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Berkley

Front Limb Amputation
Berkley’s owners, John and Kelly, talk candidly about making tough decisions, and their initial post-surgical concerns about home care, pain management, mobility, and what to expect going forward. As they share their experience, they agree that Berkley taught them a valuable lesson about canine resilience and how we create our own complications in our minds.

A PDF is available of the entire intervew. Learn about a rear limb amputation and Piper.

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Q1 - The First Couple of Days
John and Kelly, were happily surprised at his ability to adapt so quickly to his new three-legged status and pleased to see that their dog demonstrated no personality change. He is “just the same Berkley.

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Q2 - Complications
John and Kelly say they were prepared for difficult post-surgical complications, but soon realized that most of these complications were “in our minds,” transposing their emotions about losing a limb onto their pet.

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Q3 - Pain Management
Berkley’s pain was minimal and well-controlled with a limited amount of medication during the initial recovery and healing process.

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Q4 - Going to the Restroom
Despite an initial learning curve, Berkley quickly figured out the right balance and had no problem “doing his own thing.”

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Q5 - Balancing on Three Legs
John and Kelly observe that Berkley is amazingly adaptive, learning and using “all the tricks” to minimize any awkwardness.

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Q6 - Getting Around on Three Legs
Berkley needed little help in learning to maneuver around the house, but John and Kelly did make one or two small adaptations.

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Q7 - Playing with Other Pets
Berkley’s little sister Delilah loved to wrestle with her brother, but on his first day home she seemed to understand that he needed recovery time and gently respected his needs.

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Q8 - Knowing What to Expect
As John and Kelly reflect on their choice of cancer treatment for Berkley, they express gratitude to the health care team for their patience and concern in walking them through the tough, decision-making process and what was to follow.

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Q9 - Knowing What to Expect Going Forward
Berkley’s owners candidly share early fears that losing a limb would destroy Berkley’s quality of life. Now that they have seen his strength of character and his joy in each day, they are making plans for hikes, walks and even teaching him to swim.

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Q10 - Emotionally Preparing
Although she is a veterinary medical student with medical and scientific knowledge about Berkley’s condition, Kelly talks honestly about the emotional toll of preparing for a pet’s surgery and recovery care.

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Q11 - Looking Back: Pros vs. Cons
Berkley’s owners review the factors that influenced to their decision for surgical amputation versus another treatment for their beloved pet. Overall, they say, they made the right decision and have learned that our pets are “a lot stronger than us in a lot of ways.”

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Q12 - Weighing: Pros vs. Cons
In considering all the factors that are part of the decision-making process, John and Kelly stress the importance of knowing your pet’s personality, love of family and what is important to the animal’s quality of life.

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Q13 - The Process
John shares his thoughts on their family’s actual experience versus what he and Kelly envisioned it would be like.

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Q14 - Care and Compassion
Kelly talks about her experience with the health care team and their approach to client and patient care.