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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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Advice and Help for Sweet Betty
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Portland, OR
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
27 June 2020
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13 September 2020 - 11:42 pm
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Hi All,

here’s our story: Betty (5/6yr Pit Bull) was diagnosed with OSA in early June. Amputated front right leg June 25th. Her recovery was a breeze (compared to TPLO surgery). She adjusted to life on three legs very well. Betty’s treatment plan was 4 sessions of carboplatin chemo. She also handled the chemo very well with only slight nausea. Which CBD helped btw. Betty was due for her 4th and final treatment on Tuesday, Sep. 8th. Monday she didn’t get up for breakfast and I thought it was due to a busy weekend and that she was tired. When I tried to get her up she couldn’t use her back legs. Took her to her appt. anyways. they couldn’t tell what was wrong but could see it had to do with her spine. The first thought the oncologist thought was that it could be OSA in her spine so they took x-rays of her spine and lungs. Lungs were clear but there appeared to be a smudge like spot on her spine up in the shoulder area T8 and T9. The radiologist couldn’t confirm it was cancer and recommended further imaging. And oncologist said to see a neurologist. Due to COVID I can not get into see one and I have tried. Took her to two ER vets that had neurology departments and she was able to be evaluated. Basically they thoughts were IF it was a slipped disc she would have a 50/50 chance of recovery after surgery. I opted to take her home and try acupuncture. I guess what I’m asking is if there is anything else I should be doing ? Or any suggestions on what I should try? She is young and healthy and has been a champ through this process that I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that there is nothing else to do and feeling very defeated. Any advice or suggestions would be most appreciated. Let me add that she is still drinking and her appetite is STRONG. Currently on Gabapentin 300mg, Predisone, and codeine.

Thanks! 

Kristen 

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3969
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14 September 2020 - 11:09 am
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry your girl is having trouble.  I understand how discouraged you must be after she has done so well after amputation surgery.

The only other thing I can think of is to take her to a certified rehab vet to see if they can determine if rehab could help resolve the injury.

Has she made any progress since last Monday?  I had a Pug who had strokes and would temporarily lose the use of her back end, but she recovered pretty quickly.  She was originally diagnosed with a FCE but becasue she recovered fairly quickly and had multiple events they decided it was most likely strokes.

Dogs can recover from FCE’s depending on the severity of the original injury which is where a rehab vet could help.

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

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28057
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14 September 2020 - 12:26 pm
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Kristen, thanks for posting. I’m sorry that Betty is having this problem, she is such a young pup! But I guess that’s also a very big plus right now, she’s younger and strong and has lots on her side to recuperate from this. 

As far as I understand, an MRI or CT scan is really the only way to tell if there are mets elsewhere in the body. If this type of diagnostic is in your budget, then why not line up the appointment for a scan and in the meantime get her to the acupuncturist.

Who is the vet doing the acupuncture? Are they also a rehab therapist? Usually that’s the case. Right now, you are on the right track by working with one of these experts.

Our favorite clinic in Portland for acupuncture is Dr. Ostermeier at Lombard Animal Hospital. We interviewed her about the benefits of animal acupuncture a while back, you may want to give it a listen.

I hope she is feeling better. Did she just start the Pred? If so, that should help her be a little more mobile while you wait to figure out what’s happening. Hang in there and keep us posted.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Portland, OR
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
27 June 2020
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14 September 2020 - 3:04 pm
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Thanks for the encouragement. We need all we can get!

As far as an MRI, the ER vet made me feel pressured to do it only if I wanted to move further with surgery if that was what she ended up needing. I think they are so booked they don’t want to stretch out the process longer. That was too big of a financial decision for me to make in 20 minutes.

Her acupuncturist is a licensed vet but not a rehab therapist. I’m going to contact some rehab vets today. I’m not against moving forward with an MRI. 

Just want to say it’s great to have this community to bounce ideas off and get advice. It can be so overwhelming to get so much information or lack thereof and you guys help unpack it and support and guide. Thank you.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19699
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14 September 2020 - 4:14 pm
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Sweet Betty!  You apu d like a remarkable  RockStar of a Tripawd!!!   Cant wait to see pictures of your precious Pittie

To have a disc issue with a tripawd seems like a very unfair  pile on…and it is!  

Here’s a link with some suggestions  for approaches other than surgery.  I also remember  Cold Laser Therapy along with the acupuncture is helpful.  Maybe you can find a few things in the article  helpful

https://www.dog…..naturally/

Years ago I had a fiour legger who didn’t  have quite as severe  disc issue (still able to use back legs, just barely though).  I think at first he was given the steroid by injection, then the pill form of the Prednisone . Along with keeping confined and rested as much as possible.   It definitely made a pawsitive difference!  

As daunting  as this is, the fact that it’s not osteo and can possibly  improve with the conservative  approach hopefully gives you some hope.

Hang in there and keep us posted

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!

Portland, OR
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
27 June 2020
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14 September 2020 - 8:13 pm
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Thanks all!

I was miraculously able to get Betty an appointment at a rehab facility tomorrow! In the meantime I have some reading to do. I’ll keep ya posted.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19699
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14 September 2020 - 8:49 pm
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Miracles do happen!  Great news!!   We’ll be waiting for your upda’te!!

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: 28057
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14 September 2020 - 9:09 pm
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Oh wow that is seriously miraculous! I’m so excited for her and you, hopefully this is a totally fixable issue. We are keeping our paws and fingers crossed for good news 🙂

And yeah, about the MRI, I would have felt the same way you did. That’s a lot to decide in 20 minutes! Yikes!

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

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Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3969
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14 September 2020 - 10:30 pm
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Meant to be!  I hope they can Betty more comfortable and moving better.

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

Portland, OR
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
27 June 2020
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10
18 September 2020 - 4:54 pm
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Betty Update:

Both the rehab therapist and acupuncturist think that Betty is not suffering from cancer but is suffering from swelling on her spine due to a fall she had leading up to the Monday she lost her back leg function. Still no significant improvements in her paralysis but we are doing rehab therapy and acupuncture twice a week – which includes an aquatic treadmill, laser therapy, and Electroacupuncture. Her feeling and pain sensation has improved. Doing PT at home daily. Sounds like it will be a slow long ride to recovery but at least we have a path to take. And of course, one day at a time.

I’m interested in herbal supplements. Anyone have any suggestions?

thanks again for the support. We’re not out of the woods but there is a glimpse of light.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19699
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18 September 2020 - 8:37 pm
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Applause  to you for doing EVERYTHING  possible  for your sweet Betty!  It IS encouraging that sensation is coming back and it appears ro be “fixable”. Obviously this is going to require a lot of patience on your part and Sweet Betty’s part.  Slow and steady is going to win the race.

Others can chime in on some supplements You might check out Tumeric  for dogs as an anti-inflammatory that could maybe help with the swelling  in the spine.

Thanks for the update.  We’re  cheering for Sweet Betty!

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: 28057
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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12
19 September 2020 - 4:47 pm
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Oh wow that is GREAT news!!! Yeah! I’m so happy to know that she’s got some excellent rehab happening and this is a fixable issue.  How are you holding up? I know it’s tough to squeeze rehab exercises into the day. What do they have you doing for her at home?

As for supplements, that is a great question for our Eating Healthy Discussion Forum Topic. Please start a new convo there and let us know specifically what kind of supplements you are looking for, since there are tons of products for different functions and purposes in the body. 

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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