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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Polly Update - out of surgery :)
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Forum Posts: 42
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9 February 2009 - 5:40 pm
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Polly is out of surgery. The surgeon said he was able to get good margins on the tumor, so our long term prognosis is good – what a relief! He said the surgery itself was “uneventful” – which is EXACTLY what I wanted to hear! Im very relieved and I guess the next hurdle is the first time we have to see her with 3 legs. Alan will go by on his way home tonight and I will go see her after the kids are in bed.

I want to sincerely thank everyone here for helping us to get this far. The discussion forum has been so helpful to me and my husband found the videos very encouraging. Thank you to everyone who contributes here. It has helped so much. Im going to make sure our dog's surgeon knows about this site!

We are “off to new adventures”…will keep you all posted!

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9 February 2009 - 6:19 pm
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I've heard that term “margins” before.. what exactly does it mean? Marley's surgeon did not mention anything about margins…

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9 February 2009 - 6:42 pm
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Margins are the edges of a tumor. If they are able to “get good margins” that means that they removed all of the tumor (hopefully). They cant tell for sure until they sent the histopath to the lab. They can tell at the lab whether or not all of the tumor was removed by looking at the margins, or edges, of the tumor. IF the edges contain a border of healthy, normal cells, that means the tumor was completely removed. (at least thats how i understand it).

have you heard anything yet?

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9 February 2009 - 6:47 pm
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Hi Polly's mom and dad and kids…seeing her the first time on 3 legs will be a little ruff…Zeus came out still a little out of it from the anethesia and looked at me as if to say, “do you still love me mom?”. I gave him a huge hug and just held his face and looked into his eyes and told him how much I love him…It IS hard though…it just is…but you get over it quickly because they are still the same faithful fur kid you love so much. We're here for you as you go through the next part of this journey. Let us know how we can help and keep us posted on Polly's recovery.

Marleyflynn – margins, as I understand them, are the amount of tissue that the doctor can take out around the tumor without injuring other nerves or organs to (try to) ensure that all cancer cells have been removed. So…if you get “good margins”…the doctor was able to take a “good” amount of tissue out surrounding the tumor without injuring other nerves, organs etc.

Much love,

Heather and Zeus

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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9 February 2009 - 7:04 pm
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“Uneventful.” The best word I've heard spoken all day today! Congratulations!

Heather and kty8, thanks for explaining “margins” here.

Ok, so Heather is right. When you do see her, it's going to be ruff, the incision is not pretty. Just hang in there and try to stay focused on her eyes. Tell her how much you love her, and everthing will be O.K. You'll see!

Thanks for the kind thoughts about all of the great peeps here. We are all here for you. Hang in there and keep us posted.

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9 February 2009 - 10:06 pm
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Great news for Polly!  Here's hoping her recovery is also uneventful.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
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9 February 2009 - 10:54 pm
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That's awesome news.  Wish Polly have a speedy recovery!

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10 February 2009 - 11:14 am
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Hi everyone. Polly is doing well. I saw her last night and her Daddy is there right now. She's been up to walk, she ate a little. The techs said she was “phenomenal” when they took her out for her first walk (about 6hrs postop). We are hopingshe will be home tonight, but it could be tomorrow. I think the hardest part is over now – at least i hope so. We are looking forward to helping her get “back on her feet” and back out to the park she loves so much!Cool Thank you ALL for your support – its been crucial to keeping our spirits up and i think ours will definitely affect hers!

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10 February 2009 - 12:50 pm
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Go Polly! I know it's hard not having them home but  rest easy knowing that she is in good hands & will be home soon. She will be in our thoughts & prayers for a speedy recovery

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10 February 2009 - 2:28 pm
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Yay Polly! So glad to hear she's doing well!!! We are leaning towards leaving Marley there one more night. Of course we can't wait to see her (though I'm a little scared to!), but think she's in such good hands there….

Thanks everyone for the info re: margins. I'll have to ask our surgeon the next time I talk to her. She did say there was a lot of inflamed tissue that she took out…. we can only hope.. oh please just let us have some more time with her!! 

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10 February 2009 - 7:33 pm
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Thanks – I hope Marley is home soon and feeling well. It IS hard to see for the first time. I cried. My husband said he was glad her kennel was in the back where he could “hide”. But really it doesnt take long to realize she's the same old girl. After I sat with her for a while (maybe just 5 or 10 min) i was able to stop focusing on the huge bald patch and the huge incision and focus on her face, her eyes. I just sat with her a while and pet her until she started to fall asleep. It was so great to see her sleeping peacefully. I was so worried she would be frantic and drugged and terrified, but she was not.

We plan to pick Polly up in a couple of hours. Her harness just arrived inthe mail about a 1/2hr ago (but i knowwe wont be using it for a while)

We will keep Marley in our prayers as well!

Thanks everyone!Wink

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10 February 2009 - 7:49 pm
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I am trying to prepare myself for seeing her tomorrow, thinking the worst… I keep reminding myself – who cares about a leg? as long as she's home… the incision will heal, her fur will eventually grow back… we will have some good times ahead of us, even if it's a slow walk down the street.

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10 February 2009 - 9:08 pm
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Wonderful news!!  Just take one day at a time and she will be back to her old self before you know it!

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