My name is Ruth and I have a three legged dog.
Amputation was necessary due to bone cancer / osteosarcoma.
She is wonderful (not at all biased lol), She has been through a lot,
but never once complained, even with the pain osteosarcoma brings
and the resulting amputation and chemotherapy. If that were not enough,
she then tore the cruciate ligament in her one remaining back leg
and we had to find someone willing to attempt to fix that.
Thankfully we did, and it is fine.
Why is she wonderful and special?
because she was diagnosed with bone cancer over 6 years ago,
and she is still here, still happy; old, but happy.
Sadly, with osteosarcoma most dogs only achieve two years past diagnosis
with amputation and chemotherapy. Why Bracken has survived we don't know;
very, very few do - but she has, and she is my little miracle dog.
Here is the link
to her website that tells you all about her, and of course lots of photos of my special girl.
Swimming is the BEST, but soooooo expensive here (we are in the UK on the Isle of Wight,
a small Island just off the south coast of England UK). We make ourselves afford it,
as it is for Bracken.
We just wish she could go more, at the moment it is once a week (approx $40 USA)
but she has been swimming in the therapy pool for 6 years lol, hate to think what it has cost,
especially since initially she was there 4 days a week.
But we do not regret a single penny spent on her.
It has all been so worth it, and we would do it all again in a heartbeat.
I haven't walked her on hard surfaces, but only because I had a great oncologist
who really knew what she was talking about and her care went way past the operation
and chemotherapy. We walk through the woods, on the downs, and of course the sandy beach.
Very rarely is she ever on hard surfaces.
The downside of that is huge claws that have to be trimmed a lot!
We are lucky to be on a small Island and have access to beaches
but she will not swim in the sea. She will play in it, but sadly, never swims in it.
I am trying to get hold of (but without so much success so far) one of the huge plastic bins
on wheels they call "doggy bins" they use at the local supermarkets to throw in packaging.
The large size is just big enough to swim bracken (on the spot with her harness or life jacket on).
Hopefully one day, they might let me buy one from them!
If we get one, she can swim every day.
Bracken only has a very tiny amount of Arthritis, we only know that
as she has her bones X-rayed every three months.
Hardly any bone spurs are visible, but I don't think hard surfaces would cause it,
only may aggravate it if it is already present in her body.
To keep Bracken's joints free we give her Seraquin, a supplement the vet recommended
and, touch wood, it seems to be paying off.
The cruciate ligament is the back leg knee joint ligament; I think you probably know it as ACL,
though could be wrong there. Her back leg is weaker now, but then she is nearly 14
and getting on a bit and it does worry me, but at present don't want to get her a cart
or the use of that leg will go completely if it is not used a lot, but if it comes to it,
we will get her one, like you will do anything possible to make her life good.
No, touch wood; the cancer has not come back. The next place is normally the lungs,
which is why they are X-rayed every three months. In fact, her oncologist has said
she could consider her CURED, but I still have the checks done just in case; she deserves the best.
Give Cassie a hug from us.
Ruth, Bracken and Elly too
Wednesday August 23, 2006
You all met me when I was walking Sampson and Chica here in Lawrence!
I finally got Chica on film, then onto the computer.
I'm Frank, the babysitter/dogsitter here at Indiana St. in Lawrence.
Chica's been in the family 10 years.
In her prior incarnation she was a therapy dog.
Last year she got a tumor on her right rear leg and after one surgery to remove it,
it was determined that the best course of action was to amputate.
Without amputating, Chica may have passed away with the cancer
spreading from whatever cancerous cells were remaining in her leg.
Chica is the most loving dog. She loves to be there and be petted
by curious children in the park and still has that knack for brightening the day
of any soul she comes into contact with.
The hair on her shaved areas has grown back in stages.
It has taken about a full year!
That's all I have for now.
I can glean more info if needed from the family here in Lawrence.
Thursday August 24, 2006