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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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24 June 2019 - 3:01 pm
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Our dog Casey, an 11 year old golden retriever was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his hind leg in July 2018.  We did sterotactic surgery, 6 rounds of carboplantin and monthly zoledonate.  So far there has been no sign of further cancer.  We feel really grateful so far.  The issue he is having is an increase of pain in the leg where the tumor was that is getting hard to control. The oncologist reassures us that the cancer has not returned.   Has anyone else had a similar experience?  We have him on previcox, cdb oil and gabopentin for the pain. When he first had the radiation there was a few months with no pain without any pain medication.

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 June 2019 - 8:44 am
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Hello Casey and family, welcome. Your future posts won’t have to wait for approval (sorry it took so long!). 

First, congratulations on achieving a year of palliative care success, that is PAWESOME! smiley_clap It’s what we all hope for when someone does SRT. Where are you having it done? I’m just curious.

Meanwhile, how certain are you that the pain is coming from his leg? What kind of diagnostics were done?

If so, has he been evaluated by a veterinary pain management expert? Or a canine rehabilitation therapist? I ask because many times our dogs give off pain signals that make it appear pain is coming from one leg when in actuality it’s coming from elsewhere in the body. Perhaps Casey has unaddressed muscle or joint soreness? 

We encourage you to have him seen by a canine rehab expert. The Tripawds Foundation may even pay for your first rehab visit so please take advantage of it OK?

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25 June 2019 - 9:54 am
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We live in Washington State but we took Casey down to Sage in Campbell, CA to have his SRT done.  That has been one of the hard issues.  His Oncologist in Washington is great but we feel like there is not someone who understands what to expect after the SRT who is actually seeing him.  We have not seen a pain management expert.  I will start checking into that now.  If anyone has a recommendation in Washington we would love one.  

Thank you for the suggestion and the great site.  We have had a really good year and feel fortunate but lately his condition has worsened and we have started to feel like we do not have the resources to help Casey. 

Here and Now

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25 June 2019 - 10:09 am
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bevlp said
We have not seen a pain management expert…If anyone has a recommendation in Washington we would love one.  


Check the IVAPM Member Directory.

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25 June 2019 - 5:37 pm
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We had a similar situation with our dog Pee Wee about three months after SRT at Colorado State University.

We never did get a clear answer on the cause of her new onset pain and limping. Our local oncologist overseeing her treatment after SRT in Denver did X-rays as soon as the pain started but didn’t see anything concerning. However, huge caveat: Pee Wee’s tumor was never visible on x-ray, even when the oncology team knew exactly where it was based on her CT scans, because of its location (spine of the scapula). Apparently there is a lot of interference from other structures that obscured the tumor from view on X-ray. 🤷🏻‍♀️

I spoke at length with her radiation oncologist at CSU about the pain and she said that it could be a number of things: muscle strain, inflammation related to the radiation, or tumor regrowth. Even though we did the curative not palliative intent SRT that is expected to be as effective as amputation her radiation oncologist said they have seen rare cases of regrowth. In our case the only option was to do a CT scan to find out more but because Pee Wee’s cancer has already spread to her lungs by this point it was not advised.

I would start with getting an X-ray and go from there. Unless your pup is a weird case with a tumor in a hard to read spot like our dog’s then my guess is they should be able to rule out regrowth fairly easily. I would also call your radiation oncology team to chat about your concerns. Ours was more than willing to chat with me on the phone so I didn’t have to haul Pee Wee an hour and a half up to CSU. I have to imagine yours would be too especially knowing how far your traveled for treatment. 

One thing that really helped Pee Wee with the pain was treatment with a Class 4 laser. It did more than the max dose Gabapentin, rimadyl and amantadine cocktail plus acupuncture did. We tried lower dose laser prior to that and it made no difference but the class 4 definitely did.  

Sending good thoughts for Casey 💕💕 

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