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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Maddie's tripawd story... so far!
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26 October 2020 - 4:21 pm
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(Hi Stacy! Your and Griffin's story is one I read through previously, so I recognize the name! I really appreciated the level of sharing in your posts. and I found it helpful since we seemed to have a lot of parallels (diagnosis, front limb, etc.) and you were only a few months ahead of us. So thank you! :-))

I think it is so interesting to see how different dogs adjust their body and movement to account for the loss of limb. I would guess it is pretty common for dogs to take the stairs using Griffin's approach, since they are used to going straight down. I think Maddie was kind of forced to adjust that default movement quickly since our stairs are pretty shallow and steep and her legs are so looooong -- without the adjustment, I imagine she would hit the back of the prior stair and lose control without the second leg in front to take the weight and balance. As the video shows, instead of going straight down, she now slightly turns her body so her front leg is in the center. She managed to adjust so quickly I'm amazed by it. Going up doesn't seem to create any issues for her now. Once she figured out that the back legs work the same, she uses the same approach as she did with four legs -- she just skips a step on the front end.

At this point, she is doing great on the stairs -- I'm still nervous with her and stairs, but I can practically see her rolling her eyes at me. haha

You are welcome to use the video of Maddie on the stairs on the YouTube channel. How she'd do on stairs was something I definitely wanted to know too.

Maddie is still using our ramp down the back stairs, but not as much. Going down, it is probably 50/50. Going up, she still uses it more than the stairs, maybe 70/30. 

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26 October 2020 - 4:32 pm
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Oh! I forgot the important stuff!

We had oncology on Friday. They did a new round of xrays and blood work so we'd have a clear baseline going into chemo. I got a call from the oncologist this afternoon that the radiologist had reviewed the films and they do not see any definite metastases! Of course this doesn't mean it isn't there, but means it isn't obvious and that nothing major has developed there in the last month. *phew*

Maddie had her first round of chemo on Friday. So far she seems to be tolerating it well. She had a rough 24 hours after, but I honestly think it was mostly due to the sedation and not the chemo. She had some urine dribbling for a couple hours (likely sphincter muscles just a little too relaxed due to sedation). Also, although she came home and immediately ate, she then refused food for about 24 hours. Her stool has been a bit loose and grainy, which could be related to the refusal to eat but may also be mild side effect of the chemo.

She has dose 2 of chemo in three weeks. In the meantime, they will be running blood work after week 1 and after week 2 to check her blood count levels. IN particular, the white blood cell count. If too low, there is concern of infection and may put her on some antibiotics.

But she seems to be feeling just fine and has been cheery, full of greeting tail-wags and smiles, and even presented Jeremy with a toy when he got home today. All in all very normal Maddie behavior. Her anxiety licking has decreased a bit too. All in all a pretty good couple of days for her.

Virginia




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26 October 2020 - 5:30 pm
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YAAAAY FOR A GOOD CHECK UP AND CLEAR XRAYS!!!  😁😁

And love hearing how she has figured put the stairs.  We knew she would.  Everything  is a lostening curve and figuring  thi gs out at their own pace and in their own way.

Curious, she has to be sedated for chemo?  What kind is she taking that requires that?

Hugs 

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

PS. We'll meed stair video from your RockStar to encourage others😎

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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26 October 2020 - 6:21 pm
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Hi!  We avoid going downstairs in our apartment building because the steps are narrow and uncarpeted, but they are shallow and wide enough to make walking upstairs pretty easy for Griffin.  That said, when we visited family with uncarpeted wooden stairs inside the house, Griffin became pretty adept at going down, at times without assistance or supervision (which made me very nervous!).  I have the same question as Sally about sedation for chemo.  Griffin has done both Carboplatin and Doxorubicin, the latter of which is done on a slower IV drip, but neither of them has required him to be sedated.  I'm interested in learning more about how Maddie's oncology team approaches her chemo protocol.  I'm glad our blog is helpful - it's a small way of giving back to the Tripawds community that has given so much to us!  Hugs from NYC! ~ 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

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26 October 2020 - 7:02 pm
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Ah sorry for the confusion. The sedation wasn't required for the chemo. They did it mostly for the xrays since Maddie gets nervous at the vet and won't lie still or on her back. And she's a big girl so hard to make her do much if she doesn't want to.

Virginia




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26 October 2020 - 7:27 pm
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Oh, okay! Yeah, sedation for xrays!  I do find that "light sedation" for real short term usually knocks my dogs on their butt for the entire day!!

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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27 October 2020 - 1:13 pm
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sytske said

You are welcome to use the video of Maddie on the stairs on the YouTube channel. How she'd do on stairs was something I definitely wanted to know too.

  

Aww thank you so much, we really appreciate it! Here's a little video we made to share her story with the world:

I hope things are still going well! Glad to hear there were no mets and chemo tolerance was fairly good. Keep us posted.

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




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27 October 2020 - 7:14 pm
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Ohhhh Maddie, Maddie, Maddie!!   Melting my heart  with thos video!  You are so gorgeous AND so unbelievably  happy showing off your tripawd  stair skills😎

More smooches from is for Maddie please😘

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie!

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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28 October 2020 - 1:29 pm
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What a sweet compilation! When you put things all together like that, it is amazing to see how far she has come in so short a time. The surgeon and oncologist told us we would be surprised at how quickly she bounced back, but still a surprise. Thanks for sharing.

Today she had a "oops, I forgot I'm missing a front leg" moment. She was stalking a squirrel and tried to jump up the tree after it. This is something she would try to do pre-amputation, too, but this was her first real effort post-amputation. She quickly discovered she didn't have that left front leg to help stabilize her so she flailed awkwardly and lost her balance. She didn't hurt herself and is totally fine, and I had to try not to laugh at the goofy, awkward scene playing out before me. I'm sure she will find a way to adjust her approach to squirrel chasing, because she is that determined. sp_hearticon2 Although the tree chase was awkward, her gait during the initial approach was amazing smooth! https://i.imgur.....evG0LR.mp4

Virginia




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28 October 2020 - 6:34 pm
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OMD!!!  LOVE THIS VIDEO!!!  Maddie is soooo focused and intent on getting that squirrel!  And yep, she paid  zero attention  to how ma y legs she has....she was just Maddie being Maddie😎

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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28 October 2020 - 6:35 pm
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Yes she really has made such huge progress! I enjoyed seeing that too.

The squirrel stalking was so fun to watch, she was so sneaky she didn't even show her Tripawd hop. And good for you for not panicking at her stumble. That's normal and she will figure things out as the weeks go on (and get stronger too). By not flipping out over her little tip-over, you're doing a great job normalizing things.

Thanks for sharing the video, it's so fun to watch her!

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




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28 October 2020 - 7:31 pm
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Okay, I can't  help myself.  You gave me an "excuse" to post a picture of front legger tripawd, with  TPLO surgeries on each back leg (separately).  Here's Frankie treeing a squirrel.

And the other picture is my Blind RockStar Merry Myrtle helping him

Thanks for the "excise" Maddie!

  

  Screenshot_20201028-211930_Photos.jpgImage Enlarger

Screenshot_20201028-211952_Photos.jpgImage Enlarger

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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28 October 2020 - 9:14 pm
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Oh Sallly these are great!!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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29 October 2020 - 5:26 pm
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Sally, I like your perspective -- rather than being unsuccessful at catching the squirrel, Frankie succeeded at treeing the squirrel. I'll have to adjust my thinking on that so Maddie can succeed in the scenario. I have been thinking that if those pesky squirrels would just come down, she wouldn't have to try climbing a tree, but so far there has been no talking sense into those squirrels. smiley4

As a quick update/clarification on Maddie's latest xrays from last week. Although the oncologist said there was not obvious metastatic disease visible and no obvious and major changes from her xrays a month ago, the radiologist did see a blip or blop of some kind, so I thought I'd share what they told us about that, since I now have the written visit summary of the radiologist's follow up.

Upon the radiologist's review, they saw "a soft tissue/mineral opaque punctate region located within the caudal dorsal thorax, at the level of the sixth intercostal space." It could represent a blood vessel on its end, a benign pulmonary osteomas, or possible metastatic nodule. They didn't opine on which they believe it to be. However, the radiologist found this visible in only one of the views, and the oncologist told me that metastatic nodules are generally visible in all views.

However, it doesn't change the current plan and approach to treatment, which is four doses of carboplatin.

Virginia




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29 October 2020 - 8:10 pm
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I remember that shadows, or something opaque, showed up on one of Happy  Hannah's xray.  It was just "something" that was nothing.    And it was not showing up in all views either.

Onward and upward!!

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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