Amputation is scary. We hope these cat and dog amputation questions and answers from our founder can calm your worries before surgery day.
Mast Cell Cancer Amputation for Max
Senior dog Max might be losing a leg to mast cell cancer. His mom Alaina posted recently, and shared her dog amputation questions and worries. Alaina’s concerns aren’t only specific to the canine species. As our Trikitty members show us, cat parents worry too! Here are the questions Alaina asked about here in the discussion forums:
- I worry about his after care by myself. What can I expect?
- Is he too old to put through amputation?
- I worry that taking his leg will make no difference and only cause him more problems or the cancer will show up elsewhere.
- I worry I will regret the amputation and recovery will be too hard for him and me.
- Is it selfish to want more time with my precious boy?
- What if I can’t afford everything he needs?
Cat and Dog Amputation Questions (and Answers) to Common Worries
Below, check out the dog amputation answers that Tripawds Spirit Jerry shared (aka, Rene, Jerry’s mom) with Alaina. Again, remember that this Q&A can help parents of cats losing a leg to amputation also. We are adding extra information and resources to these answers for you today.
I worry about his after care by myself. What can I expect?
As I mentioned, lots of folks here do the after care on their own. He may be wonky and hard to maneuver so having a sling is helpful. Taking someone with you to pick him up and bring him home and out of the car is a good idea if you can do that.
We love harnesses to help new Tripawds as you might have gathered. But we don’t recommend using them until stitches are out. That is, unless you have inside stairs he must navigate to go outside.
Most dogs will be wonky and zonked for a few days. Then they are tired. And then slowly over the course of a week or two, start to get their sparkle back. Older and larger dogs tend to need more time to recover. But they do get there! Just try not to compare his recovery against what you see here, or in other places online like the Tripawds YouTube channel. Max is his own guy with his own timeline.
Is he too old to put through amputation?
If your vet feels he’s a good candidate, that’s awesome. I think I recall they gave him the green light? Age really is a number to a dog who is otherwise fit and has no serious health issues. Senior Tripawds show us that they are just as happy to get on with life as younger amputee dogs and cats!
I worry that taking his leg will make no difference. And only cause him more problems. Or the cancer will show up elsewhere.
There are challenges during recovery. Mainly, our own emotional ones! When recovery is over Max will start being Max again. It may not happen on a linear timeline. And there may be hurdles. But he will get there.
As for the cancer, there are no guarantees. Your vet and oncology team can let you know what to expect with the type and grade of MCT he has. Keep in mind that cancer doesn’t always do what it’s supposed to. In this case, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst is smart. But you also need to focus on the present. Remember that Max is here right now. All he wants is for you to Be More Dog. Be present with him, don’t let cancer steal precious moments from you.
I worry I will regret the amputation. And recovery will be too hard for him and me.
You may do that during the first few days. There’s not a single person here who doesn’t feel guilty when their dog is struggling during recovery. But too hard on him? Probably not based on what your vet thinks his physical shape is in right now.
As for you, nope, I’m betting you can handle it too. Together, Team Max can do anything! And as you mentioned, you’ve been through TPLO recovery. If you can do that, you can do this easy peasy comparatively speaking.
Is it selfish to want more time with my precious boy?
There is never enough time. But sometimes we have to take steps to ensure that whatever time we have is spent pain-free. This is so our dogs can be dogs! Amputation does that. It gives a better quality of life for whatever time he has left. People may say you are selfish. Ignore them, they’ve never been in this situation most likely. We get it. NO you are not being selfish.
Is wanting to help an otherwise healthy dog live without pain being selfish? Of course not!
What if I can’t afford everything he needs?
By taking care of the pain, that’s the #1 thing he needs. Anything after that is icing on the cake! Even chemo is optional.
Money is always an issue for a pet parent. We have to make hard choices many times. Nobody here will judge you for your treatment choices because every situation is different. But just getting rid of the pain is a huge gift to Max. It will enable the two of you to have more quality time together, for however long that is.
Your Tripawd Support Team is Here to help
As you can see, Alaina’s dog amputation questions are common to all of us. Everyone here understands your Tripawd life worries. We hope that you will join us in the Tripawds Discussion Forums to share more of your limb loss concerns. The entire community is ready to support you.