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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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Virginia




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1 November 2020 - 4:12 pm
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Oh my gosh!  This update has me grinning  ear to ear!!😁  Love, love, love that Jake reclaimed HIS bed and his stairs😎🙏  Returning to normal routines best news of all!!

As usual,  can only say ditto to Jerry’s thorough reply.👍   I know you’ll find it all so very helpful.

Now that the stitches  are out and the incision is healed up, the risk of opening up with stair climbing  should. Ot be a problem.  Obviously  you want to make the stairs aren’t  slippery and you can use traction treads  to help with that.  Also, as far as the bed, you can maybe get child’s mattress he can jump up from to “shorten the jump” and jump down on to cushion  the jump down.

Jake will figure out the potty pos6 that works best for him.  Many just go with the squatters, but some do master the leg lift, or lean against  a fence or something  to do the leg lift.  He’ll figure out which “style” he prefers.

Thanks so much for sharing all these great milestones!  Keep em coming!

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!

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15 November 2020 - 10:14 am
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Hi all, it’s been so busy at work lately with covid picking up I haven’t had time to post, but Jakey is still doing new amazing things every day. He has now fully claimed going up my stairs, but I still carry him down. Once his incision site is fully covered in fur Im getting him a more supportive harness so that I can help him go down without carrying him.

Overall he’s been doing great, I’ve probably said this already but y’all were right about the progress that comes after the 2 week mark. During the day he now gets one or two 10-15min walks per day and he doesn’t just walk, he wants to run. It’s hard to keep up with him unless I do a fast walk, lol. Not sure if it’s just more comfortable for him to walk at that pace or he’s just super excited to get out walking about again but he’s so happy either way. He’s also figured out how to lift his leg without stumbling, he’s quite proud of himself and so am I. He’s eating great, getting strong and I’m starting to feel like I did the right thing now. 
 
One concern I have and not sure it’s related but with cancer Im always being vigilant. He’s developed a bit of swelling under his right eye, it’s firm, painless and not affecting his ability to eat or play. He’s never had dental problems, his teeth are very clean, I looked inside his mouth near the gums and molars and all looks well. No abscess or redness, teeth look great. His eye is fine as well, no discharge or anything at out the ordinary, just this firm swelling. I’m trying not to be paranoid but of course my first thought is cancer. This has been going on for about a week, but it also happened once right before his surgery. It’s odd, sometimes it’s more swollen sometimes not. His next appt with his oncologist is Dec. 1st, have ya’ll every seen anything like this?

Pup dreams

Hmmmm?

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 November 2020 - 11:30 am
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Oh you sweet sweet Jake! sf-kisssp_hearticon2 YAY for turning the corner and getting your mojo back, this is the kind of news that inspires us all. WOOHOO!

Yep it’s true, Tripawds do walk faster than a four-legger. It’s a balance and momentum thing, but it comes naturally to them and just makes us move a bit faster. Enjoy the wild ride 😉

I’m not sure about the eye swelling, I can’t recall anything like that especially since there is no discharge. I’ll be curious to see what your onco vet has to say so let us know. 

As for you, stay safe out there OK? You healthcare heroes are amazing and such a blessing to us all. Thank you for all you do, we appreciate you more than you can ever know!

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




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15 November 2020 - 6:02 pm
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Knowing how happy Jake is makes us all happy!!  He’s really come sich a long way in a short period of time!

And his pictures are so handsome, even with that bump

The swelling could be so many things related to sinus, eye ducts, teeth, etc.  A cyst of some sort, bio type thing, something  that maybe just lancing  will fix it.  And of course you are paranoid  about any lump, bump beca6 thos joirney makes everyone that way!!   Usually  whatever it is, is i no big thing though!

And YAY for leg lifting!!!.

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!

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1 January 2021 - 10:54 am
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Hi all, it’s been a while and a lot has happened but Jake is doing alright and had a birthday too, I’m so happy I got another one with him. I’ll try not to make this super long, it’s been a crazy two months with Jake, work during increasing covid cases and life in general.

The lump under Jake’s eye ended up being an abscessed carnassial tooth. His oncologist advised me to see Jake’s regular vet to likely have the tooth extracted. He’s never had dental problems and for an 11 year old pup his teeth are quite sparkly. What surprised and upset me a bit was that despite the obvious infection & need for extraction, the first thing his vet asked about was Jake’s prognosis. Perhaps I misunderstood, but I took this as the vet writing Jake off because of his cancer. She also didn’t feel comfortable treating him without consulting with his oncologist. I brought him in fasting as they had asked, assuming he’d have dental X-rays under sedation as they had mentioned, however nothing was done but a physical exam and she placed him on antibiotics for 5 days. The swelling went down until a few days after he finished the antibiotics. The vet scheduled him to have the tooth extracted a week later, and ended up taking an incisor tooth out as well. He was so swollen and miserable after the surgery I felt terrible for him. A week after that it was clear he wasn’t healing right and during his re-check she found that Jake had developed an oronasal fistula where the incisor was removed. We were then referred to a dental specialist to repair the hole in the roof of his mouth. This surgeon works in the same complex as Jake’s oncologist and the orthopedic doc who performed the amputation.

During his reconstructive surgery the doc had to remove 2 additional teeth because of a lack of attachment to the root. Tissue samples were sent out to pathology to rule out metastatic disease. I couldn’t believe this and I was so scared the cancer had returned. Jake’s teeth have been perfect and healthy and I didn’t understand why this was happening. But then I remembered that in humans, dental issues can be one of the long term effects of chemo & radiation. Also, during his initial cancer treatment, Jake was given a drug called Zolendronate to help stop the bone destruction caused by the tumor. This drug is given to humans for osteoporosis and also has a potential to cause delayed healing specifically after dental surgery. I spoke to the specialist about my thoughts and he agreed that everything I said was indeed possible. 

Fortunately the pathology came back negative for any sign of cancer in his mouth. He’s now a few weeks out from the 2nd dental surgery, however my biggest concern now is his much weight he’s lost since the dental issues began. He had to have soft food for several weeks and became very picky about what he would eat. Now that I’m allowed to give him regular food I’m trying anything to help him regain the weight he lost, I know that last 2 months were hard on him and he was just starting to get back to normal after the amputation.

So as of today, he’s feeling much better, minus 4 teeth, back on his regular diet but still not eating very well and acting mostly like himself. It’s been a tough time since my last post. I didn’t see this coming but I hope now we can get back to healing from all this and get him stronger again. I hope 2021 is good to all of us and our pups. Happy New Year all!

Jakey Update

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1 January 2021 - 12:51 pm
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WOAH! Wow you guys have been through SO MUCH! YIKES! 

First, we are so amazed that you even had the time and energy to update us, and we are so glad you did. Thank you for the work you are doing during this crazy pandemic, you are a HEALTHCARE HERO!

About Jake, that is kind of a crazy ordeal, I’m so sorry you went through it during such a stressful time too. Jake is so lucky to have a mama with a medical background, I’m sure that helped him immensely because you weren’t totally getting lost in fear of the unknown. I’m just thrilled he is better now!

I know what you mean about the question the vet asked about Jake’s prognosis. I had a vet ask the same thing when our Jerry was fighting cancer, almost like she didn’t think the non-cancer treatment he needed was worth the effort if he wasn’t going to live long. I was pretty offended and Jerry showed her, he lived TWO YEARS after that! So hah! I hope with all my heart that Jake will get even more time.

Good to see your sweet boy resting and getting back to a healthy place. Stay strong and know that the worst is behind you, Jake is on the mend and bouncing back in ’21! YESSS!

Stay healthy and keep us posted when you can OK? smiley_clapsp_hearticon2

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Virginia




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1 January 2021 - 6:14 pm
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Well, first of  all a belated HAPPY BIRTHSAY HANDSOME JAKE!!!🎂🎂

What an awful ordeal you and Jake have been through.  You stood by him and stayed strong and advocated  for him.  You didn’t give up nor did Jake!  And boo to that  Vet who tried to dismiss Jake!!  Jake has clearly  intends on showing  her she  needs to remind herself Jake does  not have a timeframe  stamped on his butt!

There’s a high caloric gel you can get at Vitamin stores and some pet stores.  Ask your Bet about it to help Jake supplement his meals.  Also ask the Vet about a nutrition  plan to help him gain weight.  Maybe try feeding  him lots of smaller meals  with anyth6 he will eat.  Macaroni  and cheese is a go to favorite for starters.  Plus it  would be easy to chew.

Give that sweet pup a smooch for us.  And thanks  so much for the update.

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!

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11 January 2021 - 9:28 am
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Hi all, 

Thank you so much for all the love and support, I’m beyond grateful and it’s helping me get through this. Jake’s mouth is all healed up but things went from bad to worse after my last update. 

Since the first dental surgery he had slowly begun to become less interested in food. I chalked it up to the soft diet of chicken and rice that he was getting tired of on top of the antibiotics he’s been on. From the first dental surgery to the last, Jake has been on 4 courses of antibiotics over a 4 week period. Even as a pup Jake’s stomach was sensitive and antibiotics always gave him the runs. I thought that this was no different so I started giving him probiotics and tried harder to get him to eat.

Other symptoms developed over the last 2 weeks, his stomach became very noisy, his stool was consistently loose, and he would randomly regurgitate bits of whatever he had eaten. But the worst was the dramatic weight loss. Some days would be better but I was at a loss and became so upset when he began refusing even just favorite foods and treats. I could tell he was nauseous at times as well. He has been off antibiotics for about 2.5 weeks so I didn’t think that was the culprit. 

He was still acting himself but more easily fatigued, not wanting to eat, loose gassy stool, etc. I started fearing it was cancer related so I got him in to see the oncologist, they did labs and X-rays as well as an abdominal ultrasound but he was free of any obvious cancer. However the abdominal ultrasound showed that his entire GI tract was extremely sick. They decided he needed to be admitted for round the clock monitoring and he was transferred to the ICU at Advanced Veterinary Care Specialists.

They said again that his labs were alright aside from decreased albumin/protein levels which makes sense considering his lack of appetite. But they told me it’s possibly a lymphoma of the GI system. I was hysterical, after everything he’s been through, how strong he’s been and what he’s overcome I couldn’t believe it. He was getting fluids through an IV and they gave him medications to calm his tummy down. I feel terrible putting him through more testing, more doctors, more poking and prodding. I started to question whether or not I should continue. He was admitted Thursday, Friday he has gotten a little worse as he was so protein deficient that fluids were beginning to accumulate in his abdomen. The vet wanted permission to do one more test and place a nasogastric tube. Turns out his GI system was so pissed off that it wasn’t moving things along like normal, so yucky stuff was just backing up making him feel sick. The NG tube would be used to decompress his stomach, remove the bad stuff, take away the nausea, and allow nutrients and meds to go through there much easier since he wasn’t eating. They also wanted to do a fine needle aspiration of his spleen to rule out lymphoma. 

All of this was occurring while I was at work on Friday and I’ve been a mess since he was admitted. I asked the vet if this were her fur baby, would she do this. She says yes. There are two possibilities, he either has the worst case of gastroenteritis they’ve ever seen or lymphoma of the GI system. Both are treatable but in his current state we agreed that further chemo and radiation wouldn’t be a good idea if indeed it was a new cancer. But it had to be ruled out with this test and the NG tube would bring relief either way so I agreed.

I called every 2-3hrs to get an update and around 5pm got some good news. After placing the NG tube they had already suctioned out over 300mL of fluid just sitting in his tummy, no wonder he was nauseous and not wanting to eat. They said he was already looking much better and the results from the spleen aspiration would be in on Saturday. I called throughout the night Friday and got more good news, he was eating!!!! Omg! Thank god! So I kept praying he would get though this whatever happened. Saturday the vet called and told me the spleen was negative and he sus not appear to have lymphoma. So now the diagnosis is likely severe gastroenteritis likely caused by the combo of antibiotics and Carprofen he’s been taking since his initial cancer diagnosis last April. Omg what a relief, but there’s a long road to recovery ahead.

I was allowed to visit him on Saturday afternoon and brought him home last night with a slew of new meds for his tummy and new food as well. They also gave me vitamin B12 that I must inject once a week for 5 weeks. Since I brought him home he’s so tired he just wants to sleep in his cozy bed with his babies. They told me he was eating for them and gave me the same food. But I haven’t gotten him to eat a solid meal yet, just a few of his regular cookies, maybe just the excitement from coming home. I’m praying I can get him to eat today. A lot of the meds have time restrictions, some must be given 30min before meals, one is 2hrs after and can’t be given within 2hrs of the antibiotic they gave me. Poor boy what a mess. I’m familiar with all the meds at least and I’m comfortable doing the injection, he’s just so thin I feel terrible for him and just want him to eat. He keeps turning his nose away from almost everything I bring him. I took today off work to be with him and hope I can work a miracle. Thank you for all the love and prayers.

Virginia




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11 January 2021 - 9:57 am
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Ohhhh myyyyy gosh!!  Was not expecting this!!!!  I was holding my breath the whole time reading  this!!!  And then to finally read he was doing better and his home…..YAAAAAAY!!

Okay, deep breath.  Jake is home and is getting exquisite  care.  I’m sure he is  completely  exhausted and probably could care less about eating right now.  I know there are meds needed before eating, with eating, after eating, etc, so  getting him to eat is important, but it may just be he needs a little reprieve.  Obvioisly you are keeping the Vet in the loop.  Maybe try heating whatever you are feeding him just enough to get it warm.

Is he drinking okay?    Is it possible to put whatever pills he has to take WITH food into some completely  unrelated to the food you are trying to get him  to eat??

He is soooooo lucky to jave you as his hooman!!!  So lucky!!  No matter what, hecould not jave better care♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

((((((((Hugs)))))))

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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11 January 2021 - 10:55 am
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Woooooah! I’m so sorry you guys have been through such a ruff and scary time! I cannot IMAGINE, I think I would totally lose mind. A lot of people would and many would have not been able to move forward with treatment. But you know what? You did it! And Jake has pulled through like a ROCK STAR! smiley10 You two are quite a team and you CAN get through this healing now. Keep cool and know that this is temporary. If you’ve been through amputation recovery you can go through anything together!

How is the B12 given? Is it a subq or intra muscular injection? Just curious.

I don’t remember if I’ve shared this with you or not but our Tripawds Nutrition Blog has these Appetite Tips that are full of ways to get a dog eating. Scroll through. I hope you find something that works. Usually the stinkier, the more novel a food (braunschwager anyone?) the more you can get a pup eating.  

Please keep us posted OK? You have the power of the Tripawds Community behind you, lean on us!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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11 January 2021 - 11:39 am
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Thank you so much for the food tips, and yes you’re right, Im sure the stinkier the food will attract him, lol, at least I hope so. My poor boy is a hot mess, and I totally agree that he’s probably so exhausted from the whole ordeal of being in the hospital that he’s not super excited about eating. He tires easily but that’s to be expected. I’m just trying to be positive so that he feels better too. He’s eaten a few of his regular cookies today so far and drinking a good amount of water with some coaxing. I’m going to try feeding him again in a little while since I’ve gotten most of the time sensitive tummy meds in but there’s an antibiotic that needs to be given with food called Flagyl. I pray this won’t upset his stomachz

The B12 shots are subQ, they told me to administer at the scruff of his neck. I’ve given plenty injections given my line of work, but never my pup, I’m going to go on YouTube to look at techniques. I was never expecting any of this but we’re taking each day as it comes and everyone here has been so supportive helping me get through this. Thank you so much!

Virginia




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11 January 2021 - 2:23 pm
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Yoi’be got this nailed down!!  Good for staying paws too….and because  you have good reason to feel pawsitive!!!  Jake, and you have been through  quite an ordeal these past several weeks, espec these past few days.  He’s just not going to feel all perky and feisty instantly….but he’ll get there….and is!,

Check out how to do subQ, and if  you have a quesrions, let is know.  Many of ud have done that.  .  And of course…..the disclaimer….., ask your Vet as we are not Vets and not  giving Vet advice.😎

Glad he ate some of his treats.  This boy is ho.sjng out for the good stuff!!

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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11 January 2021 - 2:56 pm
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Yep, the stronger and more pawsitive you are, the more he will be too. Animals mirror our emotions. I know you must be exhausted from all this but dang your boy is going to bounce back in a big way!

Thanks for the scoop on the B12, I had no idea that’s how they were given. You can totally do them! Subq on a dog is pretty simple. I did my first ones last year when we started giving Wyatt Ray his Adequan injections. I was terrified at first but it became second nature after the first three or four.

Paws crossed for more food going into that boy’s belly!

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31 January 2021 - 8:52 am
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Hi there,

Things haven’t gotten much better since my last post, Ive been trying very hard to think positive but Im starting to get scared that he may not get through this. He’s still not eating much, I’ve tried everything, every kind of food, supplement, etc. At his checkup this week they weighed him and he’s only 48lbs. My beautiful boy started out about 70lbs.

The vet said his labs have improved but he’s still protein deficient. His protein levels are so low it’s causing him to lose fluid into his abdomen. They called it a protein losing enteropathy. The vet is leaning towards calling this inflammatory bowel disease, but wanted to do an endoscopy to rule out intestinal lymphoma. This problem is, with his current condition there’s a high risk of perforating his bowels because they’re already so weak and inflamed. I decided to hold off, because I feel that even if it’s lymphoma, he wouldn’t survive the treatment. So she gave me more anti nausea meds, probiotics and said to let them know if I change my mind.

He’s barely eating anything, has watery stool, his tummy is so noisy, he looks uncomfortable at times, and he’s so weak. I’m getting scared and I feel so defeated. I thought there would be more time of him feeling good after the amputation, he was doing so well on three legs. I never imagined this would happen and Im scared that Im only prolonging his suffering. He’s getting so thin so quickly. I thought he would get through this but I don’t know how much longer he can make it if he keeps losing weight. I keep thinking I can fix this, that he’ll start feeling well enough to eat, I’ve done everything I can and nothing seems to work on a consistent basis.

I’m terrified to even think of letting him go, just typing this now makes me cry and I’m not ready for this, but I don’t want him to be in pain. Im so scared that Im going to have to make a decision soon. Thank you all for the love and support that got Jake and I this far. I’m more grateful than I can ever convey in words. If y’all have any guidance I will do anything if it will help him. 

Virginia




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31 January 2021 - 11:30 am
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You and Jake have been through sooooo much ever since the dental surgery….and mynheart breaks for you.  To be fearful and scared and not find much to be positive a out os cert understandable!!  Uou are holding ot together  far better than anyone could!!  So cry and scream and do what you need to do to get into a calm and centered  state so you can process things from a different perspective not driven by fear (again, completely   understandable).

As far as”medical tests”, etc., nothing “really bad” is showing  up, is that correct?   The protein loss. the irritable bowel….this seems to be the. main culprit??  Now, I’m not saying  by any means that this isn’t “bad” at all!  It is not a good scenario, but it does seem like it can get under co trol.  Obviously that’s  the goal.  The Vet needs to be real clear that the goal is achievable  and the path laid out for Jake can get better results.  You can maybe ask about other cases the Vet has treated.

Guess I’m wondering if an Internalist Specialist (?)  or Gastro Specialist (?) is an option you should  consider.  I think those are the Specialist  names.

I may have missed it, but what does the Vet say is the actual cause of this?? The long term meds, etc?      Has the Vet drawn any correlation  between the dental surgeries  and the proten situation??

What does the Vet say as far as an expectation  of when Jake will be better proceeding with the current  protocol.   I kk ow previously  she said about two ago it would be a “long haul”.  So what are the suggestion for getting.nutrients in him?  What were her comments,  if a y,  about the weight loss?

Now, when Jake went in for the IV fluids and when he had the fluid drawn off his tummy, he felt a ,lor better and actually ate for a couple of days.  Wondering if that would help again?

Just kind of think out loud.  I know he’s week and does, indeed need recovery  time from everthing  he’s been through.  Tired, not eating, cert not having a party.  But does he show signs of alertness, being engagged, tail wags, etc?  

Don’t  mean to be asking so many questions.  Just letting  you k ow we are all here for you and with you……………and still cheer for Jake!!.

(((((((((((Hugs)))))))))))

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

PS.  Oh…and  are you givi g the meds in some other than his favorite foods???  Do you think of someone other than you brought him a cheeseburger with nompills a where near it, would he eat it?    He may relate you to pills and to eating being stressful..  Just more random thoughts 

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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