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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Callie's extension on life...
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Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
8 July 2011
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22 January 2012 - 1:23 pm
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What a week we've had!  Last Friday night, Callie coughed up blood for the second time within a two week span, so we decided to finally get xrays done to see what was going on in her lungs for the first time since her leg was amputated in July.  We knew deep down and expected there to be lung mets, which was confirmed.  Several mets showed up and some pretty big ones at that.  We went to a different vet than normal because they were open on the weekends so my husband could go with me.  This vet gave us the bad news and suggested we put Callie down soon, as she said that Callie was in great pain and would only get worse quickly.  Going off this vets opinion, we decided to have one last week with Callie and spoil her rotten.  We scheduled an appointment for this past Friday to have her put down with our normal vet who did the amputation.  But all week, I just didn't get the feeling from Callie that she was ready to go yet.  Everyone says you'll know when its time, and I just didn't feel that.  We can tell her breathing is somewhat labored, especially if she lays on her right side where the largest tumor is, but her quality of life still seems enjoyable.  She is not restless or panting yet, so I don't feel like she is really suffering as much as the vet suggested.  She is eating a little less lately, but not too much less, and she still gets around by herself for the most part.  My husband carries her up the steps at night most of the time for bed, as that seems to be difficult for her at times, but other times she does it on her own.  So all week, I just went back and forth with my decision based on what the vet had told us and what I was seeing from Callie.  We prepared ourselves though and even dug her grave… : (


We went to the appointment with our normal vet on Friday, already having said our goodbyes to Callie all week.  I wasn't even sure I wanted to go, but at the last minute I decided to so I could show our vet the xrays and see what he thought.  Thank goodness I did!  He was very surprised to see Callie's demeanor as well as it is and was surprised to see what the xrays showed (one tumor is almost as big as her heart!)  He said her lungs sounded much better than what he would have expected from the xrays and her heart was strong.  He told us he would go through with it if we wanted, but he thought he still had a good quality of life and had more time in her.  A completely different suggestion from the first vet!  So, we decided to put off putting her down and brought her home with us!!  Talk about an emotional rollercoaster!  Callie has done great since then….walking around like normal and her energy has even picked up.  She seems like her old self!  I think she could tell we were depressed last week and I'm sure it affected her mood as well.  She is on tramadol and prednisone , which the vet said would help with her coughing spells and may even shrink her tumors some (the first vet didn't even bring this up!).  Of course, the vet couldn't give us a guesstimate of how long she has…could just be another week, two months, etc.  I'm just happy that we have more time with her, as I just wasn't comfortable with putting her down when I can still see a quality of life in her.  My husband and I realized we need to go off our own opinions of Callie, as we know her best and will know when its time.  When she appears to be heading downhill and showing signs of pain or uncomfortableness, we will definitely decide to end her fight and let her rest in peace….But that time hasn't come yet!  So for now, the grave has been covered up and is just a constant reminder to cherish the time we have left with her, however short or long that may be.     

Forum Posts: 982
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1 February 2011
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22 January 2012 - 1:36 pm
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I know how difficult this last bit is. You wonder if you’re making the right choices, and you watch for every single hair out of place that might be a sign. It’s stressful and scary, and you hope that you’re doing the right thing. But, trust me, you WILL know for certain when the time for Callie is right. She will tell you. Spend these last days, weeks, minutes, whatever amount of time you have left, spend them loving your girl, making her smile and building sweet memories that will sustain you when you do have to say goodbye.

My heart is with you. Give Callie some loves from Rio’s momma.

the Woo

~ ~ Rio ~ ~
Forever in my heart...

April 2000 – January 20, 2012
Diagnosed with Mast Cell Cancer in June 2007. Left rear leg amputated Feb. 8, 2011.
Mets discovered Aug. 31, 2011. Read more of Rio's story here.

San Diego, CA
Forum Posts: 2503
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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22 January 2012 - 2:16 pm
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Oh, I’m so glad you got some extra time with your girl. These last days are oh-so-precious.

Give her a little extra spoiling and kisses from her Tripawd’s Aunt Jackie.
Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Forum Posts: 732
Member Since:
10 February 2011
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22 January 2012 - 3:01 pm
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Glad you have today and maybe tomorrows!!!!

Scottsburg, IN
Forum Posts: 308
Member Since:
5 February 2010
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22 January 2012 - 4:06 pm
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I’ve been wondering if you kept your appointment Friday. I’m so glad you have this extra time with Callie. Thanks for letting us know where things are!

knoxville, tn
Forum Posts: 1705
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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22 January 2012 - 4:15 pm
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glad to hear you've been blessed with more time.  sounds like you guys are enjoying each and every moment, which is so great.  wishing you many, many good times yet to come.


charon & spirit gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends


St. Louis, MO
Forum Posts: 258
Member Since:
16 September 2011
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22 January 2012 - 4:22 pm
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Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers to Callie for many many many more good days together…

Hugs and chocolate labby kisses,

Ellen & Charley


DOB: 3-29-08, male chocolate lab  
Dx: OSA L proximal humerus 10-19-10

Amputation: L front leg & scapula 10-28-10

Chemo: 5 rounds of Carboplatin

Video (12 weeks post amp):Tripaw Charley Playing

♥♥♥ Lots of supplements and love!!! ♥♥♥

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 28040
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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22 January 2012 - 5:48 pm
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It’s amazing what can happen when we listen to our hearts! How nice to hear.

The cancer journey is full of so many ups and downs. May you have a long, long time on the up part now.


It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Chicago, IL
Forum Posts: 537
Member Since:
5 March 2011
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22 January 2012 - 7:23 pm
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gotta like that!
August 16, 2006 to November 28, 2011
TATE ~ Forever in our hearts.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Forum Posts: 4344
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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22 January 2012 - 9:23 pm
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That's excellent news!  Even a little bit of time is a treasure! 

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Forum Posts: 186
Member Since:
20 August 2011
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23 January 2012 - 8:51 pm
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I'm so glad that you guys are going to have more time!!

Jac and Angel Spencer.  Spencer was 5.25 years old. He fought a grade 3 fibrosarcoma, started on his shoulder.  Left front leg amputated in August 2011.  15 weeks of chemo finished 12/22/11 (mytox and adria).  Lung mets found on x-rays 12/28/11.  Started carboplatin 1/6/12. Went to Heaven on 2/27/12. I miss him like crazy every day.  See his blog here:

Rock Hill, SC
Forum Posts: 875
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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24 January 2012 - 9:07 am
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That truly is a blessing.  She just wasn't done loving you yet.  I hope this time with her is just magical and leaves you with the most amazing memories!

Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...

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