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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I'm really rather new to the forum – only posted once when learning about my dog's, Murphy, cancer.
Murphy was diagnosed with Synovial Cell Sarcoma in Oct of 08, and had his left rear leg amputated in Nov. I was told that this type of cancer does not spread, and that amputating his leg would basically be a 'cure' with no further treatment except for quarterly chest xrays. And, I was told Murphy was a VERY lucky dog, because this is not usually the case. Needless to say, I was thilled (as much as I could be) with this news.
Well, after his leg was amputated, the biopsycame back 'unclear' and I was now told that Murphy had Histyiltic (sp????) cancer, and had to now undergo 6 rounds of chemotherapy. He he scheduled for his 3rd round on Jan 12.
During the past few months, he has developed a very strange cough. I called the vet last month, and they did a chest x-ray when they did the 2nd round of chemo. I was told that the chest x-ray appeared normal, and that Murphy probably had 'kennel cough.' (How and where he would have got this is totally beyond me!) I thought this was a rather strange diagnosis – but didn't really push the matter.
The cough is still here, and my gut instinct is telling me there is something very wrong. He is still eating and behaving normally, except for the cough. What I was wondering is if anyone else has experienced anything like this? Is it possible the vet is wrong – they just can't see the cancer on the x-ray, or am I over-reacting?
As with all the other members of this website, my dog means everything to me, and I am worried beyond what I can express. I think my vet feels that I am a little too emotional, and I don't really think she truly 'gets it.' I don't want to keep asking for chest x rays each month – not good for Murphy, but at the same time – I don't know what to do.
I'm just hoping someone has some advice to help me with this – I would truly be grateful.
Debbie & Murphy
Debbie & Murphy
15 February 2008
Debbie & Murphy –
How frustrating and frightening at the same time. My Barney had his amputation on February 14, 2008 from a soft tissue sarcoma which they originally called synovial cell as well. When the biopsy came back, there were histiocytic markers which made his prognosis much more dire, and we too opted to go ahead with 5 rounds of chemo. His story is on the forums here. The cough that Murphy is experiencing sounds troubling though. Maybe someone else has specific experience with what you're dealing with but it doesn't sound “normal” to me. Are you having the chemo and xrays through an oncologist, or your regular vet?
Thinking of you —
Linda and Barney B
We all over-react. With good reason. The nasty thing about this disease it attacks every dog differently. And it is sneaky when it comes to diagnosis.
If x-rays aren't showing anything, it doesn't mean there are no lung mets. They may be microscopic. But it should mean any cough is not due to metastasis. When I left this planet, the cough didn't manifest until much later in my illness … after other symptoms like weakness and poor appetite.
Listen to the cough. Is it dry and short? Or is it a deep wet cough followed by hacking or licking? The latter may indicate more serious problems. But my people freaked when when I first coughed and the vets told me it was a just a seasonal alergy, explaining the symptom differences aboved.
Thanks for the update and best wishes.
22 August 2008
It is true that a dog can have lung mets that are not visible on the xray but they usually wouldn't cause such a persistent cough (cough is usually an end-stage thing with lung mets and most dogs don't cough at all).
You are right it is probably not kennel cough as this usually runs its course in 7-10 days.
Bronchitis, allergy, heart disease, and asthma are all possible causes of cough as is pneumonia. If your dog is alert, active , and eating I wouldn't worry too much but I would re-xray 2-4 weeks after the first set of films were taken.
Pam and Tazzie
I want to thank all of you for your replies.
Linda – Murphy is being treated by an oncologist. Is Barney a lab, and how is he doing? Murphy is a 100 lb chocolate lab!!
Jerry – This cough is like nothing I've ever heard. It sounds as if it is coming from his toes. The best way to describe it would be to compare it to a cat trying to cough up a fur ball – followed by an extremely loud hacking/choking sound.
Jerry – I have read your story – and I must say you were – and are – truly an inspiration.
Pam – Thank you for your comments. I had thoughts similar to yours, but when the Dr. said 'kennel cough' – I sort of just pushed them aside. As I mentioned, he is eating – sleeping more than usual but I think that's the chemo – so I just don't know. It is sooo hard not to worry – not to jump to conclusions. Sometimes when I look at him – I just start crying…
I know I am jumping, but I feel like I put him through this amputation for – well – for nothing. He can only walk around the block – and then he is totally exhausted, and limps for most of the next day. Yet – that's his favorite thing and I just just don't want to take that away from him. Our walks are becoming shorter and shorter, yet the vet tells me to “let him be a dog” but I don't know how to do that anymore.
I did some research, so I would know what we were getting into – now it seems that my mind has too much info, and I just can't shut it off. This is just so hard… and I don't think I'm handling it very well.
Misc. Question: I was wondering if someone could help me with the forums. I am having trouble posting – they are not 'going through' and I have to write them multiple times. Is there a section on the site on how to post, etc. I've looked put didn't see anything. Also, how can I create a profile for Murphy? Thank you.
Debbie & Murphy
Debbie & Murphy
13 May 2008
Hi Murphy's Mom,
It sounds to me as if Murphy has a serious case of kennel cough… My two dawgs, Selma and Hiro had it for 3 MONTHS!! I was soooo sick of going to the vet and not getting results – I didnt know what to do.
It does sound as if they are coughing up a fur ball and it is more serious at night. I felt so sorry for them – they coughed up slime and was so exhausted because they couldnt get any sleep at night due to the coughing… Their entire body would go into a kind of spasm – trying to get rid of the slime on their lungs when they cough… It was so sad to watch!!
It took some serious antibiotics to get rid of it – and a proper check-up from a vet, after I exploded in their offices and gave them a piece of my mind!! I couldnt stand watching my dogs suffer like that – for THREE MONTHS!!
Good luck with Murphy!
Love, Dee's mommy xxx
… could still use help with creating a profile.
Be sure you're logged in, then simply click your Profile button above; fill in the blanks for your details, bio, and signature; and save your changes. Here's instructions for uploading an avatar image.
Here's instructions for uploading an avatar image.
I did exactly as the instructions stated – it goes through the motions, yet it won't work. I didn't receive any error messages, so I've no idea how to fix the problem. Any idea as to what I might be doing wrong?
Debbie & Murphy
17 December 2008
I had problems with this also, so here is what I did. I opened the picture in Microsoft Picture Gallery. There is an option there to edit. I used that and shrank the picture to 50×50 pixels and then saved it to my c:/ drive. Then I went to my profile and used the browse option to find where the picture was. Highlighted it and clicked open. It uploaded and nowyou can see Max! Hope this helps!
Paula and Spirit Max
I did exactly as the instructions stated – it goes through the motions, yet it won't work.
I've confirmed avatar upload works and you account has the appropriate permissions. Ensure the image is 50×50 and saved in GIF or JPG format.
If you continue to have trouble, please explain in the tech support topic for avatars.