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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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six days after rear leg amp and getting worse--update: VERY HAPPY-GREAT DECISION
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New Haven, CT
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6 March 2013 - 11:29 am
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Wow.  Um.  I find it incredibly hard to imagine that the “cancer ate the sample.”  I am no oncologist, but I simply cannot believe that exposed to ambient temperatures, air, no blood supply, etc that the cancer would remain active once it’s been biopsied.  I find it much more likely there is a breakdown in communication between your onco and whoever did the pathology.  Either the samples weren’t sent. Or they were lost.  Or they were sent, but no analyses done.

To that point, I don’t think anyone has really answered the question of: does it really matter with osteosarcoma if the amputated lymph node was involved?  Anyone?  I will be asking my onco this, so at least I’ll get that answer – but not for a week or so.

I know things are really, really hard for you.  I think b/c Hannah is so big and you’re so upset, recovery is taking longer.  That’s OK!  The BEST news is that the pain she would have felt (more!) from the tumor is gone and won’t return.  I know her quality of life now is subpar and worse than prior to the Sx, but her quality of life was tanking b/c of it anyway…  Once you guys get through this shitty recovery, you’ll be glad you did it.  She WILL rebound!  But, she will need help, too.  You’ve got her diet all worked out?  Her pain management worked out?  Harness?  Nonslip rugs?  Some exercises for her?  I bet all those questions are answered with a YES.  That’s great!

In the meantime, while she continues to recover and adapt, focus on her tail wags!  Focus on her shoe, toy, sock carrying (way cute image, by the way….)!  She WILL get there!  And she’s only going to get there b/c you took that nasty tumor out of her.  Give it more time.  Every dog is different.

~ Katy

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 March 2013 - 11:40 am
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We totally know what you are going through is really, really hard, but I have to agree with Dharma…..the best thing that can be done is to be upbeat and focus on one day, even one hour at a time. If she’s carrying toys, that is a GREAT sign! Celebrate that moment. Look into her eyes and B E L I E V E that she WILL get better. Remember, if you go through with chemo that is no guarantee that things will go as they are supposed to. Right now, she is out of pain, she is making slow but steady progress and anything is better than that tumor eating away at the bone. Can you imagine how awful that feels?

Yes, do find another opinion if you don’t like the service you are getting. Your vet can consult with a teaching hospital, and together you can all come up with a plan that will be in your girl’s best interest. Let them know you want to move quickly, you’re tired of the runaround.

Hang in there and you can come here to vent anytime OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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6 March 2013 - 11:45 am
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fetchon3 said

To that point, I don’t think anyone has really answered the question of: does it really matter with osteosarcoma if the amputated lymph node was involved?  Anyone?  I will be asking my onco this, so at least I’ll get that answer – but not for a week or so.

Katy thanks for following up. I will ask Dr. Ettinger as well as put this in Ask a Vet.

 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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6 March 2013 - 11:53 am
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My vet friend says that cancer doesn’t usually destroy lymph nodes, it makes them bigger.

 

It doesn’t look like they submitted a sample of the node, so they need to be asked to clarify what you’ve been told.

 

I’m not sure either if it matters whether it has spread to a node- we were already dealing with cancer in Kermit’s lymph nodes before we even got the osteo diagnosis! But I’d be interested in an answer to this as well.

New York, NY
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6 March 2013 - 11:54 am
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I will pass this question along to Jill’s oncologist as well

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com. xoxo

New Haven, CT
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6 March 2013 - 2:41 pm
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Come to think of it (DUH!): NO the cancer didn’t “eat” the sample.  Samples are put either into ethanol or formalin and shipped off.  These chemicals stop, kill, fix all metabolitic activity.  Nothing was alive to “eat” anything.

So again, I stress that there is some major miscommunication going on about the lymph node samples (and thus, their supposed “involvement”).

~Katy

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

Virginia




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6 March 2013 - 2:51 pm
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Thanks to each of you!!! I just get sooooscared sometimes (as if you couldn’t tell) I try to get myself in check on my own but, when that’s going downhill fast I go to my lifeline –this site. I always feel badly after I write from such a weakened emotional state because I really do want to stay positive, not only for Hannah but everyone on this site. That said I ALWAYS FEEL SO MUCH BETTER WHEN I HEAR FROM YOU and I instantly make a step into a positive, solution oriented attitude!

yes, I do have all those things in place Fetch and it’s n ice to have a good list from which to double check.

Darhma your kick in the butt works just fine so feel free anytime!

I really am so appreciative of every victorious improvement she makes and she’s doing a great job . Yep, she really does have me literally cheering and clapping and giving lots of standing ovations. We’re having big snow here ( by Virginia’s standards)
Hannah handled the very long ramp I had built for her just fine——- I fell two times walking beside her and you could almost see her laughing as she proceeded through snow and ice just fine.

Thanks Jill and. Jerry for checking to see what you can find out. My vet read report too and said it was typical of osteosarcoma and didn’t see how. Onco could make reference to spreading to lymph based on reviewing everything they’ve sent.him. so far.
,
I am being a good tripawd person when I go to otaw-shucksher blogs to cheer. Them on————–just ducky when cheering my own dumb self on!,!!

Thank each of you,..Your time is not wasted and it ALWYS ALWAYS turns me around!, I really am so blessed to have your support and generosity of knowledge and tme.. And I’m SUCKY not ducky at cheering my own self.

With a humble heart and eternal gratitude, Sally and my Happy Hannah

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!

New York, NY
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6 March 2013 - 3:05 pm
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Spoke to Jill’s onco. Her lymph node was aspirated when we first discovered the OSA diagnosis and showed no sign of spread however when the leg was amputated lymph nods were not sent to pathology. She says she has seen several cases where there was lymph node spread and “long” term survival (take the word long for what it’s worth). She does not treat OSA any different whether there is sign of spread to the lymph node or not.

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com. xoxo

New Haven, CT
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6 March 2013 - 4:35 pm
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Thanks, Erica.  That was my suspicion, too.  Very helpful info!  Make sure you post this under the new post in ‘Ask a Vet’, too.

~ Katy

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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6 March 2013 - 6:08 pm
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I’m jumping in late, but I am famous for telling folks to get a second opinion.  Any time you question the validity of the information you are receiving, and questions to clarify are meeting deaf ears, it is time to consult someone else. That doesn’t mean you need to change vets (unless you decide that is best for you).  It simply means you need someone with fresh eyes and ears to listen to and advise you.

 

Good luck to both of you.

 

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Virginia




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11 March 2013 - 4:34 pm
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Hi my dear friends    Thanks again for all the support and care each of you provides.  Happy Hannah is continuing to improve and reclaiming her joyful personality!!  Three wks. tomorrow since she became tripawd and we couldn’t have made it without you !!   Yes, her recovery has been much slower than I was prepared for but you kept reminding me some just take a little longer – and you promised she would get her sparkle back–and FINALLY–she’s had three good days in a row !! YEAhHANNH!  Still has some restlessness and some slight whining at nights and still not laying on “that” side.   Is that still”normal” fotr big dogs that take a little longer recovery?    It was my intent to start chemo last week (2 wk. mark)  but her recovery just wasn’t cood enough quality wise to proceed and onco said another week delay would be ok.       z   Asmentioned earlier, surgeon said lymph node sent in, pathologist said not submitted—then surgeon said must have been destroyed by cancer—-me regular vet called pathol. and asked that it be re-run and pathol. was adamant that NO lymph node tissue was submitted!!   So, the “poorer prognosis” because cancer was in node is just plain whacky and Hannah’s not buying it!!  And your feedback and the feedback from Ask The Vet you all so kindly submitted onvinced me it doesn’t really hange thingsfeedback from he Ask The Vet questin you submii

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!

Virginia




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11 March 2013 - 4:48 pm
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oh der please tay with me _–This compter is so screwing up—and I can,t backtrack and try and lean things up because it keeps erasing or jumping into the middle of a sentence     Anyway—-another question—-thinking about metronomics instead of carbopltin protocal……concerned tht h  that the 5  carbo. treatment could compromise her continution of improving quality and the metr. may be easier on her BUT  is it just as effective……I know this is almost impossinble to read and I’m so grateful to nyone willing to try!!    Thank you for plowing throuh this and I hpope the questions can be found somewhere in this mess.            SO GRATEFUL TO YOU AND SO THNKFUL FOR HELPIG HAPPY HANNAH AND HELPING COMPUTER ILLITERATE SALLY THROUH THIS.  You have been, and continue to be, our lifeline and we are bnot alone because you stsand with.  Please know we also stand with you..Love Sally and Happy Hannah

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!

New Haven, CT
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11 March 2013 - 5:16 pm
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Hey Sally, I was able to decipher.  First off: YEY for three good days in a row!  That’s epic!  That’s huge!  That’s great!  I’m so happy for both you and Hannah.  YEY!

I stick to my guns that there was a massive miscommunication between surgeon and pathologist – maybe a sample was sent, maybe it wasn’t, maybe it got lost (no way in hell was it “eaten” by cancer – no friggin’ way!), but the end result is you don’t know if cancer was in her amputated lymph node.  I guess, though, it may not matter.  So…forget about it and move on.

As for IV chemo vs metronomics , well, I don’t know if 1 is superior to the other as far as efficacy goes.  Jackson is on both.  About his IV chemo: his fourth (4 treatments vs 6 doesn’t seem to impact results, research suggests) and last will be Friday.  It has not impacted his quality of life at all!  Well, maybe it’s made it better b/c it means there’s a car ride at least every three weeks.  He loves car rides.  He’s had no side effects, nothing cumulative, nothing bothers him at all.  That’s our experience and others have different tales.  His onco is pretty progressive and so she started him on metronomics during his IV chemo – last week in fact.  I can’t really comment on how it’s going, but I can at least say there’s no change.  Others on this site have been on it much longer.  It seems like it can be and is a pretty safe, daily form of chemo.  Some here have chosen to skip IV chemo all together and jump right to metronomics .  Again, like all things on this site, we all have really good reasons for choosing the path we did.  Ask your onco about metronomics vs IV chemo and what s/he recommends.  Metronomics can be a lot cheaper!  For a 60lb dog (so for Hannah, multiply by about 2), Jackson’s metronomics cost $60/month.  His IV chemo, each session is about $700 (ok, that wouldn’t be double for Hannah, but it could slightly be more). OUCH!

In the meantime, swing by Staples or BestBuy or some other technology site and get your computer checked and cleaned up.

~ Katy & Jackson

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

Virginia




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11 March 2013 - 8:11 pm
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Thanks Dear Katy and Mr. Jacson—I passed all your accolades on to Hannah refarding her progress and her tail just started waggimg and wagging!

Will talke with Onco. tomorrow and get her input as our last conversation just centered around carboplatin rounds.  

 

Thanks for responding and soooooo glad Jackson doing so well.  Tell him we (Hannah and I) just gave him a standing ovation!  If you listen closely, you can probably hear the applause!,

 

Hey, I just got the “indentation” icon thing to work—-that makes it a little easier to read.

Will go by Staples and seeif they can help computer—-then I need to take a class and see if someone can help me!,   

 

Did want to ask feedback from those who just did amputation only ans that is a route I’m also considering.    Guess her challenges with the surgery and that bone head surgergeon making us feel a little tentative and unlucky.

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!

Virginia




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11 March 2013 - 8:22 pm
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Oops  –hit the submit  reply by mistake

One more victory I wanted to share—she actually drank plain water (not mixed with ice cream or broth or shredded chicken)  today for the first time  Yea Hannah

Want to thank ou all again for helping me focus on the victories—keeping it chunked down and  not wasting as much valued  time on worrying about the tomorrows.  Of course it is a tad easier when she’s having a good day!!!  All days are easier with the tripawd community by your side

Mush love and support to you and Jackson

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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