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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Abu- the miracle dog with sarcoma and hip dysplasia
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Member Since:
18 September 2023
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19 September 2023 - 8:46 am
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I am writing this to support others who have a pet with not only a sarcoma requiring amputation but also hip dysplasia. We recently had to put our beloved Abu to sleep. But, this was over 3 years after an amputation and hip replacement. During those 3 years Abu continued to go on hikes, camp and live a very healthy life.

Abu found us in 2015 when he was about 2 years old. Our veterinarian at the time was concerned about hip dysplasia so we pursued hip xrays which did reveal severe hip dysplasia. We treated this with activity modification, weight control, high protein diet and Carprofen. In 2020 he developed a mass on his left hip which was eventually diagnosed as a grade II soft tissue sarcoma and the only definitive treatment was limb amputation. The surgeon, oncologist along with my wife and I were concerned how he would ambulate following the surgery having only one hind limb that had severe arthritis. After further discussions with his medical team we decided the best course of action would be amputation followed by a hip replacement. The surgeons were even preparing us that Abu might not recover, be in too much pain and require euthanasia. 

Abu did amazing with his amputation and actually walked out of the hospital the next day! Abu did have some issues with urine retention for about a week which required us going to the ER for a catheter but he otherwise recovered extremely well and fast. About 1 month later he had his right hip replacement surgery. We were terrified because he developed a foot drop with his right hind leg following the surgery but this resolved after several days. Abu had such a tough spirit that he was wanting to go outside and run within days of getting his new hip. 

Abu had regular follow up visits with his oncologist and there were several false alarms with cancer recurrence. On one follow up ultrasound he had an enlarged abdominal lymph node that raised concern for metastatic disease. Fortunately, this resolved by the time he had a follow up ultrasound. In March 2022 his chest xray showed what appeared to potentially be metastatic disease. We opted to focus on comfort since Abu would get anxious going to the veterinarian and we did not want Abu to have additional surgeries or undergo chemotherapy or radiation. In June 2023 Abu started to have a gradual decline in his health until he started losing weight, vomiting daily and having some difficulty breathing. We realized this was likely related to a tumor in his chest so Abu was euthanized on 9/3/2023 at home surrounded by family. 

At the beginning of Abu's cancer journey we were stressed not only by the amputation but also the need for a hip replacement to ensure that he could still have a good quality of life. I am hoping that others who are in a similar situation may learn from Abu. Dogs are so resilient and do not seem to pain or disability the way humans do. They simply adapt and move on. 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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19 September 2023 - 12:48 pm
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Steven, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing Abu's story here. YOu gave him such an incredible life! What a very lucky dog to be surrounded by such a great vet team and loving packmates like you.

We especially appreciate that you shared here, so that we can add his story to the list of Tripawds who recovered from remaining leg surgeries. What an inspiration!

Do you have any photos you'd like to share? If you'd like help adding images let us know!

Much love and many condolences to you and your family. Thank you again.


Member Since:
4 July 2023
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20 September 2023 - 11:21 am
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I’m so sorry for your loss. sp_hearticon2

Thank you sooo much for sharing Abu’s amazing story. He and your family are inspirational. It sounds like he had great care, a wonderful life, and most importantly, a lot of love. Thanks again for taking the time to share the story with all of us here who are still in the early stages of journeys like yours and Abu’s.

Sending comfort and best wishes to you and yours -

Natalie & Juno (aka June)

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