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Should we amputate? | Size and Age Matters


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Should we amputate?
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
21 August 2017
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21 August 2017 - 6:01 pm
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My 1 year old Rough collie was hit by a car 5 weeks ago.  He broke his R front radius and ulna.  The vet recommended casting and he's been in a cast non-weight bearing for 5 weeks.  Unfortunately the bones are not healing correctly and now our vet is recommending urgent orthopedic surgery that will cost $4000 and require 12 weeks of immobility to heal.  The other option of course is amputation.  We need to make this decision soon and are having a really hard time.  We can't afford the surgery but hate to commit our young dog to a life with only 3 legs.

please help!

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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21 August 2017 - 8:14 pm
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Hi there! So sorry about the accident. What's your doggie's name?

Yeah, it's a tough call when you are dealing with such a young dog, but young or old, each will have unique challenges and advantages when adapting to life on three. Our Tripawds Spokesdog Wyatt Ray lost his leg at eight months old and he is now eight and doing well overall. Currently he's experiencing some mobility challenges that we are addressing with rehab therapy, which you can read about in the Tripawds News blog .

Many of our members lost a limb at a young age for something other than cancer. Rest assured the dogs do well. As long as you are proactive about keeping your pup's weight down, ensuring he gets the right kind of physical activity and maintain a working relationship with a good rehab therapist if possible, he really can do great. 

It sounds like you've done your homework in talking to experts about this major decision. Congratulate yourself on that, you're a great advocate! I'm curious if the subject of a prosthetic has been discussed. It sounds like your pup might have a long enough limb left to attach a prosthetic and if you are willing to devote the time and financial resources to training him to use it, that would be his best bet at a long life with less mobility issues.

I also understand your concern about the high price of surgery. Unfortunately we've had many members join us because their surgery to fix a broken leg failed. Has the ortho vet discussed the odds of surgical success for the type of fracture your dog experienced? If you can't afford the surgery, please don't beat yourself up OK?

I hope this helps. Stay tuned, others will chime in soon.

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Forum Posts: 16024
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21 August 2017 - 8:39 pm
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Awww, so sorry to jerar about your pup. 

As Jerry said, we often see "failed repair surgeries" like your pup is dealing with  and amputation becomes the best "solution" 

We also have many tripawds here who had an amputation even earlier than one year and have gotten along splendidly!  

Should you proceed with amputation, one thi g to remember is, it is ONE surgery, there is about a two week recovery time...and that's it!!   Recovery is more about the major surgery, rather than mobility being an issue.

What specific concerns do you have about your pup getting rid of that bum leg and becoming a tripawd.  Maybe we can help you process everything.   In the meantime, take a look at videos of our tripawds here and you will see how nothing holds them back at all!!

Hugs to you

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Livermore, CA

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21 August 2017 - 8:51 pm
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Hello and welcome.

I'm sorry your pup was hit by a car- that must have been very scary!

I have the same question as Jerry- what kind of success rate are the ortho's talking about?  And how does your pup do with confinement?  I guess you've had a few weeks to see how he does with limited activity. 

Just for comparison- the worst of the recovery from amputation is generally 2 weeks.  I've gone through two knee surgeries with my quad-pug Obie and the recovery from each surgery was weeks longer than Tri-pug Maggie's rear amp recovery. Maggie lost her left rear leg to mast cell cancer at 7.5 years old and hopped happily through life for almost 4 years with no issues.

My current Tripawd is also a rear amp- a small pug mix named Elly who lost her right rear leg at 7 months old after being hit by a car.  Elly is now more than 2.5 years old and just passed her 2 year ampuversary.  We are obviously still early in her life of three but so far she has shown that she can do anything that a 4 legger her size can do.  I am being a little careful to protect her other legs, but she was 10 months old when I got her and she had lots of puppy energy to burn.

The best of course would be that he keeps his leg, but if that is not possible your boy will still have a good quality of life.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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