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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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Emily can't catch a break
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Michigan
Member Since:
31 August 2009
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16
24 October 2009 - 5:20 pm
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Oh good, I'm glad the swelling is down. Here's hoping she's back on 3 legs soon.

How nice of Mac and Jake's moms to help Emily that way! This community is the best!

Michelle

New Jersey
Member Since:
17 March 2009
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24 October 2009 - 7:30 pm
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What a beautiful story of how you found and named Emily GraceLaugh

Miss Emily Grace, you need to just take it easy and enjoy all the pampering that your wonderful mommy is giving to you.   Just rest a little bit sweet girl and you will feel better in no time.

Sending love and warm wishes your way.

Kathy & Maddie

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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25 October 2009 - 10:31 am
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It's wonderful to see this community offering such support. All these good vibes are certain to help Emily feel much better soon!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Harrisonburg, Va
Member Since:
29 July 2009
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19
27 October 2009 - 10:19 am
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I'm glad to hear that the swelling is going down and that it's nothing too terrible.  I was thinking that it was the back leg that was injured before so  thanks for reminding us that it was a different leg.   I know it must be hard for her to keep having issues and injuries but I think that just shows how great her spirit is and willingness to get around.  She's strong and although she pushes herself too hard before she should, it demonstrates her love of life.   And what a great story of how you two came together.   

Member Since:
20 May 2009
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27 October 2009 - 4:15 pm
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Emily is still struggling but we took her off the tramadol and she is not crying anymore.  We still have to help her get up (thanks, Jacki) with the use of a harness and help her walk with a sling (thanks Jake's Mom) but today she is trying to walk as oppossed to just letting her leg hang lifelessly.  Also she was able to stand for a couple of minutes, well maybe just one, without support.  She is interested in what is going on around her and we can still see Emily in her so we are working on the physical and rejoicing for her spirit.  I hate to see her have these problems but don't think that we should make a decision to end her life if her spirit seems intact?  What do you think?

Debra & Emily

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.

Wesley Chapel, FL
Member Since:
13 September 2009
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27 October 2009 - 5:39 pm
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I don't know dear... If she isn't in alot of pain... and you can still see the spirit in her... Well, only you can tell. But it sounds like she's doing a bit better, right? Is Emily on any other meds since she's off the Tramadol? Like NSAIDS? What does your vet say?

I think that one day... when you can no longer see 'Emily'... and you feel that she is truely miserable, and the vets say there is nothing else you can do for her... then maybe then, your decision will be a bit easier for you.

In the meantime, I hope that Emily continues to make small (even tiny) improvements...If you lived nearby... I would have you come over and get her swimming with Jake! At least then, she wouldn't have to put any weight on her legs...

I don't know what else to tell you Debra... I wish that it wasn't so hard for Emily. I'm sending you a big virtual hug...

Luv,

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… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!

stacy
22
27 October 2009 - 6:57 pm
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Hi Debra,

I'm so sorry to hear that Emily is still struggling.  It sounds like she's improved a bit and maybe if you find a pain killer that has fewer side effects she will do even better.  Also, have you considered physical therapy (at home or with a pro), maybe your doctor can make some suggestions of things to do that will help (you may have even written about this, sorry, I am still having a hard time keeping two thoughts together).  Another alternative is acupuncture, it's been proven to be an amazing non-drug way of dealing with pain in humans (our military uses it in the field to help soldiers), and I imagine it will do the same for dogs.  Just some ideas to consider if you haven't already.

The decision to end her life is a deeply personal and difficult decision no matter the situation, and it's one you, your family and your doctors will have to make together, but, in my opinion it sounds like Emily still wants to be here with her family.  I believe that dogs will let you know when they have had enough and are ready to go.  In my case, I still struggle with my decision even though I know it was the right one.  One of the most obvious indicators for me was when Lulu stopped eating completely, she was so weak and her spirit seemed drained. There wasn't much I could do to give her comfort and that's what I wanted her to have, so I  choose to let her go.  It's that whole question of quality of life and there are few websites that have good questions to ask when considering euthanasia, I believe that there is one here too in the coping with loss section.

My thoughts are with you & Emily, give her kisses for me.

All the best,

Stacy

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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23
27 October 2009 - 7:08 pm
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Emilysmom said:

She is interested in what is going on around her and we can still see Emily in her so we are working on the physical and rejoicing for her spirit.  I hate to see her have these problems but don't think that we should make a decision to end her life if her spirit seems intact?  What do you think?


You will know when the time is right, your heart will speak before your head does, then your eyes. All of us wonder how we'll know, but we just do. In the meantime, if Emily still has a fire in her eyes, run with it. Give her the love and physical therapy she needs to enjoy life, and take it one pawstep at a time.

You've been so strong throughout all of this, what a wonderful pack you have there! Give our love to Emily.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Winnipeg
Member Since:
13 July 2009
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27 October 2009 - 8:50 pm
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I don't mean to be the nay sayer, but I wonder whether the time is always so clear-cut (well, not that it is really that clear, but reasonably if the dog's general condition has declined). I think it might depend on what is wrong with the dog. A friend had a youngish (7) dog that had some weird neurological disease this year. After 6 months of following her around with a rag as the pup dragged her back end and pooed and peed on everything in the house, etc., they finally decided it was time. But the dog was still bright-eyed despite her physical issues. (They did go through the whole diaper thing, but apparently this got far worse. I didn't see it.)

Today, Tazzie started to lift his right leg when the toe touched the ground - it sort of looked like a nerve might be sensitive (the one that is being hit by the subQ mets) and was not putting much weight on the leg. He looked a bit like a 2&1/2 legged dog. He is bright eyed and energetic but I realized that he might become a 2 legged leftie dog before very long. So what does one do then when the spirit is willing but the body does not cooperate? I don't think that spending life in a wheelchair is an option and he is too big for me to provide much physical help. Then again, I did not expect amputation to be an option just a little over three months ago.

I am not seeking input on Tazzie's current situation - we are not close to a point where such a decision is on the table. I am just using our example as an illustration because it occurred to me that I might end up having to make a decision for a dog that feels okay and has sparkle if the "C" has not affected vital organs, but just can't move. I suppose he would probably be in considerable pain by that time, but that would not necessarily be true for some dogs that have lost mobility.

I did see a great website recently that had a wonderful piece on how you know it is time. They gave several criteria that you could evaluate for your dog. It was very nicely done. I cannot find the site right now, but will post the link if I do. It made me realize how well most of our dogs are doing. They were not close to the low end of the scale.

Take care all you tripawds out there, especially you Emily

Susan & Tazzie 2

Madison, WI
Member Since:
14 June 2009
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25
28 October 2009 - 7:09 pm
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I'm pretty sure bonecancerdogs has that evaluation Susan mentioned. 

From my experience with my first dog, I would concur with Susan that the body can quit before the spirit and that's just about the worst situation for the pawrent(s).  I felt very lucky that I didn't run into that dilemma with Yoda.  But, it doesn't sound to me like you think Emily has quite reached that point yet.  There's still hope for improvement.  And when you have that plus her spirit is still intact, you're in good shape.  So my thoughts and prayers go out to you that if you have to help Emily go at some point, that it's crystal clear for you that it's what she needs.  If it should turn out not to be, I know what that's like and will be here for you ...along with everyone else no doubt Big Grin

Yoda&Mom united: 9/5/06 …….… Yoda&Leg separated: 6/5/09……… Yoda&Leg reunited: 10/14/09 ……… ……………….………….………….……. Yoda&Mom NEVER separated! …………………….….……....….…… Though Spirit Yoda currently free-lances as a rabbit hunting instructor for tripawds nationwide

Oregon
Member Since:
19 September 2009
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26
30 October 2009 - 11:07 pm
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I personally hope and believe that no madder what I will know when Shilo is telling me enough is enough. I think that even (or hope) when she is done. I think that Em will tell you when the time is and you will know in your heart. Until then we will all keep her in our prayers and celebrate even the smallest of steps back to recovery. Our thoughts are with you!!

Hugs -
Shilo and Mom

Shilo diagnosed with osteosarcoma 9/4/2009, amputation 9/9/2009. ShiloAnne lost her battle 11/23/2009 where she regained her fourth leg and is patiently waiting for her parents to join her. We will always love you baby girl.

Oregon
Member Since:
19 September 2009
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27
31 October 2009 - 12:32 am
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Hey Debra -

My husband and I were just talking about Em and he was telling me about a new treatment that cures hip displasia. It is something where they take (stem) cells and inject those cells into the affected areas. They had a dog that was very old who refused to get up at all and after the injections was running around like nothing was wrong. I am not sure if you had heard of this, or if this is something you could bring up to your vet, but I thought I would mention it. At least worth checking into.

Shilo diagnosed with osteosarcoma 9/4/2009, amputation 9/9/2009. ShiloAnne lost her battle 11/23/2009 where she regained her fourth leg and is patiently waiting for her parents to join her. We will always love you baby girl.

Member Since:
20 May 2009
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28
31 October 2009 - 10:21 am
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I will talk to my vet about it.  Thank you.  It means a lot to me that people care so much about our Emily.

Debra

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.


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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29
31 October 2009 - 12:30 pm
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I took a course from VetStem this summer and it is a very exciting new way to treat arthritis.  Unfortunately, you can not try this if a dog has active cancer because no one knows if the stem cells might not turn into cancer cells instead of cartilage cells.  I was planning on trying it for Tazzie's knees but until there are more studies done it is just too dangerous.

Have you tried Adequan injections?

Pam

Member Since:
20 May 2009
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30
31 October 2009 - 3:35 pm
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What a disappointment.  Thank you Pam for posting this so quickly so I didn't have days to get my hopes up.  It is ironic that I always assumed it would be the cancer to get Emily but now I think it will be the pain of the hip dysplasia.    The next step for Emily is the  Adequan injections.  I was hoping the oral steriods would help because of the cost factor but I am going to call Monday and hopeful get things going.  Does anyone have an idea of the cost?  

Debra & Emily

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.

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