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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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New Tripawd - Otis
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Forum Posts: 2010
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14 February 2016 - 6:05 am
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Otis is a 106 lab/Dane mix.  He is about 8 years old, and on Sunday he fractured his right front wrist.  X-rays show osteosarcoma and we elected to amputate.  We are on day 5, he is doing well, but this is really hard.  I have been off work, but I feel like I am giving a pill every three hours or so, even at night.  Breaking up his Tramadol dose has really helped with break through pain between doses, so I guess I can’t complain.  I found a great blog on this site that walked through Wiinnie’s progress on a daily basis – very encouraging for me to know that what I see is pretty normal.   He is eating, drinking, peeing and pooping.  Just wanted to reach out to the community,

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Livermore, CA




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14 February 2016 - 9:47 am
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Welcome to Tripawds, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry that cancer and amputation have brought you here, but you will find lots of great information and support.

Yes, this is really hard! Day 5 is still early in recovery but it does sound like Otis is doing well, all things considered. 

It also sounds like you are on top of his pain management – good for you!  It’s one of the hardest things to balance.

Let us know if you have any specific questions or concerns.

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

Michigan
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14 February 2016 - 12:42 pm
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There is a light at the end of the tunnel…I swear!  Even if it doesn’t really seem like it right now.  We’ve all been there and can totally relate to how you’re feeling right now.

Is Tramadol the only thing that Otis is getting for pain?  Most dogs do well with Gabapentin added to that.  Murphy came home on both of those plus Rimadyl.  You can also apply an ice pack to the incision a couple of times a day for about 10 minutes or so to help with swelling, and massage around the area to help re-absorb the extra fluid.

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs

Donna.png

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 February 2016 - 12:51 pm
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Hi Otis and Tess, welcome to the club nopawdy wants to join. We’re sorry you got diagnosed but glad you’re here, you can lean on us.

Yes, it’s good to stay ahead of the pain rather than try to control it when it spirals out of control. Keep up the good work. As you can tell, recovery is no picnic but it’s only temporary, things DO get better.

I’m sure you’ve seen in the blogs but we’ve had a number of giant breed dogs join us through the years, and they did great. In fact it was a great dane named Moose who inspired us to proceed with amputation for Jerry. We figured if he could do it, so could Jerry, and he did! Since then, many giant breed dogs have been great ambassadors to show the world that life on three can be great. Otis will too!

Glad things are going pretty darn well otherwise! Let us know how we can help OK? Keep us posted.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 2010
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14 February 2016 - 3:27 pm
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I find myself worrying that something will happen to one of his other legs.  I just got through cruciate repair surgery with our other lab over the summer.  I know that I have enough to worry about without adding worries that haven’t happened. . .

Also, any recommendations on commercially available foods and treats?  I want to go low carb.  Right now I have the Wellness brand.  Prior to cancer, we ate Prairie grain free .

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

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14 February 2016 - 4:27 pm
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Hi Otis and Tess..

I thought the same thing; What if something happened to Zeus other legs? I think at this point the next step is chemo? My baby was misdiagnosed with Fibrosarcoma so I didnt do chemo, he also did not have Mets showing up on chest xray. After a few weeks, after amp, I noticed the regression, had another Xray done and it had spread to lungs and probably lymph nodes. Oncologist told me there was a 3rd pathology report that my ortho didnt tell me about, I will never know why, that indicated Osteosarcoma. Im not saying it wouldve helped but make sure you ask alot of questions and get another opinion if youre unsure. 

Deb

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14 February 2016 - 4:32 pm
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Otis is on Rimadyl as well.  He also came home with a patch, but it came off yesterday.  

Surgical follow-up is Friday, and we consult with the oncologist that same day.  

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Here and Now


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14 February 2016 - 5:01 pm
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otisandtess said
I find myself worrying…

Be More Dog . big-blink

Also, any recommendations on commercially available foods and treats?

Please, review (or search) the Tripawds Nutrition blog ! You will find soooo many recommendations there!

if you ever need help navigating the Tripawds community, start here .

Livermore, CA




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14 February 2016 - 7:44 pm
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I find myself worrying that something will happen to one of his other legs.  I just got through cruciate repair surgery with our other lab over the summer.  I know that I have enough to worry about without adding worries that haven’t happened. . .

What you need to worry about is your other Lab’s other knee…. big-grin

Seriously though- yes I think once the spare is gone it’s hard not to think about what would happen… but as Admin guy said: Be More Dog .  I found it to be an acquired skill I had to work on with my first Tripawd Maggie.  I worried about a lot of things with her, but I finally realized that she didn’t care or worry at all.  She was busy figuring out her new normal, then hopping through life finding joy in each day as dogs do. It does fall to us to make all the decisions- but as far as worrying about what might happen… you have to let it go (yes, I’m still working on it!).

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

P.S.- I do know a little something about knee repairs- my quad pug Obie has had both of his knees repaired.  His rehabs were waaaaaay harder than rehabing Maggie after her amp.

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

Schofield, WI
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15 February 2016 - 8:38 am
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Yup the others are spot on about the worry.  I found early on that if I worried about all the what ifs I would drive myself nuts.  By worrying I was losing out on all the joys of the today’s we had.  I looked at Max and he wasn’t worried about what tomorrow was going to bring.  He was just busy getting on with his happy doggie life today.  So I took my cue from him and learned to live like dog.   Welcome to you and Otis it sounds like he’s doing very well.  Kudo’s on your pain management !  You’re doing a wonderful job give yourself a huge pat on the back!

Linda, Ollie Riley & Spirit Mighty Max

Virginia




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15 February 2016 - 10:18 am
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Hi Tess and Otis! Can’t wait to see pictures of your bou!

All I can say is SITTO to all the great advice. This whole journey is sbojt staying in the present, in the NOW and let NOTHING rob you ofnyijr time together.! Take your lead from Otis. He is living in the moment. He doese give a rip about any ole’ diagnosis or stupid statistics! Once you become like Otis, the bliss of living each day to the fullest will bring you more riches than you could ever imagine!

Stay connected tonis. We understand like nomothers can!

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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15 February 2016 - 2:27 pm
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No idea why my picture is upside down.  Hopefully you are all on tablets or phones that you can turn upside down to see my boy.  

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

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15 February 2016 - 2:32 pm
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He seems to start squeaking in early afternoon when he gets up.  Maybe he is tired?   But in reality, he is pretty much resting all day.  Got up 4 times so far, first three without squeaking.  Fourth time, he got up pretty fast and was squeaking.  Normal?

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Forum Posts: 177
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15 February 2016 - 11:11 pm
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Tess, I don’t know why he was squeaking the fourth time he got up, but maybe he got up a little too fast (not remembering that his right front leg was gone)? My Susie did that LOTS the first couple of weeks (she also lost her right front leg, and I think she was right-dominant, as that was the leg she always used to signal us), and then sometimes she’d fall over to the side, and then cry. (It would break my heart.)

Also, there’s the possibility he was having a little bit of Phantom Limb Pain. Keep an eye on him, and if he keeps squeaking out suddenly, you might want to mention it to the surgeon at your followup appointment on Friday and ask if you can try Gabapentin. (They may take him off the other two pain meds at that time, anyway.) The Gabapentin really helped my Susie. (I was able to persuade the surgeon to prescribe it at her two week post-op appointment.) Giving her the specified dosage (100 mg. every 8 hours) seemed to make her too sedated (even after just two doses), so I just gave (and still give) her one 100mg. capsule at night. She hasn’t yelped suddenly in pain since.

And, yes, I worried (and still sometimes do worry) that something might happen to her other front leg. I have seen videos of several dogs on the Internet flying around without a care in the world on just two legs, but they always just have two front legs, not two back legs. What put it in my head to worry was the fact that, for the first two weeks after surgery (prior to taking Gabapentin), Susie would lick and lick her left front paw. Now I think it was probably just a sign of pain, as the obsessive paw licking mostly stopped after she started taking Gabapentin, but at the time I was worried she had developed cancer in her left front paw (as her initial tumor was in her right front paw), and that she would be left, quite literally, without a leg to stand on.

I think the others have given you very good advice (Be More Dog ). It’s not always easy for us humans, as we aren’t as wise as our canine companions. However, I am trying!

((((hugs))))xxxx from Nancy & Susie

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17 February 2016 - 4:30 am
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Yesterday was my first day back at work.  My daughter watched Otis in the morning and my ex in the afternoon.  The squeaking seems related to how he gets up – I am worried about his back legs.  Arthritis obviously doesn’t just go away, so maybe this is to be expected, but what if it is something worse?  He was in a lot of pain when I got home, but after he went outside (light snow) he almost seemed happy out there.  He settled in nicely thereafter.  Two more work days and then off Friday for surgical f/u and oncology consult.   I am so tired I feel like a zombie, although we adjusted his Tramadol schedule so I could get a bit more sleep.  Plus I am getting a cold.  Ugh.  I find myself reading various blogs and forums in the early hours of the morning, and it is really helpful to hear what everyone else has gone through.  Especially those who say it is worth it and it does get better!

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

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