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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Starting Pallative Care
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Member Since:
4 March 2022
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26 February 2023 - 11:48 am
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Haven’t posted in awhile about Westleigh. She’ll have her one year ampuversary on Triday. She’s been part of a clinical trial at Johns Hopkins since October. It’s unclear still if the trial helped slow down the tumor progression on her lungs, but as of now the lung mets have progressed in size and she has some days where she coughs. She also injured her psoas in her left hind leg a few weeks ago. She’s a front left tripawd. We’ve discussed with the clinical trial vet who suggested starting prednisone at a high dose and tapering down. As we’ve all reached the conclusion that it’s time for pallative care. She’s been pretty miserable off of the carprofen since Tuesday to washout before starting steroids. The plan is to start the prednisone on Wednesday once her blood work is reviewed since she had a chemo dose as part of the clinical trial last Tuesday. I’m a little worried about the steroid side effects and wonder if there are other nsaids to try instead. I’ll discuss with Westleigh’s vet, but just trying to keep her comfortable as long as she wants. 


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 February 2023 - 7:36 pm
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While I know this isn't  the news you wanted to hear, but it's certainly the end of the road for the amazing Westleigh.

While I cant recall the the specific back up "study", but in many cases  life has been extended  beyond "expectation" due to palliative  care.  Basically  palliative  care is a "treatment" that can serve to provide comfort, diminish  symptoms, curtail pain, etc, thus enhancing quality so the body can use its resources to help delay the progress of the "disease".  

Ask Onco about prescribing  a cough med is the cough gets worse.  Also maybe a pain med to help with the leg pain until you can get to the Prednisone like Gabapentin?

While I can't  address an alternative to Prednisone when lung mets are involved, I can say that my Happy Hannah was prescribed  that when I needed to "treat" her met and keep sysmptons at bay.  It helps keep the inflammation  down around the met itself.  I liked how my Vet described  prescribing  the Prednisone.  "While it's not a med we like to use unless necessary, when necessary it can be a miracle drug."     I really don't  recall any side effects per se.  I know thirst, increased appetite and maybe need to pee more can occur,  but none of those "side effecrs" were a deal breaker for me weighing  the benefits.

So the "delay", in addition. to the washout period, is also because of waiting for the bloodwork?   FWIW it's my under the washout period isn't as long as it used to be. Now maybe three to four days.  I am NOT a Vet and certainly  not given Vet advice!!  anywhere between three and four days.  I can only say when I had to take a dog off Rimadyl for disc issues and switch to Prednisone,  I also noticed a rise in pain, poor mobility, etc.  Per Vet guidance I only waited four days.  Again, FWIW and not giving Vet advice!

Jist continue  to make every moment the best moment  ever, lots of spoiling,  lots of pictures  and lots of loving in the NOW.  Be just like  Westleigh and love in the present with no worries about the tomorrws.

Speaking of pictures, I'll PM my email address to you if you'd like me to post some  pictures of  Westleigh.  It would be my honor!  After all, we have a HAPPY ONE YEAR AMPUVERSARY  to celebrate with cake and ice cream.....and pictures!


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!.

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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25 April 2007
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27 February 2023 - 12:37 pm
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Oh no! I'm really, really sorry Westleigh is at this place in the journey. It's a difficult place to be, thankfully you guys have some good veterinary guidance to help make the best of a crappy situation. 

Pred is standard treatment at this stage can be really beneficial for boosting quality of life. If you don't like how it affects her (typically excessive thirst and urination are the common side effects) you can always taper it down, or take her off it completely. That's totally up to you. We didn't like how it affected our Jerry so we took him off of it, but some dogs do pretty good on it for much longer than anyone thought possible. Unfortunately options are pretty limited at this stage.

And yeah spoil her rotten, she sure deserves it. Giver her lots of love and gentle massage to help those psoa muscles relax (a good muscle relaxer like Methocarbomol can help too, ask your vet).

Westleigh is such an inspiration to everyone, and we hope you get many more good days together so we can celebrate her one year ampuversary and beyond. Please keep us posted and ask any questions you'd like, we are here for you.

Member Since:
4 March 2022
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27 February 2023 - 2:56 pm
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Unfortunately Westleigh deteriorated a lot over the past 24 hours and we have made the difficult decision to send her across the rainbow bridge. She almost made it 6 months with progressive lung mets. It was 6 mets at the x ray last week. She did great as a tripawd and almost made it a year. This website was a great resource for us.  Thank you 


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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27 February 2023 - 5:30 pm
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Our hearts break once again for our tripawd family as our beloved Westleigh  had to head to The Bridge.  As I shake my head in disbelief, I also know you did did EXACTLY the right thing to release her before an unbearable crisis  took hold.   The scales were rapidly  falling out of her favor and yiu loved her enough to not let her suffering go any further. 

I know it's hard eight now on so many levels, but the fact that Westleigh knocked the mets back for a half a year (three plus years in hooman years) is a victory here.  Westleigh's story will inspire and give hope to those facing the "met diagnosis ".  And then to be a Tripawd RockStar for a year (seven years in hooman years) and live life to the fullest cements her legacy of hope around here.  I hope someday you find comfort in knowing she shall continue  to touch lives here in her Tripawd community. 

We all cry with you tonight.   We understand  the depth of grief you are feeling.  While we are "grateful" we can give the gift of release, the void, the break in our daily routine, the devotion  to non stop  quality......when all this stops it hurts like hell.

For whatever reason, several of our members (cats and dogs) headed  to The Rainbow Bridge this month.  I have no dout all of these Gevruary Angel's are having a last running free, frolicking  and romping with each other, eating every forbidden earth  food until their bellies were so full  they were burping and farting all over the Angel's.  Silly group.

Maybe we can say Westleigh is the leader of the "Fabulous February Furbabies".  

We know there are no words right now, or really ever as far as that goes.  All we can do is surround you with our love and our understanding of how deep your love is for Westleigh,  and she for you.

We are here for you and know without a doubt Westleigh  will make a connection  with you.  Right now though, she's pretty busy at the Bridge bragging about the Happy earth lofe she had with you.

Love and light

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

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

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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27 February 2023 - 7:05 pm
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My heart breaks for you, I'm so sorry she is declining so rapidly. This is such a tough call, but you are putting your heartache and grief aside for her benefit. What a gift to your sweet girl, as difficult as it is. She will not suffer, and she will transition on surrounded by all the love that she ever could have hoped for. And when she arrives at the Bridge, all our Fabulous February Furbabies will be there to greet her.

All of us are keeping you and Westleigh in our hearts, forever. I hope you can feel our love and support across the miles. Keep in touch OK?

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