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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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Forum Posts: 6
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22 May 2014
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18 July 2014 - 8:01 pm
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I’m new to the forum, so I might not be doing this correctly. Just looking for feedback and helpful information. My boy Rowdy, an 11-year-old German shepherd dog, lost his left front leg to osteosarcoma in late February. He recently completed his sixth chemotherapy session and I was feeling good about his chances of having some quality time as a dog for a change, instead of a patient. He had been doing well with the surgery and the chemo.

Then he got sick, and sicker. The diagnosis was a shock: acute leukemia. The doctors say they know of no connection between the two cancers. It’s just bad luck. I am not inclined to put him through the aggressive chemotherapy used for leukemia, given the poor prognosis and all he has been through already. Also, the leukemia developed soon after treatment with one of the main chemo drugs used for leukemia, so I have to wonder if that’s an indication that the disease would not respond well.

He’s feeling better after an some emergency treatment with an enzyme that kills leukemia cells. He is on prednisone and his appetite is better. But the prognosis is grave. I want to do what is in his best interest. I am leaning toward “comfort” care.

Have any of you experienced this situation? Any advice on supporting quality of life for a dog with leukemia? I am devastated by this turn of events.

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 July 2014 - 9:24 pm
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Hi Rowdy and family, welcome. I’m so sorry about this second cancer, I can’t imagine how devastated you must feel. I’m glad the recent treatment is helping him feel better.

OK, I don’t know if this will help or not, but the thing to remember is, no matter if you’re dealing with osteo, or leukemia, or whatever kind of cancer, nobody knows how long anyone has. A prognosis is just a guess, it doesn’t set anything in stone, you never know exactly how your dog will respond to treatment or the situation. All you can do is your best, and remember that Rowdy doesn’t care what the prognosis says, he just wants to make the most of every second, feel good, and be with you. It’s like that with or without cancer, dogs just know how to live.

Here is a great book that may help you cope emotionally. It’s AWESOME, I highly recommend you check it out, you will find it so valuable for helping you get through this:

Help for Coping with Anticipatory Grief

Here’s a video of the author explaining more about his book:

Stay tuned for more support from our pawesome community. Your future posts won’t require approval.

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Virginia




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18 July 2014 - 10:56 pm
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HI ROWDY! Well, you sure have been given a double whammy, huh fella’? You’ve got a mighty good human as your advocate!!

I don’t have specific knowledge with this, but I do suggest you check with a Holistic Vet. There is one out of N.C. that many have gotten good results with and have gotten extended quality time that surpassed any “statistics” Dr. Charles Loops. Search the site here and you’ll have other names pop up.

And just to piggy back o n what Jerry said, no dog comes with a time frame stamped on his butt. Pug Maggie is a wel’ll.known hero here and was given about three months. She passed four years later and it wasn’t from that piece of crap disease either!

ROWDY is definitely living in the NOW, in the present, and isn’t worried about a thing! He’s lapping up al l the loving y spoiling you can throw his way….and I’ve got a feeling that’s a HUGE amount!

LET NOTHING ROB YOU OF YOUR TIME TOGETHER!! Take it one day at a time! And Rowdy is with you today and by your side! And he’s feeling better.and his appetite has increased…..these are treasured times. Rowdy has no intention of going anywhere anytime soon!

Rowdy’s ability to be spoiled just increased times a thousand! Let him have ice cream! Let him have two o r three M&Ms! Fix Rowdy.a steak for supper! Rub his tummy until you feel like your arm is going to fall off!( Take him throug a drive thr o ugh for a burger and a millshake!

When you can, we’d lpve to see some.photoq of Rowdy!!! Take lots of.pictures…and some with you in them!

We are walking beside you. You are NOT alone! B R E A T H E…..B R E A T H E…..now go make Rowdy’s tail wag, give him a kiss and enjoy the bliss.com if being together!

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

Sally and Happy Hannah

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!

Westminster, MD
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19 July 2014 - 6:30 am
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So sorry for this diagnosis in your Rowdy…….Jerry and Sally have given awesome advice, and I don’t have too much more to add, except we are here to support you in any way. This journey is difficult enough with trying to beat one “ugly c” , but two is unimaginable. But like both Jerry and Sally have already said, there is no timetable….live each day to the fullest, and Be More Dog , and most important, spoil your pup to the fullest!

Keeping you in my thoughts,
Bonnie & Angel Polly

Orrtanna Pa.
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19 July 2014 - 7:04 am
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So sorry to hear this! I don’t have Leukemia experience,just Histeosarcoma, but, holistic May be the way to go. Definitely spoil him. One of the things I regret the most is that I became a food police when I should have let him eat whatever. Now, he did not starve by any means, we are talking scrambled eggs @ 3 AM, deer burger cooked to order etc. Just only grain free treats and no sugar. I now wish I would have been ” More Sally” and let him have some junk. Whatever you decide, enjoy him immensely, take lots and lots of pictures, give lots of hugs and belly rubs and come here for support. Sometimes, it is hard for us humans to realize that a dog is truly in the moment and has no worries about the future. Jerry, good call on the Anticipatiory grief. I had that big time. It is so hard not to . Lori and Ty

TY GUY, Best Black Lab ever! Diagnosed  and had amp in January, 2014. Kicked MRSA's butt. Earned his angel wings on April 16, 2014. Run Free my boy and don't forget a shoe. Ty is a proud member of the " April Angels". Ty sent us Daryl, a Tripawd rescue in Sept. of 2016. Daryl is 5 +or -. We are also Pawrents to Chandler, a Border Collie mix who is 15 and 1/2, Lucy, a Corgi who is 7, 2 minis, 2 horses, and a feisty cat named Zoe. Zoe had a non skeletal Osteosarcoma removed in July 2015. No Chemo, she was at least 16. She is going strong although she is now completely blind. She is now close to 20 and her hobbies are eating and sleeping in front of her personal heater. 

Orrtanna Pa.
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19 July 2014 - 8:37 am
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Sally, I am so sorry! I did not mean to imply that you fed Hannah junk. I just meant that you had such fun with her food, ice cream, deer poop, m and ms. I was going to get Ty ice cream the day before he died. I was at the drugstore and they did not have vanilla. I just figured I would get him some the next day. Ty never got his ice cream. I will always regret that. I should have just bought the chocolate. If I am ever a dog, I want to be yours, love, Lori and Ty

TY GUY, Best Black Lab ever! Diagnosed  and had amp in January, 2014. Kicked MRSA's butt. Earned his angel wings on April 16, 2014. Run Free my boy and don't forget a shoe. Ty is a proud member of the " April Angels". Ty sent us Daryl, a Tripawd rescue in Sept. of 2016. Daryl is 5 +or -. We are also Pawrents to Chandler, a Border Collie mix who is 15 and 1/2, Lucy, a Corgi who is 7, 2 minis, 2 horses, and a feisty cat named Zoe. Zoe had a non skeletal Osteosarcoma removed in July 2015. No Chemo, she was at least 16. She is going strong although she is now completely blind. She is now close to 20 and her hobbies are eating and sleeping in front of her personal heater. 

Virginia
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19 July 2014 - 9:00 am
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Hi Randy, I’m so sorry. I don’t have any experience with leukemia but my Jake had a second devastating cancer diagnosis as well (he was 12). Just when we thought we were in the clear, he was diagnosed with an unrelated and untreatable hemangiosarcoma. We were told that due to its position (penetrating a major artery) that he could die at any moment. I agree with Jerry, please don’t let grief take over yet. I know it is REALLY hard but Rowdy is still here! No one can tell you how long he has..no one. Its hard knowing that its all out of your hands, but the one thing you do have control over is how you two spend your time together now. If you want some treatment options, I agree with Sally about the holistic route. 

HUGS

Mom to Tripawd Angels Jake (2001-2014) and Rosco (2012-2015) and Tripawd Tanner. “Whatever happens tomorrow, we had today; and I'll always remember it”  

      

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19 July 2014 - 9:13 am
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Thanks for the support, y’all. I’m definitely going to read Anticipatory Grief, because I am sick with it. I’m already on board with some of the things you have suggested. He has an appointment Tuesday with a holistic vet. His diet now includes raw chicken liver, Frosty Paws and other treats. He has always had a high quality diet, so no guilt feelings there.

I would post a picture of Rowdy, but I haven’t figured out yet how to do that. He is an amazing dog and a wonderful companion.

Rowdy’s Dad

Virginia




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19 July 2014 - 10:05 am
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ROWDY! Others will come.on about the.picture posting and there is a link on how to post. I’m zero brain at this stiff!

I can tell you that,.with a tablet, if you use Photobucket, you can transfer fairly easily. With my tablet, you “tap” the htlm (?) To “clipboard” and then to your post from.”clipboard”

If I may “hijack” your post a second…

LORI! You have your “silly goose” clothes on! I LOVE that you bring up a memory of my Happy Hannah that makes me smile!smiley Pretty sure ice cream, M&Ms ,etc. would indeed be classified “junk”!! Deer poop…..hmmmmm…..organic and natural….yeah, that’s probably pretty nutritional!! TY was THRILLED to have you cooking him scrambled eggs at 3 am the morning!! He was catered to like a King! And Happy Hannah never saw me get up at 3 am to give her a scoop of ice cream, much less COOK something!!

Rowdy, we’ll be checking back for pictures! And mom, just remember, thinking about what you may “lose”, prevents y o u from enjoying on what you HAVE. Right NOW you have Rowdy by your side and he wants y o u fully present with him! He knows no other place to be than t o be with you in the here and now!

Sending love.and support…and one smalll scoop of ice.cream topped with scrambled eggs!

Sally and Happy Hannah

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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19 July 2014 - 11:47 am
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Hi Rowdy’s Mom,

You have definitely been hit with a “double whammy” of the dreaded c.

I have no additional words of advice – you have been given lots of it.

Just wanted you to know that we are all hear for you – give Rowdy a big snuggle for all of us.

Hugs

Linda and Tucker

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 July 2014 - 1:14 pm
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rowdyhill said

I would post a picture of Rowdy, but I haven’t figured out yet how to do that. He is an amazing dog and a wonderful companion.

Rowdy’s Dad

Here you go. Try these instructions, more detailed ones are available here.

Once you have your photos uploaded to a photo sharing site like Flick’r, Facebook, Photobucket or your own Tripawds blog:

  1. right click on the picture you want to share
  2. select “copy image location” from the menu
  3. return here to the Forums, reply to this topic to open your post editing box.
  4. choose the little text box icon above the reply box (6th icon from the right, with the mountain shape in the box)
    paste the URL from your clipboard into the box field that says “Source”
  5. Click OK

And that’s it! Try it and let me know if this helps.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 July 2014 - 1:32 pm
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rowdyhill said
Thanks for the support, y’all. I’m definitely going to read Anticipatory Grief, because I am sick with it.
Rowdy’s Dad

Thanks for letting us know about the broken links in the post, we’ve fixed them, you can also buy “The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer” here. Thanks!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Los Angeles, CA
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19 July 2014 - 5:58 pm
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I don’t have any experience with this but I did want to offer my support and healing energy. I know how hard this is.

Sending you love and hugs!

Alison & her Shelby fur-ever in her heart 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Livermore, CA




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20 July 2014 - 12:00 pm
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Hi Rowdy’s dad. I’m sorry Rowdy has been dealt such a crappy hand.

I also dealt with two cancers, but I was fortunate to get a few years after Maggie’s amputation for mast cell cancer before the second one was diagnosed. I was more devastated by the second diagnosis. Mag was only given 6 to 9 months after her amp so when she made a few years I thought we were home free. Because of other health issues I was not able to treat the oral melanoma, such a helpless feeling.

I’m glad the treatment has added some quality for Rowdy. What I did, when I came to grips with the second diagnosis, was focus on making every day Maggie’s best day. I didn’t ask for a prognosis. I didn’t think we had long but I didn’t want to fixate on a date, I made that mistake with her first cancer.

It’s a tough time, try not to think ‘what if’ or second guess your decisions. You are doing your best for your boy.

I have a copy of “The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer” that I would be happy to send you if you think it would help. If you want it send me a PM with your address.

Karen and Spirit Maggie

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

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20 July 2014 - 1:19 pm
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I think I managed to add a pic of Rowdy as my avatar. Posting this message to see if it shows up.

Many thanks to Karen for the offer of the book. I have ordered a copy from the author.

Rowdy is next to me as I type this. Just had him outside for a little play time, but he discovered a yellow jacket nest, so that cut that short. He’s not up to a lot of exercise right now anyway.

We have discovered a side effect of the prednisone therapy that the vet failed to mention — urinary incontinence. He drinks a lot and has to pee a lot, and it seemed to catch him by surprise last evening, before he could make it outside.

Rowdy’s Dad

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