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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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Koda Bear’s Journey to Tripawdship
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Forum Posts: 37
Member Since:
19 February 2021
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19 February 2021 - 6:24 pm
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We are a military family just returning from Germany.  After the very long journey for both us, our furry kids and COVID19 we made it safely to the States awaiting the time for us to move westward.  Because of COVID19 and traveling by vehicle from the East Coast to the West Coast, we decided to fly the kids. During the required Domestic Health Check prior to their scheduled flight, the Vet discovered what she highly suspected to be Osteosarcoma in Koda’s front leg; pure devastation. In calling our friend who owns a kennel immediately hooked him up with an Oncologist shortly after arrival.  The beauty during this entire journey, thus far, is everything is falling into place as best as it can for Koda.  

Despite all of his pain, he still smiles, wants to play, run through the woods and has a huge heart with lots more love to give and we want to help him in his fight.  His amputation is scheduled for next Monday and his follow-on treatment plan includes sending samples to a pharmaceutical lab for the development of a vaccine to help his body both fight and destroy the cancer cells remaining within his body.  Has anyone else heard of this or had any experience with these targeted vaccines? We are told Koda will get three vaccine treatments along with chemotherapy.

We are certainly praying for the best possible outcome for Koda Bear and thank you to all for sharing your stories and experiences. It has made a tremendous difference for us.  It is our wish that we all can contribute as well for the benefit of others.

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 February 2021 - 11:28 pm
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Hello and welcome! Sorry you had to join our club but we are glad you posted!

I will have feedback tomorrow, for now, yes, check out our articles about immunotherapy:

https://tripawd.....notherapy/

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




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20 February 2021 - 8:11 am
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Wow, what an ordeal.  You have to be exhausted  mentally and physically jist from all the travel itself.  And then to get the kick in the gut news on top of all that.

Of course, Koda Bear is oblivious to all this and is just enjoying  being Koda! Bear. Koda has no worries about the tomorrows or the yesterdays.  ,soda just loves fully present in the NOW.  

The link Jerry gave you, as well as input from others, can provide  more insight into the vaccines.  You clearly adore Koda and will make any decision  for him out of love, and that will always be the "right" decision. ❤  koda doesn't  have a timeframe stamped  a where on his butt and doesn't  count days on a calendar.  He just makes every day count.  

To help prepare your ,home for the Tripawdship of Mr. Kods Bear,  you'll want non slip scatter rugs for traction   if you have hardwoods.  A dog bed more on the firm side rather than squishy helps with balance when trying to stand.  It's also good for joints.

If he's a big boy, raised food and water bowls help prevent strain.

Have lots of yummy food around to help give him his pain meds.

And keep lots of yummy food around for yourself to help deal with any stress you are experiencing!  Chocolate  does wonders! 😉

The first two weeks can be a little ruff.  It's major surgery  all while trying to adjust to three.  Good pain management and taking things slow and easy are the foundation of a "good" recovery.  Jist short, leashed potty breaks, then rest, rest, rest.  Drinking and peeing   are important, but he may not poop for a few days and may mouthfeel like eating much.  Avoid steps during this period of possible.   No running, no jumping, etc.

When you go in to pick Koda up from the clinic, don't  even bother looking  at his jncision  or drawing  any attention  to it.  Jist look into his druggy eyes, tell him he's a good boy and he's going home!!!

How much does Koda weigh?  Usually  they are sent home with Gabapentin,  maybe Tramadol, an anti inflammatory and an antibiotic.   Some have a pain patch too.  

Sou ds like you have a very lucky pack to jave you as their hoomams.  Tell is more when you get a chance to catch your breath.  And a SALUTE to you and all the Military 🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇸🇺🇸

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!

New York, NY
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20 February 2021 - 8:55 am
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Hi Koda Bear's human (what's your name?)!  It seems that you are handling a very stressful situation quite well!  Be sure to take care of yourself too, and don't ever hesitate to reach out for help here.  This Tripawds community is simply amazing!

I saw that you posted on the Easy Home Cooked Recipe thread.  I chose to start cooking for Griffin after his cancer diagnosis, but he still did eat canned dog food and kibble.  One option you may wish to consider is consulting with a holistic vet who might make recommendations about diet and supplements.  Steve (Ziva's the rottie's dad) recommended Dr. Anna Maria Wolf at PetSynergy.  She is located in Washington state, local to Steve, but as I'm in NYC, I did a phone consult.  I'm not sure to where on the West Coast your family is moving, but could be an option.  I also wrote a post about Griffin's supplement regime:  https://tripawd.....endations/

Another recommendation is to research physical therapy options for Koda Bear after the surgery.  Depending on where the surgery is occurring, that hospital/clinic might have options.  It takes a lot of work for any dog, but especially big dogs, to adjust to life on 3 and in addition to the body work they will do with Koda Bear, the rehab vet will teach you about exercises you can do at home to keep him in top shape.

Good luck with your preparations for surgery and keep in touch! sp_hearticon2 Stacy

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

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 February 2021 - 2:16 pm
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You've gotten some fantastic advice from Sally and Stacy! Thanks ladies!

Koda is one lucky pup to be so adored and cared for. Sounds like everything is lined up for a good recovery. What oncology clinic are you working with? I love that they are working with the immunotherapy treatments. They are the most promising osteosarcoma therapies in ... well, ever! 

What kinds of questions do you have for us? How can we help you guys get ready? 

Be sure to check out Jerry's Required Reading List , our What to Expect articles and the Tripawds e-books library for lots of tips!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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Forum Posts: 37
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23 February 2021 - 2:12 pm
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Thank you so very much Jerry!  

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25 February 2021 - 2:53 am
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Great job on the recovery so far, Koda!!! Extra nommy noms for you!

We had a Koda (GSD mix) as well, the bestest boy he was. 🙂 Also been through the overseas move for postings a couple times (currently in UK) so we completely understand the upheaval. Thank goodness for your excellent support system that helped Koda during his diagnosis and getting treatment underway quickly. 

Our kitty Yum Yum became a Tripawd one week ago (fibrosarcoma). A combo of gabapentin (nerve blocker) and Onsior (anti-imflammatory) is doing wonders for her and she is feeling much more herself already.

Best wishes for a continued smooth recovery and lots of happy times together. sp_hearticon2

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25 February 2021 - 3:00 am
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Forgot to say, regarding the vaccines, since we've moved pets overseas a couple times we totally understand that it is NOT negotiable. When the pets move with you, they get vaccinated, by law. And microchipped - sometimes twice (Int'l vs US chips are a thing, ugh!) I have no problem with vaccines or microchips BUT I also realize there can be health risks associated with them. It's a balance between healthy and safe.

All this being said, there are new vaccines that are safer and ways to inject in different sites on the body to help avoid/minimize the associated risks. Note to everyone: worth researching and discussing with your vet.

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25 February 2021 - 12:47 pm
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Thank you so very much to all for your kind words of support laced with lots of love and extra help!  

My most sincere apologies for not responding for I am not exactly tech savvy and having a bit of an issue in navigating here.

Our Oncologist is in Edmonds, WA, Drs Becky Murray and Chealse Tripp from Vet Caner Specialist.  Can’t speak highly enough about them.

The experimental vaccine treatment is called Autologous Cancer Vaccine from Torigen Pharmaceuticals located in Farmington, CT. The vaccine is “an experimental treatment regulated under the USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics that may help eliminate remaining tumor cells after a partial or complete surgical excision.  The treatment is created using a portion of the pet’s tumor cells combined with an extracellular matrix nanoparticulate derived from porcine small intestinal submuccosa (ECM-SIS). This bulking agent is a derivative of an FDA approved product that ha been used in over 2,000,000 human patients over the past decade. This vaccine is a treatment that is used to stimulate Koda’s immune system to target and form a response against any remaining cancer cells. This is an experimental treatment where efficacy has not been established.  Although safety has not yet been fully established, a reasonable expectation of safety has been established”. (Torigen Information and Consent Form).

Koda is expected to receive up to 4 dosages costing between $1800-$2000 in total.

Hope this provides some better insight/explanation and certainly a worthy discussion with your oncoligist.

HUGE KODA BEAR HUGS for all!

Catherine 

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 February 2021 - 2:11 pm
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How cool he gets to have such a fantastic vet team! An it's pawesome that Koda is getting the Torigen vaccine as well! Here are other Tripawds who have had it too.

You are more tech savvy than you think, Catherine! If you'd ever like a tutorial or have tech questions just let us know.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 37
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25 February 2021 - 6:32 pm
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Thank you so very much Jerry!!! I will check out how others faired using the vaccine. Even more exciting there are others who have tried this.

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3 March 2021 - 1:28 pm
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I see your oncologist is in Edmonds. I'm in the Seattle area too. Hi! 🙂 Happy to make connections locally.

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