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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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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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The Rainbow Bridge



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1 February 2021 - 11:07 pm
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Hey I forgot to say that if you call one of those integrative vet clinics I listed they are likely to carry the RX Clay, that way you won’t have to wait any longer than necessary to help his belly.

I hope you guys had a good day!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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4 February 2021 - 8:08 am
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Hi there,

Still struggling to get him to eat, but the loose poop is a little better thanks to some rice water, pumpkin, and some all natural kaolin/pectin liquid I found. His checkup yesterday was ok, he’s now down to 45lbs. The vet suggested doing the endoscopy but said in his condition there’s a high risk of intestinal perforation, she wants to rule out GI Lymphoma. To be honest, I dont want to put him through more treatment that would he would likely not tolerate. So I respectfully declined and asked what else we can do. So now we’ve added a steroid to the mix to see if that will calm down his tummy, increase his appetite and get him to gain some weight. I’m praying this works, he’s so skinny I’m getting more worried if he keeps losing weight. Seemed a bit nauseous the rest of the day after his appt and despite eating really well the day before, I was not so lucky yesterday. Not sure what changed and I was so happy he liked Turkey, but now he’s turning his nose to everything again. I’m trying to make eating stress free, he does seem to have a bit of anxiety around food. Last nite he acted like he wanted to eat, I had some bread he liked, he would sniff it, take a bite and then spit it out. I don’t get it. But now that he’s got some steroids in him I hope this changes. Thank you all for the great suggestions.

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4 February 2021 - 9:03 am
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I'm sorry he's still struggling. I thought of you last night when I read about Fecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT) in Dr. Marty Goldstein's new book, the Spirit of Animal Healing. This sounds so gross but it blew my mind and is something I would absolutely look into right now. 

I'm sharing images from the book so that you can learn about this right away, and direct from Dr. Marty, one of our favorite integrative vets. Sorry the lousy quality of pics! We will do a full review soon but for now please look into this therapy. It sounds like this could be what he needs to bounce back.

If you click on them they'll enlarge for you.

FMT1-650x1024.jpgImage Enlarger

FMT2.jpgImage Enlarger

FMT3-1.jpgImage Enlarger

FMT4-1.jpgImage Enlarger

FMT5-1.jpgImage Enlarger

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The Rainbow Bridge



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8 February 2021 - 10:36 am
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Just checking in to see how Jake is doing. Paws crossed he's feeling better!

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Marcia
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10 February 2021 - 11:12 am
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I found your post while searching for other members in OC. We are looking for a second opinion and quote for amputation. Our RSM vet quoted about $3000 but hasn't been too consistent with their recommendations, which makes me a bit nervous. How did your cost compare? Your vet experience seems so much better. 

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14 February 2021 - 5:09 pm
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Omg the steroids are a miracle!!! But first, thank you Jerry for the fecal transplant info. I read every page you included, it was so interesting and maybe something I’ll have to consider in the future. I’ve been researching everything lately about Jake’s IBD.

So it’s been 11 days since Jake was placed on Budesonide (1mg/mL) at 1mL every 12hrs. But within 24hrs he was hungry, wanting to eat everything Omg! By 48hrs he was eating his kibble, he walked over to the pantry where I keep it sealed, he hasn’t done that in weeks, I was so excited but I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but to my surprise as soon as I poured a little kibble in (I feed him Solid Gold Senior Young at Heart Senior, Chicken, Sweet Potato and Kale), he ate so fast I barely blinked and he’d eaten it all! Woohoo! My mom and I weighed him by weighing me then weighing me holding him, and in just over a week he’s gained almost 3lbs! He’s even starting to have normal poops! It’s been slow but yesterday he had the first poop I’ve been able to pick up in a while. His eyes even look better.

Im so happy he’s eating that I’m more than happy to ignore the negative side effect of him wanting to party at 2am squeaking his toy in my face, lol. It’s pretty funny but sleep has become an issue again but for a different reason. Hopefully that part will sort itself out but I can’t thank you all enough for all the support. Praying he keeps eating like this and gaining weight slowly.

Virginia




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14 February 2021 - 7:07 pm
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Doing a HAPPY SQUEAKY TOY DANCE AT 2 A.M😂😂

Boy oh boy, we needed a reason to smile and you gave us one....or several!!!-😁😁😁

Doing a HAPPY ABLE TO PICK UP POOP DANCE😂

And eating and gaining 3 lbs.YAAAAY!!!!!😁😁   I would do a dance for that too, but the first two dances wore me out😉😉😎😎

Ypu hung in there and stayed the course!  You knew your Hake had some fight in him!!♥️♥️

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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14 February 2021 - 7:23 pm
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What a fantastic update!  I'm so very happy to hear that Jake is gaining weight and eating regularly.  The stress of your pup not eating is a horrible kind of stress that can become all consuming, so I'm just as happy for you that the biggest issue now is 2am play sessions!  I'm rooting for Jake to keep up the great weight gain and fun times! sp_hearticon2

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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15 February 2021 - 1:08 pm
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That is REALLY good to hear! I'm so happy he's chowing down and being active again. Love it!

From our experience, steroids have their purpose in the short term and they can be fantastic to help a dog in Jake's situation. In the long term, it helps to find out what the cause of his GI issues were so once he's put weight back on and stable, you can help his gut become 100% happy again. How long is he going to be on the 'roids?

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19 April 2021 - 1:23 pm
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Hi all,

Since my last post it’s been a bit of a roller coaster again both with Jake and me being busy at work. The steroids were doing wonders at first, he was starting to gain weight slowly and seemed to be on the mend. But last week he lost interest in food again and I have no idea why. His checkup was this past Friday and he’s lost 4lbs, so now he’s down to 40lbs. The internist said it could be lymphoma in his abdomen based on the ultrasound findings, but it could also be the inflammatory bowel disease too. Problem is the only way to know for sure is a biopsy of the small intestine & lymph nodes, which has a lot of risks with his current health. They told me I need to start thinking about humane euthanasia and I’m crushed. He was doing so well before all the stomach stuff and now they’re telling me it’s game over. I don’t know how to give up but I don’t want him to suffer either. I don’t know where to begin and I’m scared of when that time comes. I just need him to eat. I contacted his oncologist who’s out of town this week, but I guess I’d feel better hearing from him that there’s nothing else I can do. How do I begin to comprehend not having him in my life, I love him so much I will do whatever I can to help him, even if that means giving him peace, I’m just terrified of making that call prematurely. Thank you all for being with me on this journey, I hope it’s not over yet.

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19 April 2021 - 3:30 pm
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I was thrilled to see him on Instagram today, and was so hoping for good news. My heart hurts for you. I'm really sorry things aren't looking good right now.

His eating challenges have always been so tricky, I know we've thrown a million ideas out there before. Other than the steroids, do you have any idea if something tasty, new and novel got him eating again back in February? What's changed if anything? Did the vet mention tweaking his steroid dosage at all? Is there any possibility of the FMT treatment?

Jake is such a strong boy. He's been such a fighter through this whole journey and so have you. It's normal to feel so conflicted about the euthanasia decision, and if you want some help trying to decide, a hospice vet who can measure his quality of life without bias the way to go. I can help you find one if you'd like, just let me know.

((((hugs))))

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




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19 April 2021 - 8:39 pm
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Other than not wanting  to eat, how is he overall?  Alert, tail wags, normal poops (or fairly normal under the circumstances)?

Assuming Jake is still having good quality,  my "sense" is you still have options to try.  Jerry mentioned a few things

Other than the steroids, do you have any idea if something tasty, new and novel got him eating again back in February? What’s changed if anything? Did the vet mention tweaking his steroid dosage at all?

It may be a matter of upping the steroids, as well as changing  up the food.  Again, ANYTHING  yummy, regardless of the nutritional  value at this point.  I guess my main question would be what else can be done of it's IBD.  It seems that if it was the lymphoma  issue, the steroids would not have helped at all....not even short term.

I dunno...it just seems that you would  not have seen such a good turn around if it was lymphoma.  And if it's IBD, it may mean that the steroids need to be tweaked or a differen approach needs to be looked into.

Do you think another opinion would be helpful where a new set of eyes could look at his situation from scratch...from  fresh perspective?

Let us know uour thoughts and how Jake is doing "otherwise".  

Hugs

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

PS...Just saw where Max's mom gave him a rabbit dinner that he ate after jot eating  anything else.  Not sure where you buy rabbit....maybe  the frozen section???   I know, I know... .....a bunny😥

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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25 April 2021 - 8:42 am
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My Jake went over the rainbow bridge yesterday afternoon. I’m so overwhelmed with grief I don’t know what to do with myself. He had been declining all week, not eating well, not enjoying life as much as he used to, some tail wags, but he had become so weak, even getting off the couch became difficult. Yesterday morning I woke up because I heard a strange rapid thumping noise. I had been cuddling right next to Jake and noticed he was awake too, just staring at me and cuddling. It was his heart, it was beating so fast and loud. He looked uncomfortable but he’s so stoic he just layed there with me and gave me kisses. When I rub his ears I usually get a big moan out of him but even that’s been hard to get the last few weeks. I tried to get him up to go potty but he was even more weak than the day before. We’ve tried everything to get him to eat, I recently got some ground bison which he loved and I thought maybe this was a good sign. But he wasn’t eating enough still. When Jake was first diagnosed, he and I talked, and I told him to let me know when it was time, I know the look well. It’s the same look he gave me when he was in so much pain right before his amputation. 

But yesterday I was in denial, even though he was giving me that look. I instead worried that maybe the rapid heart rate, the panting, the weakness, was a sign of infection which can happen with prednisone , or maybe he had an electrolyte imbalance related to his not eating enough, although he was drinking water and always being a sweet boy. So I took him to his internist at Advanced Veterinary Internal Med to get checked out. He was so weak they took him in on a gurney. He was so brave. When the vet called me to go over what she found the first thing she asked me was, “How is Jake’s quality of life?” I had to be honest and tell her that it’s not great, that he’s struggling to just get outside now, not eating well, he seemed down at times but always loving. I asked her to be honest with me, if there was any hope that he could come back from this, and she said there’s always things we can do, but in the long term, should we be doing more to Jake, and despite my denial I knew she was right. She said there was no infection, but that his rapid heart rate and panting could be discomfort, pain, his body being malnourished despite everything we’ve tried, I was and am heartbroken. But I don’t want him to suffer for my own need to keep him with me.

My mom was with me and we all made the decision to give Jake peace. He wasn’t very happy anymore, not playing, not able to go potty on his own very well, I still can’t believe it. Because of covid we had to meet them outside in the back of the building in a quiet area. He was on a nice warm bed with blankets, just looking at me with that beautiful face. At first he was a little worked up because my mom and I were crying. He always gets upset when I cry, so I told myself I needed to be strong for Jake so that he was calm. I pulled myself together and we sat outside together for over an hour, just enjoying the fresh air, cuddling, hugging him, I massaged him. He gave me lots of kisses, and he gave me that look like it was time and he was ready to be free. I got on the bed and was holding him the whole tone with his head in my lap. It was so peaceful and heartbreaking at the same time. I didn’t want to say goodbye but I didn’t want him to be uncomfortable anymore. 

When the vet came outside to give him the medication, he was so calm, so peaceful, his head in my lap and cuddling, he looked at me with so much love. And then he was gone. I kept him with me for another hour, just petting him, loving him, and finally letting out the crying that I’d been holding in. He was so beautiful, such a beautiful perfect soul, I’m devastated. I didn’t know I wouldn’t be taking him home yesterday, I didn’t think that I had to make the decision so soon. I feel so empty, so lonely and so lost. My apt is full of his toys, blankets, his smell. I miss him so much I can barely breathe. We tried everything, I thought there would be more time, but I’m trying to remember that I got almost a year and a half more time with him after his diagnosis and loved him with everything I have. Im so lonely. I just want him back, and I feel lost.

New York, NY
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25 April 2021 - 9:28 am
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Steph - I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Jake.  You and he fought so long and so hard through his cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, and I hope you can take some solace in the fact that you left no stone unturned in your quest for Jake to live the best life for as long as he could.  It took so much courage for you to make the decision to let Jake go peacefully knowing how devastated you would be with him gone, but you did it because of how much you love Jake.  He lived his life adored by you and together you made amazing memories.  I hope in time that those memories bring you nothing but joy.  For now, I hope you can find peace and comfort in knowing that you put Jake's needs ahead of your own, and there is no greater expression of love than that.  May Jake's memory be a blessing.  sp_hearticon2Stacy

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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