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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Can't shake the feeling something's wrong
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26 October 2009 - 3:43 pm
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So McGwire is almost 3 months post amp (Thursday is his ampuversary!) and by all accounts, he's doing really well.  He gets around fine, does stairs and even the dog door to our screened porch-which is pretty impressive since he's a front amp!  But I just can't shake the feeling that something is wrong or is going to happen soon.  I took him into the vet last week to get x-rays, which were clear (YAY!Laugh), but there is just this feeling I can't shake.  He's eating well, and seems to be happy, though he's so stoic it's hard to tell.  Yes, I know he's a golden retriever, not a doberman, but he is just a cranky grandpa dog who has not seemed 'happy' since he was a puppy.  If he were a movie, he'd be Grumpy Old Men, so it's just hard to tell. He's had a few odd things happen recently-had an accident upstairs last week, stumbled a couple of times, had a weird breathing thing after eating today-but in all it's not bad.  I just don't know how to get myself to relax and realize he is an 8 year old dog and these are common things (oh, but are they?! Way Confused)  Am I crazy?! 

Wesley Chapel, FL
Member Since:
13 September 2009
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26 October 2009 - 4:28 pm
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First of all... Congratulations on the clear chest x-rays!!!Laugh  No Amy... I don't think you're crazy thinking that... cause if you are, then I'm as crazy as you! Laughing

I also look at Jake (he's 10 now) and when he takes a tumble (maybe thinking his leg is still there...) or if he pants alot at nite for no good reason, or if he just looks at us sadly once in a while (he usually is smiling), then both me and my husband think there is something wrong...Frown 

We try to keep him as happy as possible... We play with him, we snuggle with him (he loves that!), I make him real tasty food and treats, take him swimming on the weekends... You know, for the past 2 or so years before his diagnosis, he was basically a couch potatoe... Loved to lie around, on the couch, on the bed, on the floor... loved to eat... and swim. So except for the hopping around and getting tired so quickly, he's basically still doing all the things he loves. I have a feeling that we will be worried about him always, until that horrible day when the cancer comes back. Yell I hope it's not for a long time, for both Jake and McQuire... but none of us know exactly how long that will be.

So, just try to enjoy every minute with him... That's all we can do.

Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… ….. CANCER SUCKS!

26 October 2009 - 5:14 pm
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I agree, if you are crazy, then I am too.  I am constantly worrying about Zoe.  If she loses too much weight, if she gains too much weight, if she over does it, if she just lays around etc.  etc.    I  also have that gut feeling that something is wrong.  Then I think, is she picking up on my emotions and am I the problem?     So I agree, I don't think I will ever be able to relax, I just have to accept that this is how it is and spoil her rotten and try to enjoy every day I have left with her.

 You have good news from the vet, I would tell you don't worry about something that probably isn't there, but thats easier said than doneConfused 

Hang in there, I guess its normal that we all feel this way.

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20 May 2009
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26 October 2009 - 5:40 pm
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Oh, Amy.

 I think this is the life we are now destined to live.  Right before reading your post I was looking at Emily and feeling sad because she is just laying there sleeping. Then I looked around and my other two dogs were sleeping too!  It is so much easier said than done but try not to worry. Sometimes I think my mantra is "Don't borrow trouble, don't borrow trouble, don't borrow trouble".

Debra & Emily

P.S.  I don't know what movie Emily would be but if she were in a book it would be The Princess and the Pea.

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Northern Indiana
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15 January 2009
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26 October 2009 - 6:10 pm
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No Amy, you are not crazy.........but it is better for you and McGwire if you can learn to balance your fear and optimism! The fact that he has clear x-rays is such a gift! You really do not want to waste the time you have left with him waiting for something bad to happen.

All of us who deal with the cancer diagnosis need to decide how we will live with cancer. There is such a fine line between remaining optimistic and also being realistic. We all have different stories and journies...but we all know we don't want to lose our dogs!

We have come through diagnosis, amputation, and lung mets. Each stage brought tears and pain, but you really can learn to relax and just love your pup.....that is all they want or need. I am grateful for each day we have Paris and I know I will be devastated when the day comes... but I'll be damned if I will let cancer rob us of joy today!

Take good care of yourself and your boy,

Gineej & Paris

Grateful for every moment we had with Paris… regrets!

Honoring her life by opening our hearts & home to Addy!

Member Since:
26 November 2008
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26 October 2009 - 7:30 pm
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gineej said:

We have come through diagnosis, amputation, and lung mets. Each stage brought tears and pain, but you really can learn to relax and just love your pup.....that is all they want or need. I am grateful for each day we have Paris and I know I will be devastated when the day comes... but I'll be damned if I will let cancer rob us of joy today!

More than eighteen years ago when my two white Standard Poodles (litter mates) each suffered gastric torsion just three weeks ago, I realized that I was "not normal" because of my love for these companions.  The fight, their pain, and the bills were beyond belief but I was able to save them for another three years before the complications eventually took them from me.  I am sure that many would call me "crazy" for being willing to take on another similar sitution with Cherry knowing the final outcome.  Every day I give praise for the borrowed time due solely to her age, that this borrowed time has been extended in spite of this nasty diagnosis, and because of the love that I see every day in her eyes.

No one here would ever say that you are "crazy" because we all have suffered the same feelings.  Gineej nailed it perfectly, seek balance to your emotions and DO NOT LET CANCER ROB YOU OF ONE MOMENT OF JOY TODAY.

Allways here to help support,

Bob & Cherry

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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26 October 2009 - 8:19 pm
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macsmom said: ...I just can't shake the feeling that something is wrong or is going to happen soon.

This is perfectly normal. We all dread the evel cancer rearing its ugly head again. Mad

You are only crazy for letting that feeling get the best of you! Follow Mac's lead ... enjoy life in the now. Never regret the past or fear the furture. Living life on three legs is all about loving life today. Enjoy it.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Kirkland, WA
Member Since:
2 June 2009
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26 October 2009 - 8:57 pm
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I remember when we first got the diagnosis, I told our Oncologist that the only thing I didn't want was to constantly be worrying if it's spread, coming in for x-rays, and worrying about the outcome.  She looked at me and said, "Well, that's not really an option".  This may not be what we wanted, but this is what we've been given so we have to make the best of it.  I think it's normal to worry a lot, wondering if the cancer has spread, wondering if he is in pain, but you have to also remember that just last week, Mac's tests came back great!  I often times feel like something should be happening by now, that Jack should be getting sick, or that he shouldn't be so darn energetic.  I think it's because we've had so many dogs recently who decided that they were ready to move on only a couple months into their tripawd journey.  With so many doggies leaving us, especially ones that have started this adventure with you, I think it's perfectly normal to think that something may be wrong with McGwire.  I go through it all the time with Jack.  But just as much as we may think something is wrong, something may also be going very very right!  Worrying is OK, but be sure to remember the positives as well, cuz that's what will get ya through 🙂 

<3 Laura

Member Since:
13 July 2009
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26 October 2009 - 9:37 pm
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Emilysmom said:

Sometimes I think my mantra is "Don't borrow trouble, don't borrow trouble, don't borrow trouble".

Shanna - Is there something we should know about Trouble that you haven't told us? Way Cool

I think my situation is becoming the opposite of the one you describe as is probably the case for everyone with mets. We know something is wrong but choose to ignore it. If you want to choose your poison, I'd probably take the first (have nothing wrong but worry a bit). Statistically speaking, McGwire should be in decent shape for quite some time to come. 

Harrisonburg, Va
Member Since:
29 July 2009
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27 October 2009 - 9:57 am
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I don't know why everyone else is being so supportive----I think you're totally off your rocker! Crazy lady Confused 

jk jk lol  ..I think that in life, no matter what it is, if something is going well for a long time you naturally get paranoid because we grow up hearing "if something's too good to be true...." and we question our good luck (like with the clear xrays and not many complications or problems post-op).  I think you're going to worry no matter what.  It's not all bad though--keeping up with all the details with McGwire will let you know when something truly has changed.  The stumbling is totally normal for our tripawds and maybe he had an accident because he was upstairs and didn't feel like he could make it outside or didn't feel like hopping down at that moment. 

Early Happy 3-month Ampuversary btw.  It makes me happy to know he's doing well.  Gimme a call soon--I'd love to meet him and see how your Mac compares to mine in the grumpy old man category.  In the mean time I think between your boys, husband, daily activities, and the fluffpups, you need to take an hour to make some chamomile tea...sit outside and just look at the changing fall colors and feel the brisk air, and then go inside into a warm bath.  

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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28 November 2008
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27 October 2009 - 7:16 pm
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For me the early months were relatively easy.  I didn't worry much, took everything as it came and was able to enjoy every moment.  Now as time passes, I find myself being more parinoid.  Trouble has had a cough since Thursday.  She's on meds, and it is helping some, but she isn't improving as quickly as I would like.  I must admit the fear has crept in.  If it doesn't clear soon, we'll be going in for x-rays, if for no other reason, so I will know whether to worry or relax.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

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