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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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11.5 Year Old Italian Spinone going for amputation next week
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Minneapolis, MN
Forum Posts: 698
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13 June 2016 - 7:56 pm
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Gunner is just so handsome and looks like such a proud brother to your girls!  Such a sweet picture!

Catching up on the thread, I am sorry Gunner did not get accepted to the drug trial, but am glad he is now past the surgery.  My guy was in hospital longer than I planned – he had a nerve sheath tumor and needed MRI to map it prior to surgery and that manipulation left him in terrible pain so he never came home that night as planned and they moved surgery up to the following day.  He still spent a second night in ICU the day after surgery, but rebounded after that.  I hope Gunner turn that corner and come home soon!

I echo many of the recommendations and emphasize being sure you come home with adequate supply of all the pain meds you might need.  Some vets wait on the Gabapentin – we had it prior to and following surgery and had less pain issues than some dogs who didn’t start the Gabapentin sooner.  Nearly every dog I know has done better when they were taking Tramadol, Rimadyl and Gabapentin for a few weeks post op.

Pofi is also 11.5 and a good sized dog at 70 pounds and has adapted very well as a Tripawd.

Best thoughts for Gunner!

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

Michigan
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13 June 2016 - 9:20 pm
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I’m sure Gunner will figure it out, the bigger guys just take a little more time.  But I can just imagine that it’s driving you crazy not having him at home.  The good thing, though, is that the hospital is taking care of him on the hardest nights for you.  Murphy was only gone the night before surgery and the night after and I just couldn’t wait to get him home!  Sorry he didn’t get in the study.

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs

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Schofield, WI
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16 June 2016 - 1:26 pm
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Any updates on beautiful Gunner?  Have been thinking about you guys and wondering how it’s going?

Linda, Riley & Spirits Mighty Max & Ollie

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22 June 2016 - 12:55 pm
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Sorry for the delay everyone. I really appreciate all of the great feedback. Things have been pretty hectic for us, as everyone probably knows (and appreciates). Sadly, Gunner took a turn for the worse yesterday — but hopefully not his final turn!

As you know, we brought him home last week. He was seemingly doing quite well. He was moving a good bit. His energy was coming back. And if I didn’t have the harness on him, he would move quite quickly ahead of me out the front door — even though he clearly still didn’t have his coordination figured out yet. He fell on his face a few times in our front yard, but nothing bad. And, I didn’t laugh loud enough for him to hear me. 🙂

As the weekend progressed, he started losing his appetite. He didn’t eat much Sunday night. Monday morning he didn’t eat and he would barely go outside. His energy had been zapped. I worked Monday and my wife said she had to force him to go out Monday afternoon. I got home and he was still lethargic. I tried to give him water and he wouldn’t really take it. I checked his incision and it looked great. No heat, no smell, nothing. I told my wife if he didn’t improve he needed to go back to the vet. I got up with him twice during the night and he wouldn’t go outside. I knew something was wrong. When we got up we tried to feed him and he drank a little water and threw it up.

We called UGA and told them I was bringing him to the ER. I got over there mid-morning. We had to pick him  up and put him on a gurney. He wouldn’t walk at all. They received him in the ER and did blood work. After a few hours the doctors met with me and said he had “kidney trauma/failure.” His numbers were super elevated. I don’t have them in front of me, but they were essentially 8-10x more than they should be. The doctor told me he had a 50/50 chance for survival. As you can imagine, this floored me since he had been doing so well. I asked what might have caused this and they suggested the following:

-toxins (something he got into like antifreeze), which is 100% not possible
-too much deramaxx (pain drug); again, not likely. we cut his dosage in half after surgery and his blood levels were normal before the surgery
-response to anesthesia
-osteosarcoma had already spread to the kidneys (not super common)
-addison’s disease (again, not common)

Nothing seemed plausible. He hasn’t been exposed to anything uncommon; heck, he has been in “jail” since he has been home. The Deramaxx suggestion makes no sense really since he went from 100mg to 50mg after the surgery. And his blood work was totally normal before the surgery (after 10+ days on Deramaxx). They ruled out Addison’s Disease through testing and also Osteosarcoma progress in his kidneys. So, the doctors can only really point to the Deramaxx. It’s all just hard to understand.

I stayed up at the ER all day and evening. They came back and said they had been giving him fluids all day. Their hope was that his bladder would fill and that the fluid wouldn’t go to other parts of his body. The good news is that his bladder did fill. And when I went to see him last night before I came home he was a lot more spry. He wagged his tail and sat up. The doctors called me again late last night and said he had been “producing urine,” which is a good sign. They also called first thing today and said his kidney levels had reduced about 25%, which was also good. Still not normal, but far better and on a good trajectory.

I am told he will likely be there another 3-4 days. He will be monitored constantly. And hopefully we will find out what might have caused this reaction. Super frustrating but I live my live optimistically and so does Gunner! He and I had a chat and we agreed it wasn’t his time to go.

I appreciate all of the positive thoughts you guys are sending our way. I’ll keep you posted!

-Jason

Gunner post-surgeryImage Enlarger

Virginia




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22 June 2016 - 2:09 pm
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Glad you and Gunner had “that” chat and you both agreed it wasn’t his time!!! And your Tripawd Family concurs!!

Hoooolyyyyy mooooolyyyy! You guys have been through soooo much!! With everything on your plate, we very much appreciate you taking the time to update us. We all care so deeply about each other on this journey.

This really hit you out of the blue, that’s for sure. Gunner is in really good hands and clearly they are doing everything possible! You DO have some good news in that Gunner is showing some improvement, not only just in his aattitude but his blood work also!

For whatever it’s worth, my adopted tripawd Frankie got into a bottle of yummy Rimadyl a couple of months ago. He ate approximately 1600 mg. Fortunately I saw the empty bottle on the floor and knew immediately what had happened. Loooong story short, after four days in the ER and non-stop fluids, everything returned to normal!

As you can imagine, I was on Dr Google for hours researching Rimadyl. I read about so many cases where, seemingly out of the blue, a dog went into kidney failure…sometimes after just a couple of doses….and sometimes after having been on it without incident for a couple of weeks, and then issues seemingly overnight! Often a dog was “misdiagnosed” and treated for things other than toxicity. You did an excellent job of getting Gunner in and getting his treatment started.

The whole community is cheering for Gunner and sending tons of healing positive energy! When you go visit him and have another chat, be sure and let him know we’re all his fans and think he is a spectacular fella’! 🙂

Love and hugs to all!

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!

Schofield, WI
Forum Posts: 1454
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22 June 2016 - 2:30 pm
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Wow you guys have been through the wringer haven’t you?   Sorry to hear all that beautiful boy and you guys had to go through.  Happy to hear he’s making good progress and hopefully on the mend.  Sending tons of healing thoughts Gunners way and hope it’s smooth sailing here on out for you all.  Please keep us posted when you can, you’re family now.   Hugs,

Linda, Riley & Spirits Mighty Max & Ollie

Minneapolis, MN
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22 June 2016 - 2:40 pm
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Oh, no, what a worrisome development.  I know nsaid toxicity can happen fast, so I think you were right to get Gunner into UGA and their close monitoring and care.  And there are other nsaid alternatives and just because it seems like he may have had an issue with one doesn’t mean he will have same issue with another.  Or maybe it was the anesthesia – it takes time for their bodies to process and get out of their systems and maybe as an older dog, it was just tougher for him.

I am also glad the two of you had that talk and agreed, it is not his time!  All good thoughts for his recovery and homecoming!!

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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22 June 2016 - 2:42 pm
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So glad that you had the foresight to get him into your vet, and that the vet worked diligently to identify the problem.  Hope he feels better soon.   (And, kind of scary – my “dog” medicine cabinet now has more meds in it than my “people” medicine cabinet).

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Here and Now


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22 June 2016 - 4:39 pm
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The Deramax reaction seems the most plausible, ask for a different NSAID. All dogs react differently, and some breeds experience dangerous reactions to any amount of certain NSAIDs… http://tripawds…..reactions/

Thanks for the update, and best wishes for Gunner! Please keep us posted.

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24 June 2016 - 2:34 pm
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Hello. Just wanted to drop another update since it’s the end of the week. I talk to the doctors twice a day at the UGA Vet Hospital. They are a very communicative and caring group.

Very good news today: Gunner’s kidney levels have dropped every day since Tuesday (when I brought him in). His BUN levels are down from 9.2 to 2.2. And his Creatnine is now at 52. His Creatnine levels were so high when we first brought him in they couldn’t even measure them with the machine.

Needless to say, the doctors were a bit flabbergasted — for two reasons: 1) They are surprised that his levels are coming down so much and so rapidly. I think they felt they might plateau a bit higher. So they are extremely optimistic. 2) They are still unsure how this happened. Gunner did have a minor UTI, but they said that was unlikely to cause his levels to spike so much.

In any case, we are very pleased with his progress. He has been moved from ICU to a more intermediary care. And our hope is that we will be able to bring him back home (for good) on Sunday. This has been a long process, but we are just pleased that he is finally on the road to recovery.

-Jason

Here and Now


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Schofield, WI
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24 June 2016 - 5:15 pm
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Great news!  Hopefully he’ll be back home with his family very soon.  I’m so happy things are going well!  Thank you so much for taking the time to update!  C’mon Gunner your family needs smooth sailing and we’re all rooting for you!

Hugs,

Linda, Riley & Spirits Mighty Max & Ollie

Minneapolis, MN
Forum Posts: 698
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24 June 2016 - 6:57 pm
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So, so pleased to read this update and that he is doing better for whatever reason and whatever the cause of the kidney issue in the first place!  Can’t wait to hear that he is home!!

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

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19292
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22 February 2013
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24 June 2016 - 10:05 pm
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I lpve it when we get tears of joy around here! Such good tears! 🙂

This is incredibly good news…so encouraging!! Thank you for updating us. Even though we won’t be there for the homecoming physically, we’ll be with you through cyberspace! Can’t wait to see the homecoming pictures!

Now no more scary times Gunner! Smooth sailing from here on out!

Hugs to all!

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!

Michigan
Forum Posts: 1447
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2 April 2013
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24 June 2016 - 10:29 pm
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yeah Gunner!  Keep going!

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs

Donna.png

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