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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Post-Surgery, Chemo and side-effects
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Schertz, TX
Forum Posts: 43
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28 July 2020 - 4:57 pm
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Thank you to Jerry for recommending I start a new post about my Chance’s recent set-back from his chemo treatment.  This seems more like a blog entry then a forum post…but still haven’t gotten around to working on Chance’s blog!

To recap, last month my 10yo black lab Chance had his front left leg amputated due to osteosarcoma.  Three weeks later he had his first round of chemo.  Chest Xrays (lungs), biopsy on lymph nodes didn’t show any mets but I’ve read about micrometastasis and know that chemo was probably a good idea to battle anything that wasn’t showing up…yet.  Saturday after chemo he vomited and had diarrhea so dr put him on meds to help with the side-effects.  One week post-chemo he had his first CBC test which showed reduced white blood cells and platelets but Dr wasn’t overly concerned…we’d see any changes on the CBC the next week (29 Jul).  

In the meantime, he’s been doing great!  Eating well, drinking, taking short walks and rides in a kids wagon.  For the most part, getting back to being Chance!  Then yesterday afternoon I noticed he was lethargic and wasn’t interested in any of his treats (he’s ALWAYS interested in treats).  He seemed a little warm but all the internet sites reminded me that a warm dog’s head isn’t the same as a human so I checked his temp…it was a little over 104!  So I called his PC vet and they recommended I call Chance’s oncologist.  We pushed up his CBC to today and they recommended cold towels/compresses on his feet/groin area and rubbing alcohol on his paws (soak cotton balls and place them between his toes).  I was familiar with that having had another dog go through similar treatment for heat stroke.  Keep an eye on him and if his temp didn’t go down I should bring him in.  It was a long night to say the least!  

Well this morning his temp was 105!  So I rushed him to the ER to find out what was going on. Long story short…the chemo really impacted his immune system.  Dr said it was sepsis…his white blood cells and platelets were bottomed out! and now he has a blood infection.  Chance has a history of kidney issues (he’s on Azoydl) so not sure if that was a factor…have to ask next time I talk with the Dr.  I’ve been so scared all day and every time the phone rings I think they’re calling with (more) bad news!  

He’s on IVs and antibiotics and the Dr is going to try a drug called Neupogen to boost his immune system.  I’m praying he pulls through this; he’s got a lot of fight in him so trying to stay positive.  I’ve been second guessing myself all day…was chemo the right choice, were his walks too long, was it something he ate, etc.  The Dr has tried to reassure me that the sepsis is due to the chemo and not anything I did, but I still feel horrible.  I think chemo was/is the right choice, but right now I’m just not sure!  I just want my lil boy home!

Praying for a restful night for Chance and quick healing! sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 July 2020 - 6:00 pm
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I’m so glad you started a topic here. Chemotherapy side effects are so rare. When they happen, oh boy, nobody ever expects it.

As I mentioned in your other post, he’s got everything on his side to overcome this big challenge. I know it’s scary though, and my heart hurts for you. I would be worried sick too. But Chance is an amazing, strong, spunky kid with lots of fight in him. He WILL get through this with Tripawd Power on his side!

Keep us posted. We are sending lots of pawsitivity your way.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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30 July 2020 - 4:15 am
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I just finished getting caught up… wow! I know you feel blindsided right now and are just looking for a reason to lay the blame on your own shoulders.. don’t. Please don’t.

This was all unforseen. Of course you anticipated some of the normal side effects, but the rest? All I can say is that Chance is a very lucky dog to have such an astute pawrent. You have kept laser vision on him, on his progress, and you really did do all the right things. Because of that he is still here with us and getting what sounds like the best care! Your doctors seem spot on with treatment and the way they are handling this.

I know it breaks your heart to not be able to be there with him.. that is probably one of the toughest things right now. None of us want to have to drop our furbabies off and then just drive away. I HATE this damn virus smiley7smiley7

Please hang in there. I think it is safe to say that we are ALL keeping you in our thoughts, prayers, and sending all of you pawsitive vibes. 

Sending big hugs,

Jackie and Huck sp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

Schertz, TX
Forum Posts: 43
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31 July 2020 - 8:52 am
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I feel so blessed to have found (come back to) this site!  I can’t imagine going through all this without this amazing support!

Chance has been getting excellent care at Blue Pearl Vet…the Drs and techs have been amazingly patient in explaining everything to me and walking me through the ups and downs of the last couple of days.  Good news…Chance is home!  I picked him up yesterday afternoon since he’s showing enough improvement to release him.  His blood count is still low, only a 0.03 improvement in his white blood cell count so far…but it’s an improvement!  His temp has been holding steady at 101.6 for a couple days so that really good!  I got to visit with him on Tuesday since the Dr was concerned that he wasn’t eating and hoped that a visit would cheer him up a bit and he would eat.  I brought him lots of yummy treats but the only thing he showed interest in was bacon…just a few strips.  But that was something!  During my visit I relayed to the Dr that I was concerned about his semi-labored breathing and raspy sounds.  After I left, they checked and he was a little anemic.  

So he is home, but still definitely not out of the woods.  I tried just about everything in the fridge last night and even made a trip to HEB to pick up some baby food I thought he might like, but only thing I could get him to eat was about a half a strip of bacon and half a scrambled egg.  I needed him to eat something before giving him his meds.  My kitchen cabinet is turning into one heck of a medicine cabinet!  He’s currently on Ondansetron (nausea), Clavamox (antibiotic), Enrofloxacin (antibiotic), and as needed, Metronidazole (diarrhea).  Plus he’s still taking his Azodyl for his kidneys.  He’s on strict bed rest, no walks, playing, etc which doesn’t seem to bother him right now!  I slept with him on his beds last night and glad I did.  He was mostly restful but at one point he woke up and seemed like he was having trouble breathing.  I calmed him down and he was able to rest…scared the you-know-what outta me though!

I do think that this is a rare thing with these side effects and trying to focus on that. The Dr has been very reassuring that it’s not anything I did (or didn’t do), but it’s still hard to see him like this.  

I need to do more reading on nutrition if anyone has suggestions.  I’m reading about Omega 3 & 6, other proteins and supplements but need to talk to the dr first.  He seems to have already lost some muscle mass so I’m really concerned about that.  PT is postponed until we can get this situation under control first.

I think we have a long road ahead of us but hopeful that he’s going to be fine!  When I found him in the dog park in 2013 I named him Chance because I thought that him coming to live with me and Kenya was his “second chance”.  How appropriate that name seems to be now…although I do think maybe he’s part cat and working on those 9 lives! smiley2

Thanks again for all your support!  

Sandra, Chance & Kenya

Virginia




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31 July 2020 - 10:00 am
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SOOOOOO HAPPY CHANCE IS HOME!!!!!😁😁   And you darn right, any “little” improvements are HUGE VICTORIES  and are to be celebrated  wildly!!👏👏

His temperature is getting under control and his wbc is “better”!!  

I know that some have used a “paste” type  nutrient  that they got at GNC vitamin/health  store.   If I recall, they would put it jn a syringe to feed.  I’ll try and search  for it.

Yeah, he’s on a boatload  of antibiotics  so I’m  sure his appetite  is off.  There is one “commercial ” food you might try.  It’s called “Fresh Pet” and it’s in the refrigerator dog food  section.  I know Whole Foods carries it  as does Target.  Dogs seem to eat rhat no matter what.

Soooo much out there avout joint supplements and it can all get confusing.   I just go with Dasaquin, but others will chime jn.

I know you’re  worried about the muscle mass, etc, but he’ll gain that back fairly  quickly  once he’s feeling better.

Thanks so much for taking  the time to update.  We’re all cheering  for this sweet boy!  You are doing a great job!!  And Chance knows that too!  

Extra 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!

Virginia




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31 July 2020 - 10:10 am
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Okay….found it.  look at thos link, ot jas some good suggestions.  It also mentions the Ultra Calorie Booster Paste from GNC.  It’s  in the last post kn the page. 

https://tripawd…..om/forums/

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!

Forum Posts: 64
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31 July 2020 - 1:38 pm
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So glad to hear Chance is home and at least there are those little improvements.  Hope he keeps improving little by little, day by day.  Keep us posted when convenient.  We’re all rooting for you guys!

Livermore, CA




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31 July 2020 - 2:13 pm
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I’m glad Chance is home- and hopefully on an uneventful road to recovery!

My kitchen cabinet is turning into one heck of a medicine cabinet!

You earn a merit badge in home doctoring when you start using a pill box for Chance smiley4.  In all seriousness though, I had a quad Pug who took so many meds twice a day I had to go to a pill box to keep it all straight.

With as bad as he has been feeling it’s no wonder he doesn’t have an apatite.

How are his kidney numbers?  My Tripug Maggie eventually developed full renal failure and it was nearly impossible to get her to eat. I had a pantry and refrigerator full of different dog foods, baby foods, gravies, pates, cheeses, fish, etc.  One day she would eat KFC, then not again.  McDonald’s Cheeseburgers were a favorite for a few days.  I finally ended up pureeing canned dog food in a blender and feeding her with a syringe. 

Another thing I learned with Maggie was to watch my attitude when I was trying to get her to eat.  Before I knew what was wrong I would get sooooo frustrated with her- I would offer her chicken in one hand, her favorite food in the whole world, and she would refuse to eat.  Then I would offer her turkey from the other hand and she would eat it all.  Really!?!?!?!?  Once I was so tense when I was making their breakfast she came into the kitchen, took one look at me, and hopped right out the dog door to the back yard!

You probably know this stuff but with all the stress of the past few days I just wanted to remind you.

And you didn’t do anything wrong either, it’s so rare to have a reaction like this to chemo.  And you know that if you didn’t try chemo and something went wrong later you would blame yourself for not trying it! 

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

The Rainbow Bridge



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31 July 2020 - 2:38 pm
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YAY CHANCE! You made it home, good going! smiley_clapI’m so happy to see this good news.

Ok so his appetite isn’t good, I know that’s worrying. Have you seen our appetite tips articles in the Tripawds Nutrition blog ? Maybe some ideas in there will stick.

Some appetite boosters include goat’s milk as a topper, and giving pills in homemade meatballs, pre-made pastes and pockets

And remember, feed off paper plates and don’t mix pills with his normal meals. The smell may be turning him off of eating.

I also second Karen’s insight about keeping upbeat and not getting frustrated when they won’t eat. I felt the same way when Jerry wouldn’t eat, I was so upset. If I could change one thing about those days, it would be my attitude. So stay strong and if he won’t eat something remember at least you’ve got Kenya there to pick up the left overs! 🙂

Let us know how today goes. We are sending you lots of love. One day at a time, he will get there!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Schertz, TX
Forum Posts: 43
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1 August 2020 - 4:01 pm
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Great advice…lots to read.  I confirmed with the oncologist that any supplements won’t affect the meds he’s on so I’ll read the articles and try to find something that works for Chance.  I’ve seen the Fresh Pet food somewhere around here…will have to look again.  He’s pretty picky anyway.  At training, my trainer suggests liverworts as a “high value” treat for any dog…except my dogs turn their noses at it! lol. At this point, whatever he wants to eat–he gets.  Kenya’s a bit jealous seeing everything offered to her brother! 

Hmmm…paper plates!  Why didn’t I think of that?!  Thanks!  I know it has to be something in the scent that he’s not liking.  Heck we’ve all been sick and turned off by even our favorite foods!  Why would I expect anything different from him.  I’ve been keeping my attitude/feelings in check and I think it’s really helped.  I have no doubt that his wbc, platelets, rbc counts still have a long way to go but he sure seems better today.  

One day at a time! smiley4sp_hearticon2

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 August 2020 - 5:20 pm
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Yes, exactly, paper plates won’t have the smells of previous food or medication on them. As you know, dogs have incredible noses and even if you run their bowl through the dishwasher they can still smell the old menu items. Let us know if it works! I hope today is a better day. Keep up the pawesome attitude!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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Schertz, TX
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4 August 2020 - 6:56 am
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Ok you’re way ahead of me Jerry!  I tried running his bowl through the dishwasher to get rid of any smells…didn’t work!

But it’s a fabulous Tuesday!  Last night Chance ate his regular food from HIS BOWL!  Same this morning!  His temp is stabilized and his energy is returning.  He even searched out his favorite toy this morning…something he usually does every morning, but hasn’t for the last week or so!  I’m still going to research better food alternatives though…something maybe a little more nutritious for him (and Kenya).

We have an appointment this afternoon for a CBC to check his bloodwork.  I really feel that it’s improved but the truth is in the results…I’m very optimistic.  Fingers crossed!

Like R’s mom, after the bloodwork I’ll have the discussion with his oncologist about continued chemo.  I’m still not sure if we’ll continue with chemo.  I want to do everything I can to fight any metastasis but I also don’t want him to go through this again!  I’m sure the dr will give me all the information I need to make an educated decision…and what’s best for Chance. 

Virginia




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4 August 2020 - 8:55 am
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THRILLED TO HEAR HOW WELL CHANCE IS DOING!!!  YAAAY!!😁😁😁

And I know Chance is thrilled to be Chance again!  The visual of him doing his morning routine to get his favorite toy again made my day!

Yes, we always try and live by the mantra here that it’s always about QUALITY!  It’s hard for us hoomans to make “quantity”fade into the background aometimes, but our dogs only want to feel good and be by our sides  and they have zero regard for number of days in the lives…..they just care about the amount of joy and happiness in their days😎

As Jerry said, there ate NO guarantees  with chemo anyway.  A big Neapolitan  Mastiff named Louie had a bad reaction after his second  chemo.  If I recall, his side effects, although bad, were as bad as what Chance had experienced.   Anyway, his hooman decided  not to risk  pursuing anymore chemo.  I believe  he got an additional year and a half after ,that (maybe closer to two??) of living life to the fullest!

I’m just sooooo happy that Chance is Chance again!!  Keep on rockin’ sweet boy!!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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4 August 2020 - 9:44 am
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Now THIS is super duper fabulous Tripawd Tuesday kinda news! I’m so happy to hear Chance is getting some of that zing back into his personality. Thank goodness! Save those appetite tips for some other day, Chance is back!

Yeah, I can’t blame you for questioning whether or not to continue with chemo. I would too. So few dogs have serious side effects and when it’s yours that does, it changes everything. I’m so sorry you guys went through this and hope that whatever you decide, Chance continues to have great days ahead of him with lots of joy and fun with Kenya and you.  Keep up that pawsitivity and you definitely can!

Let us know how this week goes. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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4 August 2020 - 7:00 pm
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I’m so glad to hear Chance is doing better!  I’ll be interested to hear what you guys end up deciding on chemo.  Such a debate.

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