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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8 January 2019
My sweet athletic boy was diagnosed with a sarcoma, still waiting on the results since his amputation December 19, 2018. Not knowing what type of cancer, I am curious to know if there are in fact success stories of longer than a year without chemo. Chemo is poison. And poison kills both bad and good cells. I let them take his leg, and a part of me cannot bare the thought of now poisoning him, especially having known humans with cancer and who after removing the cancer with no chemo (breast and lymph nodes) they continue to live cancer free.. so, how far off can it be for my sweet boy? He will be 9 this month and is a malamute lab mix weighing 70lbs, front right amputation. Strong, lean and now, terribly depressed.
Anyone have positives without chemo?
Hi Banditosmomma, welcome. I’m so sorry about the diagnosis. Many of us have been there and felt the emotions you are experiencing. It’s not an easy path but you have come to the best place for support from people who get it.
When it comes to chemotherapy, it’s a highly personal choice. Many people choose that path for their Tripawd, many do not. It’s all about what is right for you, your Tripawd and of course your beliefs about it. If you feel as strongly as it seems that chemo is not the way to go, then it may not be the best choice for Bandito, because all he wants is for you to be happy. But before you decide, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
Chemotherapy treatment for animals is not at all like it is for humans. For people, chemotherapy blasts the heck out of the cancer cells in order to get rid of the disease. When it comes to dogs and cats, chemo is about managing the disease to ensure quality of life, because their life span is so much shorter than ours. The chemotherapy treatments rarely make them sick or lose their fur. Usually the biggest side effect is nausea, maybe diarrhea for a few days. Rarely do they need hospitalization because of side effects.
I encourage you to at least meet with a veterinary oncologist to discuss options for Bandito. Once you have the information you can feel so much better about whatever path you take for him.
As for longevity prognosis . . . we have seen Tripawds go through chemotherapy and live years, and we have seen them live only months. There are no guarantees at all, but statistically speaking chemo gives dogs and cats longer at living out their lifespan and beating the disease. The irony is, that statistics still can’t predict how your own dog will do, since your dog wasn’t part of those studies. Cancer does what it wants in the end, but many people feel better about doing all the medical treatments available to try to beat it.
And one more thing to consider: nobody can predict how long we have. With or without cancer, the most important thing is to live life to the fullest the way Bandito does. We call this learning to Be More Dog .
There are no right or wrong choices here. Do what feels best for you and Bandito. Once you have that confidence in your heart, together you can kick cancer’s butt for as long as he is able.
18 October 2009
Hello and welcome.
I second what Jerry said about getting all the information and all treatment options available. In my mind knowledge is power!
I had two Pugs who between them had 3 cancers. Maggie lost a leg to mast cell cancer. I did do chemo for that cancer and although her prognosis was 6 to 9 months with chemo she lived almost 4 years. Unfortunately she developed a second aggressive cancer in her mouth which for many reasons I chose not to treat, she lived only 3 months after that diagnosis. I don’t regret either treatment decision but in both cases I got all the treatment options from our oncologist before I made my decisions.
Mag’s little sis Tani also developed mast cell cancer although it was not on her limbs. We treated at first by just removing the tumors. A few years later the cancer came back and although I started removing tumors they were coming too fast and I decided to stop. 3 vets recommended chemo and I chose not to since she had a variety of other ailments, but again I had seen our oncologist to make sure there wasn’t a new treatment out there. Tani lived to be almost 15 and although had around 14 MCTs throughout her life we never did chemo and she did not pass from cancer.
Do your research and then decide what is best for you and your pup. You might want to write down you decision making process, I did that with Maggie and it helped me a lot when we got to the end of her journey and those ‘what if?’ thoughts pop into your head.
No matter what path you take this community will support you!
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
22 December 2018
Hello, so sorry about Bandit, our dog Calvin has a high grade soft tissue sarcoma, and had his leg removed Dec. 20. Have you called to check on the lab results? We got ours back after 8 days. Surely you should be getting them soon. I think that will play a large part in what you decide. Hopefully it is not as bad as they originally thought, maybe a low grade soft tissue sarcoma. We have ultimately decided to start chemo next week, after going back and forth daily for three weeks. Since we did take his leg, we feel terrible putting him through more, but his prognosis without it isn’t good and I want him to live to have as many good days as possible. Definitely talk to your oncologist and ask all the questions. We did and she was very reassuring. A large percentage of dogs have little to no side effects, and if Calvin does we have agreed to lower the dosage or stop the chemo at any point, that made me feel better. It is just such a hard decision. Good luck, and whatever you decide to do you are making the best decision for you and your pup.
Hi Bandit and Furmily
im sorry to be late coming to this forum, but i just wanted to add Stewies chemo experience with you…
Stewie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in July of 2017, we started a Carboplatin chemotherapy (6 sessions) as soon as his stitches came out. We wanted to do everything possible to try and hold back the inevitable return of his evil disease!!
The only side effects that Stewie went through were tiredness and he lost all of his undercoat. He is a (almost 9 year old) Bernese/Rotty/Retriever cross and he finds it gets a bit chilly outside these wintery days.
Stewie is a survivor of 1 1/2 years now and we are overjoyed to still have him hopping happily with us, hopefully into his old age. We will never know if it is the chemo that is helping him survive or whether it is Stewie’s (and ours ) luck of the draw!
Wishing you all the best in whatever you decide to do for your boy.
Stewie and his Furmily.
He will be 9 this month and is a malamute lab mix weighing 70lbs, front right amputation. Strong, lean and now, terribly depressed.
I also want to add that all of us here on TriPawds understands your heartbreak! We completely get it!!! But it is critical that we show our pups that we are in control when they are not… they live in the moment with us and we focus on so many other things than what is in front of our noses… if we are feeling down and depressed, they will take that on and live in that moment with you! Try to remain calm and positive for your boy, he will adjust amazingly well when you are strong for him. And then you can go into the proverbial bathroom, like many of us have and cry our little hearts out, after we are hooman and can’t help ourselves can we
Take good care and go and give your boy a massive hug and tell him that you did this for him and not to him!!!!
Petra and Stewie.
Hi – Thunder’s mom here. Osteosarcoma Dx with right hind leg amputation January 4th. We decided against chemo for many various reasons. He’s faring ok right now. Doc said probably 4-6 months expectancy – although hoping for healthy longer. Thunder will be 11 on Friday (he’s a Leap Year pup)!!
Anyone choose no chemo & willing to share their experience?
25 April 2007
Anyone choose no chemo & willing to share their experience?
Jerry loved life on three legs for two years without IV chemotherapy.
You will find much more feedback from others in this popular topic:
Use the Advanced Search above to find much more feedback from others, or search all blogs here .
22 February 2013
Here another link. Clyde and Marshall didn’t do chemo, but did “alternative”
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!
4 April 2019
Hi. So sorry about your diagnosis. I have a 12 year old choc lab who had front leg amputation due to bone cancer. We went and talked to an oncogist but I decided not to pursue chemo. One of the reasons is the life span of a Labrador is between 10 – 14 years and for some reason the median age of a choc lab is 10.5. They did blood work at the oncogist and completely stressed him out. Breathing heavy, so heavy I thought he was to have a heart attach. Blood work was normal. We have been seeing a holistic vet where he gets rehab and treating with diet and supplements. They let me stay with him the entire time and I think that helps him. He had his amputation about 5 weeks ago and is doing fantastic. Sometimes I second guess myself regarding the chemo but I really don’t think it’s for Brownie.
So I have decided to take the money I had put aside for chemo and take brownie on adventures. Next weekend we will do a road trip.
I don’t know if Brownie has a week, a month, or longer so I am just trying to make everyday exciting and new. I am planning adventures for us. I have a very stressful job as a project manager and sometimes at work have a very bad day. But I get that out in the car on my way home and when I walk in it’s a happy place with lots of hugs and play time!
When Brownie does go to the bridge I would like to think it’s due to his age and not this stupid cancer that I have so much!
Hi – Thunder’s mom here.
I’m sorry you joined our club but glad you found us! Can’t wait to learn more about Thunder in a new topic all your own, so be sure to start one OK? See you there!