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Tripawd Tuesday: Hoppy, Happy, Goofy Nitro the Warrior

Tripawds parents, we hope you’ll keep responding to our call for Tripawd Tuesday Stories Wanted! Tales like yours give hope, inspawration — and reality checks, especially when a biopsy comes back as “inconclusive.” This was the case with Nitro the Doberman Tripawd.

Doberman, dog, Tripawd
Nitro the Doberman Tripawd

In this Tripawd Tuesday story, Paula shares how her pack endured three biopsies and still didn’t get a conclusive diagnosis, but no matter; two years later Nitro is thriving and loving life on three legs! Here is their story:

Nitro: My Tripawd Warrior

Our journey began in early Spring 2014, when I noticed Nitro limping after we’d gone for a run. Thinking it was just a random muscle sprain, life went on. Slowly I noticed (or allowed myself to notice) his right front “ankle” was bigger than the left; I had a nagging feeling something wasn’t right, but tried not to think of it. One day we were sitting on the couch, and I looked into his eyes, and gave him a hug and started crying. I knew, deep inside me, it was bad.

Doberman, Tripawd, dog
He started limping in Spring, 2014

Off to the vet we went; Dr. Vukich examined him, palpating the swollen area, and said, “bone cancer is really painful, and he’s not even flinching; let’s see what the x-ray shows.” The bone of his ankle looked like a honeycomb, and we decided to do a biopsy to confirm the findings. This was the point that amputation was first discussed, and to say we were in shock is the understatement of the century.

When they got to the pre-anesthesia question of “Do you want extreme measures taken in the event of cardiac arrest?” I’m ashamed to admit I hesitated for what seems like minutes. I’m ashamed to admit that I almost wanted the decision taken out of my hands, the cancer battle taken out of my hands, the terrifying recovery with a 3-legged dog taken out of my hands.

Tripawd, Doberman, three-legged
“Let the battle begin!”

My husband spoke up and said “Of course we want CPR done, whatever it takes.” I snapped out of it, and was ready to begin the fight of our lives. Surgery was tentatively scheduled for the Friday before Memorial Day.

The biopsy came back “inconclusive.” My vet said he didn’t want to take the leg unnecessarily, so another biopsy was scheduled. I can hear the collective Tripawd Nation shouting “NO, DON’T DO ANOTHER BIOPSY.” But we didn’t know any better, and were still grasping at straws. Three wedge biopsies later and only one showed “sarcoma, fibrous variety.” To which my vet said an amputation in this case is “a cure,” as mets are rare.

His surgery was June 17, 2014, and he is still with us today, hoppy, happy, goofy, loving life on three!

amputation, doberman, tripawd, three-legged
NItro celebrates his two year ampuversary.


Of course, there is a lot more to our story, including chemo, metronomic therapy, incontinence, hind-end weakness…if you’d like to read about it, our blog is entitled “Doberman’s journey” at

Paula and Nitro

Tripawd Tuesday Call for Entries: It’s Easy!

Each Tuesday, Tripawd dogs and cats from around the world can enter for a chance to be “Tripawd of the Week.” Just share your Tripawd’s story and you’re entered to win! On every Tuesday of the week, tell us about your three-legged hero. Just follow these easy steps:

  1. In a short paragraph or two (or longer if you’d like!), describe your three-legged hero’s story.
  2. Include photos or links to videos already uploaded to YouTube.
  3. Include a link to your Tripawds Forum topic and/or Tripawds blog, social media handles, etc.
  4. Email your story and photos to us.

All entries must be received by Saturday at 11:59 pm. One Tripawd story will be selected at random to be featured the following Tuesday.

Sharing is Caring!

10 thoughts on “Tripawd Tuesday: Hoppy, Happy, Goofy Nitro the Warrior”

  1. Always love seeing that love bug Nitro! He is such an inspiration for everyone here. Thanks for sharing with all of us his journey and yours too Paula. Both of you are true warriors!

  2. Paula thank you for sharing the story of Nitro with everyone. 🙂 Yay for you both. True warriors.

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  3. One part of the story I left out: after the leg was removed, it was sent in for pathology. It took FIVE weeks to hear results; when I questioned what was going on, I was told they were having problems making a diagnosis and had to do special stains. Finally, the report came back, “osteosarcoma”. Who knows what is correct…”sarcoma, fibrous variety” or “osteosarcoma”? Guess it doesn’t really matter at this point, but I know what I believe……

    Paula and Nitro

  4. NITRO!!! YOU ARE SUCH A HANDSOME REGAL BOY!!! I just looooove seeing your pictures!!! But even more than thst, I loooooove celebrating all your victories with you and your humans!!! 🙂

    Following your journey is so important to let everyone know there IS HOPE!! Nitro’s story is sooo inspirational and soooo necessary!!

    Btw, glad your husband “s apped” you out of it thst dsy!! 🙂 Tha ks for sharing your ho est thoughts they were rattling arpund in your brain! To not to want ro make such huge decisions is so normal!!! I remember thinking with Happy Hannah’s surgery, I was just WISHING someone else could take that decision out of my hands and make it for me!! Obviously, ultimately I made the decision and glad I did!!

    Tha ks so much for sharing Nitro’s story…story of hope….AND the great pictures!!! His markings are just SPECTACULAR…as is Nitro!!

    Lots and lots of love always!!

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


  5. Yeah for Nitro!!! You’re so beautiful, and I’m so happy that you’re still here to inspire others.

    Hugs to you!
    Donna & Murphy

    • Thank you Sally for being one of his biggest cheerleaders…

      Thank you Donna, for being my “twin” in so many ways….

      Thank you Christine, for all your support, of us, and so many other members…


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