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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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On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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16
30 September 2021 - 8:45 pm
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This is a terrific report! He handled the first treatment sooo well and I love that his sparkle came back. The acupuncture is icing on the cake, he is such a lucky dog! You are on the path that was meant to be for all of you, I can feel it in your words. What a relief for you guys.

Cancer is so weird in that it’s such a crappy diagnosis but if we are open to seeing the silver lining, we become even closer with our animals as we soak up their beauty and wisdom. Sam is an excellent teacher and he is so proud of you, his star students!

Thanks for the pup date, it made my day!

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

Member Since:
9 September 2021
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19 December 2021 - 7:40 pm
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Evening all. Its been a while since I last posted, which I think was just after Sam had his palliative radiotherapy treatment in late Sept/early Oct. We’ve been going on really well since and, whilst I kept meaning to pop over and let you all know, I’ve allowed myself to forget about the osteosarcoma to an extent and just enjoy the bonus time with Sam.

Sadly I feel that time may now be running out. Sam has gradually become less active, is losing his appetite and its hard to get his pain meds down him. A recent blood test showed his kidney and liver count are a little increased but nothing too major. His back legs/hips have been really bad due to arthritis, I guess the English damp winter is taking its toll. We’re doing what we can with physio, massage etc. but he struggles to stand for long before his back legs start to sink down. Walks have still been the highlight of his day but those have now become very slow and less fun for Sam.

The main thing I’m worried about now is his breathing, which has become more rapid this last week. I called the vet who suggested it could be the pain causing the rapid breathing, but he does it even in his sleep so I’m fearful that its the cancer in his lungs. We haven’t had any xrays and no chemo, just the radiotherapy.

I’m at that point of questioning whether the time is approaching where we have to let Sam go. He hasn’t been coughing but is the rapid breathing sometimes a sign of the cancer in the lungs? He’s not constantly panting, but does pant when we go out for a walk.

The awful thing is that, with it being Christmas, if he takes a downward turn it’s going to be difficult to get hold of a vet. They won’t do home visits due to covid and I can’t bear the thought of having to take him into the vet to say goodbye when the time comes, but I’m not going to have a choice. I just don’t know how soon it could be and how bad it gets at the end ūüôĀ

A part of me wondered if its too late to try chemo but I think everything has just become too much for him. He’s 14, he hardly has any muscle in his back legs due to wastage, his back and hips cause him pain and now he’s losing his appetite. I just wish I knew when enough is enough. He’s normally very stoic so seeing him plodding so slowly and not eating is so sad ūüôĀ

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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19 December 2021 - 9:24 pm
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This is always such a heartbreak as we try and figure out what’s best for our pups.¬† ¬†I know I can speak for everyone here, as well as all the professionals who have helped guide you……you have done EVERYTHING possible to give Sam THE best life any dog could ever hope to have!!¬† Especially¬† the care you have given him these past several months knows no limits.¬† You have NOTHING to second guess. . That is sooo clear to us on the outside looking in.

I know all too well the agony and uncertainty¬† of wanting to “time the release” in a way that is not too late, not too early and can be done at home.¬† Ugh!¬† I can tell you on ocassion I felt like I did “it” a little too soon just so I could have the certainty¬† of a home visit.¬† Also, I have felt like I did “it” a bit too late¬† just so I could avoid the Vet and have it done st home.¬† And yes, there does come a little relief in doing “it” a day too soon rather than a day too late.

One thing my Vet told me was that of  a dog starts feeling miserable, he could care less whether he was at the Vet or not.  Jist wants his owner with him and not focused on whether he is at home or at the Vet as long as his owner is by his side.

Now, all that said, a couple of suggestions.¬† Are you jn a position you could have your regular Vet assess how Sam is doing as far as any potential for an upcoming crises…or not?¬† It shouldn’t¬† require anything invasive…. maybe just listening to his lungs, heart, etc.¬† Don’t¬† even need to do bloodwork.

In my own Happy Hannah’s¬† experience¬† (and she did have long mets), it wasn’t¬† necessarily¬† anything “painful”….maybe uncomfortable at times, but not really painful. Never lost her appetite but did tire cery easily.¬† ¬†She did have different pattern. In breathing sometimes.¬† I did find that a dose of a pain med seemed to help just to sort of help her settle down.

One thing you can suggest to your Vet is Prednisone.   It helps reduce inflammation in the lungs IF there is a met, PLUS it can help increase the appetite. .

Sam is in the sunset of his earth journey.¬† While still being Sam, it appears he is slowly and willingly¬† letting go of being the Sam he used to be. Ues, the scales are starting to tip out of¬† his favor.¬† But that has a lot to do with being an amazing¬† 14 yr old senior.¬† I do feel like their are other “comfort” things that can be done to help uou get thrum the holidays, but I think your Vet has to ve part of that equation.¬†

You know Sam better than anyone on the Planet.¬† It boils down to can Sam still be Ssm, albeit a senior version, ..with adjustment¬† for age, arthritis, etc?¬† Does he still enjoy a short walk even though he tires easily?¬† Do you still get tail wags?¬† There are just so many little things that can still being joy to a sog with ‘issues”….it’s a matter of what they value the most. Sometimes¬† just laying in the sun and getting tummy rubs¬† ake a dog happy.¬†¬†

As silly as this sou ds, maybe you can sit quietly with Sam, try and “converse” on a Soul level, and ask for his guidance on how to move forward.¬†¬†

I have rambled and rambled trying to search for words of comfort….maybe some solutions….trying to search for some way to help guide you as you navigate thru this part of the journey.¬† All to no avail.

Surrounding  you with love and clarity

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie 

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!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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19
19 December 2021 - 10:22 pm
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Thanks for coming back to let us know how things are going, I know that wasn’t easy. I wish I had more wisdom to offer but honestly just can’t say it better than Sally did. Here’s some random thoughts though:

I like Sally’s idea to have your vet assess Sam. It’s so helpful to have a more neutral and professional opinion.¬†

Not sure if you’ve ever heard this quality of life example before, but the Penny Jar Method is a good way to gauge a pet’s quality of life. We did it for our Wyatt when his time was getting close, it was so helpful and really does help you know when enough is enough. Also, you may want to check out our blog post, “How to Prepare for Pet Loss Before It Happens,” to help you as much as Sam.

My heart is heavy knowing that you are in this place and time with Sam. It’s a tough spot to be in, and there are no easy answers when it’s up to you to make that decision for an animal you love so much. We always want to time the transition so that it’s not too soon or too late, and that is so difficult to find that “perfect” day because in our grief there really isn’t one. All we can do is not allow our animals to suffer. We were in this same situation with Jerry, when his time came. His lung mets were the cause of much of his discomfort from reduced lung capacity whenever he tried doing something. Although he wasn’t in pain from the lung mets, once they prevented him from doing things he loved most, we decided that was enough. I understand how you are feeling, and send many, many hugs to you and Sam.

We are here for you, you are not alone.

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

Member Since:
9 September 2021
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20 December 2021 - 5:35 pm
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Thank you so much for your words. They really help more than I can say.

I felt something had changed last night and I did feel, on a soul level (I love that phrasing, thank you) that he was ready. I was going to sleep downstairs with him but decided it wasn’t practical and today I was going to call his oncologist. However, Sam took matters into his own hands. When I came down this morning, he’d lost control of his bladder on his bed – first time. He refused a biscuit with such dismissiveness that I knew something was wrong. I persuaded him to get out of bed to go out for a wee and, bless him, he still tried to do what I asked – they are loyal to the absolute end. He crashed and collapsed onto the floor and there was no getting him up. His breathing was really laboured, eyes glazed and gums were white. I called the emergency vet and we went straight there. I travelled in the boot of the car with him and tried my best to calm him with our nightly massage routine.

Thankfully our usual vet was there and a quick assessment confirmed that, while he wasn’t sure exactly what was wrong, a lot of things were wrong and we all agreed it was the time. We had 10 mins with Sam alone first and I feel he calmed down, his eyes refocused and a bit of colour came back to his gums. It was so peaceful at the end.

They leave such a hole in your life, don’t they? I feel sure he’s here in the house somewhere and find myself glancing in his usual spots out of habit. Telling the kids to stop shouting so they don’t disturb him and checking his water bowl is full.

In such a crazy unsettled world with so much to juggle and worry about, Sam helped me to reconnect with myself and on every walk we had since his diagnosis, I was thankful for the time with him. I can look back with no guilt and no regret, and that’s in no small part to you guys in here, with the information and experience and support you offer to everyone, unconditionally and open-heartedly. I guess you took the love you had for your beloved friends and shared it with others going through similar pain. Thank you and much love for everything you do xx

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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21
20 December 2021 - 7:20 pm
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In tears, absolutely  in tears.  My tears are for you, for the hoomans. Not for Sam.    Sam could not have been more loved and he found joy in being able to be Sam well jnto his senior years.  These past few days were just a blink of an eye compared tonthe thousands  of happy times he had with you.

Sam did things his way and on his terms.  Wise dogs like Sam know when their earth mission is complete and have no hesitation avout leaving their earth clothes to reclaim their energy in a different form.

Sam knew (yes, on a “Soul level” because he is an enlightened¬† Soul) you were agonizing¬† on how to handle his transition.¬† ¬†He welcomed MIT while we hoomans fear it.¬† We want it to be “perfect” from a human perspective.

Sam loved you so much and was so jn Tina to uour emotions, he made the “decision ” for you.¬† He made it clear he was ready…no doubts…. no second guessing…. he was ready.¬† And he “arranged” it so you would be by his side.¬† He arranged it so you could see he relaxed jnto the knowing you would be okay and he could transition. He was surrounded by your love.¬† And being surrounded by your love was all the “home” he needed.

And in the middle of your grief, you were able to share some¬† heartfelt sentiments of how this community¬† has helped you.¬† We know¬† we can’t¬† take the grief¬† away, only time can lessen that.¬† But to know that somehow and in some small¬† way our experiences¬† shared help each other is what gives this community¬† a heartbeat.

Please know YOU have helped others by sharing Sam’s story.¬† The highs and the way you have understood and valued the dog he is….even as uou celebrate him ‘home”.today.

Sam will always be remembered  here.  Your love and devotion will always be remembered  here.   Seniors have a special little place in our hearts  and we are soooo privileged  to be able to travel this journey with you .

I know with certainty  Sam will connect with you.  Your grief might  be to heavy right now for him to get through, but he will definitely  connect with you jn a very Sam specific  way.

Surrounding you with Sam’s eternal light¬†

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie 

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!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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20 December 2021 - 10:08 pm
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Ohhhh my gosh. icon_cry My heart shattered when I saw this news, I’m so very sorry he got his angel wings so suddenly. Your update took a lot of courage. Thank you for letting us know.

What you described sounds remarkably similar to how our Jerry told us it was time, and my eyes are streaming tears knowing the kind of gut punch you went through. I wish I could help take that pain away.

In our pack, we say that there are no coincidences. We are right where we are supposed to be in every step we take in life. And you know what? Sam was where he was supposed to be today, too. And he made sure that you and the vet could also be together at just the right moment to help his spirit peacefully cross over and flow into eternity. He gave you such a gift to make that happen. I hope the way he orchestrated everything helps ease your heartache somewhat. Your sweet boy is always by your side, in one form or another.

At some point, if and when you are ready for a Coping with Loss tribute, we would be honored to celebrate Sam’s life with you. Until then, be good to yourself and know that you are on your own healing timeline. It’s OK to keep looking for him out of habit, to feel the loss. Grief is a process, and we are here for you throughout it and beyond. Yes, this community is how I honor my Tripawds lives, and it’s my honor to be there for you and others who need support. Thank you for the kind words.

 We send many, many hugs your way and are keeping a candle lit in our hearts for your sweet angel.sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2

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

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