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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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Ginger's Fibrosarcoma Recovery
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The Rainbow Bridge



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20 November 2019 - 6:47 pm
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Dang I’m so sorry to hear that. Ginger is such a strong girl though, and sure she’s been through a lot but my guess is that her super duper immune system will help her overcome this next hurdle. 

At least you caught it now, and you acted quickly on a plan. You have options, and a backup plan just in case. You are ready for anything and there’s a lot of peace of mind that it will buy. No, it’s not easy to be in the middle of a situation like this, but all the steps you have taken so far are lining you up mentally and emotionally to be strong and hopeful for your girl. She really couldn’t ask for better humans. 

Like Sally mentioned, we got lots more quality time with Jerry after we discovered mets, and many others have too. It’s all just a big crapshoot, those prognoses are educated guesses but they don’t take into account Ginger’s health and amazing ability to bounce back. Stay pawsitive and remember she is her own girl, with her own story. 

We are sending lots of pawsitivity that she has no side effects from the carbo. Let us know how she’s doing OK? (((hugs)))

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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9 January 2020 - 11:47 am
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Just a quick update on Ginger.

We’re past the three-legged issues now – she’s doing very well in that regard.  Has trouble getting in/out of cars and can’t get up on the couch or bed anymore, but we’ve all come to accept that.

Ginger has multiple large tumors in her lungs.

Two rounds of carboplatin seemed to slightly reduce the one large tumor that was visible 6 weeks ago, but another tumor grew to be significantly larger than the original “large” tumor.  So, the carboplatin had no effect on that one at all – it grew from not even visible 6 weeks ago to “very large” now.

None of the tumors appear to be interfering with her airway.  She still has no actual symptoms of this cancer.  If we weren’t doing these x-rays we wouldn’t even know she had any issues with her lungs.

We tried one round of Adriamycin last week.  She had a little low energy the next day but showed no other adverse effects (gave her anti-diarrhea and anti-nausea mediation which could have masked any effects).  We’re taking her for a blood test tomorrow to check her blood cell counts as a final check.  (The blood cell count barely changed with the carboplatin.)

Since she had no adverse effects, we’ll probably give her another round of Adriamycin next week (two weeks after the original) and then take more images two weeks after that to see if this drug is doing any better than the carboplatin to decide if we should continue with treatment.

If the chemotherapy continues not to work, the doctor believes she will start to experience symptoms in around 2 months (maybe 3 but that estimate was before the second large tumor was discovered).

It’s hard to think that we put her through all of this if she won’t even make it for a year past her original diagnosis.  But, they told us in September she wouldn’t even be walking anymore by now if we hadn’t done the amputation.  So, that’s some relief that at least we bought her a little more time to enjoy her sniffing tours even if we can’t buy her too much more time.

Julia and Ginger

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9 January 2020 - 1:09 pm
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Julia I’m so glad you came back to update. What you are going through isn’t easy and feels defeating I’m sure. Cancer is so effing mean. But as hard as it is, I know you can find a way to focus on the pawsitive. For starters, she’s all healed up from the amputation itself, and that is HUGE! smiley_clap She’s had no ill side effects from the chemo: double win! And she’s doing sniffing tours (love that phrase!) that make her day. YEAH!

We as humans have a hard time with, well, time. We measure it. We obsess over how much or how little we have left. We fret about the future and aren’t happy with the past. 

But dogs, cats and other animals? Time is non-existent. Sure, they can recall things from other time periods, but they don’t put a marker on when something happened, or might possibly. They live in a perpetual state of Now, and they know a truth that we as humans have a hard time accepting: all we have is right now. So, let’s make the most of it!

Ginger is doing her best to show you this truth. Follow her lead, and you will have no regrets.

Hey you forgot to share a photo of your wise leader! Photos please 🙂

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11 January 2020 - 9:48 pm
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Hi Julia,

I am sorry to hear that you got bad news and that your heart is hurting.  Our furbabies mean the world to us!  I am sending you pawsitive thoughts and prayers for Ginger.  

Have a good evening,

Pam

Virginia




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11 January 2020 - 10:56 pm
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You have   good path forward and have covered your bases.   You got rid of that vum lev snd uou arr, indeed giving  Ginger some good quality  time.  The fact that Ginger is sympton free and enjoying herself is what’s important to her.  She doesn’t  count days on a calendar and doesn’t  pay any attention to prognosis–schmognosis.

jerry said

 They live in a perpetual state of Now, and they know a truth that we as humans have a hard time accepting: all we have is right now. So, let’s make the most of it!

Ginger is doing her best to show you this truth. Follow her lead, and you will have no regrets.

Hey you forgot to share a photo of your wise leader! Photos please 🙂

  

Continue  to make every moment count, just like Ginger is.  Do not let that piece of. poopicon disease inter6 with one second of your time together… not one single second.  NOW is all we ever have.  Ginger is happy and completely immersed in the now.  As Jerry said, follow her lead.

And btw, the Vet’s prediction about symptons snd blah, blah, blah.  Many dogs have remained symptom free longer, as well as had great  extended  quality  time even once sysmptons  showed up.  Plus, there are noni invasive things that can be done to get dogs comfortable  even after sysmptons show up. 

Without question, Ginger is grateful  that you DID proceed with amputation.  She very much is enj rhis extended  rime full of spoiling  and loving , tummy rubs snd treats.

Extra hugs….and remember  pictures!

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!

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18 January 2020 - 7:52 pm
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We let Ginger go yesterday.

She was still our happy, sweet Girl.  Coughing occasionally, but no other symptoms – took a long walk Monday to her best friend’s house (we go where she wants).

But, on Wednesday she had a seizure and a yelp (she never makes any sounds unless there are coyotes in the driveway).  She was scared – so we were.  We weren’t expecting anything this soon.  Didn’t even know that seizures were a possibility.

We took an x-ray.  Another large tumor had grown from not even visible to larger than the two others in only 12 days.  One rib was starting to dissolve. 

Another seizure and yelp on Thursday – but she was still our Girl – ate a cheeseburger and even asked for her late night ice cream.

Another Friday.  They were scary – she didn’t know what was happening – we couldn’t do anything to help her – just had to wait what seemed like forever for them to end.

We didn’t want her to be in pain – or be scared.  We let her go.

I wasn’t ready, but she was.  She was very brave.

We left flowers from her favorite tree at her favorite sniffing spots along her favorite route.

I’m starting to breath again.  I love her.  She was scared and in pain.  We let her go.  No more scaries – no more pain.  I love her.

Thank you for all your kind words, thoughts, and suggestions.

Julia

Virginia




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18 January 2020 - 9:59 pm
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Oh Julia, our dear, dear Julia.  No, we were not expecting  this either.  I am so sorry, so very, very sorry.  This piece of s××t disease is so brutal and vicious and cunning.

No one could have done more.  You DID give Ginger extra  bonus time for loving  and spoiling and extra oce cream.  It’s  never enough time for us hoomans, but dogs don’t  look at it that way.  They do feel cheated like we hoomans do.  Ginger  just felt so happy to be loved by you.❤

FWIW, a friend of mine had seizures  and she told me she never felt any pain, or fear, nothing at all when they happened.   There was some confusion she first came out and she felt tired.  She said it was a “good tired”.  Obviously, much harder on the observer than the person going  thru it.  But I hope that helps a little.

The void and change in  routine will be hard.  Your heart is shattered and the grief comes out of the blue and hits you like a ton of bricks.  The only way through the grief is to not fight it and not to put a timeframe on it.  We can all tell you…and we promise this….the happy memories  you and Ginger shared will eventually  push through the sadness and help your heart heal.  And that’s  what Ginger wants.  She wants you to remember the happy times because,  in her mind, happiness  is all she  ever had by your side😊

I’m glad you took some of the flowers from her favorite  tree and sca them at her favorite spots.  That’s  a very life affirming  act.  Those flowers will turn into mulch and nutrients  for the soil.  And that rich soul will soon grow a living  grass or shrub.  Be on the watch for it.   Be on the watch for a lot of signs from your Ginger. She WILL connect with you.   That’s  another promise we can all make to you.

Unfor, we had some other of our beloved family members  head to The Rainbow Bridge   the past several weeks.  I can only imagine how happy they all were to gather rogether as all the other Bridge members  welcomed them back home.  They felt free and fit and healthy! They had a feast of cheeseburgers  and ice cream waiting for them.  Ginger ate her ice cream first, then the cheeseburger, then more ice cream!

P,lease stay connected  and, when you can share more memories  of this very, very special strong  and brave girl with us.  With pictures  of course.  We enjoyed  getting to know her and were so touched  by the bond you shared.  Ginger will always  be remembered here.

With love

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!

Virginia




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18 January 2020 - 10:58 pm
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When you mentioned  spreading  the flowers for Ginger, I kind of envisioned how the Angel’s at rhe Bridge laid out a beautiful  path of flowers to help guide her as she ran free to  the Bridge.

Screenshot_20200118-235949_Google.jpgImage Enlarger

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



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19 January 2020 - 4:02 pm
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Oh Julia, I’m really sorry. We never get enough time together with our pets, and when cancer is involved, it makes things feel so unfair. 

I wish we could ease your heartache. Only time, and more serene walks along Ginger’s favorite path can help with the healing. As time goes on I am picturing such a beautiful scene of your scattering those flowers from her favorite tree, year after year. No doubt she will always be right there walking alongside you, saying “Don’t worry Mom, I’m not going anywhere.”

Listen for your special guardian angel, watch for Ginger’s signs. Her beautiful energy will always be there.

We send our love and condolences to you and the pack. If you feel up to it, consider sharing more about her life with you in our Coping with Loss Forum. We would enjoy getting to know her life story better.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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