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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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Amputation on Friday; What should I expect?
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Forum Posts: 2935
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20 April 2018 - 1:44 pm
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Hi Liz,

Welcome! I seemed to have zoomed right by this over the last week, sorry. Everybody seems to have covered everything so far here! Wonderful group of people, btw heart 

I just wanted to say hi and wishing you good thoughts for today, will be looking for your post to say that everything went smoothly!!

Hugs,

Jackie and Huckleberryheartheart

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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20 April 2018 - 1:47 pm
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Okay! SO: Sammy is currently at the vet, being prepped for his amputation surgery. I am an absolute wreck, not helped by the fact that this surgeon, who I had not met before, told me during our intake consultation that without chemo, Sammy’s prognosis was more like 2-4 months, rather than the year-“ish” that our previous doctor had quoted.
My husband and I barely scraped together enough to perform this amputation. It is very doubtful that we will be able to pay for chemo (and before you send us to your wonderful tripawd reimbursement program, we don’t qualify; my husband makes above the minimum, even though all of it goes to our student loans and he will only have it for a few more months before we both go back to school for graduate programs), and now I am doubting my entire decision to amputate. Will Sammy even recover enough from the surgery to enjoy his few months of pain-free life? If we do find the money for chemo, will the side effects negate the whole purpose of the amputation, which is to have him be able to hike and walk and enjoy what life he has left? Is it possible that he will recover completely and the cancer won’t metastasize?

I am 22, and my husband is 24. We have never dealt with this sort of thing, and we are both completely lost. I am sitting here waiting for the surgeon to call to tell me that the procedure will be starting soon, and I am no longer sure I am doing what is best for my boy.

I would really appreciate some advice! I’m losing it over here.

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20 April 2018 - 1:51 pm
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Oh sheesh.. please BREATHE…nice and slow…I haven’t even gotten through your whole post yet but there is more for you to know so please don’t get upset! I will finish and post again… just breathe.. 

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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20 April 2018 - 1:58 pm
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Ok, please listen for a moment. Some people go the chemo route, some do not. That doctor DOES NOT…let me repeat NOT know how long your Sammy has. NOBODY can answer that question. There have been people in here with poor prognosis that have done wonderfully! There have been the opposite as well. There is always a risk with surgery, but you are giving him the only chance he has and you are taking away his pain!!!

He may live 2 years and cross over because of old age.. it was wrong for that person to just throw that at you. Some people are SO insensitive!!!mad

Right now, focus on the surgery. Focus on your boy doing well and making a smooth transition into recovery. Chemo is NOT a must, it is an option. Many in here have chosen NOT to do chemo and have done really well. 

I am so sorry that this happened to you right now at this moment, it is the last thing you need.

Hugs,

Jackieheart

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

Livermore, CA




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20 April 2018 - 2:01 pm
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Hi, I edited your post a bit- our site does not allow requests for funding since we are all pretty much in the same boat with expenses.

Here is the Tripawds Fundraising Policy for reference.  There are some links there to other potential sources of funding.

As far as today’s developments go- the prime reason for amputation is to remove the horrible pain.  We have seen here that chemo is a bit of a crap shoot.  We have dogs who start chemo right away and get a few months.  My friends dog did not do chemo after his amp for OSA and he is still hopping 9 YEARS later!

Of course not all are so lucky but you are giving Sammy a chance at more quality time with you.  The post amp healing period usually lasts 2 to 3 weeks- without amputation the pain from the cancer will only get worse and pain meds won’t 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

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20 April 2018 - 2:02 pm
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paws120 said
Ok, please listen for a moment. Some people go the chemo route, some do not. That doctor DOES NOT…let me repeat NOT know how long your Sammy has. NOBODY can answer that question. There have been people in here with poor prognosis that have done wonderfully! There have been the opposite as well. There is always a risk with surgery, but you are giving him the only chance he has and you are taking away his pain!!!

He may live 2 years and cross over because of old age.. it was wrong for that person to just throw that at you. Some people are SO insensitive!!!mad

Right now, focus on the surgery. Focus on your boy doing well and making a smooth transition into recovery. Chemo is NOT a must, it is an option. Many in here have chosen NOT to do chemo and have done really well. 

I am so sorry that this happened to you right now at this moment, it is the last thing you need.

Hugs,

Jackieheart  

Thank you, Jackie. I was blown away that the prognosis seemed to have suddenly lost months. I’ll do my best to focus on his recovery. We scheduled with the vet to talk about chemo when we go in to get his sutures out. We had originally planned not to go for it, because of the side effects, but I am learning that dogs tend to do very well on it, which is another thing making me doubt my decision.

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20 April 2018 - 2:05 pm
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krun15 said
Hi, I edited your post a bit- our site does not allow requests for funding since we are all pretty much in the same boat with expenses.

Here is the Tripawds Fundraising Policy for reference.  There are some links there to other potential sources of funding.

As far as today’s developments go- the prime reason for amputation is to remove the horrible pain.  We have seen here that chemo is a bit of a crap shoot.  We have dogs who start chemo right away and get a few months.  My friends dog did not do chemo after his amp for OSA and he is still hopping 9 YEARS later!

Of course not all are so lucky but you are giving Sammy a chance at more quality time with you.  The post amp healing period usually lasts 2 to 3 weeks- without amputation the pain from the cancer will only get worse and pain meds won’t help.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls  

Ah, okay, sorry about that!

I was worried about pain meds making his life “foggy” too. I’m still waiting on that surgeon to call. Breathing a bit easier now after the responses I’ve gotten.

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20 April 2018 - 2:07 pm
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I am leaving work, you are in good company. I will check back later on. You are going to be ok, and you are in good  company here 🙂

heart

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

Livermore, CA




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20 April 2018 - 2:11 pm
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I also deleted the other topic you started that was identical to your post here (#17).  We have found that trying to keep track of the same question in different forums confuses everyone.

NO WORRIES THOUGH!

I know you got some shocking news today and are trying your best for Sammy. 

Here are some blog posts on chemotherapy to get you started if you are interested, although I agree with Jackie that you should focus on surgery and recovery right now. 

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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20 April 2018 - 3:26 pm
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Don’t worry about him being “foggy”, that is not always a bad thing. This is major surgery and he will need to stay still and quiet for a while afterwards. Eating (sometimes by hand), drinking (important), short easy breaks for pee and poo (poo might take a while at first), and lots and lots of tlc and sleep. That’s it. No stairs, no up on things like beds, no running around in the yard or walks. Just rest, food, meds, elimination. 

Most of our furbabies stay on medication for pain for about 2 weeks. They usually come home with tramadol, rimadyl, and gabapentin. Huckleberry had a long acting antibiotic injection and his meds were different being a cat. Although the pain meds were different, gabapentin is important to avoid phantom limb pain. 

Traction is also very important. Some of us use yoga mats, puzzle mats, throw rugs, anything to make sure they don’t slip on slick floors. If you have carpeting then you don’t have to worry about that. Stairs should also be slip proofed. 

Make sure he has lots of yummy foods to eat. The drugs will likely put his appetite off, so whatever he will eat.. canned food, chicken, hamburger, scrambled eggs… whatever it takes for him to want to eat. 

Wishing you lots of luck for a smooth procedure without complications. Will be looking for your progress.

Jackie and Huckleberry heartheart

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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20 April 2018 - 4:51 pm
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Hi Liz, I am hoping to hear that Sammy made it through surgery and is in a dog dazed sleep right now, starting the healing process!

I also agree that you can not think too far ahead on this 💩 disease… no one knows what each day will bring, we just have to think about what we are doing for our fur babies and do what is best for them, writhing our means! Our famous Jerry Dawg lived a super hoppy life and he didn’t have chemo after his surgery. Rene will be able to tell you how long they were gifted with their time with Jerry. You took away Sam’s pain, you are amazing people for making this choice for him, know that he will be eternally grateful to you for this! When we decided to go for chemo for Stewie, we had read what our “odds” were and knew that whatever we chose to do for Stewie we would be throwing the dice and merely buying time! We have been blessed with nine months (past his diagnosis) with our boy so far and would love for nine more… and nine more after that and son and son on… sadly we have seen people who have lost their fur babies sooner and they also went for chemo… As i have been told many times on site here, make your decisions, know that in your heart you are making the best decisions for you all and stick with them. Otherwise we could live our lives saying “what if”???

Beprepared to sleep with Sam for a few nights so that you can watch him for his pain levels, potty needs etc and call your vets with any and all concerns! We are all here to support you through a tough week for all, but hang in there, Sammy will prove just how easy dawgs Rock on 3!

Let us know how Sam’s doing.

All the very best

Petra, Stewie and his Kittens

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

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20 April 2018 - 6:36 pm
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Hi Liz, sorry to meet you here, but I’m glad you found us.

By now, we’re all waiting to hear that the surgery went well and that Sam traded that awful osteo pain for a new pain that’s going to get better.

FWIW, we brought Casey home the evening of his surgery (left arm), and he did great.  He came home as a 54 pound Golden and had no noticeable pain issues.  He took 200mg Gabapentin and 200 mg Tramadol three times daily plus 50 mg Rimadyl twice daily with meals.  He was able to roll in the snow, stand up on his own, and trot to his mom when she called him 36 hours after surgery.  We tapered the Gabapentin down between a week and ten days after surgery, and the Tramadol a week later.  He still takes the Rimadyl as it can suppress new tumors.

We bought several harnesses for Casey and then didn’t use any.  We used a pillowcase as a strap to help him stand that first day, and possibly to help him on the stairs for a few more days, but after that, he just wore a T-shirt with a hair tie on the top to create a top knot.  We simply grabbed that top knot to help him on stairs until he had them mastered.

One thing to look for . . . did they test Sam’s ALP (alkaline phosphatase)?  Low ALP levels indicate a better prognosis.

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21 April 2018 - 12:35 am
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Thinking of u and sammy today! Huggs and hope u get sammy home soon 💗

Virginia




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21 April 2018 - 10:14 am
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Please  know that we are here for you and we are surrounding you with our love and strength.heart

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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21 April 2018 - 12:51 pm
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Hello everyone! Sammy’s surgery last night was delayed. We got the call that he was out and in recovery around 6PM. (poor guy, what a long day!). The vet techs called and told us that he was eating solid food THAT NIGHT! and they are attempting to walk him out to pee today. They said he has been doing really, really well. He should be able to come home either tonight or tomorrow morning.

Thank you guys so much for your support. I will keep you updated as much as I can! We are trying to move forward positively and just be excited to have him home 🙂

We got his giant T-shirt washed and ready (the softest I could find at goodwill!) and I’m roasting his favorite food, sweet potatoes, as we speak. Can’t wait to see him!

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