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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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Sensitive stomach-plus, too much stress walking
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New Jersey
Forum Posts: 501
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27 December 2011
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18 August 2012 - 9:48 pm
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Hellolaughing Lily is 8 months post amp!!! So happy that we have this time with our girl. I do have two questions. 

Lily had 5 chemo treatments; the fifth one really hit her hard, so we didn’t do the sixth. We have been giving her K9 Immunity , Apocaps , arteminisin, fish oil, probiotic, and an immunity and bone supplement. She keeps getting diarrhea and had to go on sucralate. That has helped, but we stopped everything and have been slowly re-introducing each supplement to see what is bothering her. So… she can’t take the K-9 Immunity or the arteminisin. I feel like I’m not doing enough, but I don’t want her feeling badly (stomach). Any suggestions?? While we were doing chemo, I felt like we were being proactive. Same with the supplements. Now I keep feeling like I’m not doing enough to fight this.

The second question is this: Lily is a front leg amp and a greyhound (my beautiful warrior princess) When I take her for a short walk, she sounds like she is pounding so hard on the ground with her front leg, and her head goes so far down. it looks like it’s such an effort. Plus she is breathing so fast when we get back. It easier for her to run a short way with me-doesn’t seem so hard for her, but still out of breath. I got a Ruffwear harness last week and I was hoping this would help. I just want to make sure I’m using it correctly-I hold it to give her a lot of support when she’s walking. She is hesitating-I guess because it’s new?? Is there anything else I can use to help her not go down so far when she’s walking? It seems like I should be holding her closer to her neck instead of further back where the handle is.

Didn’t mean to be so long-just need some feedback, and you are all so wonderful with that.

Thanks so much,

Joan and Lily

Our beautiful Lily was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her front leg on 12/14/11 at age 8 and had amp on 12/16/11. She completed 5 rounds of carbo. She was so brave and kicked cancer's butt daily! She lived life fully for 4 years, 3 months, and 15 days after her amp. My angel is a warrior princess. I miss her so much.

San Diego, CA
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18 August 2012 - 10:45 pm
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It’s hard to feel like you’re not doing “enough.” I’m afraid I don’t really have any advice there though. I think it’s just common to feel that way. I guess if she can’t take the artemisinin (which surprises me a little as stomach trouble is not a common side effect as far as I ever read), have you talked to your onc/vet about MP (metronomic protocol). It’s easier on the system than IV chemo.

As for the harness, I don’t know about using it for walks. I think most folks just use it for helping their pups up and down, in and out of the car, that sort of thing. If some have used it for walks maybe they’ll chime in.

Is there a place where you can walk her offleash on softer ground/dirt? A park or something? Our Abby did WAY better at the beach off leash than she did on the sidewalks on leash. She could run (much easier for a front leg amp than walking) and then stop and rest and wait for me to catch up.

Hope that helps. No worries about being “long”. We’ve been there too!
Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

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!

krun15
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18 August 2012 - 11:25 pm
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Are you walking her, or letting her go at her own pace? All the front leggers I know do so much better going fast. If you are holding her harness you might be making her go slower than is most comfortable for her. Maggie was a rear legger, but she did better at a trot than a walk too. She was little, but I still had to walk pretty quickly to keep up.
I understand what you mean by not feeling you are doing enough. Because of several health issues I could not treat Maggie’s second cancer at all- and when it was first diagnosed it seemed sort of like I wasn’t trying hard enough- you know what I mean? All I could do is make her life the best it could be…and that was enough.

Karen and the pugapalooza

El Dorado Hills, CA
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19 August 2012 - 10:15 am
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Joan, 

Lily is a beautiful girl and it sounds like you are doing a great job with your care of her.  I have a Jack Russell and she is a rear amp so a little hard to compare the gait issue. I can relate as far as the stomach issues.  Rizzo has a VERY touchy stomach and always has(even before the cancer).  Did Lily have a touchy stomach before?  We stopped chemo after round number 5 as her liver failed.  She was perfectly fine before the 5th chemo but it is a cumulative process and that number five did her in.  I thought we might lose her but she made it through.  We discontinued all chemo or treatments at that point as we felt we wanted her days ahead to be about feeling good and living large.  

 

Every once in awhile I think I should be doing more or something else treatment-wise, but then I think about close I came to losing her from the chemo and how lousy she felt then, and it reaffirms my belief that we have done all we can and now we are letting her live.  Don’t get me wrong, we have gone to the vet to get some check ups to see where we stand cancer-wise and she has a pain control regimen in place as I never want her to be uncomfortable.  

It’s a tight rope we all walk when it comes to these stages.  

 

You feel like you are not doing enough to me is not true.  I think you have done and are doing all you can for your girl.  I wish I help you on the walks issue, I think Jackie did up above.  Give your Lily a snuggle for me.

 

All our Best

Suzie and TWP Rizzo

Jack Russell born in 2001. Mast cell cancer found Dec 2009 and right rear amputation. Five rounds of chemo done before all treatment stopped. Living life to the fullest!! Read my story at http://rizzo.tripawds.com

New Jersey
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19 August 2012 - 10:25 am
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Thanks so much!! I do let her run (me with her and my bad foot) and she does do so much better-easier for her. I do have her on-leash as she’s a greyhound and has never been off leash except in the backyard:) It’s just afterwards she breathes so fast for so long and that worries me. She eventually calms down, but takes an hour or two sometimes. Granted, it’s been soooo hot. We’ve only been going about 1/2 a block and back.

You’re so right about about letting her life be the best it can be–even before this illness, Lily spent almost all her time sleeping. She ‘s a greyhound-45 mile per hour couch potato! She has always done short sprints and then collapsed. I think, no I, know that I have her under a microscope. 

Thank you both for reminding me about front leg amps-they do so much better when they are going faster, now, if I can just keep uplaughing

What would we ever do without Tripawds??

Thanks again,

Joan and “the couch potato”

Our beautiful Lily was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her front leg on 12/14/11 at age 8 and had amp on 12/16/11. She completed 5 rounds of carbo. She was so brave and kicked cancer's butt daily! She lived life fully for 4 years, 3 months, and 15 days after her amp. My angel is a warrior princess. I miss her so much.

krun15
6
19 August 2012 - 4:59 pm
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Joan,
Your bad foot made me smile (sorry!), it reminded me of a time when I was hobbling. I had a pretty rigorous knee surgery during Maggie’s Tri-pug days, the several weeks on crutches kind. Maggie set my rehab goal…it took 6 months but I could finally walk farther than a 10 year old, 3 legged pug!

Karen and the pugapalooza

dukez
7
19 August 2012 - 5:00 pm
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Hey fellow greyhound pawrent – Duke has always had issues with diarrhea. When I first got him we had to take some extreme measures (I forget what the stuff was called) because we just couldn’t get it under control. I changed his diet then and it got some better, but things were still very loose. The big D is actually very common in greys, so common it is being researched at OSU.

But, the Pres of the rescue where I got Duke recommended Psyllium husk to me a while ago. It helped immensely. If you are in Trader Joe’s country they have one called “The Secrets of the Psyllium” which is what she recommended and what I’ve used with Duke for a long time now. It is like Metamucil for people except with no additives. I just mix one heaping teaspoon full in his food, in which I mix some water, and he eats it with no problem.

BUT – when I saw the second onco for another opinion she recommended Rx Vitamins Nutrigest and that is a wonder drug! I’ve got him switched over to all grain-free now and there were no bouts of diarrhea along the way. If you knew Duke, you would know that is amazing. Plus, he has been on antibiotics for over 2 months now also. Anyway, I highly recommend the Rx Vitamins Nutrigest but you do have to get it from a vet. He is doing so well I keep forgetting to give him the Psyllium, something that never would have happened before.

Oh, and he didn’t do well on the K-9 Immunity either (and one vet said the hype for that was amazing but there was little scientific data to support it’s claims). But, he is tolerating the Power Mushrooms just fine which, I believe, serve much the same purpose.

As for the winded thing – Duke is the same and it scares me too. And he goes fast much better than slow and is a rear amp. But, he would run around the back yard in circles pre-amp and come in winded so I try not to worry too much. He doesn’t do the circles anymore. sad It is hard not to worry. My brain goes to lung mets but I try to reel it in.

Lastly, as for not doing enough? Boy, do I hear you on that. We had to stop after chemo 3 and since then all I can do is go grain-free and hope for the best. I’m probably going to add the Arte now that we have the grain-free change under control. His wound is still healing so we can’t do anything much more than that yet.

Good luck with Lily. Hope her tum gets to feeling better soon. (Seriously – try the Rx Vitamins Nutrigest. And, no, this isn’t a paid advertisement! winker)

New Jersey
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19 August 2012 - 9:56 pm
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Such a relief to be here with all of you–thank you so much for all your wisdom. I’m thinking about a longer leash so I can keep up with our “runs”. Lily has not always had as sensitive a stomach as she has now. Interesting to know that the greyhound D is being researched at OSU! I will be on the phone tomorrow for the Rx Vitamins Nutrigest-thanks for the recommendation! Also, I think I can get the Power Mushrooms at the pet health food store we go to. Lily used to do laps in the yard-but no more:( I used to love to watch that, and our other dog would freeze in the middle of the yard so he wouldn’t get run overbig-grin The lung mets are exactly what I am thinking with the heavy panting-why can’t I remember if she panted this heavily before?

Maybe I’ll try the arteminisin again if we can get the stomach under control. I do think grain free and low carb is important.  She tolerates her food, but I just have to watch when I make any additions to her diet. 

I feel better just hearing from all of you-seems like we all go thru such similar experiences. Thanks again. Please give your furbabies a snuggle from Lily and me.

Walking the tightrope, but not alonesmiley

Joan and Lily

Our beautiful Lily was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her front leg on 12/14/11 at age 8 and had amp on 12/16/11. She completed 5 rounds of carbo. She was so brave and kicked cancer's butt daily! She lived life fully for 4 years, 3 months, and 15 days after her amp. My angel is a warrior princess. I miss her so much.

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 August 2012 - 8:45 am
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You’re definitely not alone, lots of folks have the same shared experiences here. 

When it comes to the Ruff Wear harness , it is designed to be used with a leash by connecting it to the harness with the metal “D” ring. It’s far easier on the dog to connect the leash on the ring than the collar, because it’s less stress on their neck. Also, dogs are strongest in the neck area, which means they can pull you a lot harder when they’re walking. 

I don’t advise hanging onto the harness with your hand when you are walking. I agree that a pace like that might be too uncomfortable for her. Also when it comes to panting, remember, Tripawds are putting a lot of more energy work when going on walks, and it can be tiring, especially for newer amputees and ones of advanced ages. A lot of people think lung mets right away, but usually that’s not the case. The dog is just tired from moving about on three legs. Try not to worry, usually that panting is nothing more than a sign that they are tired (and a good indication to take it easier and go on shorter walks if it keeps up).

As for not doing enough. Oh gosh even with all the money in the world and the most perfect digestive systems, it never seems like enough. Do what you can do and roll with the rest of it. Your happiness is all that Lily wants, so put those worries aside and focus on how good she feels now, and the good times it’s bringing.

Hope this helps!

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21 August 2012 - 10:30 am
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Hi! My Penny is a rear leg amp, but she really likes more to run than to walk slowly. Hope the diarrhea will get better soon. I was thinking of giving these “good” bacterias Lactobacillus acidophilus, bulgaricus, Bifidobacterium animalis and so on, but I red you have given probiotic, and that is about the same isn’t it? Wish you the best to your beautiful Lily! Hugs from us! /Gunilla, Penny and Wilbur

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