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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 presentation
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Michigan
Forum Posts: 289
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27 July 2008 - 5:17 am
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Two weeks ago Radar, a 5 year old borzoi, wasn't even limping.  When he did come in limping we thought he had stepped in a hole while racing around the yard. 

On day 2 we saw the start of the swelling.  But it wasn't soft and he wasn't running a temp.

By day 4 there was a large, hard, hot mass around the distal end of the radius and he was, for the most part, walking 3 legged.  We took him into the vet that day and xrays were done which the vet showed to us.  The amount of damage to the bone was incredible for such a short period of time and the bony mass was ugly and rough.  The reason for his pain was so very obvious.

A week later, after a clear chest x-ray, Radar's foreleg was amputated and we hope that we moved quickly enough to arrest the spread of this ugly disease.

If anyone has any doubts, ask for the x-rays and get a clear diagnosis.  This stuff grows scary fast and you must act as quickly as possible.

Connie and Radar

 

The Rainbow Bridge



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27 July 2008 - 10:37 pm
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Thank you for sharing these details. Hopefully it will help others think twice when their dog comes up with a mysterious limp.

I limped off and on for a couple months while my old vet prescribed different meds insisting it was arthritis. Then my people were poking and prodding me one night to try and figure out what was wrong with me. The squeezed my shoulder and I let out a yelp. 

We went to see a specialist as soon as possible. The UC Davis Vet Med Teaching hospital has incredible imaging equipment that showed the mass which could not be seen on my old vet's equipment.

So, I can't agree with you enough about asking for x-rays and acting quickly. Just make sure they are good x-rays, and you have a vet who knows what to look for!

 

 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 182
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28 July 2008 - 9:35 pm
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AMEN, Jerry!  When in doubt check it out.  Better to do it than to feel sorry later.  Good luck and hope Radar's is doing well after surgery.

Kellie

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28 July 2008 - 10:31 pm
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Hi Radar - we're sending thoughts and prayers your way for a speedy recovery. We hope that you're doing well...we're here for you if you need anything...support, answers, etc...please keep us posted on how you're doing. This is scary stuff, but it's so incredibly helpful to go through it with others that know exactly what your fears and hopes are. Thanks for sharing your thoughts during a very difficult time.

Paws forever,

Zeus

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

Forum Posts: 6
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10 October 2008 - 11:57 am
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My name is Robin and I have 4 beautiful greyhounds.

 

Polli, muy 9.5 year old brood mom had a limp exactly one year ago. It lasted 6 weeks. In that time, I had brought her in for x-rays under a general and nothing appeared. As quickly as it showed up, it disappeared.

 

Exactly one year later, same leg started up again and I did not panic this time. I figured I would bring her in in a few weeks if it wasn't any better since we have a history with this leg. GOD had other plans. Polli tripped up the steps on Wed. Could not put her foot down so we brought her right in. There was a hairline fracture. Vet was concerned that that would happen from tripping so they kept her overnight, did major x-rays yesterday. We did not need to do a bone biopsy as they knew right away, she had a tumor and was in a lot of pain that morphine was not helping. They amputated. I am blindsided by this.

Today they started her on her 1st dose of chemo. She was up and about and vet said there was very little oozing. I had a tech stay overnight with her so that the pain meds could be administered and if she had to "make" she could be comfortable.

If things go as they are going now, she will be home tomorrow. GOD Willing.

I want to order the harness today but I don;t know if I should go with a small or medium. I have her girth as 28 BUT that she has put on 10 pounds since those measurements have been taken. I am sure she will lose some weight. What do you think? Small or medium?

 

Thanks, Robin

Robin~ Mom to Polli, my Tripod, Beau, Chloe, & Teddy. Yoshi, Belle and Zoobie, the kitties

Michigan
Forum Posts: 289
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10 October 2008 - 1:32 pm
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Hi Robin,

So sorry to hear that Polli is going through this.  Hearing about the amount of pain she was in prior to surgery, and knowing how stoic sighthounds can be, she may have been hiding her pain for quite some time.  I'm sure that even with the stitches and post op pain that she feels a lot better already.   She'll be up and either wanting to chase something or laze on the sofa (two fav sighthound pastimes) before you know it.   Radar is about 2 and a half months post op and he is nearly as active as our other dogs.  He's taken a tumble or two which were scary but did serve to get him to slow down a bit. 

For the Harness I would go with the medium.  Greyhounds may not look as heavy in the chest as other dogs because they are narrower but that rib cage is deep.  We have a harness for Radar (thanks Finnegan's mom) and plan to put it to good use when it starts getting slippery outside. 

Polli will definitely surprise you.  These kids of ours do amazingly well as tripawds.  I think with sighthouds, the flexibility of their spines is a big help in the adjustment.  At first Radar was really throwing his head up to get his front off the ground while walking but now it appears that he is using his natural flex and pushing from the rear more.  Sometimes it's easy to forget that He has only 3 legs when I see him racing around the yard with the pack. 

Please keep us posted on Polli's progress. 

Hugs

Connie & Radar

Forum Posts: 6
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10 October 2008 - 5:27 pm
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thank you for getting back to me on this. I am in overwhelm right now.

 

I pray that she will be OK and one of those pups that  kicks A** of these NASTY cells in her beautiful body.

Robin~ Mom to Polli, my Tripod, Beau, Chloe, & Teddy. Yoshi, Belle and Zoobie, the kitties

Forum Posts: 387
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10 October 2008 - 7:39 pm
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Hi Robin,

So sorry to hear about Polli, but I, too, wanted to respond on the size harness you should buy.  Jerry sells the WebMaster Ruffwear harness on this website and from the dimensions stated on the sizing chart, I agree with, Connie that you should get the Medium size.  Connie has a really good point that they are deep-chested and the Ruffwear Harness is extremely adjustable. 

I hope Polli continues to heal well and it's great that you were able to have a vet tech to stay with her to make sure she was comfortable and to administer pain meds through the night.

I, too, hope you will keep us posted on Polli's progress as you are now part of the tripawds.com family.

Your friends, Blazer, Kitty Kimber & Vicki T

Forum Posts: 6
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9 October 2008
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10 October 2008 - 8:19 pm
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thank you, I just ordered her a red medium from this site. Polli prefers pink, but the red will be fine! Wink

I had the vet tech stay tonight as well. I can't stand the thought of her being alone. She came from a farm where she was never, ever alone to me where she lives with 3 other greyhounds, (one of those gh is her youngest puppy!) and 3 kitties, plus my Dh. She has never been alone.

I am praying that she be well enough to come home tomorrow.

I will update. Please pray for my Polli.

Robin~ Mom to Polli, my Tripod, Beau, Chloe, & Teddy. Yoshi, Belle and Zoobie, the kitties

Forum Posts: 387
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10 October 2008 - 11:00 pm
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Robin,

You can be assured that we will keep our fingers & paws crossed in prayer for you and Polli.  I'm glad you agree that she will look stunning in her new red WebMaster Harness, although we may have to put the word out that pink is a very fine color for the ladies!Wink

I think it's great that Polli will have another night under the care of a vet tech.  You're a very good Mom and are quickly becoming a favorite on this site.  Let's hope Polli comes home tomorrow; it sounds like she is doing really well.

All our love,

Vicki, Blazer & Kitty Kimber

Forum Posts: 115
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11 October 2008 - 1:02 am
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Hi fellow pawrents!  I am new and have been taking in this site for this past week.  I have to say that I find everyone to be so supportive and informative!  Smile  So, this is my first post and I first want to say that I am praying for Polli to come home tomorrow to her loving mom.  I hope she's feeling incredibly relieved from those nasty cells and back in your loving arms where she belongs. 

Those nasty cells have made themselves at home and violated my own baby's leg.  I found out the devastating news this past Monday.  This has just been the worst week of my life.  I received a phone call at work from the vet giving me the results of the x-rays...my beautiful 12 year old yellow lab Jake has osteosarcoma in his back left femur.  He had been limping for about a month but I thought that it was related to the 3 ACL surgeries he has had or arthritis.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think bone cancer.  I felt like it was so unfair for such a horrible and evil disease to be in my baby's innocent body.  I wanted to just rip it out myself.  After a day of feeling horribly grief stricken and shocked, I decided to check out osteosarcoma on the internet and thankfully stumbled upon this great support site.  I cried my eyeballs out so many evenings when I read some of the touching stories on here!  My heart aches and sings at the same time for all of the pawrents who are going through (or have already gone through) this fight with their wonderful furry angels. 

Jake will be spending his last weekend on all fours.  He will be an official member of the Tripawd club on Tuesday.  I feel like I am walking around like half a person these days but I know I have to be strong and positive for Jake's sake.  It certainly helps to have this site as a support!   I also really loved Doug and the B Brothers' website on fear, guilt and hope.  His words really resonated with me.  I find myself searching for peace during this horribly difficult time.  Doug offers a lot of wonderful coping strategies.   

Luv Spirit Jake, Smooch, Baby Gus & Mom (Sherri)

Forum Posts: 170
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11 October 2008 - 1:33 am
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First of all, welcome aboard! You've both made friends for life here. We all wish you luck with your new journey; we all understand the shock and sadness you are going through now, but believe me those will turn into wonder and amazement at your Jake's speed of recovery and resilience. We wish you all luck and love - always here to lend a helping hand and a muddy paw.

 

 

 

Forum Posts: 115
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9 October 2008
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11 October 2008 - 2:42 am
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Thank you so very much for your kind words and friendly welcome.  Lalla looks so content at the beach.  Jake loves the beach too... especially chasing balls and frisbees in the surf.  I was just reading about wonderful Jerry and then crying my eyeballs out because I just realized that he passed away.Cry  Oh how my heart aches for Jerry's family right now.  I watched the videos of him and just absolutely fell in love with him.  Jerry will always be an incredibly inspiring hero to all of us.  And to his family - thank you so very much for sharing Jerry with us.  His adorable fuzzy face will always be engrained in my memory and will certainly give me strength to stay positive during these precious and challenging times ahead.         

Luv Spirit Jake, Smooch, Baby Gus & Mom (Sherri)

Michigan
Forum Posts: 289
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26 July 2008
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11 October 2008 - 8:56 am
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We are so glad we could help Robin.  You are such a great mom to make sure Polli isn't alone at the Vet's and I know how much you want her home with you and the gang.  When she comes home we will be there to help with any questions or concerns you may have. 

Hi Jakethesnake and welcome to the forum.  we are so sorry to hear of Jake's diagnosis.  Yes, it is such a shock when we hear the news.  It's just something that we don't expect to hit so close to home.  One thing you can take comfort in is that the amputation will be relieving Jakes pain and that is a true gift you can give him. 

This is the best place on the web to come for hope, support and inspiration.  I've cried, laughed, and been utterly amazed with the dogs I've met here.  We are all here to share this together from the grief for our wonderful Jerry's passing, to the joy of Darcy's dance of life. We have become a family here.  Continue to stay strong and pawsitive, for both Polli and Jake. 

Hugs

Connie & Radar

Forum Posts: 170
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11 October 2008 - 11:45 am
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I'll bet Jake will be happy to get back to the beach; once he's a bit more stable and after his stitches are removed (and provided the vet gives you a green light) do try to take him there, because those old routines are so helpful to recovery (dogs thrive on routines); Lalla spent practically every day of her life on the beach, and I owe so much to her having tenaciously carrying on for nearly two years post surgery to the fact that she had her surf n' turf routine.

 

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