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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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27 June 2016 - 11:12 am
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Sending all our well wishes to Gunner!!

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29 June 2016 - 2:53 pm
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Hey gang. Wanted to give everyone the latest update on Gunner.

I went over to UGA to pick up Gunner yesterday and bring him home. His kidney values/levels had improved enough (and plateaued) to the point where he was ready for discharge.

When they brought him in to see me, he literally RAN through the door to me. I didn’t expect that at all. He was so excited to see me. What a great feeling!

I brought him home and he had a great sleep last night. He was worn out! I have all of his exercises for him and he’s very good about doing them. And when I take him outside, he’s very good about wanting to walk around more. So far so good!

I have to say my experience at the UGA Vet School has been amazing. Their bedside manner has been incredible. So caring and empathetic. And I get at least two calls per day from them with updates on Gunner. Every time I go to see him, I am surrounded by doctors and students. If you’re ever down this way, you should check it out: http://vet.uga.edu/vmc/. It’s nicer than any hospital I’ve ever seen.

Thanks again for all of the thoughts and well wishes.

-Jason

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 June 2016 - 4:48 pm
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Wow that is a really terrific update and a fine referral for UGA! Be sure to post in our Veterinary Specialists Referrals topic in case others are in search of a great clinic in the area.

http://tripawds…..-referrals

So happy to hear about Gunner. Let’s hear more about those exercises in “Hopping Around” when you get a chance!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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15 August 2016 - 11:27 am
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Hey there. I haven’t been on here in a bit and wanted to give the folks who responded to this thread an update. Unfortunately, Gunner is not doing well. I’m afraid we will lose his battle this week.

This has been agonizing. As you know, Gunner had kidney issues post-surgery. They could never be sure why, but they suspected it was the NSAIDs combined with the anesthesia. In any case, he just hasn’t been the same since the surgery. Obviously losing a leg is a big deal. But, I feel like he had recovered from that really well. He was running. Going up and down steps with ease. Honestly, that part of it seemed like a non-issue. The kidney issues have been, by far, the biggest challenge.

We have given him a 1000ml bag of fluid every day since he was diagnosed with the acute kidney issue (for well over a month). He has also been on a multitude of meds: Cerenia, Gabapentin, Mirtazapine and a few others. He has generally lost most of his appetite. I have offered anything/everything I could think of in order to get him to eat. Some days he would eat a bowl of food or something we offered him. Others, he wouldn’t eat anything. Before his surgery he was 92 lbs. Today he is 62 lbs… and declining.

This weekend it became obvious he was going downhill quickly. He peed on one of the rugs, which he has never done. We take him out frequently. He also became semi-depressed. He wasn’t really engaged and didn’t run around outside. He also started shaking a lot. And when he went outside he would sometimes just stop and stand there. Almost as if he didn’t understand where he was. He wouldn’t even eat a pill pocket (which he LOVES).

We took him to our vet this morning and they suggested that “it is his time.” We could hospitalize him for the third time or we could make him comfortable and end this on ours/his terms. As I mentioned, Gunner has always been a super happy, optimistic guy. This isn’t him. And I don’t know what more we can do for him. The docs have said this is likely the way the rest of his life will go. They can’t reasonably control his kidneys and keep them at a good level. Seemingly his numbers increase by the day.

So, I have advised them to give him intravenous fluids and Cerenia. And we will spend the next 24-48 hours with him at home showering him with love. We will likely end his suffering on Wednesday. I know this is for the best, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

I’m grateful to have a group of folks to share this with. I know you all can empathize better than anyone else. And I appreciate all of the helpful comments and positive thoughts. Dogs lives are far too short. But our lives were SO MUCH RICHER for the nearly 12 years that Gunner has been a part of our family. He brought countless smiles to us over the years. He will always be a part of our family. I’m glad my girls got to know him. I just wish more folks had gotten to know my sweet boy.

-jason

Schofield, WI
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15 August 2016 - 3:19 pm
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I’m so sorry you have come to this point of your journey.  Loving them enough to let them go is the last but the greatest gift we have left to give them.   The love you and your family has for sweet Gunner has shone through in each and every one of your posts.  You left no stone unturned for that beautiful boy to be healthy.  No one could have done more.  Your head knows it’s Gunner’s time but your heart will take some time to catch up to that same knowledge.  The void Gunner will leave is great but know he will always stay by your side in spirit and live in your heart forever.  Sending you and your family healing hugs at this hardest of times.  

Linda, Riley & Spirits Mighty Max & Ollie

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 August 2016 - 3:25 pm
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Jason, I’m really sorry. It’s heartbreaking when you have to confront a reality like this. Sounds like your vet is very compassionate in guiding you through it, that’s such a bonus during a very hard time.

You’re right, we all get it and know exactly what it feels like. We never get enough time with them. But Gunner’s life has been so amazing thanks to you and everyone who loves him. You provided the kind of daily adventures and love that a dog dreams of and deserves. He is so lucky to have such great humans through thick and thin.

As you cope with the coming hours and days, we’ll keep you in our thoughts and be here for you whenever you need us. Give Gunner a million kisses from us. He will always be a Tripawd Hero.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Michigan
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15 August 2016 - 6:00 pm
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Oh, Jason … I’m so, so sorry that you and your family are going through this with sweet Gunner crying 

We’ve lost 2 cats to kidney failure, one happened so suddenly and one was chronic, where we did the sub q fluids for her…it was very difficult to watch her decline.

Please know that we are here for you.  Give Gunner lots of extra hugs & kisses from us!

heartDonna

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

Minneapolis, MN
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16 August 2016 - 5:43 am
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My heart hurts to hear this news; I went back to the beginning of this topic to look at the picture of sweet Gunner with your beautiful girls and shed some tears for what you all must be going through with this sad turn of events.

Wishing you strength as you bid your good boy farewell.  He has known such love from you and will feel it even as you help him leave his failing body behind.  Gentle journey, handsome, loyal and loving boy, Gunner.  

heart

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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16 August 2016 - 9:42 am
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Such terrible news for you all, I’m so sorry. I joined this community about the same time you did and regularly saw your updates and gorgeous pictures. I’m so so sorry you all find yourselves with this heart wrenching decision. I think we all dread the day more than anything. I know its haunted me since the day I picked my bundle of fluff puppy up, but its all part of our big responsibility. Take solace in knowing Gunner has had a wonderful life with you and your girls will grow up hearing about all the fabulous and goofy adventures he had. I know words offer little comfort at this horrible time, but hopefully in time you’ll be able to read back through these posts and know that you and gunner touched more hearts and minds than you could have imagined – he’s a special tripawd soul, treasure him and his memory

heart

Zuki Wuggafer 30/09/06 - 11/11/16. Right hind tripawd due to Osteosarcoma. He had a strong 5 and half months as a tripawd but unfortunately a secondary issue with his spine ended our battle. He loved life, loved our family and was the best dog I could ever ask for. Truly my first love, forever in my thoughts and heart.

Read our story: http://zuki.tripawds.com/

Virginia




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16 August 2016 - 10:50 am
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Oh Jason, so very, very sorry. No matter how much “progress” is made with this piece of crap disease,the u forseen hidden twists and turns of this journey. hit us the hardest.

Your boundless love for Gunner comes shining through with every single word and every single action. Gunner knows how loved he is and he knows he can count on you to love him enough to rrelease him from his earthky body that no lo ger serve him. He is ready to go onto the next phase of his journey.

A d yes, we have been so eternally touched by this very special Soul and yiur very special connectionheart Gunner jumped into our hearts from day one! Talk about CUTE…beyond cute!!

We are here for you. Lean on us. This part is devastatingly hard…not for Gunner though. Gunner will head to the Bridge vital and running free bragging to everyone about the great time he had with you!

Surrounding you with love and peace and a knowing that Gunner is ALWAYS with you

Sally and My Chunky Spiritual Being 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!

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17 August 2016 - 1:55 pm
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Hello all. This morning we said goodbye to our sweet boy, Gunner. His life was shorter than we hoped, but it was packed full of love. He wagged his tail some this morning; ever the pleaser. He went peacefully around 930am. Our hearts are heavy, but I know he is at peace.

Thank you again everyone for your kind words. It has been extremely therapeutic for me to share my thoughts and feelings here. And hear others’ experiences. I’ll continue to come here and, possibly, I can help others like you all have done for me.

-Jason

Minneapolis, MN
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17 August 2016 - 6:35 pm
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Jason:

Thank you for sharing Gunner with us – we sorrow that he could not stay with you longer, but celebrate the beautiful and happy life he had with you.  Wishing you all comfort in your memories.

heart

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

Livermore, CA




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17 August 2016 - 7:38 pm
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Jason and family,

I’m so sorry Gunner has crossed, you gave him one last unselfish gift by letting him go on ahead. Many (if not all) of us here have had to make that decision at some point and we understand.  No matter how hard today is for you I hope you find just a little peace knowing you gave your boy a wonderful life and you did all that you could for him.

Tripug Maggie developed kidney failure so I know how difficult it is to deal with: the fluids, the lack of apatite, the weight loss. No matter how hard you try the outcome is not good.

Once you join here you are family and we mourn with you. I hope you can feel the strength this community sends when we lose one of our own.

Gunner will live forever in your heart and so will always be by your side.

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

Virginia




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17 August 2016 - 8:41 pm
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Our dear Jason and family, our hearts break with you. We uunderstand like no others can and it hurts our hearts to lpse a dog as speciaw as Gunner. To lose him way too soon is sad beyond words. I am reminded though, you can never lose what has never really left you.

I have to tell yiu though, the grace and the courage you and Gunner hsve shown together as a team during this all too brief journey of uos and downs has touched us all. Against all odds, you stayed focused on being in the moment with Gunner and cherishing every tail wag, every sloppy kkss, every snuggle. And you and Gunner DID have some good quality time! Isn’t it amazing how much love and spoiling can be crammed jnto every second everyday?

I know there is a bizarre sense of “reief”, for about a split second, knowing that you gave Gunner a peaceful and loving send off as he neaded to the Bridge. Then the void, the silence, the loss of routine of caring for Gunner, the debilitating sadness…it all kicks in. And as hard as it hurts now, it will probably get even worse before it gets better. I share this so you won’t think you’ve lost your mind. I say this to remind you that you don’t have to go through this alone. We are all here with you. You uunderstand the waves of grief that will hitnyounkutnkf the blje for a long time. We understand not being able to sleep. We understand not wanting to get up.

But Jason , what we also understand is you have thousands and thousands of happy memories! Your mind will eventually take you to that treasure chest of joy that you and Gunner shared everyday! You two really had a magical bond! REALLY!!

That picture of Gunner with the babies…OMD! Gunner looked so proud! And now he is their Guardian Angel, your Guardian Angel, just from a different location! In fact, if you look up into the night sky, I’m sure there will be a Star that catches your eye immediately! It will be twinkling, it will be bright, it will be Gunner’s Star.

And something else will be happening soon…Gunner WILL make his presence known! He will send you a sign! PROMISE! Cannot wait to hear all about it!

We wouldloveto see more pictures of sweet Gunner. Please telll us more of your favorite memories when you can. I have a feeling he was quite the Clown in’his younger days!

Gunner will always be remembered here! He did, indeed, leave a footprint in our hearts.heart

Surrounding you with Gunner’s eternal love

Sally and My Chunky Spiritual Being Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie

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!

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