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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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The story of Bryn - our ex-racing greyhound
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Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
17 November 2018
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17 November 2018 - 10:42 am
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Bryn is an ex-racing greyhound that we got from our local (UK) Greyhound rescue centre in 2014. Although he was quite a bit older than the other dogs (Bryn was 6 when the average age of an ex-racer seems to be about 3), the look he gave us, as he gazed up through the bars of his kennel, meant we had to take him.

The past 4 and a half years have been the best. We have learnt a lot about dog ownership from him, but he always offers his full unconditional love. We avoid leaving him wherever possible, taking him on dog-friendly camping trips all over the UK and Europe – from the battlefields of WW1 to the picturesque coastlines of Cornwall and national parks in Scotland, wherever we go, we always make sure we take him along.

Everything seemed to be going well until September 2018, when Bryn became reluctant to use the stairs. At first, we didn’t think too much of it, but by October we noticed that he had muscle atrophy in his left hind leg and he had started to limp. We went to the vets and were told that due to his age, it was likely arthritis – with the muscle wastage likely due to him avoiding using the leg. The vet took some X-rays and although they didn’t seem to show anything, felt confident in her diagnosis, prescribing painkillers and a review in November. November came and Bryn’s leg had only worsened. We went back to the vets where we were seen by one of the more experienced partners. He had reviewed the X-rays and after a thorough examination, determined the lameness was likely an issue with the nerve, referring us to a specialist.

Bryn and I went to the specialist yesterday (November 16th), within about 10 minutes the vet noticed a painful tumour at the top of Bryn’s leg. 24 hours, an MRI, CT scan, and an ultrasound later we now know that Bryn has a nerve sheath tumour at the top of his leg, on the sciatic nerve. This type of tumour is usually benign (slow growing, self-contained and not spreading) though to be sure, a sample has been sent away for further examination. Provided this is the case, then the treatment will be the complete removal of his left hind, likely including a small amount of his pelvis. This will likely cure Bryn. The only other option is palliative care, simply managing the pain.

That is where we are at, at the moment. Reading about other peoples experiences on this site has made the decision about his treatment so much easier. As the slogan goes, It’s better to hop on three legs than limp on four!

Livermore, CA




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17 November 2018 - 11:13 am
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry you are dealing with cancer but glad you found us.

The surgery they are maybe talking about for Bryn is a bit more invasive than the ‘usual’ rear amp, and called a hemipelvectomy? There are some here that have had it done.  I think the recovery might be a bit longer, but the end result of a pain free life is the same!

Here are the results of a Forum search on hemipelvectomy.

Here is Pofi’s posts- he had a nerve sheath tumor in a front leg/shoulder, his mom posts as hester.

And a forum search on Nerve Sheath Tumor gave these results.

I’ve had two rear amp dogs although both small.  Maggie was a Pug who lost her left rear leg to a mast cell tumor.  My current Tripawd is Elly who lost her right rear leg after being hit by a car at 7 months old. Maggie lived almost 4 years and Elly is now almost 4 years old.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 November 2018 - 10:05 pm
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Bryn and family welcome! I’m in the Tripawds Chat right now if you want to talk. Back in a sec with some thoughts…

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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The Rainbow Bridge



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17 November 2018 - 10:20 pm
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Thanks for posting and letting us know Bryn’s story. He is so lucky to have you for a human! What adventures you have had togehter. I have no doubt that when the recovery is over, you will be on to even more pawesome times together! We would love to hear more about your camping trips before and after the amputation.

When I was first reading your story I assumed you were joining us because of osteosarcoma. It’s so common in Greys. And when you said it was probably a nerve sheath tumor, I was happy to read that! I mean if it’s cancer, that’s a whole lot better of a diagnosis for sure.

So whatever we can do to help you, Bryn and your pack during this recovery, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are here for you! 

And don’t forget to share photos. Here’s a post about adding images to the Forums, we would love to see your hero!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!



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18 November 2018 - 4:48 am
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Hi Bryn and family 🌸🐾

I am really sorry your boy has cancer but am SO relieved it is not osteosarcoma, being a curable form is such “good” news!

Bryn has such a loving family and what a GREAT life, traveling with you all over the place!

Please do send us photos of your travels with him, it all sounds really exciting.

We are all here for you so please keep us updated on your sweet boy’s progress.

Hugs and cuddles 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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18 November 2018 - 3:31 pm
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Thank you all for your nice messages and links. It’s is very much appreciated! We shall share pictures of Bryn’s camping adventures to date.

It was devastating to find out that Bryn has a tumor on Friday, I’m just so glad that he should be able to make it though this. 

Thank you all again for your nice messages – shall keep you updated

Ross



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18 November 2018 - 4:12 pm
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Can’t wait to see the record of your travels 🚙💨💨⛺️

Thinking of you and your gorgeous boy 💕

Hugs and cuddles 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

Minneapolis, MN
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18 November 2018 - 6:29 pm
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Hello, Ross:

Pofi’s Mom here – and willing to share anything and everything I learned about NST and amputation in Pofi’s journey. I know you are devastated, but it really sounds as if you had the good fortune of finding the right vet sooner than we did  with a much earlier diagnosis and Bryn will have a good chance of the amputation being curative.  That is my fondest hope for you and for him.

I volunteer for Lurcher and Greyhound rescues in the states  – and my experience has been that hounds how have not really been using the leg, as in the case of NST or a long ago injury – well they really seem to adapt very, very quickly to life as a Tripawd.  

Please let me know any questions you might have of me.  Private message me if you are inclined.

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Lisa Marie

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

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2 December 2018 - 9:58 am
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Thank you for all the nice messages and offers of support. Really appreciate the community on here!

Has been a chaotic couple of weeks, Bryn had his amputation Wednesday just gone. Still waiting for him to come home but he is doing well – his is off the drip and on tablet medication, but his good leg is a bit bruised and swollen so I am expecting that we will get him back home Wednesday / Thursday. 

Shall share some pictures of the happy-hoppy boy when he is back home – missing him dearly currently…

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