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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Lacey - 9 year old Great Pyrenees about to become a Tripawd
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Sacramento
Forum Posts: 8
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21 October 2021
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7 November 2021 - 9:42 pm
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Hello Tripawd community! Sharing our story.... We found out about Lacey's front leg osteosarcoma about two weeks ago. After a deep dive on this website, the podcasts and some helpful chats, I've learned so much and am feeling more at ease. I've been on the phone and email a lot and am now able to report we're in a UCD osteosarcoma immunotherapy trial with an amputation date of 11/8 (tomorrow morning).

Luckily no lung spread as of her pre surgery checkup. I've been working up to this surgery date with as much prep work as possible but still know that when I pick her up I will feel helpless. She's a slow walker and a critical thinker (like most GP's I've been told) so I hope she's able to figure this out. She'll have to and I will do my best to get out of her way. She's about 110 lbs right now so my worst fear is my back getting hurt and we're both out! I've ordered the Flagline harness so I'm sure that will help. We don't have more than 1-3 steps around the property so I'm thinking some temporary ramps might work during recovery. Any tips in that department are welcome for a large, slower dog like Lacey.

Anyway, I wanted to share how this goes for us as I've appreciated other stories. She's our sweet Lacey and means the world to us. I tell her every day we're in this together and I've got her back. 

Wasn't sure how to add a photo so here's a link: https://www.dro......jpeg?dl=0

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 November 2021 - 9:49 pm
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I'm so glad you decided to post Lacey's story, thank you.

She has such a great group of people looking out for her, every chance in the world to do great on 3!

I'm going to run now, long day with the time change and all but I wanted to welcome you. I'll be back tomorrow with more feedback! Stay tuned for more from the community. 

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




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8 November 2021 - 6:21 pm
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First of all, that picture is a priceless treasure!  OMD!  Soooo. sweet!!

You've  got Lacy's back and we've got your back as well as Lacey's. too!!!  So no worries, we wre here to help you navigate thry recovery and on to celebrating  as Lacey  becomes Lacey again....but pain free!!!

And no indeedy....you will NOT feel "helpless" when you go pick Lacey up, you will feel soooo Happy and joyful because  surge is done and she's going home!!   Your energy will be confident and strong and Lacey will feed off of your energy.  And no k deedyLacey will not feel "helpless"....she will be so happy to see you and to be going home!.. ANo need to look at her incision.  All Lacey wants to see is you looking into her eyes (although a bit "druggy" eyes) smiling and telling her she's a good girl and she's going home!!

While she might not be able to handle those few steps at first, you can assist her with a towel sling jist to help her balance....not necessarily  to lift her.  The harness you ordered should help.   Some dogs, like my Happy Hannah, didn't  like any help at all and would sort of freeze up with a sling.  

Sounds like you've done your research on so many levels, especially  getting great recovery tips here.  See how things go with the harness  first, as you may not need any type of ramp during recovery anyway.    Ask any questions as they arise.

Update when you can....and try and get some rest while Lacey is recovering and resting  at the clinic..

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!

Sacramento
Forum Posts: 8
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21 October 2021
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10 November 2021 - 10:41 am
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Hello and thank you for your support and input! After we dropped her off Monday morning, we found out her surgery was delayed a day due to a surge in emergencies at the hospital. That was heart wrenching since she had to stay there even longer, but good news is that surgery was yesterday, was successful, and she is recovering well. She hasn't tried to get up as of this morning but they said she's still trying to figure out what happened. I get updates twice a day from the hospital, which is appreciated. We hope to be able to bring her home tomorrow.

I have two other dogs (Lab and border collie) and am wondering how things will go once she's back. They have always respected her space so I suspect a welcome sniff then they'll back off. Any experience in that area? Maybe I'll play that one by ear as well.

Thanks!

-Amy

Virginia




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10 November 2021 - 11:07 am
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Bummer about delay, but thrilled surgery is done and successful!!!

No worries about not standing on her own yet.  Still shaking off the anesthesia and still heavily doped up.  Sloooowly but surely is the name of the game.  She's in good hands so uou can rest easy.

Yeah, your other dogs will do some sniffing then give her the space she needs.  Just give Lacey a few minites to get in and get settled  first.  She may feel a bit vulnerable (as well as drugged) and give a growl to say back off....may not.  

Thanks for the update and thrilled to hear it's a good one!

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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10 November 2021 - 4:52 pm
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Amy thank you for letting us know how she's doing. This is really great news! She will be home before you know it.

Regarding the other dogs, yep, they're usually pretty cool about it. I would want to make sure that the others are on leash when you bring her home, just in case. Do you have someone who can help with the reintroduction?

Also, does Lacey have a nice quiet place where she can recover? Like maybe an x-pen in your living room, or a crate? Being on pain meds can make her wonky and want to den away from the others. Not always, but it happens sometimes.  

We did this post about tripawds and siblings a lonnng time ago but it's still relevant, hope it helps you feel better.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Sacramento
Forum Posts: 8
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11 November 2021 - 8:14 pm
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Thank you both for your advice on reintroduction and support in general. I got the call that she hopped a few times today so I should be able to pick her up Friday (tomorrow) night. It took her a while to try to get up. Because she's so big and tall they're making sure I have a team to come pick her up and get her out of the car. She will have been at UCD for 5 days so I'm hoping she'll be very motivated to walk once she's back home. It's amazing how you miss the things that drove you crazy, like barking for chew treats after dinner. She wouldn't settle down until she had one.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 21446
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11 November 2021 - 8:40 pm
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Wonderful that she is hopping around some!  Homecoming  will lift her spirits and yours too!

Yeah, behavior  that had been "annoying" before is now celebrated  and even encouraged!!!   Spoiling a tripawd is so much fun!!!!

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!

Virginia




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13 November 2021 - 11:46 am
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Checking in on  sweeet Lacey....

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



Forum Posts: 31115
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13 November 2021 - 12:53 pm
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Me too! Hope she is home and by your side now. 

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

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Sacramento
Forum Posts: 8
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13 November 2021 - 1:15 pm
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Hi! We got her late last night and have her setup in our sunroom for easy access to the yard. We gave her dinner, an immunotherapy treatment (she's in a clinical trial), then she wanted to go outside and drink a lot of water, and finally passed out! The family hung out with her most of the night and I slept by her side to keep watch. She was very happy to see her humans and one of our dogs. The other dog (our lab) tends to eat her food so she growled at him which is normal behavior, so we all just laughed.

She's hopping (slow and steady) which is a relief, I wasn't sure how that would go. Her urine is crazy dark but I'm sure that's the meds, and she seemes a bit dehydrated. She's a weird one who only drinks water outside, so I'm sure that's why. I've been looking for dinner options that will be easy on her stomach/etc and have found some options on the tripawds site, so that's the goal for today. Glad we got her on a Friday so I could have help to get a routine going this weekend. I'd post pictures but it's pretty brutal to see. Just imagine mostly shaved torso with a huge incision. But she's sleeping peacefully right now with my daughter rubbing her head.

Phew!

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 November 2021 - 2:38 pm
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Oooh YAY YAY YAY! Here's to weekend snuggle time with Lacey! I'm thrilled that she is home. Sounds like things are headed in the right direction. 

You can tempt her to drink liquids by spiking her water dish and meals with no salt chicken broth or even tuna water. Heck maybe let her see you bring in her outside water bowl? Try to get that urine to lighten up so you know she's hydrating. 

Ah don't worry about the photos, we can take it. No concerns there.

Get well soon Lacey!!!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 21446
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13 November 2021 - 8:46 pm
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WELCOME HOME LACEY!!!  Sounds like she's doing really.  Gave me a little giggle as she's  getting back to "normal" with her growl telling her buddy to back off her food....so cute..

Yeah, as ajerry noted, important to keep her hydrated.   For some reason my Happy Hannah had to be coaxed  (or beibed) to drink the first week or so.  She ate fine, just not interested  in drinking.   I act ended up having to swirl in a spoonful of ice cream to entice her to drink.  I'm sure there were more nutr ways, but this is what worked,

And no worries about showing  incision  pictures.  We consider all that shaved fur (Bets get clipper happy) like a badge of honor Warriors wear.

Thanks 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!

Sacramento
Forum Posts: 8
Member Since:
21 October 2021
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15 November 2021 - 9:49 am
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Hello! Here are my highlights since my last post. She's doing better but it's a slow process for her. 2 nights ago she really didn't sleep and whined in pain when trying to get up. It was a stressful and sleepless night for us. I gave her extra Gaba just to ease whatever was happening. Eventually we were able to lift her carefully and position her better and that seemed to help. Yesterday and last night were much better as far as her sleeping. She's been eating moist food and drinking water outside but going potty is still an issue. She's only tried to pee once outside and still no poop. I've emailed the Dr and will also try giving her pumpkin.

As far as her mobility, it's still slow but she's trying her best. She hopped all the way to her favorite bedroom last night and got in her spot which allowed me to sleep for a few hours in a bed instead of the floor. So, that was very nice! Stitches are looking good too and should be off in 8 days.

Need to get her going on a few things and will circle back soon.

-Amy

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 November 2021 - 9:35 pm
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Hey good to hear from you!

It sounds like the extra dosage was the sweet spot, that's awesome. And she's eating and drinking? YAY! Not pooping at this stage is normal. As for not urinating, yeah, glad you called the vet about that. Let us know what they say. It may just be that she needs more (or maybe less) pain control so she can comfortably get into position. 

I think her mobility sounds like it's making great progress! Remember that she is on nobody's timeline but her own. 

Keep us posted.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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