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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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FINN 5 months since front leg Amputation and losing use hind legs
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Colorado
Member Since:
15 March 2023
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16
6 September 2023 - 10:28 am
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Scott my heart breaks for you, and understand the pain of knowing you are doing the right thing for Finn will be one of the hardest things for you and your heart. Our stories of this awful disease tragically mirror each other, so I know no words of comfort will reach you at this moment, but I hope you are able to reach out if you need anything and know that we are all here for you.

My thoughts are with Finn, you, and your family sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2

Colorado
Member Since:
15 March 2023
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6 September 2023 - 10:50 am
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I just saw your response after putting in my above message.  That's great to hear him doing so well! Only you know when the right time is, I know my biggest thing was pain level and quality of life, so with what you are describing I would absolutely be on the fence as well. 

I feel I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't warn you that if you know it's already in the spine it will spread and if it gets to the wrong spot it's incredibly painful, and incredibly painful so quickly.  Ellie went from fine to in agony in less than 48 hours. So for me personally I would consider taking advantage of this pain free time to celebrate with him but have a day to say good bye set. With that said, that's coming from my own trauma and is in no way saying that any of what we went through Finn will go through, just information for you.

New England
Member Since:
11 January 2022
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6 September 2023 - 11:33 am
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I'm going to echo Whitney and say it's probably better to do it while Finn is feeling OK.  You just said yourself that he's always been an active dog and it must be hard on him to be immobile.  Give him the best last day you can, then do him the dignity of letting him go before it gets worse.

Member Since:
4 July 2023
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6 September 2023 - 12:34 pm
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I’m so sorry for what you and Finn are going through.  A dog in one of the Facebook groups I follow has had a very similar thing happen recently…the immobility, not eating and discovery it was in her spine and the steroids have also helped her dog so she is getting some extra time with her.   I would also be struggling with wanting to get every last day I could yet also not wanting to end up in a painful, crisis situation either. If you scheduled with a home euthanasia service, I know the one I had help me with one of my cats was very understanding about continually moving the appt out just a couple days at a time. I wouldn’t just cancel and leave yourself without an appt though.  We are all here for you.  I hate this cancer so much.  

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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6 September 2023 - 1:25 pm
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  You know we understand  better than anyone.

What stood out to me is "being "on the fence"and he is feeling better.

One of the hardest parts of this part of the journey is not second guessing yourself after the transition  takes place.....whenever that may be.  Trust me, no matter what, you will second guess yourself...too soon....too late......I've been on both sides of that equation  and they both suck.

Only mirroring back what I "hear" from you.  Sounds like your path forward is not comfortably clear yet. (not that it ever hardly is). You have seen that the steroid injection has helped.  So a question you might ask your Vet is would he consider doing Prednisone  pills (high dose for several days, then lower dose) to give you more time where he does seem to feel a bit better.  I only offer that so you will feel like ypu have left no stone unturned. 

Now, without  trying to interject too much here, the only other thing I'll say is this:  Once spine mets are confirmed, anytime  is the "right" time.

We are all surrounding  you with our love and we support you 100% on whatever your path forward may be.

((((((Hugs))))))

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

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!

Member Since:
6 April 2023
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7 September 2023 - 7:55 am
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Thank you everyone!!!  Your support is priceless.

So Finn wagged his tail several times yesterday and again this morning.  Just me walking into the room got him wagging.  Big smiles too... eating, drinking and the steriods seem to be limiting any pain.  So this morning i postponed saying goodbye.  Doesnt feel right.

About 20 minutes ago he got up and was doing his best to walk, but his back legs just dont have the strength.   Nontheless he made it more than 5 feet before he sat down on his back two legs.  Another feat he has not done since Sunday!  Must be the steriods giving him strength.

So the big quality of life factor is mobility. He simply cant do what he used to such as chase the ball.  Potties are a bit difficult too.

This is so freaking hard.   He is fighting to live.  I dont want to give up if he hasnt.  I also dont want to wait too long.

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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7 September 2023 - 8:40 am
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All things considered, this update makes me so happy!!

Scott, you have assessed the situation with such love and care and a deep understanding of Finn. I am so glad to hear that the steroids have made a difference.   

My vet told me one time , although he doesn't like to use steroids, there is a time and a place where they can be a miracle. It certainly seems to be the case for finn. The fact that he is alert and happy wagging his tail, eating, etc and willing to try is wonderful news. FWIW, I can certainly understand why you canceled the appointment.

More time for spoiling and loving in tummy rubs and junk food...... always a good thing!!

Thanks so much for checking in and so glad things are better.

(((((((((HUGS)))))))

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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23
7 September 2023 - 12:30 pm
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Scott, that makes our hearts melt knowing he got up to greet you. sp_hearticon2

Yes, it's sooo hard when they do things like that. Animals have an incredible will to live, and not show pain. They will do it as long as they can and mostly for us. Our Jerry had lost his mobility the morning we called the vet to make that appointment. When we got there, he ran around to greet the dogs in the kennels. It was nuts. Today we have good memories of knowing that he left this earth without pain or the immobility that was certain to return and cause him stress.  For a long time I wondered if we did it too soon, now I don't.

Have you seen our Penny Jar article? It's super helpful, an oldie but a goodie.

Penny Jars Measure a Dog’s Quality of Life

Member Since:
6 April 2023
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13 September 2023 - 3:04 pm
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Hi everyone... we made the decision to say goodbye to Finn.   While he was happy, tail-wagging, eating, drinking, and smiling, he could not get around, and we had to carry him everywhere.  We had a quality-of-life zoom call with Lap of Love, and they recommended letting him go while he was still in good spirits.  He left this world peacefully around 3:30 yesterday.   The process could not have gone any better.  We did it outside on our dock which we had spent most of the last week on. 

To say we are devastated is an understatement.   He was my best friend and, for the last 9 years, was by my side 24/7.  He went to work every day with me.  I took him to play ball every night.  He went on all our boat trips.  This sucks.  Cancer sucks. 

We got him from our friends who had a litter with their beloved male golden and another golden.  This was a one-time litter for the family.  There were 9 in the litter, and now only 3 are left of which 1 has bone cancer in the jaw.  The mom is still alive with no health issues, and the dad died a few years ago at 13 of natural causes.  Crazy.

I know this hole in my heart will never be filled.  However, I am grateful that I was able to say goodbye and spend as much time as possible with my pup before he crossed over.  My last dog, a rescue, died in the middle of the night at 9.  We did not get to say goodbye nor did we even have any pictures of him in the year before he passed.  Finn was born exactly 6 months later.

BTW, even though it has only been 24 hours, just looking at the photos of him over the past week proves to me that we made the right choice... as painful as it may be now.  Just over two weeks ago he was doing so well... I thought for sure he had this beat!   

Thanks again for all your support. 

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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25
13 September 2023 - 3:40 pm
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Scott, you definitely  made the most selfless decision  you could make.  We all know that and Finn knows that.

I know I speak for everyone when I say we've been holding you and Finn in our hearts. And I assure, we cry with you.  

Thank you so much for coming back and updating  us.  I know it wasn't easy and you were typing thrpugh your tears. 

To some degree, there is a sense of relief at first  knowing the transition  was peaceful and gentle.  Finn was at home surrounded  by your love and grace.  You will always find comfort in that.  All things considered,  you had a good memory of that day and you jad some extra time since your earlier post for more tail wags and spoiling......all without some horrible crisis from this piece of crap disease  lurking to take over.  You did everything  perfectly for him.

The hard part even gets harder.  The void,  the break in routine, not having  him by your side as your best friend...it will leave you  gutted.  AMD just when you think you can't  grieve and cry anymore....you will.

Your other dog was waiting for hos arrival at The Rainbow  Bridge.  They are both healthy and whole and spent the first several hours telling stories about how you were the best Dad ever!  Finn added all the stories about how much he loved playing  ball with you.  

Finn will always have his special corner in your heart reserved just for him.  Eventually  all the  wonderful Happy times you shared will help push the grief further into the background.....eventually. 

Thank you again for coming back today.  Through the tears, I did smile at some of the ways ypu ahd Finn were so bonded.   When you can, we would love to hear more about this special  boy and the one of a kind relationship  you two shared.   Nothing  can ever break the eternal bond you and Finn have.  Nothing. 

Surrounding  you with Finn's wagging  tail and eternal Happy smile 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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26
13 September 2023 - 4:19 pm
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I'm so very sorry. Thank you for letting us know. This was not an easy thing to share, you are so brave to tell us!

My heart hurts for you and your family, it's not an easy thing to put our own grief aside to help our dogs transition. What a blessing to be able to talk with Lap of Love and give him a peaceful farewell. You've had it the other way with your previous dog, so you know how difficult it is when circumstances don't match up with what we had hoped for our best buddy.

Cancer is just so mean. Take heart knowing you did everything possible for Finn, and he felt your love every day. Even now, he will stay with you in so many ways. Just keep an eye out, he will send you signs that his loving spirit is free and eternal, never in pain again, always surrounding you with love.

((((hugs))))  

Run free, Finn. You will never be forgotten.

Member Since:
5 September 2023
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27
13 September 2023 - 7:06 pm
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Scott, I am so, so sorry. I’m fairly new here, just beginning this awful journey with bone cancer that no one should ever have to go on. I haven’t posted much, but I have followed your story with Finn. What an amazing, brave dog he was! And you gave him everything you could, right up until that last moment when you gave him the most special gift of all - his freedom. I know how hard it is. It tears your heart out, and then, just when you think you’re finished crying, it tears it out some more. Your boy is running free, no more pain, no more trauma. Words won’t help much right now, but I hope you take comfort in knowing how lucky you were to have each other. Not everyone knows that kind of bond. Hugs to you tonight.

Robin & Summer 

Here and Now


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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28
13 September 2023 - 7:12 pm
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Scott_1 said
we made the decision to say goodbye to Finn... 

Such a precious soul. Thank you for your support!

Finn's tribute is now live on the Tripawds Honor Roll.

If we don't hear back, we'll go ahead and include Finn in the 2024 Tripawds calendar. sp_hearticon2

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