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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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Osteosarcoma diagnosis yesterday, looking for advice
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Forum Posts: 7
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12 April 2019
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12 April 2019 - 7:45 pm
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Well, yesterday my best buddy Bella (Shepard/Lab) was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.   I’m tired from crying and I’ve had a stomach ache ever since.  Today she had chest x rays and nothing was seen thankfully.  I’m having a hard time being excited about that because as my vet said, it is incurable.  Sounds like amputation of her back right leg and chemo could statistically give her a year maybe.  She is 9.5 years old.  I hate this.  How the hell do you decide what to do?  I don’t care about money, I’ll spend every penny on her behalf if it helps.  These decisions will not be about me, only about her quality of life.  

The last time I felt a gut punch like this was about 3 years ago when my beloved dad died at 67 from a massive brain stem stroke.  I thought I’d never get thru that, so I’m leaning on that horrible experience to get me thru this and to be strong and clear headed for my sweet dog.  I believe she was a huge factor in pulling me thru my fathers death.  I owe her everything.  So here I am, grasping at straws for any help, even kind words I guess.  I’m just scared.  I’ve GOT to do this right.  My buddy Bella deserves the world, and I’m gonna try and move mountains to give it to her. 

Thanks for for letting me vent.  This site is a wonderful resource.

Ben

Livermore, CA




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12 April 2019 - 8:58 pm
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Hello Ben and Bella, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry you are facing OSA in your girl, and I’m very sorry for the loss of your father.  Losing a parent is tough.

One of the cool things about dogs is that they live in the moment- they don’t care about cancer or that someone is guessing how many days they might have.  When my Pug Maggie lost a leg to mast cell cancer I thought maybe she was cured.  Then the prognosis came back at 6 to 9 months (there was cancer in her lymph node in the leg, really bad in mast cell) and I was thinking I put her through an amp for ONLY 6 or 9 months.  I spent all that time waiting for her to leave, while she was getting on with her life.  Back then if I had known that we might only get 6 to 9 months I may not have done the amp. I finally realized that she didn’t care about dates and that every day she had a fully belly and a nap in the sun was her best day.  With the amp I gave her a chance for more ‘best days’.

We were very lucky that she beat her prognosis and lived almost 4 years.  She actually passed from a second cancer.

Does your vet think Bella is a good candidate to be a Tripawd?  If she still has living to do and she is otherwise healthy then maybe amputation is right for you guys.  Life should always be about quality- but a cancer diagnosis really makes you face that.  This is your decision to make but I can tell you that most all pups who have come here do well as a Tripawd.  How much time do you have? No one can tell you.  Stats are just stats.  You decide what is best for you and Bella.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Virginia




Forum Posts: 17688
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12 April 2019 - 11:08 pm
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We get it.  We understand  the non-stop crying, the kick in the gut.  The fear, the uncertainty, the physical and emotional  exhaustion. Yeah, we get it

And your l ove and devotion  to your sweet Bella and willingness to do everything you can for her come shining  through.

I’m  so glad Karen shared her story about her Pug Maggie.  Thankfully Maggie didn’t  listen to any ole’ “statistic”  

No one knows which dog will beat “statistics” like Murphy did who passed four years after amputation; or like our Jerry who got almost two uears after amp., And some dogs fall on the lower side of “statistics”.

What we do know for sure is that dogs don’t  count days on a calendar  and they don’t  have a time frame stamped on their butt.  Take a look at Bella’s vutt.  No timeframe  stamp, right??

Dogs live in the now.  In the moment.  In the present.   All Bella cares about is being pain frre and being  spoiled and loved by you.  

YOU WILL “GET IT RIGHT”  because you will make a decision  out of LOVE FOR BELLA and that is ALWAYS the RIGHT decision.   Your Dad is a wonderful  Guardian  Angel for you and he will help guide you too.  Ues, that journey with your Dad showed you the inner strength  you had to pull you through that rough time.  That inner strength  is still there.

Take a deep breath.  Do your research.   And it IS good the xrays were clear!  Check in with Bella and see what she wants.  It sounds like she’s  not ready to  throw in the towel.  It sounds like the Vet thinks she’s  a good candidate. It sounds like you want to give her the best possible  chance for extended  quality  time.  

Stay connected  and ask any questions  you have.  We are here to support you in any way we can and support you with any path you take.

Now go give Bella a big hug and an extra treat…make that two treats!  All is well with Bella and will continue  to be so! 

((((((((((((((((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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13 April 2019 - 8:45 am
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Hi Ben and Bella, welcome. I’m sorry you find yourself here but am glad you decided to post. We are here to help.

I am going to x2 everything that Karen and Sally said. One of the most interesting aspects of this experience is that you can come to see how even with cancer, there really is no telling how long any of us have on this earth. What it teaches us is that the only guarantee is the here and now, and the only way cancer can “win” is if we allow it to steal those precious moments within the here and now. So, don’t let it. Know that Bella is still Bella and no matter what happens all she wants is to make the most of the moment in front of her, with you, her most favorite human on earth.

I’m also curious to find out what your vet thought about her being a good candidate for life on three legs. Don’t forget to check out Jerry’s Required Reading List for answers to many of the questions I’m sure are swirling through your brain right now.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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13 April 2019 - 12:11 pm
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Thank you everyone.   Thank you for taking the time, your most precious asset, to reach out to me.  I smiled and cried reading the responses and your true compassion shines thru.   I will update after our oncologist meeting this Tuesday.  I just want a plan, and then I will be able to focus all my love and energy on my sweet Bella girl.  

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 April 2019 - 3:14 pm
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You are very welcome. We will keep our paws, fingers, tails and toes crossed for you both!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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14 April 2019 - 9:34 am
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Hi. I know exactly what you are going thru. I have a 12 year old choc lab who I love more then anything . He was diagnosed with bone cancer front left leg. Due to his age and being his front leg I first decided to treat with pain meds. But that only worked for awhile and what kind of life would he have on pain meds all the time and his tumor was growling.

I had many sleepless nights not knowing what to do. I googled “senior. Dog’s with front leg amputatios” I found many inspiring stories. I also found this site which was a blessing. So I thought if all those other dogs can do it so can Brownie!

It’s been 3.5 weeks since amputation and he is doing so well! The first two weeks was hard I thought maybe I made the wrong decision. But now I look at him and he is doing everything he did before just leading different ways to do it.  And when I look at him I know he is pain free, and yes I would do it again.

Green Bay, WI


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14 April 2019 - 10:45 am
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Welcome, sorry you find yourselves going through this. My Dobe was diagnosed with osteo at age 8 1/2, and likewise was given a prognosis of maybe a year with amputation and chem. He lived 3 1/2 years after amp, and we lost him to old age – his cancer never did return. So yeah, statistics ARE just numbers. Not everyone gets as lucky as us, but know that is does happen. The important thing is, we took away his pain and was AMAZING on 3 legs. It’s not a journey for the faint-of-heart, but I don’t regret for a second that we took it. Good luck, keep us informed.

Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tripawds.com

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

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16 April 2019 - 4:42 pm
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Hello all.  Had Bella’s oncologist appointment today and I have decided to move forward with the amputation, and then the 6 rounds of chemo after.  I’m meeting with the surgeon Monday morning and will schedule it ASAP after the meeting hopefully.  I have loads of faith in this girl, and we took a good walk this morning before the appointment.  That only solidified my resolve to put her thru this.  She just loved the walk as always.  I plan on many more of these after her surgery and healing time.  She is so full of life still and I want her to have a chance at more of it, no matter how long that is.  I’m scared but no one said life is easy, so we move forward in confidence and full of hope.  Bella (and me) have a great support system in place.  Now, just got to figure out how to pay for all this.  Costs are astronomical ($2500 for amputation, $5-6,000 for chemo). Oh well, where there is a will there is a way.   Bella is worth more than money, more than struggles.  She deserves a chance, and I’ll be with her every step of the way

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 April 2019 - 5:55 pm
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Well that’s another vet who also sees the fire in her belly and the sparkle in her eyes, wonderful news she checked out at the oncologist appointment. She must inherit her fighting spirit from you 🙂

Be sure to check out our articles so you can come up with some good questions for the surgeon:

Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Amputation Surgery for Dogs and Cats (Part 1)

Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Amputation Surgery for Dogs and Cats (Part 2)

And you’re right, cancer treatment is craaaaazy expensive. But these dogs, oh how we love them so much that they make the sacrifice so worth it eh?

Let us know if you have any questions you don’t see addressed, we are here to help.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




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17 April 2019 - 8:03 pm
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Alrighty, you have a plan and can move forward.  There is a sense of relief  once you make that decision  and get on with fettin’ on! 

I’m  so glad Bella was able to solid your plan with a good walk!  When you see Bella showing you she has spunk and a true zest for life….yeah…you’re getting it right!

And for whatever it’s  worth,  the Onco for Happy Hannah, as well as many others here, went with a protocol of four carboplatin  treatments.  Some went with five, some with six.  No right or wrong.  At least from my understanding far as what her Onco said.

And we’ll be with you and Bella every  step of the way!  

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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22 April 2019 - 5:53 pm
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Bella is scheduled for her amputation surgery tomorrow.  I knew it was coming but reality has set in.  I’m so nervous for her.  Knowing I’ll have to leave her overnight and her waking up in a strange place without me is a bit heartbreaking.   I’ve been told numerous time via this website and forum responses, along with the vet, surgeons and oncology vets  that dogs do well but it’s still nerve wracking!!  Gonna be a long day at work tomorrow.  I will be taking many days off work until I’m sure she is ok alone at home( luckily I have a lot of vacation time).    Just wanted to update anyone who’s reading and especially the great folks who’ve been so kind to respond with experience and encouragement.  I’ll never forget the support and promise to help in anyway I can moving forward.  Thank you all

Virginia




Forum Posts: 17688
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22 April 2019 - 8:57 pm
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Sending  lots of good vibes to you and sweet Bella tomorrow!

And no worries about the way Bella will feel when she wakes up.  She’ll be high as a kite and seeing pink elephants!  

Won’t  tell uoj yo relax, because  we know that’s  impossible.   We do k ow Bella is chillin’ and not worried about a thing…..because  there is no reason to be worried!

For you Bella:

Screenshot_20180909-010241_Chrome.jpgImage Enlarger

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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22 April 2019 - 9:01 pm
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Of COURSE it’s a scary time, you wouldn’t be Bella’s #1 advocate if you weren’t nervous about this. We understand that and can help you get through the worst of your doubts and worries (they’re inevitable, we all had them!).

We will be thinking of you both and sending lots of love to you and Bella. Come back and update us in Treatment and Recovery, we will be waiting!

Also, if you want to talk, the Tripawds Helpline is always available (844-TRIPAWD) and you will usually find me in the Tripawds Chat during morning hours, Mountain time, or in the evenings after dinner hour.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Livermore, CA




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22 April 2019 - 10:27 pm
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I’m nervous whenever I drop the dogs off for anything!  Even their spay surgeries or a dental cleaning. 

As Sally said, when Bella ‘wakes up’ she will still be quite drunk.  When you pick her up she will still probably be a bit dingy.

TRY and keep busy during the day and try and get some rest while she is at the vet.

I’ll be thinking strong, positive thought for you guys tomorrow.  Update when you can.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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