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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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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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It's all happening so fast- so many emotions
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Member Since:
13 May 2022
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25 May 2022 - 7:10 pm
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I'm sure you will see more progress! Music therapy doesn't seem weird at all, i feel like it can be therapeutic definitely. We use the cold gel packs by the way, the straight up ice or ice+ water bags he didn't care for much. 

Buddy likes the tv on now versus before he didn't need it. I think it's just a nice distraction from the stillness I imagine he's feeling and not really therapeutic in his case lol 

If she's allowed treats, Buddy has been doing peanut butter kongs for boredom- very thin amounts though since he's on extra medications and I tried frozen, random dog pops with various food items that shouldn't upset his stomach. I think it helps with stress and gives them something fun to work at while they recoup. Unfortunately, he's not a toy dog so food was our go to. 

I understand about the financial. We maxed out every credit card and other than getting a cheap metal frame pool for at home rehab.. no clue how we'll proceed with other therapies or chemo if it comes to it. We're still waiting for biopsy results.. so I understand your excitement I think. It's nice to feel like the next steps are being taken and maybe answers provided. 

Virginia




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25 May 2022 - 7:49 pm
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We'll look for your update.

And there is no right or wrong  when it comes to doing chemo or not.  We call it pretty much a crap shoot.  Some dogs "appear to get extended  time with it, but some don't.   Some dogs "appear" to get extended  time without, but some don't. 

And yes, tripawds to tire easily, especially  at first.  And the change in breathing/panting  can certainly  be attributed  to the meds, surgery recovery, etc.

And yeah, themisic DEFINITELY  is calming for you regardless.  The massages  need to be done when you have a calm healing  energy  surrounding  your pup. Breathing in deeply and exhaling  deeply as you visualize  healing is beneficial  too.

You're  doing great!👍

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:
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26 May 2022 - 1:10 pm
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Oncology update:

We went this morning to meet with the Oncologist and have him examine Bailey. He said everything was healing well and she is a good candidate for treatment. His protocol is 4 rounds of Carbo and then doxorubicin if indicated. He also offered adjuvant therapy of an immunotherapy medication that is administered weekly. So much information that I can't remember the name. I'll post it when I find out. This Oncologist generally does not use Palladia, he doesn't feel like it's as effective as hoped.

So, I went to the appointment with a dollar figure in mind. I told myself if it was $3000 or less, I could make it work. The reality is, these treatments are pretty dang expensive. The estimate, including treatment, bloodwork, at home medications, ect is $1100-$1250 a treatment. My heart sunk at the figures. I discussed everything with my family and we have decided to move forward with treatment. There's a lot of things I can cut back on, frivolous groceries, streaming services, eating out, ect. It's going to be hard, but I know in my heart if I didn't choose treatment, the guilt would eat me alive. I have to try.

So, the good news is, her alkaline phosphatase was still within normal limits, so that gives a tiny edge to the positive for treatment outcomes. I choose not to do an abdominal ultrasound as it wouldn't change treatment plans if they found something somewhere else. 

So, once all discussions were done, they told me they could start treatment right away today if I wanted. So, that's what I did! She's at the clinic until around 4:00 or 5:00 pm. 

This has been such a rollercoaster of emotions, fear, anxiety and grief. But to be honest, today I feel like I'm doing something right. I know there are no guarantees and I still may not get all the outcomes I want, but I can breath a little easier knowing I'm doing my best for her. 

For others reading this post, please note, as Jerry and all our other knowledgeable family members have shared, that there is no right or wrong when it comes to treatment. You make the best decisions you can based on information and resources. No one loves their pet any less if they can't move forward with chemotherapy. We just love them and care for them every day they are with us.

Praying for little to no side effects and hoping she gets her spunk back soon. By the way, today is post-op day 10 and we still have some struggles. She still has some depression, exhaustion, panting episodes, difficulty getting comfy/sleeping. We just take it hour by hour.

Evening update:

Bailey did well at her first session. We are home, she ate dinner, got some pain meds and now she's resting. The immunotherapy therapy drug is Immunocidin. It will be administered every week for 23 weeks. The 1st three doses must be IV and then it will alternate IV with every other week being administered orally at home. I also want to clarify my cost above. I did not initially realize this treatment was weekly for so long. I got so much information today, I didn't hear that part. So, you can now add $85 x 23 weeks to the approximately $4000. OUCH! But, I made my decision and we'll see where it leads us.

So glad to have my sweet girl home ❤

Shannon 

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
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26 May 2022 - 10:38 pm
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Hi Shannon! I'm just catching up and wow what a pupdate! Your rock star Bailey is taking this all in stride, and taking names and kicking cancer's butt too! Hope you had a good evening with her snoozing on the couch. She had a VERY big day!

You sound really confident in your decision and that's what counts. I especially love that it was a family decision, with everyone in support of giving Bailey a shot at beating cancer. That's a ton of love surrounding her, it's the best medicine!

Yes treatment is craaaaaaaay cray expensive! Those costs you mentioned are about right for most places offering chemo. They knock the wind out of you when you first hear them.

I have never heard of Immunocidin. Looked it up (http://www.immu.....cidin.com/). Interesting that your vet is using it off-label but that's how these things tend to go. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for excellent results!

And yes based on what we've seen here, I'd have to agree that Palladia just isn't what everyone had hoped it would be when it first came out.

Have a nice day with her tomorrow and keep us posted.

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30 May 2022 - 11:30 am
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Update:

Today is post-OP day 14 from Bailey's front leg amputation and day 4 from her 1st round of Carboplatin and Immunocidin. Friday and Saturday were still kind of tough. She seemed low energy, a bit depressed and not super excited about much of anything. Appetite still good, going potty normal. She is on Cerenia and anti-diarrheal prophylactically. Pain meds were reduced a bit, so Carprofen 75mg x 2 daily and Gabapentin 200 mg x 2 daily (down from 400 x 3 daily, then 300 x 2 daily). 

Today we woke up to a new Bailey. Bright eyed, tail wagging, begging for people food, following me around the house, giving kisses! She seems to be sleeping more comfortably and her pace when walking is picking up from a slow hop, to sometimes a bit of a hoppy jog. Took a 5 minute walk around the yard. Lots of sniffs. I'm hoping today is the start of her getting back to herself. It feels so good to see her sparkle. Definitely still tires quickly, but I know that's normal. 

This Thursday will be IV Immunocidin #2. 

Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Shannon

The Rainbow Bridge


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30 May 2022 - 11:53 am
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Oh my dog I was getting so worried when I read that intro. YAY! So happy your sweet girl is spunky again and even going outside for those sniffer walks. YAY! Thank you for letting us know. We hope you are having a good weekend too 🙂

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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30 May 2022 - 12:43 pm
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YAAAAAAY!!! Wonderful  update,!!!   Ya' have me grinning ear to ear!!!   😁   

Seeing her sparkle come back yourself is such what makes you   breathe sigh of relief!

Really sounds like all the steps you have taken to get to this point are paying off.  She may still have some"sideeffects" from treatment  #2.  Just keept the Onco in case any adjustments need to be nade then.

Would love to see video.....hint!

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!

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31 May 2022 - 9:22 am
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Good morning!

Here is a video of Bailey from this morning 😊

A quick 5 minute walk around the yard and a brief car ride with her sister Bela so she could sniff out of the windows. 

View post on imgur.com

Shannon 

The Rainbow Bridge


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31 May 2022 - 12:22 pm
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I TOTALLY needed to smile today, and Bailey delivered! Thank you for sharing this beautiful scene with us. She looks fantastic!

Virginia




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31 May 2022 - 12:29 pm
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WONDERFUL!!!!    She looks soooo godd and is definitely  starting to master her gait....and it gets better and better

Bailey is a very oretty pupper

Thanks for this delightful  video mand update.

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:
14 May 2022
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2 June 2022 - 8:41 am
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Quick treatment update: 

We went to our Oncology appointment this morning for the immunotherapy Immunocidin medication. Unfortunately, we have decided not to move forward with this treatment. 

I recieved the estimate for today's treatment and it was $300-500. I was shocked and confused as last week the treatment was $85. Well, that's because she was already getting the Carboplatin at the same time. The fees today included exam, medication, administration via IV, ect.

So, I spoke to the Oncologist. This treatment is supposed to be 23 weeks long, IV one week, oral the next, ect. So, I asked how much the at home oral medication would be.....$200 per pill! Try to do all that math! I cannot realistically add many more thousands of dollars onto her treatment costs for a drug that still has unknown efficacy for osteosarcoma. 

I'm so mad that these costs weren't laid out up front. I had finally made peace with our treatment choices and felt like I was giving her the best shot, and now this all comes crumbling down around me. My tears today have been from frustration and anger at cancer.

Bailey is doing really well. She's so much happier, getting around well and generally seems to feel pretty good. So, I'm thankful we have that bit of positive outcomes and also happy that she doesn't know she has cancer.

I just wanted to share this with others who may be following Bailey. Lesson learned, insist on upfront cost estimates before making decisions. I don't believe they were being deceitful, I just don't think the way they provide the estimate right before each appointment is helpful to clients who are trying to plan and make choices.

Hope everyone has a fantastic day!

Shannon

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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2 June 2022 - 12:27 pm
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Oh. My. Dog! $200 a PILL? AGGGH! Shannon I'm so sorry. You are right, this is so important for everyone to know: get treatment costs first before deciding on a plan. I plan on doing a blog post about this if you're OK with me mentioning Bailey's situation?

The costs of care are incredible, they get higher every year. It's totally OK that you are opting out of the Immunocidin treatment. Bailey is happy and loving life right now and that is all that matters. You left no stone unturned to find something you can do for her, and right now, that something is just 100% sp_hearticon2 and time with your girl, without any vet visits interfering. You are an amazing dog mom, don't beat yourself up. We understand, totally.

((((hugs)))) 

Don't forget to share Bailey's latest pics with us! Would love to see your sweet pup today 🙂

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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2 June 2022 - 12:42 pm
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Geez!!!   I can only imagine how frustrated, disappointed and angry you are!  And rightfully  so!!   Even if you were a billionaire, notsure it would be worth it any way to put her through all that for something that is still iffy at best.

Just by doing the amputation itself, and additionally the cheom, uou have done more then many people can.

Jerry said it so well:

Bailey is happy and loving life right now and that is all that matters. You left no stone unturned to find something you can do for her, and right now, that something is just 100% sp_hearticon2 and time with your girl, without any vet visits interfering

While I'm sorry you had to go thru this, it is an eye opener.  I'm glad Jerry is doing a follow up on it

Yes pictures!!!! 

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:
14 May 2022
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2 June 2022 - 12:48 pm
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Jerry,

Yes! Of course you can use Bailey's situation in your blog. 

I also forgot to mention earlier that it's Bailey and Bela's 12th birthday today 🐾🎂🐾🎂🥳

I'm still stinging from the earlier news this morning. But I totaled every thing up and between vet visits, surgery, medications, Oncology visits and Carboplatin treatments and all that entails (blood work, x-rays, ect) I will have invested close to $7000. Continuing with the Immunocidin would add at least another $5000. That's just so, so far out of reach. I need to put my heart aside and remember I have human family members plus several other 4 legged fur babies that also need financial resources

I appreciate all the kind words and support! I think the Birthday girls deserve a fruity popsicle to celebrate! Here is Bailey today:

View post on imgur.com

Shannon 

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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2 June 2022 - 9:11 pm
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Aww hoppy birthday to Bella and Bailey! They seriously do not look 12 years young. You are a remarkable, loving, and conscientious caregiver to them. They are so fortunate to have you for their mom.

Those kinds of costs are out of the reach of most people. It's understandable that you had to say no, and my guess is that many of us here would have done the same. Focus on the here and now with your girls, it's all they want and it's excellent medicine that's worth so much more than the $$ of the treatment. Love them up and give them tons of smooches from all of us!

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