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Oct 29

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Leroy, our adorable 8.5 year old male English bulldog was diagnosed with an intermediate (stage 2) soft tissue sarcoma in his rear left leg. He is in excellent health and surprisingly physically fit (for a bulldog), had great blood, urine and fecal work up results…. and x-rays and CT’s showed no sign of metastasis. Life decision…. amputate or not?

We’d been prepped for a possible amputation for about 6 months now. We first thought the swelling in his rear leg was from a CCL when we noticed him slip outside after a random Dallas freeze. We did multiple aspirations of the swollen leg and nothing cancerous showed up on multiple times over 7 months. Anesthesia is a huge risk with bulldogs and his leg wasn’t growing or causing him pain so we decided to wait it out and go the holistic route (in hindsight i wish we would have amputated sooner).

Everything was going great until the tumor hit a phase of rapid growth (golf ball to grapefruit in 3 days) and started cutting off blood flow to his paw. It caused extreme swelling and pain! And badass Leroy has never known or shown pain. After a couple of sleepless nights and a day of denying food (this bully NEVER denies food), we left Dallas for an emergency visit to the Texas A&M small vet hospital and they diagnosed him with a spindle cell tumor in the hind left leg. Unfortunately the tumor was pushing on his pelvis as well so the recommended a full hind limb amputation and partial hip amputation as the best way to save our boy. Terrifying thinking of losing so much of his body… PLUS the risks of surgery with him being a senior bulldog.

On 10/24/2017 Leroy had his hind leg and partial hip amputation surgery and did fabulous! He shocked us and the amazing Drs at Texas A&M during his surgery and recovery! This senior bulldog rocked his almost 6 hour long surgery and hopped around like pro the SAME day! Everyone was so impressed with his energy!! He’s already so much happier as a Tripawd! I was terrified to pick him up after his surgery (he stayed 3.5 days with A&M post op) thinking he would hate me for what I did to him. Also terrified that I would be devastated seeing his new crazy body and all the pain I put him through. NOPE! I cried tears of joy bc my baby was no longer in pain! He was smiling, his eyes were joyful and happy and he was thankful that we cut the pain off of him!

Leroy came  home on 10/28/2017 and is loving life on 3 legs! We are 4 days post op and he has tons of energy, a huge appetite and we are loving all our new toys! He has mastered walking (more like sprinting) as a Tripawd. Our only issue right now is that bc we had to remove part of his hip, his incision is extremely large and very close to his “sewage drainage”. His tummy is upset and he’s been having a lot of diarrhea. No solid BM since surgery. We are on an antibiotics for it so hopefully it will his tummy will normalize soon. We are feeding him a very bland diet of boiled chicken mixed with some 1/4 of a can of Hill’s i/d stewed canned food the vets gave us. He still scarfs it down and his appetite is beyond strong!! Praying for a solid BM so we don’t have to worry about his “sewage” getting near the incision. Currently we are taking him to the 24 hr vet for re-bandaging after each upset stomach potty. All of his stitches are interior, but today before we picked him up they added a few staples to secure one location. It has caused a lot of drainage, possible due to a seroma that was there before they stapled.

Post op we did find out he is grade 2 Neurofibrosarcoma that has not metastasized to date. Unfortunately we only got 3 mm margins (3 cm is preferrred) and we go back to Texas A&M in 2 weeks to plan with oncology and the next steps for his treatment. We are currrently on the typical drugs: Gabapentin, Tramadol and Rymidol, as well as Metronidazole (antidiarrheal) and Clavamox (antibiotic). We also have an anti naseau pill and an anti anxiety to help him sleep since he seems to have forgotten that he had a major surgery. Thank goodness for the person who recommended cheese whiz for helping with pills. He happily takes all his pills now!

It’s amazing how strong and resilient dogs are. I am in awe of his strength and his happiness as a Tripawd.

Here are some pics of his journey! 3 Legs Zero Problems!

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5 comments so far

  1. benny55
    2:53 am - 10-30-2017

    My computer is crashing, coming back. In the meantime, I’m grinnig ear to ear hearing how well this ADORABLE PUP is doing!!! 🙂 I just loooove him! 🙂
    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    • leroyto3roy
      1:44 am - 10-31-2017

      He truly is a Rock Star! thanks so much for your encouragement and happy thoughts for our baby boy! This site has truly been a sanctuary through this process!

  2. jerry
    10:17 pm - 10-30-2017

    Leroy you look GREAT! I love that hoppy look on your face, it really does say it all.

    Thanks so much for starting a blog and being a supporter too. We often get people who worry that their Bulldog will not make a good Tripawd. As you know, that’s just bogus, you stout dudes sure can be hoppy on 3! So thanks for having a wonderful place where we can point people to when they want examples.

    As for the runny poop, ask your folks to try edible green clay. It works WONDERS for many dogs:

    Stay strong my friend and I hope you are 100 pawcent healed in no time. Say Hi to the TAMU Aggies for us. Gig ’em!

    • leroyto3roy
      1:43 am - 10-31-2017

      Thanks so much for your thoughts and suggestions! We will def be trying out this clay! Our consistency has been way better as of today! So many people thought a bulldog couldn’t walk on 3 legs and our dude is proving them soooooo wrong! He is so much happier now and way more mobile than when he was dragging along that huge tumor. Thanks so much for all the advice and for this place for people to gather. It has been beyond helpful and made this transition so much easier!

  3. Jan
    2:09 pm - 10-31-2017

    Just catching up on the blogs. So glad the surgery went well and you are home. Great news! We are back at A&M for last chemo on Monday, November 13th.

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