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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26 December 2009
When our girl was diagnosed with OS our initial treatment was going to be palliative. Then we weighed the odds with breakage and decided to go the amputation route. Again, initially we decided no chemo... but we were swayed by the positive results and minimal side effects and so my husband and I decided to try at least one round to see how she faired. So..it's hard for me to say I have regrets because we thoroughly researched and believed that we are doing the best thing for our girl.... HOWEVER chemo did NOT turn out well for us.
Sandy is a 13 year old golden retriever. She had her left front leg amputated Jan 5, 2010 and started chemo on Jan 19. She was given carboplatin. 4 days post chemo she had mild diarrhea which she got through no problem. She had her CBC checked at day 10 and it was great. We were very happy with how well she appeared to come through her first round of chemo and were getting ready for the next.
...then yesterday, Feb 3, 14 days post initial chemo, she crashed. Her temperature soared, she had major diarrhea, nausea and wouldn't eat. I brought her to the emergency hospital and she is there as I write this post. Not much change in 24 hours. She is in ICU and although stable, very concerning. Her white blood cell count is zero and she has a raging infection and there is concern about sepsis. They believe she may have pneumonia. There are many other details about heart, blood pressure, plateletts... but I'm exhausted...
I am lucky to live in an area that has a teaching hospital so I know the care and expertise are second to none, and I am trying to be positive.
Chemo does carry risks and if you happen to fall within those few with major consequences, all the positive results don't really matter. In the end, you can only do what you believe is best for both you and your furkid and hope for the very best.
Regret is tough to say because no one holds a crystal ball (if you do have one though I'd like to borrow it). Perhaps it is more about coming to terms with an unfortunate outcome of a well intended path of care and treatment.
Rosemary and Sandy
Rosemary and Sandy: 13 year old Golden Retriever. Diagnosed OS Left Front Leg Dec 22, 2009; Amputation Jan 5, 2010; Chemo Jan 19, 2010
20 May 2009
Rosemary and Sandy,
I started a forum to you letting you know how sorry I am that things are happening the way they are. I am praying that things improve very quickly and Sandy is herself very vey soon.
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.
I started a forum to you letting you know how sorry I am...
Thank you for your spreading the love. Here's a link to the topic you started, we have moved it to the Shout Outs forum.
Annyone reading this topic may be interested in Dr. Patty Khuly's recent Fully Vetted blog post discussing chemotherapy for pets...
Admin referenced this thread in another recent forum post and I remember how useful it was to us when we were making the chemo decision. I thougt maybe we could refresh the information since the posts are from over a year ago. So here goes, c'mon members, feel free to chime in:
Tate was diagnosed with histiocytic sarcoma last February. The cancer was in his hip joint with lysis in the surrounding bone. Nothing appeared odd about the lymph nodes; they didn't take any out with the amp which was a disappointment because with this cancer, localized vs. disseminated is the key. Anyway, clean x-ray, clean abdominal ultrasound, 4 years old, no other health issues and this cancer is very aggressive so we decided to do chemo. The plan was 4 rounds of CCNU, 6 if he'd tolerate them. We started 3 weeks after his amp, pills we gave him at home.
No issues to speak of after the first 2 treatments but then he was sick after the third…details are in his blog. It wasn't clear at that time if it was from the chemo, there was so much else going on. But after his fourth (reduced) dose, he had milder symptoms so it seems it was a side effect. We stopped after that. He had another chest x-ray after the third and it was clean.
Now he's on metronomics, cytoxan. We considered palladia but decided against it because of potential side effects.
Regrets – none. I don't know how Tate would be doing without chemo but we've done everything we can afford and he's in a good place right now.
August 16, 2006 to November 28, 2011
TATE ~ Forever in our hearts.
22 August 2011
Cadence is 9 days past her first chemo treatment (carboplatin) and so far no side effects. I feel like I am waiting for the ball to drop after reading these stories where some dogs do not have any effects until later on, sometimes 14 days after!!! When should we do the post chemo bloodwork? Is that 7 to 10 days after the treatment? Can they see anything else from that blood-work, like if it has spread? This is nervewracking. We were going to decide not to do any more chemo after we get done with the prescribed 6 rounds but it seems that the metromonics (sp?) after the carboplatin might be a good idea if she has no mesastatis. Thoughts?
Cadence Faye: Born 10/30/04, stepped into our hearts 12/23/2004. Rear leg tumor found 7/24/11 by mom and dad, Xray on 7/25/11, Osteosarcoma suspected 7/26/11, amputation 7/29/11, Carboplatin started 8/23. Met free so far!
29 October 2010
Abby did very well on 6 rounds of Carbo - she threw up only a handful of times over the 6 rounds. Her appetite was fine during the whole thing, although we did have to play "Guess What The Dog Will Eat" after each treatment and it was always something different. Towards the end of the treatments... maybe about the 5th round, it started to affect her energy level and she got VERY tired on walks, but she bounced back quickly after the final treatment.
Not sure about doing MP (metronomic protocol) if she has no mets once the carbo is done. I believe others have done that. We did MP right away (Palladia and Cytoxan at first, then just Cytoxan) because she had a met in her lungs. Some of this info is in my sig below and you can go back on her more detailed blog if you want to see more about how she did on the carbo and MP.
It's my opinion that the MP helps. I think the mets would be more plentiful/larger if we had done nothing. We hope they are buying us good time.
As for blood work, our onc always just did it before each subsequent carbo treatment, to make sure the white cell count was OK to do that day's treatment. I don't believe they can tell if the cancer has spread from a blood test - but I could be wrong. Abby also gets her blood checked every month now w/ the Cytoxan to make sure her kidneys are functioning ok. (So far her blood work is always perfect.)
Hope that helps.
As for the main topic of this post... I have no regrets with doing chemo. I think it is buying us extra time with our girl. We are doing what I call a "halflistic" approach with MP and some hollistic supplements as well. I just wish we had started the hollistic stuff a bit sooner - but then, we couldn't have really since we tried the Palladia, and Palladia and artemisinin are not supposed to be given together. We are doing our best and she's hung in there quite well for 10 months now. Hopefully we get many more months!
Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!
The oncologist told us they couldn't tell anything about cancer presence or spread from the bloodwork. They used to check my sister's blood for tumor markers so I asked Tate's onc about that but he said they just don't know enough yet to be able to do it for dogs.
August 16, 2006 to November 28, 2011
TATE ~ Forever in our hearts.
I asked Tate's onc about that but he said they just don't know enough yet to be able to do it for dogs.
Ah, thanks for the memory jolt, you reminded me of Oncopets, a group who is working on exactly that.
15 March 2011
We don't have any regrets on chemo. Sammy was sick days 2-4 after chemo...we also did the "what will he eat" game starting at day 4. Although he developed mets immediately following chemo, we still have no regrets because we feel it's still been keeping the cancer at bay. We started metronomics following his chemo which we had decided to do before we learned of the mets. We had his blood checked 10 days after his first round of chemo but then, because there were no issues, we had it done at the same time as chemo for the remaining treatments. I know it's nerve wracking but try not to worry too much - I know, much harder to do than say! You've come so far already - Cadence will do great!
20 August 2011
It seems like nearly all of the dogs for chemo in this post had bone cancer except for one with a mast cell tumor. Has anyone done chemo for a soft tissue sarcoma? Spencer is 1 week post amp (and kicking butt) due to a large, level 3 fibrosarcoma. One of the vets at our clinic has told me that generally fibrosarcomas 1) don't spread and 2) don't respond to chemo. However they also generally are not aggressive or level 3 tumors... so who know with Spencer's.
The lymph nodes came back clean. They say the main concern is it coming back locally.
The other vet is talking with an oncologist about Spencer. I hope to talk to him tomorrow.
Anyway, I'm just looking for information on anyone who has chosen either to do or not do chemo for a fibrosarcoma.
Jac and Angel Spencer. Spencer was 5.25 years old. He fought a grade 3 fibrosarcoma, started on his shoulder. Left front leg amputated in August 2011. 15 weeks of chemo finished 12/22/11 (mytox and adria). Lung mets found on x-rays 12/28/11. Started carboplatin 1/6/12. Went to Heaven on 2/27/12. I miss him like crazy every day. See his blog here: http://spencer.tripawds.com/