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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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Griffin's Journey
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The Rainbow Bridge



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10 July 2020 - 1:30 pm
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Nooooooooo…..stupid, horrendous, mean cancer! AGGGH! smiley7Stacy we were ALL feeling like mets could not ever touch your boy. He has made such a crazy spectacular recovery, just bounced back like SuperDog. This just doesn’t seem possible. Our hearts are hurting, we are right there with you. It would be impossible NOT to feel down right now so allow yourself to feel it. With the world the way it is, it’s touching every aspect of this journey and you are more than allowed to be really upset about the whole process. Let yourself feel it, cry, vent (can you do it on your fire escape or bathroom though, so Griffin doesn’t know?). We understand completely.

As Kerren suggested, once you’ve exhausted yourself from the grieving session, take Griffin out for a stroll, get some exercise and let nature heal your broken heart. Practice that a few times and you’ll eventually feel a little better, especially when you see how Griffin isn’t letting anything get him down. This is a little detour in the plan for now, and with any luck he can go on for many, many more happy neighborhood strolls.

Mets are crappy news, but they don’t always spell the end. You know this. Did we ever tell you about Reno, who thrived for over 3 years while beating the odds? It was so awesome to meet this dog. He was magical, just like Griffin is and always will be.

This sucks, no doubt, but you are strong enough to cope with this change in plans. You have the best example possible sitting right at your feet. Give him some extra lovin’ from us OK? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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10 July 2020 - 3:45 pm
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Hi Stacy, I’m sorry about the mets. Most important Griffen is here, so focus on that. 

I know how devastating this news is. It feels like you get punched in the gut all over again. This is a shock. When I got the news on Brownie I knew in my gut, and the xrays kept coming out clear, until the 3rd xray which were all taken within six weeks. But still didn’t make it any easier. In fact by the time they found it it was too late for any treatment. So it’s good you found it early so you can see What your options are.

Hang In there, and as they say “Be More Dog ” .

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

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10 July 2020 - 5:58 pm
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Stacey and Griffin, 

I’m not sure there are real ‘words’ for the light,  love,  and smiles that you’ve brought into this community. 

No, i don’t comment on every post… but i see them, and you have rocked this whole journey!! 

You have a right to feel set up,  shocked,  sad,  and angry. Because you have been!!  I will also say that right now it’s about Griffin.  So come here,  yell,  scream,  cry like we all have, and meditate yourself back into your wonderful self for your boy… please.  

We have seen many a pup have lots more fantastic quality time.  This isn’t the end. It might be a bit of a more complicated emotional chapter but it’s NOT the end. 

We ARE here for you and Griffin. And i expect many more happy photos and videos,  ok? Just please keep doing what you are doing.  Different med..ok, no problem.  Griffin is still your happy, lively, smiley boy.  

I think it’s pretty safe for me to be able to say we all love you guys.  Hang in,  ok?

Sending tight hugs, love, support…all of it. ❤

We are here for you❤❤❤

Jackie and Huck❤

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

Virginia




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11 July 2020 - 11:01 am
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Okay, we know you have a lot on your plate.  So it would be wrong to ask for a  our usual smile making pictures we’ve become so accustomed  to  ake oir day.

Nah, gonna ask anyway.  We stil need our Griffin fix!  You know he wants to pose some more for us😎

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!

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11 July 2020 - 4:06 pm
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Haha yeah I’m with Sally! More Griffin pix fix!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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11 July 2020 - 5:27 pm
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Stacy, I am so sorry to read that Griffin has a lung met. When you do everything right – which you have (proper exercise, diet, supplements, rehab, onco, etc.) everything should just go right. Though I am sure all you have done will make a difference. And like everyone has said here – Griffin is in your very capable hands and he will no doubt continue to have lots more fun in your care. Hang in there and Copper and I are sending our support and good juju to the man, the myth, the legend – Griffin (and you too, of course).

Livermore, CA




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12 July 2020 - 1:45 pm
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Well, crap.

For us it wasn’t mets but a second cancer.  The second diagnosis was more devastating for me than the first one… I had loped off her leg, put her through chemo, changed her diet.  I was working really hard at the Be More Dog thing, appreciating every day and all that.  But when I got that call I was crying in the parking lot at work and was so defeated.

And now you’re forced back to the start- doing research, finding out your options and trying to make the best decisions.  But this time it’s different becasue some of that optimism you started the battle with has been lost.

Cancer is a sneaky bastard that does not play fair. So, take a little time for yourself to process the new information and build your strength for the next part of the journey.

You will rise to the challenge because you are strong and because Griffin needs you.  And Tripawd Nation is here to help any way we can.
Karen and Spirit Maggie

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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12 July 2020 - 1:50 pm
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Thank you to everyone for the support and prayers.  I guess one positive aspect of a cancer diagnosis is that once you rebound from the devastation of the diagnosis, you learn to look forward and focus on what you can control.  So, when faced with unexpected bad news again, the muscle memory of how to rebound helps that process move along more quickly.  All of that to say, I’m back – a bit more jaded and a lot more guarded, but ready to help Griffin surmount this latest challenge and live his best life!

Griffin continues to be his happy, loving self.  I know some folks on here have mentioned doxorubicin having more severe side effects, but aside from a bit of diarrhea on Thursday evening, Griffin has not shown any side effects from the round of chemo he received on Wednesday.  His appetite has remained strong and his exercise routine has remained consistent.  😊

In my last post, I mentioned a trial at Tufts that Griffin is not eligible for due to having already been administered a round of doxorubicin.  His oncologist, Dr. Camps, has reached out to the lead vet for the trial, Dr. London, to see if we can replicate the trial on our own.   We have not yet received a reply.  One of the drugs used in that study, Ladarixin, does not appear to be readily available, so hopefully we will be able to access whatever supply route Tufts uses.  I have checked with my insurance company (PetPlan) who assured me that they will pay for whatever drugs Griffin’s vet recommends, regardless of where I purchase the meds (such as an online Canadian pharmacy).  So, that is good news!

Dr. Camps also reached out to Dr. Straw in Australia, the lead vet on the Auranofin study, a few weeks ago and I sent another email last week.  We have not yet heard back from him, but I reached out to Dr. Veronika Langova at SASH Sydney, who is Grace’s vet (her mom, Leanne, shared the contact info) since she prescribed Auranofin for Grace.  Dr. Langova is not sure if Auranofin should be used at this point since Griffin already has a lung met and because he is now on doxorubicin (the study involved using only carboplatin for chemo), so she recommended waiting to hear from Dr. Straw.

I checked with Dr. Manuka, the lead vet for the Yale vaccine, and he remains adamant that Griffin finish chemo before starting the vaccine.

Therefore, Dr. Camps and I have agreed to the following plan:  Griffin will receive rounds 2 and 3 of doxorubicin on an every 3 week schedule.  Prior to round #3, we will repeat chest x-rays.  If the x-rays show stabilization or reduction of the lung met, we will accelerate his schedule of doxorubicin to every 2 weeks for rounds 4 and 5, to be followed by the Yale vaccine.  If the chest x-rays show the doxorubicin failed to have an impact, we will proceed with the Yale vaccine.  In both scenarios, the Yale vaccine will be followed by a metronomic protocol unless I am able to find an appropriate clinical trial for Griffin or we decide to address the lung mets directly using a surgical approach.

Here’s what Dr. Camps wrote about metronomics I’d love input from anyone with an opinionMost commonly used oral metronomic protocols for OSA include combinations of Palladia, cyclophosphamide and NSAID. I also like to add bisphosphonates (IV every 3 weeks). I’m not sure Losartan has much impact in our cancer patients, but we can also add it on since there are a few clinical trials for this drug in different canine cancers currently going on. The metronomic cocktail will highly depend on whether you choose to participate in any clinical study or use other of the other untested extralabel drugs (auronofin, etc.) and how we accommodate for the Yale vaccine in the midst of all.

I also asked Dr. Camps about addressing the lung met directly through surgical removal or microwave ablation.  She said that a positive prognostic factor for surgical removal would include a disease-free interval of 275-300 days, which clearly is not our situation.  She looped in Dr. Spector (Griffin’s surgeon) and he has not yet weighed in.  Dr. Camps said that microwave ablation is not available at the Animal Medical Center.

So, that’s the update as of today.  Please keep your fingers crossed that Tufts will allow us to replicate their trial and that doxorubicin will be an effective chemo treatment!  And, enjoy the photos/video of Griffin!  sp_hearticon2

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I have removed the back cushion from the couch so that the cold AC air blows directly on Griffin – he’s such a diva!  Can you see his blanket on the chair in the background?

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Happy to take a break in his chariot!

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Taking a rest in the shade!

Virginia




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12 July 2020 - 3:21 pm
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Yes, I see Griffin’s spectacular  blanket!  And it looks like he’s gazing at it adoringly  from his special air conditioned couch!

To see Griffin standing up so strong and happy in his wagon and to see him thoroughly  enjoying  his scritches reminds us that all is well in Griffin’s world!!😎   And  Griffin’s world view of things eifh6t now is pure joy!😘

As usual, you have done ,massive amounts of research  and inquiries.  Then to take time to keep us informed is appreciated.   I have zero input on all your pote ntial options, but know whatever is best for Griffin will be that path that guides you.

Thanks so much for taking the time to check in.  We are all on TEAM GRIFFIN and cheering for this  miracle of a dog to keep on hopping for years to come!!

Extra 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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 July 2020 - 11:46 am
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Look out cancer, Stacy’s back and she’s gonna knock you out! 

Impressive plans Stacy, I love that you have outlined different paths depending on how things play out. Ignore my question about UPenn, you and Dr. Camps have this under control.

Here’s what Dr. Camps wrote about metronomics – I’d love input from anyone with an opinion:  

This therapy has been evolving over time and it appears that Dr. Camps is throwing all the current treatment tools into it to give Griffin a fighting chance. I would be on-board with that if in your situation. We first learned about Losartan by interviewing Dr. Bernard Seguin, who mentions it here. It looks promising. 

I also asked Dr. Camps about addressing the lung met directly through surgical removal or microwave ablation.  She said that a positive prognostic factor for surgical removal would include a disease-free interval of 275-300 days, which clearly is not our situation.  She looped in Dr. Spector (Griffin’s surgeon) and he has not yet weighed in.  Dr. Camps said that microwave ablation is not available at the Animal Medical Center.

Thank you for sharing this, I didn’t know that about the disease-free interval. I wonder if there’s a study somewhere that cites it? I’d love to include it in our information about mets ooptions.

Bummer about no microwave ablation. I know they do it in human hospitals and most likely at vet teaching hospitals. I’d just love to see those nasty tumors get zapped into oblivion!

Thanks for the pupdate and Griffin pix. He looks sooo chill in front of the AC, and still so very, very happy. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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15 July 2020 - 9:52 am
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After this week, Griffin and I are due for a break!  While Griffin and I were out for an evening stroll on Sunday, Griffin was startled by a motorcycle and leaped out of his wagon, landing hard on his front leg and falling on his right side.  He seemed to shake it off, even walking for the last block home, but after resting on the couch for a few hours that evening, he was unable to get up when I called him to go out.  So, off we went for a midnight visit to the same hospital where he is being treated, the Animal Medical Center.  I was pretty sure that nothing was broken since he was able to walk and bear weight on the leg, but I wanted the assurance of a medical professional.  I also felt horribly because Griffin really didn’t want to go out that evening and I made him.  We’ve had issues with fireworks nightly since the start of June, but that had recently (mostly) stopped and I wanted Griffin to learn that evening walks were no longer scary.  Boy was I wrong!  The ER vet agreed with me that it was likely a soft tissue injury and did not push for x-rays since that would have required sedation.  She gave Griffin an injection of methadone and sent us home with codeine and directions for the anti-inflammatory and pain meds (gallaprant and gabapentin) that we had left over from his surgery.  Griffin’s surgeon, Dr. Spector, continues to be amazing and reached out the next morning to check on Griffin – we are so lucky to have him!  Griffin was clearly sore and seemed to have a dysphoric reaction to the codeine, laying for hours with his eyes open and panting, similar to his reaction to an opiate he was taking after surgery.  With Dr. Spector’s input, I stopped the codeine after only 2 doses, and he has been doing well since then, resting comfortably with just the other 2 meds.  He is on restricted activity for a week, and since the gabapentin makes him sleepy, that hasn’t been too much of a struggle.  I purchased a tether meant for use in cars that I attached to his wagon so that we avoid accidents like this in the future. 🤦‍♀️

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 Griffin doped up on meds at AMC.

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 Griffin modeling his new chariot tether – safety first!

Despite how difficult things have been recently, there are so many things for which I am grateful.  Griffin continues to be his happy, loving self who, apart from his recent injury, doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.  I know doxorubicin is known for more severe side effects, but aside from a bit of diarrhea on Thursday evening, Griffin has not shown any negative reactions from the round of chemo he received on Wednesday, and we are now past the 3-5 day window when those effects would appear.  His appetite has remained strong and he is content to have me push him in his wagon to enjoy being outside while on restricted activity.  😊

The team at the Animal Medical Center is nothing short of phenomenal.  They are so compassionate and dedicated to Griffin’s care, going above and beyond what is required professionally.  Dr. Spector and Dr. Camps are incredibly quick to respond to my emails and encourage me to fully partner with them in determining Griffin’s course of treatment.  I cannot recommend AMC highly enough!  🙌

And finally, Tripawds Nation has been my rock throughout this entire process.  I know I can ask any question or share any situation and I will be met with nothing but encouragement, experienced advice, and grace.  There is no way I would be navigating this entire process nearly as well informed or as hopeful as I am without the help of my Tripawds family.  Thank you! 💕

The video below was taken this morning.  As you can see, Griffin is well on the road to recovery and sends everyone his love!

Virginia




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15 July 2020 - 11:14 am
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Ohhhh myyyy goodness!  GRIFFIN.  quit scaring your Mom!!  Sigh  of relief that everything turned out okay👌

Yeah, I think codeine  can cause some whacko  behavior.  Hopefully the anti- inflammatory and the Gaba will help heal and keep pain away.  The fireworks are just so cruel to our pets, and I’m  sure it plays havoc on wildlife too.  Just disrupts  all! 

Soooo glad that  there do not seem  to be any side effects from his treatment. 

Yes you have a very caring  Vet team. Make no mistake  about it though, they all have fallen in love with Griffin and respect the bond you two have. Additionally,  they know you are fully committed to keeping Griffin healthy and happy and  I know they appreciate  that depth of devotion 😎

Thank you  for posting that video.  We ALL find it reassuring to see Griffin  happily being Griffin….even with banged up soft tissue!!  I love how after he get to the tree, he turned around and gave you the, “See, I’m  fine Mom” look👍

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS , AMD thank YOU for giving so much support to everyone  and for always so willingly  sharing vital information  you glean  from your research. ❤

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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15 July 2020 - 1:04 pm
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Woooah that scared me when I started reading, I’m so glad he’s OK and healing up. OUCH! Isn’t it awful to see them fall like that? As if our hearts aren’t ripped to shreds when we go through the amputation process, then an accident and it’s heartache all over again. There were many times that Jerry stumbled and I freaked out, but like Griffin, he was like “What’s your prob mom?” Tripawds are way, way stronger than we are. 

Thanks for the kind words Stacy, you know we are here for you two, always. You generously share so much of your experience, the good and not so good, and from that, everyone learns. Griffin is such a rock star! I’m super happy that things are going well with the treatment. Amazing! smiley_clap

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16 July 2020 - 8:39 am
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OMG Stacy! I just read all your latest posts…I am heartbroken for you and Griffin. This is gut-wrenching to hear about lung mets. I have no doubts that even with the bad news Griffin is still living his life to the fullest (minus the little set back with his leg, but he will bounce back from it in no time I am sure!) In the meantime, I am sure he is enjoying watching you pull him in his chariot. 

I think you have to stay positive and enjoy every moments. You are doing everything you can and even with the diagnosis of mets, Griffin certainly has no time stamp on his butt 😉 And you seem to have a wonderful team around you that gives Griffin all the best chances! 

Also, I completely understand how you feel about Griffin injuring his leg. Every time Arktik stumbled I get worried. Tough to be a Tripawd mom but they bring us so much happiness. 

Keep sending all those great videos of Griffin, it is always such a pleasure to watch him and his huge doggy smile. He is clearly the happiest puppy:) 

Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you feel down, this community is the best! And you can always send me a pm. 

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17 July 2020 - 8:12 am
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Hi Stacy.  Thanks for your reach out to me.  I just read all of your posts and caught up on you and Griffin.  

Stacy, you are just amazing, and I mean that.  Griffin couldn’t ask for more in a mom.  You’re doing everything possible to help your baby.  You’re leaving no stone unturned in your search for help for Griffin to live as long as he can.  Also, you share EVERYTHING with Tripawds to help everyone here.  I just think that you are a very giving person and I look up to you.  

I think you did the right thing expecting Griffin’s xray to be clear.  I believe in the power of positive thought, no need to have an anxious imagination.  Positive thoughts are important.  If bad news comes, then we deal with it.  You are resilient and so is Griffin!  I think you’re learning from each other.  I feel you’re doing everything possible to help Griffin.  You’ll never look back years from now and wonder if you could have done more.  No, you’re right on it.  So I think continue to fight the fight as hard as can be and then place Griffin in God’s hands and trust that all will be ok.  Take Griffin’s lead and Be More Dog .  Bask in the joy of having Griffin by your side.  We all know that we will probably outlive our dogs.  But we have them now so let’s live in the now and enjoy them.

I lost my best human friend 2 years ago.  It’s still very painful but I believe I’ll see him some day.  I feel the same about all my loved ones, including my fur babies.  Life can be painful but full of joy also.  I guess we have to take the good with the bad and be thankful for everything.

Jake is doing great and I’ll post a video.  He loves his carriage, jumps in and out at will when he gets tired or wants to walk again.  He loves it!  He took to it immediately, much to the dismay of my husband and neighbors.  I’ve tried to take a few videos but I wasn’t happy with them, hard to move the carriage and videotape.  I guess I’ll settle for a video of him jumping in the carriage/out of the carriage.  My chihuahua sits in it too, but he’s putting on some weight so I try to get him to walk.

Thanks again for all that you do for Griffin and all of us here!

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