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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Saku, Grade 3 Soft Tissue Sarcoma in Left Front
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Member Since:
16 February 2022
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16 February 2022 - 3:54 pm
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Hi all,

It is so nice to know there is a large group of folks out there who have healthy and thriving tri-pod dogs and cats.  And that we can ask all sorts of questions and will get straight, honest answers.  Here is our story:

Saku is our 14 year old Keeshond.  He is an AKC Conformation Champion and has been retired for over 11 years.  This past September at our National Specialty he decided to jump off the top step of our RV to great our breeder who had stopped by. Didn't notice anything wrong and he didn't yipe in pain. Two days later he is lame and I (Brenda) am saddened because I cannot show him one last time in the 12+ Veterans Class.  We think it's an acute injury and proceed with chiropractic and massage therapy as we have the last 1.5 years due to his prior back and lower leg weakness.  He seems to rebound initially but by the end of October the limp has not improved.  X-rays show no breaks and we nervously think something more serious is going on as his leg is starting to swell a bit above his wrist and below the elbow.  Had to wait over 8 weeks to be seen by an ortho specialist who performed a CT scan and biopsy.  As the subject line states he was diagnosed with a Grade 3 Soft Tissue Sarcoma.

Because of his age, we decided that we would just do palliative care and see how he does, even though he went through the CT scan and biopsy without any issues.  Fast forward to last Thursday when he decided to nibble on his leg where there was growth starting to pop out, broke open skin and exposed a portion of a tumor!  We now have an open wound that cannot be stitched close and a decision to make.  He still has so much life in him even at the age of 14, and we felt we cannot just give up on him because he's an older dog.  We know it will most likely take longer to recover because he's not a younger dog. So we are treating his wound daily, he is on a 14-day regimen of antibiotics and his surgery is set for March 1st. There is a 20% chance it may reoccur. We know this is the right decision but are sad at the same time to see our normally happy boy in so much discomfort, and know he will be "naked" for awhile having to get a large portion of his double coat removed for the surgery.

We look forward to searching these forums for advice on how to assist with his rehab and therapy.  Thankfully we have already made good friends with the chiropractor and massage therapist he sees, and know they also have a rehab specialist there who can help him learn to walk on 3 instead of 4 legs. We have purchased a recovery suit for him to wear when he leaves the hospital and are also planning to purchase a lift harness to help him walk in the initial first few weeks.  If anyone has any other suggestions, please let us know.  Our other Keeshond, Abby (his great-niece) who will be 3 yrs old in a few weeks will certainly help him in his recovery. 🙂 sp_hearticon2


Steve, Brenda and Saku

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24 September 2009
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16 February 2022 - 6:01 pm
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sbflattum68 said
It is so nice to know there is a large group of folks...We look forward to searching these forums for advice on how to assist with his rehab and therapy. 

Welcome to the best community nopawdy ever wants to join!

Be sure to check out the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab and find a therapist near you or DIY exercises to get started.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you're sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

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