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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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Roxy 12.5 golden retriever leg tumor
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Forum Posts: 12
Member Since:
13 February 2020
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14 February 2020 - 5:51 pm
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My 12.5 year old golden girl had developed a limp over the past few weeks and sadly an xray at our vet suggested a bone tumor.

Wednesday we visited a specialist hospital who took further xrays of leg and chest, plus a bone biopsy.

chest xrays came back clear but biopsy results have is confused.

The Dr himself did not call back but an assistant, who merely told us possitive for a sarcoma and leg needs to come off!! We need to make an appointment with surgeon to discuss further options on monday.

We were very saddened by the communication as up till now this hospital has being wonderful.

can anyone look over some of the biopsy notes or indeed the xrays and see what they think please?

ill include a summery from end of biopsy notes.

Left humerus: Low grade atypical mesenchymal proliferation with rare osteoclastic bone resorption, mild lymphoplasmacytic and neutrophilic osteomyelitis


“Histological findings are suspicious for a sarcoma, and multiple sections through the tissue block were made with similar findings. Regions of low grade mesenchymal proliferation can occur is several types of processes including fibroplasia from inflammatory diseases
And including osteosarcomas. The proximal humerus is a common location for osteosarcomas, but I did not find any features specific for osteosarcomas.
Differentials include fibrosarcomas, myxosarcomas intramedullary orsynovial) and osteosarcomas. There is only mild inflammation, and given the widespread infiltrative nature of these mesenchymal cells I would put inflammatory diseasse at the bottom of the differential list. Rule out infiltrative synovial neoplasia vs primary intra-osseous neoplasia”

The Rainbow Bridge

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15 February 2020 - 7:30 am
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Hey there. I’m sorry to hear about the potential diagnosis, I know this has left you worried and anxious. I think perhaps the clinic thought they were doing you a favor by not making you wait all weekend for some kind of news, so try not to be too hard on them. The surgeon is indeed the best person to help you interpret the path report, so you will learn so much more when you speak to them.

To my untrained eye it appears that the lab couldn’t identify a specific type of sarcoma. That’s unfortunate because bone biopsies are usually the best way to diagnose a tumor, without removing the leg. When that happens, the leg is usually further biopsied after amputation. That’s when a more definitive diagnosis can take place and a treatment can be recommended.

The important thing right now is, if the leg is beyond saving, then it must come off to give Ginger a pain-free quality of life. How is she doing after the biopsy? They’re pretty painful. I hope she’s doing alright.

Hang in there, you will get more answers soon.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 12
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15 February 2020 - 10:15 am
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Thanks Jerry,

she is doing really well thankfully after the biopsy, a little stirr crazy as she loves her walks, and we’re taking it easy.

I see where your coming from with the results and the communication. Its just so hard to know what we should be doing.

Our own vet referred us to this clinic where he said she would get the best  care and im sure she will. We are just confused with the way it all goes, the internal(ist) doctor we meet with on Wednesday said she was still in good shape in regards the leg( ie- still able to use it 90% of time), but they took no tests to determine her overall health, check her other legs and joints, to see if she was a good candidate for amputation. 
we were told we would speak to oncologist once the biopsy results came in, bug now we’re being told it will be a surgeon whom we speak to next to “ take leg” as they so bruntly put it. Just feel its all moving so fast, they havent even discussed type or stage of cancer or treatment options with us.

i did see on the report “ Mitotic activity is 2/10 HPF and there are scattered macrophages with hemosiderin in the tissue“, would this indicate a slow moving/ lower grade cancer( activity)

finally what are these other sarcomas and treatment options? 

should we request a second opinion on the biopsy?

 Thank you all so much, we would be lost without all the wonderful positive stories of true survival here


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15 February 2020 - 11:15 am
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We KNOW how hard all this is to digest!  Everything is so foreign  and so scary and you have so many unanswered  questions.

STAY CONNECTED AND KNOW WE ARE ALL RIGHT BY YOUR AIDE asnyou navigate  thru unchartered waters,

There is good news that, of needed, your pup is a good candidate for surgery and all his prel work up was good.

I can relate to your frustration with the way you are feeling frustrated  with the clinic.  The clinic I dealt with was the same way.  Trying to get past a staff person to the Onco or the Surgeon  was like banging  mym jead against  a brick wall.  Of course, the Surgeon and Onco were saying to call them anytime  and they would be glad to talk with me!!   I would leave very precise ques woth rhe staff person, only to be more co fused than ever with ans6 that had nothing  to do with my question. You are paying big bucks so do not hesitate  to ask strongly to speak directly with whomeve.  Anyone else is unacceptable  u til uou get the answers you need to feel comfortable proceeding!  That said and for whatever it’s worth sometimes  the better the Surgeons/Oncos  etc are, the less contact you have with them.  Shouldn’t  be that way, but sometimes it is.

SUGGESTION:  Ask to meet with Surgeon and Onco at same time, or at least back to back appointments.   Now, the Onco may not be able to give you exact specifics  on unknowns yet, but they can give you different scenarios.

Also, take that report to your regular Vet to help you decipher.  I found my regular  Vet immensely  helpful as a back up for questions.

And to ramble on a bit longer, try and keep things chunked fown.  One step at a time.  The Surgeon  can answers questions relating to that.  Write your questions down,  I even found it helpful to video the appt so I had all my info on audio.  Same with Onco appointment.

Truth be told, you’ll find  most of your information  here about what to expect  recovery wise, how to handle it, what’s normal, what’s not, etc.

Also, every dog is different and statistics  don’t  mean much here.  So we do6 dwell too much on what this number means, or this report means, etc.  

Okay….deep breaths….eat lots of chocolate….and post pics of your pup when you can.  Here’s  a link to help. adding images


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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15 February 2020 - 11:18 am
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Hello, sorry to hear you are going through this. We are 4 days post amputation on front leg. Our regular vet referred us to a surgeon who did the biopsy and also checked the limbs etc as you stated above to see if he was a candidate for amputation. We just picked up our dog yesterday and we were told the leg would be sent in for another biopsy where then we would discuss with oncologist once they have all of the result. 
Again we are only a few days in but thought I would share our experience so far. 

Forum Posts: 12
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13 February 2020
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15 February 2020 - 12:33 pm
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Thank you Benny55 and traci805,

ive started a blog and have posted a few pics there including the xray( awaiting approval as we speak).

yes its all so foreign and confusing lol, but of course these are our babies and we want whats best for them no matter what. 
In regards last visit with specialists should they have taken bloods/urine/lymph nodes exam to better help the diagnostics?  
We’re so disappointed the biopsy did not give us a definitive answer as we were very reluctant to allow it in first place, as we had read here of dangers of fracture afterwards, they aspirated first but that reveled nothing and then went with biopsy.    

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15 February 2020 - 12:36 pm
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15 February 2020 - 12:40 pm
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15 February 2020 - 1:08 pm
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I understand your concern and frustration. My cat Mona did not have a biopsy but had an immediate amputation because the vet assumed the lump was a fibrosarcoma as it was growing before our eyes. She had a more thorough health check and xray on the day before the surgery. The pathology report came back confirming a vaccine-associated fibrosarcoma and recommendations that no further action was needed. Since the pathologist had the leg and lymph nodes he was able to do more analysis than they can do with a biopsy. Mona’s lymph nodes did not indicate the cancer had spread. 

Some biopsies come back inconclusive. I hope the surgeon can answer all of your questions. I was so pleased that Mona’s cancer left with her leg. I hope that’s the case with your Golden Girl.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Here and Now

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15 February 2020 - 2:42 pm
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golden123 said
ive started a blog…( awaiting approval as we speak).

Roxy’s blog has been approved and all your future posts will publish immediately without requiring moderation. Thanks for sharing!

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15 February 2020 - 4:17 pm
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Thank you

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15 February 2020 - 4:23 pm
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Ive posted the biopsy report in roxys blog if any trained eye could take a look and offer any advice it would be great

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15 February 2020 - 4:35 pm
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16 February 2020 - 4:02 pm
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Hi Roxy & Roxy’s human,

Im so glad you two found us. It really is such a shock getting this kind of news. I know its hard but try not to beat yourself up. Your love for roxy really comes through in your posts. No matter what you decide it will be the right decision and we will be right here to support you and help navigate any worries.

Dealing with the clinic staff and the uncertainty and worry can be challenging. We also got some very vague answers at first. I think the techs were afraid that we might interpret their answers in the wrong manner. As sally suggested make a list or even record your visits if you can. If you still feel like theres some confusion or your not getting clear answers dont be afraid to ask for someone else to explain it. The vet that was heading up roanes care was a bit wishy washy with options and recomendations. The second vet was much more my style, she flat out said “if this was my girl I would.” which helped validate my decision. 

Hopefully you will get a more definitive course of action at your appointment with the surgeon/oncologist. Im not an expert but to answer your question about tests i believe we did roanes blood work, liver test, diagnostics etc at the surgery consult. 

Roxy is just beautiful, her sweet face says it all. She sounds like shes has a real zest for life. Take your cues from her she wont steer you wrong. 

We’ll be thinking of you and wishing you the best for the meeting with the surgeon. Keep us pupdated when you can.

❤ Bev, Moe cat, autumn angel Roane & angel dog Gypsy 🐾🐾

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

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17 February 2020 - 7:30 am
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Hi Roxy, 

Our boy Kaizer and us are exactly in same situation. Considering his xray results the front left leg was a goner as it was going to fracture any time . That thought left us devo and a decision for amputation became quickly our only  option without him going through excruciating pain in coming days left us in shock but we made the hard decision. 

Now was that a good call??? From his quality of life point of view:

1. we just bought him more time to slow the spread ( but we still waiting on biopsy results but we will get a definative one) could be months could be years 🙂 ill take that!

2. He is not going to be in pain anymore post surgery recovery . Take it as well!

3. How normal will his life be post recovery, last 4 days been the most testing time of our lives ( sorry maybe we been lucky never had to deal with such a situation before) but he is already trying to give us hints everything is ok why are you guys following me everywhere?? he is such a smart boy!

Now the day he was diagnosed he was totally being a sook which he never is except if we delay his walks. But he was in pain now and dint want to play too long didnt want to walk more than doing his business. THAT WAS A SIGN!

TODAY 4th day after surgery he did a upside down streach with mom waking up in bed – is customary! Went straight for a wee and back inside sat infront of the kitchen counter for brekky, after being sorted he went straight for his toy and played only we had to keep making him SIT DOWN!!! 

We actually telling him to relax and keep him busy and he is asking for food and treats all the time!!! WHICH IS WHAT HE ALWAYS DID!!

He is back to NORMAL! well for him nothing happened.

So we now finally feel like we can breathe and that we made the best decision we could, to see him happy and about like before.

We suggest to try to keep human emotions aside and think from his prospective, releiving pain will give him his life back!

Love to chat as we in the same boat.

Kaizer’s mum n dad.smiley4

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