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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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Feline Osteosarcoma
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Member Since:
10 January 2018
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24 March 2019 - 9:30 am
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Mo, our then 8 year old cat, was limping. Tests revealed his knee was deteriorating - labs came back osteosarcoma.  His rear leg was amputated at the hip...tests also revealed no metastasis.  Fast forward a year, he is still doing great.  I know osteosarcoma is rare in cats, what is the prognosis - longevity?  Do I continue testing to see if it has metastasized? Or if the limb is removed, is the cancer is gone? What are expectations for him?  Should he be on supplements or special diet? Any information would be appreciated and thank you!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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24 March 2019 - 12:28 pm
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Mo and family, welcome. We are so glad you joined but of course sorry you had to. We will try to offer what we've learned about osteosarcoma in cats but first I'm curious if you're working with a veterinary oncologist yet? If not, that would be my first recommendation, just to get in-person insight from a vet cancer expert. 

I'm happy to hear Mo is doing so well! What made you wonder all of these things a year after surgery? Did something happen? Just curious.

Yep, osteosarcoma in cats is super rare. And the good news is that it has such a good prognosis that most veterinary oncologists don't even suggest chemotherapy for treatment. In our recent Tripawds News Blog post about a new canine osteosarcoma immunotherapy treatment, Dr. Jeffrey Bryan says "Fortunately cats tend to do better with amputation alone than dogs do." Other oncologists we've talked to have confirmed that.

But, some Trikitty parents feel better about doing chemotherapy just to cover their bases, like Jill's mom. See:

We have had quite a few osteosarcoma cats here who have done great long term! These Tripawd Cats with Osteosarcoma forum topics and blogs are a good place to see some examples.

For more information about feline oncology treatment in general, see:

Cat Cancer, Oncology and Radiation Realities, Part 1

The majority of Tripawds parents don't change their pet's diet after an amputation for cancer, but many do. Cat cancer diets are tricky as you know, but not impossible to do. We always recommend working with your veterinary team first, but for now you can get a head start on your research here:

TriKitty Maceo Shares Cat Cancer Supplements, Tips and Ideas

Keto Diet for Pet Cancer: What’s Fact? What’s Not?

Does a Low Carb Pet Cancer Diet Make a Difference?

And for a general education about a cat's life on three legs, check out our e-book, "Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats."

I hope this helps! We would love to see pictures of Mo. Here are instructions for adding images to the Forums, let me know if you'd like help.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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24 March 2019 - 9:18 pm
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So great to hear how well Mo is doing on three!   And clearly Mo does not count days on a calendar  and he is fully focused on living in the NOW.

Jerry provided such great input and links.  You'll not only be informed, but uou'll also  be inspired and reassured!

As far as continuing  to do tests, it's really a personal  decision  based on some variables, as well as your own feelings.   If an issue did come up, would you pursue a treatment (if one is even available) and what would that involve as far as cost, risks, side effects, success rate, etc.?   No right or wrong.  Everyone  draws a line jn the sand in a different place.  

No matter what, Mo is happy and loved and that's  all that matters to him!


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!

Orrtanna Pa.
Member Since:
25 January 2014
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27 March 2019 - 7:08 pm
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My cat Zoe had a nonskelatal Osteosarcoma. That was in 2014. She is now 20. We did no treatments, except removal of the tumor. I am thinking she will succumb to old age before a reoccurrence of her cancer. They were not sure, as her margins were not great. I feel these 5 years have been bonus years. She is now a lazy old lady! 

TY GUY, Best Black Lab ever! Diagnosed  and had amp in January, 2014. Kicked MRSA's butt. Earned his angel wings on April 16, 2014. Run Free my boy and don't forget a shoe. Ty is a proud member of the " April Angels". Ty sent us Daryl, a Tripawd rescue in Sept. of 2016. Daryl is 5 +or -. We are also Pawrents to Chandler, a Border Collie mix who is 15 and 1/2, Lucy, a Corgi who is 7, 2 minis, 2 horses, and a feisty cat named Zoe. Zoe had a non skeletal Osteosarcoma removed in July 2015. No Chemo, she was at least 16. She is going strong although she is now completely blind. She is now close to 20 and her hobbies are eating and sleeping in front of her personal heater. 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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27 March 2019 - 9:12 pm
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Wow TWENTY? Oh my Cat that is wonderful! Amazing! Thank you for sharing Lori. Give her an extra smooch from us.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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