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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Within a week our beloved 10 year Basenji went from being a 4 pawed dog to being in excruciating pain and converted to a limping tripawd. He had a inconclusive MRI. The MRI was sent to local vet schools for second opinions word came back that he in all likelihood has a synovial sarcoma - a cancer of the soft tissue on his elbow. They did not see any bone or lung involvement. The good news is if that is what it is, amputation is the cure.
We elected to amputate his right front leg last week. I was wondering if anyone else's dog has had this diagnosis and would love to hear the prognosis and treatment. Thanks in Advance - Luigi's Mom
Hi Luigi and Mom,
Please read Barney's story on this site. When Barney had his amputation, we originally thought he had synovial sarcoma. Of all the soft-tissue sarcomas that one probably has the best prognosis. When Barney's formal biopsy results came back, they also tested for markers for histiocytic sarcoma as well, and his came back positive.
So .... be sure they test for those markers as I don't think it's a normal part of the process and if you elect to do chemotherapy it will likely affect which chemo drug that Luigi receives. After you've read Barney's story, please let me know if you have other questions. I have learned a lot about soft-tissue sarcomas since we learned of Barney's cancer a few months back. The goal is to become as informed as you possibly can as you move forward with making treatment decisions for your sweet Luigi.
Love and warm wishes to you,
Linda, Barney's mom
Thanks Linda! I read Barney's post and I am so happy he's beat the odds and doing well. I love the picture of him in the Galveston surf. I have many fond childhood memories of going to Galveston and Bolivar.
We considered having a biopsy done but the vet didn't think it was necessary. Now I am kicking myself although I doubt we can afford much more treatment I am sad to say.
Thanks and best wishes to you, your family and of course Barney.
Kelly (Luigi's Mom)
Yes, chemotherapy treatment can be quite expensive and not everyone can do it. The good news is that with synovial sarcoma, which the vet schools suspect Luigi has, and no metastasis, you may do just fine without further chemo. You've done the most important thing by amputating and relieving his pain, thus giving him some more time being loved by you!
Just curious, where do you and Luigi live now? We're in Houston, but our dog boys just love the beach so we go when we can. It makes everybody happy.
Let us know how Luigi's surgery recovery is going.
Hugs and wags,
Linda and Barney
16 June 2008
Within a week our beloved 10 year Basenji went from being a 4 pawed dog to being in excruciating pain and converted to a limping tripawd.
Hi my dog riley is having similiar symptoms where the bone tissue test was negative but yet they still suspect cancer. He is having surgery right now and they will be taking tissue samples as well as more bone tissue to retest. His xray showed only a bone chip so they are removing that but he is not convinced the bone chip will help him. Did you get tissue samples or just opt for amputation without the tests? The surgery today is going to be 2400 and it might not even be neccessary if amputation is the answer.
I am also concerned as I read bone sampling is quite painful in itself along with his inflamation. I guess if riley is going to have cancer i too hope it is the tissue and not the bone. He said if the tests come back positive they will suggest amputation. I would have liked to avoid 2 surgerys just for the pain he is going through. Plus the vets office does not do payments and 2 2500 surgerys in one month will be hard for me to come up with. I will definitely figure out a way as I love my dog. I am just sick that we could not have come up with a better way to diagnosis him without surgery.
10 July 2008
Like so many, I am in shock. After having gone through bone cancer and loseing a loving Golden (who was only 8) we are once again faced with cancer with Bailey (our female Golden of 10 1/2 years). The CT taken last week report stated that this acts like synovial sarcoma. This is on the left hind leg. When she was 5 years she had knee surgery on this same knee. She shows no pain. She still runs, swims and walks faster than I can. The cause of investigation was the swelling in this leg. When this all started we were right at the point of selling a house in Greenville, S C and on our way to move to Richmond, VA. The Vet in Greenville (who also did her knee surgery) at first thought it was an infection. The medication she was given seemed to cause the swelling to go down. Then we had to move. We have seen a Surgeon here in Richmond who wants to now remove the leg without any further testing. Bailey did have a CT also of her chest area, however not her stomach area. Her blood work "looks good". We would like to know for sure what we are dealing with. Both Surgeons are fairly sure it is synovia sarcoma, but to be fullly sure a biopsy would be needed. One Surgeon doesn't think she would do well on three legs, so suggests we just do radiation to "buy her a little more time". The other Surgeon does not want to do a biopsy before he removes the leg, will do it after this surgery. However, he feels she will do well on three legs. So, yes we are now after our third opinion from a Surgeon who is located in Gaithersburg, MD. He was referred to us by Bailey's Surgeon in Greenville as there was another issue why I was not confortable useing the Surgeon here (this was the poor treatment she received from the ER staff who took her for her CT and would be taking care of her during the "off" hours). I can't give up on Bailey. I don't think anyone is for sure they know what we are dealing with. Guess I am wondering what any other dog who for sure had synovia sarcoma acted like? Bailey doesn't even show any signs of pain. She still has that mischief look in her smiling face, eats well, and has energy I wish I had. Thank you to any and all. And I am very thankful to "Jerry" as he has been a great help. Maybe one day there well be a cure for cancer for all living and breathing creatures.