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Jun 01 2012

Welcome to Hunter’s Blog!

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Hunter is our 8 year old chocolate lab.  He’ll be 9 on July 27th, 2012.  We’ve had him in our lives since he was 8 weeks old.  He was and still is the best addition to our lives ever!  Gotta love the saying… “Dogs are the only relatives you can choose!”…. that’s so true, as he became our furry child.

He is a pheasant hunting dog ~ and a really good one at that!  He has hundreds of retrieves to his credit.

We got him a friend, our small female chocolate lab named Hailey, when he was about 3 1/2.  They are inseparable.

On April 26th, 2012 Hunter jumped off the couch and told us his right rear leg hurt.  We assumed it was a muscle pull since he easily walked it off.  But every now and then he had a slight limp.  3 weeks went by and he had his annual exam and that morning his limp was really pronounced.  Our vet diagnosed him with a partially torn CCL in his right rear leg.  We scheduled to see an orthopedic surgeon right away the very next week.

The specialist took xrays and unfortunatley found evidence of bone cancer in his leg instead of a torn CCL.  We were just devastated!  We thought we were going to lose our wonderful boy forever.

We had the suspicision of bone cancer confirmed with Hunter enduring a bone biopsy.  He went through that with amazing strength.  Osteosarcoma was confirmed, but it was intermediate grade and not high grade, and his lung xrays were clean.

In order to give Hunter his best chance at life, the solution was to amputate his right rear leg and to start chemotherapy 2 weeks later.  This is how we came upon this wonderful website filled with success stories of three legged dogs.  Thank you!

Hunter’s will to live is so great and he was determined to be an awesome candidate for amputation.  His vets said he was in great shape with no evidence of arthritis in his front legs.  His health and weight were right on.  We’ve done a great job raising him.

This Wednesday, May 30th, 2012, Hunter went in for amputation surgery.  We got the call that everything went well, and by the next morning his surgeon called him “Absolutely Amazing” !!  He was getting up on his own, eating & drinking, and was enjoying everyone at the hospital.  She said he was doing better than expected.

When we saw him for the first time, the JOY of getting our dog back more than out weighed the shock of seeing our beautiful & handsome chocolate lab missing his right rear leg and full of sutures.  We stayed positive and he was really glad to see us.  We told him how proud we were!  Hailey even said Hello, sniffed his surgery site, and then thought nothing of the change in her friend.

After we received his discharge instructions, he just about ran (hopped) out the door to pee!   Getting him into our car wasn’t that tough with the help of a surgery tech and a sling.  At home we lifted him out of the car and he went right in and asked for a treat.  He only has 3 tiny steps that he has to navigate to get in and out of our house.

He got through the first night at home with just a little bit of stirring in his x-pen and woke up today like any other morning…potty & food please!  I took off today to be with him and he is resting comfortably.  He’s on antibiotics, an anti-inflammatory, and pain meds for 10-14 days.  We will make his suture removal appointment and set up his 1st chemotherapy appointment soon.

I’ll continue to post updates as he recovers… and when his hair grows back, I’ll put on a picture our our new Tripawd.


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11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Welcome to Hunter’s Blog!”

  1.   Jack & Jillon 01 Jun 2012 at 4:08 pm     Reply1

    Welcome! I’m sorry you found us (due to the circumstances, of course!) but I’m glad you did as well. Tripawds is an awesome, awesome site full of amazing and supportive people & their unbelievable dogs.

    Keep us updated on Hunter! And definitely post pictures! He seems like a handsome boy from the banner on your blog!

  2.   etgayleon 01 Jun 2012 at 4:51 pm     Reply2

    hunter – what a handsome boy you are!! so glad your surgery went well and you are now home with your family. can’t wait to see more pictures of you and little sister, hailey the monkeydog!!! tell your mom to remember to rest, when you rest.

    charon & spirit gayle

  3.   labsruson 01 Jun 2012 at 6:21 pm     Reply3

    Added some pictures! Thanks for your support.

  4.   Dakota Dawgon 01 Jun 2012 at 6:45 pm     Reply4

    Glad you found us, and glad Hunter’s doing so well! Did you introduce him on the forums? More people will see his handsome face if you do.

    We have a couple of other awesome chocolate labs here, plus some awesome hunting dogs. Hunter will tell you he doesn’t need 4 legs to do any of the stuff he used to do.


  5.   maximutton 01 Jun 2012 at 7:41 pm     Reply5

    Welcome! Glad to hear Hunter has come out of surgery and is back at home! The next couple weeks may be a little challenging, as you’ll most likely jump at every sound and move he makes while recovering from surgery. The meds can make them a little loopy too. Update on Hunter’s progress when you can! Sending positive thoughts your way!

  6.   labsruson 01 Jun 2012 at 8:17 pm     Reply6

    You’re so right! I’ve left his collar on so when I hear his tags jingle I know he’s moving and I can hollar if he starts to lick… so far, no cone! He slipped and sat down once in the kitchen today and that scared me and I just stood there hugging him after he got up. Whew… ruff times!

  7.   Heatheron 02 Jun 2012 at 12:24 am     Reply7

    Weclome Hunter. We is a handsome boy for sure. Check out the forums for care. One of the first things you’ll want to do is get plenty of throw rugs to help Hunter with traction. Shadow loved to retreive also. He has hundreds to his credit, all of the plush variety of phesant!

    Heather & Spirit Shadow

  8.   AngelAbbysMomon 02 Jun 2012 at 4:11 am     Reply8

    Hello again, it’s scary when they fall! But he’ll get more agile as he gets used to being on 3 legs.

    Hopefully you won’t need to use the cone much. A pair of boxes can work well on a rear leg amp to cover the incision and catch any drainage. (The tail goes out the flap.)

    Such a handsome boy!
    Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

    •   allagrinson 14 Dec 2012 at 10:28 am     Reply9

      Our story is exactly the same as yours. Very shocked right now, thank you for sharing!

  9.   jerryon 02 Jun 2012 at 4:48 am     Reply10

    Awww Hunter! I loved reading your story, and am so darn hoppy that your recovery is going well. You and your folks have a great attitude that will take you very far during your Tripawd journey. Whatever we can do to make it easier, just let me know.

    As for slipping on the floors…don’t worry about that. Just make sure to stay on the carpeted areas and ask your mommy to put down lots of runners, you’ll do fine. When I was learning how to Tripawd hop, my pawrents called me “Mister Stumbles.” That didn’t last long though, I figured out how to get around pretty quick, and so will you!

    Can’t wait to see some pics of you.

    Oh by the way, for inspawration about Triapwd hunting dogs, search our blog sand forums for “Bart”, the three legged Vizsla. He is a champion hunting dog and will even be on the cover of gun dog magazine in August! I think you two would hit it off great.

  10.   rizzobeanson 02 Jun 2012 at 3:29 pm     Reply11

    Hunter is a real handsome guy. I’m so glad he is home and doing so well. And it sounds like Hailey is going to keep him going like normal too. I think it helps to have another dog at home who doesn’t hawk all over them like us humans do. I look forward to many more posts about your adventures!

    Suzie and Rizzo

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