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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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The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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46
28 July 2022 - 5:54 pm
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Gerica, I'm sorry things appear so bleak right now. Like Sally, I have more questions about what's going on. Did they do x-rays? What about pain control?

Sally brought up a lot of good points. Mets don't usually affect behavior overnight like this, at least in our experience with Tripawds members and our Jerry. Our observations show it usually takes weeks for a dog to suddenly slow down because of mets that start to occupy space in the lungs. SO, while Chaco may have mets, that doesn't mean it's what's causing his pain signals . There could be an unrelated event, possibly related to the elbow clicking? And it could be totally treatable.

Mets can be managed too, there are many therapies and clinical trials going on to deal with them. Where are you located? If you don't want to say here, PM me and I'll give you some leads if you want to investigate the newest ways oncologists are treating mets. 

There are many roads this can take so try not to panic right now OK? We are here for you to lean on. Focus on how strong Chaco is, how his body is well enough to heal that elbow hygroma, and it can certainly stay strong enough to deal with whatever is going on. 

Please keep us posted and give Chaco lots of belly rubs from us. 

Member Since:
6 June 2022
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28 July 2022 - 6:08 pm
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They did do x-rays today & said they saw the mets. When I picked him up, she said she spoke with the oncologist we were working with & he said there were options for chemo to treat it—but I’m not sure I want to go down that path at this time. They sent us home with renewed scripts for gabapentin & carprofen.

With the elbow, it’s completely closed, and barely oozing/bleeding at all today. It seems healed, and we don’t hear the clicking now that it’s closed.

My main concern is just how uncomfortable and out of it he seems. Will barely open his eyes when we talk to him. Will give us a single tail wag if we walk up to him & say his name. Can barely get up on his own—it’s like it’s a struggle to get his back legs under him in order to lift up. And a cough has begun—usually only after he eats or drinks, but it sounds like he’s trying to cough something up but can’t.

We’re in the Nashville area. Our oncologist we see is at Nashville Vet Specialists. 

Member Since:
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28 July 2022 - 7:23 pm
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Gerica, 

I have no advice to offer, but wanted to reach out and let you know how sorry I am that Chaco is not feeling well. I pray that your vet team can figure out what the heck is going on. My heart is breaking for you and your family. Sending so much love, support and hugs. 

Shannon 💕💕

Member Since:
28 December 2021
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28 July 2022 - 7:52 pm
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Just curious. How much gabepentin is he on? Coco seems to get to sedated over 400 mg imo. Maybe lower the dose if possible. Hang in there. I hope they get it figured out.

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28 July 2022 - 8:15 pm
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I did talk with our neighbor who is a former oncology vet tech, and it got me wondering if his discomfort is moreso from being off of pain meds for a week than the lung mets. We stopped the gabapentin last Wednesday, and he started acting this way Monday—so maybe that’s when it all got completely out of his system? We’re starting him back on gabapentin & carprofen & hoping we see an improvement after a day or so of being on those.

He did just sit up for some treats & rubs from us before bed. Hoping he feels a little better in the morning. 

Virginia




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28 July 2022 - 11:55 pm
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He did just sit up for some treats & rubs from us before bed

As we say around here, any little Improvement is a huge improvement! Hopefully the pain needs will help get him more comfortable. Have all the symptoms, behavior, etc, been conveyed to the oncologist, or even your regular vet? I guess it could be pretty easy for someone who is just looking at the x-rays to say oh yeah, he's feeling poorly because of the mets. However, they need to know that this game quickly so continue to keep them informed and continue to ask more questions.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this just sounds so unusual for the way we've seen dogs respond to Mets. I just can't shake the idea that there is something else going on that hasn't been figured out. You did say the blood work came back okay?

Okay, all paws  crossed for more improvement.

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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29 July 2022 - 11:18 am
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Hey how's he doing today? 

I think your neighbor is on to something, and hope he's showing perkier behavior this morning. The cough sounds like mets but the extreme lethargy is not something we see here. That's not to say it isn't possible, just really unusual. I know that our Jerry's lung mets decline caused a slow and gradual decline but over many weeks and he still had energy on some days and not so much on others, very roller coaster-like.

So about treating lung mets. Many oncologists are still using the usual treatments like Palladia and now Losartan, see: https://tripawd.....s-in-dogs/

But now there are some really groundbreaking, high tech treatments going on to zap lung mets. Examples include targeted radiation therapy, histotripsy, and therapy like thoracoscopy to take out mets (see: https://www.eth.....nes-mimic/). Unfortunately these are all therapies happening in other states, not in TN. The closest is the histotripsy trial at UVA. But, it's worth talking to your vet about just to see if there's one they are currently working on to help Chaco beat thos dang mets.

I hope this helps. Keep us posted.

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29 July 2022 - 12:25 pm
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Hi,

I *think* we’re having a better morning. Hard to say—I’ve been at the doctor all morning & just got home about an hour ago. He didn’t get up to meet meet me or anything, but I got what I would consider a proper tail wag. He did eat breakfast & take more carprofen & gabapentin & he joined us at the table for lunch & gobbled down some scraps. It’s the little things, right?

My husband left a message with the oncologist so we hope to hear back from their office today to see what they say. 

Virginia




Member Since:
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29 July 2022 - 12:40 pm
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Thanks soooo much for taking the time to update.  I know your plate has been full.

Okay, a lot of improvements in the post!!  A "proper"  tail wags, eating breakfast. actually joining you for "lunch".....all really good signs!!!!!

Continue to make sure he's drinking and, of course, feed him whatever he will eat.

I'm so encouraged these signs he's feeling better.

((((((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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25 April 2007
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29 July 2022 - 7:02 pm
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Yes, thank you so much for letting us know. These little things are HUUUUGE at a time like this, and we celebrate every single one with you!

I hope you get to hear back from them today. Let us know when you are able and until then, give that boy some extra stinky meats or cheese whiz or whatever he wants today! And lots of smooches from us too!

Member Since:
6 June 2022
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29 July 2022 - 7:29 pm
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We talked to the oncologist today. He gave us some chemo options to consider, but he hadn’t received the x-rays so he was hesitant to give more advice. The options he gave us were only about 15-20% effective, so I doubt we go that route. Called our regular vet & had them resend x-rays to them & send us a copy, which we forwarded to our beloved neighbor. She said she was seeing 6 mets & would imagine he’d have 4-6 weeks without breathing issues. Not what we wanted to hear, but it is nice to have a realistic outlook on what time we have with him.

With all that, he seems to have significant improvement with the gabapentin/carprofen combo. We’re pretty committed to taking him for a car ride every day now as that cheers him up the most (we’re on our way home from his ride tonight). He ran—like actually ran—to the car tonight when we asked him if he wanted to go. He got an ice cream cone from McDonalds & has a cheeseburger waiting for when we get home. Stopped by some friends’ house & let them & their kids love on him & let him sniff around their yard. He seems in really good spirits—way better than earlier in this week. Just going to love on him as best we can these next few weeks.

*editing this to add that he gobbled the cheeseburger, but he is extremely worn out after this outing.

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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29 July 2022 - 10:02 pm
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OMD!!!   Chaco had a wonderful day chock full of fun while doing all the things he loves to do!  And to top off his day with a cheeseburger and ice cream and visiting with friends....sooo happy for him and  you!!  Imaure heist workout after all the fun he had today!  I love how you are finding ways to fill his bucket list everyday.👏  Be sure and take lots of pictures 😎

Having a day like he had today is theraputic and healing in ways that are hard  to quantify in  medical  terms,  Make no mistake about it though, CHACO IS FEELING BETTER!!!

Your Vet Tech friend has really been helpful.   Clearly Chaco was in "pain" from something and appears to be better because 9f the Gaba and Carprofen. And I really wouldn't  buy into how long it would take for beating patterns to change.  The speed in which mets grow... OR  NOT....isn't something easily predicted.  Even Oncologists  and xray expert Radiologists  will tell you there's no way nto determine that.

As expressed previously, for Chaco to develop mets soooo quickly  and in a way that "apparently " put him into a very dangerois downward spiral virtually  overnight is not similar to anything we've witnessed here.  Clearly the xrays showed mets.  Not dismissing that at all. To me, it just seems that the way he was feeling soooo awful sooo  quickly just days ago is from an  underlying issue. To go from barely  holding his head up, almost bedridden, unable to eat,barely opening his eyes, out of it....for the Onco to  attribute it to the very sudden appearance mets still jas me dumbfounded!!  Then to be feeling better today after dosing with Gaba....just doesnt. seem related to the mets 

We all learn so much from each other.  Thius, whenever you are up to it, would love to hear how the Onco has tied all  this into having mets.  AND, to what degree and with what tests this they done to rule out anything else  causing all these "instant" issues, and these  improvements "apparently " from the pain med..  I'm truly coming from well intended place of curiosity and hoping we can all earn nee things from Chaco's journey.

Okay, enough of questions and back to celebrating Chaco's fun adventure today!!!  It just warms heart to see the depth of love you have for Chaco and your never ending  commitment  to make each. day his best day evvvver!!!  And thank you so uch for sharing his adventure today and he Happy made him..all of us

Here's hoping for many more years filled with cheeseburgers and carrides!!! 

((((((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


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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58
30 July 2022 - 1:17 pm
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Awww Chaco, may there be cheeseburgers galore for you this weekend! It's time to celebrate your feeling good again, and all the great people surrounding you with their knowledge and sp_hearticon2

I'm sorry the news was so sucky, that's such a fast turn of events. As long as you can keep his pain managed and his lungs feeling good enough to get through the day doing some things he loves, he can continue enjoying a good quality of life as you're seeing now. By the way, if you're in a warm area like we are, keep in mind that heat has a lot to do with being tired for a dog with mets. We panicked so many times with Jerry only to realize it was 100 degrees out and that "might" have had something do with his lethargy...duh.

Keep on doing what you're doing, and holding that wonderful attitude. It's good medicine for him, and it shows. We are cheering you on from afar, and sending tons and tons of love for many good days ahead. Don't forget to share photos when you are able!

Member Since:
6 June 2022
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30 July 2022 - 7:16 pm
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Another meh day over here. He’s laid around a lot. Had some waffles for breakfast. Finally ate “his food” around lunch time. Laid in the office most of the day—I honestly can’t tell if he’s retreating to the office because he likes it, because he doesn’t feel good & wants to be alone, or because the loud children typically don’t run around him in there. Either way, he got his car ride around the neighborhood this evening & was pretty excited about that. He’s back to resting now.

It boggles me as well how he went from doing so well to so puny almost over night. I keep going back & looking at photos—he was trying to climb the stairs just a week before he started to decline. It doesn’t make sense. Our vet was out of office last week, so we saw another vet in the same clinic. I’m sure she was just making the best call she could based off of his chart & not actually seeing him before & how good he was last week. I plan on calling our vet Monday when she’s back & getting her thoughts & seeing if there’s anything else we can do comfier wise for the next couple of weeks.

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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30 July 2022 - 7:41 pm
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I'm so sorry. I wish that we had some kind of answers to help you feel better, and Chaco of course. Our mind is boggled too. It does sound like pain signals , and maybe he just needs more r&r before he starts getting some more spunk back.

Have you tried massaging him gently, like a baby, along his back and shoulders? Seeing maybe if there's something that hurts, causing him to look back at you like "Yo stop!"?

Also, what about the dog food you're giving him? Has that changed? When he does have food, is it warm? Warm food is a good appetite stimulant.

Yes, it's super hard to ER vets to put all the puzzle pieces together. I'm so hoping your vet will have some clearer direction for you guys.

Give him a smooch from us OK? And a big hug to you!

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