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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Princeton's story
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Member Since:
23 August 2011
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6 September 2011 - 12:35 am
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Well, tomorrow my boy starts his first round of chemo.  A little two months ago Princeton had a bad limp and a swollen leg.  I took him to the vet the same night, and the x-rays showed a definite inflammation and a very slight shadow on the bone.  The vet that looked at him wasn't his regular, and sent him home with some medication.  This was the very first time I ever heard of bone cancer in a dog, but it couldn't be determined if Princeton was indeed suffering from osteosarcoma.  

When my regular vet arrived back to the clinic a week later, Princeton had his chest x-rayed and blood taken.  The chest was clear and the blood results good.  Princeton's an older boy, almost twelve, but his blood work actually demonstrated much younger.  He is actually in tremendous health for his age.  Anyway it was determined that a wait and see approach was best, with another x-ray to be done a month later.

A month passed and Princeton had another x-ray which demonstrated additional growth of only a millimeter.  He had, however, developed an off and on limp.  My vet decided that a biopsy should be done to make sure it wasn't anything serious.  The biopsy was performed with excellent sample obtained.  The results came back negative.  Puzzled, my vet consulted with oncologists to seek other opinions.  Some recommended amputation, while others suggested a tissue and bone scraping.  It was decided that the latter would be prudent.  While obtaining the samples, my vet noted that the biopsy sample sites were almost entire healed.  He also noted the growth on the bone still didn't display the typical osteosarcoma growth.  The bone actually looked good except for the growth on the surface.  The samples were submitted for infection, which came back negative.  It was decided that an x-ray would be performed in a few weeks time.

A few days before the scheduled x-ray, Princeton developed a bad limp and his leg was warm.  He went to the vet the next day and was x-rayed.  The growth this time was much bigger.  My vet recommended the leg to be removed.  Although the x-ray still didn't display the typical osteosarcoma and all submitted samples negative he thought it best to be proactive.  A chest x-ray was also performed, and after careful inspection by the vet, determined to be clear.  Princeton's leg was removed the next day with the leg and a lymph node being submitted.  It was tough on him, but a week later he was actually running around the farm.

Absolutely surprisingly, the leg sample came back as osteosarcoma.  I actually saw the cross section, and the all additional growth was on the outside.  No destruction on the inside.  The lymph node came back cancer free.

So, thirteen days after the amputation, Princeton starts the first round of carboplatin tomorrow.  I'm optimistic, as both the chest x-ray and lymph node was clear.  Hopefully the chemo will take care of the microscopic stuff, and additional holistic treatments between chemo will help as well.  And of course, the cancer isn't a match for Princeton's resolve.

Anyway, that's Princeton's story.  All the stories on the site have given us hope, and made us realize we are not alone.

Thanks everyone

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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6 September 2011 - 7:53 am
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Welcome and thank you for sharing Princeton's story. Best wishes for a complete speedy recovery! Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Golden Girls
6 September 2011 - 8:08 am
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Welcome Terry & Princeton! It sounds as though Princeton is doing great after his amputation. I hope he continues to do well with the chemo statrting tomorrow. Please keep us posted, and maybe share a picture of him???


San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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6 September 2011 - 8:59 am
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Welcome to the site nobody wants to join but everyone is glad they did.

I hope Princeton continues to do well! Abby did well on the carbo, although we had to play Guess What the Dog Will Eat after every round and it was always something different. The first night all she would eat was plain pasta.

And, yes, we would love to see some pics of your boy!
All the best,
Jakcie, Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

In your heart, where I belong.
Member Since:
9 February 2011
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6 September 2011 - 10:32 am
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Welcome, Terry and Princeton! As Jackie said, sorry you're here but happy you found us. What kind of dog is Princeton?

Good luck with the chemo. We did not do chemo, as Dakota had a soft-tissue sarcoma and clear x-rays and lymph node. The dogs here who've needed chemo seem to do really well. Some of them, like Abby, have had some mild issues with tummy troubles or energy, but I've not read anything like the human horror stories of chemo. Being a dog seems to be wonderful on many levels!

And indeed, you'll need to post pictures. We love to see all the furry babies and the other critters they live with.


From abandoned puppy to Tripawd Warrior Dude, Dakota became one of the 2011 February Furballs due to STS. Our incredibly sweet friend lived with grace and dignity till he impulsively raced over the Bridge on 12-15-12.

Dakota's thoughtful and erudite blog is at

Member Since:
23 August 2011
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6 September 2011 - 11:03 am
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Thanks everyone.  The words mean a lot.  Best wishes to all those that are dealing with their furkid's health issues as well.

Princeton is a black lab/border collie.  I adopted him from a shelter about eleven years ago.  Since then he's been my faithful farm dog, following me wherever I go.  Often waiting for me outside of my barns, now it's my turn to wait for him.  As long as the fire is in his heart and desire in his eyes, I'll do what I can for him.

I am a little worried about chemo, but I really think he'll respond well.  He's very adaptable and I think he'll shrug off any effects.  I almost wish we started sooner, but it was so hard to diagnose his problem.  Up until the day it was really noticeable, it seemed to grow very slowly.  Perhaps that's a good sign.

I'll definitely post some pics of my boy shortly.

Thanks again everyone.




Sebastopol, CA
Member Since:
11 June 2011
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6 September 2011 - 11:49 am
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Welcome Terry and Princeton! Sounds like he is doing really well 🙂

Our lylee Girl is currently doing 6 rounds of Carboplatin and has already had 3 treatments and she has tolerated them very well, just a bit of fatigue and slightly off her food for a few days after each dose (every three weeks). Hopefully Princeton will be just fine!

Would love to see some photos!


Lylee and her Mum

Member Since:
23 August 2011
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6 September 2011 - 5:27 pm
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Well, Princeton is back home from chemo.  He seems to be doing fine, and has is displaying absolutely no ill effects.  I suppose that will come later.  Anything special to look for?

I don't know, kind of an odd feeling.  The last two months for Princeton have been nothing but sedations, biopsies, samples, medications, surgeries, and now chemo.  Through it all he has rebounded back remarkably.  I look at him and hope my old friend continues to be OK, but I can't help but wonder how much he can take.  He's a great one, and I really hope he makes it.



Leicester, NY
Member Since:
23 August 2010
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6 September 2011 - 6:14 pm
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Welcome Terry and Princeton! Glad to hear Princeton is back home from his 1st chemo and doing well. We cant offer any advice on chemo but lots of folks here will post Im sure.

Julie and Daisy

Daisy earned her wings on Oct 22, 2011 at 14 years old

She is now the official greeter at the rainbow bridge

Everyone is guaranteed a welcome sniff and Dalmatian smile

Plainfield, Illinois
Member Since:
14 May 2011
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6 September 2011 - 6:49 pm
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Glad to hear that Princeton is doing well after his first round of chemo!  That's great to hear.  Please post a picture of your boy soon, so we can see what he looks like 🙂  You've come to a great community of people.  They are the best, in my opinion, and helped me out in so many ways.

Diagnosed with OSA: 5/2/2011 Ampuversary: 5/11/2011 OSA returned in hip: 8/26/2011
Chili Dawg crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 8/30/2011 & is now pain free. He was my heart dog, and I miss him every day.

Member Since:
23 August 2011
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6 September 2011 - 8:45 pm
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Thanks everyone

This is a picture of Princeton taken a couple weeks before his amputation.  He generally doesn't look so stoic, but he probably wondered what I was doing.  He needs to lose a little weight, especially now.

6 September 2011 - 9:01 pm
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Hi Terry and Princeton,

I'm a sucker for black dogs with grey muzzles!

I hope your boy handles chemo OK.  My pug Maggie had mast cell cancer so her chemo regimen was different.  But she did tolerate it pretty well- I didn't usually see any side effects until a week or so after treatment.  For her it was sometimes a little nausea and tiredness.  We had meds for the nausea, but only had to use it a couple of times.  Treatment details are in her blog- link in my signature box below.

I would suggest you keep a log or journal for Princeton during treatment.  I kept one for Mag and recorded treatment days and then everyday I logged what she ate, her energy level, pee and poop, her temperature on the days I took it, and anything else notable. The  log allowed me to establish patterns and see what days to expect her to be off a little.

I don't know, kind of an odd feeling.  The last two months for Princeton have been nothing but sedations, biopsies, samples, medications, surgeries, and now chemo.  Through it all he has rebounded back remarkably.  I look at him and hope my old friend continues to be OK, but I can't help but wonder how much he can take.  He's a great one, and I really hope he makes it.

This is one of the hard part of this cancer journey.  How much it too much?  Take your cues from Princeton- and follow your heart.  If you make decisions for him that are in his best interest you can't be wrong.  And remember- if for some reason Princeton doesn't handle the chemo well you can stop.  It is all about quality at this point. 


I hope he continues to do well.


Karen and the pugapalooza

Member Since:
13 June 2011
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6 September 2011 - 9:07 pm
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Princeton is a doll! He's very lucky to have such great pawrents to take care of him. Give him lots of love!!

Member Since:
13 June 2011
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6 September 2011 - 9:07 pm
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Princeton is a doll! He's very lucky to have such great pawrents to take care of him. Give him lots of love!!

knoxville, tn
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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6 September 2011 - 9:28 pm
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princeton is a nice looking dude!!  gayle was 10 when she had her amp, and went through five rounds of chemo...we remember #3 and #4 were rough on her GI tract, but she got through it.  she is a lab mix too, but doesn't have all the hair of princeton...  glad to here you guys are doing so well, paws crossed for no 'chemo reactions'.  like karen said, you can always stop or postpone treatments if he isn't tolerating it well in the future....

charon & gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends


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