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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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Maddie's tripawd story... so far!
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The Rainbow Bridge



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29 October 2020 - 9:43 pm
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I'm glad you shared that bit about the blob. It's my guess that the oncologists cover their bases and need let you know about everything just in case. As your vet mentioned, it's probably nothing so stay focused on the plan, the rest of the good news and of course Maddie's enjoyment of life and you'll do just fine!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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30 October 2020 - 1:20 pm
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Maddie had her one-week-post-first-chemo-treatment blood draw today to check her blood counts. They look good! Maddie seems to be tolerating chemo well so far!

(And it was a vet visit that cost only three figures -- we haven't seen that over the last few months... smiley16)

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30 October 2020 - 3:32 pm
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YESSSSSS!!!!! That's awesome!!!!

Isn't it crazy how the costs of amputation surgery really put other vet visits into perspective? It's like when you walk into Costco and walk out for less than $100. Like when does THAT happen?!

Great to hear Maddie is rockin the lab work and chemo. YAY!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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30 October 2020 - 5:45 pm
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That's great news about Maddie's blood counts!  And I totally feel you about the cost of the vet bills.  Are you in a metro area?  I'm constantly shocked at how much more things cost in NYC compared to other places.  Griffin's IV chemo bills were about $1,400 a pop and even though he didn't wind up getting chemo at his visit a few days ago, the bill was still over $1,000.  I am so, so thankful that I have insurance! 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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30 October 2020 - 6:48 pm
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Here is today's picture of pure canine joy:

o1TkyKk.jpgImage Enlarger

Jeremy took Maddie on a walk that is about 3/4 a mile today. They had to take a couple breaks along the way when she was tired, but she was mostly great and seemed to enjoy herself. This picture was taken when they got home, and right before she crashed for a serious nap.

Are you in a metro area?  I'm constantly shocked at how much more things cost in NYC compared to other places.    

I'm in Seattle. Definitely more expensive than a lot of places, although maybe not NYC expensive... We briefly looked into using a vet school in Eastern Washington (about 4 hour drive) for Maddie's chemo, but they didn't get back to us and we didn't want to wait to get started. Also, we were hesitant to make Maddie get used to yet another place.

Isn't it crazy how the costs of amputation surgery really put other vet visits into perspective? It's like when you walk into Costco and walk out for less than $100. Like when does THAT happen?!  

Oh my, SO true about Costco. I will go to pick up one thing for $15 and leave with $150 -- while forgetting the one item I went for.

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30 October 2020 - 7:13 pm
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Hi Jessica!  What an absolutely fantastic photo!  Maddie looks so happy and proud of herself!  I know some folks will chime in about not letting her overdo it and being mindful of soreness she may feel from walking so much, and those are important considerations, but I'm just going to cheer for her from all the way across the country - go Maddie! 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

Virginia




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30 October 2020 - 7:57 pm
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That really is a great picture!  ,Maddie is standing  tall and proud  showing off her tripawd form😎

So glad to hear how well she is doing in so many levels👍  And WOW, a 3/4 mile walk WITH LOTS OF REST STOPS is wonderful!  Maddie is teaching  everyone  to stop and smell the roses and enjoy the journey. 

Keep on keeping on sweeet Maddie❤

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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30 October 2020 - 9:03 pm
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She is SO darn CUTE! Look at that face! I'm totally in love with her! 

You wouldn't happen to be working with Dr Rizzo of Puget Sound Vet Specialists?

Glad to see she's taking her walks slow and easy. Keep in mind that when a dog sits down to rest, it's often a sign that their body calling it a day, which often happens long before their brain! If she is creaky and slow tomorrow (I hope not!), that could be an indicator to keep her walks a little shorter. Let us know how she does!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 November 2020 - 1:22 pm
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Happy to report that Maddie did great and still seemed good the next day. Normal energy and interest in outside (in fact, she pushed for a slightly longer walk than we had planned), no creakiness, and moved great. We are generally trying to increase her activity slowly and at her pace, but to make her slow down after days she stretches herself. Pre-tumor, she was probably a 3-4 mile/day average dog, and I will be surprised if we get back to that. But hey, she has been constantly surprising me in this journey so far, so who knows.

You wouldn't happen to be working with Dr Rizzo of Puget Sound Vet Specialists?

No, although having looked at the website, that place looks wonderful. It was not on the referral list for oncology surgery we got from our vet, probably because it is just far enough away and there were a number of options close by — a benefit of being in an urban area. We have been working with Dr. Williams at Veterinary Specialty Center.

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1 November 2020 - 1:49 pm
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Oh that's terrific! I'm glad she's bounced right back, my guess is that she was pretty fit before surgery. That really helps. Good for you to be so observant and monitoring her activity. Sounds like your expectations are also realistic too. YAY! That will go a long way in keeping her injury free.

I don't know Dr. Williams but yeah, being in a big city has it's plusses! If you really like the clinic feel free to post a recommendation in our Veterinary Specialists Referral Forum:

https://tripawd.....referrals/

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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6 November 2020 - 12:49 pm
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Maddie had her two-week-post-first-chemo-treatment blood draw today to check her blood counts. They ended up doing two samples because the platelet count in the first draw was low. The second sample was a better, but still a bit low. Doesn't sound like they are super concerned about it right now, but I expect we'll talk to the oncologist more about that next week when Maddie goes in for her second chemo treatment. 

Otherwise Maddie has been going great. She has been pretty playful this last week, picking up some toys and even shaking them around. She played a little tug with me a couple days ago. To me this all means she is figuring out more and more her balance on one less leg. She had an epic howling session at a firetruck this morning. 

Some days she walks more and other days less. We haven't gone further than the same walk I mentioned last week, and we have only done that once or twice since. We are still doing more shorter walks. We are still letting her dictate that as much as we can, but trying to give her chances to go out (we now ask her if she wants to go for a hippity-hop instead of asking if she wants to go for a walk). Her gait has evened out quite a bit. Her movement of the back legs has got much more evenly paced and her hop in front isn't quite as extreme as it was, unless she is tired. 

All in all she is doing well.

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6 November 2020 - 2:07 pm
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Cheers to epic howling! Go Maddie!

I'm so happy she's getting that sparkle back. It really is a relief for all of us when we find out that a member is doing better. Your excellent advocacy and observations of her behavior are what's helping to get her into the new normal, keep it up! Slow and steady gets you there!

Great pupdate, thank you for sharing.

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




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6 November 2020 - 10:15 pm
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Love that she likes to go for a "hippity-hop" inst6 of a "walk".  😁

It is wonderful  to hear how well Maddie is doing.  Playing with her toys, epic howling...all delightful milestones!!  She's learning  to ,after in gait jn a way that works for her.  Such a smart girl.

Yeah, a low WBC happens and can delay a treatment.  No biggie.  Glad your Oncomos staying  on top of it.

Give that beautiful  girl a big smooch for is😘

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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17 November 2020 - 1:38 pm
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I'm not sure I've said this here yet, but cancer sucks. I know we all know that, but sometimes you just need to say it "out loud" to other people.

Before anyone panics, nothing major or terrible or tragic has happened. Maddie had her second dose of chemo on Friday and treatment is a reminder that cancer is why we are going through this journey. It is so easy to forget about the cancer when she is acts so happy and playful and when she is so comfortable and pain-free. Until it is chemo day.

The oncologist noted two lumps during Maddie's physical exam that she hadn't noticed before. She said they seemed softer and not hard the way cancer lumps usually are. She offered to do an aspirate test and have them tested or to note the in the chart and track them a bit. We opted to just have her check them at exams for now -- we didn't want to put Maddie through additional procedures and we already know she has cancer.

Maddie's white blood count levels were a bit low again today. It was right below the ideal cutoff for doing chemo, but barely below (like 20-30 below for a count in the thousands). The oncologist said we could either delay chemo and wait a week to check the levels again or go forward and put Maddie on antibiotics for 10 days. The oncologist felt comfortable with either option. Given how close she was to the cut off, we opted to proceed with chemo as scheduled. 

Chemo itself went fine and without incident. Maddie has to be sedated because she is a nervous-nelly and a big girl, so she had some lingering effects the rest of that evening related to that. She had a bit of urine dribbling again for a couple hours and was just generally out of it most of the day. All to be expected. 

But, man, are those couple days after difficult. I think because there is not much you can do but watch your dog not feel well and wait. The hours are looooooong. Chemo seems to make Maddie nauseous or reluctant to eat. Both this time and after the first dose she came home and immediately ate a small bowl of food. But then she loses interest in eating for 24+ hours. After the first dose of chemo, she ate full meal at about 5pm the next day (so about 24 hours after coming home). After this dose, it wasn't until the following morning (so about 36 hours after coming home). There were times where she seemed interested in food (so probably was feeling hungry), but if we put something in front of her (whether a treat or regular food), she didn't want to take it. Or she'd take a treat one minute, but refuse the same treat later. She mopes around, doesn't seem to relax very comfortably. But the she eats, and pretty quickly seemed much more like her old self.

Last night she crawled up on the couch for some snuggles. She isn't a super snuggly dog a lot of the time, so it was nice. But the picture shows how well her incision is healing and her fur growing back. sGGytqb.jpgImage Enlarger

And just a cute picture of Maddie wagging her tail in her sleep. 0STuLkP.jpgImage Enlarger

Perhaps the most annoying thing right now -- Maddie has figured out that pill pockets have pills in them so she now refuses to take them. Why are they so smart and adaptable?!? sp_hearticon2

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17 November 2020 - 6:46 pm
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Hi Jessica!  Your post really resonated with me.  After enjoying the lulls between appointments, it can feel like a real punch in the gut to have to deal with the side effects of chemo or uncertain news from the vet.  I've really had to work hard at compartmentalizing those bummer days so that I can be fully present with Griffin on the happy days, which is the majority of the time.  I hope that Maddie rebounds quickly from this last round of chemo - Griffin and I are sending hugs!  And, try Velveeta for pills.  Griffin used to love Pill Pockets but he figured them out, just like Maddie did, and for a few weeks I was pushing pills down his throat until I tried Velveeta.  I make sure to give Griffin a few "blank" Velveeta squares before and after the ones with the meds so that he eats them quickly and doesn't stop to figure out what is in the other ones! ~ 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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