Dogs Community
amputation of front leg older dog
About This Community:

This forum is for questions and support regarding your pet dogs!

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

amputation of front leg older dog

I would be interested in any comments those of you who have experienced your older dog going through front leg amputation might have.  Maggie is a gordon setter, age 12-1/2 who had anal gland cancer 3 yrs ago - it was caught early, never spread, never needed treatment and no repercussions - 4 mos. ago she had surgery to remove an insulinoma from the pancreas (a small cancerous tumor which creates symptoms of hypoglycemia and can be fatal left untreated) which was successful with no reoccurrence at this point. Within the last few days a cancerous mass has been located underneath the right shoulder blade and against the chest wall on that side.  Some of the shoulder blade underneath  has begun to degenerate.  Her hearing and eyesight have declined due to age and her back legs are not as strong as they used to be.  She is still active and doesn't act or look 12 yrs. of age.  Given these circumstances I would be interested to hear what others might think about amputation or treating the circumstances with possible radiation and pain meds allowing her to stay with us for a while without going through the surgery.  We've spoken with our vet and will continue to discuss with the specialists who are treating her currently once all the results come back in.  We are leaning toward treatment of symptoms to keep her pain free as long as possible to enjoy the time she has left instead of surgery as it seems she might not be the best candidate for surgery given her previous issues and the lack of the strength in back legs she wouldn't have.  Thanks so much for your responses.
blondie1
Blank
974371_tn?1364538460
It sounds like you have certainly done your best for Maggie!!  I have not had a Tri pod myself but have been around a few over the years, mostly retired racing Greyhounds who had amputations due to cancer.  They adjusted and did quite well.  I will say, however, they were younger dogs with no sign of the cancer having spread.
I can only say, if this were "my" dog, with the age, history and the weak back legs, I would probably opt not to do the amputation.  I think you realize you are chasing this cancer around.  I would opt to do palliative care only and let her enjoy what time she has left as the surgery would be major and add any possible treatments to that, which themselves can have side effects.
I had a Greyhound diagnosed with Lymphoma and made that decision as there would have been treatment side effects, etc.  prognosis was 2 months but I put him on a special diet with some supplements and he lived another 6 months enjoying his twice daily walks, "shopping" at PetsMart and being comfortable at home in his bed. He was 12 1/2 when I held him and gave him a peaceful passing.
No judgements here, just my opinion.  You might want to have a serious discussion with your Vet and look at circumstances objectively.  Fir me, it comes down to a quality of life issue and I have been down this difficult road many times over the years.  
Good thoughts being sent to you and Maggie.
2 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
974371_tn?1364538460
It sounds like you have certainly done your best for Maggie!!  I have not had a Tri pod myself but have been around a few over the years, mostly retired racing Greyhounds who had amputations due to cancer.  They adjusted and did quite well.  I will say, however, they were younger dogs with no sign of the cancer having spread.
I can only say, if this were "my" dog, with the age, history and the weak back legs, I would probably opt not to do the amputation.  I think you realize you are chasing this cancer around.  I would opt to do palliative care only and let her enjoy what time she has left as the surgery would be major and add any possible treatments to that, which themselves can have side effects.
I had a Greyhound diagnosed with Lymphoma and made that decision as there would have been treatment side effects, etc.  prognosis was 2 months but I put him on a special diet with some supplements and he lived another 6 months enjoying his twice daily walks, "shopping" at PetsMart and being comfortable at home in his bed. He was 12 1/2 when I held him and gave him a peaceful passing.
No judgements here, just my opinion.  You might want to have a serious discussion with your Vet and look at circumstances objectively.  Fir me, it comes down to a quality of life issue and I have been down this difficult road many times over the years.  
Good thoughts being sent to you and Maggie.
Blank
10197242_tn?1408458826
thank you for your kind words, your thoughts are the same as what we are leaning towards.  Given her history with cancer, sight and hearing going due to age, etc. we are concerned that amputation would be too hard on her, frontal weight greater than back legs could handle and probably wouldn't give quality of life - are meeting with specialist next week to talk about options - i was hoping they might be able to remove the bulk of tumor and do radiation treatments if it wasn't too debilitating and her leg and should were still able to support her without danger of breaking - we will see.  She is still very active, pulls on leash when walking, can't tell she is twelve and half, but we have to be aware that she thinks she has more stamina than she does - we go to gulf coast specialists in houston and i believe, and hope, we have the best advice available. It's just a little shocking since we thought we with the insulinoma surgery being as curative as possible with no signs of cancer spreading to liver, lymph nodes, etc. she would be healthy and may have another yr to live - we just lost long haired chihuahua last march due to congenital heart failure after treating his symptoms over the last year - so  this is kind of a double whammy - still not over that yet as we had him for 10 yrs and he and maggie were great friends - we all do love our dogs as family, they give us so much and there is such an unbroken bond; i hope they will find us in heaven; a  Christian doctor friend told me his wife was certain they would be waiting for us, he wasn't sure but felt God would take care of that.  Again thank you for your response, as it helps validate our way of thinking.  Thank you
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Dogs Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Dogs Answerers
675347_tn?1365464245
Blank
ginger899
United Kingdom
974371_tn?1364538460
Blank
Margot49
Central Valley, CA
462827_tn?1333172552
Blank
Misfits4Me
OK
612551_tn?1247839157
Blank
Jerry_NJ
NJ
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
amielynn24
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
lindapalm