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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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Waiting is horrible
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UK
Forum Posts: 129
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2 August 2015
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3 August 2015 - 3:58 am
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Good Morning everyone

 

We are currently awaiting a confirmed diagnosis of Osteosarcoma in our (not quite) 7 year old NSDTR.

He has presented with an increasing limp and currently is not weight bearing on his right hind leg, initial XRays indicate that it is his right hind femur that is in trouble. I have asked for the Xrays to be sent to the university for a second opinion and will be talking to our head small animal vet tomorrow. Bless him this is also his leg with a displaysic hip, they also Xrayed all his other joints and they are clear of arthritic changes – which I thought he would have due to the extra work they have had to do because of the displaysia. The initial XRays also didn’t indicate that it had spread although I appreciate it is hard to detect in the early stages of spread.

My worries at the moment are where do we go from here?

I am worried sick that his leg will break, the XRay wasn’t a pretty picture. I am worried sick that it has spread. I am extremely concerned about which treatment option we should go for – a debate between my husband and me at the moment as I swing around the various options available. I am worried about how we go about finding out how bad it really is

and so it goes on

At the moment he is on tramadol for the pain, although I think he copes with that reasonably well, and fairly restricted lead walking without the others to avoid and traumatic injury to the limb. I am changing him away from kibble to raw food and am also giving him GP at the moment. He is a sensible weight for the breed, definitely not fat, and is a happy chap although you can see its uncomfortable. If I let him off lead he does trot around on 3 and a bit legs now so I begin to think that taking the leg off wont phase him too much.

Its a nightmare

Judith and Jack

http://jackdog......pawds.com/

 

not forgetting Pepper, Storm, Finn and Solo too

 

http://www.toll.....lers.co.uk

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28116
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3 August 2015 - 6:56 am
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Hello and welcome. Your future posts require approval so post away.

I’m sorry to hear about your pup. Is his name Jack? What’s a “NSDTR”? Sorry, not familiar with that abbreviation.

I know your heart is broke and it’s a tough time right now. Lots of us here can relate to your worries. But right now all you can do is hang tight until the biopsy comes back. There’s an old saying, “prepare for the worst, hope for the best,” and that’s about the best you can do until you know for sure.

He’s a young dog and sounds pretty active? If so, I’ll bet he’s a great candidate for amputation if it comes down to that. Has your vet talked about it as an option? Or if he’s a candidate for limb sparing? It’s great you’re getting a second opinion! And yes, most Tripawds are 3-legged before that bad leg goes because they were already limping around on it before surgery.

Whatever the outcome we’ll help you through it. Hang in there and stay tuned, others will post their comments soon.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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UK
Forum Posts: 129
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3 August 2015 - 9:36 am
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Thank you – I know I should have faith in him but it is so hard, thank you for adding me

 

NSDTR – Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever so a medium sized gorgeous dog 🙂 called Jack full of life and we had just started competing at Rally which he was really enjoying and starting to get results at.

Judith and Jack

http://jackdog......pawds.com/

 

not forgetting Pepper, Storm, Finn and Solo too

 

http://www.toll.....lers.co.uk

Norene, TN
Forum Posts: 1072
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3 August 2015 - 9:58 am
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Howdy and welcome Jack and pack!!

Gosh, you’ve got a lot on your plate. I don’t have anything to add but to welcome you and to let you know we’re here to listen and to support. The rollercoaster is relentless, but we’ve all been on it and have survived. You will too, and you have this wonderful resource to help those ups/downs to lesser extremes.

Pictures?

pam

Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey

Los Angeles, CA
Forum Posts: 3554
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3 August 2015 - 10:12 am
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I don’t have anything much to offer other than support and love … we’ve been there and the waiting is the hardest part. Keep us posted!

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Maryland
Forum Posts: 384
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3 August 2015 - 10:32 am
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I know it is agonizing to wait for confirmation and you must be worried sick. We all feel for you! But you’re making good use of your time (getting educated) and thinking about what your options might be. If it is OSA, the vets will most likely recommend amputation for pain relief. Unfortunately, OSA is very very painful. Amputation won’t cure the cancer, but it will mean whatever time he has can be pain free. Chemo is of course an option after amputation. Most dogs here do really well on chemo. But that is something a bit down the road once you get a diagnosis. One step at a time!

I know it seems drastic to consider amputating a leg, but you’d be amazed at how most dogs do w/ amputation…even an active dog like yours. Please don’t think you’d be making him suffer to live as a tripawd. Chances are he’ll do almost everything he did before. He may even do it better once the pain of OSA is taken away!

Denise, Bill and Angel Ellie. 

Active 10+ Pyr mix suddenly came up lame with ACL tear in left rear leg. Scheduled for a TPLO but final pre-op x-rays indicated a small suspicious area, possibly OSA, which could have caused the ACL tear. Surgeon opened the knee for TPLO but found soft bone. Biopsy came back positive for OSA. Became a Tripawd 9/18/14. Carbo6 with Cerenia and Fluids. Pain free and living in the moment. Crossed the Bridge on 7/12/15 after probable spread of cancer to her cervical spine. A whole lifetime of memories squeezed into 10 months. Here's her story: Eloise

Norene, TN
Forum Posts: 1072
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3 August 2015 - 10:59 am
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annapyr said
 . . . Please don’t think you’d be making him suffer to live as a tripawd. Chances are he’ll do almost everything he did before. He may even do it better once the pain of OSA is taken away!
 
  

OMD . . . this is such a true statement!

Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey

UK
Forum Posts: 129
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2 August 2015
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3 August 2015 - 3:27 pm
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Thank you people, I can tell I will be weeping buckets over this, fingers crossed we can do our very best for him and give him the best life we can for whatever he has time left.

I’ve uploaded a picture of him as my avatar, I’ll work out how to get more pictures eventually

Judith and Jack

http://jackdog......pawds.com/

 

not forgetting Pepper, Storm, Finn and Solo too

 

http://www.toll.....lers.co.uk

Forum Posts: 22
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2 July 2015
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3 August 2015 - 6:55 pm
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annapyr’s statement is definately true from our experience.  We are three weeks plus post op and Cin has not for one minutes felt sorry for herself, she has adapted and learned by leaps and bounds each day.

 

It was trying on my hubby and I, but it was the best thing we cold have done for Cin.  I understand how tough it is right now, but listen to your dog and your heart and they will not lead you wrong.

Westminster, MD
Forum Posts: 1398
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3 August 2015 - 9:13 pm
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Hi and welcome to Tripawds, you have definitely found the best place to be under the circumstances. I am sorry for the possible diagnosis of your sweet Jack, and I have to add that I love NS Duck Trolling Retrievers, they are gorgeous dogs, and very smart!

Everyone here has already given such great advice and wisdom, so I just want to add that if amp become necessary, our pups and kitties do amazingly well with being 3-legged…… They get around just as well as if they still have 4! 

And we all know what a scary journey this is, but gaining the knowledge to proceed full force ahead is the best way to get a great head start. There are plenty of e-books you can get here that will get you started understanding most anything and everything you will need to get a handle on this situation.

I will be keeping you and Jack in my thoughts, and please keep us updated on him,

Bonnie, Angel Polly, Pearl, and Zuzu



Forum Posts: 1495
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3 August 2015 - 9:14 pm
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Oh I love Nova Scotia Tollers! They are such a good looking dog and so smart with great energy.

I have no experience with a dog with OSA but I have a cat Mona got her leg amputated due to a vaccine-associated-sarcoma. I’m sure this is a shock when you have an otherwise vibrant, healthy dog.

I’d like to introduce you to an inspiring tripawd named Kess who is a border collie. I see that Jack is an athlete like Kess. Here is Kess’s blog where you can see that a tripawd can still be active and compete: http://kesstheb…..pawds.com/

You’ll find many other inspiring tripawd stories here where the dogs have recovered and continued to have a purpose as a companion, therapy dog or competitor. After amputation many continue to swim, retrieve, dig holes, chase cats, sleep on couches, cuddled.  Many live much longer than expected so remember the prognosis statistics don’t apply to all pets.

Kerren and Tripawd Mona

The Rainbow Bridge



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4 August 2015 - 7:06 am
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What a gorgeous boy! I’ve never heard of that breed but wow! Thanks for introducing me.

Here’s how to add images to the forums.

He will still be able to compete in lots of things. Dogs like Maggie and Bart are two who really rocked the world of obedience and hunting trials, you should check out their blog, you will be inspired.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Michigan
Forum Posts: 1448
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4 August 2015 - 5:12 pm
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oh, he’s gorgeous!  And looks a bit like my Murphy who is a ‘retriever mix” smiley

The waiting is by far the hardest part!  Murphy had a biopsy first and we waited over 2 weeks, but it ended up being inconclusive.  ugh!  Then we returned for more x-rays and could see how much bigger the tumor was, so we decided to go ahead with surgery.  Even after surgery, we had to wait almost 3 weeks to get a definitive diagnosis on the type of cancer we were dealing with.  It never bothered me that Murphy came home with just 3 legs, but it really bothered me that his leg was laying on some table for the pathologist to examine.

Murphy has adapted well to life on 3 legs.  He’s a front leg tripawd and can still chase squirrels, dig under the wood pile for mice, jump on the furniture and do pretty much everything else he did before surgery.

If you’re worried about agility, there is a video on here someone posted about a month or so ago of their tripawd that does agility. 

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs

Donna.png

UK
Forum Posts: 129
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5 August 2015 - 3:58 pm
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Thank you everyone – we do love our tollers, he is one of 5 we have

Jack is a special boy, he was diagnosed with hip displaysia at 10 mths and then almost immediately had a very nasty virus that presented like vestibular syndrome for about 3 months, during which time a lot of people suggested we had him PTS as he was so ill. He got past all that and has remained healthy and happy and has been a therapy dog for the last 4 years visiting old people and the mentally ill. We just started doing rally and he was doing so well at it until his leg really started to hurt.

Today we had the biopsies done and now we have to wait for the results, the vet wasn’t over optimistic and said the bone was very soft where she went to take the samples. The referral centre said that it was ‘atypical’ but that it was probably one of several different cancers although there was a chance it was osteomyelitis or a fungal disease

 

whatever it is they are calling it aggressive

Judith and Jack

http://jackdog......pawds.com/

 

not forgetting Pepper, Storm, Finn and Solo too

 

http://www.toll.....lers.co.uk

Michigan
Forum Posts: 1448
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5 August 2015 - 7:56 pm
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They told us with Murphy that there was a chance it could be bacterial or fungal, too, that’s why we went ahead with the biopsy.  Cancer had not been on my radar at all – I really thought that he probably had pulled a muscle or had a fracture that had been missed on previous x-rays.  His final diagnosis ended up being histiocytic sarcoma, which is highly aggressive.  It’s more commonly found in organs such as the spleen or liver, but for Murphy it was in the bone of his right front leg, just above his elbow.  It was over 5 months from the time he started limping until he had his surgery, so we’re lucky he didn’t break the leg.  His prognosis at the time of surgery was 12-18 months, but it’s been 28 months and he’s still doing great!  Many dogs do way better than their prognosis.

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs

Donna.png

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