and I got Reilly when she was about 4 months old from a kennel we heard
about from a friend. We were desperate to have another Rottweiller
in our lives as we had lost an 8-month-old puppy to a heart defect only
two months prior. To our delight we found Reilly. The kennel
owners were hesitant to let us take her as she had a slight cold and was
on antibiotics. We brought her home that day just the same.
Reilly was a couple of years old she developed a slight limp in her right
front leg. After some x-rays we were told she had a slight case of
arthritis in her wrist. We helped her shed a few pounds and were
careful not to have her jump too much so she wouldn’t irritate the area.
So when Reilly started limping in January 1999 my first instinct was that
her arthritis was acting up. Reilly was now 4 ½ and was constantly
running around and abusing that leg. We took her into the animal
hospital and they put a splint on the leg. That was an inexpensive
way of trying to take care of the problem. We thought she had just
injured it. After a week of no exercise and the splint, the leg was
just as sore and just as swollen. We had her x-rayed and it was confirmed
that she had osteosarcoma, a very painful and deadly form of cancer.
decided we would amputate the leg to save her life and to try and extend
her life we opted for chemotherapy. We were initially going to purchase
two doses of the therapy. However, towards the end of her first dose
of chemo, the veterinarian believed some of the liquid actually pumped
under her skin and not into the vein. They agreed to purchase a third
dose just to be sure that she got what she needed.
we initially brought Reilly home I kept her covered up with a blanket.
The staples and shaved hair really had me on edge. Reilly however,
climbed the stairs to our bedroom the minute she got home and jumped up
in our bed. There she slept comfortably all night long.
and I have never regretted our decision to spend the money to save Reilly’s
life. We were hoping to initially give her another summer of love
and fun. She has been such a joy in our life. Reilly can run
and chase a ball (which is her favorite past time). If she doesn’t
get out to play one day she is just bouncing off the walls. Her exercise
is still very important to her. We truly believe she is a cancer
survivor. Our veterinarian (who was totally wonderful through the
whole experience) did not give us very good odds for her life expectancy.
We were told that after one year 60% of the dogs are alive and after two
years that number drops to 10%. We truly hope that Reilly will beat
the odds and be a survivor for years to come.
has now been 16 months since her amputation. Reilly and my family
couldn’t be happier that we have her around. She does tend to get
lame a little easier; after all she is carrying a 95-pound body around
on only three legs. Her front leg tends to take a beating from all
the running around. We try to limit her so she does not end up lame
at the end of the day.
anyone out there who thinks that amputating a dogs leg is cruel or that
it in any way makes their quality of life any less should think again.
Reilly is completely and totally happy. She does not feel sorry for
herself that she hops along on three legs, she is just happy to be loved
and to run and play. After all, that is what loving and caring for
a pet is all about. Reilly is truly a survivor! We feel blessed
to have her.