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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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Molly: new tripawdChesapeake Bay Retriever w/ synovial sarcoma
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Golden, CO
Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
16 August 2008
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22 August 2008 - 11:38 pm
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Here are some more photos of Molly shot this morning. Her amputation was exactly one week ago. She’s starting to gallop around and be goofy — when she has the energy. She clowned right into the camera on this first one and nearly knocked me down! (Larger images are posted at http://www.wild…..ly_photos/)

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Molly was diagnosed with Synovial Cell Sarcoma (grade 3 with hystiocytic markers) and had her front leg amputated on August 15th 2008.  We had a wonderful two years with her until she passed at age 13.5 on August 29th 2010.  As far as we could tell, her cancer never returned.

Michigan
Forum Posts: 289
Member Since:
26 July 2008
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23 August 2008 - 4:10 am
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Yaay Molly – You go right ahead and be goofy.  She looks great and it’s so nice when you start seeing their personality come back.   

Hugs

Connie & Radar

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23 August 2008
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23 August 2008 - 11:50 am
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Hi Molly-

I am glad to hear you are feeling better and that you like my pumpkin treats.

I can’t wait to see you soon!

love, Bella 

Forum Posts: 387
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23 August 2008 - 12:53 pm
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My Dearest Molly,

You are such a beautiful dog!  I like the way you pose for the camera and if you don’t have any boyfriends, I’d like to be yours.  My name is Blazer and I am a Miniature Poodle.  Now, don’t get all disturbed about my size!  I’m really a big guy (that’s what my mom calls me!) and, I have a heart of gold (mom again!).  I’m very happy you are doing so well after your surgery and a big thank you goes to your pawrent for all these lovely photos!

Love, Blazer & Kimber & Vicki

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 August 2008 - 3:21 pm
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That’s it Molly Girl, stick your tongue out at all the naysayers who think three legged dogs can’t have a hoppy life!

You are a ROCK STAR!

xoxo

Jerry 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Golden, CO
Forum Posts: 30
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27 August 2008 - 8:56 pm
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Thanks for the kind thoughts everyone. Blazer- you made Molly blush!

Good news- Molly got her stitches out and is healing up wonderfully from her surgery. She seems to have her new 3-legged gallop down and only stumbles once in a while. She is so speedy and I can barely keep up! We also got her the Ruffwear Webmaster harness and she can now go up and down steps with help.

Bad news- we got the results back from Molly’s amputated leg and found out her cancer is grade three. She also tested positive for the markers for histiocytic sarcoma, one of the soft tissue cancers with the worst prognosis- median time with chemo is 7-12 months. Still, they found no evidence of the cancer in the lymph node above the tumor on the leg and her chest and stomach x-rays were clear which are both very good signs. Still, my husband and I were devastated by the news. We were so full of hope that she would have grade 2 synovial sarcoma, as that is what some of the earlier tests were pointing to.

As a result of the diagnosis, Molly started chemo two days ago. She is taking Lomustine in capsule form, which we can administer at home and then go in for blood tests every 10 days so the oncologist can monitor liver function, white blood cell count etc. She will be on 4 rounds, each 3 weeks apart. So far we have seen no side major side affects, though I know it is still very early. The first night, my husband and I hardly slept as we watched her closely for any adverse reactions. Every time I dozed of, I would wake up in a start and reach out to touch her to make sure she was still alive. What a relief when she greeted me, tail wagging, at her food dish the next morning!

I struggled with our decision to do chemo. Molly is finally looking so great on her 3-legs and seems so perky… just like her old self. I hate knowing that the chemo might make her feel sick again, especially if her time with us ends up being short. Still, my husband and I know it gives her the best chance. We met someone in the waiting room who had a dog go through histiocytic sarcoma several years ago. He did amputation and chemo and his pup lived 2 more years. It is these stories of hope that keep me hanging on.

I am also looking into special diets to augment the chemo to give her the best possible chance. The oncologist we saw on Monday didn’t seem to think diet made a huge difference and said we could just keep feeding Molly her regular food. I am working on getting a second opinion on diet from another oncologist who worked with Molly early on in her treatment. Someone I know had good luck with an herb called Cat’s Claw when he was treating his dog (without chemo) for Osteosarcoma. The dog was given a prognosis of 4 months and lived another 1.5 years. Still, I want to approach diet stuff wisely, as I don’t want to give Molly anything that would interfere or cause additional side affects with her chemo or make her sicker. I know her body will be going through enough without adding a bunch of unknown variables. A raw meat diet makes me a bit nervous since her immune system will be down. Does Natura Evo have raw meat ingredients in it or is it cooked? I thought that Evo might be a good choice if I can’t get any conclusive answers on diet from our oncologist.

Okay, I am going to go snuggle with Molly on the futon. I realize that every moment I can get with her is a precious gift.

Molly was diagnosed with Synovial Cell Sarcoma (grade 3 with hystiocytic markers) and had her front leg amputated on August 15th 2008.  We had a wonderful two years with her until she passed at age 13.5 on August 29th 2010.  As far as we could tell, her cancer never returned.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28040
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27 August 2008 - 10:44 pm
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Oh Mollydog, so it’s good news and not so good news, eh? I’m sorry it’s such a rollercoaster, but we know that you will make the most of things, and live life to the fullest. Tell your pawrents to say this often: "You are a strong, happy, healthy dog." It works!

We hope chemo treats you well, and will keep our paws crossed. As far as diet changes. Well, in my limited knowledge about oncology training, I’m pretty certain that oncologists don’t have a lot of nutrition schooling under their belts. As for raw diets, the oncologists don’t like it for the exact reasons you mention.

But to say that changing diets doesn’t make a difference just seems so wrong to me. After all, it was only about 20 years ago when human oncologists thought that dietary changes didn’t make a difference for human cancer patients. They’ve really changed their tune since then, and eventually, veterinary oncologists will come around too.

I don’t recommend changing diets completely during chemotherapy. It’s always best to make a gradual transition. I do think that Evo would be a good way to go. As for the way the meat ingredients are handled in Evo, yes, they are cooked, at 248 degrees F. You can read more about it on the Evo website’s FAQs page.

To put your mind at rest, I really suggest that your pawrents talk to a vet who practices holistic medicine and nutrition, and can guide you along any dietary changes.

Good luck! Please keep sending the updates, we’re rootin’ for ya!

Love,

Jerry

 

 

 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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28 August 2008 - 12:31 pm
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Hi Molly…my mom cried like a baby when she got my results back too…osterosarcoma – not that great. We did chemo (carboplatin given by IV) and she also was on the fence about that until our oncologist told us that there are no side effects…and there weren’t any…we hope you have the same luck with that.

We live it one day at a time and treasure those moments as well. All our lives are in God’s paws and hands and there are no time guarantees – for any of us. Look at Jerry who was given like 4-6 months and he’s at about 18 months now…you just never know. Keeping a positive and upbeat approach is critical, but also make sure that you allow yourself the sadness and grief that you need when it comes or else you won’t be able to feel the happiness and joy either. Just some of my experience as I’ve gone through this with Zeus.

We’re thinking of you and sending big doggie hugs your way.

Love,

Zeus and Mom

 

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 August 2008 - 1:04 pm
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Zeus said:

Look at Jerry who was given like 4-6 months and he’s at about 18 months now…


Ahem…drum roll please…..I just celebrated my 21 month ampuversary!

Wise words, my friends, thank you for all of the wonderful moral support you share with others.

xoxo

Jerry 

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: 387
Member Since:
27 July 2008
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28 August 2008 - 7:13 pm
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Dearest Mollydog,

My mom explained that you got some bad news about the histiocytic sarcoma.  I hope you don’t have problems with the chemo.  Another reader, Zeus, mentioned a different type of chemo: carboplatin given by IV that had no side-effects.  I’m just kindof at a loss for words because I’m a dog who is not a tripawd, so I haven’t gone through any of the things you have.  I didn’t mean to make you blush, Molly, but you are a beautiful dog.  I hope your mom finds out what’s best as far as your diet goes, but EVO is highly acclaimed as an excellent dog food. 

Kimber & I (and mom) will pray for you everyday.  I just wish there was something I could do to help you.

Love, Blazer, Kimber & Vicki

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28 August 2008 - 8:40 pm
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jerry said:

Ahem…drum roll please…..I just celebrated my 21 month ampuversary! 


Oh, Jerry, what excellent news!  It’s your 21 months ampuversary!? 
That is most excellent to hear!  You are truly a "Super Star Dog" in
every sense of the word.

Love, Blazer, Kimber & the Old Lady

Golden, CO
Forum Posts: 30
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16 August 2008
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30 August 2008 - 8:45 pm
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Molly loves to ride at high speeds in her fancy new bike trailer!

 

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Molly was diagnosed with Synovial Cell Sarcoma (grade 3 with hystiocytic markers) and had her front leg amputated on August 15th 2008.  We had a wonderful two years with her until she passed at age 13.5 on August 29th 2010.  As far as we could tell, her cancer never returned.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28040
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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28
30 August 2008 - 10:28 pm
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What a lucky dog! Molly looks so happy, thank you for sharing the picture.

Please try to remember to resize future pics for fast download. The big pictures also make the forum layout go all wacky, but we fixed that. Thanks!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Michigan
Forum Posts: 289
Member Since:
26 July 2008
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29
31 August 2008 - 8:18 am
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What a cool bike trailer.  Molly really does look like she’s enjoying the ride. 

We are sorry to hear about your diagnosis but it does sound like you caught it early.  Keep us posted on how Molly girl is doing with the chemo.  We are all pulling for her.

Hugs

Connie & Radar

Forum Posts: 387
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27 July 2008
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31 August 2008 - 1:03 pm
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Molly is the coolest dog in town!   She has that look in her eye like she’s saying, "I’m a happy dog!"  Thanks for sharing this wonderful photo. 

Love, Blazer, Kimber and Vicki

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