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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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Need help making decision about amputation for 9 1/2 y.o. Lab
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Forum Posts: 36
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29 May 2013
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30 May 2013 - 5:13 pm
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my 9 1/2 yrs old lab was just diagnosed too I am devastated. Did you also do chemo? how is she doing now? do you still feel you made the right decision? how long did it take her to “walk ” again? do you feel the amputation was very painful?

 so here is what happened with my vet consult today. I am even MORE confused on what to do. So before I was sure I would NEVER put my dog thru amputation and chemo. BUT now I don’t know anymore at all what to do.she had told me we caught the cancer VERY early. lungs are not effected yet! supposedly according to x-rays however she did say microbioscopic lesions you cant see. so I asked her what are my OPTIONS and I told her explain all the good and bad and ugly. so here is what she pretty much told me.  don’t do surgery/amputation don’t do chemo I might get 4-5 months with Bogi but it will be towards the end a VERY VERY painful ordeal for him. she said this is one of the most painful cancers osteosarcoma.  she said he is a otherwise healthy boy and at 85 lbs he could handle the amputation. she said it would take a few weeks for him to adjust BUT that would take all his “pain” away at least and then treat him with carboplatin chemo therapy which is more tolerable for the dogs and has less side effects. she just did it on her dog for the same cancer and she said except throwing up a few times he managed the chemo pretty good. now that would give Bogi approx. another 12 month (she said that are “statistics” and she cant make ANY guarantees. some dogs go even longer some les she got 8 month with her Doberman but she didn’t do the amputation. what scares me the most now in making this decision she telling me if I don’t amputate the pain will be REALLY bad. can be controlled with pain meds but he will be very drugged up. so that’s my biggest cncern. I know I said always I would never put my dog thru chemo and amputation but I am second guessing myself. Oh she also said I HAVE to do the bone biopsy otherwise they will NOT amputate because they want to make sure it is osteosarcoma and not another cancer. makes sense HOWEVER I hear horror stories about bone biopsies….. so that’s another thing I am trying to deal with. WHAT to do? I know no one can help me with this decision but maybe someone who went thru the same cancer can give me advice? guidance? Bogi is only 9 1/2. and the cancer is in his proximal right humerous.  HELP? I am devastated. and I don’t want to waste too much time because she said with this cancer time is of the essence.

Here and Now


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30 May 2013 - 7:30 pm
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Welcome and thanks for registering. We’re so sorry you’re having such a difficult time.

We moved your post here to it’s own topic where more members are likely to see it and offer feedback. You can click the Subscribe bottom at bottom left to be notified of replies. To find any of your previous posts, click your avatar (picture above your user name) or the Profile button at the top to see lists of all your posts.

The growing tumor is more painful than amputation recovery, and it will only continue to get worse. pain management and confinement are key in either case. The most important thing right now is to remain calm. Bogi needs you to be a strong balanced pack leader to show him everything is going to be OK.

If your vet is pushing the biopsy, it may be time to find another one, and consult wit an oncologist. You’ll find plenty of questions to ask your vet and tips for helping prepare in the Tripawds e-books. Be sure to bookmark Jerry’s Required Reading List for more helpful links.

Every dog is different, but the vast majority recover quickly and adapt well to life on three legs. Best wishes with the decisions you face, please keep us posted.

Here and Now


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30 May 2013 - 7:50 pm
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And, just in case you missed this reply on your other post, Dr. Dressler’s Dog Cancer Kit is indeed an incredible resource…

@jamiebogi64

I feel your confusion, especially about the amputation part. Chemo is not an option for my Bear and his cancer was not bone, so no bone biopsy.

If you have some time to think about it and consider it, please consider downloading and reading The Dog Cancer Survival Guide and the Tripawds ebook Three Legs and a Spare. A combination of those books and gaining more knowledge about my pets cancer, the bumps along the road that MIGHT happen, and becoming a member of Tripawds… All of those things led me to decide on amputation as the best path for us.

The Survival Guide has some great insight on chemo. It’s generally much easier on dogs than humans bc of the lower dose.

It’s your decision and this community is definitely a GREAT support system. I would consider adding a new forum topic just for you to make it easier to find. Those with more experience will hop on too. Bear was only diagnosed about 1.5 weeks ago, and amp is scheduled for June 11th.

Good luck on your journey, we’re all here to help you
heather and bear

Atlanta, GA
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30 May 2013 - 7:53 pm
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Welcome to the group.  We are so sorry you have found yourself and Bogi here though, as none of us would wish this osteosarcoma fight on anyone.  I agree with admin above.  If you feel you are being pushed for more tests and more expense, it may be time to ask for a second opinion.  As it was presented to me, my Brendol girl either needed the decision to only go with pain management or to go for the amputation to get rid of the painful bone.  What type of cancer or tumor at that point was not something we needed to know because it didn’t change the immediate decision.  

I did choose to go the amputation route, and then have the bone biopsied to confirm diagnosis and decide upon any further treatment.  Brendol had her amputation on 2/6, one day after her visit with the specialist, and then she began chemo treatments once her stitches were removed.  She is now nearing her 4 months post amputation and doing well.  She did awesome recovering from the surgery and has been a good trooper through the chemo (no tummy issues, only thing impacting her is she gets tired for a day or two).  

If you would like to speak more directly to others that have gone through this, feel free to go to the chatroom.  There are usually a few people online.  Everybody in this group is very caring and respectful, so you can ask whatever you need to to help you make the best decision for you and Bogi.

Karma

Pawrent to tripawds Brendol and Adelaide

Adelaide is a young tripawd Husky, from an injury.  Her amp was on 10/1/12.  She has 4 sisters, Aissa (a senior border collie/chow), Maggie May (a puppy Great Pyrenees), Mathilde and Morrigan and 1 baby brother, Bagheera.  We are all watched over by our angel Brendol, who was dx with OSA 1/30/13, amp on 2/6/13, and left us on 8/20/13.

PitaPata - Personal picturePitaPata Dog tickers

 You can read their stories at http://adelaide.tripawds.com and http://brendol.tripawds.com
Virginia




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30 May 2013 - 11:12 pm
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H

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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31 May 2013 - 2:30 pm
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I am sitting here verging on tears because I know exactly how you feel. Ollie, our 10 year old lab/border collie is sleeping next to me 3 days out from his left front leg being amputated. For us, it was a decision of either amputate or put him down. Sunday (I don’t know the date and am lucky to remember which day it is right now) he was in the backyard, we were in the house, when we heard a horrible sound. We raced outside and Ollie was barely walking and crying. He had been lame on this leg off and on and I’d taken him to the vet on several occasions to have it looked at. They said it was most likely arthritis and to rest and give him rimadyl for the pain when needed. Osteosarcoma was never mentioned and I don’t know weather to be upset about this or not as the outcome would be the same. The xray at the ER showed his leg broken at the shoulder and unable to be repaired. When the doc mentioned amputation, it sounded so horrible. His lungs and chest were clear, but he was 90% sure it is cancer which caused the weakening of the bone and there could be microscopic cancer elsewhere which would require a course of chemo and then the future is unclear as to how long he will live. He told us they could keep him comfortable overnight to decide what to do. He stressed that dogs really do very well on three legs. Our main concern is Ollie’s quality of life and to keep him pain free. We finally decided that if amputation would keep him around and happy, that is what we would do.

I’m not saying that this has been easy by any means, and many people would think we are crazy to spend this amount of money on a dog. But he is a part of our family and we made this decision based on information from our vet (we are lucky to have found such a wonderful ER and surgeon), information from sites like Tripawd and we listened to our hearts.

We will get through this (my washing machine may not – the drugs make him not care about peeing in his bed) and hope and pray we have years of a happy, healthy Ollie. The one thing the vets stressed to us is that there is no right or wrong decision, but, like you, it was one only we could make..

 

 

Here and Now


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31 May 2013 - 2:44 pm
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olliewogforever said
 there is no right or wrong decision…

So true. Welcome and thanks for registering, your future forum posts will not require moderation. Please consider starting a new topic or blog to share Ollie’s story.

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5 June 2013 - 12:03 am
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Thank you JamieBogi64, Olliewogforever and others for posting this week.  I’ve been weighing the same decision this week when my 11 year old dog was diagnosed with synovial cell sarcoma (cartilage), and your posts were really helpful.   I had the same reaction JamieBogi64 in that I thought I wouldn’t put my Daisy through it and after talking with the surgeon and our regular vet, realized that it was a viable option to extend her life, and take away the pain for whatever time she has left.  This has been an absolutely agonizing decision, but I’m trying to focus on the long term health versus the short term pain. I know the weeks ahead will be rough, but I know we’ll get through it. I’ll be thinking of you!

Here and Now


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5 June 2013 - 6:25 am
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daisydog said
I’m trying to focus on the long term health versus the short term pain…

Good thinking daisydog!

Welcome and thanks for joining. Your future forum posts will not require moderation. Consider starting a new topic or blog to share your story.

Virginia




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5 June 2013 - 9:07 am
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Daisy Dog, Ollie and Bodi! We all understand as well as anyone else can the agony and devastation one goes through when making a decision for our dogs who, seemingly, have NO say!

Actually, they do have an “opinion”..a voice….just look at them now…..they are full of life and clearly enjoying your loving and spoiling——and they’re saying, “Heck yeah, we want more loving and spoiling”! Obviously Ollie, your amputation was a no-brainer The way I made my “ultimate” decision——I went from NEVER to MAYBE….to Yes and back to NEVER probably 100 times……..was when I started having to really up the pain meds and her limping was more and more pain oriented. Either end her pain one way or another.

The amputation has been almost four months now……four completed treatments with carboplatin………….and it was the BEST DECISION EVER:-) :-) SHE’S LIVING A LIFE OF LOVE AND JOY EVERY SECOND OF EVERYDAY:-) :-)

Recovery is tough to watch and it’s no walk in the park……some have easier recoveries than others. Once full recovery Lucius in and you are blessed with the gift of quality time…..however long or short that time is……….it is the best logo g time you can ever imagine!!

Please, all of you keep us posted!

We are all here for you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! We look forward to celebrating the victories with you!

Surrounding you with love and support,

Sally and Happy Hannah

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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5 June 2013 - 3:20 pm
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Thank you Sally and Hannah. : ) I appreciate your thoughts.

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5 June 2013 - 4:15 pm
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Jamiebogi64 and everyone – I hope you are doing well. I haven’t posted anything for a few days as we’ve been concentrating on Ollie. It’s been 1 week and 2 days since his amputation and every time we look in his eyes, we know we did the right thing. The short journey so far has been rough, but we are getting through with the help of fellow Tripawders. I have leaned heavily on everyone for support and advice and it has been invaluable. Today is the first day I haven’t called the vet with questions! Ollie is still on pain medication which makes him loopy. He longs for his couch and is frustrated when Otis – his 95# “brother” lounges on it and he is unable to. Our big accomplishment is his ability to pee outside. And then the big “P” (poop) came and was reason for celebration! You definitely learn to celebrate the little things. We are trying to take it moment by moment and know that it WILL get better. When we take him out, we have to run to keep up with him, which amazes me.

 Today is cool and rainy and Ollie enjoys sitting in the cool grass listening to the birds. I laid down with him and Otis and fell asleep with my two buddies next to me. It was the best feeling (even with Otis snoring!).

I’d love to know how Daisydog and Jamiebogi64 are doing. Everyone is here to help you.

Virginia




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5 June 2013 - 11:06 pm
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You, Ollie and Otis had a lovely “forever memory” out in nature listening to the birds! And rpthat’s what this amputation journey is about! Celebrating the most simple of life’s pleasure and valuing every single second of it as the true gift it is.

Soooooo glad Ollie is doing well. He’s still very early into recovery and not all his sparkle is back yet. But boy oh boy—when it kicks in fully and consistently the magic will be so joyous your cheeks will hurt from smiling so much!

What thread……or topic title…..are you chronicling Ollie’s journey? Want to be able to follow your Ollie and be of support if there is anyway I can help.

Take care of yourself and keep finding the bliss of living in the now:-)

Sally and Happy Hannah

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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6 June 2013 - 10:44 am
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Martha and Ollie, it’s terrific to know that things are progressing. I can “hear” the smile in your voice.

Recovery is slower than any of us wants when it comes to amputation, but as you can see, there IS an end in sight and life will be good once again. I’m sure that Otis is really the encouragement Ollie needs to start moving along, he wants his spot on the couch too!

Keep us posted, we are thinking of you.

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6 June 2013 - 6:59 pm
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Glad to hear Ollie is getting a little pep back and making progress.  Daisy had her surgery yesterday, June 5th, and we’ve opted not to go visit her today. They said they get excited about going home, and it’s hard when we leave. Translation: We can’t deal with sobbing dog parents, so let us do our jobs please.  I am trying to be patient and miss her terribly. I know I will probably lose it when I see her. Joy, sadness, exhaustion! It’s been a tough couple of weeks.  They said she stood up today, but is having a little trouble getting the hang of her new center of gravity. She’s 11, so it might take her a little longer to get the hang of it.  I am thinking of starting a blog on here. Thanks for asking, it’s nice to know others care.

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