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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Lana the boxer mix - learning along the way as a whole pack
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Livermore, CA




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31 August 2020 - 7:24 pm
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We do see that here sometimes- even the post op pain is so much better than the bad leg.

As far as backing up and turning- you can start working with her on that once she is healed up.  My first rear amp Pug Maggie could only ever turn tightly clockwise- she lost her left rear leg so could pivot or turn to the right on her remaining right leg.  She did develop a move where she would sort of fall into a sit to change directions when she wanted to go to her left, the missing leg side. She couldn’t really back up on her own.  Then again I didn’t know anything about core strength or exercises so I just let her do whatever.

Now I have Elly, a small Pug mix who lost her right back leg to a car accident at 7 months old, she is 5.5 years old now.  Elly can spin (turn clockwise) and turn (turn counter-clockwise) equally well.  She can back up now but could not when I first got her at 10 months old.  It took a lot of work to get her confident enough to try but now it’s not a problem. Elly lacked confidence when I adopted her so teaching her was challenging.

Once Lana is more confident in her balance I bet the shake comes back too.  That is something Elly can do as well although sometimes she ends up in a sit.  Again with her confidence issues Elly does the shake a lot as stress relief.

It’s great to hear how well she is doing!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Virginia




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31 August 2020 - 10:02 pm
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So glad Lana greeted you with suchnjoymtoday!!  And at four days post op, that really is amazing!  Quite ahead of the curve!!

As eceeyonemjas sqid,no,worries about adjudicating  yo jer new gait and new way of doing things.  She’ll get there.  Supposedly it takes about two weeks to recover from the surgery ,itself,,and about a month to get fully adjusted to the new gait.

Thanks for letting is know how the day went.  We knew it would be okay….just didn’t  know how “exceptionally  okay” it would 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!

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1 September 2020 - 6:05 pm
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We got the results back – and although not the news I was hoping for, it’s still better news than I thought it would be (?)

Our vet is to call me in the morning as I did not get to talk to her at length today and my husband was the one who got the results. “A low grade osteosarcoma Stage I” as there was no metastasis in her nearby lymph nodes in the leg that was amputated and the lymph nodes in the amputated leg were not enlarged at all. No visible mets showed up on her Xrays prior to surgery (of course). 

Everything I’ve read on Osteosarcoma so far says that if it “shows up” it means it’s spread – so I guess where do we go now for a 9-year old healthy dog? Anyone else deal with a Stage I Osteosarcoma? 

(Going to post this in my recovery / treatment thread as well but wanted to give the official diagnosis on this thread as well that corresponds with her original Xray) 

The Human:             Sierra (human, author) 

Tripawd Doggo:       Lana (doggo, boxer mix, 9 years) 

The Pack:                  

  • Anthony (human, husband))
  • Hektor (doggo, herding mix, 12 years)
  • Arlo (doggo, cattle dog mix, 3 years
  • Mojo (feline, 9 years) 

My Lana Girl's Story

Virginia




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1 September 2020 - 7:21 pm
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No signs of spreading is great news!!!   

YoirBet can give you guidance  on paths forward you may, or may not, want to pursue

THE most important path is to make every moment  count and to LOVE IN THE NOW!!  Be More Dog   and follow Lana’s lead.  She does not  care about any ole medical report (which wasgreat that no apreading).  All she cares about is being pain free and getting more spoiling than she ever thpught existed!!  It is IMPOSSIBLE  not to spoil a tripawd!-

Give her a big smooch for us!

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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9 September 2020 - 8:35 pm
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Wanted to give another update – Lana had her stitches removed today! WOOT WOOT!! smiley10 We were both pretty excited about this achievement.

Her wound is healing nicely. She does have some continued seepage but her vet has instructed this is normal as her muscles are atrophying and she had a bit of fluid built up. No signs of infections, no signs of anything not “right” (I think I ask that question constantly – are you sure everything is right? On repeat.) She just has a cute stump with some floppy skin now. 

Successes: 

– Lana can go both up AND down stairs on her own without her belly harness! Truthfully, she was ready to get rid of my help before I was quite ready to give up helping her. 

– Each day she seems to have more stamina than the day prior and gets less exhausted doing her normal potty breaks, up and down the stairs, brief walk in the front yard etc. And each day we are adding just a tiny few steps more than the day previously to slowly build her back up. She really enjoys sitting on the front porch (as long as she has a cushion) with me in this fall weather we’re having! 

– She continues to love her mixture of wet and dry dog food and is eating a healthy amount, drinking plenty of water, and perfect normal poops! I doubt we’ll be able to go back to just dry dog food lol. Our other dogs are super mad about not getting the same treatment. 

– She also mastered her new ramp that I got to help load her into the back of my SUV since she is 78 pounds. I am SO thankful we went through a phase of agility training! I may have had the slowest dog in all of agility and not the most focused one (lol) but at least we learned how to get on inclined objects – because that really saved us here! 

Struggle: 

Lana is “afraid” of the dark I think. She was always a little more cautious about it before her broken leg / osteosarcoma / and amputation. Now, however, as soon as the sun goes down she gets really glued to me. If she has to potty in the middle of the night she panics if she even thinks I might leave from being near her (as if I would!) 

She is also getting night time anxiety / discomfort. We had run out of Gabapentin and I definitely noticed a difference. She was in my face and anxious throughout the night but then perfectly fine once it was daylight. 

Her vet discussed both phantom limb pain and also a possibility of some sundowners going on. Lana would get up and walk around some at night in our bedroom before all of this but she wouldn’t panic. Lana is back on Gabapentin and our vet said it’s possible Lana might need to continue being on it going forward. She also prescribed Trazadone at night to hopefully help Lana sleep through the night and not pace / tremble / feel she needs to have me right next to her. I don’t like her being drowsy on meds – but I also don’t like her being anxious and uncomfortable. 

Her old buddy dog Hektor has helped keep her calm, too. Luckily, Hektor is a VERY calm and confident old dude and that’s helped me these last few nights to keep Lana a little more relaxed. 

A couple update photos just to show off my #1 girl (no she’s not spoiled at all….): 
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Hanging out in my art studio with me in the evenings.

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Snuggling and watching movies together 🙂 

The Human:             Sierra (human, author) 

Tripawd Doggo:       Lana (doggo, boxer mix, 9 years) 

The Pack:                  

  • Anthony (human, husband))
  • Hektor (doggo, herding mix, 12 years)
  • Arlo (doggo, cattle dog mix, 3 years
  • Mojo (feline, 9 years) 

My Lana Girl's Story

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 September 2020 - 11:54 am
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Awww pretty Lana! It’s so good to read about all of her progress these last few days. She really is making remarkable steps toward a complete recovery. Spoil her rotten, the other pups will eventually understand 😉

I really like your vet’s thinking! I hope the Traz and Gaba helps. If she is on it long term, that’s not a huge deal as long as you stay on top of labs. Our Wyatt has been on Gaba for 4 years now and no effects on his liver, it’s a pretty benign drug other than the sleepiness it can cause in some dogs. And I agree, a little more snoozing throughout the day is better than anxiety at night.

And how AWESOME that she is ramp-trained! I’d say more than half of all ramps out there get returned to the store because most dogs just won’t do them. You did good by having her learn how to use them before you really needed to get one. GREAT JOB!!!

What kind of art do you make? I’m nosy!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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17 September 2020 - 8:46 pm
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Whew! It’s been a busy week for us. I’ve been playing catch up at work and Lana has been getting a lot of R&R at home. Our boy dogs are seeming to adjust a little bit to the fact that Lana continues to get pill pockets and a mix of dry and wet dog food, and they get their normal fair. Arlo (3 year old cattle dog mix) still takes it the hardest, though…poor guy lol. 

We have established new rules about our stairs in our house and door etiquette. Although Lana is still being cautious our other two dogs can be pretty spirited (both herding breeds!), so they have been learning to wait if Lana is on the stairs first or going through a door. 

Arlo misses being rowdy with Lana. I am hoping that in another month she might be up for wrestling with him again. They definitely love a game I have dubbed “grabby face” and you can see that Arlo really misses his wrestle buddy. Our 12 year old Aussie / Shepherd mix is just happy to have Lana healthy again. 

Lana’s incision site seems to be healing over nicely. She’s had a couple pinker skin areas that seemed to bother her more, but now they are turning her normal coloring and fur is growing back. As long as she keeps from licking, at least – and that brings me to my next part….

I am probably a bit paranoid – but is it normal they would still want to lick the incision site so much after stitches are out? We are 22 days post operation now and her vet said she no longer needed to be coned when she removed stitches last week, but I am still having her wear it at night or during the day when we are not home. When did some others ditch the cones? We have just come so far I definitely do not want to risk taking steps backwards at this point. Especially since at night she is still fussing over it but it is definitely better when she is on Gabapentin than when she is not. No signs of infection at all, she just has an obsession with it especially at night. 

During the day she is absolutely great! She is even becoming playful again. Although, lol, she tried to jump and spin and catch a bone on our wood floors and, well, her remaining three legs definitely went out from under her. I swear she looked at me like, “Uh, hello mom, why am I missing a leg? I would have nailed that!” icon_razz Her boxer personality is shining through and I am SO happy to see her seem happy and have energy once more. 

As far as my artwork goes Jerry I make fine art paintings and some craft things!A nd, of course, I love portrait painting dogs! Here’s a portrait of our dog Hektor I did: 

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The Human:             Sierra (human, author) 

Tripawd Doggo:       Lana (doggo, boxer mix, 9 years) 

The Pack:                  

  • Anthony (human, husband))
  • Hektor (doggo, herding mix, 12 years)
  • Arlo (doggo, cattle dog mix, 3 years
  • Mojo (feline, 9 years) 

My Lana Girl's Story

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 September 2020 - 10:00 pm
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Wooohoo! Lana is doing so well, this just made my day, thank you for taking time to post. I am so hoppy that she’s got her sparkle back and heck, what’s a little more spoiling right? The boys will understand.

YOU are an awesome artist, Sierra! What a great portrait!

As for the licking of the incision. I wouldn’t freak out about it, but I would wonder why she’s still obsessed with it. Is there any kind of ingrown fur hairs in the area? A slight rash? Is the area super dry? Or maybe there’s a stitch that hasn’t come out? I would examine the area carefully and maybe gently palpate along the outer edges of the incision (like, really gently!) to see if any area is especially sensitive. It wouldn’t be unheard of for a suture to get left behind, that could possibly be what’s bugging her. Or, it could just be the area is dry and itchy. In that case, see what your vet recommends for a topical you can put on the area to soften it up.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Read my story here.

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Virginia




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18 September 2020 - 10:43 am
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Delighted to hear how Lana is doing and how well the whole pack is adjusting 👏   Good job everybody!  And Lana will soon be romping with her pack again and  playing “grabby  face”😎

Your talent as an artist  is absolutely  brilliant!!  OMD!  What an excellent  job of expressing g who Hector is through your gift of art.  You can “feel” his personality  and “feel” ahat a hapoy boy he is with every  precise stroke of the brush.  We would looooove to see more of your artwork.   

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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20 September 2020 - 11:10 am
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So happy to hear Lana is doing well, and most of all happy! Stairs and ramp? That is awesome, and your other two wait of Lana is on the stairs Is amazing! I think all three deserve a special treat! Sally would day it is ice cream time, and I would have to agree.

I love your artwork, it is beautiful. Do you sell your paintings? I would love to have one made of Brownie. If you sell your paintings please let me know.

Great job Lana! Tell mom more pictures of  your beautiful self, and the gang!

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

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25 September 2020 - 7:16 pm
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Thank you all for the pawsitive encouragement as always! Lana continues to do better and better each day despite a few freak outs (mostly me!) here and there. I kept my eye on her licking and we adjusted to only keeping the cone on while we were away at work, but not at night.

She has done a LOT better but there was still that “need” for her to lick just a small area of the incision site (about 1″ or so in length) since I made the post above. I took your advice (Jerry) and felt along the incision but everything felt really normal to me. Yet, she continued to kind of obsess over it. And if she does lick it long enough it becomes puffy, red, oozy (clear, thin liquid with no smell) and kind of separated looking. I made Lana an appointment and we visited with her vets today and she believes it’s just a small area that is slightly more resistant to healing than the rest of the incision. (The rest of her incision looks great! It’s very well sealed over, has hair, not angry looking at all). Her vet agreed that there’s no signs of infection or anything super alarming but that we need to get that last little bit healed. 

Lana now has a topical “Silver Sulfadiazine Cream, USP 1% 25gm” that we are instructed to put on the wound 2-3 times daily until healed. She will also continue to be in her cone during the day until we are confident she will not try licking her incision sight throughout the day. I did put her new topical on her earlier and she seemed fine with it although I do think perhaps the topical solution felt a bit uncomfortable at first (or me fussing over her, etc – I swear Lana is the chill one and I’m the super crazy, anxious, high-strung one lol icon_rolleyes). Will update how the topical does on soothing/healing the last remaining part of her incision.

As for her fluid build up (seroma ) etc, that’s all gone away by now. She just kind of has a little bit of extra floppy now and a cute stump. 

Her enthusiasm keeps going way, way up. She chased a squirrel in our fenced in backyard before I could realize what was going on. Lana went for it at a dead run and I about had a panic attack! Her butt was completely sideways and she was FAST! When she came back to me and I was fussing and worrying, checking her over I swear she was just proud of herself lol. She had this look of like, “Yeah, I still totally have it.” 

As far as paintings – I have made them for others in the past! I just paint as a side hobby to my career, but I love doing portraits of animals. I’ll post some more paintings tomorrow once I recover from crazy exhausting work week a bit.  I will send you a message too Nancy! 🙂 

Here’s Lana relaxing in her new collar while I did some yard work the other day. She is my forever sidekick sp_hearticon2

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The Human:             Sierra (human, author) 

Tripawd Doggo:       Lana (doggo, boxer mix, 9 years) 

The Pack:                  

  • Anthony (human, husband))
  • Hektor (doggo, herding mix, 12 years)
  • Arlo (doggo, cattle dog mix, 3 years
  • Mojo (feline, 9 years) 

My Lana Girl's Story

Virginia




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25 September 2020 - 8:22 pm
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Hahaha….going after that squirrel,,pro did more for her mental well being than anything else possible good!  And then to give you her “I’m so,proud of myself” look, priceless!!.😎

Lana looks so pretty in that picture where she’s overseeing your yardwork.   Jist so happy to hear how well she’s doing.  Bummer about the licking g that one spot, Hooefully the cram will help.

Smooch that sweet mug for us😘

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



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26 September 2020 - 2:22 pm
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Awwww she looks so good! Look out skwirels, Lana is back!! What a joy to picture her doing her job again.

Meanwhile, I think that silver cream should work well to get the final healing under way. I love that your vet thinks along those lines, not all do.

Glad to hear things are getting better and quickly into the new normal. You two are quite a team!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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14 October 2020 - 8:54 pm
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I wanted to drop by after a few crazy weeks (not for Lana – for us humans with our human jobs!) and give a progress update on Lana. After a diligently putting on the Silver cream for a week that last about half inch of her incision that kept being weepy/oozy/puffy (but no infection) FINALLY healed over! smiley_clap So Lana has been cone free and fabulous. 

We are also down to 1 Gabapentin a day just before bed time. All other medications have officially been worked out of her routine and she is doing really, really good now. She does tucker out fairly quickly and we’re having a bit of a problem with her mind wanting to be part of the active life, but her remaining hind leg just not really up to it. So, when I can tell she’s really pushing herself too much (she’ll get wobbly, tired, the leg begins to look more wobbly – she won’t be able to make it up stairs without help) I’ll purposefully force her to chill. We have 2 flights of stairs in our house and Lana will follow me up and down them all dang day if I let her! 

I love her spirit. Speaking of – I figured out how to upload a video! Here’s Lana’s happy “I have a bone” prance and the boys in our backyard the other night. They are a very motley crew! I will be transitioning Lana’s story into other parts of the forums. We had decided early on not to pursue chemo/oncology treatments so right now I consider Lana back to her happy self! And we’re just going to take the days as they come now. 

I want to thank you all for helping us get to this point! It has meant a lot to our little family. 

The Human:             Sierra (human, author) 

Tripawd Doggo:       Lana (doggo, boxer mix, 9 years) 

The Pack:                  

  • Anthony (human, husband))
  • Hektor (doggo, herding mix, 12 years)
  • Arlo (doggo, cattle dog mix, 3 years
  • Mojo (feline, 9 years) 

My Lana Girl's Story

Virginia




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14 October 2020 - 9:20 pm
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YAY for staying the course and getting that “spot” healed up!  No more cone, YAY!!

Sooooo happy to see this great update!!  And that video is priceless!  It really captures  Lana’s bliss and joy!  And she is ndeed prancing so proidly!  Love all your pack!

You have a great Be More Dog attitude!  Live in the now and make every moment  the best moment ever!  That’s  exactly  what Lana is doing.

Good job of monitoring her activity  and making sure she doesn’t overdo it.  Stairs do take a lot of effort and can be very tiring if using  two flights multiple  times a day.  Glad you are helping her as needed.👍

A lot of members  here have gotten mind game puzzles for dogs.  One simple thing uou can do is hide some treats (low cal) around the yard and encourage  her to go find.  Part of a”nose work” session that works the mind but not too hard on the body.

Keep these videos coming!  She is soooo pretty and soooo happy!!   Makes me smile looking at her😊

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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