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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Just wondering about chemo!
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Member Since:
27 September 2012
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2 October 2012 - 1:10 pm
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Hello All!


I had written a week ago about my 9 year old Pitbull...Grace! She had her back R leg amputated in August due to Osteocarcinoma. She is doing AWESOME as of now! We opted to NOT do chemo, bc we did not want to put her thorough sickness if she was only goign to be with us a few more months. =(


Did anyone else opt NOT to do chemo??? If so, what were the details? Is your pup still with you after amputation and how long has it been? Have they become sick and what were the symptoms?


As of now, my Grace is doign Wonderful and the cancer has not yet spread!!!


Thank you,

Grace and Nina (Grace's mom)

Portage Lake, Maine
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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2 October 2012 - 1:38 pm
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Hi Nina and Grace,

My tripawd, Maggie, was amputated October 2009 and has been treated homeopathically since Dec 2009 by Dr. Charles Loops.  FWIW, Maggie has/had soft tissue sarcoma not OSA.  Dr. Loops is well known for treating cancer dogs. 

Check out his website at:

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13


My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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2 October 2012 - 4:29 pm
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There have been many along the way who didn't choose chemo.  Chemo is a very personal choice.  There are so many things to consider - price, whether the cancer has spread, side effects, length of treatment

Our vet does not automatically recommend chemo, but did for us because the pathology report came back indicating the tumor was completely encapsulated and we had clean chest x-rays.  I was the one that had to be convinced to give it a try.  Most of them tolerate the chemo so much better than humans.

There are no wrong choices. Everyone makes the choice that is best for their fur child and their circumstance.

Sending good thoughts to you and Grace.

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.

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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2 October 2012 - 8:42 pm
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We did chemo, but many here have not. Given the same situation again, I can't honestly say we'd do it again (even though Abby did very well with it). I've seen dogs do well with or without it, and by the same token not do well with or without. I know the stats are that you get a longer survival time with it, but it really does kinda seem like such a crap shoot.

You can do a lot with a good grain-free diet and some key supplements. One thing I think helps is artemisinin . (You can read a bit about it here, on this blog post I wrote for the site: http://nutritio.....temisinin/ )

A good resource for an overview of supplement options and traditional (mainly chemo) options is Dr. Dressler's Dog Cancer Survival Guide. I thought it did a good job of rounding up/sorting through all the info that's out there if you are trying to research the way to go on your own.

Jackie, Angel Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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2 October 2012 - 10:26 pm
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Hi Grace and Nina, 

It's wonderful to hear things are going so well! 

I would say it's about a 50/50 split between people who do chemo for their dogs, and those who do not. People opt out for a lot of reasons. For me, it was because the nearest facility was 6 hours away and my people didn't want my last few months to be all about doctor visits. They really thought a lot along the lines that you are; if chemo will only buy a few more months, then why do it? 

Well, I'll tell ya. Since then they've learned a lot about living with cancer, and when it comes to this subject, they learned that it's not about the quantity of days we have left, but about quality of those days. See, we don't count days or mark them off the calendar. We live each day as if it were our last. So if chemo will buy many pawesome "last" great days, then heck, it was worth it! 

The thing is, if chemo is within your financial means, you can always try it and see how it goes, then quit if it gives Grace any problems that you aren't comfortable with. If it's not within your means, please don't beat yourself up or feel guilty. All Grace wants is for you to be happy, not miserable because you are having regrets. Remember, she doesn't and neither should you!

Here are some good convos about why people chose or didn't choose chemo:

Why Didn't You Do Chemo?

Regrets about Chemotherapy

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
17 July 2012
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17 October 2012 - 6:28 pm
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I would not do the chemo again.   Zuess had his first treatment on the 9th and is doing HORRIBLE on it.  I don't know if they gave him too much as his cancer is spread but he is miserable and so am I seeing him suffer.  He's not really eating, at least he's drinking, but tomorrow i'm going back to my regular vet to see how we can speed through this by means of IV fluids for the day to get him OUT OF THIS state asap.   Oncologist agrees its a good idea and then to revisit another approach. 


So to me, the constant checking in with vets this week, i'm about to leap over the edge as i'm constantly scared,  i've been there three times this week alone (Ka-ching) and knowing a dog lives in the moment, never again.  


the amputation was worth it, simply because it buys us time saves the dog from enormous pain, and perhaps a low dose chemo starting immediately would have been best for Zuess, but I opted to go the "natural" route which didn't work. Maybe i didnt give him enough, maybe the cancer OS is too aggressive.  Not many know of Zyflamend and even less about its effects on dogs with cancer.   

I also tried NEOPLASENe, made by buckmountainherbals, that was once he was recovered from the amputation.  Well, though i belief its a great product,  the HIGH fat diet they need to be on during this made him gain 6 lbs in 10 days, which for a dog with cancer on three legs is probably not so good either.   Took him off it, and he lost the 6 lbs in 10 days.  back on his normal raw diet he crapped it out in a jiffy clearly.  

[Image Can Not Be Found]


So now my 'plan' is to get him back to eat on his own first, RAW based on prey drive model,  plus supplements as per Dr. Dressler, and  then put the neoplasene in capsules as it tasted like hell, then see how he does with this approach, rather than more chemo, low dose or not.   Above an example of the syringe I use to put any distasteful to dogs liquids/meds into an empty capsule.  Your vet will carry this.  Empty capsules are sold at health food stores in several sizes depending on the dogs size.

I roll these in some canned food and it works great.  (NORMALLY)


tomorrow he goes on IV fluids for the day to help him recover faster from the side effects.  per the oncologist the chemo is pretty much out of the system, do a CBC to review the white blood cell count, and then, like I said, a few days of him eating with normal gusto, then on to the neoplasene when I feel he's ready.

Mind you, this boy still plays, i throw the stick 4 feet, he goes for it, we do that for 5 min max several times a day because I worry his coughing starts up. 

I also purchased homeopathic pellets which I give him every hour 1 each, one for appetite stimulus, the other for tummy discomfort.  [Image Can Not Be Found] these are easy because you just put one of each in the side of his lower cheek and it dissolves on its own.  Give him some water immediately as they are quick to dissolve and the sooner the better to get going in his system.  (I'M thinking they didnt  help either)   Now Zuess is 70lbs there abouts, so with a small dog, adjust the size of the pills.   Handy pill cutters and crushers as shown on the pic below are cheap at Wallmart. 


The vets recommendations of Cerenia, appetite stimulant called ? and a 10 mg pepcid per day, don't seem to work. 

Well i hope this answered some of your questions...

Update Thursday 10.18 :  Zuess' bloodwork looked excellent.  They now gave him PREDNISONE to increase his appetite.  I bought him some raw liver and some other raw cut meat and gave it to him and he ate that.  Only maybe 4 ounces total for now as i'm testing. 

ALSO he is liking those PILL POCKETS, so now at least i can get meds and supps into him.  He did not need IV fluids as he s not dehydrated.  Mind you, i SERVE him water constantly.   As he doesn't get up much.   He does play but in spurts of 5 min each time.  I don't want him to start coughing as mentioned.  

Lets not jump the gun too soon with enthusiasm and joy but i'm at least more hopeful now his blood count looked good, and he ate some due to the prednisone.  

I can only hope this helps you a bit to decide what to do.  I would definitely not wait too long with doing something.

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