Many times, pawrents aren’t sure if they should go ahead with an amputation on their senior dog. Of course all situations are very different, and there are no right answers. Lots of things about the dog’s existing health issues need to be taken into consideration.
But when a senior dog with osteosarcoma is otherwise in fair health, amputation can immediately alleviate the pain from bone cancer. And despite surgery recovery time and a bit of a learning curve, living out life on three legs can be a true gift for older dogs.
“Its all about growing old together,” says my friend Sasha, dog mom of my special girl Lalla. “A senior dog needs gentle exercise . . . and a pain free life in the ‘golden years’ is the greatest gift you can give to your senior dog.”
Daisy is a great example.
Daisy is a senior dog born in 1995, who lives in southern Colorado. We met online because she went to the same oncology clinic that I did. She is a white shepherd / greyhound / jackrabbit mix. Jackrabbit?!
Daisy’s good humans rescued her from the pound in Fairbanks, Alaska when she was about four months old. Her human, LeeAnn, says Daisy’s favorite things are: pancakes, ear rubs, and unmaking the bed when no one’s looking. Her dislikes are: thunderstorms, aggressive cats, and osteosarcoma. In March of this year, Daisy was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and that’s when she became a tripawd.
LeeAnn says that “for over twelve years, Daisy ran with greyhound speed, effortless grace, the very picture of joy. And now, in her dreams, she still does.”
Living Day by Day and Treasuring Each Moment
For now, Daisy and her family are taking it day by day, and getting more of that gentle exercise and loving in each day. Sadly, the cancer is moving quickly, but because she became a tripawd, Daisy and her humans get the gift of extra time to spend together, to laugh, and to love, here on earth.
LeeAnn says, “She’s hanging in there. Sometimes I think her time is imminent, other times she’ll suddenly amaze me with her energy. We are just trying to enjoy every moment, as we should always be doing anyway.”
And it’s those extra pain-free moments that are one of the greatest gifts that amputation can give to a senior dog and her family.