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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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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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Tripawd Awareness Day - 'Spirit' Trouble
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My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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28 February 2013 - 7:22 pm
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Trouble's journey began the Monday before Thanksgiving, 2008 at 4PM.  I took her in for an intermittent limp expecting to get some arthritis meds and instead got the shock of my life.  Her diagnosis was quick.  The x-ray was distinct, the 'starburst' pattern was definitely there.  The vet didn't recommend amputation, she didn't think Trouble was a good candidate.  We drove home with me in a daze.  The next day was a blur as we made decisions about going to Houston to the specialty clinic or to Bryan to A&M Veterinary College. I made an appointment with a local vet we had consulted with on another occasion, he saw us at 5:30PM on Tuesday.  He took his time, talked us through all the scenario's, gave us all the statistics, and very calmly made it clear if we wanted to stop the pain, and osteosarcoma is extremely painful, we would have to amputate. He didn't ask us to decide, but told us he would clear his schedule for us the next morning.  If I brought her in, he would be free to do the surgery.  I drove her to the clinic on Wednesday morning, less than 36 hours after her diagnosis.  By 9AM, she was in surgery.  She came home on Friday, and the great tripawd adventure that would last 27 1/2 months began.

Those first days were a blur as we began the process of adjusting to our new normal.  Frankly, Trouble adapted a lot quicker than Bob and I.  There were hours spent doing research, and for me hours spent with the new Tripawds forum I had discovered.

Trouble's biopsy came back as the tumor being totally encapsulated - it had not broken into the bone.  This was the deciding point for choosing chemo.  I was terrified to put her through the treatment.  With a very patient vet, and a husband that wasn't willing to let her go without a fight, they convinced me to give her one treatment and see how well she tolerated it.  She was amazing.  A bit tired, mild nausea for a few hours, and by the next morning as good as prior to the chemo.  She had 5 treatments of Carboplatin and tolerated them pretty well.  For the remainder of the treatments, she was given Cerenia injections prior to the chemo to fight the nausea.

Trouble, whose personality had always been strong, became a Diva.  Everyone she came in contact with loved her.  She was a true ambassador for Tripawds everywhere as well as for pit bulls. Dr F and his staff loved her as much as we did. She lived in this forum and another for those 27 1/2 months. We had an awesome support system, so many people who helped us every step of the way.

The 27 1/2 months weren't without challenges. There were many scares along the way - a seroma on her ear, a lipoma under a lymph node in her neck they thought was surely lymphoma, a day or two of immobility here and there.  And each time my heart sank, and my support team would pull me up and make me stand. The cancer journey is where every ounce of strength you have in your being comes to the forefront and keeps you moving ahead.

By the time Trouble turned 12, I knew the arthritis was starting to claim her.  In the last six months we fought the battle of keeping her mobile. In the end, as hard as I fought, and as much as I loved, we just couldn't go any further. She lived her 27 1/2 months cancer free.

My beautiful girl was an inspiration to so many. She gave the gift of hope to so many who came after her. She taught us statistics are only numbers, that there is no time stamp on the butt of a cancer fighter.

She lives forever in my heart. No other will ever take her place. On March 16, it will be 2 years since she left us, and I am fighting to write this through the tears. RIP sweet Trouble.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge .

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.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Sydney, Australia
Member Since:
13 September 2011
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28 February 2013 - 7:35 pm
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And I couldn't finish reading Trouble's story without tears.  She was most definitely a wonderful ambassador for Tripawds and still is!  And your love for her shines through.

 

Karen and Spirit Magnum

Magnum: 30th May 2002 to 5th May 2012. Lost her back left leg to osteosarcoma on 5th Sep 2011. Lung mets found on 20th Mar 2012 but it was bone mets in the hip that ended her brave battle. Magnum's motto - "Dream as if you'll live for ever, live as if you'll die today" (James Dean). Loyal, loving, courageous and spirited to the end. My beloved heart dog, see her memoirs from Rainbow Bridge ...... http://princess.....pawds.com/

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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28 February 2013 - 10:10 pm
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Oh Shanna! This is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
19 July 2013
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25 July 2013 - 8:05 pm
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My 10 year old pitbull mix, Angel, is having her front leg amputated tomorrow due to cancer, like Trouble. I posted for people to keep us in our thoughts, and Jerry recommended I read your post. While it made me cry, it also gave me hope that I still have some time with my Angel. I can tell how much Trouble meant to you,  and I hope I can go through this with the same attitude and strength as you seem to have.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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28 November 2008
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26 July 2013 - 3:57 am
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Tracy, you and Angel will be in my thoughts. It is a difficult time, but I am sending healing thoughts for Angel to have a speedy and uneventful recovery and calming thoughts to you as you face this difficult time. They are truly amazing and their resilience is more than you can ever imagine. Trouble only needed assistance the first couple of days, and from that point on she would show us she could manage on her own.  They will take a tumble now and then and it breaks your heart, but they just get up, shake it off, and keep going.  Trouble actually seemed a bit embarrassed and frustrated when she stumbled or fell.

Please don't hesitate to PM me if you wish. I would be more than happy to answer questions for you.

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.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 July 2013 - 11:31 am
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Hey Shanna....gonna hijack the site just a moment to let you know Spirit Trouble is still having such a positive impact on js all! Well done Trouble! WELL DONE!

Please know these tripawd neros are NEVER forgotten! Your Trouble love a life of meanig......and still is!!

Love,

Sally and Happy Hannah

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!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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28 November 2008
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30 July 2013 - 6:27 pm
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Thank you, Sally for the kind words.  She was such an awesome ambassador for tripawds and for her breed.  She never met anyone she didn't love or who didn't love her back.  It is still quite hard for me at times, but I have finally given myself permission to never get over losing her.  That has somehow made it a bit easier. She was my heart dog.  You just never completely heal from their loss.

 

 

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.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Rock Hill, SC
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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30 July 2013 - 6:36 pm
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Shanna, in my humble opinion, it is most certainly okay to never get over losing them.  You have to move on with life, but they will always be a part of us and their absence will always be felt.  I think it is important that you know that what Sally said is true - we will never forget Trouble.  She is in the heart of so many people that her spirit and memory remain large in this world even though her physical presence has moved on.  Her story will continue to inspire so many people for a long time to come.

Hugs to you,

Lisa

Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...
http://zeuspod......pawds.com/

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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30 July 2013 - 6:55 pm
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Thank you, Lisa.  And you are so right. We do move on.  I have Duke and Emmi to keep me on my toes and we have recently began to volunteer on rescue transports.  Haven't done many yet, but watch weekly for any in our area. I would love to have a therapy dog, but not sure either of mine are good candidates. Duke has the temperament, but lacks the tolerance for being examined by a stranger, so getting him certified could be a daunting task.  And Emmi is just too juvenile yet to focus and behave.

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.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Rock Hill, SC
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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30 July 2013 - 7:04 pm
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OMGosh, good for you!  Greg and I drive for Echo Dogs (White German Shepherd) rescue and the Liberty Train.  Unfortunately, since moving to SC they don't have many transports in this area.  I've recently found out about a group in this area and I may submit an app to drive for them.  Now that we are a bit more settled, we are looking to volunteer at the local shelter walking dogs a few times a week.  We were very involved with our PA shelter and we have missed that SO much since moving.  It really is such a rewarding experience to help so we can wait to dive back in!  Good luck with your transports!

Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...
http://zeuspod......pawds.com/

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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11
30 July 2013 - 7:17 pm
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I follow Liberty Train, On the Road Again, and a group out of New York I can't think of the name of.  I'm scheduled this weekend to do a transport from Gulfport, MS to Tillman Corner, AL. We will be in Biloxi for the weekend so I figured it wouldn't hurt me a bit to take a short transport while we are there.  Also becoming involved with a small local rescue that works really hard to give quality care to the pups it takes in. 

Our 'spirit' pups have taught us well. May we make them proud.

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.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

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