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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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Surgery Tomorrow
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Forum Posts: 8
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30 November 2016
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30 November 2016 - 4:34 am
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My sweet cocker spaniel Freddy (11.5 years old) was diagnosed on Monday with a tumour in his left front leg. I am devastated and scared about the future for my sweet boy.  He came up lame last week, and we had him on bedrest over the weekend. The vet has recommended amputation and chemotherapy. He goes in for surgery tomorrow morning.

Just over a year ago, he and my lab mix made the journey from the States to Ireland to live. They have adapted fairly well to apartment living, and now Freddy adores my husband more than me.

I’m not ready to lose him. It’s been a really tough year.

Earlier this year I lost my mother to cancer and my best friend has been battling breast cancer. I also found that I am expecting my first child in April (right around Freddy’s 12th Birthday).

My wish is to have Freddy around for as long as he is comfortable. I want him to meet the baby and enjoy what time he has left surrounded by his family and dog brother without pain.

I’m glad to have found this community and all this information.

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 November 2016 - 7:31 am
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Hi and welcome! I wanted to get your post approved so others can see it, but I’m on my phone now so I’ll comment when I’m on my laptop. Thanks for your patience!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Michigan
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30 November 2016 - 7:58 am
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Most dogs adapt fairly well to life with 3 legs, and 11 1/2 is older, but not ancient.  The first 2-3 weeks are the hardest, it can be a roller coaster of emotions for everyone.  Make sure to keep up on his medications – he will probably come home on a couple.  Murphy came home on Tramadol, Rimadyl & Gabapentin … some have a Fentanyl patch and some also have antibiotics.  Make sure you don’t give all of his pain medications at the same time – you want to space them out a little bit so that he has more adequate coverage. 

Since you’re pregnant, make sure that you speak with your OB & the oncologist to make sure what the risks are to you if you proceed with chemo for Freddy.  Not everyone does chemo, some people choose not to for a variety of reasons.  I’m sure the precautions will include that you not clean up his urine or stool or allow him to kiss you, but I don’t know what chemo he would get or how long you would have to maintain those precautions.  Chemo affects fast growing cells – so would definitely affect your baby.

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

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  

Donna.png

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 November 2016 - 11:52 am
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Hi Freddy and family, welcome! I’m glad you posted here, because as you can see in this forum, dogs of all ages can do great on three legs. Be sure to check out Jerry’s Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books library if you haven’t already, it will answer many of your questions. Of course the great community here, like Donna and Murphy who commented above, will also chime in.

So, what kind of cancer does the vet suspect? And it sounds like the vet thinks he’s a good candidate for amputation surgery? We have another member in Ireland, but I’m not sure how close they are to you. See: http://tripawds…..my-senses/

Meanwhile, how’s your apartment as far as floors, stairs, etc.? Are there any potential issues with Freddy getting around in his home?

I’m so sorry you’ve been surrounded by cancer in loved ones lately, my heart goes out to you and my condolences for your Mom. That’s a tough road for sure. But I’ll bet Mr. Freddy’s courage and fight will be the light of your best friend’s life right now as they both kick cancer’s butt! And your future little human pack mate (congrats!) will no doubt be the light of Freddy’s eyes too.

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




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30 November 2016 - 1:55 pm
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Oh gosh! Just catching up and I see you’re logged in right now. I’ll wait for an update before I comment further.

Sending love and hugs for now

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!

Virginia




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30 November 2016 - 4:24 pm
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PLEASE know that we are here for you. The second you and Freddy logged in you became family instantly.

Surgeries, no matter how little or big, no matter human beings or animal beings, all have unforseen risks. This piece of crap disease leaves us no choice but to take thst risk and do EVERYW possible ro give our dogs and cats a chance. We owe it to our pups to try, regardless of the outcome.

Sending you love and letting you know we are here for you no matter what.

Sally and Alumni 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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30 November 2016 - 5:20 pm
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We are a week post-op with our 13-year-old lab, Dolly. Everyone but our vet thought we were putting our girl through some serious stuff by amputating at her older age. I know we aren’t out of the woods yet…we go to our first chemo appointment Tuesday. But, I’m so proud of her progress. She never really acted her age, and while she was limping around with the tumor still attached, she continued to eat well, follow us around the house, and do her best to convince us that she needed to go on walks. I’d recommend looking for those silver linings. Those are the things that really kept us going even when logic told me that we were taking a risk.

We have two little human boys, and I’m not ready to lose my fur baby girl yet either. I completely understand how you feel. Getting a diagnosis is such a shock and it takes a lot of time to see through it clearly (I’m still not there). The recovery from the surgery was heart-breaking at times, but my heart is so much lighter now that we made it through this first step.

As far as some of the things that affect older dogs, we’ve taken a few extra steps to help her remaining limbs. Dolly has arthritis and hip dysplasia. We added fish oil and dasuquain to her daily meds. We also started her on adequain months prior to finding out she has osteosarcoma. There are some more holistic things you can do as well. We had a line-up of those, but Dolly is hopefully participating in a study at a veterinary college that won’t allow us to use herbs. I would absolutely recommend talking to your vet about those things too. It makes me feel like we have a little bit of control over the diagnosis.

Sending lots of love to your little family and your Freddy! If you need to talk, please let me know!

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30 November 2016 - 5:42 pm
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Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts. We had a rough evening (it’s 12:30 at night currently). The big dog knocked into him and sent him yelping so I rushed him to the vet. He gave Freddy some extra pain meds and a shot and splinted his leg.

He had a bit of a whining/crying episode about a half hour ago, and we realized it was diarrhea. He’s all better now and calm and surrounded by cushions and comfort on the bed with me.

Going to try to get some sleep now. 

Please keep our little trooper in your hearts on tomorrow.

Virginia




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30 November 2016 - 6:00 pm
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OOOOMMMDDD! I was literally…literally holding my breath hoping and hoping nothing bad has happened during surgery!!!! I quickly scanned your post, almost ssquinting because I didn’t want to see anything awful!!

I am sooooooo re@ieved! Well, I mean, Imw sorry you had such a rough start, but grateful you have a start!!

Okay, try and get some rest. These first few nights and days can be eough, as you’ve already seen!!

STAY CONNECTED and we’ll help you get through the recovery maze!

Sooooooo relieved!

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!

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30 November 2016 - 7:17 pm
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Will be thinking of you and Freddy tomorrow, hope you all get plenty of rest.  heart

Milwaukee, Wi.
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30 November 2016 - 8:51 pm
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My prayers are with you. The surgery was scarey, but I have to admit that it went better than Inexpected. Karl surprised me at how well he adapted to three legs. These dogs are amazing. You’ll see. God Bless, Julie and angel Karl.

Livermore, CA




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30 November 2016 - 11:01 pm
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Sending strong, positive thoughts for a smooth surgery tomorrow.

Keep us posted.

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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30 November 2016 - 11:08 pm
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Geez! I thought surgery was Tuesday! When I posted, it was Wednesday and I was sooo worried because we hadn’t heard from you!

Sooo, let’s start over! Update as soon as you can when surgery is over so we can celebrate with you!

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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1 December 2016 - 4:05 am
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We are all thinking of you today!  Not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but you will want to Tripawd proof your home, especially if you have wood or tile floors.  Industrial floor mats, indoor/outdoor rugs and runners or even yoga mats works great for this!   He won’t be very active for most of the recovery – short leashed potty breaks only until the stitches come out – but you don’t want him to slip when he does start moving about.

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.

Minneapolis, MN
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1 December 2016 - 6:53 am
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Sending very best thoughts for surgery today, and recovery and homecoming. It’s going to be so good for your boy to be rid of that pain.

My best advice (you’ve gotten some great advice already), is to really talk with your surgeon/vet about pain management options.  Most of our pets come home with multiple modalities for pain management and you want to stay ahead of that surgery related pain so he gets good rest and that can help him heal faster.  Don’t be afraid to call your vet once you are home and ask about adjusting the different meds either in dosage or timing to get the right rhythm for your boy.

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 Daddy and I miss him terribly along with his canine sister, Mia, and two feline siblings, Lucia and Cliff.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

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