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Harley becomes a tripawd today
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Franklin, WI
Member Since:
9 May 2010
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10 May 2010 - 8:57 am
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Harley, our 9-year old golden retriever is having his left front leg amputated today due to osteosarcoma.  I am so glad I found Tripawds.com.  There is so much useful advice to be found!  After I drop him at the vet, I am going to stop at Walmart/Home Depot/Lowes to look for runners to put down on the hardwood floors.  I'm also going look at some elevated dog bowls.  I have two goldens, though, so haven't exactly figured out what to do.  I don't think they would like two bowls side-by-side for eating.  And I can't leave one on the floor and one elevated, so maybe two single elevated bowls?  And then there's the water bowl, which is currently a Le Bistro – a bowl with a big water jug attached – so I only have to refill water every other day instead of multiple times a day (see pic). 

Le Bistro

 

And it sits in a boot tray to try to catch all the slobber – my dogs are very messy drinkers! No sure what I'm going to do about the water.   I will probably be getting a Ruff Wear Harness too – they look very helpful.

 

Gordie, our 12-year old is on the left, Harley is on the right.

Gordie and HarleyImage Enlarger

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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10 May 2010 - 9:22 am
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hockeymom said:

I'm also going look at some elevated dog bowls. 


 

Be sure to review the selection of recommended elevated feeding stations we posted in the Tripawds Gear blog !

Thnaks again for joining the discussion, and best wishes to Harley for a speedy recovery.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
26 November 2008
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10 May 2010 - 11:16 am
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Harley, Gordie, and Mom,

First, we are very sorry to hear of Harley's diagnosis but would also like to welcome you to this community. You will find it filled with wonderful people who will share their collective experience base, give great advice, and provide support as you start down this journey. As to you specific question, Admin has provided an excellent link to a variety of elevated feeding bowls. Miss Cherry had always been fed from an elevated bowl but always insisted on drinking from Allie's bowl on the floor, even after the amputation. I would offer an elevated water bowl as well as the normal floor bowl and let them figure it out for themselves. Miss Cherry's greatest difficulty was with a total loss of appetite during chemotherapy. Thus, if she did eat, she ate anyway she wanted from elevated bowls, bowls on the floor, on her side (Roman style), but most offten hand fed from Dad. What ever it took to get the nutritiion down.

I often include a set of suggestions for anyone approaching the amputation. You already appear to have done extensive reading and are very well prepared, but I would forward you to a previous reply in case you have not seen these suggestions. You can use this LINK. Above all, remember that you are the leaders of the pack and lead them by example. As long as you attempt to return to what is now the new "normal", Harly and Gordie will respond the say way. They will amaze you with their ability to adapt and all they really want is to be back with their family with a normal life. Please expect to see a slow but steady return to the quality of life for all, and please link to the suggestions.

Sending Pawsitive Thoughts and Prayers,

Spirit Cherry's Dad

 

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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10 May 2010 - 3:40 pm
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The elevated eating stations are certainly helpful for the tripawd, and we had in fact started using one for Trouble before her diagnosis. I would certainly recommend them for the tripawd, larger dogs, and/or older dogs.  Whatever configuration you decide on, you will be happy with the results.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Member Since:
20 May 2009
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10 May 2010 - 5:51 pm
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I, too, am glad you found tripawds.  This web site has been a life saver for so many of us.  Please let us know how Harley is doing.  Remember the first two weeks can be difficult so try to prepare yourself.  It does get better.  Really.

Debra & Angel Emily

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Franklin, WI
Member Since:
9 May 2010
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10 May 2010 - 5:53 pm
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Harley is out of surgery.  Everything went well.  I will be picking him up tomorrow around 11.

Member Since:
14 January 2010
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10 May 2010 - 6:05 pm
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Glad to hear that everything went well with the surgery. I know that you read this and know this, but the most important piece of advice that I can give you is "Don't Freak Out" when you see Harley for the first time. I about died when I saw Nikki right after the surgery, and was definitely not as prepared as I thought I was..

As for the elevated stations, yes, they are a great idea, and honestly the other dogs (We have 3) don't mind it at all.

Good luck, please let us know how things progress, and take heart that there's a lot of us who've gone through exactly what you and Harley are!

Los Angeles
Member Since:
2 November 2009
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10 May 2010 - 8:06 pm
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So glad to hear that Harley's out of surgery and  doing well.  I have 2 Goldens (my tripawd and younger pup) and I elevate Mackenzie's bowls on a step stool (one of those rubber maid types ) and it works great while the other bowls are on the ground.  Like Spirit Cherry's Dad, you just put the bowl wherever they feel the most comfortable.  For the first few days following Mackenzie's surgery, I too hand fed her because that was the only way she'd eat.  You'll figure it all out in no time...when I first brought Mackenzie home I did all of this preparation only to find out that she adjusted quickly, returned to her routine and I ended up returning a lot of stuff that she never needed or used (like an orthopedic bed , etc..)  I also got some rugs with traction to put down (which really helped) but my puppy ended up chewing them to shreds.  sad   I did get the Ruff Harness which comes in very handy so that's one of those must haves.  So it's taking it one day at a time....

Here's wishing Harley a very smooth and speedy recovery.  Just be prepared that these first 2 weeks are the toughest and you may 2nd guess your decision (like many of us have) but just hang in there and know that Harley will get better and amaze you with his progress. It really does take a good 2 weeks and before you know it, you'll have your Harley back!

Kami (Mackenzie's Mom)

 

 

 

My sweet golden Mackenzie.  She became my angel on Dec 29, 2010 at the age of 8 1/2  although she was always my angel from the time we brought her home.  She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in Sept 2009 and officially became a tripawd (front leg) on Nov 5, 2009.  She will be forever in my heart and now she's running free with all of our other tripawd heroes.  I love you Mackenzie!

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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10 May 2010 - 8:34 pm
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Yeay Harley!

If ya need anything Ma, we're here. Thanks for the update.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Calgary, AB
Member Since:
30 January 2010
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10 May 2010 - 8:36 pm
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Hi and Welcome to the Tripawd community! Super news that the surgery went well, that's the first step and a big one. It can be a bit difficult when you first see your new tripawd. For me it wasn't so much the surgery site but I think it finally hit home what I had done. Tai was so brave, as they all are, and it broke my heart to see her trying to bring me a present (the stuffed toy I sent her in with) as she had always done.

The first couple of weeks are tough. Sleeping is tricky as you seem to spend countless hours watching them breathe and making sure they're ok. I slept on the sofa for a couple of nights. Tai had some trouble handling the Tramadol (lots of heavy panting) so we got her off of it as soon as possible. Be sure to check the info on here about "phantom pain " and be ready for it. Tai's yelping scared the heck out of me and I hadn't found this site yet so I had no idea what was going on.

Most of all STAY PAWSITIVE!! I took time-outs for crying and always tried to be happy and positive around her. Sometimes it's hard and there were times, I hate to admit it, that I made Tai's shoulder wet with my tears. As everyone says the dogs live so "in the moment" and all they know is that they are at home with the people they love and who they love back.

Take care of yourself and Harley. Keep us posted. You'll be absolutely amazed at how quickly Harley will adapt to his new life.

Big hugs and tail wags,

Laura and Tai

Tai – 9 yr old lab. Diagnosed Osteosarcoma Dec 18/09. Front right leg amputated Dec 21/09. Started chemo Jan 7/10. Lung mets discovered Sept 16/10. Valiant to the end on Oct 26/10 when cancer reappeared in a leg and we made the decision to set her free. Forever in my heart where not even cancer can take her from me.

Portage Lake, Maine
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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11 May 2010 - 6:27 am
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I second everything everyone said!!  But I just had a thought when I read Laura's response.  About not finding Tripawds.com until AFTER things like phantom pain and freaking us out, etc.,etc.  For myself and Maggie, I too, didn't find Tripawds.com until two months after surgery and after a helluva 2 weeks after amputation.(with every vet scratching their head as to why Maggie was having such issues....I felt alone!)

I wonder how do we get the word out about Tripawds.com?  I have been in contact with the vet that did Maggie's surgery a couple of times via email(she is 2 1/2 hrs. South of me) and shown her Maggie's blog.  She is very appreciative of my updates on Maggie.  I intend on visiting with Maggie in July when I''m down that way.  I also thought about dropping off a Tripawds brochure so she could have and at least post on the bulletin board for other possible amputee's? 

I think I need to go on a road trip with Maggie to various vets offices and spread the word about Tripawds.com cause it is a needed place for owners!!!!  MUCH needed. 

Where is the link to the brochures again?  I need to print more!

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

Franklin, WI
Member Since:
9 May 2010
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11 May 2010 - 6:45 am
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Thank you all for your kind words and advice.  As the time nears for me to pick him up, I am overcome with the feeling that Laura and Tai mentioned - what have I done to my sweet Harley? 

I have to pick him up by myself, so I am getting worried about that too.  I don't think there is any way for me to get him into the back of my Saturn Outlook - the car I usually ferry the dogs around in, so I am thinking about using our Impala.  It should be easier to get him into and out of the back seat. 

I am going to spend the morning running around town trying to figure out what runners to get.  I need about 61 feet.  I was at Sam's Club, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe's and Menards yesterday - all on the same block in my town.  The best option may be the rubber-backed stair runners they sell at Home Depot and Menard's - they can cut them to length.  Menard's also had some 5 foot long rubber backed runners on sale, so I may just buy a bunch of those.  But I doubt they are going to have 10-12 that match.  It's not going to be pretty, but I don't want him slipping on my hardwood floors.

I found this picture my daughter took.  This is Harley's step.  He started sleeping here as a puppy, and he still likes to lie here, even though he barely fits.

Harley's StepImage Enlarger

Portage Lake, Maine
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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11 May 2010 - 6:57 am
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My house is a patchwork of rugs that don't match 😉  A cheap alternative I've been told, are Yoga Mats if you can find those.  I, too, have hardwood floors and Maggie is VERY nervous of slipping on floors...she is a rear amp...what is Harley?  Front if I remember right?  I think the front amp's have less issues with slipping?

Good luck with your emotions when you go to pick him up.  Stay STRONG...but I'll forewarn you, I lost it....but I REALLY should NOT have done that for Maggie's sake. 

Just get thru these two weeks and all will be SOOOOOOOOOOO much better ! 

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

Member Since:
10 February 2010
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11 May 2010 - 9:19 am
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Hi Harley's mom!  And Gordie too!  What a cute name!

 

Hope everything goes well with you guys tomorrow when you pick Harley up!  Just remember that you can ask the Vet techs to help carry Harley to the car.  They should do that anyway!

Wanted to share this with you since you were asking about bowls….

 

I bought this for Henri…

http://www.drsf.....atid=20481

 

And then you could use the single elevated dish for their water bowl……You can see that below the double elevated dish.

 

I got this for my car and I keep it in the trunk….I have a car not a suv and Henri uses this but I also have to pick him up sometimes too…he is 77 pounds…

Pet Gear Easy Step II Pet Stairs

They have a tripple stair one too…

Pet Gear Easy Step III Pet Stairs

 

Hope this helps! smiley

 

Please give Harley some kisses from me and Henri!  We are thinking about you guys!

Member Since:
22 December 2009
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11 May 2010 - 9:33 am
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Glad to read Harley's surgery went well.  

As always, everyone is so great about posting advice and there isn't much to add.  I guess, just be careful about jumping on/off furniture; our Harley likes to be on our bed, so we moved the mattress to the floor so he wouldn't pull/rip anything getting up and down.  Oh, know that too much Tramadol and too little Tramadol can cause the same reactions ... that was a hard one for us to figure out.  Might want to inquire about Gabapentin for phantom pain .  And sleep whenever you can ... it may be a long two weeks!

I pray your recovery goes well!

Amputation on 11/10/09, due to Histiocytic Sarcoma in left elbow. Angel Harley earned his wings on 06/24/10.

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