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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Question About Mast Cell Tumor Amputation
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Member Since:
5 July 2010
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1
5 July 2010 - 10:16 am
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Hi, I have a French Bulldog, Pixie, that is 3.5 years old. 7 months ago, she had a MST removed from her inside right upper leg, probably midway between her elbow and her shoulder. I check her weekly, and last night, found a new one, in the same spot.. When she had it removed the first time, we knew it was a MST, but elected not to do patholgy for staging, also, the vet felt he got good margins, or at least as good as he could. We were unable to do the path because my son had recently lost HIS leg, and the medical bills are and were astounding.I refuse to beat myself up for this, so please, don't you do it for me. frown

 

Our vet is closed today, but I will have her in there tomorrow, ASAP. My question to you, is, IF she was a candidate to have the leg removed and rid herself of this tumor, if possible, how high up can an amputation go? If her tumor is midway between shoulde and elbow, with that kind of an amputation (if at all possible) is that a good chance for a cure?

 

She just seems so young, and the breed, from what I know, is not a usual one for MST. My son is so attached to her. He is 23 now, lives at home and she is everything to him. And Pixie is a stubborn, obstinate little brat, all in a good way. She is a wonderful dog and I know she would adjust to an amputation. I just am wondering if anyone else has a pet that had a problem in that area and what the outcome was.

 

As an add-on to this, we also have Lucy, a tripod Chihuahua/Poodle cross that we rescued as a put, she has 3.5 legs (missing the back one). She is the fastest dog around!

 

Alicia

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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5 July 2010 - 10:34 am
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Welcome Alicia, please consider registerring so your posts appear immediately without requiring moderation.

MST? Do you mean Mast Cell Tumor (MCT)? Hopefully you'll hear from Karen, tri-pug Maggie's mom. She's an expert – Maggie just recently passed after surviving Mast Cell tumors for more than three years (I think)!

Regarding the amputation, you say inside upper leg, but front or rear? Either way, the entire limb is often amputated depending on the tumor location. Jerry had his entire scapula removed due to osteosarcoma in his front left leg. Other dogs undergo a hemipelvectomy where the rear hip is removed, though most rear amps we've seen have a stump.

Finally, be sure to bookmark Jerry's Required Reading List for lots of canine cancer and amputation recovery advice, care tips, and answers to commonly asked questions.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
5 July 2010
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5 July 2010 - 10:41 am
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Thanks for answering....I did register. And it seemed to post right away. It is her right front leg, and I will look at the links you posted. And yes, a MCT. Too early to think straight, sorry. Thanks again.

Member Since:
26 November 2008
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5 July 2010 - 3:35 pm
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Alicia and Pixie,

First, we are very sorry to hear of Pixie's diagnosis, but you have found a great site filled with wonderful people who will share their collective experience base, give excellent advice and provide support. I am sure that Karen will be posting a reply soon. We were lucky enough to meet Maggie and based upon her history, you should expect a good recovery and excellent quality of life. However, we also know that each and every one responds differently.

In addition to Jerry's Reading List, I have a set of "standard" suggestions that I post, which may help you through the amputation recovery.  Rather than continuing to fill the server I would ask you to PLEASE LINK to a previous posting of these suggestions.

Sending Positive Thoughts,

Spirit Cherry's Dad

Member Since:
20 May 2009
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5 July 2010 - 5:15 pm
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I'm so sorry to hear of Pixie's diagnosis.  Also, I hope that our son is doing well with his amputation, as well.   Emily has OSA so I can't help you with any information but I did want to let you know I will be praying.

Debra & Angel Emily

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Member Since:
5 July 2010
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5 July 2010 - 7:01 pm
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Thank you, all of you.

krun15
7
5 July 2010 - 9:48 pm
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Hi Alicia,

Wow- I did a double take when I opened and saw your avatar...

My pug had her left rear leg amputated due to a MCT in her knee that could not be surgically removed.  She had also had a cutaneous tumor removed about 6 months prior, and she had a couple of cutaneous tumors removed after the amp.  I have not updated her story yet- but you can read the beginning in her blog.

Mag actually survived more than 4.5 years after the first cutaneous tumor was removed, 3 years and 9 months after her amp.  I lost her last month to an unrelated, second type of cancer.

No beating up goes on here- you did the best you could for Pixie.  We all wish we had unlimited funds and nothing else going on in our lives- but that is just not the reality. Besides- would you have done anything different at the time if you knew the grade and staging?? 

As far as amputation being a cure- its hard to say.  It depends partly on weather the mast cell cancer has made its way into the lymph system or other organs. I did a bunch of tests before the surgery and no cancerous mast cells were seen anywhere.  However after the amp cancerous mast cells were seen in the lymph node removed with the leg.  I don't tell you this to scare you- but you should be prepared to ask your vet lots of questions and understand as much as possible about where you are with Pixie.

I will keep an eye on this thread.  Also please feel free to send me a PM if you want to talk off line.

Good luck at the vet tomorrow.

 

Karen and the pug girls

Member Since:
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5 July 2010 - 10:26 pm
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Thanks, Karen! I had went and read your Maggie's story, it was really
informative and she sounds like she was a very special girl. We also
have a Pug, Henry, a 2 year old fawn boy. We have had Pugs in the past,
but Henry is a wnole 'nother thing. Wild and crazy, playing HARD with
the Frenchie, Dachshund, and our Golden. He is a real nut, and probably
my absolute favorite dog I have ever had, my heart dog. But Pixie is up
there right with him.

 

I have read so much online
today, probably too much, so I am going to see what the vet says. I am
calling first thing and I should be able to get in tomorrow, although my
one-legged son (he calls himself that!) has a prosthetic appt, too, but
I am sure we will get it worked out. Just the thought of that lump not
being there and then growing out like that within days is just crazy to
me. What makes them grow so fast?? Is that common, do you know?

 

PS, I sort of had to look twice when I saw YOUR avatar. It is funny how Frenchies and Pugs, esp black pugs when they get older, look alike!

krun15
9
5 July 2010 - 11:02 pm
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Hi Alicia,

It is common for MCTs to grow, and shrink sometimes, very quickly, it is one of the weird characteristics of MCTs. If I remember the swelling or growth is caused by the release of histamines, sort of like an allergic reaction.  It was not my experience with Maggie, but I know it does happen. You could also post in the Ask a Vet forum- Pam is usually pretty quick to respond.

I was looking for a link I had to our oncologist that is really informative- but their new web site is under construction. But like you said- you are probably already saturated with all you have read.

You sound like you have your hands full with your son, a tripawd, and a whole diverse rowdy pack.  Are your neighbors going to worry if you end up with two tripawds?big-grin

There are not too many here dealing with MCT.  We have another recent member, who's beagle Boomer has a MCT and is looking at amputation this week. You can see his post here.

 

Let us know what the vet says.

 

Karen and the pug girls

 

Member Since:
5 July 2010
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6 July 2010 - 7:58 am
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Thanks, Karen. I already called the vet this morning and I could have gotten in to see one of them, but it is a young vet with not too much experience with MCT, so I am going to see the guy that did her first removal, he is also the ortho vet so he should be able to help me  lot. I will post what he says tomorrow, or PM you. Thank you again.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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6 July 2010 - 8:48 am
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Alicia, I just wanted to say that your girl is in our thoughts, and we hope that it's nothing serious. Keep us posted OK?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Golden Girls
12
6 July 2010 - 9:35 am
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So sorry to hear about your pup, as well as your son.

Skyler had MCT, and they removed the entire leg - all the way up. In fact, so much was taken that we couldn't use the harness we bought because there was not enough bone to keep it in place. Skyler was able to walk just fine on 3 legs, even with so much removed.

 

Please keep us posted!

Member Since:
5 July 2010
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6 July 2010 - 1:51 pm
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Thank you, Jerry, I will post tomorrow.

 

Cathy, where was Skylar's MCT located? Pixie's is between the elbow and hip. Did they take Shelby's hip, too? You have made me feel better, thanks!

krun15
14
6 July 2010 - 1:56 pm
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Hi Alicia,

Are you talking about a rear leg?  When you said elbow I though front leg- but then I am easily confused these days...

 

Maggie's tumor was in her knee- they took part of her femur- but left the head and hip joint intact.  They explained to me that it was harder to dis-articulate the joint than leave a part of the femur.  You could not usually see the stump, but I could feel it.

 

Karen

Member Since:
5 July 2010
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6 July 2010 - 2:00 pm
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Hi Karen: Yes, it is her front right leg.

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