Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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19 March 2018
Hello, I wanted to create a quick post to gauge everyone’s thoughts on my cat Elliot’s possible rear leg/half pelvis amputation. Elliot was diagnosed in early December with what the needle biopsy shows to be a sarcoma, but most the surgeons/vets seem to think it is Osteosarcoma without a full biopsy. My wife and I have been treating Elliot with western and eastern medicine and hoped to have as much time as possible with him. We saw a surgeon in February who said they can do the surgery but since the tumor is on his pelvis and spread a bit over the pelvis that some of the cancer would remain which would require radiation to hopefully get the remaining portions. I regret very much not doing it back in February but we were afraid the removal of the leg and pelvis along with not getting all the cancer wouldn’t give us much time. Today Elliot’s condition is not good. He has lost a lot of weight which I’m assuming is from cachexia, but also not being able to easily defecate adds to it I’m sure. He is on laxatives to help somewhat but he struggles to go to the bathroom. We made an appointment tomorrow to see the surgeon again in hopes that the cancer has not spread insanely since Feb 2nd. He has lost his appetite as of yesterday, has lost 4 lbs from 13 > 9, and his tumor has continued to increase in size creating it difficult for him to walk.
I’ve read through the posts here on the few cats that went through Osteosarcoma and it gives me hope. A lot of the symptoms he has leads me to think it may of spread to his lungs (cachexia, difficulty breathing at times and no appetite) but I’m hoping that is not the case. Elliot is only 6 about to turn 7 in a couple weeks so we want to do anything to give him more time. I just wanted to get anyone’s thoughts on if they feel surgery is still the right move here or is it too late and if it’s even possible to get him to gain weight after losing so much with the tumor sucking all of his nutrients up. I don’t think I have any other options so I’m hoping this one works out. Anyway, thanks for reading and I appreciate all the support I’ve seen on these forums.
25 April 2007
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11 July 2016
Hi and Welcome to you and Elliot,
Sorry, you have to join us.
We cannot change the past, no regrets ok you did what you felt was right at the time. We do all this out of love for our animals!
Stay in the present and see what today brings and what the surgeon says. Elliot’s loss of weight and appetite is concerning. It will depend on the cause of the anorexia if it is cancer or pain and if the cancer has spread. All questions for your surgeon he will be able to tell you all this with diagnostics and if Elliot is a candidate for surgery.
Purrkins was 6 when diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma on his front left carpal (wrist) he had his lefrt front leg and scapula taken. He will be eight this June. Purrkins does excellent on 3!
Let us know how today goes we are sending pawsitive energy for a good report and plan going forward!
Holly & Purrkins❤️
25 April 2007
Oh wow how did I miss your post? I’m so sorry I just saw this. How did the oncologist visit go? What was their feedback?
Many times the weight loss is due to pain, not always because of metastasis. Hopefully it’s as “simple” as that for Elliot and once the painful limb is gone he will want to eat again.
It’s really impossible for me to say what the ‘right’ choice is here because every situation is so different. What it comes down to is Elliot’s temperament and existing health, and how well you feel he can bounce back from radiation and surgery. You know him better than anyone else and while the decision will weigh heavy on you, as long as you make one from a place of love with his best interest in mind that’s all that matters.
Let us know how things are going OK?
6 July 2017
Hello and welcome to you and Elliot!
It is always great to meet a new person, but it is also sad that it happened under this circumstance. To echo what others have said, try to stay in the present and focus on what you should do now. There is nothing you can do to change the past. And I am certain that at that time in the past you made the best decision you could knowing what you knew then. Just as I know you will select whatever path is best for you and Elliot going forward.
As I have no experience with cancer I am unable to provide any insight on that aspect. But right at 10 months ago, my cat Tuxedo had a hemipelvectomy (removal of half pelvis and rear leg) as a result of being attacked by a dog. He was 9 years old at that time. Other than an occasional balance issue, he now gets around great and can do pretty much everything that he used to be able to do before. He looks a bit lopsided due to the missing pelvis portion but most do not notice that because he is such an attention pig and rarely stands still for long if there are people to mooch affection from nearby.
So if you & Elliot do decide to go the amputation route, know that the partial loss of a pelvis and rear leg really won’t greatly impact his ability to get around. And it goes without saying that nothing will change the special bond you two obviously share.
Hugs & best wishes!
-Dawna, Dazzle & Tuxedo
1 October 2017
How are you and Elliot doing?
Jackie and Huckleberry
Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry
10 June 2017
Do you have any news about your baby? I hope the vet has been able to give you some clearer answers as to what is causing the weight loss.. It is impossible to tell you what to do in these situations but I can tell you what not to do. Don’t listen to people who only talk in terms of fear or limited knowledge. That was my experience anyway. Honestly, deep down I do believe you will know what to do.
Just so you know My Three Paw had osteosarcoma in her front paw when she was about 7. It was amputated. Then at 13.5 a tumour appeared on her hind leg. When they did the tests they found she had metastasis in her regional lymph nodes. In her case, I still went ahead with the second amputation and for us it was the right decision. She ran and played and enjoyed her life thoroughly. I only had another 5 months with her but they were good months so I have no regrets about that. I am not saying her way is your way but I wanted to share our story with you.
Like everyone said..be in present and trust yourself. There is no wrong decision only what is right at that moment.
much much love