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Amputation versus Limb Spare | Size and Age Matters

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Amputation versus Limb Spare
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Member
Forum Posts: 8
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18 May 2015
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19 May 2015 - 6:37 am
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Hi There,

My dog Molly, an 8 3/4 year old Saint Bernard weighing 130 lbs was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. We decided to do a biopsy to confirm but they could not get a good sample because the bone was too thick. We proceeded to do more CTs and blood tests- the results came back so far that the cancer has not spread to the lungs and that she is healthy. We were given the options and are debating right now between the limb spare procedure (because she is a big girl and we fear how she will be able to get around and what happens with age) or the amputation. From everything I read on this website and online I understand that dogs don't have as difficult a time as humans adjusting but I was wondering if anybody has had any experience with limb spare?

 

Thank you

Here and Now

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19 May 2015 - 8:57 am
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Welcome and best wishes for Molly! Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

There are various Tripawds News posts about limb sparing. You can also search the forums above, or search all blogs here .

Every dog is different. The vast majority recover quickly and adapt well to life on three legs. If you are thinking about limb sparing as a way to "save the leg" please know that the goal of amputation is only to remove the pain. Bisphosphonates may also be an option. Consider searching for Saint Bernard and limb sparing for more stories and feedback from others.

Best wishes in the decisions you face!

Member

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20 May 2015 - 8:36 pm
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I looked into limb spare for Tazzie my Mastiff since there is a surgeon in Seattle that can do it.  He talked me out of it because the giant dogs are at greater risk of implant failure and there is a higher risk of infection for this procedure.  Tazzie did great as a tripawd which was impressive since she had ruptured both ACLs a few years prior to her amputation but her remaining legs held up well.

Pam

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23 June 2015 - 3:44 pm
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I'm in the same boat. Saw the oncologist and surgeon today and they left me a few days to decide. My girl is a boerbel/shepard/rotti mix and is very long and weighs about 116pounds. Huge chest on her. Im really worried her mobility will diminish so much with a full amputation and she won't be able to enjoy whatever time she has left on the farm.  Then again with all the risks of limb sparing i just don't know which way to go.

The Rainbow Bridge

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23 June 2015 - 4:10 pm
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harleythegirl said
I'm in the same boat. Saw the oncologist and surgeon today and they left me a few days to decide. My girl is a boerbel/shepard/rotti mix and is very long and weighs about 116pounds. Huge chest on her. Im really worried her mobility will diminish so much with a full amputation and she won't be able to enjoy whatever time she has left on the farm.  Then again with all the risks of limb sparing i just don't know which way to go.

Hi Harley & Family,

116 isn't that big, we've had other members with larger dogs who did fine. Yes, their mobility and stamina decreases but most dogs are just so happy to be alive and with their humans, and vice versa, that mellow quality time together is well worth it for 99% of pawrents out there.The biggest adjustment is modifying their activity so they get enough enjoyment out of life without hurting themselves. It's not too hard, you get the hang of it.

I encourage you to start a new topic so we can get to know you two and answer all of your questions before you decide OK? We'll encourage you no matter which way you go, we know every dog is different.

Check out Atlas' story for some inspawration!

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