Three Legged Dog Club
Cassie's Club Members

Our dearest Afghan Hound Nikita lost her right front limb
just one month ago. She had to undergo her leg's amputation
because the vet found her a tumour and that was the only way
to stop cancer spreading in all her body.

Nikita will turn 12 years old next December,
but she's a surprisingly lively dog, full of energy,
ready to play all the time and ready to eat.
(Also, all the time!)

Though facing amputation was quite of a shock for us,
deciding to carry it out was the best thing we could do
to ensure a higher quality of life for our beloved Nikita who,
up to that moment, was suffering from serious pain in her already useless leg.

We've been dog owners all our lives, but we are still surprised to see the lessons these extraordinary beings teach us day by day.
When we went to the vet to pick up Nikita after her amputation,
we thought we would have to carry her in our arms.
But she came in walking on her three legs,
moving her tail and with that joyful expression in her eyes,
looking for her owners.

We broke down and cried, feeling a mixture of emotions.
Her innocent behavior, the impression of seeing her elegant figure without her fourth leg and the way she had accepted this as normal made us feel silly and stupid human beings.

Now we call Niki our "Afghan Kangaroo,"
as she rushes from one place to another without difficulty.
My partner works at home in his photo studio and Niki is one of his best models. As soon as she sees the studio lights on,
she just places herself on the set and waits to be photographed
in a surprisingly natural way.

In this photo, Niki whishes you a Merry Xmas!
Jose & Lidia, Barcelona SPAIN
Monday November 16, 2009


My girl Zoe turned 5 years old last May.
She whelped a litter of puppies on Sept 11th.
I own the father as well, his name is Max.
Max is a search dog on the Indiana Task Force.
Zoe is a beautiful girl who holds an AKC CD title in obedience.
On November 21st, Zoe was outside playing with Max
and somehow broke her rear left leg (tibia & fibula).

The doctors believe there is an underlining issue that has weakened the tibia bone. I had 3 consultations and they all believe my girl Zoe has bone cancer or fungus.

Zoe's leg was amputated on November 24th.
Zoe was doing really good until tonight.
She is acting very very tired and she hasn't passed a stool since the morning. I'm hoping the kind members of Cassie's Club can help support me in caring for Zoe. I just read that I should keep Zoe away from all the other dogs I have, so she can get her rest.
This makes sense, although none of the doctors ever talked to me about doing this. Granted, I have not allowed her to engage in play with the other dogs, but she's awake and watching them mess around the entire day. I wonder what else I'm not doing properly?
Zoe is now in a quiet room, away from all the other dogs.
If she still acts very tired in the morning, I will take her to the Vet's office for a complete examination. I greatly appreciate all support.

Tony D'Ambrosia
Indianapolis, Indiana
Sunday November 29, 2009

Hi Cynthia,
Thanks for responding to my email.
Zoe received a good night sleep and she's doing much better today. I took her to the Vet and she's doing well.
I need to make sure she gets plenty of rest and she's now on meds for the pain. She's been flexing her mucle tissue that's around the femur of her amputated leg. Her vet believes this is causing the soft tissue to micro tear.
It appears her healing will take a little longer.
I was really worried last night, but today has been a good day for all of us. I have just 1 pup left from her litter.
He's just over 11 weeks of age and has been on kibble since week 5.
I'm keeping this little boy for search training. He's a lot like his father. I should know the results of the biopsy by the end of the week.
I'll keep you updated. Thanks again, for your quick response.

Monday November 30, 2009

Hi Cynthia,
The vet thinks it's temporary and eventually she'll completely heal. Her soft tissue is also being aggravated by Zoe licking the area and running around like nothing has happened. I try to keep her in 1st gear, but at times she has a mind of her own :).
The Tramadol has really helped with her discomfort. She is much happier today. Fluid has been collecting in her breast closest to the amputated leg area. This started on Saturday. Her vet does not believe there's an infection because it's not warm and she shows no signs of having an infection.
He believes her body is attempting to protect the area with inflammation & fluid. The path of least resistance ends up being her breast due to the skin being stretched from nursing. I take her temp a few times a day and so far she's normal.
She's been on Clindamycin to prevent infection since the surgery which we will continue for another week. I'll be taking her in on Saturday to have the staples removed.
Hopefully by then much of the swelling will be gone.
Thanks for all the good information.
I value your support and I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday December 01, 2009

Hi Cynthia,
I received the call that I've been fearing.
Zoe has cancer.
Unfortunately, I was not home when the call came in.
The Vet left a message and did not go into details.
I hope to get a consultation before the week is over.
Zoe is doing well this morning.
Her energy level is up and she looks good.
The swelling around her amputated area has gone done greatly.
Do you know of any good web sites regarding canine cancer?

Thursday December 03, 2009

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