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The Adventures of a Tripawd Boxer


About Bubba

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 This is Bubba.  He is almost 10 years old and recently had an amputation of the left front leg for a recurrent soft tissue sarcoma.  He has had 4 surgeries over the past year to try and control the growth of the tumor.  He remained free of disease until last winter.  The tumor began to grow again, rapidly.  After his surgery in December 2011, he had complications with the incision healing and developed an antibiotic resistant infection in the leg.  What a mess!  Before the incision healed, the tumor was already growing back.

We spent several months researching probable treatments for his tumor: virus therapy, radiation therapy, clinical trials and amputation.  The only option that would completely cure Bubba of this pest was amputation.  It was a difficult decision to cope with.  Bubba is an old and fat Boxer!  We had concerns about his age and overall ability to adapt to life on 3 legs.  The alternative was to do nothing and watch the tumor and infection destroy his leg until it cut his life short.  It seemed unfair to let a healthy and happy dog succumb to a problem isolated in one leg.

Explaining to our 3 young children that their dog was going to loose a leg was also difficult.  My 8 year old thought we were hurting him and my 3 year old thinks it will grow back 🙁

Finally, watching Bubba struggle to relearn the basics of walking, toileting and eating is hard for me.  He is one week post-amputation and I know we did the right thing.  But, he looks at me with those sad eyes, and I wonder if he will forgive me for the new “rules” we have to follow to recover him!  Right now, he needs to stay confined in a small area, avoid slippery floors, avoid stairs, etc.  It is hard for me to relax without my buddy next to me!  Unfortunately, Bubba stumbled the other day and has been readmitted to the vet hospital.  He is refusing to eat and isn’t showing much interest in anything.  I miss him dearly and hope this site will help me through this difficult recovery process.

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10 Comments so far ↓

  • etgayle

    you made the right choice, by giving bubba a fighting chance to have a good life. the recovery is tough. we call the first two weeks ‘hell weeks’ for a reason. i know i didn’t sleep for the first 36 hours – primarily out of fear. bubba will heal, your kids will see that he’s adjusting to a ‘new normal’. we placed many, many rubber-backed throw rugs over our hardwood and tile floors, which helped with traction.

    bubba has so much to teach all of you about being brave, about accepting challenges, about living in the moment, about making the best of each and every day. right now is scary, but this will pass. he is such a handsome boy, we’re looking forward to following his story!!

    charon & spirit gayle

  • bubbasmom14

    Charon & spirit gayle,
    Thank-you for the kind words! You’re right, this is hell! It breaks my heart to see him struggle. Yet, he is strong and is trying to tell me to be strong too – as I hug and kiss him, sobbing because I have to leave him again, he’s licking the tears off my face! We can’t wait to get him home again and enjoy him. Thanks again – I am new to this and looking forward to the great people and great dogs on this site!

  • rizzobeans

    Welcome! Your Bubba is a handsome boy. Sounds like he’s been through the ringer this past year. The amputation is the right thing and it is normal to second guess yourself. I did. I think it’s normal when your beloved pup is hurting and struggling to find their new normal and heal you wonder if you did the right thing. It will get better and easier after these first really tough couple of weeks. Just keep reminding yourself why you made the decision to go ahead with the amp….to give you and Bubba more time together. We made several trips back to the vet that first couple weeks. I know these are ugly feelings you have but things will get better. You have a great bunch of really caring people here at Tripawds who have been through it all so any questions you have throw it out there in the forums and you will pretty much get instant answers and support.
    All our best thoughts coming your way!
    Suzie and Rizzo

  • bubbasmom14

    Suzie and Rizzo,
    You are right…I keep reminding myself everyday that this is still a fresh and new change to all of us in the family. I am amazed at the stories on this site. It has been helpful to connect with people going through the same emotions. Thank-you for your kind words and I will be sure to look to the forums for more info and support!
    Thank-you again!

  • chilidawg

    Aww Bubba you are handsome! We have a special place for Boxers in our house- Spirit Chili Dawgs brother is a Boxer. They can be stubborn can’t they? You made the right decision, don’t second guess yourself on that. The first few weeks are the toughest. I had to hand feed Chili Dawg for the first week and a half but eventually he ate on his own.

    Hang in there!
    Jenna & Spirit Chili Dawgs pack

  • BriAnn

    Awwwww I hope he is feeling better!!!
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Kris Shaffer

    Hey Guys,
    So glad to hear Bubba is doing good. We know oh to well how it is to lose your “1st baby”. We still miss Shelby and remember the heart ache of that whole situation.We are so glad you did not have to go through that. I’m sure this experience has been difficult enough, but Thankfully He’s home where he belongs. Keep us posted.
    The Shaffers

  • bubbasmom14

    Thanks Kris! I miss your Shelby too…I have a lot of memories of her. It would crack me up to watch her sneak away from Dennis! She was hilarious and so sweet, I’m sure she is still loved very much.

    I dread the day that will come at some point. I thought, for sure, over the past few weeks that we were going to have to make a tough decision…. I hope we can give him a few more good years with us!

    Bubba loves visiting with the kids…thanks for sending the good wishes and friends his way!

  • princess

    I’m so sorry you and Bubba are doing it tough. It is particularly hard when they are in hospital. You know it is the best place for them but it also means they are not with you, cuddling you and letting you know everything is OK. Hang in there.

  • bubbasmom14

    January 2013:

    I got my buddy back!! No more “special” rules to observe. He is right here next to me on the couch. We have some new rugs which allow him safe and free roam throughout the house. The only thing we don’t let him do is go up stairs or down to the basement. It’s a safe and fair compromise for keeping him healthy.

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