TRIPAWDS: Home to 20086 Members and 2005 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

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.
JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!

REGISTER   |   LOG IN

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.

Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
Why DIDN'T you do chemo?
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Sydney, Australia
Member Since:
13 September 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
16
18 May 2012 - 10:04 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Magnum did really well on chemo too.  For 1 to 2 days after each cycle she would be very tired (when that happened varied anywhere from 1 week to 2 weeks after chemo) but otherwise she was OK.  Her appetite was still good but she did get nauseous in the car so we had to start driving less like maniacs to make it more comfortable for her.  Like Abby, Magnum became a lot more tired after the 5th and 6th chemo sessions.  They took their toll on her. Not sure whether I'd do the last 2 sessions again.  But, I'd definitely do the first 4 sessions again because  if we hadn't tried chemo I would always be wondering"what if", especially when she lung and bone mets sprung just over 6 months after amputation.  But, if the side effects had been more severe I would have stopped the chemo. I stopped the metronomic palladia after 1 month because of the side effects.

Magnum: 30th May 2002 to 5th May 2012. Lost her back left leg to osteosarcoma on 5th Sep 2011. Lung mets found on 20th Mar 2012 but it was bone mets in the hip that ended her brave battle. Magnum's motto - "Dream as if you'll live for ever, live as if you'll die today" (James Dean). Loyal, loving, courageous and spirited to the end. My beloved heart dog, see her memoirs from Rainbow Bridge ...... http://princess.....pawds.com/

In your heart, where I belong.
Member Since:
9 February 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
17
19 May 2012 - 10:00 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Sorry I just noticed this--I would have replied earlier if I'd paid more attention!

We thought about chemo before and during Dakota's amputation so we'd be ready for what the vet said. Fortunately for us, Dakota's lymph nodes were clean and his chest films (taken 2 weeks apart) were as well. He had an aggressive soft tissue sarcoma in a front leg, but those clean lymph nodes and films meant chemo was not recommended.

A couple of things Maggie Moo's mom and Scout's mom said are exactly why we decided we would not do chemo had it been recommended. A huge one for us was finances. But another equally important one was how we wanted to spend our time. Dakota is a highly anxious dog who barely holds it together in the car. I couldn't imagine forcing him to endure repeated inducements of that anxiety to haul his butt out someplace. He is so much more comfortable isolated in his little world of home. (We've had 3 behaviorists take a stab at him and the last one said "he's older, he was abused, don't force him, let him pick how to be happy.")

We are letting Dakota pick how to be happy! I'm delighted that your pretty girl did well and will also show you how happy she can be! I hope the remainder of the treatments go well and that there's nothing but fun stuff ahead.

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/

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18
19 May 2012 - 11:36 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

That was a big factor for us in deciding as well. Abby loved going to the onc's office. It was all tail wags and kisses for everyone as they made a big fuss over her and showered her w/ cookies. With our previous dog, Bailey, we never would have done it. We had an option to do radiation treatments w/ her, but did not because she was so terrified of going to the vet. I think that's a big factor in making the decision.

Also, I wanted to add that our onc said that the studies really don't show wht's the optimal # of treatments, but that it is in the 4 to 6 range. We chose to do 6 just to try to really hit the damn cancer hard. But if you chose to stop after 4, I think that would be absolutely fine as well. Something to keep in mind, depending on how future sessions go.

Keep us posted!

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Member Since:
26 November 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19
19 May 2012 - 2:05 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Personally, we can have a debate about the pros and cons regarding chemotherapy just based upon Cherry’s experience. Diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in October 2008, Cherry became a TriPawd the day after turning eleven, less than a week from the initial preliminary diagnosis. As we progressed through the treatments, continued diagnostic testing, and recovery, it became clear that the cancer had spread throughout all Cherry’s body and had already taken out one of her kidneys. She received her first chemotherapy treatment literally hours after the amputation, just as soon as her body warmed back up to a normal temperature.

The advantages of an amputation after a diagnosis of Osteosarcoma are rather clear-cut and while I would never understate potential complications or the difficulty during the initial phases of the recovery, most dogs handle amputation well. Owners may have more difficulty with the concept. Chemotherapy on the other hand does not have such a clear-cut response. Many have extreme difficulties with the treatments, and often it is unclear what were the advantages to quality-of-life or longevity by such a treatment.

In Cherry’s case, she had much more difficulty with the chemotherapy than the amputation. Our aggressive treatment plan, left her with an extreme chemical taste which totally shutdown her appetite. I literally had to stuff the vast majority of her nutrition during the two months of treatments and final recovery. The cost was incredibly expensive because of all the issues. Her primary oncologist and I had heated discussions because the oncologist wanted to reduce the dose to ease the side effects, but I did not like the huge loss of effectiveness that went along with such a reduction. In the end, I won out, or should I say the Cherry won! Against ALL odds, Cherry recovered, got back most of her quality-of-life a few weeks after the last chemotherapy treatment, and we shared our lives for an additional 407 days. Forcing our way through the chemotherapy made all the difference in the world to our success. Rather than the few weeks that the extent of the spread would have suggested, she had more than a year.

 Earlier this week, we were down at the same specialist facility where Cherry had her amputation and chemotherapy regiment. They recognized me immediately. While we were there to see a different internal medicine specialist, Cherry’s oncologist and the lead technician made a special point of coming out while I sat in the waiting area, to talk to me and reminisce about the great success that Cherry had. She is one (of many) of their “poster children” on what faith, positive thoughts, and determination can accomplish. In the end, the decision for me to initiate, and follow through with our aggressive chemotherapy treatment was the determination that I would give Cherry every possible chance at recovering the quality-of-life that she had enjoyed prior to the diagnosis. Our success was due in major part to Cherry’s determination. Yes, we had to trade our long walks for rides in the truck, but the expression on her face during our time clearly told me that she loved those additional months.

Good Luck, and you are in great hands with this community.

Washington, DC
Member Since:
14 November 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20
23 May 2012 - 9:28 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Cholla had her back leg amputated in November 2011 because of Osteosarcoma.  I chose not to do Chemo because I wanted her to enjoy all the time she has left and has a known sensitive stomach despite loving to eat anything on the ground; and financially it seemed a bit too much. 

I have been very happy with that choice as of yet, she does get remedies from Dr.Loops.  She has done amazingly, playing and walking as before.  Last week, about 6 months to the day of her amputation she did start to have some trouble walking and wasn't eating well, and I was very concerned but after a visit to the Vet we were assured that it does not seem to be cancer related but arthritis in her back hip (common with dogs of her size and age, she's 10).  She is now back on Tramadol (she hadn't been on any pain meds since after the recovery from surgery) and continuing her remedies from Dr. Loops (who also sent something to help with her arthritis).  I have no regrets and at this point wouldn't no matter what happens in the the future. 

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
21
23 May 2012 - 9:57 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

cholla said
She is now back on Tramadol (she hadn't been on any pain meds since after the recovery from surgery) and continuing her remedies from Dr. Loops (who also sent something to help with her arthritis).  

It's so great to hear about another of Dr. Loops' patients. And I'm extra glad that you're doing so well Cholla. If you get a chance, would mind sharing the arthritis remedy that Dr. Loops prescribed in our Hopping Around discussion forum? Just curious. Thanks!

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

Member Since:
2 April 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
22
30 May 2012 - 9:25 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Our primary reason for deciding against chemo was financial and quality of life.  We had a dane, Daisy, who suffered from lymphoma.  She struggled at times with chemo, and though it added almost two years to her life, my wife and I think it was not the quality of life she deserved.  The overall chemo cost, special food and supplements totaled almost $18,000.  One of our other danes, Sophie, was diagnosed with bone cancer at the end of March.  After much research and conversation, we decided to go with a holistic approach and it's been working so far.  Sophie's tumor has not grown and her limp has increased a little, but her spirits are good, appetitie is fine and she still loves to go outside and play with our other two dogs. 

Washington, DC
Member Since:
14 November 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
23
31 May 2012 - 9:39 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

jerry said

cholla said
She is now back on Tramadol (she hadn't been on any pain meds since after the recovery from surgery) and continuing her remedies from Dr. Loops (who also sent something to help with her arthritis).  

It's so great to hear about another of Dr. Loops' patients. And I'm extra glad that you're doing so well Cholla. If you get a chance, would mind sharing the arthritis remedy that Dr. Loops prescribed in our Hopping Around discussion forum? Just curious. Thanks!

Sorry i wasn't sure exactly where on the Hopping around forum you wanted me to post but he sent us:  Rhus toxicodendron 200C for the arthritis.  As I just posted in another thread Cholla isn't doing well so I am not sure if the remedy has been working for her or not.  But having checked with Dr. Loops about her current issues he still thinks this should be helpful.  

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
24
1 June 2012 - 7:29 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

No worries, thanks for letting us know. We hope Cholla is feeling better soon.

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

Peoria, IL
Member Since:
8 November 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
25
1 June 2012 - 3:26 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Boy, the debate on whether or not to do chemo rages on and the one thing we agree on is: who really knows?

Statistics supposedly show that chemo buys additional time, so that's why we decided to do six rounds — which Sammy tolerated extremely well. Occasionally he would spit up a little the day after chemo, but that seemed to be it. It was hard to tell if he was tired because, like many goldens, he would go until he crashed. We had to enforce rest periods.

That said, it is hard for me to discern much difference in longevity from the posters on this site. Many dogs whose pawrents opted out of chemo lived as long or outlived the time span Sammy enjoyed. There could be many reasons for that: the holistic approach, breed or alternative medicine.  

We tried to use artemisinin , which has good anecdotal evidence as to its effectiveness. (See http://www.cani.....rtemisinin) Unfortunately, the herbal extract exacerbated Sammy's epilepsy and what had been once-a-year seizures occurred about two to three times a week. Sammy was scared and confused after seizures and we decided we didn't want him to live his life like that. I often wonder what would have happened, how much longer he might have lived, if he had tolerated artemisinin

I guess what I am saying is that we make our decisions based on the info at hand, knowledge of our dog, finances, availability of treatment and a host of other reasons. it is human nature to always want more — more time, more options, more definitive answers and better outcomes — but with cancer there are no certainties.

There are no wrong decisions here.

Beth

Smilin' Sammy, March 16, 2004 – Dec. 5, 2011
Golden retriever, diagnosed with osteosarcoma in September 2010 — right front leg amputated November 2010. He fought valiantly to stay with us; but a second diagnosis of osteosarcoma, this time in his left front leg, was more than our golden warrior could overcome. He loved his pack — and everyone else he met.

We loved him even more.
Thanks for the pennies, Sammy. They helped.

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 78
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1184
Members: 14997
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 17572
Posts: 244856
Administrators: admin, jerry, Tripawds
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG