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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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Stopping chemo
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Member Since:
3 November 2022
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8 December 2022 - 9:16 pm
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Updating on sweet Perdita. She had one dose of Carboplatin and I posted after because she had some GI symptoms and wasn’t herself for a few days. She had a second dose of Carboplatin which was greatly reduced, and she seemed amazing. She acted like she didn’t even have a treatment - great appetite, great energy. I was so relieved. But then this weekend, she got really sick. One minute she didn’t want to sit on the couch, and she loooooooves the couch. Then she didn’t want dinner. Or even cream cheese. She went outside to pee and instead of hop-running like usual, she was walking slowly and painfully which she hadn’t done since the first day after amputation surgery. She was swaying when she stood still, too. My partner and I looked and each other and knew she was acting strangely and something was wrong. This had all come on in the span of 1-2 hours too. We took her to the vet and she was basically limp in the car, and by time we got there she started shaking. I’ve never been more scared in my life. I thought we’d be making serious decisions that night, I thought it spread somewhere serious already, but it turned out that her white blood cell count had plummeted down to 500 and she was very sick with a fever of 104. She stayed overnight but we got her the next day and she’s home now. That was the scariest night of my life. She looked awful and scared us so much.

So I made the decision to stop chemo. Both treatments affected her badly, which I know isn’t supposed to happen and rarely happens. Unfortunately my sweet girl is just one of those dogs that don’t tolerate chemo well. I’m terrified because I know she has less time now and we’re already 2 months out from diagnosis so it may only be 1-3 more months left instead of 8-10 more. I don’t know, we can’t know for sure obviously but it’s so scary. And since she was so sick this weekend, she’s been so sleepy and fragile all week. It’s hard to see her like this. I hope she bounces back quickly because since surgery she’s been as energetic and playful as ever, and I want her remaining time to look like that. I’m going to make the most of the time she has left, but I am heartbroken. She’s a medium dog and could easily live another 4 years if not for this despite already being 12. I was away this summer and missed what was definitely her last summer, which breaks my heart because we should have been at the park every day like most summers. I’ll NEVER forgive myself for that, that guilt will weigh on me forever. And I’ll always feel sad that she didn’t tolerate chemo, that she got sick, that she felt so crappy so many times these last few months, that this is cutting short her happy, joyful, energetic life. I just can’t believe this is happening, and I can’t imagine life without my happy girl. I miss her when I leave the house for an hour, I can’t imagine having to miss her forever…

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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8 December 2022 - 10:00 pm
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This is going to be a quick note, but zIx'll be back tomorrow. 

But right now I couldn't  wait to tell you about Louie, (Big Lou a Mastiff)  He also  was a rare case when  it came to severe  side effects and his quality  took a nose dive.  His hoomans stopped chemo and decided  to make the best of every moment  they had with Louie.   And those "best moments" lasted another two years!!

Sorry to be so quick, but had to let you know there are other Louie's out there who had no chemo at all and thrived way beyond the "statistics ".

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


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8 December 2022 - 10:56 pm
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Ohhhh my gosh I feel for you, I'm so sorry you've both gone through so much lately. No wonder you feel overwhelmed and guilty and scared! I would too.

Here's some thoughts FWIW. You made a decision that is based on concern for her quality of life. That is wonderful! Be proud that you put her needs first. That is a selfless thing to do! It shows how much you love and care about her happiness. Remember, chemo doesn't guarantee anything. Some dogs will beat the odds with it, some will beat the odds without it. Nobody can tell who will. You just have to follow your heart in making these decisions and that is what you are doing. YOU ROCK!

Now, try not to get too wrapped up in timelines. Remember, dogs don't have an expiration date stamped on their butts! Those prognoses you get from vets are mainly guesses based on statistics that don't have YOUR girl's story wrapped up in them. She is her own being, with her own story and her own impression on the universe. All those numbers, forget 'em right now. Staying too worried about them only steals precious time away from her. Don't let cancer do that to your relationship.

I hope she feels better soon. Since you caught the problem quickly she should start showing her sparkle soon! Keep us posted oK?

Member Since:
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8 December 2022 - 11:41 pm
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Thank you to benny55 and Jerry's pawrents for your replies. As always you're both so kind and helpful.

I am proud of myself for the decision I made. It was a decision between two awful options, but without a doubt the right decision. I knew going into this I'd have to make some tough decisions where I'd need to  put her first, and I know I have a few more of those decisions left. I'm glad I got one done. This is definitely the right choice. If we had another incident like the other night I couldn't live with myself. It was terrifying and she was so sick.

Thank you for the reminder. I'm steeped in anticipatory grief because the last week has been insane and it's been clouding my mind and ruining the last few days. I need to snap out of that and enjoy my time with her. She already had a long bucketlist, and we've checked off a bunch and added a few new pages of ideas to it.

She isn't 100% but she's maybe 80-90% back to her old self. Seriously, the day after surgery she was trying to sprint up stairs and since then she's been happy hopping around. No one can keep up with her! I'm hoping we get more time like that without worrying about how chemo will affect her.

Side note, dog mom spiral: I hate how often I've been right about her. A month before she got diagnosed I took her to the emergency vet at 1:00am for no symptoms really - she just seemed off to me but there was nothing to find so we went home. Then she began limping but I had seen her fall and hurt herself so I tried to tell myself it was just from that, but she looked so old and frail suddenly. Or after this summer, when I got home and kept repeating over and over, "She looks so skinny..." My family told me it was nothing. Or when the vet said at our first checkup for the limp that bone cancer was an option and I brushed it off but those words echoed in my head for the next two weeks. Or how when they told me 8-12 months was average something in my stomach said, "No way. I won't get that much time." Or this Saturday, when all she was doing at first was refusing to sit on the couch. My partner had asked if I wanted to go out but I felt sick, I had an anxious feeling and said "No, I need to be home tonight." By time we got to the shelter she was limp, if we had waited or gone out anything could have happened. I have a similar feeling about the rest of her journey and I'm praying I'm wrong and it's just my severe anxiety but... I don't know.

The Rainbow Bridge


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9 December 2022 - 11:38 am
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I think that you are so very much in tune with her. Don't hate it, be proud of that ability to read her. Are you as good at this with other animals? Maybe you have an animal intuitive ability that most of us only wish we had! You use your gut and your intuition really well and so far, it's worked in her favor to help her be comfortable and live her best life even with cancer. Sure, there are things cancer will do that you and the vets cannot predict, or stop, but at least you have this inner wisdom about knowing who she is and what she needs, that will help her make the most of her time and your bond that you have. Be proud of that. 

((((hugs))))

There is a great book about coping with a cancer diagnosis in dogs. It's been out many years, called The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer. I think you'd like it.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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9 December 2022 - 11:40 am
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So relieved to hear you are working through some of the ""negative" energy and emotions (slowly but surely)  that were keeping you from veing fully present with Perdita.  We  understand  all too well  how easy it is to go Into the "dog mom downward spiral".  Perfect description.  

As far as what's happened  in the past with your "gut feeling", just remember this  does not equal that.    Your emotions s are raw right now, stress level high and it's hard to remember  there jave been jist as many times k  the past when your gut feeling was off.  So remind yourself of that, okay?

We need to Nope the "dog mom downward spiral" in the butt before he continues to take you away from the present.  And we unders because  she's not back to 100% yet it's easy to worry about stuff.  She's fighting off the rough effect of that chemo and is doing so brilliantly  and at her own pace.

Stay conn to us, okay? We've all been at the edge of the cliff and we know how to pull each other back to solid ground.  

(((((((((Hugs))))))))

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

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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22 February 2013
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9 December 2022 - 11:42 am
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Hahaha..wile I was taking g furever to typo my reply, Jerry also had more wisdom to share in her "rapid" reply😎.

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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11 December 2022 - 8:04 pm
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Hi, I just wanted to say you know what is best for Peditra. Brownie hated the vet. I mean he would just freak out when his vet would take him into another room without me. His vet told me without chemo he would live around two to three months. So, I said I will make it the best two to three months of his life. I quit my job and took a job working from home even though it was a massive pay cut. I didn't care, just wanted to be home with Brownie. Well, two months passed. Three months passed. Six months passed. Brownie lived an additional one year and eight days. I truly believe it was because he was happy.

So, as you said just make each day special. Embrace each day. If Brownie would of had chemo he would of been so stressed from the vet appointments I don't think he would of done so well. We did see a Hollistic vet and he did fine because I got to stay with him.

Spoil that girl rotten and just always remember quality of life is so more important than quantity.❤️

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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12 December 2022 - 4:08 pm
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Well said Nancy.  Yes, beloved Brownie  is another Tripawd RockStar who didn't  listen tom pronosis schmognosis😎.

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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3 November 2022
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14 December 2022 - 5:04 pm
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I want to thank all of you, Brownie's pawrent, Jerry's pawrents, and benny55 for your lovely comments. As usual you're all so sweet and helpful. I've only been here a short time and never felt any of you but I feel surrounded by love and support. Thank you.

This last week, Perdita has been strange. I'm getting that dog mom instinct again. She has some weird breathing issue (lungs clear as of Thursday 12/8) and keeps doing something like a reverse cough, vet says it's allergies. She was kinda straining to poop and would run deep into the woods and circle and spend 10 minutes there circling and rustling around. She usually goes right outside the door and never wanders off into the woods.

We sorta resolved those with the vet (allergy meds and probiotics) and she took one normal bathroom. Still breathing weirdly but I'm now mostly worried about the fact that she's lightly shaking, yelping when picked up (never ever yelps, not a yelpy dog), and just overall seems off. I have the most overwhelming feeling that something is OFF. I am almost positive something is wrong or I don't dare to say it but the you-know-what went somewhere else... I just know something is majorly wrong but the vet won't be able to do much. There's not much visibly wrong. I just KNOW something is wrong, she's so off. Any help? Is shaking a sign of something?

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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14 December 2022 - 5:42 pm
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I replied to your other post, be sure to hop over:
https://tripawd.....ing-weird/

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14 December 2022 - 10:27 pm
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Thank you! I appreciate that so much. I want to again thank everyone in this thread for their replies. I was a bit flustered earlier but I read everyone's replies again and again and found a lot of comfort in them. Thank you all <3 I am curious to see if I will be able to read my other dog (new shelter pup!) and other dogs as well as I can read Miss Perdita 🙂

Perdita and I are also tracking our journey on her instagram @perditabucketlist     I said in the other post but it's really just me sharing photos, memories, and bucketlist items when we check them off with my in-person friends but if others in the community want to connect I would love that, maybe someone else on here even has their own version :)))

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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15 December 2022 - 1:07 pm
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You are so very very welcome. I think that the more experience we have with dogs, the more we can read and understand our future ones. You will do GREAT!

Thanks for the IG handle, going over there to check it out. What a great idea to call it her bucketlist!

Member Since:
4 April 2019
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15 December 2022 - 5:33 pm
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Hi, of course you have mother instinct she is your baby. I would definently keep an eye on her. With that being said, it seems when our pets have cancer every thing seems more serious because we are always thinking about the cancer. I remember when Brownie developed a sore I totally freaked out and rushed him to the vet. It was a pressure sore. It was nothing. The first time Brownie coughed I rushed him to the vet. It was allergies. Unfortuney a year later it was something else.

So, hopefully your Peditra is ok. When Brownie passed I thought I would never have another bond with a dog. I counted and I have 22 dogs waiting for me at Rainbow Bridge . I loved them all and when they passed I grieved and moved on. But with Brownie it was different. He is/was my heart dog. And I will be honest it is dam hard. I thought I would never have a bond again. Then a lab pitt mix entered my life. She is so spoiled, so rotten and I love her so much. Don't get me wrong, I miss Brownie something awful but I have bonded with Kenzie and she is my girl.

By reading your thread you are a awesome dog mom and thank you for having a shelter pup. That pup will always be thankful and treasure you❤️

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

Member Since:
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15 December 2022 - 5:39 pm
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By the way, is Peditra still taking meds? Brownie always acted wierd on medication he was a 90 lbs and a light weight I know he would shake and his legs would get like jello when on gabitain.

Just a thought 

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

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