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Loss of Muscle Mass after amputation
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Forum Posts: 4
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25 August 2016 - 7:25 pm
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HI there, 

I have a Leonberger who will be 8 in November.  His right rear leg was removed in May after we found cancer. His initial post-op went very well, it is the life after that has been challenging. 

We struggle getting him to eat regularly, so he has lost weight … 10 pounds lost immediately after surgery, and another 10 pounds since. 

Being a tripawd has but strain on his back, so he gets Depo shots about every 4-5 weeks. 

About 10 days ago, he started to favor his left front leg. I took him to the vet and he remains cancer free, but he has lost a significant amount of muscle mass in that shoulder, and that is where the pain is originating. Naturally, he isn’t eating again and I am worried he has lost the 2 pounds he had gained. 

He was a highly active prior to surgery, now he is happy to lie around and sleep all day if we let him.  When he isn’t in pain, we take him out for walks, but usually just to the end of the street or so … any more than that seems to be hard on him.

We are new to this life and to this forum and I am curious to know what others have experienced, particularly when it comes to the loss of muscle mass.  

Livermore, CA




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25 August 2016 - 8:44 pm
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Hi and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry George is having a hard time- that’s his name, right?

Do you have access to a certified rehab vet or therapist?  George sounds like he could use some professional help getting his legs under him.

You can also do some home massage on his shoulders and back.  Here is a link to some blog posts on massage.

Core strength is also important for Tripawds- Here is a link to some blog posts on building core strength.

My current tripawd is a little pug mix named Elly.  She lost her right rear leg after being hit by a car at 7 months old, she is now just over 1.5 years old. I work with her every day on core strength through food puzzles, games and obedience training.

It’s good to hear that he is cancer free at this point!

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



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28 August 2016 - 8:02 pm
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Hi George and familyheart

My girl Eurydice is a front leg amputee Great Dane who weighed 170 pounds pre amputation and 150 pounds now, surgery was performed May 4th.

Like gorgeous George she was very active and had solid, pristine muscles. 

After surgery her muscles changed and she lost muscle mass in areas that were no longer used but luckily she kept hopping every day and enjoys her daily outings so her muscles “settled” at some point.

She is a big girl (like your boy) it is much harder for our babies to hop around than it is for smaller dogs, activity becomes very reduced compared to before.

I saw a physiotherapist last month because I want to make sure she doesn’t lose muscle mass and although she is in very good shape she has started hydrotherapy.

Hydro could be the perfect exercise for George as well as there is no strain on his joints and this kind of exercise is very comprehensive hence replaces what they can no longer do.

Eurydice only does 4 laps once a week, we started twice a week but that proved to be too much for a giant breed (I was the one initially insisting on 2x week).

As for her activities on land, I take her out once a day and she hops and rests and hops and rests some more for a couple of hours.

Eurydice totally lost her appetite following her surgery and what did the trick (apart from hot dogs during the first week) was grilled chicken breasts alternating with boiled boneless chicken thighs adding olive oil to the water for extra flavour.

I would also add water to her dry food and once soft, would hand feed her. 

Are you in the UK?

Keep us posted on his progress, we are all here for you!

Sending you a cloud of pawsitive energy, big hug and cuddles to your sweetie cutie pie 

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 



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28 August 2016 - 8:08 pm
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Show this to George and see what he thinks.

If he can’t swim, join the club, Eurydice also couldn’t swim but now with the life vest on she is like a grossly oversized cute mermaid. 

Lots of love going your wayheart

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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28 August 2016 - 10:04 pm
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Lots of very helpful tips there, thank you!!!! George is a former AKC champion for his breed but even show dogs get old. It is just so dang hard to watch. Lucky me, he has such a sweet and happy spirit that it makes it easier, and every extra day we get post-surgery is a blessing. 

I do have a vet nearby who does laser therapy and I hear that is a wonderful thing.  I know it did wonders for ME, so …. I’ll try it. I am going to check into that tomorrow. I will look into the hydro therapy as well, although I am not sure that is available here. (I am in Utah, in the US).

And, last night and today have been a bit better food wise.  He usually eats Eukanuba puppy food, and he used to free-feed.  When we found out how much weight he was losing, I started to measure it out, 2C morning, and 2C at night, each time with a small package of wet food to encourage him to eat it all.  

WHen his front shoulder started hurting, his appetite was cut in half, so now I give him small portions of the dry food, with the goal of feeding 3 or four times a day.  I Have also purchased a bunch of different things to add to his food on some of those feedings, with great care to keep them as natural as possible, and high in protein. He LOVED the eggs I gave him this morning and cleaned up his bowl all at once for the first time in ages!  🙂 And yes, I have also given him chicken.  I boiled a big pot, four large breasts and 6 or eight thighs, shreds it all together and put in baggies with 3/4 c in each.  He loves the chicken as well. 

Funny thing is, the boyfriend (actual owner of George) has always been very picky about his food… no people food allowed.  But at this point in the game, I just want our boy healthy for as long as we have left with him, and since the boyfriend has been in Alaska for three months …. I say anything goes, lol. 

THank you SO SO much for your response, both of you.  It has been so helpful to hear from other puppy families who have been through this.  I honestly had no idea we would face so many challenges after his surgery.  I am grateful for every one of them though. His cancer grew so fast that we really didnt have a lot of time to process anything. 

Talk soon ! 



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29 August 2016 - 4:40 pm
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Way to go George clapyay for eggs and chicken !!!!

Keep doing what you are doing and he should be getting his ideal weight back, shuuuuush when your boyfriend comes back, of course winker

I find salmon, tuna and sardines are also a good option in moderate portions, it does get their appetite going big-blink

Great your are trying laser therapy and looking into hydro as well. 

Sending you big bear hug (to match our babies sizes) and XL cuddles to George heart

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

Durham, NC
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29 August 2016 - 6:37 pm
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My girl Izzy never lost her appetite but has definitely lost muscle mass in one of her remaining hind legs. I’m thinking (now that I know she recently tore her ligament) that part of the wasting might be due to a longer term discomfort. That said, you have gotten great advice here on exercise ideas, etc.

Izzy loves liver (iron rich!), brussel sprouts (I stick her meds into those little cabbages!) and cottage cheese. Definitely go for nutrient rich foods and you may even be able to get away with high fat, high protein given his size and lack of appetite. I have to give Izzy lower fat cottage cheese because, well, she’s old and not active so I can’t have her blimping up but I know it’s a great “wet” treat to stir into kibble.

Keep us posted and good luck!

Momma to the world's most beautiful American Bulldog, Izzy!! Lost her front leg to OSA 9/18/15. Diagnosed w MCT in June 2016. Celebrated her 1 year ampuversary with knee surgery on 9/18/16! MCT recurrence in Dec 2016. Happy & hungry til nearly 14, earning her wings on 7/31/17.

Michigan
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29 August 2016 - 8:49 pm
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We have always free-fed our dogs.  Over the years I’ve actually had some people argue with me that it’s impossible to free-feed dogs without them getting fat.  Um, no it’s not!  My dogs have never been fat!  Or that they will fight over their food – wrong again!  I have 1 bowl, 3 dogs, and it’s comical to watch them … usually they take a mouthful of food, turn, drop it on the floor, then eat it.  Most of the time they don’t all eat at the same time, either.  When Murphy was diagnosed, we were told to put him on a grain-free diet, so we switched him, but we didn’t switch our other 2 dogs.  So, we still free-feed Cassie & Max, but once a day we get a bowl of grain-free food out for Murphy.  However, he does still cheat sometimes and eats out of Cassie & Max’s bowl.  We used to chase him away from it, but really, he’s a 3 year survivor, so he can eat whatever he wants to eat, and if it makes him happy to cheat sometimes, then that’s fine lol.  One thing you will find, too, is that Tripawds get spoiled!  yep, I said it! laughingWe spoil our dogs.  Murphy has us wrapped – my husband lays on the floor with Murphy and pours out a little bit of food at a time for him right onto the floor – no eating out of a bowl for him.  And if we think he hasn’t eaten in awhile, I will cook up some eggs – and throw in cheese, lunch meat, whatever else I have in the fridge.  So, yep, they figure it out pretty quick.

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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30 August 2016 - 11:47 pm
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Stupid damn cancer. 

crying

I took George for laser therapy today.  He won’t be going back. 

The lady that gave him the treatment didn’t like the feel of his elbow, and I had to go see his normal vet for meds anyhow. With just 20 minutes notice at the end of his workday, the vet squeezed him in checked him out. Quick exam turned into new xrays.  He didn’t even have to tell me because the image was plain as day.  Ten days ago, xray was clear. 

The cancer has returned, in his elbow, same leg that has been bothering him. 

He hasn’t hardly eaten anything today. Pain seems greater tonight (but he WAS in and out of car a couple times.) 

Changed meds from Tramadol to Loratab. He needs to eat enough to keep his strength up til the boy comes home, but no longer a need to be so fussy about getting him to eat. 

Called the boyfriend, who incidentally, was already preparing to head home. Told the kids and then had to listen helplessly while they cried their hearts out.  Alternating between tears and nausea myself, but kinda have to keep it together for everyone else. 

So, it is almost midnight.  My girls and my puppy love are finally asleep. My man is alone on an airplane, turning it all inward because that is how he is.  I am finally eating a bit of dinner.  With tequila. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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31 August 2016 - 10:36 am
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Ohhhhhh my heart breaks for you, I’m so very, very sorry. Ten days between x-rays and there’s a growth? Wow, that is just so awful.

I wish there was something I could do or say to make this easier. All I can offer is to say what Admin told me as we were preparing to stay goodbye to our Jerry…there will be plenty of time for tears later. Keep doing your best to stay strong for George, for you and the family. George is still with you. Spoil him rotten, give that boy whatever he wants and let him know how grateful you are that he’s been a part of your family. And tell him we are grateful for him too. Every story, no matter how it turns out, weaves the fabric of the Tripawds Community. We are stronger because of it. Thank you for allowing us into your life with him.

You might also want to ask your vet for some fentanyl if he tolerates it OK, it could keep him comfier if the Loratab (had to look it up, it’s hydrocodone and acetominophen right?) isn’t doing it. It’s a step up in pain relief.

We send all our love and hugs to you, George and the family. If you want to talk we are here for you OK?

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




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31 August 2016 - 2:46 pm
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Shaking my head in disbelief! Without question get a second opinion. It’s my understanding that it doesn’t “usually” go from one limb to another. I could be completely wrong. Obviously, if it’s the case with George, then it can happen.

To say this is devastating news is an understatement. It does NOT mean that George is going anywhere anytime soon! I think you’ll find that the pain meds will make a big difference once they kick in. Of course he is more sore after getti g in a d out of the car and being poked and prodded by the Vet. His appetite will be better too. Good food and good pain meds CAN make a difference!!

Now, speaking of GOOD food! You ARE giving him good food, good nutrition, with chicken, veggies, liver, eggs, salmon, cottage cheese, etc.!! And perhaps THE most important nutrients of all, a scoop of ice cream, a slice of cheese pizza amd a cheeseburger every other day!

As hard as it is, remember that this xray does not change anything in George’s world!!! Well, he’s getting really good human food so that may be bit of a change!!

Let NOTHING rob you of your time together! George sure isn’t! George is living in tbe now, in the present, and he has NO worries about the tomorrows. Today is all that matters!

Pictures, we would love to see more pictures of HANDSOME GEORGE!!

Sending you love, lots of love

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

PS. I would love to see a video of George’s Dad and George reuniting! Happy times!!

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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31 August 2016 - 11:21 pm
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You guys are seriously the best and your support is priceless. I am beyond exhausted tonight, but I will tell you that YES, my boy is getting all of my love at every possible moment.  I fed him chicken right out of my hand this afternoon and was just so thrilled he was eating. 

I have every confidence in the diagnosis — his history, the sudden lameness, the pain, the bit of deformity in that elbow … the xray was just icing on the cake and I knew the moment the scan showed up on the screen.   We have always known it was a possibility.  His amputation bought us a few months to grow accustomed to the idea that his time was us was nearing an end, and I am completely at peace with that. 

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Schofield, WI
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1 September 2016 - 7:52 am
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My heart hurts for you and your family.  Those of us that don’t get that extended time with our furfaces have to learn very quickly how to live and love and spoil day by day and live each day we have fully.  Let George show you how, follow his lead.  Know this Tripawd nation has you enveloped in hugs and much love.  Your love for that beautiful boy will see you through this.   

Sending much love to you all

Linda, Riley & Spirits Mighty Max & Ollie

Virginia




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1 September 2016 - 9:37 am
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These pictures….ohhh.my…..talk about melting hearts….these are lovely treasured memories.heart

And without question, you have crammed a lifetime of loving and spoiling into every single moment you’ve had with the gentleman Bruce.

This boy has touched our hearts and has already created a legacy here at Tripawds.

LOVING seeing these pkctures! Bruce and his boy…sooooo cute!! Bruce is a champion in every sense of the word!!!

Lots of love

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie

PS…So glad he’s eating some yummy food! Good, real good news!

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!

Livermore, CA




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1 September 2016 - 1:39 pm
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I’m so sorry- this stupid disease takes far too many, far to often.

You will have your Tripawds family with you as you go down this most difficult part of the cancer journey. 

I’m so glad that you have some peace now with what is happening, as hard as this part is that peace will give you strength over the next days. 

Sending strong and peaceful thoughts to you and the family.

Karen and Spirit Maggie

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

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