TRIPAWDS: Home to 20071 Members and 2005 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

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.
JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!

REGISTER   |   LOG IN

Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
Questions for a Newly Diagnosed Dog with Mast Cell Cancer
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Member Since:
13 June 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
13 June 2022 - 8:45 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi! My boy, Max, is a 60lb lab mix, who was diagnosed with Mass Cell Disease. The vet has presented me with options, one being amputation. 

Max is 10 (he will be 11 in December). The things I’m struggling with are all human things.

I worry about his after care by myself. What can I expect?

Is he too old to put through amputation?

I worry that taking his leg will make no difference and only cause him more problems or the cancer will show up elsewhere. 

I worry I will regret the amputation and recovery will be too hard for him and me. 

Is it selfish to want more time with my precious boy?

What if I can’t afford everything he needs?

Livermore, CA




Member Since:
18 October 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
13 June 2022 - 9:51 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I hope you don't mind that I moved your first post here to your own topic so we can address your questions about Max.

In my book age is just a number- the real question is how much living does Max have left in him?  Does your vet think he would do OK as a Tripawd?

Is the tumor in a front or back leg?

My Pug Maggie lost a back leg to mast cell cancer.  You can read her story and about her amp and treatment, the links are in my signature below.

What we see here is that the more 'mature' pups take a little longer to get their sea legs.  But we've had lots of dogs here as old or older than Max who do just fine on three.

What were the options the vet presented?  Have you seen an oncologist?  Maggie's amp was way back in 2006 and there have been several new drugs and treatments introduced since then. 

Unfortunately mast cell is one of the most unpredictable cancers in dogs, I certainly experienced that with mast cell cancer in two dogs.  There are a suite of tests that should be done before amputation to check for metastasis, but they are not 100%- again what I experienced!

You have to decide what is best for you and Max.  Many here have gone through recovery alone and it can be done.  Don't worry about putting a financial limit on what you can do either.  With cancer all the money in the world does not guarantee the outcome you want. 

Look through the Reading List for answers to lots of your questions.

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

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
14 June 2022 - 12:01 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Alaina, welcome! I'm so glad you posted. It was great chatting with you yesterday on the Tripawds Helpline .

I'll try to answer your concerns too:

I worry about his after care by myself. What can I expect?

As I mentioned, lots of folks here do the after care on their own. He may be wonky and hard to maneuver so having a sling is helpful. Taking someone with you to pick him up and bring him home and out of the car is a good idea if you can do that.

We love harnesses to help new Tripawds as you might have gathered, but we don't recommend using them until stitches are out unless you have inside stairs he must navigate to go outside. I think I recall you said he only has a few to deal with?

Most dogs will be wonky and zonked for a few days, then tired, and then slowly over the course of a week or two start to get their sparkle back. Older and larger dogs tend to need more time to recover, but they do get there. Just try not to compare his recovery against what you see here or in other places online. Max is his own guy with his own timeline.

Is he too old to put through amputation?

If your vet feels he's a good candidate, that's awesome. I think I recall they gave him the green light? Age really is a number to a dog who is otherwise fit and has no serious health issues. 

I worry that taking his leg will make no difference and only cause him more problems or the cancer will show up elsewhere. 

While there are challenges during recovery, mainly our own emotional ones, once recovery is over Max will start being Max again. It may not happen on a linear timeline and there may be hurdles, but he will get there. As for the cancer, there are no guarantees. Your vet and oncology team can let you know what to expect with the type and grade of MCT he has. Keep in mind that cancer doesn't always do what it's supposed to and in this case hoping for the best and preparing for the worst is smart. But you also need to focus on the present and remember that Max is here right now, and all he wants is for you to be there with him.

I worry I will regret the amputation and recovery will be too hard for him and me. 

You may do that during the first few days. There's not a single person here who doesn't feel guilty when their dog is struggling during recovery. But too hard on him? Probably not based on what your vet thinks his physical shape is in right now. And as for you, nope, I'm betting you can handle it too. Together, Team Max can do anything!  And as you mentioned, you've been through TPLO recovery. If you can do that, you can do this easy peasy comparatively speaking.

Is it selfish to want more time with my precious boy?

There is never enough time. But sometimes we have to take steps to ensure that whatever time we have is spent pain-free so our dogs can be dogs. Amputation does that, it gives a better quality of life for whatever time he has left. People may say you are selfish. Ignore them, they've never been in this situation most likely. We get it. NO you are not being selfish. Is wanting to help an otherwise healthy dog live without pain being selfish? Of course not! 

What if I can’t afford everything he needs?

By taking care of the pain, that's the #1 thing he needs. Anything after that is icing on the cake. Even chemo is optional. Money is always an issue for a pet parent, and we have to make hard choices many times. We get it. And nobody here will judge you for your treatment choices because every situation is different. But just getting rid of the pain is a huge gift to Max that will enable the two of you to have more quality time together, for however long that is. 

Gotta run for now, I hope this helps. Keep us posted OK? 

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
14 June 2022 - 3:56 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Jerry and Karen said everything  so well.  

Regardless of whether you are the wealthiest  person in the world, there are NO guarantees  with the variety of therapies offered that "money can buy"...or not. 

You know Max, and yourself, better than anyone.  Have Max evaluated  by an Orthopedic  Surgeon?  That can give yoj the reassurance  uou meed tonknow if Max is a good candidate  and can do well on three.  As already  mentioned,  age really is just a number around here.

Many of 'us" here are the only caregivers fprmpur pups during recovery.   Not necessarily  easy the first two weeks-ish, especially  when it comes to sleep the first several days.  As Jerry mentioned,  a harness or sling can help with mobility IF needed.  

Update is  when you get a chance to review the responses and the links.  Whatever you decide, however you decide to handle this, we support you no matter what......no matter what!!

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!

Member Since:
13 June 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
14 June 2022 - 5:10 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you all so much!sp_hearticon2 I didn't realize how much community support and hearing others' stories would help me through this process. 

I was able to schedule a consultation today with a surgeon at Blue Pearl. They were able to get us in on June 30, so we don't have to wait too long. The internal medicine vet recommended that I do that to help me make a decision that is right for us.

I did ask Max what he wanted, but he just stared at me with his big brown eyes. I'm going to snuggle with him this weekend to see if I can hear his doggy thoughts.smiley4

I appreciate the support and information. Once I know more, I will post an update. I'm sure I'll have more questions, too.  

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 86
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1184
Members: 14981
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 17569
Posts: 244817
Administrators: admin, jerry, Tripawds
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG