TRIPAWDS: Home to 15986 Members and 1764 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 DogNEW! Be More Dog – Learning to Live in The Now

Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and 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
Yet another "What should I do?" post...
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 65
Member Since:
25 June 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
136
2 August 2020 - 6:14 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hospital is going to keep R another night.  They told me his fever is gone and he’s eating and happy but his white blood cell count is still too low for it to be safe to bring him home.  

It’s been weird this weekend.  Knowing we’re fighting a fatal battle, it was hard not to think that this is what it’s going to be like when he’s gone.  The empty house, I mean.  Knee jerk thought patterns like worrying about leaving my food sitting somewhere low and then realizing I don’t need to.  Thinking I should check on what he’s up to in the living room and then realizing I don’t have to.  Not hearing the jingle of his collar tags coming down the hallway to follow me to the bathroom…  

Weird and kinda sad.

Hopefully he’ll be back home tomorrow.

Forum Posts: 12
Member Since:
22 September 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
137
2 August 2020 - 6:46 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hoping you get your boy back tomorrow, and that his white blood cell count bounces back..  it’s a really weird feeling forgetting and then remembering that they’re not snoozing somewhere in the house. This chemo journey business is like nothing else in life the wins are so wonderful and it’s hard not to over worry about the setbacks. When Lila was getting chemo, each day that she was content in herself made her weaker days worth it. Know that he is in the best place right now to make sure that his night is safe and as comfortable as possible.

Forum Posts: 65
Member Since:
25 June 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
138
3 August 2020 - 10:22 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Sounds like R is coming home today.  His white blood cell count shot up to 1,000 last night (had to be 500 to come home) so he’s DOUBLE awesome today.  I’m going to go pick him up this afternoon.

So, now I face the decision to continue or stop chemo.  Thoughts?

If we do more chemo, we try the next dose reduced 20%.  Our oncologist said it’s basically a coin toss if he’d have this reaction again.  Some dogs are fine with the lower dose, some dogs are going to be a mess at any dose because they just can’t handle the drug.

Arguments against: He could have this reaction again.  He’d end up back in the hospital.  Hopefully he’d pull through just as well as this time.  But always a chance the next infection could be the last. And, cost.  Which is admittedly something I have to think about at some point.  This hospital visit is likely to be another $1,500ish. Or more.

Without chemo, with the mets already in his lungs… Probably not a huge hecka time left.  But this is a ME consideration, not an R consideration, so maybe I should leave that one off.  The argument against chemo part of this though would be: R doesn’t care about duration of time, I don’t think.  He just wants to be as happy and normal as possible for as long as he has.  Maybe HE’D be happy with less time, but no more hospital.

Arguments for: I don’t think this hospital visit situation has been super traumatic for R, or anything.  He felt crappy on Friday but they said the fever was pretty much taken care of in a day and they all told me he seemed happy enough in hospital, which I can believe because he’s boarded 100 times in his life, so being away from home, in itself, shouldn’t be super stressful as long as people are nice.  

I certainly know what the signs are for another bad reaction, so I think we’d catch it just about as quickly.

Anecdotally the doctor said he thinks some dogs that have the more severe reaction have better clinical outcomes because the drug is ‘hitting them harder’.  I guess I can see that.  Certainly humans on chemo feel hella sucky for the duration…

I just don’t know.  I admit after another three days in hospital there is at least the question: Am I fighting this thing for HIM or for ME at this point?  You know?

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27769
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
139
3 August 2020 - 10:40 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hey there, I’m in the Tripawds Chat right now if you want to talk. I’m so glad he’s coming home today. Double awesome indeed!

Well, chemo is such a personal decision. No right or wrong answers and nobody will judge you for whatever you decide. In our case, we opted out of chemo, and we got 2 extra years to Jerry’s normal life expectancy. Yes he died from metastasis, but something would have taken him eventually. It’s the price of being born, sadly. I wish these amazing critters could live furever. 

Regardless, we see chemo as a crapshoot. It can go either way and you won’t know until you try. So you’ve made the choice to try and now you have another choice to make. The ‘fine tuning’ of the chemo is part of the process for dogs who don’t instantly tolerate it. Yes, perhaps the lower dose would be just the right recipe for him. Perhaps it won’t. What do you think he  wants? If the vet visits aren’t stressing him out, but the cost of these side-effect hospitalizations are stressing you out, then is that the quality of life that makes for a healthy outcome? Hard to say but I do know that dogs mirror our emotions, so this decision is as much about R’s needs as yours. When you make a decision that makes both of you happy, then that’s the best medicine there is in my opinion.

If you were do stop chemo, it’s not an instant death sentence. Many dogs will go on and surprise everyone by outliving the stats, you just never know. All you can do is hope for the best at that point, and stay on top of any disease progression, if it happens. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Schertz, TX
Forum Posts: 55
Member Since:
19 June 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
140
4 August 2020 - 6:26 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Yay!  So glad to hear R came home yesterday!  How was his first night?  How are you doing?

Interesting the differences of opinions on oncologists.  Chance’s wbc was still really low when they discharged him but he wasn’t really eating so they thought being home would make a difference.  I think it did.  He’s been eating and actually ate his normal food (and amount) for the first time last night!  Blood work today so we’ll how those wbc’s are doing today!

I’m having the same thoughts on continuing chemo.  Interesting that my oncologist said the same thing about dogs who have a rough first round. She said some studies have reported that they actually have better results with the chemo.  But like you said, such a decision…not only the cost but more important, their quality of life.  It’s definitely a personal decision and I know you’ll do what’s right for you and R.  I’ll have the discussion with Chance’s oncologist today and then make a decision.  

How is he eating at home?  I think you already saw my posts but eggs and bacon did it for Chance…and on paper towels vs his bowl (or my hand).  It took 3-4 days but he’s doing great.  Hopefully R is bouncing back and feeling better at home.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19482
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
141
4 August 2020 - 9:51 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

It’s so bizarre  that R and Chance are sort of in the same boat on this chemo journey.  I  made a post kn Chance’s thread so I’m sure you’ll see it.

I referenced  a. loveable Neapolitan  Mastiff named Big Louie.  His second chemo dose gave him really bad side effects….but not to the point where the side effects were so bad he had to be hospitalized.  His hooman  decided  no more chemo.  Once Louie recovered, he had an extraordinary QUALITY  time for at least an additional  year and a half.

As we mention so often, chemo is a crap shoot anyway.  Jerry, Brownie, Clyde, just to name a few, got anywhere from a year, to two to more with jo chemo.  Yep, a crap shoot.

I had not heard that severe  side effects like Chance and R had meant the chemo was “working”.. of course, I’m no expert, that’s for sure!   I had read that the sometimes low WBC bloodwork  inbetween treatments “may” indicate it’s “working”. 

I know R is in a little different  situation since he already has that dang met.  I know you are questioning effectiveness  of chemo once a met shows up anyway.

As Jerry said….and thos is important….what would R want??   Goodness knows you have done, and are doing, everything  possible  for your sweet boy.  Many would not jave done half as much!  As you know, there are no right or wrong decisions.  We are put in a position  to make “forced choices” on thos crazy journey  that we should never have to deal with for our pups. 

So it does come down to what you think R would want.  It also comes down to what “choice” leaves with you no second guessing…..or as little as possible anyway.  If he does the chemo and no side effects, great.  If he does the chemo and is hospitalized  again and it is just too hard for him to fight back, can uou accept that you at least tried another dose, even though  it ended so badly? 

If you forgo the chemo and just continue to  make every day the best day ever and give him quaility as long as possible, can you be at peace with that decision?  Sometimes  the best treatment, the safest treatment in specific  cases,  is no “treatment” per se. .  You can still provide  supplements,   nutritional support, etc.  if you go that route.  

You love R so dearly.  You’ll make the right decision  out of love for R, just like you always have.  And we are here to support you in anyway we can👌

Extra 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!

Forum Posts: 65
Member Since:
25 June 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
142
4 August 2020 - 7:22 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi all,

Thanks, really, for all the chemo advice, mostly helping us through though process.  I think we’re going to try the second dose.  If we have this reaction again, we’ll be done.  But it’s a coin toss it might be fine and it might help.  Might, might, might…  That’s everything with this stuff, huh?

I don’t think chemo, or even the hospital stay has been super traumatic for R.  He felt crappy Friday, for sure, but he sounded like he was happy enough in the hospital, like, emotionally.  Samesies for when he goes in for chemo.  

I get the sense his oncology team is on the super cautious side.  They weren’t sending him home from hospital until his white blood cell count was high again, no fever and no vomiting or diarrhea.  His oncologist told me that the second attempt at chemo we’ll also do bloodwork around the same time he started to tank this time, to try to see it coming this time around if we’re gonna have the same issue…  His oncologist told me the infection risk isn’t super high in terms of, like, risking fatality if we have this same reaction.  (Always something of a risk, of course, but he thought the main risk was more the cost of a re-hospitalization.  With pet insurance, it’s not great, but it’s do-able in that regard.)

As far as what I can live with…  I think I have to feel like I really tried everything I could honestly afford (at least everything that doesn’t include R suffering for more time, everything that gives him a chance without that).

Oh, and food.  No problems for us on that one.  THAT’S how I knew to be very, very concerned last Friday.  R loves food as much as I do.  He went right back to eating once he got home.  We did one can of the wet food they were using at the hospital but we’re back to just our normal food in our snuffle mat today.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19482
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
143
4 August 2020 - 8:33 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Alrighty, good job of processing everything and forging a path forward thai’s so well though outland resonates with you.👍

Your Onco is  very proactive this time around and, as you said, being very cautious.  You are very tuned into R and will know at the first sign of any side effect IF they show up at all!  And with all the precautions in place hopefully this will be smooth sailing!!

So glad R is over this hurdle and back to enjoying  his food and hist cuddles.  Give him a big smooch for us!!   He’s a very good boy😘😘

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



Forum Posts: 27769
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
144
4 August 2020 - 9:47 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

You really do a great job of looking at all angles of a situation. This is good progress, and it sounds like something you can live with no matter the outcome.

We’ll keep our paws and fingers crossed for a good second dose!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 3063
Member Since:
1 October 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
145
5 August 2020 - 3:54 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I am so glad you guys are doing ok. I know you are thrilled to have your boy home! You got the best advice, and your own viewpoints on how to take action moving forward sounds like a well laid out plan.

We never had to deal with chemo, Huck’s amputation was due to traumatic injury. Even as a technician I think way back then chemo was not nearly as solid as it is now and I only had exposure to assisting with treatment once. It has come a long way since then thank goodness. 

You got cuddle time to make up for now smiley10 I am thrilled that things have chilled out and R is feeling better.

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

Schertz, TX
Forum Posts: 55
Member Since:
19 June 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
146
5 August 2020 - 7:42 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Good morning!  How are you and R doing?  Amazing how much R and Chance’s treatments are running in parallel!  The good and the bad!  

I’m about 90% decided on round 2 of chemo next week.  Same situation as you said…bloodwork beforehand to check his wbc and platelets and if good, we’ll press with chemo at 20% reduction.  If Chance has another reaction anywhere near this one, we’ll be done with chemo.  I just think it’s worth giving it a second shot.  For Chance, his Dr. wants to start the antibiotics right after the chemo this time just in case.  I have about 5 days worth left from this go-round (he’s off those meds for now since his bloodwork is looking great) so that should get him past the “normal” timeframe for side effects to show following chemo.  

It’s a tough and personal decision, one that you’ll make with the best for R in mind (and heart).  I’m glad to hear that he’s eating well and enjoying the snuffle mat!  we’ll continue praying for you both!

Sandra, Chance & Kenya

Forum Posts: 65
Member Since:
25 June 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
147
6 August 2020 - 10:14 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

110

So.  Yesterday R and Momma got to try taking R’s temperature for the first time.  Funsies.

It really wasn’t bad.  That pupper is super chill with me.  He has loose stool yesterday so I emailed his oncologist.  I was told to use the pills we had + pumpkin or metamucil + take his temperature and if it was 102.5 or above, call the oncologist back.  Couldn’t find any human thermometers (and I am certainly not sharing mine) but luckily I was on the way home from a part of town with like 10 billion stores, so I stopped at a PetCo and they had one pup thermometer left.  

I did not have vasoline at home.

So our first one was… With nothin’.  Just stood there like a trooper, little dude.

Temperature was fine.

Bought vasoline with groceries so I’m prepped for any future temperature taking.  I actually find it pretty comforting to have that option now.  Next time he looks slightly off, I can get a temperature check before he gets to full on lethargic, no food, high fever.

Stinkies look slightly more solid today.  And, plus side?  Have a great excuse to make pumpkin bread tonight.  Always positives with negatives.

I think I’m gonna put R back on his NSAIDs… Doesn’t seem to want to walk as much as he did on them.  Vet said there was no downside to keeping him on them so…

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27769
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
148
6 August 2020 - 11:40 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Bravo for figuring out the temperature thing! I know, not fun but now you are empowered to get the information you need to assess his health if he starts to seem off. Knowledge is power! Yay!

I agree on the NSAID use. An ortho surgeon once told us that it’s one of the most effective things you can add into the mix for an adult Tripawd.

P.S. We always make pumpkin pancakes with our leftover pulp after Wyatt gets his needed portions. Enjoy!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Schertz, TX
Forum Posts: 55
Member Since:
19 June 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
149
7 August 2020 - 9:38 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Oh how they love having their temp taken! LOL. Actually I think Chance and Kenya would rather do that then have their nails done!  I usually work up a sweat on that chore, especially with Kenya!  Glad R’s temp is good.  I hope he’s feeling better and ready for a walk soon.  

Is he interested in the snuffle mat?  When I couldn’t walk Chance I tried keeping him interested by playing “hide-n-seek” games with him.  That usually worked for small spurts at a time throughout the day.  

Chance’s poop still isn’t what I called solid…fairly formed but soft.  He has absolutely no interest in pumpkin so he still gets occasional diarrhea meds.  I’m not overly concerned at this point though with everything he’s been through.

Enjoy the pancakes!  I hope you and R have a wonderful weekend!

Sandra, Chance & Kenya

New York, NY
Forum Posts: 463
Member Since:
24 March 2020
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
150
9 August 2020 - 4:39 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Ash!  I’m just catching up on R’s recent adventures after being out of town.  I’m so glad he is on the mend!  I’m curious about the NSAID that R takes.  Griffin was on galliprant prior to surgery and for a week afterwards.  After his accident jumping out of his wagon, he went back on galliprant for a week and I noticed a difference in his energy and stamina.  However, his oncologist recommends piroxicam as it may have cancer fighting effects.  We are on day 2 of a 5 day washout period before transitioning Griffin to the new meds, so I can’t yet speak to the effects of piroxicam, but my fingers are crossed that Griffin will tolerate it as well as he seems to do with all meds!  ~ Stacy

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: Stacy, mrnorman
Guest(s) 71
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1097
Members: 11321
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16442
Posts: 231169
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG