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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Member Since:
11 February 2009
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1 March 2009 - 4:44 pm
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I posted this to the bone cancer dogs yahoogroup, but figured since most here are also dealing with bone cancer, it might be good to throw it out here too:

I took Cooper in to get the staples removed from his amp today.
The good news: he is happy these days, obviously pain free, eager to
go for walks (and even run and play and roll on his back being
goofy)...the difference from a month ago, when he had a horribly
painful cancerous leg, is remarkable. Based on what I've seen in him,
and all the reading and connecting with others who have amputated due
to cancer, I will not hesitate to recommend the amputation option from
now on.

The bad news: He seems to be losing weight, even though I have
increased his food. I have even commented that his head somehow looks
thinner. Also he wears out be expected to be sure, 16
days post major surgery and adjusting to three legs. But perhaps there
is more to it... I know that cancer can cause wasting and fatigue, and
the vet gave me a name for it today: cachexia. So of course when I got
home, I googled.

Until March 24 (another chest xray and ultrasound) I won't know how
far the cancer has progressed. He had one small visible lung met at
initial diagnosis. On amputation one lymph node was also removed and
biopsied and found free of cancerous activity. The cancer cells in the
bone were of several types, but a lot of spindle cells, which I am
told does not bode well. On the advice of three different vets, I am
not pursuing chemotherapy. My primary veterinarian is looking into
neoplasene for me but I'm still on the fence about that.

So...I would like to hear about others' experiences with weight loss
and cachexia. I am already feeding much the way suggested in the links
above - my dogs eat a raw diet, and I am going to tweak it for
Cooper's situation after further research. He also gets various joint
supplements, about 4,000mg of fish oil per day, vit E daily and
coenzyme Q10. Oh and I should mention - his appetite is great, he'd
eat sawdust if it was put in a bowl in front of him.

Any thoughts, experiences, advice? Thanks so much.

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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1 March 2009 - 10:18 pm
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Cancer cachexia usually occurs because the tumor is using the body to "feed" itself (much like a parasite) so there is not enough energy available to sustain the dog.  You are already feeding a high protein/low carb diet which is good but offering multiple meals might help him to put on some weight. Cachexia is not present with all cancers so it is possible that it is something else.  I'm sure that your vet will do bloodwork when he goes for his recheck.

I have had success using anabolic steroids for this condition (nandrolone or Winstrol are most commonly used in vet. med.).  Your holistic vet might have something more natural that acts in a similiar way.

It is great that his appetite is still good.

Pam and Tazzie

Member Since:
25 April 2008
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2 March 2009 - 8:11 am
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I give Buster along with the  high protein, I've been adding fat. I've read some where that cancer can not feed off of fat. I give him chicken broth (unskimed), slicedcheese, cream cheese and sometimes add melted butter to his food. Along with yogurt (not fat free).

You should double check this, I am not sure about the raw diet at this point. Since cancer also feeds off of iron. Avoid especially organ meat. I thought the body naurally withholds iron since this feeds the tumor. Small frequent meals should help.. if all else fails there are the steroids Pam has mentioned.

Kim & Buster ( living with lung mets since 12/15 )

Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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2 March 2009 - 12:23 pm
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Carina said:

I posted this to the bone cancer dogs yahoogroup, but figured since most here are also dealing with bone cancer, it might be good to throw it out here too

Carina, thanks so much for sharing this, the more information we all have, the better.

Just wanted to let you know that when you paste from another forum, Word doc, or email, you can use the editing buttons so that your pasted text doesn't look like a poem here.

Here's how to paste text into Tripawd forums:

  1. Copy your text from the other application/forum
  2. Start your Tripawds post or reply here, but before you paste it into the big writing box...
  3. Click the little icon above the writing box (fifth from right) with the "W" in front of a clip board. A box will come up, and you will past your Word text there. When you click "Insert," your text will automatically appear formatted correctly into the forums.

The same thing applies when you're pasting from email or another forum...but use the "T"/clipboard icon (sixth from right) instead.

Hope this helps!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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2 March 2009 - 12:28 pm
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Ok, to offer some input here..

When I went to a completely raw diet before my surgery, I lost too much weight. Mom thought she was doing everything right, but she started feeding me a little Evo kibble every day, and I put weight back on and kept it there.

After my surgery, I still ate mostly raw. But Mom still feed me Evo, along with a heaping serving of cottage cheese, occasionally an egg too. This helped me maintain my weight.

It IS great to hear that Cooper is doing well otherwise!

That's the thing about cancer....somethings are better, some things aren't, some days are better, some are worse. The trick is to find a way to keep all of the good and bad in balance.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
11 February 2009
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2 March 2009 - 3:31 pm
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Thanks all! Well first...Cooper met me at the door today with the other dogs, waggy and happy. Then he ate his great big pile of food. Then he came and noodged me for attention, THEN played some energetic, growly tug with my little Jack mix...let me tell you it's great to see him feeling good! I'll walk him down the block after he's napped off his meal.

Pam...thank you, I hadn't thought of multiple meals, duh. I can do that. Kim...interesting about the iron/liver thing. Hmmm. Because both prior to the amp and afterwards, his RBC was quite low...I didn't find anything online about that being related to cancer, but perhaps? Also in the last couple of months his BUN has been up and down...and alk/phos was off. My dogs get a blood panel every spring at the same time I get the blood draw for the annual heartworm check and he has always been extremely healthy, everything coming back normal. So between the stress of the pain, the big ortho surgery in October, the pain meds and antibiotics, and the cancer...I suppose it makes sense that he's going to be "off."

Pam I read about giving steroids, (or a compounded steroid) but I thought that was more to stimulate the appetite? He still eats like his hair is on fire, always has. What would the "something else" you mentioned be, possibly?

Jerry's humans...I thought about picking up some EVO or Wellness Core or something. It's pretty low carb...I'll pick some up. There does seem to be varying schools of thought about feeding raw to cancer seems that the main risk perceived is that since the immune system is compromised, there is elevated chance for bacterial infection or something. He's eaten raw since he was 8 weeks old. I've fed raw to all my dogs for almost nine years, never had a single tummy upset or problem. I even feed venison that I get from hunter in, practically whole deer. (They love that; it gets pretty primal in my back yard LOL.) I can sure cook up his meat, though.

And thank you for the heads up on copying posts over from elsewhere, will do.

Today's early dinner was a pile of 73% fatty ground beef, a small chunk or pork neckbone, some grass-fed green tripe, a big spoon of canned pumpkin, a whole egg and his pile of supplements mixed in. I imagine he is really happy that he's getting big meals, I've always had to watch his weight....I shall tell him his online Auntie Pam says to feed him more than twice a day, he will be VERY happy about this.

I also have a call in to Colorado State, their cancer center does free phone consults. You call and give a bunch of information, then within 48 hours one of their oncologists calls back. I willl update.

Member Since:
25 April 2008
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2 March 2009 - 4:43 pm
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Here is a site it has several  links for diet info  http://www.doga.....cific.html;PID=2638

trying to find the link about the raw food…

Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

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