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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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Athla the Wolfhound/Komondor :)
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Forum Posts: 48
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7 May 2016 - 9:12 pm
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Hello, friends. This is Athla.

Athla sittingImage Enlarger

She’s just turned 7! She’s a 50.50 wolfhound komondor! She has real hair and the back shape of the komondor – and the crazy intelligence!

I was friends with both her parents, I worked with them. When Athla was born I was there, and as the weeks passed they decided to give her to me 🙂

After a tremendously healthy life free of hip displasia, sickness or anything else, we thought she had pulled her ACL. Sadly, no – Ostersarcoma in the back left leg. It’s been five weeks from limping, to diagnosis and we are having her consult for amputation on Monday.

According to the Xray, it has not metastasized yet. In fact – I’ve stopped giving her the Tramodol (sp?) they’ve given us because a) she’s a million times happier not taking it and b) she seems to not be in much pain. I figure she’ll be taking enough of it after the surgery.

So many people have reached out to us to say – “I want you to know, truly, that there is hope. My X’s dog had this surgery and is still alive X years later!”

The prognosis is grim, according to online and vets. We are just – in dire need of some belief that we can still give her some good quality life for a little while, you know?

We’ve changed her diet – slowly bringing her from Fromme’s large breed to a Fromme’s grain free (it’s salmon, and she’s basically the happiest dog ever) – Some of the Budwig diet, ordered Artemisia (though I will wait to talk to the vet to give this to her) etc etc.

She is… the most important thing in the whole world to me and her daddy, and sometimes we’re ok, and just a few minutes ago a friend felt the need to reiterate her chances of survival and I lost it again –

I thought maybe sharing her story would make this easier, so here we are. :*) The anxiety and fear and pain is rising in our chests and it feels too big, it’s awful and scary and we don’t know what to do. Thanks so much for reading her little blurb :*)

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The Rainbow Bridge



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8 May 2016 - 9:38 am
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Ohhhh your story just warms my heart. We’ve been suckers for Wolfie dogs ever since our Jerry met Finnegan. Athla is gorgeous, a one of a kind, once in a lifetime doggie for sure.

I’m so sorry for the diagnosis. It’s a tough one and understand it’s hard to cope with. But I hope with all our hearts that the amazing giant breed Tripawd dogs you see here will give you the strength you may need when you go through recovery.

One thing about that prognosis: it’s only as grim as you allow it to be. After all, if we all thought about the fact that every single one of us will one day die, never knowing exactly when, then this world would be a depressing place right? Cancer is a reminder of our mortality. It can get you down or it can remind you that every day is precious and no tomorrows are guaranteed. Fill your heart with hope and follow in Athla’s pawsteps, she is unafraid and not thinking about those statistics, she just wants to go on living every day to the fullest.

You are doing everything right. You came here, you are researching and you are giving Athla a shot at a pain-free life with the people she loves most. No dog could ask for more.

Thanks for joining us. Your future posts won’t need approval. Please keep us posted and let us know how we can help OK?

P.S. Watch her pain signals closely. Dogs are soooo stoic, by the time they show that their leg is hurting it’s very serious pain.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Livermore, CA




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8 May 2016 - 10:35 am
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Hi and welcome.

Tell your ‘friend’ that stats are based on other dogs not Athla.  There are some that obliterate the odds like my local pal Cemil who is 7 YEARS past his diagnosis and amputation for OSA.  Cancer is a nasty bastard and of course some are not so lucky- but to me the only way to approach the cancer battle is to assume that our dog (or cat, or person) is going to be the one to beat the odds.  Be realistic, but stay positive and optimistic until something proves you shouldn’t be.

I learned this lesson with my first Tri-pug Maggie.  She lost her leg to mast cell cancer and because of lymph gland involvement (we learned after surgery) her prognosis was poor, she was given 6 to 9 months WITH chemo.  I worried and watched the calendar like Maggie was a bomb that was going to explode between 6 and 9 months.  While I was busy planning to lose her she was busy figuring out her new normal and getting on with her life.  I was sooooo lucky that Maggie beat the odds on that first cancer and I finally realized that I was missing the ‘now’.  This is what we mean when we say Be More Dog !  Find joy in every day like our pups do.

The recovery period can be hard and it left me doubting my decision. Maggie’s surgery was pre-Tripawds so we went it alone.  Maggie was stubborn and took her time getting OK with things, but she did and hopped happily through life for almost 4 years.

Like Jerry mentioned- keep a sharp eye on her pain signals .  Dogs are very stoic and bone pain can be very bad.

Keep us posted on the vet visit tomorrow.

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

Los Angeles, CA
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8 May 2016 - 2:09 pm
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WELCOME!!! So much love in those photos!!!! 

I am also here because of a cancer (a different kind) but like others have said .. those statistics mean nothing … nothing especially to a dog that just knows love ! 

We look forward to learning more about Athla (what an interesting name too). And like Karen said … to Be More Dog is the best way to conquer and fight this beast. Live each and every day to the fullest. That is what Athla does currently. And keep us posted!!! 

She’s got the best hair – truly!!! 

All the best,

alison with spirit shelby in her heart

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

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8 May 2016 - 3:24 pm
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Hello Jerry, Alison and Karen 🙂

Firstly – she is like – a 0 on that pain scale right now. Since she stopped using her leg last week she’s been getting stronger ever day on the three good ones – pulling us everywhere during short walks, in great spirits! We have her just on the Rimadyl right now because that Tramodol was making her anxious and restless and nobody was getting any sleep. (We’ve been staying with her in the “kitchen camp” since she started showing issues walking.) So, save for this pesky tumor she’s still pretty awesome.

Today we are working on surgery prep – we’re going to convert my office into the healing room we all sleep / hang out in (which is our kitchen right now) – it’s got great light and energy in here, my plants, etc etc. Outside on the patio (connected to my office), we’re building a little potty place for her out of sod/grass that she can use after surgery, so she doesn’t have to deal with the neighbors and their dogs who are constantly off leash.

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I’m also going to order her a help me up harness today that will hopefully get here before she comes home from surgery. (They’re in Denver, we’re in CoSprings, so I hope it comes fast!)

My biggest issue right now is the decision of where to do treatment and surgery – CSU wants her for clinical trials, but we’d have to do the amputation up there as well, and it would be later, and we’d have to drive her all over colorado in my tiny rollerskate car toyota yaris I’m already concerned about getting her into after surgery… I’m leaning towards having it all done down here, a few miles from our home, so that there’s less stress for everyone. The trials would be cool, but my concern is getting the leg off her ASAP to prevent metastasizing.

Other than that, like I said in my panic attack last night we’re moving her to a grain free diet – doing some of that budwig cottage cheese stuff, including shitake mushrooms and trippe in her dinner, etc etc… All we can for her.

Concerning her lineage – here is her dad and mom 🙂

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And her as a pup 🙂

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I think the biggest issue right now, barring the fact that she has cancer, is how I have zero ability to deal with this if I get caught thinking about the various awful scenarios that could arise, like you guys said. Last night I descended into an EIGHT hour anxiety attack, which, by the end, after this post was made and at like 1am my body was shaking uncontrollably, I had anxiety muscle spasms in my back mimicking heart attack and I couldn’t regulate my breathing. Even today I’m getting little pain pings in the chest area, but I’m doing to best to be calm and hang out with Athla and be present. xoxo.

Los Angeles, CA
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8 May 2016 - 5:32 pm
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I remember when I first heard “CANCER” and it was false (at the time). Shelby had broken her leg and I was going through a million emotions trying to get that leg fixed and to hear “CANCER”… it shocks you at the core. I lost it more times than I can count but always tried to put on a brave face for Shelby .. so I cried in the car, in the shower, outside….

When we did find out it was CANCER … in her spleen, you never can be prepared for that. But our journey and bond had already prepared us to take on the world and we were going to fight and fight hard. Not to say I didn’t have massive panic attacks along the way and tons of self doubt but we got through it and so will you.

Look how prepared you are …. already! A new space, new sod, she is such a lucky girl. I hear you on the tramadol. Shelby had a bad reaction too but definitely be aware of pain post amp. You will need more than rimadyl. They do offer some ‘doggy valium’ that helped us with the anxiety with the tramadol. 

Good luck… you are going to do GREAT! I love her puppy photo… she’s so cute!! Still is! 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

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8 May 2016 - 5:52 pm
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Lots can happen and no one will tell you this is easy, but lots of really good things can also happen.  I was overwhelmed with joy the first time post amputation when Otis hopped over into a sunny spot by a window to sleep with his sister Tess.  That one day made the amputation worth while.  And there have been more days like that.  No one knows how long their baby will live, but we all know that we want to give them the best chance we can of a quality life.  You guys are doing great things to prepare – don’t focus on the statistics or the what ifs.  Focus on spending time with your baby – every day you have together is a thing of joy.

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.

The Rainbow Bridge



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9 May 2016 - 8:15 am
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You have lots more ability to cope than you think. Athla’s been a good teacher to you, you’re about to put into practice all those things she’s taught you though the years. You WILL do great!

Choose the best facility for your needs, and everyone is happy. CSU is SO pawesome, but if the trips are going to stress all of you out, then you know what to do. Besides, CSU works long distance with many vets who want to do clinical trials, there are many options to get involved with one from your local vet.

Athla’s parents are just adorable, I see where she gets her beautiful looks!

OK, so here’s a book for you. As a Coloradoan and mom to a sight hound, I know you’ll enjoy it. Mind you, the ending is what you’d expect, so read it slowly but savor every word, it’s a lovely read:

Sight Hound is a Must Read for Humans Coping with Canine Osteosarcoma

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

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9 May 2016 - 8:09 pm
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Thanks Jerry’s mom, otisandtess and Alison 🙂 🙂 All info is good info! I will grab that book when I’m feeling a little more stable 🙂

Consultation update – gonna have the surgery done this Wednesday! We’ve decided not to use CSU – only because of the tremendous driving it would entail… our surgeon is a CSU grad who spent an hour with us today, so I feel like we’re in good hands, if only concerned because they don’t use a feneral patch or the gaba phantom limb pain… but they do a SHIT TON during the surgery… epidural etc…..

Also the dang surgery will be 4000$ at max cost… but a lot of that has been raised by my sweet, sweet friends. I’m in such awe and overwhelmed by the love on our gofundme. Today, I feel like we’re not alone in this fight :*)

The surgeon had a dane herself that lived 3 years post opt with a variety of treatments… hoping to snag some of her experience!!! I have a bottle of Artemisinin I’ve been waiting on that I got from amazon = she tells me oh – buy it from our people, we know what’s in it. I trust them. That means she’s open and the oncology guys are open to doing whatever they can for her – expensive, but I feel good about this.

Despite this tumor, Athla grows stronger every day, yanking us all over the damn place on our short walks… already not using that leg.. we got her a back foot booty today (video) and I KNOW you’re not supposed to laugh but I couldn’t help it – she’s a smart, confident girl and she’ll be ok with my laughter 😉 (first time I’ve laughed in days!)

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10 May 2016 - 3:56 pm
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Tomorrow is the surgery day.

Goodbye little leggie – you were so good to us, and it’s not your fault you got sick. 

sad

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10 May 2016 - 4:12 pm
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We will all be thinking of you and Athla tomorrow, and waiting for your post surgical update.😀

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.

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 May 2016 - 7:58 pm
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Sending all our love! Keep us posted.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Norene, TN
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11 May 2016 - 3:27 pm
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Howdy and welcome!

With the exception of the illness, this is an absolute love story. Thank you so much for sharing. Love, love, the pictures and videos.

Update us when you can.

pam

Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey

Virginia




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11 May 2016 - 9:10 pm
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You’ve gotten such great advice.and support! You’ve done an excellent job.of preparing your home for her recovery.

Just want to send you some love and well wishes!

Athia is ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!!! OMD!!! She is soooo cute!! I could lo o k at pictures of her furever! Hard to believe she was once a tiny puppy!

Sending lots of hugs! And eat lots of CHOCOLATE! It does wonders! 🙂

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!

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13 May 2016 - 9:21 am
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We made it heartheartheartheart

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