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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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Razbeg the Tripawd Borzoi
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Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
7 December 2018
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7 December 2018 - 1:00 pm
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Hello,

I’ve been browsing this forum for quite some time now and I’m very grateful it exists. I’ve found it very useful & comforting during the last couple months. However, I’ve been so overwhelmed by our situation that I didn’t manage to write about my beloved Razbeg until now.

My boy Razbeg is 9-years old borzoi. I adopted him from Russia when he had 2 years (we live in Finland, btw). I don’t know much about his past, but I do know that his previous owners didn’t take good care of him. However, he has been very healthy all these years, until this September when he was diagnosed with bone tumour in his front right leg. It was a huge shock because everything happened so suddenly. One day I noticed his leg seemed to be a little bit sore and the next day he already limped visibly and there was a swollen area in the leg, but otherwise he was just as his usual self. I took him to the vet immediately. The doctor naturally suspected osteosarcoma and the x-rays confirmed that there was a tumour in the leg. As there were no visible mets in the lungs the vet gave the choices, either an amputation with or without chemo or a very short life with strong pain killers. I have been following the work of many rescue organisations & I have seen stories of many tripawds who have lived perfectly happy life with three legs and I even have met some tripawds. Because of this the amputation as such was not a shocking idea to me, but I was worried because Razbeg already has one toe amputated from the healthy front leg (due to running accident) and his front legs are slightly bowed (perhaps he was not fed properly as a puppy). However the vet, an orthopedic specialist, assured me that Razbeg would do fine on three legs and I was happy to hear this, because I was not ready to give up on him and wanted to fight for him. The leg was amputated couple of days after the diagnose.

Everything went well with the surgery but few days after a necrotized area appeared into his skin just beside the surgery wound. All the dead tissue had to be removed, of course, so my boy had to endure another surgery soon after the amputation. Luckily the second one went well also, but there were cavities in the wound and it had to be treated as open wound. It has taken time to heal and actually it is still open, although it is very small now and hopefully will close soon. However, because of the wound we haven’t been able to start the chemo although it’s more than two months from the amputation. Understandably I have been very worried because of this, but while waiting I got the results from the biopsy and it eased my anxiety somewhat, as according to it Razbeg had a fibrosarcoma and not osteosarcoma in his leg. Of course, fibrosarcoma is malignant tumour as well, but usually not as metastasizing as osteosarcoma. I did read, however, that osteosarcoma has a fibroblastic variant which sometimes is wrongly diagnosed as fibrosarcoma, so I have still been fretting.

Luckily Razbeg has recovered very well, he moves fantastically with three legs and every way he is his usual happy self. Because I have been worried for not been able to start the chemo we recently went to the vet to check out the current situation. We did the x-rays again as well as ultrasound for abdominal area and also blood and urine tests. Nothing suspicious was found and everything seems to be ok, so I’m cautiously optimistic. We are still expecting a second opinion from the biopsy, however, because the first pathologist didn’t give any grading for the tumour and our oncologist recommended to have another report made. Of course, it would be important to know the grading in order to have a realistic prognosis and to plan the future treatment. At the moment all we can do is to wait. Next week we have an appointment with physiotherapist, too.

I hope I posted this under the right topic as we still are in the middle of recovery. I’m just so happy I can share our story with others who have been in the same situation, so thank you for this community to exist heart

Razbeg the rescue borzoi (born in 11.06.2009) became a tripawd in 20.09.2018.

He and his adopted "brother" Myrsky have their own facebook page:Razbeg & Myrsky

Here and Now


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7 December 2018 - 1:13 pm
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Welcome, and best wishes for Razbeg! Thank you for sharing his treatment and recovery details.

Chemotherapy is always optional, and you’re off to a great start by scheduling a rehab appointment.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation. Meanwhile, start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs.

Virginia




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8 December 2018 - 10:41 pm
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I was riveted  to every word as I read about your beautiful   Razbeg.  Not only is he a Warrior, he is absolutely  stunning!

So glad Razbed is thoroughly  enjoying  being Razbeg again!  And really glad all his tests came back looking good!!

There are no guarantees with chemo one way or another.  Some do very well without it, some don’t .  Sone do very well it, some don’t. I know that doesn’t  help much when you’ve  planned to do chemo.

Really glad things have “normalized” enough where you were able to share this handsome  boy with us.  And give yourself  a pat on the back for doing an EXCELLENT job of caring for him and watching over him so well.  

Keep us posted.  As you can see, we are here with you!  We look forward to celebrating  all the victories Razbeg has coming his way!!

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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9 December 2018 - 12:32 pm
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I thank you for your kind words & good advices.

I used the Advanced Search to find other fibrosarcoma cases & found interesting discussions, but I would still have a couple of questions for other pawrents of fibrosarcoma patients.  Have you done chemo? Chemotherapy indeed is optional and to my understanding especially with fibrosarcoma the amputation is sometimes considered sufficient treatment, but on the other hand, there’s no guarantees that it couldn’t metastasize. Of course, there’s no guarantees with chemo, either.  At the moment I’m inclined to go through the chemotherapy so that I can be sure I’ve done everything possible to improve my boy’s chances, but I would still like to hear experiences of others.

Our oncologist also told me that some dogs seem to have a tendency to develop fibrosarcomas and in some cases new tumours without any connection to the previous one have later occurred in some other part of the body. I’m just wondering if this is common, or are there fibrosarcoma survivors who have lived years without recurrence of the disease?

I’m most grateful if you can answer my questions.

Razbeg the rescue borzoi (born in 11.06.2009) became a tripawd in 20.09.2018.

He and his adopted "brother" Myrsky have their own facebook page:Razbeg & Myrsky

Virginia




Forum Posts: 17800
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9 December 2018 - 5:06 pm
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Others will chime in with feedback specific  to your questions.   I just had to pop in and tell you how mich I love Razbeg’s avatar  photo!   He is such a handsome 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!

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9 December 2018 - 5:48 pm
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Your Razbeg is such a handsome boy!  

My Sketch, blue merle sheltie, had fibrosarcoma in his femur bone and underwent full back leg amputation surgery 3 years and 2 months ago.  X-rays before his surgery detected no mets and our vet was optimistic because his cancer was fibrosarcoma, with no sign of spread, that with amputation of the leg our Sketchie had an excellent chance of living out a full life span.  He didn’t recommend chemo and so we chose not to do chemo.  Sketch does have fairly severe arthritis developing in his remaining back leg, probably in part due to the extra weight/work on that leg, but otherwise he is doing great with no sign of any return of the cancer.  The arthritis has rendered that remaining leg less stable and just last month I had him fitted for a custom leg brace to use during our icy winters so that if he does slip badly there would be no chance of his tearing the ACL in that leg.  The last 3+ years have been wonderful and we are blessed to have had such a good outcome.  Sketch will celebrate his 11th birthday soon…he is a happy boy.

I don’t think there is a right or wrong choice in reference to chemo.  You need to go with whatever gives you peace of mind.  

My best wishes to you and your big boy! 

Sketch and Mom

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16 December 2018 - 11:45 am
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Thank you for your answers & comments!

So happy to hear that gorgeous Sketch is doing great. I wish him happy 11th birthday!

We visited the physiotherapist earlier this week & got good rehab tips. Razbeg has little bit of muscle stiffness in his left rear leg (it has compensated for the missing right front leg), but otherwise he is in pretty good shape. I have given him massages regularly even before the amputation & will continue to do so.

Razbeg the rescue borzoi (born in 11.06.2009) became a tripawd in 20.09.2018.

He and his adopted "brother" Myrsky have their own facebook page:Razbeg & Myrsky

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16 June 2019 - 8:46 am
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It has been quite a while since I last wrote here, but I thought I might share our latest news. I have found it very helpful to read stories of others so maybe ours will help someone in turn.

As a reminder, last time I wrote it was two months from Razbeg’s amputation and according to pathology report he had fibrosarcoma, but we were waiting another pathology report. We had just done x-rays of lungs and ultrasound for abdominal area and there were no traces of metastases. I was pondering whether to do chemo or not, but as Razbeg still had an open wound it was not possible to start chemo yet although I would have decided to do so.

Well, after that we got results of another pathology report and unfortunately they thought it was fibroblastic osteosarcoma rather than fibrosarcoma. That was exactly what I had feared, since I had read that sometimes fibroblastic osteosarcoma is mistaken for fibrosarcoma. Our oncologist strongly recommended chemotherapy since osteosarcoma was now suspected. It was already 4 months from amputation when we finally started chemo, but the x-rays were taken again, and everything still looked good.

All in all, Razbeg had 4 rounds of carboplatin. He didn’t have any side effects, but his blood levels dropped every time so that the treatment could only be given every 4rth week instead of planned 3-week cycle. Last time his lungs were x-rayed once again, and everything continued to be ok.

After that we had three options: either we could have two more rounds of carboplatin (our oncologist said there is no evidence that 6 was any more efficient than 4), or we could do nothing and just follow the situation, or we could start giving cyclophosphamide at home. I chose the cyclophosphamide-option, as doing nothing didn’t feel good and as I thought that maybe using different drugs could be more effective than just having couple rounds more of carboplatin. At the moment Razbeg has only had his first dose of cyclophosphamide so I don’t know yet how it will suit him. After a month we will have a check up at the vets (if everything goes well and there is no urgent need to go earlier).

I naturally hope that Razbeg will live as long as possible but I’m already so grateful and so pleased because I know I made the right decision when I decided we will go through the treatments. Razbeg has adapted to life on three legs perfectly, has been happy and he had his 10th birthday last week. Next week he will have his 9 months ampuversary.  It was such a dark and sad period of our life when he was diagnosed with this awful disease, so now I’m unspeakably happy that he is still here, enjoying his life and being the same lovely personality he always has been.

Razbeg the rescue borzoi (born in 11.06.2009) became a tripawd in 20.09.2018.

He and his adopted "brother" Myrsky have their own facebook page:Razbeg & Myrsky

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 June 2019 - 5:44 pm
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YEAY! Hoppy birthday and ampuversary Razbeg! Wow two milestones like this are a BIG DEAL! 

Thank you for taking time to share what’s happened since you posted. Yes, people do want to know what happened, especially when there is an uncertain diagnosis from the beginning. I’m so glad that you have a good oncology team working with you and Razbeg. Low WBCs aren’t uncommon but it is so tough going through the ups and downs. Congrats to you too for handling the situation as well as he did!

Sounds like the oncologist put him on metronomics ? Is he taking anything else besides the cyclophosphamide? I’m curious about the protocol they gave you, is it cyclophosphamide every day or every other day? The vet did warn you about making sure he urinates throughout the day right? At least on days he takes the chemo. That’s so it doesn’t sit in his bladder too long.

Sooo happy to hear you are out of the dark place in your life and back into the brilliant light Razbeg shines on the world!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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17 June 2019 - 8:07 am
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Thank you for your kind words!

Yes, Razbeg’s on metronomics . He gets one capsule daily, and also diuretic medicine to prevent hemorrhagic cystitis. The vet adviced me to add water in his food and I must check his urine for blood weekly with test strips. I also give him watermelon, cucumber, green beans etc., since they contain lot of water & have other health benefits, too. I’m still a bit worried about hemorrhagic cystitis, but from what I’ve understood, most dogs tolerate cyclophosphamide pretty well, and at least we should be able to detect possible problems early, since I test his urine every week.

Razbeg the rescue borzoi (born in 11.06.2009) became a tripawd in 20.09.2018.

He and his adopted "brother" Myrsky have their own facebook page:Razbeg & Myrsky

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25602
Member Since:
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17 June 2019 - 8:53 am
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Oh I love your vet! Adding the diuretic is a good idea and the urine test strips are pawesome. Also, including the extra watery foods in his diet is a fantastic idea, I haven’t heard anyone mention that in all the time we’ve been writing about metronomic chemo. You are on it! 

Our Jerry tolerated the cyclo very well, most dogs will and boy dogs handle it especially well. You and Razbeg have got this handled 🙂

Keep us posted and if you ever feel like sharing photos or videos of your boy we would love to see them! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 17800
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19 June 2019 - 6:23 pm
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WOW!!!!   SO MUCH TO CELEBRATE!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAZBEG!!!!!!!!😁😁😁😁😁

HAPPY NINE MONTH AMPUVERSARY!!!!!!!😁😁😁😁😁

Ice cream and cake for eceryone!!- 🍨🍧🍰🎂🎂

And yes, you said it so well.  What starts out as a very dark time, translates into an unspeakably  happu rime qhen we learn to celebrate  the gift of NOW; the gift of treasuring  every moment we have with our furbavies and not wasting  time worrying  about the tomorrows!!

Good job of BEING MORE DOG!! BEING MORE RAZBERG😎😎

Thanks for the update, as well as for sharing  some good information!

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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21 June 2019 - 9:14 am
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Thank yousp_hearticon2 So very true: the most important thing is to live in the moment.

I tried to add a video of Razbeg on his birthday but couldn’t manage to do that. The video is on Facebook & public but apparently doesn’t work here. I must read the instructions better & try some other time.

Razbeg the rescue borzoi (born in 11.06.2009) became a tripawd in 20.09.2018.

He and his adopted "brother" Myrsky have their own facebook page:Razbeg & Myrsky

Virginia




Forum Posts: 17800
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21 June 2019 - 9:47 am
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Okay, just for grins, this is how you do it in a tavlet.  A real techie will come by and tell you the way to do it if you have a real compiter😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

If you put it on YouTubr and then go to the URL link… tap it…..hit ‘select all”….then hit “copy”.   Come back to your forum thread and tap screen.  When “paste” shows up, your video should be copied into the thread.

Looking forward to seeing it!!!

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!

Here and Now


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21 June 2019 - 9:55 am
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sighthoundmom said
The video is on Facebook & public but apparently doesn’t work here… 

The Faceborg does not play nice when it come to third-party embedding. They strive to keep everyone watching on Facebook.

Post the video on Youtube or Vimeo, and you can paste the Share link to have the movie auto-embed in your forum post.

Otherwise, past the public Facebook link, and only those with FB accounts will be able to view it by clicking the link and visiting Facebook.

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