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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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Xena - Princess Warrior!
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Forum Posts: 16
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26 September 2014 - 11:44 am
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Just an update on Xena. She has been doing great and returning to her normal self. We had been using a stretcher to get her up and down the stairs but she started to hate it, so we do the stairs now with just a little support from us. She is doing great going up them. Going down will take a little while to get used to. We took her to the vet today to get her staples out. Was a little painful for her but she was a trooper. She ran right out to the truck to go…first time running! And then even going into the vets I could not slow her down. Guess she just wanted to be out of the house!

Received a voice mail from the hospital that did the surgery, a little bit annoyed with them because the first call I get from them is two weeks post op! They took my money and never even called a couple days after to see how she was doing. Not continuing care with them. But they did leave a voice mail saying the biopsy results for  the leg came in. It is osteosarcoma, the good news, it was not in the lymph node. They are faxing the report to my local vet and they we will discuss chemo next week. 

So, if it wasn’t in the lymph node, isn’t that a good sign? Could there be a chance that we got it in time before it spread anywhere else, or is it always in the lungs even before it presents elsewhere? I asked the vet today and she didn’t really give me a clear answer. I just don’t want to do Chemo if we don’t have to. How ill they know for sure that it is somewhere else in her body? Can they draw blood and figure that out or is it always chest xrays?

Have another question…I’m full of them today! Has anyone purchased a ramp to get your tripawd in and out of your truck or suv easier? I have looked online and there are numerous types. Just wanted to hear from people who have actually used them. Thanks!

Thank you all for your continued support!!Xena - outsideImage Enlarger

Virginia




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26 September 2014 - 12:27 pm
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BEAUTIFUL PICTURE AN WODERFUL UPDATE!!!!!! You rock Xena!!!!clap

Ya’ know, the best way I can answer some of your questions…..there is no right way…no wrong way to proceed with treatment…and n it’s all a crap shoot anyway!!!! I know, not much help, huh?
Not being in the lymph node is good news!!!
As far as the blood test, they can be….can be….an indicator of issues but not necessarily with this piece of crap disease. That’s how my vet explained it to me.
Chemo is such a personal decision. SOME dogs appear to get extended time as a result…some don’t. SOME appear to get extended time WITHOUT chemo…some don’t!

One thing we know for sure. amputation takes the pain away and gives your dog the best possible chance of it not spreading. And having a dog like Xena with so much spunk and determined attitude is definitely a plus!!!

And another thing we know for sure, there are indeed dogs who are surviving four and five years out or more! Xena may indeed be one of those dogs!!

I did proceed with four treatments of Carboplatin chemo with Happy Hannah….knowing I could stop at anytime if she had anynissues! She absolutely sailed through each one. We had the most glorious one year and two months anyone could ever hope for! Did the chemo make a difference? I have NO idea. Some have just as much time without it!

REMEMBER, THIS JOURNEY IS ABOUT QUALITY….yes….we all want time……but it would mean nothing without quality!

Stay innthe NOW….in the present with Xena….she’s not worried about a thing! She just knows she is feeling better and better!!

I would suggest checking into holistic….nutrition….supplements….lots of info on the site about these.

As far as the ramps for a vehicle, I’ve read that you want to get a long and sturdy ramp. Also, if you are able to have a person on each side as the openness of the sides is what’s scary to them. And, of course, a “trail of treats” helps tremendously! Oh, and starting flat on the ground first with treats and then a slight elevation s supposed to be good too.

I had the same experience with Happy Hannah’s surgeon….not one follow up call…no nuttin…..but yeah, very eager about getting their fees……
somI understand your anger all too well!

But hey! We have a celebration going on…lymph nodes clear!!!!!clap

sending love and hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle

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!

Westminster, MD
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26 September 2014 - 4:49 pm
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Thanks for the update on sweet Xena…….I couldn’t have said it any better than Sally did. This entire journey is a huge crap-shoot, and there is never a right or a wrong with making decisions for your fur baby…….each decision is entire personal. But I do agree, hurray for clear lymph nodes!!

As far as ramps go, I have no personal experience with those, my Lab was only 60 lbs so we just lifted her when needed. 

So sorry about your experience with your surgeon….I have heard a few others have similar things happen but overall I think the vast majority are very caring and do follow up as much as needed as mine did….I was very happy overall with my surgeon and oncologist for my Polly. However, if you feel they are not as caring or unsatisfactory, I would probably change as well.

Keeping good and positive thoughts headed your way, so glad Xena is doing so well…

Love, 

Bonnie & Angel Polly

The Rainbow Bridge



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27 September 2014 - 11:08 am
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Faaaaaaaabulous update! This is GREAT to hear, I am so glad she’s getting around and even ran. YAY! And the pic is so sweet, thanks for sharing.

I’m sorry the surgeon treated you like that, I’d be pretty mad too. Like our animals though, it’s best to move on and not let anger get us down right?

Here’s my take on your questions. Keep in mind I’m not a vet:

So, if it wasn’t in the lymph node, isn’t that a good sign? Could there be a chance that we got it in time before it spread anywhere else, or is it always in the lungs even before it presents elsewhere? I asked the vet today and she didn’t really give me a clear answer. I just don’t want to do Chemo if we don’t have to. How ill they know for sure that it is somewhere else in her body? Can they draw blood and figure that out or is it always chest xrays?

Have another question…I’m full of them today! Has anyone purchased a ramp to get your tripawd in and out of your truck or suv easier?

The best thing to do is meet with your oncologist to get the ins and outs but based on what the Dog Cancer Survival Guide (indispensable reading) says, lymph node involvement for OSA has a poor prognosis of less than 2 months (However less than 5% of dogs have OSA lymph node spread). As for whether or not it’s in the lungs or anywhere else…like Sally said, it’s a crap shoot. X-rays won’t show micro metastasis, neither will a blood test (yet), but a CT scan will. However even if a CT scan shows micro mets, that doesn’t mean that the dog will always succumb earlier. Read Zeus’ story to see what I mean.

Nobody says you HAVE to do chemo. Statistically speaking that does give dogs a better prognosis but always remember, prognoses are just educated guesses. They do not predict your dog’s future, and as one long-time member here likes to say, dogs don’t come with a time stamp on their butt when they get a cancer diagnosis. Many dogs, our Jerry included, didn’t have chemo and lived way beyond the statistics (2 years!) and many have chemo and sadly do not live beyond the stats. Others fall right in line with the predicted timeframes. It really just doesn’t matter in the end, all that matters is that you make the decision that has Xena’s best interests, your budget and your abilities in mind. Don’t let prognoses make your decision, let your heart make it and you can’t go wrong.

As for ramps…some dogs do great with them, many instinctually do not (it’s called “the visual cliff” and in some dogs it’s stronger than others….they have a hard time with gauging distance and ramps are super scary for a lot of dogs no matter how much you train them). We like the Ottostep instead of a ramp, if you have the right kind of vehicle for it. If Xena’s never used a ramp before, don’t get frustrated if she doesn’t like it. But she may surprise you, especially if lots of treats and patience are involved!

Good luck t the vet, let us know what they say.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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5 October 2014 - 7:17 am
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Thank you again for all the knowledge and advice you give. Thank you Jerry for making this place where we can all come support each other and give advice so we can make those tough decisions.

Spoke with the vet. Xena goes for her first round of chemo (Carboplatin) tomorrow. If she does well and has no issues with it we will continue, but if she has reactions to it, I don’t think I will put her through more torture. She hates going in the car and she hates the vets, so why add sickness to all that anxiety. I keep reminding myself – it is about quality of life, once that goes away, it is not fair to her. I don’t want to be doing all this for my own selfish reasons; never want to let her go. But I cannot see her suffer more.

The vet said to make her go potty in another area than she usually does due to the chemo being excreted through the urine. Just so no one comes into contact with it. So five days in another potty area and then let her go back in her normal area. Did you all have to do that? I’m fine with it, we have another fenced off area, just have to make another ramp, but it added a little to my anxiety of dealing with chemo. I know it is bad stuff but just didn’t realize that coming out of the body it is just as bad?

Thank you all again for your advice. Hope you area all enjoying this beautiful fall week-end. Was 46 degrees here last night. (Maryland) Brrr. I like the cold though! :)

 

Lisa & Xena

The Rainbow Bridge



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5 October 2014 - 11:33 am
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Paw shucks, you are so welcome.

Yeah, an animal’s personality is definitely something to consider when it comes to chemotherapy treatments. You’re doing a good job by keeping this in mind. The great thing about chemo is you can always stop, so sure, see how it goes and if it’s awful for all of you then you know that Xena wants to go another route. There is also the option of metronomics , an at-home chemo pill that isn’t as strong as IV chemo but one that may help keep the cancer from returning for as long as possible.

We’re having beauuuuuutiful weather here too, can’t wait to get outside and enjoy! Hope you and Xena are too :)

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Westminster, MD
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5 October 2014 - 1:28 pm
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Hi Lisa,

Glad Xena is doing well, and best of luck with the upcoming chemo, and I agree with you, quality is most important…..I hadn’t heard about them having to go potty in a different area while on chemo, and you are actually the first person I have heard mention it… something I never thought about, either.

Where in Maryland are you? I am in the northern part in Carroll County. And yes, it was chilly this morning…I got up early to go take care of my pet sits and my outside thermometer was reading 39 degrees….but it’s a beautiful fall day today.

Keeping you and Xena in my thoughts,

Bonnie & Angel Polly

Virginia




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5 October 2014 - 3:51 pm
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Yep…cold in Virginia too! Time to get Happy Hannah’s woodstove going!

You might be surprised to find that Xena may not mind the car ride or the vet’s as much as you think. Some of the techs gave Happy Hannah so much good attention wpshe eagerly gotmin the car and would wiggle and wag as they took her back for treatment. O pf course, I would take her through a drive thru for a burger before and after each treatment!!

Also, if you have this option, I scheduled treatment on my day off so I would take her in for her scheduled time rather than droppingnher off all day. The whole thing took less than thirty minutes.

As far as pooping and peeing “chemo”…for whatever itsw worth, I wasn’t told anything at all by my Onco. about that. When I did read something about that on post here and asked her Onco., she was rather matter of fact about it…….just don’t want to be fiddling with it with yiur hands, etc….use rubber gloves if yoh are going to dispose it, etc. Happy Hannah did all her “bidness” in her usual spots and Iet nature take care of the rest. Anyway, that was just my experience.

Keeping paws crossed for a good experience for Xena with excellent results!

Kee l us posted!

Hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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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13 October 2014 - 8:38 am
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Bonnie – we are in southern Maryland. Hollywood. Very small town. Next biggest town/city would be Waldorf. We are about 30 mins south of Waldorf. 

Sally – that is a great idea – the burgers – why not! I am pleased to say that Xena went through chemo like it was nothing. They kept her most of the day and when I went to pick her up she was so happy. Watched her closely for the next day and she was fine. So happy! Will continue and take it one treatment at a time. As long as she continues to do well, we will press on. 

Thank you all again,for your continued support!

 

Lisa and Xena.

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13 October 2014 - 9:56 am
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Yay Xena! That’s so super cool, so glad it’s all working out. Hope those burgers were yummy!

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13 October 2014 - 6:21 pm
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Lisa so happy for you and Xena!  Keep up the good work.

Laurie

Virginia




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13 October 2014 - 8:34 pm
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YAAAAAAAAAY XENA!!!! So glad things are going well!

Keep on holding out for burgers Xena! You’re in the driver’s seat now kiddo!

Ice cream cones next!!

HUGS!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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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