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Valentine is a Tripawd


Valentine’s Day is Valentine’s Birthday

February 13th, 2016 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Tomorrow is Valentine’s birthday, she will be 9 years old.

Last year on February 12 we learned she had osteosarcoma in her right front leg.  After freaking out, we had her leg amputated and she has had a very good year.  She adjusted very well to her life as a tripawd.

Some of you may remember that we could only do one round of carbo chemo because of the outbreak of the Chicago dog flu here.  We were too afraid she would catch the flu at the vet while she was being administered a dose of chemo which would lower her immunity.  Tough decision.

Lately she has had some weird spells where she shivers and pants and paces and will not settle as if she is in pain.  She has also coughed a few times at night over the past month or so. So we are guarded and vigilant and concur that cancer s*&@s.

We have not done a chest x-ray since her amputation almost a year ago.  She receives regular chiropractor and acupuncture treatments, we tried a local rehab center but it didn’t really go very well.  She is on apocaps and K9 and Chinese herbs. We just started her on 25mg of Tramadol twice a day because we fear she might be in pain.

She has had a very good year, still chases the squirrels out of our yard, still wants to play and wrestle with her pack-mate Frances.

Here she is waiting for an acupuncture treatment.  She is gazing up at the table where we have placed her treats. Happy Valentine’s Day!



Skin Splotching Post-Amputation Question

May 5th, 2015 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Hi, I have a question.

Valentine is 10 weeks post-amputation for osteosarcoma in her front right leg. She is doing fantastic. We have had to interrupt her chemo treatments after 1 round of carboplatin because of the dog flu epidemic here in Chicago.

Her scar has healed very well. She still licks at it from time to time. And her fur is growing back nicely.

But she has developed some skin splotching around the surgery and scar area. I have included a couple of photos.

We probably cannot take her in to see her surgeon at this point because we are avoiding taking her anywhere where she might be exposed to the flu.

Any experience or thoughts about this would be appreciated.



Thank you for any comments you can share about this.








Thank you for your comments and thoughts.


Valentine’s Story with Photos

April 16th, 2015 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

Hi, I am Valentine. I just turned 8 years old on February 14, 2015–Valentine’s Day is my birthday. My people love me very much and take great care of me. I am always working to make sure that my people are safe and comfortable. I will bark whenever I need to. I love to snuggle and be petted.



I had been limping and my people thought it was just a common sprain from chasing my packmate Frances (a 10 year old husky/smooth coat collie mix) around the backyard.


They took me to our Vet and the xray showed the horrible pattern of osteosarcoma in the right front wrist of my leg. My people were devastated. They were not sure what to do with me. So they started making phone calls and appointments and searching the Web. They went back and forth trying to figure out what to do. They had a biopsy done and it pointed towards OSA but was not 100% conclusive. Then after a few days of worry and discussion they brought me in for amputation. I came through the amputation very well and went home the next day. It was weird and I was in pain. They gave me painkillers and took very good care of me. Things were going very well until day 6 when I developed a very hunched back. The surgeon suggested we see an accupuncturist and maybe a chiropractor and maybe a physical therapist but he was also sure that the hunched back was temporary. And he was right, we went and got some accupunture and a visit to a chiropractor and since then I have been doing very well. I can chase my housemate Frances around the yard and chase balls again. I can go down the back stairs to the yard but I get carried up the stairs. I will climb those stairs again after a few more weeks have passed. So the post-amputation is going very well. I woke up a few times in very bad pain, so bad that I whimpered and my people held me, but that has only happened twice, the rest of this has been weird but okay.


After two weeks the surgeon took the stiches out and turned me over to the oncologist to begin chemotherapy. My lung xrays were clear. So he gave me my first treatment of carboplatin. That was smooth. I didn’t get sick, never lost my appetite. We went back a week later for bloodwork and my neutrophils were low at 2.6 but not horrible. When we went in for the appointment for my second treatment at 3 weeks my neutrophils had dropped further to 1.55 (the second nadir which happens sometimes on carboplatin) so I was given some antibiotics and we made an appointment for the following week.


But then something weird happened. We live in Chicago and suddenly the local media was reporting on a spreading influenza amongst the dogs here. The reports were confusing. At first they claimed it was just a variant of kennel cough (bordatella). Then they claimed it was the dog flu from 2008. They were however sure that the flu was very contagious and very powerful, some dogs had died from it.   My people were very worried, so worried that they contacted their oncologist. He tried to convince them that they should risk it and bring me into the clinic for my second treatment. But the clinics were also reported to be seeing many flu patients daily. Which meant that the clinics were infected with the aerosol from the virus. My people cancelled and rescheduled two appointments for me and as the days passed the news reports got worse and worse with new reports about the Chinese origin of the virus and mixed messages about the efficacy of the current vaccine. My people cancelled my appointment and made the hard decision to wait on anymore chemo until the flu has passed for certain.


It was a tough decision. But for today, 7 weeks ampuversary, I do not have the flu and I am settling into my new life as a tripawd. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.


Love, Valentine





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April 16th, 2015 · No Comments · Uncategorized

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