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« The Culture Wars | Main | No Experience Required »

19 July 2005

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Kris Knutson

My dog Ben just had his second chemo treatment yesterday. He is not as depressed as he was initially, and I am hoping as time passes he gets better. He has been yelping sporadically in pain, and the vet told us he thinks it must be "phantom pains".

catherine paull

Hi, thankyou for posting your story , i am finding it comforting to hear about other dogs with three legs. My beautiful little golden white rough coated bedlington terrier/whippit lurcher was nocked down by a car and lost her back leg at the weekend. she is such a brave little heart and is bouncing around on three legs already. thankyou for sharing X

Jerry Dawg (AKA: Jim and Rene)

My three-legged dog blog has grown into an informative resource for canine cancer survivors and their people.

We just added discussion forums in an effort to build a community of support for others facing the same difficult decisions regarding amputation for dogs.

Drop on by some time ...

-Jerry

Bobē Yuuki

Bobē broke his leg and a vet set his cast. When we voiced our concerns about his behavior, she said he was okay. So, I took him to a different clinic and found the problem. The flesh (no where near the break) was dead! The old vet set the cast tight around his leg that it cut off all circulation. This was all in the mater of 2 1/2 weeks! We tried to save it by changing his dressing every day. His bone set and healed but the skin was all dead...including the tendons. One week later, we had to amputate. After his surgery, he started to walk again but, he was looking for his phantom leg that wouldn't work and this frustrated him. It took him three days to finally figure it out. On the fourth day, he started to run...If you are wondering what type of dog he is...he's a Japanese Chin.

Bobē Yuuki

Bobē broke his leg and a vet set his cast. When we voiced our concerns about his behavior, she said he was okay. So, I took him to a different clinic and found the problem. The flesh (no where near the break) was dead! The old vet set the cast tight around his leg that it cut off all circulation. This was all in the mater of 2 1/2 weeks! We tried to save it by changing his dressing every day. His bone set and healed but the skin was all dead...including the tendons. One week later, we had to amputate. After his surgery, he started to walk again but, he was looking for his phantom leg that wouldn't work and this frustrated him. It took him three days to finally figure it out. On the fourth day, he started to run...If you are wondering what type of dog he is...he's a Japanese Chin.

I recently found out my dog has osteosarcoma. He's a 100+ lb dog and I decided to go with the amputation. We are five days post-op and it has already been a five-day honeymoon. That dark painful expression in his eyes his gone and I'm convinced he is already happier. Thank you for your post. It gave me some assurance.

brad

I have a 9 yr old golden retriever that has developed cancer in her right front leg. She is a big girl. She weighs roughly 85 pounds and care about her dearly. My concern with a front leg amputation on a 9yr old dog that is overweight is that she won't recover from this surgery and will be miserable. But is also hard to make the decision to not do anything. The vet originally wanted to take some time to take some weight off her and then amputate but she had surgery to try and remove the tumor which was unsuccessful and now the wound will not heal correctly and turns out the tumor is growing at a faster rate. I guess i am after input from some other stories like this.

brad

She isn't a very active dog and my concern would be her ability to get around after the surgery. She would need to lose weight and don't know how that can be accomplished when she has 3 legs

brad

Hardest decision i've had to make in my entire life. Just want my dog to be happy either way.

Cheri

I just adopted(today!) a wonderful german shepherd who is missing his left front leg. He just had surgery 7 days ago! He was at the animal shelter and laying so well in his pen. I am sooooo happy I adopted him! He is having a hard time figuring out how to distribute his body weight and is getting worn out pretty quickly. Also, he has a drain tube at the shoulder. We go next week to have it removed at the vet. Any advise?? I see from other postings, I should expect him to get worn out easier? Should I be applying ice? Or, check with my vet and get him some pain meds? He doesn't seem to be uncomfortable in that area. I have a daughter who is disabled and accidentally brushed the area a few times this evening---He never even flinched or acted as if the area is bothering him. However, I have noticed it somewhat swollen at the shoulder this evening.
He LOVES my daughter and will go wherever she goes. They laid on the comfy blanket bed together-nose to nose-for over an hour!So sweet!Thanks for any advise in advance.
Cheri

Ryan

My step dad has a 13 year old springer spaniel with (squamous carsanoma) cancer in his back foot. The vet is recommending removal of his leg. He is over weight, struggles with lame hips,
and barely gets around as it is. I am not sure about a positive recovery? Does anyone have a recommendation?

raven is a good looking dog and i bet you love her very much. she is lucky to have an owner like you . she is a speical dog.

she is pretty

Annamarie Biega

My beautiful 9 year old Lab had her hind leg amputated on Monday. Just a few days ago, she began eating and hopping to the door to go outside. She is such a good baby. Tomorrow we go back to the hospital for stitch removal and to get the chemo schedule. She has osteosarcoma. Have any of your dogs had chemo and if so, how did they do. My heart is so sad...Annamarie

Christie

Hi, Annamarie. I'm glad your Lab is doing so well! Many dogs do have chemo, and for most of them it extends their life quite a long time and with minimal side effects. My Raven didn't get any benefit from it, but it also was very easy on her -- dogs tend to handle it well.

And there are a few dogs who actually never do have any further cancer, although that's rare.

I wish you and her all the best.

Julie

My 13-1/2 year old lab is scheduled to have her right hind leg amputated on Friday. I see I'm not alone in my fear at making this type of decision for my beloved dog. She came to me as a 12-year-old foster dog after her family moved to Arizona and left her behind. She had a mass the size of a tennis ball on her side at the time. I'm ticked at her former family for being so neglectful; things could have been so much different for her.

My rescue group agreed to surgery to remove the tumor, but it just keeps coming back (I eventually adopted Lightning and can now make all of her medical decisions -- a blessing and a curse). One of the hardest things for me to deal with is the fact that her leg is still functional. The tumor is on her thigh and has begun to ulcerate. The vets expect that it will get a serious infection if not dealt with that it will become painful and perhaps life-threatening. The only way to get all of the tumor is to remove the leg.

All of her blood tests come back really great and there is no sign of metastasis, so the oncologist we met with and the surgeon I spoke to think she has the potential for a very good outcome. Still, I can't help but think that at 13 1/2 years old, I may be tarnishing the rest of her golden years.

dog stars

Thanks so much, your comments have eased our minds! All the comments here have made it clear to us we made the right decision and that very soon we will have our dear friend back to a near normal life..

Linda Thies

We just had to make a decision to have Ginger's (our dobie) rear leg removed when we found out she had bone cancer, we did not regret making this decision as if it had been my leg or my husbands and it was a way of staying alive we would have did the same to ourselves. Ginger however seems depressed and not herself at all I know she just had the surgery Friday, January 23rd but is this normal, I was told they do not even miss the limb

Linda

Christie

Linda, it's only been two days... I wouldn't worry yet at all. But what I observed on the Canine Bone Cancer list was two different typical reactions: immediate joy at the painful limb being gone and the dog does great, and a short period of depression/acclimation then the dog does great.

I strongly recommend you join Bone Cancer Dogs, where you'll be able to hear from others dealing with this. It's incredibly reassuing to be able to compare and contrast the details with people who have been through it!

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/bonecancerdogs/

Pj Sullivan

My 1.5 year old blue healer go out of my yard this week and got hit by a car resulting in a left rear leg amputation. I cried for 2 days - my vet told me it would be 'harder on me than Jackpot'. This is true. Jackpot is still at the hospital and doing 'very very well' and will be home next week. thanks for the info on your site. Pj

Suzanne

Sampson, our 3 year old black Labrador, had his left hind leg amputated due to cancer 3 days ago. The vet took chest xrays to see that his chest was clear before removing his leg.
I took him to the surgeon because we all (2 different vets) thought that he had a cruciate tear and they were going to do TPLO surgery. We were shocked to find that it was cancer but we amputated that day after my vet; the surgeon; and I spoke. He is recovering today with lots of love and support. He is eating, drink, and going into his pen to relieve himself. Sampson lies around most of the day recouping. We are living one day at a time (the biopsy wasn't done until after - but it didn't matter what type of cancer it was. My yellow lab had a splenectomy 1 1/2 years ago and he was told that he may have a couple of days to live because the cancer that he had was the worst kind (hemangiosarcoma). Again we are living one day at a time and he is happier than ever at almost 12 1/2 years old. So, you never know what is going to happen - Just live one day at a time and enjoy life with your 4 legged friends.

Mary Brown

My 8 year old golden retriever has just been diagnosed with anaplastic sarcoma in her right hind leg. The tumor was removed and when the pathology came back our vet said we must amputate to be sure of total cancer removal. She is healthy otherwise, can they adjust and have the quality of life they had before? I have to make an immediate decision or face it coming back with a vengeance. All comments welcome.3/26/08

Christie

In my experience, yes, most dogs do very well after amputation -- far better than we can imagine they will.

Certainly some don't, but unless your dog has a special challenge, I would definitely try.

Kim

With her being a golden, I would strongly recommend hip x-rays to check out the stability of the other side. Remember that removal of that leg will put additional strain on the other hip, and the chances are (sadly) rather high that there's some degeneration there already. X-rays are needed to tell for sure - my own boy had pretty serious hip dysplasia from 6 mos until he passed away at almost 10 - and was almost completely asymptomatic.

Fingers, toes and tails crossed for a quick recovery regardless. :O)

Michael

We have a 22 month old GSD female that was shot in the front right leg last Friday. She had surgery on Monday to try and restore somewhat normal function to the injuried leg. Today the Surgeon called to say there is too much tissue and muscle damage to restore any use of the leg. He says we can wait but chances are not good, he is wanting to amputate in the morning. I am not sure what to expect.

rachael

My dog Brogan has Osteosarcoma.He is an english mastiff and he is only 4. He's my baby :) my vet is against amputation beacuse of the little time that he gave Brogan to live (4 months. I am still debating on doing the surgery even if it gives me another 6 months with him. I am kind of torn between emotions beacuse i am not sure if im being selfish or a good mom. He still puts pressure on it fully but when he chases the animals outside in the back yard he is a little lazy the next day not putting much pressure on it. After a full days rest, he is back up and running. please help.

Thank you! :)

Simone Lapay

Hi all,
I had to put my 13 year old border collie mix down last saturday due to cancer which caused a pathological break in her left humerus. It was unexpected.
She had been treated with surgery and radiation (no limb removal) just about 5 years ago and I was really grateful for the extra 5 years. But last Saturday, I had to choose to prolong her pain and suffering and try the amputation (with a poor prognosis)or to let her go. I had promised myself before that I would never have her go through anything else major and with her age, I thought I made the best choice. However, I am very sad and find myself doubting my decision. But by reading here, I see that everyone tries really hard to do right by their loved one. I am happy for those of you that have success; for those of you that tried with a result that did not support your hopes, I have compassion for your efforts.

nick

I have a 3 legged jack russell. He does awesome with three legs and it does not hamper him what so ever...Hes very loveable and is very kind in nature..great with my kids too. I have many years experience with jack russells..I grew up with one and therefore adopted my dog Spike ..I was originally concerned about his 3 legs, but he even swims great!..Great dog! does anyone know of any blogs or forums for 3 legged dogs?

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