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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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Yet another "What should I do?" post...
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The Rainbow Bridge



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15 July 2020 - 12:21 pm
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YAY for no more stitches! Yes this is a HUGE LUCKY WIN, SUPER DUPER PAWSITIVE NEWS! Getting past this milestone is a biggie, and I hope that your evening and today has been relaxed and full of fun with R. How is he doing? Any gut effects? I sure hope not.

As for the dots…your attitude is pawesome 🙂 Good job. If the onco’s weren’t concerned enough to not give chemo, then just keep moving forward as planned, but it pays to have that Plan B in your back pocket as Stacy suggested, just in case.

Did the vet mention anything about a referral to the rehab team? Every dog benefits, even those who appear to be fit, so be sure to look into it even if your vet didn’t mention it. Too many practitioners still aren’t aware of how helpful it is, especially for the parent so that we have a good understanding of the kinds of things that can keep our hero strong and injury-free. I know we beat that drum a lot around here, but it’s only because of the high number of new Tripawds who suffer a preventable injury not long after amputation, because their human didn’t know how to mitigate risks. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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15 July 2020 - 6:26 pm
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No ill effects from chemo yet, but I was given to understand those would most likely hit tomorrow-end of weekend if we were going to have any of that.  We didn’t go on as much walking today because R didn’t seem enthused, but we did… play our first few rounds of fetch!  

261

I limited it to five our so runs since it was our first attempt and R seemed to get tired after that, even if he didn’t really want to admit it, but it’s our first fetch in a couple weeks…  He even wanted to play a little tug when we got inside.  I think he’s realizing slowly that I AM willing to play again and maybe he’s starting to get used to his new body.  I thought tug is probably good for all those front leg muscles and re-learning balance. It wasn’t a super aggressive tug game, just some fake growl-grumbles and shaking.

Anyone ideas on baths?  I used to just do it in the bathtub, but that seems like a horrible idea with three legs; very slippery.  I could do it with a hose in the yard right now.  When lazy I used to send him to daycare for a bath, but the oncologist said daycare probably not ideal during chemo, which makes sense.  So… 

I haven’t looked into rehab yet.  I admit, at some point, we’ve been hemorrhaging money all spring/summer this year.  (We replaced our roof literally the week before R’s diagnosis.  It’s been a great summer.)  But I suppose I could look into it.  I think they have some rehab stuff at OSU.  We could do a couple sessions just to learn the exercises maybe.  If they’ll even let me in for the session.

New York, NY
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15 July 2020 - 7:00 pm
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Hi.  Not sure if you saw my post about the clinical trials in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, but in your last post you reference OSU, which I’m assuming is Ohio State University.  If so, I just inquired about Griffin’s eligibility for a clinical trial there using microwave ablation for the lung mets.  Here’s a link to the clinical trial if you are interested:  https://vet.osu…..ead-cancer.  ~ Stacy

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15 July 2020 - 7:31 pm
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Thanks for the info.  Yeah.  We’re going to Ohio State vets.  It sounds like the trial might still involve some ‘invasion’ (between a full open surgery option and a like tiny holes surgery option)?  How do you personally weigh benefits/risks to trials?  We actually spoke at some length to the guy leading one of the immunotherapy trials at OSU.  We ended up not qualifying for that one due to the lung mets.  But that one took me a long time to think about too.  I’m not sure I want to put R through any more invasive procedures.  He’s also not a fan of the vet office, so that was something I was balancing in deciding just on chemo.  He gets super stressed when we go to the vet.  I figured at least chemo just meant five or six days of stressed balanced against maybe extra months of good quality time.  I don’t know.  These are always such hard decisions to balance, aren’t they?

Virginia




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15 July 2020 - 8:29 pm
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Stacy was  kind enough to post a lot of Griffin’s rehab exercises that you could do yourself.  Go through Griffin ‘a thread and you’ll find it.

Yeah, so much depends on the stress level  of the dog at the Vet as far as whether  to pursue various therapies,  chemo, trials, etc.  Everyone  has their own line in the sand  as far as how much treatment  you’ll pursue.   Finances  definitely  come into play as well as how a dog handles the Vet.

I am just thrilled to hear that R enjoyed some fetch, as well as tugging game!!   And YAY for stitches out!!  A lot to celebrate today!  I know it did R so much good to be able to play fetch.  Seeing him engaged  and hapoy had to make you smie😊

Be sure and take lots of pictures  and video.  We love seeing R!

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!

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16 July 2020 - 4:21 am
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R looks wonderful! And he has that happy look again, I see it! 

Like Sally said, we all have to draw that line and do what we think is the right thing to do given all of the circumstances. Personality, stress levels, invasiveness of procedures, they all play in. There is no wrong answer. 

You have done so amazingly well with your boy… he has ROCKED this journey, and so have you. You have a lot to be happy about and proud of. You guided him like the best nurse in the world. Serious.

Yay for suture removal and a full clear from the doctor. You already know what to look for if he does too much in a day. He is a lucky pup to have you, just as lucky as you are to have him smiley2

Everypawdy needs to see R out in the yard with his ball!!

Hugs,

Jackie and Hucksp_hearticon2

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

Schertz, TX
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16 July 2020 - 6:46 am
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Good morning R and his human! Looks like R and Chance are on the same timeline.  So far so good with Chance…no nausea or side effects.  Interesting that they sent meds home with you…just in case.  They told me to let them know if Chance shows any signs of side effects and they’d prescribe something.  Guess either way works. 

I’m so sorry you’re continuing to have these difficult decisions to make with R regarding the mets and trials.  Like everyone else said, nobody knows (or loves) R more than you.  You’ll make the right decision no matter what that is…what’s right for R.  I’ll continue praying for R!

When is his next chemo?  Chance’s round 2 is in three weeks with 2 CBC checks between in case the dosage needs to be adjusted.  

Reference Jackie’s comment on seeing R in the yard with the ball…is that on your instagram?  Didn’t see a link on your posts.  Honestly, your posts are inspiration for me to try things with Chance…thank you!  

Hang in there!  We’re in this together…literally! smiley_clapsmiley4

Sandra, Chance and Kenya

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16 July 2020 - 9:00 am
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R was a little more himself again this morning.  Still way reduced from the R of old, but he was butt-wiggling for a little walk this morning and we started our day with three solid fetches in the backyard.  If we do three more before bed, we’ll be up to SIX fetches today.  Dude.  In a weird way nice for me to know we’re living out our final time together (whether that’s a month or a year) because I really savor the fifteen minutes on the back stoop, with summer breeze right now, leaves whispering, R panting, even the freaking cicadas singing…  So much more present in our moments.

Love that I’ve got at least glimpses of R’s puppy grin the past two days.  Hopefully their appearance multiplies.

No bad chemo effects yet.  We have our follow up for bloodwork check next Friday.  Then second chemo will follow 3 weeks after first.  We’re doing X-rays again midway through chemo since we already know we have lung mets and we’re basically just trying to slow those suckers down.

Stacy, sounds like I’ll have to check out some of your rehab exercises.  Probably time to start thinking about doing some of those as R gets more feisty.  Sandra, at least what I see when I post pictures is a number that’s showing up orange in my posts?  That’s a link to the Instagram pictures/videos that I think should work for you in your browser.  (So on my message post 107 there’s a 261 in orange in that post and that should be linking out to Instagram video of R’s first fetch.)

New York, NY
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16 July 2020 - 10:48 am
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Hey Ash.  Here are the links to 2 posts about exercises, but please check with your vet before starting any specific exercises with R, especially since Griffin is a front leg amputee and R might need different/modified exercises from what is listed below.

https://griffin…..l-20-2020/ – These are the strengthening exercises that Griffin did starting 2 weeks after surgery.

https://tripawd…..e/#p231837 – These are the stretching exercises Griffin started about 6 weeks after surgery.

I was reminded this week how different Griffin’s personality is on any medication.  After his wagon jumping accident on Sunday evening, he was on codeine (we stopped that pretty quickly), and remains on galliprant and gabapentin.  While not nearly as dulled as when he is on opiates, Griffin’s sparkle doesn’t shine through as much while he is on meds.  I’ve noticed a big difference even when just stepping down the gabapentin from 900mg/day on Monday to just 300mg today.  So, while R is still very much in the recovery stage, you might see more of his personality fully return once he is off the meds.  Keep us posted – I love reading your blog!  ~ Stacy

Virginia




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16 July 2020 - 11:31 am
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r3ard3nsm said
In a weird way nice for me to know we’re living out our final time together (whether that’s a month or a year) because I really savor the fifteen minutes on the back stoop, with summer breeze right now, leaves whispering, R panting, even the freaking cicadas singing…  So much more present in our moments.

  

EXACTLY!!!  BINGO!!  So beautifully  said!!!   Flowing  blissfully  from one moment  to the next, embracing  being full present  and savoring the gift of being together……well done!!!!

Continue to celebrate these beautiful  moments.   Bring on the wiggle butts and the puppy grins R!!  You are such an inspiration!!!

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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16 July 2020 - 11:37 am
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Yes! You’ve got it! You sound so present and in the Now, it’s really impressive that you have managed to learn to Be More Dog ! R has taught you so well 🙂 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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The Rainbow Bridge



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16 July 2020 - 11:43 am
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r3ard3nsm said

I haven’t looked into rehab yet.  I admit, at some point, we’ve been hemorrhaging money all spring/summer this year.  (We replaced our roof literally the week before R’s diagnosis.  It’s been a great summer.)  But I suppose I could look into it.  I think they have some rehab stuff at OSU.  We could do a couple sessions just to learn the exercises maybe.  If they’ll even let me in for the session.

  

Oh gosh yes please do. Therapists understand financial constraints so as long as you are upfront and tell them your goals (“I want to learn exercises we can do at home”) they will work with you to accomplish that. The benefit aside from getting and keeping him strong is that all those new activities you do together strengthen your bond too. And don’t forget, Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit , the most expensive one, so there’s that too.

I looked it up, OSU does have a rehab team!  Give ’em a call!

I know we sound like a broken record about rehab, but with good reason. When our Jerry was fighting osteosarc, nobody expected him to live two years. The prognosis was so grim we wanted him to just “be a dog” and have fun. Our vets encouraged that attitude too, they weren’t aware of the benefits of rehab. Well, Jerry lived waaaay longer than anyone expected, he got injured during that time, and it was completely our fault. Had we known what was good and not good exercise to do with him, it would have spared us all a ton of heartache (and saved money!).  We want to make sure that doesn’t happen to anyone else 🙂

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
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17 July 2020 - 6:53 am
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Thanks for the instagram training!  For someone with sufficient advanced education, when it comes to Instagram and even creating my blog on this website, I feel totally inept! LOL

I hope you don’t mind I am following you and R on instagram.  I might have to rethink that after seeing your baking skills!  Chance and I are both on a diet so your yummy looking baking treats aren’t helping! lol

Like R, Chance isn’t showing any side effects yet, although he was slower to get up this morning. Usually he “jumps” out of bed when I get up.  I’m not too worried though since he seems ok otherwise and ate his breakfast as normal. 

I wish Chance realized he was a lab…he doesn’t like chasing balls or sticks, doesn’t like swimming either!  But he does love chasing me so we both get short little runs in the backyard for exercise for now.  

Have a great Friday!  Give R a hug from us!  

Sandra, Chance and Kenya

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17 July 2020 - 11:41 am
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No chemo effects yet.  I think I’ll start to feel safe if we get through the weekend.  Actually, especially energetic this morning.  We made it around our smallest loop walk this morning.  I wish it didn’t take us by the ‘big road’ where buttheads seem determined to have at least one broken glass bottle on the sidewalk at all times, but…

We also got to butt-wiggle ‘hi’ with the neighbor.  Got a cookie and got to express our enthusiasm to the max.  Might have a friend over tomorrow. A little worried about his love torpedo routine, but she’s willing to get down on the ground with him so he’ll run around the living room in psychotic circles but he probably won’t have to leap up and down repeatedly.

Any ideas on best bet for a bath?  (He kinds needs one, stinky dude.)  We used to do it in the bathtub but with three legs on the slippery tub floor and I’m not sure how much he’d want to stand…  How do people feel about hose outside on a hot day?  We’ve actually never done that before and I have some slight reservations because the water out of the hose that sits outside all year can’t be 100% clean, and I have the whole immunocompromised thing in the back of my head, but seems like it would allow for a better place for pup to stand…

Sandra, You’re probably pretty safe from too many more baking pictures.  I do a cyclic bodybuilding diet and next week (oh, the woe) we’re back on a ‘cut’ (translation: carbs and fats slowly go away until you’re eating basically lean meat and veggies every meal).  If chance likes chasing you… have you ever tried ‘soccer’?  R loves soccer too.  We have a big ball that’s made for dogs (he used to get his teeth stuck in the real soccer bolls) and I kick it and he picks it up and I chase him.  He likes being chased and when I get the ball he likes chasing me.  Might fit Chance.

Livermore, CA




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17 July 2020 - 1:32 pm
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I always washed Maggie in the tub (rear amp Pug) but I also had her little sis in at the same time.  I got a big non-slip mat made for tubs that I put down before I washed them.  Maggie would just sit down when she needed to and while I washed or rinsed Tani.  I would only make her stand when I needed to wash or rinse her back end or back leg. I also tried to keep her on the ‘uphill’ end of the tub so she wasn’t sitting in water. 

One good thing- with only one back leg Mag couldn’t jump out of the tub anymore smiley4

Now that I’m older and more decrepit I usually use a groomer for Tripawd Elly and Obie.  The groomer also lets Elly sit if she wants to but she is young and strong enough that she usually stands they tell me.  When everything was shut down I washed them myself a few times but had to use the shower since there are no tubs in this house.  Worked fine with two small dogs and Elly stood the entire time.

And just in case you didn’t see it this is how she dries herself off:

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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