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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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Forum Posts: 62
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17 February 2017
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17 April 2018 - 6:06 pm
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We first posted here a little over a year ago.  Our 10-year-old black lab, Bree, was diagnosed with OSA in the left front humerus.  I just posted a brief update with some questions about the Aratana field trial, but I owe more of an update here.

We are in month 16 post-symptoms.  It’s been a long journey, but God has answered our prayers in ways I would never have expected.  We pray for her every night, and know that the God who created her is sustaining her for now.

Our first dilemma was SRT vs amputation.  We’ve worked with UF for all of our advanced care, and I can’t say enough about them.  One thing we’ve learned is that it’s best to utilize different vets for different services and to garner different opinions/approaches.  We’ve also been to Auburn and University of Minnesota along the way.  UofMN was for chemo while we were up there and they did a good job.  Auburn… we weren’t a fan of them.  I can give more specifics if anyone cares, but I found UF to be far better in multiple ways.

We paid for a phone consult with Dr. Dressler.  It was worth the money.  The Dog Cancer Survival Guide is a great book, and while his recommendations followed a lot of what was already in the book, it was catered to our situation.  If nothing else, his optimistic outlook was encouraging.

So we decided on SRT, followed by carboplatin.  The tumor was quite large and UF was actually recommending amputation at the time but was supportive of our decision.  Dr. Keijiro Shiomitsu is their radiologist and I can only say good things about his recommendations and care.  For about 2 weeks post procedure she was down and out (expected) as the cells died off from the radiation.  But after about 2 weeks she perked up and started running on her leg again! 

We also started her on the OSA vaccine trial UF is doing (this is different from UPenn and Aratana).  She has been getting successive treatments since then.

We got about 5 months from this before the tumor started to regrow.  We amputated last September at UF.  Dr. Sarah Boston did the surgery.  Phenomenal Doctor.  Bree was walking the same day.  I have no regret doing SRT – doing radiation and chemo prior to surgery may be part of the reason there is no metastasis now, but we don’t know.

It took about 3 weeks but she was back to herself, even running almost as fast as before!  Faster than me, at least, and I like to think I’m pretty fast.  We did a round of doxorubicin at this time on the advice of oncologists.  I asked the question about the return of local cancer, and UF as well as University of Colorado (they have a free consult line) agreed that another type of chemo would be worthwhile.  She tolerated it well and ended chemo in January.

Since January we’ve been praying and continuing the supplements we’ve been using along the way.  We’ve used this product religiously at every meal… not sure if it helps but it hasn’t appeared to hurt at all:

https://pathwit…..ht-cancer/

That blog has some good info, and we’ve used a couple herbal mixes she makes.  We give some Turmeric in her meals, along with some pain/NSAID pills, Glucosamine supplement, and Benadryl (for past mast cell tumors).  We also use Artemisinin at about 400-500mg/day along with Artemix (you can’t use more than 1 pill/day of Artemix), which we cycle on/off and give in the evening after meals.  We added Melatonin along with the Artemisinin a few months ago.  We use K9 Immunity with Transfer Factor, a dog Multivitamin, Vitamin C, and Apocaps … all in the morning.  And we add some fish oil to every meal (take caps and let them sit in warm water to dissolve them – sometimes she’ll eat the whole thing, though).

Again, I don’t know what’s working besides God’s hand.  But we are very grateful.  Hope our story can encourage you and provide some help.  We take her to the beach a few times a week with the kids and this 11 year old amputee still runs full speed into large waves to chase a ball, swimming against the current while “danger, high surf, do not swim” signs are posted.  Quite an amazing gift from the Creator.

Virginia




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17 April 2018 - 7:42 pm
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OOOOMMMMMDDDD!!!!   SPECTACULAR UPDATE ON SWEET BREE!!

And the ingormation you shared is invaluable, truly invaluable !  I know it took a bit of time to put all this together for us, But it really will be so helpful to anyone on this journey now, and in the future.

AND you are a powerful pro-active advocate for Bree😎

 To hear how well Free is doing just lights up our world!  This dog sure knows how to inspire,  We’ve  got to have video of water loving Bree romping through the sirf on three…and at a young eleven years😁😁!!   

Hugs 

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!

Forum Posts: 62
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17 April 2018 - 9:46 pm
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benny55 said
OOOOMMMMMDDDD!!!!   SPECTACULAR UPDATE ON SWEET BREE!!

And the ingormation you shared is invaluable, truly invaluable !  I know it took a bit of time to put all this together for us, But it really will be so helpful to anyone on this journey now, and in the future.

AND you are a powerful pro-active advocate for Bree😎

 To hear how well Free is doing just lights up our world!  This dog sure knows how to inspire,  We’ve  got to have video of water loving Bree romping through the sirf on three…and at a young eleven years😁😁!!   

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too   

Here you go.  From today.  Apologies for the vertical image but it’s easiest while at the beach.

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17 April 2018 - 9:49 pm
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It was a bit of work to start a blog just so I could embed pictures, but meant to include this in the original post.

30708230_10111803329509980_2829328578326298624_n.jpgImage Enlarger

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17 April 2018 - 10:29 pm
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That video was low surf, btw.  She swims in way worse.  The SRT is stereotactic radiation therapy, sometimes called stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).  This was a big decision for us all, so typing all the keywords in case someone is searching for testimonies.

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18 April 2018 - 3:46 am
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That is a wonderful story and Bree is just beautiful!! She looks and acts like a puppy, amazing. Thank you for sharing the information that you shared, and thank you for taking the time to post your beautiful surfer girl clap

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Bo, Andy, Oscar,and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

https://paws120.....pawds.com/

Virginia




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18 April 2018 - 8:57 am
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Such a beautiful  happy doggy😚

To see her having such a GLORIOUS  time surfing the waves makes us all So happy!  This is why we do what we do, hoping everyone  can have “Bree moments of joy”😊😊

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 April 2018 - 10:49 am
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Wow you and Bree have been through quite a journey! I remember when you joined us and it’s so good to hear she is doing incredibly well! She is very fortunate to have a great advocate on her side. 

We love Dr. Boston too! You’re lucky you were able to work with her, as she is now back in Toronto. She’s been our special guest on Tripawd Talk Radio a few times, here’s here latest interview in case you’re interested:

New Limb Sparing Surgery for Dogs Makes It More Accessible, Potentially Less Risky

Thanks for sharing so many great details. May Bree have a long, long hoppy life ahead of her!

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Forum Posts: 62
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18 April 2018 - 10:13 pm
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jerry said
Wow you and Bree have been through quite a journey! I remember when you joined us and it’s so good to hear she is doing incredibly well! She is very fortunate to have a great advocate on her side. 

We love Dr. Boston too! You’re lucky you were able to work with her, as she is now back in Toronto. She’s been our special guest on Tripawd Talk Radio a few times, here’s here latest interview in case you’re interested:

New Limb Sparing Surgery for Dogs Makes It More Accessible, Potentially Less Risky

Thanks for sharing so many great details. May Bree have a long, long hoppy life ahead of her!  

Agreed regarding Dr. Boston.  UF seemed to have plenty of good surgeons, but we lucked out (through Divine intervention) that she was working the week we amputated.  Thanks for the kind words and support!



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19 April 2018 - 7:41 am
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What joy to watch Bree’s video and picture, I LOVE her happy face heart

It is soooo heartwarming and uplifting to witness success stories like hers, our Angels are cheering loudly from the sky too clap

Sending you and that lovely girl of yours a big hug and tons of cuddles 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 :-) 

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