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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I could sure use some advice right now so I’m coming here just like I did when my boy Cooper was first diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. Right now we are just 3 weeks short of one full year past surgery. I remember saying then “if I can just have him for just one more year I will be happy” well….as I’m sure you understand, there really is just never enough time. Making the decision to amputate was the hardest thing I have ever done but within a couple weeks he was back to his old personality. Both my vet and the Oncologist said we ABSOLUTELY did the best thing for him. He is just the happiest dog you would ever meet. I will be forever grateful for this group and the help and encouragement I received here. So everything has been going along wonderfully. Coop had the amputation, (front right) went thru Chemo with no side affects at all, and has been happy and healthy for this whole year. He did get very spoiled with homemade dog food, vitamins, supplements, massages, therapy treatments and his very favorite thing in the world…Swim Therapy. He is a golden retriever so swimming is his thing! His therapist loves him because all she has to do is throw the rubber chicken over and over for him to fetch. He can’t wait to get in the water and swims weekly for a full half hour. It’s really his happy time, and it was all thanks to this Tripawds organization that we even found his therapist. Anyway, a couple weeks ago his vet discovered a lump just under his lower jaw. He was hoping that it was maybe an infection in his salivary gland because he had just had xrays and his chest was clear. Dr. had never seen osteosarcoma move to this area but after doing a CT and biopsy that is exactly what it is, unfortunately. The Dr. says we can do Palliative radiation to try to shrink the tumor some and stop/reduce any pain, which may give him a little more time. Right now he doesn’t show any signs of pain. We are considering doing this. It would be 5 treatments for 5 consecutive days. My question is, has anyone done radiation and was there any draw backs to doing it? What was your experience? After having such a good year with him, I don’t want whatever time we have left spent with him feeling bad, but I also am not ready to give up on him. I was told that he might fell bad during treatment and maybe the following week but then should feel ok. By the way, he just turned 11 but is active, lean, and has very little issues with being a Tripawd. He goes up and down our stairs and a small hill in our backyard like they are nothing. We also fortunately have insurance that will cover most of the expenses. I appreciate any feedback/advice you can give me.
First, I’m soooo happy to hear that Cooper is just loving life and making the most of every day! Everything you are doing for him is so awesome, and to know that he’s just rockin’ life makes me soooo happy for you guys.
And of course I’m heartbroken to know about the latest diagnosis. Cancer AGGGH! I’m so sorry.
I have to make this quick because I’m stepping away for a bit, but it sounds like they are proposing stereotactic radiation therapy? If so, and your insurance is paying for it, it could be a no-brainer way to see if it can buy more quality time. Cooper’s sure got the attitude that can get him through the rounds of therapy.
We once met a pawesome dog at Colorado State who was going through SRT for a similar diagnosis, here’s a blog post we wrote about him. I believe he got another high quality year out of the treatment:
Thanks for responding so quickly Jerry. From reading the attached article I don’t believe it is the same procedure, as that article said that treatment was only done in Colorado and Florida. We feel he’s in good hands where he goes to at the Angel Care Cancer Center at California Veterinary Specialist in Carlsbad, CA. His Dr. Is Dr. Ogilvie who is quite experienced in the field all over the world. I will be content just being able to keep him comfortable and around a little longer if possible. I would love to hear if anyone has had any experiences with side effects. I also have read a little about CBD oil possibly helping with cancer. Wondering if you or anyone else have had any experience with that and if we could do that in addition to radiation.
Oh it IS the same treatment! When we wrote about Baron, SRT wasnt widely available but now it is. In fact Dr. Ogilvie treated Hazel, a Great Dane with osteosarcoma who wasn’t a good candidate for surgery. See:
You can ask him about her! And yes Cooper is in GREAT hands! Dr. O is terrific. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with him, and I’m also happy to connect you with Hazel’s humans if you’d like (they are in SoCal). As far as I recall Hazel didn’t have any side effect issues.
Regarding CBD, you definitely want to hold off on that until you talk to Dr. Ogilvie, since there are so many factors that influence the quality and effectiveness of CBD oil for dogs. We have some articles that can help you get started in your research:
By the way we do have members posts about stereotactic radiation therapy but you have to dig for the ones with details about how it went, like this: