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Random Scenes from Bailey’s Amputation Recovery

Golden Retriever Bailey swims before amputationWhile every cancer dog story is different, if anyone ever has any doubts about our amazing ability to recuperate from amputation and adapt to life on three legs, they need to check out Bailey’s story.

In early July, Bailey’s Mom, Debbie, wrote to Tripawds for advice in how to cope with her beautiful, 10 year-old Golden Retriever’s upcoming amputation. Bailey is a great swimmer, and had a previous ACL tear surgery in one of her legs. Her pawrents have recently moved to Richmond, Virginia, and had no one to ask for good veterinary advice or help about coping with cancer.

As always, the Tripawds community came through for Debbie and her family, with support and helpful tips.

This is Bailey, before her July 29th surgery. Doesn’t she look sad?


On August 8, just after amputation, Debbie wrote:

Golden Retriever recovers from amputation surgery

We received the pathology report yesterday. Her soft spoken and mannered Surgeon started with, “I have some semi-good news for you regarding Bailey’s pathology report.” There were no surprises . . . her tumor, a “soft tissue” tumor, was malignant. What makes the news “good” is the type of tumor it was, myxosarcoma. He explained that this type of tumor almost never spreads, and if it does it is very slow to do so. The tumor was incapacitated behind her knee, and because he removed so much he feels that he also removed all of this cancer.

We are just so very thankful that we now do have more time to enjoy with Bailey. However, no person can truly be sure of just how long that will be, but for now who cares, we made it through “yesterday”. We have learned so much from Bailey and her “illness.”

First off don’t tell her there was something not right with her, as it didn’t slow her down at all, and still hasn’t.

Yes there has been good from this “bad”: to help a friend out when there is an itch and she/he can’t reach it; And that there is nothing better to just sit outside and enjoy. And one last lesson we, well more me, has learned; yes, the hair will grow back even from a bad hair cut.

Bailey and Buttons after amputation surgery

Bailey, 13 days post-op:


Come on Mom, hurry up. It is a nice day and we want to go out to play.


Mom and Buttons are to slow, so I will take my “Big Duck” on a walk by myself.


Buttons can you please move over a little?

August 15:

We are hoppy to report that Bailey has now reclaimed her place on the bed, the couch, and is well on her way to getting back to swimming laps. Bailey says;

Golden Retriever Bailey's amputation surgery team

“Everyone was amazed at my progress. This is because I had good care. And I do love my surgeon and all the girls who took good care of me. Doc said all is good. I have to go back to see Doc again in a month. Mom is jealous because I have done very well on my diet and have lost some weight. Over all I am doing extremely well. Everyday I become stronger and stronger.

Thank you again for all your care, and I will meet you at the lake.”

Sharing is Caring!

6 thoughts on “Random Scenes from Bailey’s Amputation Recovery”

  1. Hello Bailey, I think we have the same Dr.! Did you leave a scrapbook in their office? If so, that’s what helped my mom see that I would be ok after the surgery. Everyone there was so helpful and friendly! You are a very brave lady! Take care, Vampire Bill

    • Thanks for the comment! We hope Bailey’s people have subscribed to receive comments on this post. Was that scrapbook one of our Tripawds hero tribute books?

  2. My 11 month old Australian Shepherd just had her front left leg amputated on August 18th to the shoulder because of paralysis from an auto hit. I’m getting over the grief slowly, and she does not seem to notice too much. I have questions regarding typical post operative swelling. Anyone else out there who would like to describe typical recovery periods regarding swelling and pain? Her’s is quite swollen and there are pockets of edema below the site. Also, the skin is bruised looking. Is that typical. When she came home, it was not swollen at all. Is it normal for it to begin to swell up after surgery? Thanks, lisah

  3. What a wonderful story and some great photos (and, terrific captions!). I’m glad the cancer is myxosarcoma and that it almost never spreads. Bailey is a very cute dog and I really like the picture where she says, “Mom and Buttons are too slow, so I will take my ‘Big Duck’ on a walk by myself.” Plus, she’s been able to reclaim her space on the bed. Life can be so good sometimes! You go, Bailey! I’ll keep you in my thoughts every day.

    Vicki Tankersley


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