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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Worried - 4 days post FL amp held back by swollen hind leg
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Member Since:
24 March 2023
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25 March 2023 - 7:59 pm
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Hi there!

Glad I found this community. Long story short, have been treating my pup Daphne for muscle inflammation since December. Went for 2nd opinion and ended up with cancer diagnosis resulting in front leg/scapula amputation. Today is Saturday, we brought her home Thursday evening and already her progress is getting hindered. The hind leg in which the various catheters were placed (saline and post-op blood transfusion) is super swollen. She was a bit swollen when we picked her up, but now her leg is very swollen making her favor it. It doesn't bother her to touch but causing trouble to walk. She couldn't walk independently when we brought her home and made so much progress in the 48 hours she was home that it is super disheartening to see her struggling more! We called our doc which is also a 24 hour emergency care. Only suggested rotating hot and cold compresses. We've been diligent with her meds and she's eating and drinking really well. Anyone else with the same or similar situation?

Thanks so much! 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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25 March 2023 - 10:06 pm
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Hi and welcome! 

I'm not at my desk now but tomorrow I can give better feedback. Meanwhile are you sure it's not a seroma you are dealing with?  Not a result of the surgery needles and such? If so the compress suggestion makes sense.

Back tomorrow with more thoughts. Stay strong! 

Member Since:
24 March 2023
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27 March 2023 - 4:59 am
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Good morning,

A  little update on Daphne - we decided yesterday morning to take her back to the vet, which is also a 24 hour emergency clinic. The surgeon that cared for her the day of surgery and 2 days after will be in today, Monday. They tested her bloodwork, all appeared where it should. Her red blood cell count was climbing, but to give her a boost they gave her plasma and hydrated her. Fingers crossed there is a very reasonable explanation for what is happening to her hind leg. We want her to get over this hump and back to healing as soon as possible! Will keep you posted. Thank you.

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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27 March 2023 - 8:55 pm
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I hope she is feeling better by now. Did they have any idea what might be happening? 

We frequently see some leg swelling after amputation and usually the fluid gets reabsorbed into the body. I hope this is already happening with your sweet girl. Let us know!

Member Since:
24 March 2023
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16 April 2023 - 8:44 pm
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Sorry for the super delayed response! 

After one more night back in the hospital in addition to some plasma, she recovered quite well. It was in fact fluid build up as a result of sensitivity to all the catheters in her leg over the first 2 days for fluids, meds, and a blood transfusion. The surgeon added some very unnecessary, but totally out of trying to be helpful, stress on us assuming it was the blood cancer returning (hemangiosarcoma). At this point pathology results were not ready, so we were a little shaken, but it turns out to in fact be osteosarcoma. We are meeting with oncologist this week to talk about chemo.

She certainly needed a little extra push during recovery, likely because she is 12, but it all seemed to work. We are now nearly 4 weeks post-op and she's nearly back. Her nighttime anxiety is up a little, but does eventually settle down. She still has some strength to regain, but she's really adjusted well to life on 3 legs. Every day has been an improvement. We're taking her to physical therapy hoping to learn some tricks to keep Daphne feeling as young as she does now and before the tumor took over her life. 

Thank you for checking in!

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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17 April 2023 - 11:05 am
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WHEW! What a recovery ordeal you guys went through, I'm so happy everything has turned out well. Aside from the osteosarcoma diagnosis of course, it does sound like she is getting her mojo back. Pretty good for a 12-year old gal! 

Let us know what the therapist says, yay for taking her to see one! 

Also, if that nighttime anxiety continues, it might be good to consult with a Veterinary Cannabis Counselor for some direction on anti-anxiety cannabis products that could help her symptoms. I can point you in the right direction if you're interested in meeting one.

Cheers to more progress smiley_clap


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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17 April 2023 - 7:11 pm
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".....everyday has been an improvement."

Good job of recognizing  that every improvement is a victory!  Daphne had some extra hurdles to overcome and she's doing just that !  Good job sweet Daphne👏


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!

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