progressively worse, we brought him into the vet and received this horrible and shocking news. I have been crying every day since, and I am so angry that this has happened (We lost another sweet boy only 4 months ago to congestive heart failure). Our vet did x-rays and sent them to a radiologist for confirmation of the diagnosis, as well as x-rays of his lungs to check for metastasis which thankfully were negative. We are now faced with amputation and chemotherapy and are leaning towards this as he is only 7 and in general good health, but the survival rates have us second guessing if this route is in his best interests (recovery from surgery plus chemotherapy seems awful with such a short time left). 
I guess what I am looking for is some hope, that some dogs do surpass life expectations after amputation and chemo, and that there was little pain and discomfort involved. He is such a sweet and loving guy, and I don’t want him to suffer because I can’t let him go 😭

He’s the big white guy in my profile pic, a Lurcher named Oreo ❤️

The Rainbow Bridge



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27 July 2021 - 1:36 pm
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Hi Oreo & family, welcome! Your future posts won't need approval so post away. 

I'm really sorry that you got the bad news. It's a heartbreaker and our minds can't help but think the worst. But here's the thing: nobody can predict the future! Even vets! We have averages but every dog is different and Oreo is one of a kind. He just might beat those odds and go on to surprise everyone. Lots of dogs do, even with this disease. Our own Jerry beat the odds for two years and lived to his normal life expectancy. Other dogs have gone even longer!

Yes the amputation part is really tough for us to cope with. But dogs do so much better than we do! It's always harder for us than them. They cope so quickly. As long as Oreo gets excellent pain management , recovery should go smoothly. Yes, there will be some discomfort, but it shouldn't be so horrible that it keeps you up at night. If that happens, you'll need to work with your vet for better pain control.

We have tons of examples of hope and inspawration, even with Lurchers. Here are some search results to check out:

Forum posts about Lurchers

Being that they are so closely related to other sighthounds, here are some other posts for ya:

Posts about Sighthounds

Posts about Deerhounds

Posts about Greyhounds

Also, see our What to Expect articles and Jerry's Required Reading List for more insight about life on three legs. 

Amputation and cancer sucks, but it's not the end of the road. You never know how long Oreo will have, but it's the same even without cancer. Every day is a gift and this disease really brings that to light for us. As for Oreo, well he just wants to feel better as quickly as possible. Sounds like you are on your way to doing that.

Let us know how we can help OK? We are here for you!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 2
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27 July 2021 - 4:37 pm
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Thank you so much for your kind words and support, it means a lot. We have decided to proceed with the amputation and hopefully this will give us a little extra time together. He still needs to go for a consult with the surgeon (our vet does not do enough of this type of surgery and would rather have it performed by a specialist). I am hopeful that we can get his surgery booked ASAP, but will know more once we have heard from the surgeon’s office.

I really appreciate the links you provided to other Lurcher and greyhound stories in the forum, it helps to know there are others out there just like us (not that I would ever wish this diagnosis on anyone). I’ll keep in touch with updates as we progress with his surgery and recovery. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 July 2021 - 11:25 am
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You are so welcome! That's why we are here, ask any questions you'd like OK? And consider reaching out to Pofi's mom, she has quite a bit of experience with Lurchers.

I love that your vet referred out the surgery. That's the sign of a great vet, someone who isn't afraid to refer out to specialty care! 

Keep us posted on how things are going.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Minneapolis, MN
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29 July 2021 - 3:23 pm
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I'm here!!  (Pofi's Mom).

So sorry to hear about Oreo. Many, many Lurchers and Greyhounds do really well post amputation in terms of managing to get around on three legs.  And you will be removing a source of significant pain for Oreo.

One thing to ask your surgeon about is what familiarity they have with anesthesia for Greyhounds and using Amicar to better manage post op bleeding issues some greys will have:  Aminocaproic acid

On anesthesia: Most modern day anesthetics are perfectly safe in sighthounds. The bad reputation about anesthesia in greyhounds started in the 80s, when using short- and ultra-short acting barbiturates that are cleared very slowly from their system; these drugs are no longer used in clinical practice. However, due to low body fat and high muscle mass most greyhounds metabolize sedatives and anesthetics a bit differently from other dogs, and dosages may need to be adjusted accordingly. Please consult with your veterinarian about dosages.

Please let me know how I can help  in your journey with Oreo!

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

Virginia




Forum Posts: 21150
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29 July 2021 - 9:28 pm
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As you can see from the invaluable  information and support from Lisa (Pofi's Mom) you have come to the right  place for help.  We understand  the kick in the gut and fear and uncertainty  at first.  

We also understand  how Happy you eill be when recovery is done and your sweet pup is pain free and living large!!

Update when you know more and let us know as any questions  about recovery arise.  

Hugs

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

PS.  I had the privilege of meeting Lisa's current two Lurchers,  Brarley and Shay.  Gorgeous  dogs!!!   I learned so much about them thru Lisa and her hubby.....very special  pups.  

I'll just add that, if I recall, Pofi amazed us all at how quickly he mastered  a steep set of stairs  up and down "his" porch💖

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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30 July 2021 - 11:19 am
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Pawesome! Thank you so much Lisa, your experience is invaluable. What a great point to mention about anesthesia.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 August 2021 - 3:13 am
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Hi, I'm so sorry to hear about Oreo. I know what a shock this is. My Brownie was diagnosed with cancer three weeks before turning 12. When I got the news I hit the floor. Brownie had never been sick a day in his life and now cancer! Brownie lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation only. I know that doesn't seem like a lot of time but he was happy and pain free .

All our pets deserve the right to fight and Oreo will surprise you every day.❤️

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

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