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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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Cane Corso Osteosarcoma Rear Leg
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Forum Posts: 12
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17 February 2021
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17 February 2021 - 4:30 am
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Our Precious Tiny is a 130lb Cane Corso.. A little over a Month ago our Sweet Boy was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. After consulting with 3 different vets, his primary vet, an oncologist and another specialist who is overseeing a study (who is also who referred us to the Tripawds Site and highly recommended it) we chose to enroll our furbaby in the study due to he will either receive Chemo or Immunotherapy, both already widely used. The purpose of this specific study is to show Immunotherapy is just as effective if not more so than chemo. He will be randomized into one or the other, which we should find out in a few days which one. Our sweet Tiny had his Amputation Monday 2/15/21. He gets to come home today, Wednesday 2/17/21 and his care team have raved about his progress post surgery, said he doesn't seem to be missing that hind leg much at all. Before his enrollment into the study & his Amputation his primary vet did some xrays of his "good" leg and seen some fluid around the knee. He stated this was genetic deterioration but even seeing this he as well as his other vets still recommended Amputation due to the pain Osteosarcoma causes and Tiny was very rarely even using the affected leg already. I want to do everything I can to keep his remaining leg as healthy as possible. Are there any supplements or physical rehab we can do at home with him to keep his remaining rear leg strong and healthy? Thank you all for any advise and I Will definately update once he is home and we personally see how he is getting around and adjusting.

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 February 2021 - 11:19 am
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Hi Tiny and family, welcome! Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away.

We are so happy you shared your story here. Big dogs are exceptionally inspawrational and recovery stories are very helpful to newcomers, as you've discovered. Who is the specialist that referred you to us? We are honored when a vet sends a client to us!

Tiny's got some mighty big personality it sounds like, and is a very strong doggie. He's getting some awesome care it sounds like, and there's no reason why he can't do well on three.

Are there any supplements or physical rehab we can do at home with him to keep his remaining rear leg strong and healthy?

Absolutely! First, did you know that the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit ! Yep, it's true! Please take advantage of the program. Learning about his capabilities and limitations is one of the best things you can do as a Tripawd parent. You might also want to check out the new DIY Tripawd Rehab Program, which features lots of exercises you can do at home, and supplements guidance. Our Tripawd Nutrition blog also has tons of tips, and our e-books library does too. 

Promise to keep us posted OK? Holler with any questions, we are here for you!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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18 February 2021 - 9:30 am
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Did that big cuddle bug Tiny get to come home yesterday?  We know if he did,  you jave your hands full, so update when you can.

What pain meds did he come home with?  Sometimes  once the hospital meds wear off in a couple of days, that when tweaking  the meds to right dose and right frequency can be a little tricky..

Rest, reet, rest, short lea potty breaks and back in for more rest.  Drinking and peeing are important.  Pooping and eating  may be off a few days.  If you have jardwoods, you'll want non slip scatter rugs for traction

Recovery  is no,picnic at first, but it doesn't  last furever!!   And we would love to eee pictures of your mighty Tiny!  Here's  a link to help.  adding images

Hugs

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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18 February 2021 - 6:57 pm
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Tiny did come home yesterday. When I picked him up it was heartbreaking and scared me to death because he came barreling out of the hospital doors, dragging the Dr and seemed really panicked & confused and kept trying to get into another car and was falling but we finally got him calmed down, He must have REALLY been ready to get home. All in all He seems to be doing really well, considering. He's eating, drinking, peeing & pooping; He actually has some really loose stools right now that they sent him home meds for; For pain he is currently on Gabapentin & Rimadyl and also has a Fentynal patch on for a few more days. He kept me up most of the night last night due to the loose stools. Seemed everytime He & I would get to sleep he would have to go out; Doesn't seem as frequent today & he seems to be resting fairly well. His biggest issue, which is pretty minor, is his balance while pottying because although he already wasn't using that leg too much at all, except occasionally he would RUN to the porch using all 4 like nothing was wrong, he would put his toe down when pottying. I am praying he gets better at this. He does have some minor small vessel hemorrhage (they say this is normal and nothing to worry about) right under the skin in his groin area and they have me icing it 5 to 10 minutes every couple of hours and watching it...thats a little scary. We haven't heard yet whether he will be receiving Chemo or Immunotherapy. I personally think I prefer Immunotherapy after reading about it and them going over how it works. We don't have a choice in this part but could yall share your thoughts on these 2 treatments? The Dr who referred me to the Tripawds website was the Dr over the Study, Dr Suter at NCSU and I actually came and read alot of the stuff as well as others experiences before we made our decision on Tinys Treatment 🥰

Virginia




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18 February 2021 - 7:23 pm
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WELCOME HOME TINY!!!

Eating and drinking, peeing and pooping already??? Great news!!  AND mobile too, YAY!!

Allow and easy for now.  Tiny is on a heavy duty drug with the patch, so  may be a little woozy and wobbly for a few days.  Tiny will get his 'sea legs" in time.  This is MAJOR surgery, he's on pain meds and try to adjust to three.  Recovery is ruff at first, but does get easier and easier slowly but surely. 

Try and rest when you can.  Some dogs are pretty zonked when they get hom  Some are restless and whiny.  Every dog is different.

Stay connected!  

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS. Dont have any  feedback on the newwer therapy offered.  My Happy Hannah had four rounds of Carboplatin  and sailed through with no issues.

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 February 2021 - 12:25 pm
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Ditto on what Sally said! Everything you described is spot-on for a normal recovery. He will get there and find his new balance/posture on 3, just wait!

We haven’t heard yet whether he will be receiving Chemo or Immunotherapy. I personally think I prefer Immunotherapy after reading about it and them going over how it works. We don’t have a choice in this part but could yall share your thoughts on these 2 treatments?

Of course you have a say in which treatment, that is your decision only, although the vets have their preferences of course. Dr. Suter has all the credentials of an amazing onco vet so honestly I would go with his recommendations. Many dogs receive both chemo and immunotherapy vaccines, depending on the type of cancer and severity. I think you'll probably know which way Dr. Suter will go once the pathology is back. Either way, both or one treatment type will give Tiny a statistical advantage in beating the bone cancer odds.

If you remember, please tell Dr. Suter we said thanks for the referral! We've never met him and are totally honored that he thought of us.

And keep us posted on Tiny! We are here to help.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 12
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20 February 2021 - 8:54 pm
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We actually don't get to choose whether Tiny will Recieve Chemo or Immunotherapy. Tiny is participating in an Elias Study; The purpose of the study is to show Immunotherapy is just as, if not more, effective as Chemo and he will be computer randomized into one or the other. Tinys Primary Vet is also on board with anything he can do here locally to help..with labs etc due to we live about 2 1/2 hours from where the study is being done. We have a lot of support with Tinys entire care team from his Local Primary Vet and His entire care team at NCSU. Tiny seems to be doing really well. Hes eating, drinking, pottying, getting around pretty good and seems to be comfortable. Hes resting and sleeping pretty good also. His surgery site looks really good. He does have some small vessel hemorrhage which they day is completely normal and have me icing it 5 to 10 minutes several times a day. Dr Suter said we should hear something soon from Elias regarding what Tinys next steps are in his treatment. He has been wonderful and I will definately share your message with him. Ive been reading through the forums to get ideas for the best diet and possible natural supplements for Tiny to give him EVERYTHING he needs. We have to run any supplements by Dr Suter though due to the study but hopefully we can implement them soon. I will definately look into the physical therapy you recommended also. I can't Thank You all enough for all the wealth of advise and info or Dr Suter for directing us here to you all. It has helped tremendously to know there are others we can reach out to for support or just to talk about things. I still haven't figured out how to post pictures or videos but when/if I can get that figured out I will share some of our Sweet Boy

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30592
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21 February 2021 - 3:31 pm
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Ok now I get it! Sounds like a new Elias study for their vaccine. Do you happen to have a link to the study?

Tiny's rockin recovery, that's so awesome. What a gift to see recovery happen so smoothly. And yes the small. hemorrhage is normal. Keep up with the icing, he's such a good boy for tolerating it! That boy has everything on his side for a great recovery and life on 3.

This is how adding images to the Forums works.

  1. Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog!
  2. Right click and copy the Image URL or just copy the image if you’re on a phone
  3. Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself) in your post. It should automatically appear.

If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 12
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22 February 2021 - 9:28 am
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We received word today that Tiny has been randomized into the Chemotherapy Arm of the Study; This was rather disappointing, we were really hoping and praying that he would get the Immunotherapy after getting all the information about it, how it works and the Median survival times. We are trying to stay positive because God has thus far opened all the doors for Tiny's treatment and we will continue to pray & trust in him. Tiny is still doing really well. He actually jumped up on the bed this morning; I know, I Know he is not supposed to be doing this.. lol. My husband had taken Tiny out to potty early this morning before he left and he was in the bathroom brushing his teeth and said next thing he knew Tiny came "running" into the bedroom and had jumped up on the bed BY HIMSELF like nothing to it before he could get to him and stop him. He said Tiny got himself comfortable and within 5 minutes he was fast asleep and snoring. I missed it all because I was still asleep and I woke up to Tiny in bed with me wondering how my husband had gotten him up there by himself..lol

Here is the link to the Elias Study. It has all the information on there regarding Treatment, Results, Trials, Etc and it has all the states listed where The Study is being offered as well as the participating hospitals in each state; Hopefully I have done this correctly and it works

Clinical Trial: Immunotherapy for Canine Osteosarcoma (eliasanimalhealth.com)

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30592
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22 February 2021 - 11:46 am
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That Tiny, what a nut jumping on the bed like that! But for him, it's really just a big giant step not so much a jump so that's OK as long as his incision area is unbothered.

Being in the chemo side of the study is still a good thing, giving him a statistically better shot at beating the odds, so yay for getting chemo paid for! 

Thank you for including the study link, I will update our Elias Immunotherapy blog post and put it in our Tips and Resources Forum too. 

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 12
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17 February 2021
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28 February 2021 - 9:11 pm
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Tiny will be receiving his fist round of Chemotherapy tomorrow. I have to have him at the hospital by 8:30 AM & they told me he will be there all day. I PRAY he does well and doesn't have any complications. Tiny is laying beside me snoring away but Im, on the other hand, not doing as well. My thoughts are just racing tonight & I can't sleep. Tiny is doing Great. Hes done made it through the biggest hurdle and that was the Amputation right? They told me he will be receiving Carboplatin and that it is tolerated very well by dogs. That he "may" have some mild gastrointestinal upset, IF even that. Im sure there's others whose furbabies have already been through this Chemotherapy..Could yall possibly share some of yalls thoughts/experiences? Most of all Please Please keep our Sweet Tiny in Prayers...That he has NO complications and this works for him. Tonight Im just having one of those "Am I doing the best/right thing for Tiny" moments.. Thank You all for the support

Virginia




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28 February 2021 - 9:38 pm
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Okay....deep breaths....B R E A T H E!  Tiny's 's going to do just fine! He'll be in good hands and they will watch him closely.

Some dogs may feel a little lethargic  or maybe get a little nauseous for a day or two, usually around day 3 maybe day 5.....  IF  it even  happens at all!. The Vet  will give you an anti-nausea pill called cerenia just to have as a backup. My Happy Hannah sailed through her carboplatin treatments with no issues at all. Some have minor issues as I mentioned above. Some may, on occasion have more severe reaction, at which point you can always stop chemo and they will return to normal once it's out of their system..

On the way home take him through a drive-thru for a cheeseburger! He'll think spending the day at the vet is the best thing ever as long as it means a cheeseburger, and maybe even some fries!

We understand the second guessing all too well.  We all do it!  

Just keep in mind that everything you are doing for tiny is Guided by your love for him. And that is always a right decision.

(((((((Hugs)))))))

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30592
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1 March 2021 - 4:38 pm
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OK so today's the day, I hope things went well and the rest of the week goes smoothly.

In the small chance that he does have nausea or GI upset, you can ask your vet for a prescription to Cerenia, Odanseteron or Entyce to keep his belly happy. Many vets fill the prescriptions preventively so you don't have to call them and ask when the nausea has already set in, so you may want to ask about that asap, just in case.

I'm with Sally, make it a cheeseburger celebration for each chemo session he knocks down!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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Forum Posts: 12
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1 March 2021 - 4:59 pm
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They did send him home with both Anti Nausea & Anti Diarreah meds and want me to go ahead and start them tomorrow vs waiting to see if he will need them. They gave him a shot of nausea meds today they said would carry him through until tomorrow. He seems..uncomfortable..tonight. They told me this morning he "Shouldn't" need his pain meds at this point, so he hasn't had ANY today but..Hes up and down and panting more than usual. With him having the Chemotherapy today idk if its coming from that or if hes in pain. Im thinking seriously about going ahead and giving him at least 1 of his Gabapentin (he was taking 2 every 8 hours). I wish he could talk and tell me whats wrong 😭

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 March 2021 - 5:22 pm
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I love that they are proactive with the meds!

Hes up and down and panting more than usual. With him having the Chemotherapy today idk if its coming from that or if hes in pain.

Going to the vet was a big day for him, and probably pretty tiring. If he is showing those pain signals , and your vet has approved medication on an as-needed basis, I would feel OK giving the Gabapentin. Call them and let them know if it helps you feel better.

I wish he could talk and tell me whats wrong

He is talking to you, just in his own language. The behavior he's showing is his way of communicating something is off. Pay close attention and see if it's pain signals . You'll get the hang of it. 

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