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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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OS diagnosis with Lung Mets - Need Advice
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Nellie's Mom
4 February 2009 - 4:07 pm
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I'm so confused and wrung out, I just don't know what to do next.

The radiologist confirmed yesterday (Tuesday) our vet's suspiscion that my big beautiful Nellie has Osteosarcoma in her right front leg. Following the advice I read on this site, I took her immediately to meet with an oncologist who gave her a chest xray. Her heart looked great, but unfortunately, he and the radiologist there found three or four suspiscious macroscopic nodules in her lungs. He showed them to me. They were easy to spot.

Both the vet and the oncologist give my sweet Nellie two months, and neither recommends amputation. Not the prognosis I was prepared for! I was all prepared for amputation and chemo, but the oncologist believes that by the time she recovers from the surgery, that her time would be up! I have an appointment with another oncologist on Thursday for a second opinion, but I'd like to hear your experiences with your babies.

My Nellie is 12 years old. She has these long beautiful legs and just loves to run. She weighs 77 pounds, about 7 pounds more than she should. She had Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy on her right rear leg for a torn anterior cruciate ligament about two years ago. About five years ago, I had to take her to emergency in the middle of the night for a pinched nerve in her back after a day of running in a field. That vet suspected she also has hip dysplasia, although she's never had an xray to confirm that.

Nellie's already having trouble getting up, walking, and moving around. She's been on 75 mg Rimadyl twice a day for the past three weeks, and the oncologist added 50 mg Tramadol twice a day (starting last night).

I'm worried that if I did go ahead with the amputation, that the rest of her legs will just collapse. I don't know what to do. I can't think straight. What do I do now????

The Rainbow Bridge

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4 February 2009 - 5:06 pm
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Hi Nellie's Mom. We are so sorry to hear about the ruff time you are going through. We are sending lots of love and hugs.

It sounds like you are doing everything right by taking Nellie to specialists and getting another opinion. Ultimately, it's your decision. Just remember there are no right or wrong decisiions. What is right for one Tripawd may not be right for you two. Everyone is different.

It's all about what is in your heart, and what you see in your girl's eyes. If you look closely enough, and sit quietly with her, she will tell you.

Good luck. Please let us know how the second opinion goes 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: 345
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4 February 2009 - 6:26 pm
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Hi Nellie's Mom,

  Although Nellie may not be a candidate for the amputation, and I would definitely get a 2nd opinion to ease your conscious. What about chemo? We all know the amputation doesn't cure the cancer, it is to ease the pain that the tumor causes. Most sarcomas are carried through the body by the bloodstream, which is usually how they mestasis. So whatever 2nd opinion you receive, don't limit your options. Even with surgery, if even 1 cell is left behind it may mestasis. I know first hand, being told of clean margins and stage 1 low grade with my Buster who now has lung mets.

There is also artemisinin , you may want to try...

My boy Buster is living with lung mets, so don't let this prognoses let you mourn Nellie while she is still here!

If you do, then you have let this cancer win... fight it till the end.

the above reference about mets is from this link http://www.phoe...../mets.html

Best wishes,

Kim & Buster

Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

Forum Posts: 84
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2 October 2008
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8 February 2009 - 3:51 pm
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Dear Nellie's mom,

I agree that you are doing the right thing right now in gathering as much info as you can to really know the most clearly what your options are.

I was lucky in that Sophie didn't have mets at the time she was first diagnosed, and that made my decisions easier.   I have heard that for dogs for whom amputation is not an option for whatever reason, radiation can be performed palliatively to reduce the pain in the affected limb.  Hopefully there are other folks out there who have encountered this situation and can tell you more about their experiences. 

I think that very often amputation is an important option in pain reduction and quality of life, but every case is different, and I hope that if you find  that it cannot be an option for you and Nelly, you will still utilize this site for support and community! 

We wish you all the best- please keep us posted!


Christine & Sophie

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