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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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17 July 2020 - 6:30 pm
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Update: We did a yard bath.  First ever.  R looked pathetic the entire time – I am a monster.  But he didn’t have any trouble standing for the bath and I was gentle washing over the incision.  Since it was about 90 degrees I don’t think he even minded the cold hose water.  And now he smells clean!  Extra, extra cuddles the next few days.

I’m jealous of Maggie’s self-drying skills.  R gets rubbed down with multiple towels but he’s get that thick coat and he’s wet for hours.  

He’s still wet.

I think it was a big day.  We’ve been napping a few hours now.

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17 July 2020 - 6:41 pm
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You can get little sticky traction things for the tub.  Side note..Bo hates baths but i jump in with him and make sure the shower head has warm water.  Warm to them makes us sweat btw. I got a big beach blanket and we cuddle once i help him out of the tub.  After i lather him up he’s usually getting pretty relaxed with the rinse cycle❤ of course we talk the whole time and end up coaching him like Coach Calipari🤣🤣🤣

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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23 July 2020 - 7:13 pm
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We have our appointment for bloodwork tomorrow to see how the chemo might be impacting things.  We didn’t get any side effects that we noticed.  And today was a great day.  We walked our favorite ‘short loop’ around the neighborhood (slightly less than a half mile).  We played soccer in the backyard.  (Read: He loves that I chase him with the ball.  He’s super proud of himself for having it, and shaking the hell out of it, while I’m so clearly desperate for this super awesome ball.)  And we played two enthusiastic rounds of tug.  Probably a mix of healing and being pretty much totally off gabapentin today.  For some reason he’s off fetch, which used to be his greatest joy in life, but he seems to be enjoying other things, so whatever.  First day since surgery he seemed more like himself.  (Ooo.  And we lie on our incision now, from time to time, so it must be feeling better.)

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 July 2020 - 7:52 pm
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YAY Rearden! Oh wow this sounds like big big big pawgress!

Jerry used to play soccer like that too. Go Team Tripawds!

Congrats to you both for making this leap so beautifully. Let us know how the visit goes tomorrow. 3-paws up to you!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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23 July 2020 - 8:23 pm
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OMD!!  THIS UPDATE MADE US ALL SOOOO HAPPY!  This is why we do what we do!  I kmow this did wonders for your emotional well being amd for R too!!    Be sure and take plenty of pictures!!

Screenshot_2018-04-06-22-39-31-1.jpgImage Enlarger

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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24 July 2020 - 9:26 am
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That’s awesome news!  Almost half a mile!  Chance isn’t quiet there yet but I’ve been taking him on longer walks with the help of a wagon.  He seems to enjoy being carted around!   I know what you mean about the joy of the little things like chasing the soccer ball.  Chance loves his stuffed duck but hadn’t seemed interested until a few days ago.  I kept hearing the honking and thought it was Kenya, but there it was in Chance’s mouth…and he was shaking his head!  He’s still working on his balance when doing that but he didn’t fall over so I was excited about that!  

I’m so glad that R isn’t having any side effects from the chemo.  Chance’s are subsiding; just hoping chemo round 2 isn’t worse.  Guess we’ll see. And Chance still doesn’t like laying on his side with the incision so guessing it still bothers him since that was the primary side he would lay on pre-surgery.  

Have a great weekend…hope R finds his way back to enjoying fetch, but in the meantime glad to hear he’s enjoying soccer…GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!  

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26 July 2020 - 9:05 am
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Update: R’s bloodwork this week was fine.  They also did a physical and said he looks good. He has about a pencil eraser sized bare spot rubbed off on the outside of his remaining back foot, so I had them check that out too.  Said looked fine, just keep an eye.  I think it’s just from how it must rub there every time he hops up.

We’ve had a very active weekend.  Probably walked a little over a mile since Friday.  He’s usually rarin’ to go, but we did have to take a quick lie down break on our way back around the loop this morning.  A very nice lady in the neighborhood came out of her house to ask if we were okay, both of us splayed out on the ground on the sidewalk.  Must have looked a little odd.  Just needed a little break before we made it the rest of the way home.

Discovery: R really likes really, really firm scratches to his ears, cheeks and neck these days. I imagine it’s because he can’t do it himself with his back paws anymore. Made little grunty noises of satisfaction during our impromptu scratch session this morning and kept leaning his head so firmly into whichever side I was scratching that I almost couldn’t keep scratching against all the weight against my hand…

This bonus time together has made me really focused on R and what makes him the very happiest. Wish I would have discovered some of these things sooner, but at least I think he’s getting some really good final months…

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26 July 2020 - 12:46 pm
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That sounds like a wonderful weekend❤ Huck does the same thing when i rub the right side of his face, neck, ear.  He mashes this head as hard as he can into my hand,  grunts, and drools lol.. . sounds gross but it really is the cutest thing♥️♥️♥️

Glad your recheck went well👏👏👏

Really glad things are finally going your way 🥰

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

Livermore, CA




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26 July 2020 - 12:56 pm
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R really likes really, really firm scratches to his ears, cheeks and neck these days. I imagine it’s because he can’t do it himself with his back paws anymore.

My first Tri Maggie used to turn her head to the left, extend her chin, and her little stump would gyrate away (left rear amp).  At first it made me laugh and cry at the same time.  I called it the air scratch, she stopped doing it a couple months post op and it became my responsibility to scratch the left side when she requested it, she could scratch her right side with her remaining back leg.  She also learned to rub on the furniture or her little sister.

Elly is almost 5 years post right rear amp and she still does the air scratch, she also bends herself into a sort of crescent shape when she gets an itch when she is standing. She sticks her chin out toward her back end while her hip muscles move a bit (she does not have a stump). She loves when I scratch her neck, chin and/or ear.  She ‘asks’ for scratching help by putting her chin in my hand!  She can contort herself enough that she can scratch her right chest and lower neck with her remaining left rear leg.

Sounds like he is doing well!

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

Schertz, TX
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27 July 2020 - 6:30 am
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So glad to hear you and R had a great weekend!  I can just see you both sprawled out on the ground…too funny!  I’ve been using a wagon when I take Chance and Kenya for a walk…for when Chance needs a rest but Kenya wants to keep going.  This weekend we were in the park and a guy was walking his two dogs.  He was probably 15 yards away, keeping distance on the dogs and yelled over “hey, I think your pup there has something in his paw, maybe a sandburr the way he’s hopping”.  I just smiled and said thanks, he’s fine…just has three legs! icon_lol  He’s doing much better…still trying to figure out how to lift his leg to pee!  I’m sure he’ll figure it out!

I know what you mean about discovering some things that he really enjoys earlier, but remember our fur babies live in the now…he’s loving life and so happy with you!  

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31 July 2020 - 8:28 pm
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So apparently this week is the week for chemo side effects…  I’m not sure exactly what’s going on yet, but R’s in the hospital overnight tonight.  He was coughing and gagging on occasion throughout the day, but no vomit, so I was in watch and wait mode.  But then… he did not want to eat his dinner.  Now, one missed meal might not seem like a huge thing.  But I have NEVER seen R skip a meal in our nearly 10 years together.  So I got him in with his regular vet before they closed tonight.  They said he had a fever so we did bloodwork just to check and his white blood cell count and platelets were way down.  So I called the oncology people (lucky my guy was on call this weekend) and our oncologist thought best plan to be safe was bring R in to emergency and have him on IV fluids and antibiotics overnight/weekend.  It’s another $1,500-$2,000, which, does this ever end, guys?  But…  When they called me back after their assessment at OSU they said his fever had actually gone up a little and was at 105 and… I’m a worry wart.  I wouldn’t want him home at this point.  He’s in the best place he can be.

Just thought we had squeeked by without these side effects and today was very much a reminder about the eventual reality of our situation.  For the first time I was really debating the CPR question.  (Thoughts on this?)  I said ‘no’ this time.  I want R back but I’m not sure it’s fair to risk rib fractures and whatnot to drag him back for a few more months with me, if he’s already gone.  Right now it sounds like things aren’t dire, just, you know, regular hospital bad (which is still pretty bad) but it was a reminder that our days are dwindling.

Hopefully we have a call in the morning that he’s perked right up.  He was still kissing neighbors on his walk this morning…

Virginia




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31 July 2020 - 9:14 pm
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Geez, bummed to hear about this setback.  And you are right, he’s exactly  where he needs to be.to get the best care to turn things around.

Very odd that, if this is a chemo reaction,  Chance is also dealing  with some bad side effects…..the kind of bad side effects that are supposed to be “rare”.

Like Chance, R was continuing to heal and enjoy his life when this hurdle pretty much came out of the blue.   It is a good sign that R was having increasingly good times and enjoying  each day more and more.

Hard, but tty not to jump ahead.  Hopefully R will get this fever under control “relatively  quickly”.and the a antibiotics and fluids will kick in.  

Good for you knowing  yoir R so well that a missed meal did, indeed, indicate  a potential “crisis”.  You acted quickly to get him the help he needs.

I know uou won’t  get much rest, but TRY and be pat and give the therapies  a chance to work.

Send healing energy to that sweet boj and extra higs to you ❤

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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1 August 2020 - 12:23 pm
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Hospital called to update.  R’s fever is down, but still not down enough, and his white blood cell count is up, but not up enough.  They said the white blood cell count is at about 20% of where they’d like it to be before they let him go home.  So it sounds like he’s spending another night.  

I have to admit, purely anecdotal, but this does sound like pretty much exactly what happened with Chance and for a supposedly super rare side effect…  They said his white blood cells just got too low and he got some kind of infection, which, like Chance, they said can just be something that was already in his body and wouldn’t have caused a problem if his immune system was up to snuff, but, usually a GI bug or something gets moving and the bacteria or whatever turns into an infection in the blood… I didn’t totally get the details, to be honest, but it sounded eerily similar to the tale I’d read on here a few days before…  

Again, doctor reassured me nothing I did at home and I don’t need to modify his life when he gets back.  Waiting to hear from the regular oncologist sometime soon re: what we’re doing with our next chemo, since that was scheduled for Tuesday.  Seems like we’re going to have to discuss dosage, or a different drug, or something and possibly postpone depending on what the situation looks like by the end of the weekend…

On a positive note, anxiety cleaning… my house is spotless.

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 August 2020 - 3:21 pm
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Oh I’m sorry! At least he is getting the care he needs to get strong and well again.

Yeah it is a crazy coincidence that both R and Chance both had issues. We honestly don’t see chemo side effects leading to hospitalization too often, usually only GI upset that’s controlled at home. Is Mercury in retrograde? Hmm.

And they’re right, this is nothing you did wrong. You are doing everything right, and your sweet Rearden WILL be home soon. Stay strong and know that you’ve got the power of the Tripawds Nation cheering him on.

 For the first time I was really debating the CPR question.  (Thoughts on this?)  I said ‘no’ this time.  I want R back but I’m not sure it’s fair to risk rib fractures and whatnot to drag him back for a few more months with me, if he’s already gone. 

That’s a tough one, since every situation, every animal, is so different. I think for us it would depend on what quality of life would look like afterward. Personally I don’t give much weight to projected life expectancy with any kind of medical condition, since nobody can predict the future. But I would like to know what my Wyatt Ray ‘s life might look like if he survived a condition that required CPR. If it was a QoL that compromised his ability to enjoy life, I would say no, do not resuscitate. But as of this point in time, if CPR would give him the QoL he has now, I’d say yeah, give CPR. So I guess I’m not much help here!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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Schertz, TX
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1 August 2020 - 3:51 pm
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Oh my…I’m so shocked to see that R is going through essentially the same thing as Chance. What are the chances (no pun intended!)?!  To say I know exactly what you’re going through is putting it lightly, but I totally agree…he’s where he needs to be.  Chance was in the hospital for 2 days and even after that I was a little hesitant to bring him home but I do think it’s helping him.  At least until his temp is under control, he’s in the right place.  I won’t know for sure until Wednesday how much his blood test has improved (trying to keep positive) but for now, he’s doing better.  He’s definitely not back to pre-chemo but taking it one day at a time.

I know you’re stressed out and worried about R, but I’m pawsitive he’s getting the right care and will be home with you soon!  When they discharged Chance he had only a slight improvement in his white blood cell count so I think with the antibiotics and rest, it’s only a matter of time and LOTS of TLC! 

If R is anything like Chance, he’s going to be extremely picky about eating when he gets home.  I’ve tried everything in the fridge, all his favorite treats and so far he’s pretty much limited to scrambled eggs and turkey bacon.  Oddly enough he’ll eat beggin’ strips (which are not in the least bit healthy) and last night he ate a few bites of my steak.  And don’t be surprised if he won’t eat out of his bowl…Chance will only eat if I put the food on his bed.  Won’t eat out of his bowl, dishes or out of my hand.  Weird!  He’s also sleeping a lot…gets those droopy eyes like he’s trying to stay awake but oh so tired.  But he’s on day 2 being back home and I do see an improvement in his attitude and energy, so just taking it a day at a time.

Hopefully R will be well enough to come home tomorrow.  In the meantime, we’re all here for you and R!  

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