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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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Liam vs. chondrosarcoma (another dog, another cancer)
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Grandad's Garden
Forum Posts: 124
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9 December 2009
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26 September 2015 - 4:40 pm
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We’re BAAAACK.  Seems that cancer just can’t leave our pack alone for very long.  Just brought home Liam from his scapulectomy surgery with the same surgeon who helped Calpurnia and Bucky through their various cancer surgeries (Dr. Beth Lewis, Colorado Veterinary Specialists – GREAT vet).  

Liam is 13 years old, and presented about a month ago with a “swelling” between his shoulder blades.  It was hard to figure out what was going on due to his fuzziness and lack of any sign of soreness.  We had two different vets do needle aspirates and they both felt it was likely a lipoma (fatty tissue), however it just didn’t sit right with me.  So 2 weeks ago, I had an appointment to have the lipoma removed, to ease my mind and also because I worried it would eventually bother his running.  (Yes, he still loves to run in harness.  Not as far as he once did, but he still likes to go.)

During that first surgery, I got a call that things were not as expected, and lipoma was ruled out.  Biopsy results confirmed chondrosarcoma (cancer in the cartridge) attached to the scapula (shoulder blade).  No way to get clean margins.  Amputation was recommended.  Deja-vu.

Fortunately, Dr. Lewis felt that Liam was a good candidate to do a scapulectomy – removing about 75% of his shoulder blade and muscle tissue, but keeping the leg.  I guess sort of a partial amputation from the top down?  This was a preferred option for Liam because he has arthritis in his “good” shoulder, and keeping a leg under him will help distribute weight down the road.

So, once again I find I have a poor pupper dog laying in a drugged haze at my feet with drains and bandages and a long road of learning to walk and function ahead of us.  The silver lining is that I have been down this road before, and am confident that we will get down it, and that Liam will have happy, painfree days ahead.

Keep the big guy in your thoughts, Tripawd Nation – we have had a rough summer, and I need my wooly bear to be OK.

TC and the Odaroloc pack

Idaho
Forum Posts: 1600
Member Since:
12 March 2013
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26 September 2015 - 5:24 pm
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Get well soon, Liam. You have the greatest support group behind you and pawrents who know exactly how to deal with any bumps in the road. You will be back running in Alaska before you know it.

Go, Liam!

Kathi and the Turbotail April Angel…and the Labradork

Murphy is a five year old Lab/Chessie cross. He was hit by a car on 10/29/12 and became a Tripawd on 11/24/12. On 2/5/13, he had a total hip replacement on his remaining back leg. He has absolutely no idea that he has only three legs!

UPDATE: Murphy lived his life to the fullest, right up until an aggressive bone lesion took him across the Rainbow Bridge on April 9, 2015 and he gained his membership in the April Angels. Run free, my love. You deserve it!

Schofield, WI
Forum Posts: 1447
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26 September 2015 - 5:33 pm
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Liam it sounds like your pack has a handle on this for you.  What a wonderful kick butt attitude!!  So sorry cancer has found you again but know we are all sending healing thoughts your way!! 

 

Linda, Bob & Max

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3587
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26 September 2015 - 10:56 pm
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I can’t believe cancer has found the Sled Dogs again!

Know the Tripawds Nation is rooting for Liam and your whole pack, you are certainly due a break.  I have always been inspired by your writting and your outlook on life… I know you will deal with what is in front of you. 

 

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

Grandad's Garden
Forum Posts: 124
Member Since:
9 December 2009
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27 September 2015 - 11:15 am
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Well, it was a long night with the Monster Dog and his JP drain, but he seems to be feeling better (alarmingly so) this morning.  Lots of wagging and getting into trouble.  He MUCH prefers being outside, so I am trying to give him some snooze-in-the-sun time, but he would prefer to be digging holes or rolling in stuff, which is NOT allowed yet.  

Need some help determining what to call him.  He isn’t a tripawd, but also not entirely a quadpawd either.  More like a tri-point-eight-pawd?  Tri-plus?  Quad-minus?  Hmmmmm….  Ideas?

Westminster, MD
Forum Posts: 1397
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27 September 2015 - 11:42 am
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Sending positive thoughts your way, for you, Liam, and your pack….. <3

Love,
Bonnie, Angel Polly, and new pups

P.S. I like the nickname Tri-plus. 🙂

The Rainbow Bridge



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27 September 2015 - 3:18 pm
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TC, it’s just insane that a pack can have this happen twice and we are soooo sorry! But knowing you and how exceptionally capable and super strong the Odaroloc pack is, Liam and all of you will be over this recovery hurdle in no time.

As I told you, I can’t recall anyone else going through the scapulectomy limb-saving procedure. To think Liam was so close to being a Tripawd…whew! That is SO cool he got to keep his leg.

Admin Guy reminded me that a vet had mentioned it to us once but it was a while ago. We really appreciate your sharing this experience. We’ll be sharing it in the News blog .

By the way what kind of pain drugs did he come home with? Just curious.

I can’t think of a nickname for him right now other than LUCKY! 😉

xoxo

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Grandad's Garden
Forum Posts: 124
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9 December 2009
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27 September 2015 - 3:55 pm
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Vet prescribed cephalexin (antibiotic), famotidine (antacid), tramadol (the good stuff), and carprophen (anti-inflammatory).  (These are things we have on hand anyhow for our pack.)  He also has a fentanyl patch, so he is probably seeing stuff the rest of us don’t see….

And, this is actually the FIFTH pack member diagnosed with cancer:  LilBit (sarcoma), Calpurnia (sarcoma), Bucky (sarcoma + hemangiosarcoma), Karma (mast cell), and now Liam (chrondrosarcoma).  And that doesn’t include Dave, who is a 20+ yr survivor of Hodgekins Lymphoma.

Oy vey!



Forum Posts: 1238
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27 September 2015 - 4:03 pm
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Yup Lucky Liam sounds about right to me. I’ve heard of this surgery used in cats for vaccine associated sarcomas in the scruff however they generally need to remove the leg to get good margins.

Happy to hear Liam is seeking the healing power of the sun.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Virginia




Forum Posts: 17800
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22 February 2013
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27 September 2015 - 4:56 pm
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Great day in the morning! What in the world is going on in Sled Dog Land??? I think you guys have been banged around enough for awhile!!

Your ability to keep your wit is to be applauded! And as you know, that kind of attitude does create a space for healing energy! Dave is a shining example!

All I can say is Liam (and Dave too) have some mighty fine Guardians watching over them…and that makes them lucky indeed!

Yes, keep on soaking up the healing power of the sun a d the medicinals found in everything stinky and dirty!

Sending lots and lots of love surrounded with a great big protective bubble for you and all your pack!!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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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27 September 2015 - 5:58 pm
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Ahhh yes Liam is definitely having fun with the pink elephants! Glad he’s got good pain control.
Fifth pack member with cancer…ayi yai yai! I’m with Sally, we’re going to bubble wrap you all.
Kerren we learn so much from our TriKitty members like you! Thanks for the scoop. If you have any cat-specific links you can point me to in a PM that would be great.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Grandad's Garden
Forum Posts: 124
Member Since:
9 December 2009
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9 October 2015 - 7:20 pm
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Good news!  Liam got his stitches out yesterday.  One more week of compression bandages, then the hard, slow work to rehab the muscles now located in their new place.  Vet says that Liam will always walk with a little sashay, but it won’t be painful, and (most importantly) the cancer has been removed.  So far, so good!

Livermore, CA




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9 October 2015 - 7:39 pm
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Great update!

When you can will you post pictures and or video?  I’ve never heard of this surgery and I am really curious.

 

Cancer removed…YAY!!!!

 

Karen

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



Forum Posts: 3482
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9 October 2015 - 8:21 pm
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Great update.  I hadn’t posted on this on yet but was following on your FB page.  I am glad Liam is doing alright.  Will continue my prayers for the whole pack and Liam. 

xoxxoxo

Michelle & Angel Sassy

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

Virginia




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10 October 2015 - 10:42 am
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Liam will look adorable with his swaggering sashay!!

Sending you continued good wishes and love and support……

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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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