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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 year old Lab mix with nerve sheath tumor
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Montreal, Quebec
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16 June 2019 - 8:44 am
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So the Prednisone did help: she got back 1.5 times her appetite, her mobility, herself. -no more coughing!!

But nights are very tough; we do give her trazadone and still panting from 9ish till 12 non-stop and then periodically till 2am and then it gets better. We think she is suffering and there is nothing we do that helps her. Her breathing is never ‘slow’ and it seems hard.

My hubby is convinced it is time to say goodbye. I believe he is also afraid thing can get unmanageable (pain) and does not want her to go through worse suffering. It is hard to see her panting and not to be able to help. 

I cannot make the decision, I know I am being selfish too, i cannot even think of not having her. 

Sorry, I needed to share, I know many of you had gone through similar nightmare and I wanted to hear your advice (if there is any)

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16 June 2019 - 10:36 am
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I am so sorry. I totally hate this for you, but it seems like you are answering your own questions. I don’t think there is anything harder than saying goodbye. I have been there, we all have, there is just nothing easy about it. 

I believe you will know when it is time. Whether its in a few hours, a day, a week, you will know. Watch your girl, she will let you know. Decide how and where, make your arrangements. If you need to, call your vet and see what options are available and get your things in order. Some people do this at home, some go to the animal hospital. It is your choice. Decide what you will do after too. Once the decision is made I think everything becomes a whirlwind of emotion and so while you have this time left, figure out how you want to proceed. I got a “clay paws” and made an imprint of many of my furbabies beforehand so that I would have a keepsake. I also had private cremations and have the ashes of every furbaby that made their way into my life. Sounds morbid but when I go they will all go with me. 

Sending you hugs and love, I wish there was a way to make it easier. Enjoy the time you have left and be strong for your girl right now. Just love each other and spoil her rottensp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Bo, Andy, Oscar,and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

https://paws120.....pawds.com/

Montreal, Quebec
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16 June 2019 - 10:58 am
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts and own experience, Jackie. 

I am just not convinced though you said, it is a question of days probably and the vet that we last spoke said that the tumor produces liquids and it gets bad so better do it before because we’ll regret of she gets there. I believe that is what makes my husband so sure together with the fact that her breathing is always fast-paced now and the nonstop panting at night. This is so hard for me, i know i have to be present for my Belle and don’t know how i will do it. :'(

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16 June 2019 - 2:54 pm
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When you cannot control the fluid in the lungs then it for sure, without doubt, is time. I have been in the middle of this procedure and in my honest opinion is just prolonging without quality of life. 

I am not trying to make things worse, but if you want some info from an old tech that assisted with this in every step, it is not a way to live.

While the drugs are keeping the fluids under control I think you are just fine. Please just observe as this progresses and see how she does. If her discomfort is at a point where her quality of life is no longer there, then you need to make some decisions. Some dogs have a good quality of life for several weeks, some do not. 

My thoughts and my heart are with you right now. I know you can do this because your love for Belle is phenomenal. I wish I could take the pain and difficulty away. 

Sending you big hugs,

Jackie and Huck sp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Bo, Andy, Oscar,and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

https://paws120.....pawds.com/

Virginia




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16 June 2019 - 5:02 pm
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Wish I could remember  exactly  what my Vet said one time, but basically  wanted to keep your dog with yoj as long as possible,  is NOT selfish (anything but), it’s called LOVE❤ 

Stay connected,  okay?  Continue to  process your thoughts in this safe, non judgemental environment. We completely  understand where your heart is right now and, as well, we completely  understand where your husbands heart is.

 As Jackie said, you can still go ahead and make some general “arrangements ” when it is time for Belle to head to the Bridge, and we hope that’s a long while from now. That takes so much additional  stress off your plate and frees you up to be fully in the moment with Belle.  It frees you up to not waste one second  worrying about rhe tomorrows.  It frees you up for more non stip spoiling  and loving!!

If I may ask you a couple of questions and depending  on your answers, maybe by sharing  my experience  with my Happy Hannah it  may  help clarify things for you…..or not!

Does Belle take naps during the day?  Are they interrupted  by the same breathing  patterns you mentioned  at night?  If not, what’s  different  about her sleeping  environment at night VS naptime at day? 

Have you been able to make any comparisons  with the Trazedone, versus without??

(((((((((((((((((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



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16 June 2019 - 5:26 pm
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I’m really sorry, this is a tough time. It’s not easy to decide when her quality of life is suffering, you love her so much and it’s difficult to assess her level of comfort with an unbiased eye. A member once wrote this Penny Jars article that may help, and our Preparing for Pet Loss Before it Happens article may also help. 

Have you talked to her vet about your feelings, versus your husbands? What is their opinion?  They don’t know your girl as well as you do so you will have to take that into consideration, but the vet can guide you on  the approximate stage of her condition and when it might get worse than it is now.

There is an old saying ‘Better a day too early than a day too late,’ and in all our years of being here during this awful time, we have found that to be true when it comes to end of life care for our beloved animals.

I’m so sorry. I wish I could help more.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Montreal, Quebec
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16 June 2019 - 7:30 pm
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Jackie, Virginia & Jerry & everyone: I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here for us. Your words and guidance gave me comfort, knowing they come from loving beings that unfortunately had already experienced all this pain and nightmares. 

My husband was ready to take her last night, frustrated that Belle had no peace panting and struggling to breathe and that nothing we would do or give (trazadone) would help not even a bit. I did not want to end it like that and wanted to be with Belle and my husband but I would have had to stay with the kids -who were already sleeping. (I have little ones)

So this morning my husband took them to my in-laws and we spend a beautiful day in the back-yard, had BBQ home-made burgers with tomatoes, frozen yogurt and tons of liver treats. Then we headed to the park, next to the pond (she had a hard time doing more than 2 steps, so Steven carried her) and we stayed looking at the ducks and other ppl and dogs that passed by. She was happy. Her condition has been deteriorating day by day, today -despite of the meds- her cough was back, i believe she already had liquids in her lungs (her lesions from the xray +2 weeks ago were big) We could have waited probably a couple of days, with tons of luck till next weekend but we were told we would regret waiting until last moment. Belle crossed the bridge this evening, she went very peacefully with morphine and sedatives and she even wagged her tail to the vet. Vet also reaffirmed our decision, saying that with lung tumors you dont wait til things go bad. 

Think about the perfect dog, Belle exceeds anybody’s expectation. I loved and still love my pup, and I already miss her like crazy. Life won’t be the same without her. She’s been a blessing in our life. 

@Virginia: we could not really observe a clear difference with the Trazodone or without, my husband was convinced something was really wrong and that she was struggling to breathe. I did find that she could nap kind of easily during the day but each day got worse and the panting would occur for short periods during the day as well. Her breathing was fast all day long and had been like this for the past 2 weeks at least. Moving her from the bed to the floor worked at the beginning to control a bit her panting but did not work the past few nights. I moved to the floor with her, just to be next to her and for her to know I was with her. Nothing we would do (like massage techniques we learnt, etc) would help. 

@Jerry, reading your post “Better a day too early than a day too late” reaffirmed our decision. 

Also @Jackie’s words “When you cannot control the fluid in the lungs then it for sure, without doubt, is time. I have been in the middle of this procedure and in my honest opinion is just prolonging without quality of life. 

Not sure how advanced those fluids were, but they were there, she’s been coughing a lot this afternoon. And we questioned her quality of life: not more than a couple of hops before she ran out of breathe, she still enjoyed food and was overly hungry and wagged her tail when getting close to her. That was tearing us apart. My hubby did not think it was fair to Belle to let her go through another night like that, knowing that things are going down and that she’d never get better. And fearing she’d drown struggling to breathe.

I am devastated, I am angry, I am frustrated, I am lonely, and very very sad. I don’t think we had any other choice, we could have waited a few days, next weekend in a very optimistic scenario but all leads to the loss of your loved one.

I have only words of gratitude for this amazing community, It helped us a lot through the process. Thank you, thank you & thank you. 

I only hope she visits me in my dream to tell me she is doing well wherever she is. 

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16 June 2019 - 7:46 pm
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Oh goodness I am crying with you.  Having a hard time seeing the screen to type.  Sending you the hugest hugs.  Close your eyes and feel the squeeze of a heartfelt hug. 

Belle needed to go and you gave that to her in the most loving way.  

Her physical presence is gone,  but her spirit will live on inside and around you forever.  

I am so sorry she had to cross over. But know now that she is whole,  happy,  and pain free. I’m sure my Rosie and all of our other beloved pups were there to greet her and help her with her new and beautiful wings.  She will always watch over you. 

Lots of love and huge hugs, 

Jackie and Huck❤

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Bo, Andy, Oscar,and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

https://paws120.....pawds.com/

Livermore, CA




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16 June 2019 - 8:01 pm
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I’m so sorry you had to let Belle go on ahead, but it sounds like you and your husband gave Belle one last loving gift at just the right time.

I read your post earlier today and have been thinking about you guys all afternoon here, it was just now that I was able to get back and post.  My guidance would have been just what you did- evaluate her life quality and make the decision when there was not enough quality for her.  I know it hurts so much right now, down the road you will find comfort that you let her cross now and not wait.  Remember that she was very sick and not going to get better- that helped me when Maggie made her transition.

These special beings don’t ever really leave us. She will live on forever in your heart, she 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

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16 June 2019 - 8:45 pm
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I am so sorry for your loss.  

Virginia




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16 June 2019 - 9:05 pm
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Crying right here with you.  All your tripawd family cries with you tonight

I want to come back when I can focus a little better.  

But I do want to tell you about my Happy Hannah now.  And I hope it will help validate what we can all”see” looking in rom the outside.  We can see that you released Belle from her failing  earthly body at exactly the right time.

My Happy Hannah was fully  engaged, alert, eating and wagging.  No “look”, no sadness in her eyes.  No telling  me it was time.    She was tiring  very, very easily though.   But the scales were starting to tip out of her favor.  It could only get worse. . That was a known fact.   A guarantee.  And  her ability to sleep was being more and more compromised.  And  then the night came when she just could not find  a comfortavle enough breathing  position  to sleep laying down.  Laying beside her, I would doze and, everytime I opened  my eyes, she was awake.  She would sit up, pant, and try sleeping again, but  to no avail.  

So I could not, would not risk her going into a crisis if I could possibly help it.  And that’s  what would be awaiting  her.  Just like Belle a crisis would be just around the corner

And yes, you may have been able to extend her time with you a few more days, just as I may have been able to do with my Happy Hannah .  The point I wanted to make with all this, is that your Belle (as well as my Happy Hannah) didn’t  need to hang around  for anymore lovin or spoiling.  Your Belle had more of that in her time here on earth than most dogs ever get to experience! 

Yes, I’m  sure Belle is so grateful that you and your husband  have her a beautiful  send off…..just at the right time.

Surrounding  you with Belle’s loce and appreciation,  and a few sprinkles of sand from her sandbox on your floors.💖💖💖

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!

Montreal, Quebec
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17 June 2019 - 8:05 am
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It gives me comfort to read each and every response of this tripawd family, this is an awesome community and I am so thankful and lucky to have found you guys.

Thanks so much Virginia for sharing your story with Happy Hannah; it made us all break into tears as we felt so identified.

I am overwhelmed and cannot stop crying as I feel lost in the house without my dear partner Belle. I will need tons of time to get used to not having her in this world. My 3-year-old keeps asking when is Bellie coming back -he thinks after her booboo heals, she’ll come back from the sky… I keep praying for a sign to know she is good and then I will be good. -My hubbie said he already got one.

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17 June 2019 - 8:20 am
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I have no doubt you will get a sign from beautiful Angel Belle.  Never know what it might be, we have all had different experiences. 

Your girl is watching over you and the whole family now. She is running and jumping,  whole and pain free.  Watch for signs of your girl and you will see too. 

Sending you big hugs and lots of love, 

Jackie and Huck❤

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Bo, Andy, Oscar,and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

https://paws120.....pawds.com/

Montreal, Quebec
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17 June 2019 - 10:02 am
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a colleague of mine, just share this beautiful poem with me..

https://www.pet…..bridge.htm

sp_hearticon2

Virginia




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17 June 2019 - 10:22 am
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Yes, those of us who have our pups st rhe Rainbow Bridge already were there to serve as Belle’s welcome back home greeting pawty!

And let me tell you, those dogs and cats know how to throw a pawry!

As Belle got closer and closer to the Rainbow  Bridge, she started feeling free, breathing  so mich easier now and running  fast like a puppy!!

And then she saw all the yummy food they planned for her!  Fried liver,…not just the treats anymore, the real stuff……ice cream, not yogurt,  but real ice cream! And yes, chocolate too!!

After she ate everything  she wanted and with no consequences, Jerry place a Purp,e Heart on her golden collar.  Jerry gives those out to all our heroes as part of the welcome back home ceremony.

Then after a nap, Belle was up for her next adventure.  All the dogs to her down to the most beautiful  pristine  lake you could ever imagine.   And oh my goodness, it was inundated with ducks and geese! Belle had a ball!!!!!

Then, after all that fun, Belle was ready for a good night’s  sleep.  She could now rest so comfortably through the night….so comfortably that she was snoring!!!  

And guess what bed the Angel’s at the Bridge had for her?   It was a sandbox bed just like the one she had on earth!!  And they even made little stuffed “dolls” for her…..and they looked just like you, your hubby and her little boy 😊

And yes, she will definitely  send signs.  She’s  just having  such a good time right now, or may take her a few days to get one to your.  But I’m  glad she got one to your hubby. 

 Maybe uou can ahow this picture  to your ,little boy and maybe it will help??

Surrounding  you with our love 

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

Screenshot_20190617-112059_Gallery.jpgImage Enlarger

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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