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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Grovers Update
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Forum Posts: 3260
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3 June 2020 - 3:26 pm
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Hoppy eleven month Ampuversary Grover! Isn’t it amazing how things can seem to pass by so quickly yet seem like they have always been? I am so glad that all in all Grover is thriving, that is the most important part of this journey. Getting as much quality time as life will allow us. 

Sounds like and ice cream and cheeseburger (maybe, lol) kind of celebration night! Keep kicking butt!

Big hugs,

Jackie and Huck sp_hearticon2

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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3 June 2020 - 6:54 pm
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Happy 11 months Grover! I think Grovet deserves more toys!

When I clicked on your page, Brownie’s Banner poped up. I think Brownie is congratulating Grover as well.

Here is to many more!

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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30 June 2020 - 11:25 am
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365 days ago we had *no* clue what the next year would hold. We had just finished one of our regular and much beloved hikes looking out over the the PNW. In 2 days he would come up non weight bearing lame walking around the block and in 5 (360 days ago) we would get the dreaded diagnosis. We had no idea that we would about to face weeks of fear and heart break – and amid those heart wrenching weeks that would also have a year of fun, love and learn to Be More Dog

Yesterday, Grover got what I jokingly call a “dane-o-gram” or in other words a full Dane CT. The good news – he is still free of visible pulmonary metastases, his rib metastasis is stable and no other osseous lesions were identified in his legs, spine or other ribs. The bad news, the reason that we went hunting as best we could for evidence of metastases, is that the tumor coming from his colon is still there. A hard days decision but we’ve decided to go forward and remove it surgically. It’s likely unrelated to his osteosarcoma and there is a good chance that removal will be curative without follow up chemotherapy (we will find out more when they get the histopath back on the tumor and know what it is). 

A piece of me was really annoyed that this dog can fight osteosarcoma and get a different cancer. Seriously universe? But, I suppose, that another way of looking at it is that we are lucky to have made it so far that we actually have the privilege to worry about diseases that are not osteosarcoma. Not everyone is that lucky – so ultimately, we are thankful. 

We don’t have a surgery date yet but expect it will be in the next couple of weeks. We are hoping for a smooth procedure and recovery … he has more rabbits to chase and cheeseburgers to eat. 

Thanks to everyone here for all you do and all of your encouragement. We may not have made it through those initial hard weeks without you! 

Virginia




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30 June 2020 - 3:11 pm
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HAPPY ONE YEAR AMUPUVERSARY  GROVER!!!!!👏👏👏🥳🥳😎😎

And to get a good overall report is a wonderful versary present!!!    And we’ll all be sending  pawsitive energy for a B9 on that hole’s annoying colon bump!!

You realize your hoomans FORGOT to post a picture of your handsome self, right?    We’ll be waiting……

jkopper said 
A piece of me was really annoyed that this dog can fight osteosarcoma and get a different cancer. Seriously universe? But, I suppose, that another way of looking at it is that we are lucky to have made it so far that we actually have the privilege to worry about diseases that are not osteosarcoma. Not everyone is that lucky – so ultimately, we are thankful. 

  

Good attitude!!!!👍

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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30 June 2020 - 4:38 pm
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Whaaaa? A YEAR? ONE YEAR ALREADY?! Wow Grover, you just made it look so easy. CONGRATULATIONS! smiley_clap

I’m so hoppy for you. This is such an inspawration to everyone who is new to the cancer journey and especially those who have been told that their dog isn’t a good candidate for life on three legs.

And while it definitely sucks that you’re going in for that other nasty cancer tumor removal, I have all the faith in the world that you will bounce back from that surgery and once again show cancer who’s boss. 

You’re the boss Grover! HOPPY AMPUVERSARY!!!!!

And yes, how about some pictures! Maybe a blog update with all the party trimmings? Wheeeeee! PAWTY! smiley9sp_hearticon2

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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26 July 2020 - 10:28 am
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It’s been a rough two weeks … and I find myself here because you all are the best humans I know at giving hope when you’re feeling like the desperate crazy owner and need hope to cling to. 

Two weeks ago Grover had surgery for his intestinal mass. I (foolishly) thought that after an amputation an abdominal surgery would not be that big of a deal. I was so wrong and would do anything to take it back – but here we are. I underestimated the effect his normal analgesia plan for OA had and of course surgery disrupted it. No NSAIDs with intestinal surgery in dogs and with post-op complications he was NPO for several days which ruined his steady levels/state for the gabapentin and amantadine. The good news (I guess) is that the intestinal tumor came back as a GIST with low mitotic index and clean margins – surgery should be curative. They also removed his spleen because he had two nodules which were benign and he had a gastrotomy because they found a few foreign bodies in his stomach (naughty puppy) while they were in there.

Post operatively he had ileus, acute kidney injury and an incisional abscess. He spent about a week in the hospital (with an awesome team that I am so thankful for) but recovery is slow and I’m starting to fear that I stole his quality of life from him in pursuit of more time. How selfish of me.  I think recovery from the amputation was easier for him (but maybe time has eased that memory? lol). We were just finally cleared to re-start his NSAID and he has had the gabapentin and amantadine on board for a week now but he cannot get up on his own anymore and going outside to go to the bathroom takes a lot out of him. We finally have his appetite back and his incisional infection is headed in the right direction – but it prevents us from being able to do much rehab. I’m just really hoping that adding his NSAID back helps and we can get back to rehab soon… and that the inevitable OSA mets can stay away for a little longer so that this isn’t how we spend the rest of his time. 

We have a recheck appointment tomorrow and I know that his whole team is pulling for him and we are in good hands. I just wish … things were different and I could go back and make different decisions. Silly hind sight. 

Appreciate the time that everyone has – this has been a hard reminder how quickly things can change. 



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26 July 2020 - 11:22 am
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Oh my goodness.  What an ordeal. Please don’t “blame” yourself.  You have always done what was in Grover’s best interest. It’s not like you looked into your crystal ball, was told not to do anything,  and chose to take a chance anyways.  If you had chosen not to do anything and something awful and unforeseen happened you’d still be blaming yourself.  

Hopefully as he heals he will regain strength.  The  setback of infection at such a time did you no favors at all.  

You are not selfish.  You have used all of your energy and love to try and help Grover live his best life,  how is that selfish?

Sending you big hugs and pawsitive waves of love and healing.  I know this is a set back but hopefully you’ll be back on track soon and moving forward again.  Please give Grover some extra ear scratches and let us know how you make out. 

Jackie and Huck❤❤❤

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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26 July 2020 - 11:49 am
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So sorry to hear Grover isn’t feeling well. And ditto to what Jackie said. No matter what we do, or don’t do we will always feel guilty, and second guess our selves. Even though I knew in my heart that chemo wasn’t a good choice for Brownie,  I sometimes think, if he lived a year without chemo would he of lived two with chemo. Then if I would of done chemo, I would of second guessed that.

You have done so much for Grover. The reason we second guess ourselves, and feel guilty is because we just want the best for them. Every decision you have made is out of love for Grover!

I once saw a sign that read, “the best doctor is a veterinarian , because their patients can’t tell them what’s wrong, they just have to know”.

Grover is in our prayers that he will be feeling better soon. Keep us posted, and please don’t blame yourself.

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"

The Rainbow Bridge



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26 July 2020 - 2:14 pm
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Oh my dog I’m so sorry you guys have had such a ruff time! I can’t blame you for second-guessing the decision to have the surgery, I know I would feel the same way. It seems like no matter what you choose during a cancer ordeal, you’ll always wonder about taking the other path. 

But please, be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can, always with Grover’s best interests in mind. Your gut instinct told you he could bounce back after the surgery, and although recovery has been slower than anyone had anticipated, it is happening. Grover’s had a rough time but in his own remarkable way, he is on the path to healing and being able to enjoy more quality time with his favorite people. 

We finally have his appetite back and his incisional infection is headed in the right direction 

THIS is remarkable! smiley_clapFocus on these accomplishments. Rehab will happen. The NSAID should make a remarkable difference once he can start taking it again (and thanks, I didn’t realize that NSAIDs had to be pulled for GI surgeries). With the weather being warmer and more humid right now, of course he’s a bit slower for that reason too. But he will get back to being Grover, just wait and see!

Stay strong. You are doing great and so is he. Let us know how the vet visit goes OK?

P.S. If you feel like sharing this in a Grover blog update, I know that somewhere down the line a member will find it so helpful. No pressure though. sp_hearticon2

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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26 July 2020 - 6:38 pm
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Hi Grover and Grover’s “pawrent” – I’m new around here but your mention of second guessing inspired me to share something I read when I was deciding whether or not to do surgery for my sweet pup. The gist of the article was that, because pets are such a unique relationship where we control so many aspects of their life (unlike another person or a child), we will always feel more GUILT in that relationship. That made a lot of sense to me. For me, my guilt was a la “what if I had taken her to the vet sooner, what if I had fed her differently, what if what if…” 

I’m just sharing in case that idea makes sense to you or brings some comfort as it did for me. Certainly didn’t make the guilt go away, but I don’t know if anything will but time. I wish I could find that article because it had a sweet closing line, something like “all you can do is hold that guilt with tenderness and know you did the best you could” <3 Hoping Grover has a better day tomorrow and happy belated ampuversary! — Emily & Devo

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26 July 2020 - 7:29 pm
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Thank you everyone for your kind words. They really helped a lot today. 

I think – hope – that today went a little better with NSAID (galliprant) back on board. Less panting and he tried (albeit unsuccessfully, but tried none the less!) to get on the couch all on his own. What I wouldn’t give to see him pick up a toy again.  All three oncologists have tried to tell me that this was a smart choice – the tumor could have ruptured and then emergency surgery for a septic abdomen would have been that much harder – but it’s hard. When we amputated his leg it was easier – he was in so much pain to me there was no other option and we had nothing to loose. Now, I took a seemingly healthy dog to surgery to try and prevent something bad from happening. Our oncologist said that’s part of the struggle post op too. Before, even though it seemed like a bigger surgery he was in so much pain before, life was immediately better afterwards (less painful). As opposed to this time we took a well analgesed dog to surgery (induced pain) and then had to take away some of his baseline analgesia. Things I didn’t really think about. 

I remember hitting the week 3 mark after his amputation and thinking we had turned a corner. I’m hoping we will get the same relief this week as well. Fingers crossed for his appointment tomorrow.

You guys are the best. Thank you for being there for us. <3 Jamie and Grover 

Livermore, CA




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26 July 2020 - 7:55 pm
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I was thinking about your post this evening while I was doing exercises with Elly, my little Tripawd.

I don’t know exactly how abdominal surgery affects a dog’s mobility but I know people who have had surgery in their ab area and the recovery is quite long especially if the surgery is at all invasive.  We all know how important core strength is for Tripawds- hence the connection I made while doing exercises with Elly. 

Ab surgery, having to stop routine pain meds and then complications…it seems logical that Grover is taking a little time to get back to himself.  I know it seems that an amputation would be longer recovery but I know from experience with some other surgeries in my dogs that sometimes an amp surgery is much faster.

You are doing what you think is best for Grover- it’s easy to second guess ourselves when things get tough.  You got input from experts, thought about all your options and made the best decision with the information you had. 

Hopefully the little spark you saw today means he is on the mend.  Just like amputation- stay positive and patient!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

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

Virginia




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26 July 2020 - 8:14 pm
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WOW!!!  Jusr WOW!!!  You have been on such an emotional  journey!  Of course you are beating yourself up…that’s what we hoomans do sooo well!

Of course, what REALLY matters is that Grover just wants you fully focused on apoiling  him and has NONE, ZERO, NADDA of those worthless  negative self talks we torture ourselves with.

So glad you got such great advice from Jackie, Nancy  (Beownie), Emiy and Jerry.   So with some of those helpful  words, recognize why you AND the professional Vets made the decision  that NEEDED to be made, and move onto visualizing  Grover’s healthy return.

Your Onco was spot on avout the comparisons made between the amputation  recovery and this recovery.   Very, very wise words.  Such a valid point.  One way to look at it too.  While Grover wasn’t  “in pain” prior to this surgery, he was basically prevented  future pain and  very possibly  a quick and untimely passing.

Now, we do have something to celebrate today…..some IMPROVEMENT!!! 

Ahowing determination to try and reclaim his couch is a great sign of healing.  Seemingly  getting the pain of surgery back under control with no panting…another good sign!!

And YOU get a standing ovation for moving forward under difficult  circumstances!  You are  such a good advocate for Grover and are doing a great job of hanging tough while getting  to better days!!

Give that sweet pooch a big smooch for us!!

Hugs

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

PS.. just saw Karen’s post….more wise words!!

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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29 July 2020 - 1:57 pm
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Thank you everyone for your kind, supportive and helpful words. the week started out much better! The NSAIDs really, really helped and by Tuesday although he couldn’t get up completely on his own yet he could get from lateral to sternal to sitting, up with a small boost and then was hoping like a champ. Tuesday they re-closed his incision because it was healing great under very light sedation. Unfortunately, for reasons we don’t under stand after wards he now has paraparesis in both hind legs, is non-ambulatory and is re-hospitalized.

We have a great team and they have been very honest with me all along the way and they say it’s not time to give up and that they still think we can get him back to his baseline or normal with time, anti-inflammatories and PT. It’s not clear what happened – if somehow he slipped a disc or had a stroke/clot to his spinal cord or … who knows. At this point they are hesitant to do further imaging (CT, MRI) because no one wants to re-anesthetize him or even sedate him and honestly, I don’t think that I could put him through spinal cord decompression surgery even if we found a bad disc. That being said, he still has sensation to his legs and if you can prop him up he can hold his own weight … he just falls over anytime he tries to take a step so the surgeons said even if it was a bad disc they wouldn’t recommend surgery at this time. 

I wish the poor guy could just get a break. Of course, being a Great Dane, it’s no small feat to have a dog his size who can’t use his hind end. Two steps forward .. not sure how many steps backwards. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 July 2020 - 2:40 pm
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Ohhhhhh my gosh I’m so sorry! Poor Grover! We hope with all our heart that he bounces back from this quickly. He is such a champ, such an amazing, strong boy, hopefully this is something he can overcome.

Are you just in ‘wait and see’ mode right now? You must be so worried. We ALL are, your boy is such a rock star to all of us. It hurts knowing he’s in the hospital and not feeling well.

Stay strong, and listen closely for the TRIPAWD POWER! cheers of encouragement coming your way. We are keeping the pawsitivity high for Grover!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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