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12 year old Roxy Needs Amputation | Size and Age Matters


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12 year old Roxy Needs Amputation
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Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
1 September 2017
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1 September 2017 - 5:34 pm
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Hi there, out sweet old gal is Roxy as well and has the same cancer, a soft tissue sarcoma.  She is a rescue and estimated at 12 years old.  She's 68 lbs.  We are struggling.  The tumor was removed in 2016 but came back this year and is growing.  She seems to be in no pain and doesn't limp except on rare occasion.  But since it's back and growing, our only chance to save her is amputation.  We had before said we'd never put her through it but our vet said she thinks she could do just fine.  We love her so and are very sad to have to make either decision.

The Rainbow Bridge

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1 September 2017 - 7:00 pm
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Hi Vikki, welcome to you and Roxy. Thanks for registering as a member, your future posts won't require approval so post away.

I know it's tough having a senior dog being faced with this decision, I can't blame you for struggling. But as you can see here there are many examples of senior dogs even older than her who have done really well as Tripawds. It's good to hear your vet thinks she can do fine on three legs! You didn't mention arthritis or anything right? So the question is, how do you feel? Only you know her better than any one else. It's a tough call but listen to your heart, you will know what is right for her.

Most people are stunned by how well their pet does after amputation. It's such a big deal to us, but to them, they just want to stop the hurting. And I know it doesn't seem like she's in pain, but when an animal limps, they hurt. Remember, they do all they can to hide their pain because in the wild they wouldn't survive if they showed it. So even an occasional limp means that something needs to be done.

If you are in doubt or not sure, seek a second or even third opinion from an orthopedic specialist if you haven't already. That can make all the difference. And be sure to browse this Forum, where you'll find many examples of older dogs on three legs.

I hope this helps. Stay tuned for others to chime in OK? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Vacaville, California

Forum Posts: 42
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1 September 2017 - 7:29 pm
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Hi Vikki,

Just  wanted to throw in that my Sessy was a little over 11 when she lost her leg to osteosarcoma.  She will be 12 in two months and is doing great on three legs.  She's a greyhound so she is also a bigger dog.  To my surprise, two months after her amputation she blew past two other dogs at the dog park with little effort.

When I got her diagnosis 12/26/16 I was devastated with the thought that I might lose her soon.  All my friends said it would be cruel if I amputated her leg, and it scared me to death.  Luckily for me at that time, I went to UCDavis and coincidently ran into another tripawd dog owner.  She pointed me to this site and this group.  After reading lots of forums and talking to other tripawd owners, I decided that I was the only one that worried about what a horrible thing I was doing to my reality she would be a lot happier to be pain free, and hopefully it would buy me more time with her.  As many on this site will say.....we aren't doing this to them....but for them.

Every day I try to Be More Dog and treasure every extra day I have with her.

Gayle - mom of beautiful greyhound Sessy.  Sessy diagnosed with osteosarcoma on 12/26/16, left back leg amputated on 1/2/17.  Feline siblings Mooshe, Tinkerdude, Odie and Bean

Forum Posts: 2
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20 July 2017
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5 September 2017 - 3:17 pm
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Hi Vikki,

My aussie mix girl, Sofia (age 10), is my second dog to lose a leg to cancer. Surgery was on June 10 this year. She also had a sarcoma that did not appear to be painful for quite a while - over two years - but the tumor continued to steadily enlarge. Then, some weeks before the surgery, it appeared to have become painful for her, and our choice was to lose her leg and keep her life. 

We did have the input of our vet, who helped us know that aside from the leg, Sofia was a good candidate and would do well even though she has some arthritis. Our vet was so right. Sofia adjusted to losing a foreleg within a couple of weeks. The first few days to a week are the most challenging as they regain their strength and learn to walk as a tripawd, but those days pass and their spirit and joy returns. 

My first dog to have an amputation was Mija. She was 13 when we amputated a rear leg due to osteosarcoma. Our biggest challenge was keeping her from running around in the first week after surgery. Energetically, was ready to go full blast, but of course, we had to regulate her enthusiasm for a couple of weeks so she could heal well! She had some arthritis too, but with dogs, their spirit is what drives them and she was nowhere near ready to lose her life. Losing her leg allowed her much more very happy time with us, and without that terrible pain. 

I think it's very true that humans have a hard time with the idea of amputating a limb from a dog, while dogs who become tripawds generally do quite well and adapt in very little time. Ultimately, I feel grateful that amputation has been an option for us that allowed us to keep these dogs with us.

Here and Now

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5 September 2017 - 3:52 pm
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claudia17 said
My aussie mix girl, Sofia (age 10), is my second dog to lose a leg to cancer....

Welcome and thanks for the input! Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Please consider starting a new topic or a free Tripawds blog to share your story. Start here if you ever need help navigating the many helpful Tripawds Resources and assistance programs.

Forum Posts: 1054
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5 September 2017 - 8:56 pm
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Hi Vikki

Wed all love to know a little more about Roxy. What breed is she? Is she still full of the lust for life? 

My Stewie boy is 7, a Bernese/Rottweiler cross. He had his front left leg removed on July 5th of this year, due to Osteosarcoma and like you, my husband & I struggled with the decision to amputate. Once we realized that (for the time being) Stewie would be free of pain, 100%, it was a no brainer to amputate. Luckily for us, his lung X-ray came back relatively clear. Our decision was reaffirmed when we joined Tripawds site. We saw that 100's of dogs survive brilliantly on 3 legs! Old, young, large & small...

Due to the fact that Osteosarcoma is such an aggressive cancer, my husband & I realize that we are trying to buy more time... Stewie has already lived past his initial diagnosis of 4-6 weeks. That was without amputation. We are begging the universe to give us a year ( or 2???) more with Stewie, but if it is as short as 4 months, we know that we gave Stewie 3 months of pain free, happy life! There are no guarantees in life, unfortunately and all we can do is follow our hearts and our logical minds and let the two balance out.

Another thing that Jerry's pack said, that rang so true with Stewie... Dogs do not like to show us that they are in pain! Stewie had shown indications of pain for a few months, but very minimal. He would be back to 'normal' in no time. It wasn't until he couldn't hide the limp from us anymore that we found the (big) tumour in his foreleg. 

Best wishes and stay in touch with these folks on Tripawds... everyone has experienced what you are going through in one way or another. They are a tremendous help in so many ways.

Sloppy kisses from Stewie👅🐾
& all the very best from his adoring pack,
Petra, Paul, Mr. Spike, Chester Molester & Miss Lily 🐾🐾🐾❤️

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

Forum Posts: 13
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23 July 2017
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10 September 2017 - 8:04 pm
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Hi Vikki,

My Roxie is 11 years old and 86 lbs (pre amputation) and was diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma in July of this year.  Our vet recommended amputation, and we really had little choice due to a complication from the tumor removal surgery.  

I was extremely nervous because it was a front leg, and she has mild arthritis.  However, she had her surgery on July 25th and is doing great. She's living proof that senior dogs can have a happy life after amputation.  It's very scary, I know, but this is a great place to be and you'll find lots of information and support.


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