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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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5yo GSD soon to be tripod
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San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Posts: 47
Member Since:
27 June 2016
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28 June 2016 - 12:12 am
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Hi, I’m Cynthia, though my aunt Rith will occasionally lurk around the site with my log in. We’re the owners of Sheba, a 5 year old female German Shepherd. Sheba was scheduled for a TPLO May 23. When the surgeon opened the joint capsule he saw something very unusual. A large amount of the cartilage had eroded to the bone and the whole thing looked “angry red”. He took some samples, closed up and called to prepare us for the journey ahead. 

Initial testing was inconclusive. Pathology suggested either fungal infection or cancer but couldn’t pinpoint any further than that. So off to the specialty clinic. Friday they took I fine needle aspirate. We meet with the vet tomorrow to discuss the test results, but she already pencilled in amputation for Thursday so I’m guessing it came back positive for cancer as we had expected.

everything has been quite overwhelming, though we all agree we’ll do what ever it take to keep Sheba comfortable for as long as we have her.  Hopefully at least a few more years!

Cynthia and Sheba

Right rear amputation 6/30/16 due to osteomyelitis of fungal origin (Aspergillus Penicillium). 
Final diagnosis - systemic Aspergilosis Penicilliosis, being treated with long term itraconazole.
8/15/16 - Probable spinal involvement, loss of appetite, neurology consult in the works.

We're blogging at: The Ongoing Adventures of Sheba

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28041
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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28 June 2016 - 7:17 am
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Hi Cynthia, Ruth & Sheba, welcome. YOu found the right place and we’re here to help however we can OK?

It sure sounds like Sheba is getting great care. It’s awesome you took her to a specialty clinic.  Hopefully the results came back better than expected, we’ll keep our paws & fingers crossed for you all.

If you haven’t already, check out Jerry’s Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books library for answers to many of your questions. Our pawesome community will also chime in soon so stay tuned OK?

And we would to see photos of your pretty girl! Here’s a post about adding images to the forums, let us know if you’d like assistance.

Talk soon!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Norene, TN
Forum Posts: 1072
Member Since:
21 October 2014
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28 June 2016 - 7:33 am
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Howdy and welcome!!!

Unfortunately, I’m very glad you’re hear! Can’t wait to hear and see more about Sheba.

Stay close, we’re here for you.

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

Minneapolis, MN
Forum Posts: 698
Member Since:
23 April 2016
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28 June 2016 - 8:01 am
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Sorry to hear your Sheba may have cancer, but am glad you have found this place.  It has been indispensable for us on this journey.  We will be with you for yours.

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation



Forum Posts: 6646
Member Since:
21 May 2016
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29 June 2016 - 12:09 pm
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Hi Cynthia an Shebaheart

We are very sorry to hear Sheba might have cancer … you made a good decision getting rid of that painful leg.

I can imagine you feel pretty rotten right now but your girl will show you what resilience means. Fear not, she will be doing great on 3 legs, we have several GSD here including gorgeous Wyatt and they are very energetic indeed!

Is it a back leg or a front leg ?

Feel free to ask anything and everything, we are here for you and your girl !

Sending you big hug and cuddles to Sheba and lots of pawsitive energy heart

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Posts: 47
Member Since:
27 June 2016
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6
30 June 2016 - 11:12 am
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Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome!  Tuesday the histopathology came back negative for cancer (yay!) but positive for fungal infection (gross!). Because the bone marrow is involved and there’s a concern about spreading to the spine, we’ve opted for removal of the entire right hind leg. Dr Appel will disarticulate the femur from the pelvis as we felt Sheba would be resistant to prosthetics and they need to take a large margin of healthy tissue for best chance of recovery. 

We dropped Sheba at the vet this morning, though she probably won’t come home til tomorrow. 

We bought the Ruffwear Webmaster with brush guard. It’s similar enough to her current harness but with more support that she should have no problems with it. I hope!

I’ll definitely post some pictures once I get them all downloaded. Darn work Internet only lets me access outside sites on the PCs, not mobile devices. 

Cynthia

Cynthia and Sheba

Right rear amputation 6/30/16 due to osteomyelitis of fungal origin (Aspergillus Penicillium). 
Final diagnosis - systemic Aspergilosis Penicilliosis, being treated with long term itraconazole.
8/15/16 - Probable spinal involvement, loss of appetite, neurology consult in the works.

We're blogging at: The Ongoing Adventures of Sheba

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28041
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25 April 2007
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30 June 2016 - 11:18 am
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Oh wow! That’s really cool to hear that it’s not cancer! Fungal infections are what we all hope for when we are in this situation. Even though Sheba’s leg has to go, that’s GREAT NEWS clap

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 2010
Member Since:
14 February 2016
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30 June 2016 - 12:13 pm
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Hooray for no cancer!  

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Forum Posts: 106
Member Since:
27 May 2016
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30 June 2016 - 12:45 pm
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Congrats on no cancer! It’s going to be a few tough weeks of recovery, but once you’re past that, it’s amazing how quickly they adjust.

San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Posts: 47
Member Since:
27 June 2016
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30 June 2016 - 1:47 pm
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Here are some Sheba pictures, she’s really sneaky when it comes to having her picture taken!  She’s been pretty woozy with the pain meds, normally she looks much happier.  Our male German Shepherd, Buster, is the serious one, Sheba’s just a goof!  The fact that she’s light sensitive on the gabapentin doesn’t help either.  ~Cynthia

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Cynthia and Sheba

Right rear amputation 6/30/16 due to osteomyelitis of fungal origin (Aspergillus Penicillium). 
Final diagnosis - systemic Aspergilosis Penicilliosis, being treated with long term itraconazole.
8/15/16 - Probable spinal involvement, loss of appetite, neurology consult in the works.

We're blogging at: The Ongoing Adventures of Sheba

Oakland, CA
Forum Posts: 688
Member Since:
20 December 2008
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11
30 June 2016 - 4:41 pm
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What a beauty! And I see she is already slender–a MUST for a tripawd. I said hello over on your blog but justed wanted to say we have the webmaster plus and love it because of that extra support when lifting. 

Woohoo! Tripawds Rule!

Regulator of the Oaktown Pack, Sheriff of the Oaktown Pawsse, Founding member and President of the Tripawd Girldogs With 2 Names ROCK Club, and ... Tripawd Girldog Extraordinaire!

Visit Codie Rae's Blog!

Minneapolis, MN
Forum Posts: 698
Member Since:
23 April 2016
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12
30 June 2016 - 5:54 pm
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Sheba is beautiful!  And even though it is still a serious diagnosis, hooray for no cancer!

I know you are waiting now and that is the tough part.  But she’ll be home soon enough.  And as Codie Rae pointed out, she is slender and that will be a help to her.

Looking forward to “watching” her recover.

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

Los Angeles, CA
Forum Posts: 3554
Member Since:
13 June 2013
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13
30 June 2016 - 6:04 pm
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Well yay for no cancer!!! We had hoped ours would be fungal too since it wasn’t bone cancer but in the end, it was a different cancer. But not the case for you! She is beautiful!!! I love her name too… very regal! 

Looking forward to hearing the good news post-surgery! Keep us posted and we are here if you need anything!

Hugs!

alison with spirit shelby in her heart 

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

San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Posts: 47
Member Since:
27 June 2016
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14
30 June 2016 - 9:02 pm
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All – thanks for the kind words!  Sheba had always been our princess, but we can’t take credit for the name.  Her first owners couldn’t handle her food allergies and returned 4 month old Sheba to the breeder.  We think her markings look like a crown so we kept the name.  Still waiting for a post anesthesia update, but when the surgeon called after the surgery Sheba had done really well and the leg was off to pathology!

Sheba was 110lbs prior to her ACL injury at the age of 4.  After that we slimmed her down to 85 and she’s been there for the past year.  Both of her parents were 100+, and she’s the smallest adult to come out of her litter.  We were worried about the fact that at 4 she already had mild arthritis and with impending knee surgery our vet really pushed keeping her slim. Thank goodness losing weight was easy and she’s kept it off, even with activity decreasing!

~Cynthia

Cynthia and Sheba

Right rear amputation 6/30/16 due to osteomyelitis of fungal origin (Aspergillus Penicillium). 
Final diagnosis - systemic Aspergilosis Penicilliosis, being treated with long term itraconazole.
8/15/16 - Probable spinal involvement, loss of appetite, neurology consult in the works.

We're blogging at: The Ongoing Adventures of Sheba

San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Posts: 47
Member Since:
27 June 2016
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15
30 June 2016 - 11:34 pm
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We just dropped food off for Sheba. She’s pretty knocked out because she tried to escape every time they opened the kennel. the surgeon said she’s already been up and walked with a sling but is way too rambunctious without meds. Nothing we didn’t expect, she’s a bit kooky. We know she’ll come home zonked just like after her TPLO, maybe not tomorrow but hopefully Saturday. 

Cynthia and Sheba

Right rear amputation 6/30/16 due to osteomyelitis of fungal origin (Aspergillus Penicillium). 
Final diagnosis - systemic Aspergilosis Penicilliosis, being treated with long term itraconazole.
8/15/16 - Probable spinal involvement, loss of appetite, neurology consult in the works.

We're blogging at: The Ongoing Adventures of Sheba

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