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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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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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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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27 December 2012
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11 March 2013 - 8:25 pm
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Ha!  You're very sweet.  aw-shucksaw-shucks  I've passed on the good wishes to Jackson and he says THANKS!  And he says to Hannah to keep up her good work!

I have to imagine that the bone-headed surgeon will not be the one helping you, guiding you with chemo.  If you like your onco, you should have a lot more trust and hope!  A great vet, surgeon, onco are priceless!

As for folks who only did the amp and no chemo at all...well, there are plenty!  I'm not sure how best to search for them, but perhaps with Jerry's infinite wisdom or someone else who's been around as long knows of some.  There is a pup that right now just came out of surgery in the last few days and they aren't doing chemo.  He's a very senior pup with other health issues, so the best path for their pack was to not proceed with chemo.  It's an absolutely worthwhile question to follow up with and talking to other folks here would be valuable.  See if you can run a search for such a topic or wait for someone like Jerry, Admin, Tazziedog, Dakota Dawg to help guide you....?

Have a lovely evening.  Again, we're just so thrilled Hannah in on her way!  OH - it took Jackson 2 weeks before he was comfy enough to rest on his stump side.  He's half Hannah's weight, but I have to imagine she's getting close to it!  Keep it up Hannah!

~ 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!

On The Road


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11 March 2013 - 9:54 pm
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This is PAWTASTIC news! OK, let's all send Hannah lots of love for a fourth good day! Yay!

To answer your question about metronomics . Metronomic chemotherapy alone is reported to be not as effective as IV chemo such as carboplatin. It is more of a maintenance program to keep the cancer behaving itself. Oncologists will say that IV chemo is the first choice because there is more statistical evidence showing it is more effective than just metronomics .

Now, I didn't do IV chemo, but at the time we opted out we also didn't know that metronomic chemo was available. When we found out that I could take it at home, it was 17 months into my diagnosis (when we found out I had mets).

Always remember there are no "right" answers, just the one that feels best for you and Hannah. You can decide to skip it completely or you can go all out and try it, but in both cases you are not stuck with either decision, you can chose to change it however you want. Sit down, and have a heart to heart with Hannah. Ask her what she wants. I'll bet she'll tell you.

Good luck tomorrow!

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

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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12 March 2013 - 9:59 am
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Jerry, thanks again for taking the time to respond.  This site sure does keep your paws busy!

 

So, Happy Hannah did NOT have a good night last night and ishaving a down day so far.  I'm at least mot in a panic stste anymore (thanks to all of you) as  I recognize she's just having a slower recovery and needs her pain meds longer than most.

 

But, This is tne three week mark and I must get the chemo started asap, right?  I am concerned that she could be one of the ones thst has the bad side effects and I don,t know if that would put her on a downwrd spiral from which she couldn't recover.    Is it dangerous to proceed when they are not at their optimum??

 

Okay, maybe I am a little more scared than I'm admitting because of the hree mark ...

 

Thanks for clarifying thst metronomics is usually given in addition to chemo and not on its own.. I've not spoken with onco today as IIknow I won't do anything til she turns around.

 

Sorry to bother you again bit  I'm just still hanging on to this lifeline for dear life!!

 

My g  gratitude  has know words invented yet to expresss how much your support means.     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!

NC
Member Since:
26 February 2013
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12 March 2013 - 10:17 am
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We had to proceed with Kerm's chemo within a week of his amputation because we couldn't let the lymphoma get away from us while we waited for him to heal more. Knock on wood, he hasn't had any side effects yet so the chemo hasn't affected his recovery one way or another.

It seems that as long as they're eating & drinking, the side effects shouldn't add much of an issue.  Our vet gave us metaclopromide for nausea & metronidazole for diarrhea and said it was ok to give them prophylactically if I was concerned that not eating or diarrhea would be a problem. I gave them for his first few lymphoma chemo treatments but didn't bother with the first Adriamycin treatment.

Btw, you don't have to worry that you're "bothering" anyone again, that's why this forum exists!  The good people at Tripawds recognize the need for input from a community & have provided this place just for that!

 

New Haven, CT
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27 December 2012
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12 March 2013 - 10:26 am
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Nope, you're not bothering anyone!  Keep your concerns, questions, and celebrations coming.

Sorry Hannah had a rough night and maybe a rough start to the day.  Well, it's better today without the leg than if the leg were there with a painful tumor growing.  Right?!

I think I wasn't very clear in my above post.  Metronomics, I believe, is traditionally given alone.  That is, it's usually given after IV chemo or even if IV chemo hasn't been done (like in Jerry's case, 17mo post-amp he went on metronomics ).  It's rare and quite a new thing that Jackson's onco wants him on both, simultaneously.  So....again, the issue is up to you!  Talk to your onco about IV chemo vs metronomics AND talk to your onco about IV chemo WITH metronomics .  As Hannah's person, it's up to you to communicate her wishes to her onco.

There is no way to know prior to starting IV chemo and/or metronomics how your pup will handle it.  So don't start getting all defeatist.  If you think she's well enough to make the road trip and visit her onco, maybe that's the first step?  Then, between the 3 of you, decide if she's ready for chemo - any kind, any combo, or none at all.

~ 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!

On The Road


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12 March 2013 - 11:09 am
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You are most definitely not bothering at all, really. Come here anytime.

When you say she had a bad night, what do you mean exactly?

As far as being in the 3 week window...yes, you are in the traditional window of when oncos have recommended starting chemo. More oncos are moving that date up closer to the amputation but it really depends on the dog's recovery. All dogs are different, and there is no right or wrong way to proceed.

I know you are so overwhelmed right now. Instead of thinking about all of the things you "should" be doing, try focusing on getting Hannah to feel good again. Day by day, you will get there but if you stay focused on today not tomorrow will make things much easier for all of you mentally and physically. What does her vet say about her recovery so far?

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

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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12 March 2013 - 7:16 pm
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Thanks AGAIN for your supportive responses!  They are so helpful.

 

Katy, you and Jackson sure are  a great team.  Yes, Hannah is up for the ride to the vet and she is eating and drinking (as long as her water has a spoon of chocalate ice cream) so I think that is a good indication possibly that her "slow" recovery really has no bearing on how she'll handle chemo.  As Jerry said, there's no right or wrong way to proceed.  I'm anxious to proceed with something even if it's nothing!!!!! That really does make sense, really!

Kermit ought to be the poster child for the chemo dept where you live!  What a trooper and what a great success story he is becoming.  You, and he, are an inspiration!

Jerry, Thanks for the reminder to continue to stay in the moment- in the present- that's a life lesson that is a constant work in progress

 

When Hannah has  a"rough" night, there's a lot of soft whimpering and  restlessness---just can't get comfortable.  I'm with her, trying to reassure her, massage her, distract her with treats, anything I can think of.  It,s not an effect  of tramadol as she didn't have it i her system.  I do give her  one and a half and it just really seems that  time eventually is what gets her through it.     The  "less good day" mirrors some of the night behavior, but it's more than she just doesn't want to get up and she only walks a few feet b

before she wants to sit.  The  "look" is one of just feeling down.      ut her better times consist of lots of tail wagging, carrying her toys around and enjoying life.    The referral vet tech people say it's just part of the recovery process.   I'm going to put her back on a more steady low dose of tramadol and see if that i terrupts this "discomfort".   AND  she does seem to be panti g more even when resting with no exertion.. No cough, just pant.       I've typed this last several paragraphs without the typi g bei g visible on the screen  so I have no idea what's showi g up!       I will "play it forwaed"---all the kindness and generous spirit you all have exteneded Happy Hannah and myself.   Any kindness I extend to others will be in honor of all of you.      Love to all, 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!

NC
Member Since:
26 February 2013
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12 March 2013 - 8:11 pm
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You know, if you think Hannah is in pain, 1 1/2 tramadol for a dog her size is NOT very much.  Kermit is about 80-85 lbs. & he was taking 3 tramadol every 8 hours until just a few days ago when we started cutting back.  Obviously check with your vet, but it seems to me that she might be hurting.

BTW, my ipad does the same thing as your tablet- if I ever manage to figure out why, I'll PM you about how to fix it!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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12 March 2013 - 9:47 pm
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Thanks dharma/Kermit-----Glad to hear that it's not just my computer skill deficiency but also a little bit of the tablet's fault (very little).

Also glad to know that Kermit just stopped the pain pills a few days ago as that,s a way for me to measure that perhaps I took Hannah off too soon just because she started having some good days.  That could be part of the equation as to why she's having a little roller coaster effect.

You are a good  little tripawd soul!  

With appreciation,  Sally and Happy Hannah (who is bside me loudly snoring herself off to sleep)

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


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24 September 2009
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12 March 2013 - 9:54 pm
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Sally, I agree that the tramadol could be too low and causing sporadic symptoms. What is the vet's recommended dosage for her at this point?

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

NC
Member Since:
26 February 2013
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13 March 2013 - 8:52 am
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Oh, we haven't STOPPED the pain meds, we're cutting back verrrry slowly! So instead of 3 tramadol & 3 gabapentin every 8 hours, this is what Kermit is getting now:

7 am: 1 1/2 tramadol, 2 gabapentin

3 pm: 1 1/2 tramadol, 2 gabapentin

11pm: 2 tramadol, 3 gabapentin

He also gets famotidine to protect his tummy from all the meds.

Tomorrow we'll go down to 1 & 1 with 1 1/2 & 2 at night.

We walk a fine line between keeping him comfy & keeping him perky, since the meds make him a little sleepy but I don't want him to hurt, either!  I worry as much about his other 3 hurting since they're not exactly pristine architecture either! :)

Keep in mind that he only weighs 80-something pounds, too.

Anyway, just so you have a basis for comparison when you speak to your vet.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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15 March 2013 - 12:25 pm
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As always, a sincere and heartfelt thanks for taking the time to help us  Putting gabapentin back in the mix also and working with regular vet on steady plan.  All the "specialist's" vet tech says the same old song---some dogs just take longer to recover--and, of cousre the site looks gret and what a great job "they" did!!  Just worry tht something wasn't stitched together right or a nerve is messed up, etc.

Happy Hannah is continuing to do well though and definitely mbracing her joy and bliss for life.  Just hate to see the nights so rough on her and don't want tat to compromise her immune and overall strengh she needs for continued recovery

AND-----She had her first carboplatin yesterday  at the three week one day mark---her blood work was good and we didn't do x-ray, she recommended waiting as they were clear day of surgery.  So far (paws crossed), she,s doine fine!   Had her xeveral hours of disEveryone take care of your precious selves and thank you for continuing to muddle through  the tyupos, misspelling and all the other garbage imposed on you by someone with no computrt skills.   You have no idea how long it takes me to hunt and peck on this keyboard.          Much love to all   Sally and Happy Hannahcomfort, restlessness even wuth pain med adjustment -----I even try things like TV on'TV off,Total dark, or leaving light on, sleepig right beside her or not (even though the whining continues, she does wag as I sit nxt to her and message her).      Anyway, this is small compared to the progress she has made .     I/we could not have gotten through this without all of you...and I mean that from the depth of my soul.

 

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




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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15 March 2013 - 12:34 pm
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I don,t even know how to explain this, but the space that I type my reply on shows the first half of what I type and rhen the screen doesn,t scroll up as I continue to type so I'm typing in the dark without seeing what comes out until it shows up on the site  Ugh! This is so embarrassing!       Anyway, there,s a screwed up segment where I was trying to explain Hannah still had a rough might after the treatment  but is wasn't out of the norm for what she's been going through and it had nothing to do with tratment.   When I get the money and rime, I will take a computer class       it's not fair to you guys  plus--I want to be here to support others in an easy reading, clear' concise way

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


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15 March 2013 - 3:29 pm
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Sally, don't you worry about typos or anything, we understand exactly what you're saying. Just focus on making sure Hannah continues that great, steady recovery. We are cheering you both on and have our paws crossed that she doesn't have any side effects. Keep us posted.

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

In your heart, where I belong.
Member Since:
9 February 2011
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15 March 2013 - 5:10 pm
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Please don't worry about the typos. I find them endearing and would miss them if you suddenly started typing perfectly. The fact that you care more about Hannah's needs than typos is why I appreciate you being here.

Shari

From abandoned puppy to Tripawd Warrior Dude, Dakota became one of the 2011 February Furballs due to STS. Our incredibly sweet friend lived with grace and dignity till he impulsively raced over the Bridge on 12-15-12.

Dakota's thoughtful and erudite blog is at http://shari.tr.....pawds.com/

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