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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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Griffin's Journey
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Virginia




Forum Posts: 21441
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8 February 2021 - 11:26 pm
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Well, Griffin sure is keeping us on our toes around here!  Never a dull moment with this boy!

I was trying  to wrap my head around everything  you posted the other day and reply when my thoughts were more focused.

  Haha, the best laid plans!  Now I'm  focused on this leg  "episode".instead.   

To add another FWIW, the way his leg was responding  made me  instantly  think of a leg cramp that he was trying to power through.  Goodness knows they can contort your leg or foot and make you lose your balance.  

Guessing a"Charlie horse" type cramp can stay with you for a long time until it works it's way out .  Hopefully the acupuncture  will help.

I dont know how much "manipulation " he went through  at the Vet's the other day, but that could have caused his initual stiffness the past couple of days,  Combine that with a different use of muscles when walking on snow and ice, it could so easily  be a tweak, a cramp,  muscle strain, all combined into the makings of a groaning doggy who doesn't  feel like getting up.  Add in maybe the Gaba messing with him....the possibilities are endless and not necessarily  anything bad'!!!!!

Trpawd power group hug coming your way so get ready, here it comes! BAM!! Did you feel it??

(((((Hugs))))

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

PS  Nancy. I remember that call well😘

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!

New York, NY
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9 February 2021 - 8:36 am
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Thanks for the Tripawd Power Hugs, Sally and Rene!

Griffin is doing much better this morning, although still very wobbly in his hind legs.  It has not yet been 24 hours since his last dose of Gabapentin, so hopefully he will continue to improve.  I used the wagon last night for his final pee break and then carried him to my bedroom, laying him on the rug.  I guess he was offended by that and when I returned to the bedroom, he was standing and then followed me out to the hallway.  He slept well and was able to maneuver himself around to a few different positions overnight.  He needed help getting up this morning but is making the effort to walk.  He sways when standing still and stumbles a bit when walking, but ate a full breakfast and walked two blocks (and stubbornly tried to make me stay out longer as you can see in the video below).  He just seems more "with it" this morning.  Hopefully his acupuncture appointment this morning will help him feel even better!

Thank you so much to everyone who chimed in yesterday! sp_hearticon2 I was panicking that he had a spinal cord injury and never considered that Gabapentin could cause side effects because he did well with it last year.  If his oncologist thinks Gaba is the best pain med for Griffin, I'm going to see if we can start with a much lower dose (he is currently getting 300mg per dose) and build his tolerance as severe mobility issues that might take a few weeks to resolve is a quality of life issue that I don't think is acceptable at this point.

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

Virginia




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9 February 2021 - 9:04 am
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Thanks so much for the update!  I know I speak for ALL Griffin's  Fans how much we appreciate  keeping us informed!!  He is sooo adored and such a SuperHero, as well as is his Mom!

Love that he's still doing things his way and letting you know your "help" is not needed!  Shhh.....maybe it's needed a little, but we won't  tell him that.

I k ow upj absolutely  hate seeing him not being 100%.  To those of us on. The outside looking in and based on everything  you have written, he's doing pretty darn good.  He IS  mobile,, he certainly is engaged, he shows his stubborn and determined  side, he's eating, sleeping well.  

Definitely  can see the swaying in mthe video.  That should be very helpful for the Vet.  

Something  that I may (or may not) have seen.  Is his right legate the upper hip area turned out a bit?  It was.hardto tell, but look like it could be.  

Pretty sure someone  else.already ment the "vertigo ear thing"  But that bit of wobble  and then when he was falling g over yesterday sure could be signs of that.

TRIPAWD POWER HUGS AND PAWSITIVE  HEALING ENERFY STILL AT PLAY NON STOP!!!  And it appears to be working, for Griffin and you!!  And we've only just begun!!

♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

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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9 February 2021 - 11:05 am
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I saw what Sally saw.  Almost like his top right hip is a little twisty or maybe even a bit sore. 

That may be his normal stride,  but i noticed it too. 

More power hugs ❤❤❤

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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9 February 2021 - 11:16 am
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When Brownie started having pain in his spine I used a heating pad on low and it did help. Brownie had that same wobble like dizzy look when he was on the medication so I started only  giving  it a bedtime.

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"

New York, NY
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9 February 2021 - 3:52 pm
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I messed up horribly.  I’m not sure how I mixed up the bottles, but I was not giving Griffin Gabapentin – I was giving him the older, higher dosage of Piroxicam.  So instead of having 7mg daily, Griffin had 23mg on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, plus his regular dose of 7mg this morning.  I figured it out when I retrieved the bottle to show the vet who came for the acupuncture appointment.  I notified his oncology team and contacted Animal Poison Control.  According to the hotline, gastrointestinal and kidney issues are the primary side effects of too much Piroxicam, not mobility issues.  To be on the safe side, I took him to the hospital this afternoon for bloodwork, which came back normal for kidneys and slightly more anemic than he was last week.  The ER vet said the increased anemia could be due to bleeding stomach ulcers from the Piroxicam, so she prescribed 7 days of Sucralfate.  I asked about his hind end paralysis and she said that is not a side effect of Piroxicam.  The discharge papers note that Griffin was non-ambulatory, but to my knowledge, no neurological exam was done.  Very frustrating.

The video I sent this morning was prior to his acupuncture and right after his morning Piroxicam dose, so it was not yet in his system.  He is much worse in terms of ambulation right now.  I'm not sure if it is due to the dose of Piroxicam he received this morning, the acupuncture, or both.  He is unable to bear weight at all on his hind legs and I'm not sure he has feeling in them right now.  His front leg is fine.  He does not appear uncomfortable and upon returning home a little while ago, he ate a full meal and drank water (while lying down).  I spoke with the vet who did the acupuncture and she said that his session was a very easy one with 1/2 inch needles, nothing that should even remotely cause paralysis.

At this point, I'm not sure what I can do besides wait to see if Griffin's mobility returns once the Piroxicam is out of his system.  An immediate concern is expressing his bladder since he was not able to urinate when I tried holding him up outside after we returned from hospital.  I'm going to try to figure that out now (I know Rene recently linked a post with that information).

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

Virginia




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9 February 2021 - 4:49 pm
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STAXY!!!  Do NOT spend one millisecond beat yourself up about the med mix up!  I know, easier said than done, but right now it's about focusing  on the NOW!  I think a lot of is have stories about med mix ups while under the stress of thos journey....espec when extra challenges ate added i !

Now, moving  forward and in my unprofessional  FWIW opinion, I do NOT feel like the combo of Piroxicam, the Infusion, etc should completely be ruled out as a culprit.  It's just waaay too coincidental!!  And what that ,means is, this may indeed clear up ast gets out of his system!!!..  

I ,mean, the leg issues may not be a "normal" side effect, but everything  that's going on with Griffin doesn't  fit the "norm" anywa!!

He hasn't  been on any  Rimadyl or similar, right??

When you pinch his toes does he have any reflexive  actio ?  If you turn his foot under, does he try and put it back?

Did the Onco offer ANY insight, solutions, etc?  There should be feedback of they think any of this is related to the lesions on the spine/ribs.  That's their area of expertise!

Since you know from previous history he does tolerate  Gaba, maybe you could reintroduce  that jist in case there is some pain I evolved with all the other things going on with that boy

Stacy, you have to be stressed and worried beyond words.  HOWEVER, things may turn around, okay??    I know you feel like you're  drifting  further and further away from shore,  but we've got a lifeline tethered to you to pull you back in.

So glad he ate and bloodwork okay, other than a .little anemia.  Good sign overall!!

 (((((((((((Hugs))))))))))

 PS....did anyone note the gait of his leg that Jackie and I mentioned?

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!

Here and Now


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9 February 2021 - 5:21 pm
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The good news is, you found out. Mistakes happen, and this one may be a good explanation for a temporary condition. Rene will surely chime in as soon as she's available. Here's the video she shared about how to express a dog's bladder. Please keep us posted! 

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9 February 2021 - 5:28 pm
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We have all made the same mistake or something similar. I have had several dogs on medication at that same time. I would give the right medication but to the wrong dog. It happens!

If you want to blame anyone do not blame yourself,  blame the cancer. Its cancer's fault!

Hopefully Griffen will feel better when it starts exiting his system. How is Griffen on medication? Brownie was a light weight. I always had to cut his pain  medication dose in half and he would still be high as a kite.

Let us know how he is doing.

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"

New York, NY
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9 February 2021 - 6:33 pm
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Thank you all for the support - I do feel like I'm drifting further and further from shore and it feels comforting to have my Tripawds family with me.  Griffin has had some random movement in his back legs (spasming when he was dreaming and pulling back once when I stretched his leg), but other than that, nothing.  I looked up videos of how to express a dog's bladder lying down because he cannot stand up at all and I can't hold him up and express his bladder at the same time.  A friend brought me pee pads, but even though it has been 11 hours since he last peed, I cannot get him to express his bladder.  My friend said that she thought he might be holding it in because he knows he is not supposed to pee in the house, but in the videos it seems that by pushing on the bladder it should make a dog pee whether or not they want to.  I'm letting him rest for a bit before trying again.  I really, really don't want to have to go back to the emergency room to have them express his bladder tonight.  If anyone has experience with this issue, I'd love some advice.

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com



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9 February 2021 - 6:56 pm
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Stacy,

Im so sorry it took me so long to see this,  grrr.

Ok, expressing bladder is, umm.. similar to milking a cow I guess. 

Find the bladder reach to the top, possibly could take 2 hands at this point and pull your fingers together from the top and squeeze down. 

It's going to take a couple tries but you can do this. Go slow and easy. Even if some of the bladder pops up above your fingers,  apply gentle pressure increasing as you need it. 

If your fingers slide down too far stop.  Feel the bladder again and grab from the top.  Once you get that apply pressure as you're pulling down.  

This should not hurt.  He's not blocked like a cat but Griffin has been well trained and has his dignity.  Talk to him.  Tell him it's ok. Make sure you have extra pee pads because will probably make a big puddle.  Get towels if you need.  

Keep talking to him and when he releases tell him good boy and how wonderful he is.  

This goes against everything he's been trained for so he will need your acceptance. 

Oh goodness..🤞🤞🤞 you can do this❤

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog



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9 February 2021 - 7:03 pm
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I can go to chat if you need. I'll hop in there for a few just in case. 

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog



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9 February 2021 - 7:07 pm
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Or you can message me.  

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

The Rainbow Bridge



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9 February 2021 - 10:36 pm
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Stacy I'm so glad you and Jackie were able to chat tonight. Were you able to get Griffin to urinate? 

Please don't beat yourself up. I have done similar medication mix-ups before (I once gave Wyatt a double dose of Gabapentin!), I'm sure just about everyone here has. With all you have on your mind right now, you are stressed to the max and no wonder it happened. It's OK, you are only human and Griffin would never hold it against you.

I'm hoping by the time you read this Griffin will have some mojo back. There's a term in natural medicine called a "healing crisis", where a body's symptoms get worse immediately after treatment, then slowly start to improve until healing is complete. Maybe the acupuncture put him on that path and now he's resting up so the healing can happen. I'm really hoping that's what is happening with your sweet boy. Please keep us posted OK? We are sending lots of love t you.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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10 February 2021 - 7:20 am
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Griffin and I returned to the ER this morning after he still had not peed as of 6am. He did pee a little when I was placing him in his wagon and pooped a little when I held him up outside. But he is not able to stand on his own. The ER vet said Griffin was able to pee when he supported his hind end and that he doesn't think there is a neurological reason preventing him from doing so. He said Griffin has feeling in his hind legs and does not think the Piroxicam or acupuncture contributed to his paralysis, although he also agrees that there is no good explanation for why he could walk yesterday morning and then was unable to do so a few hours later.

Yesterday's ER vet, today's ER vet, and Griffin's oncologist agree that the most likely explanation is that the cancer has metastasized along his spine. I'm waiting to see if the oncologist is available to speak with me before we leave. 

I'm going home with a Help Em Up Harness to buy some time and hopefully keep Griffin supported to eliminate outside. In my heart though, I believe we have reached the end of the line. Not being able to move his back end and toilet comfortably are huge quality of life issues for Griffin, and I can't see waiting too much longer to give him time to bounce back.

I'll come back to update later. Please keep my boy in your prayers.

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

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