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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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New Zealand
Forum Posts: 315
Member Since:
6 November 2011
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30 January 2012 - 2:44 pm
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Our thoughts are with you, Life is too bloody cruel sometimes. 

We always want to be by our babies side when they aren't well but sometimes we aren't the best ones to help, then again sometimes we are go with your insticts on this one, and what ever you decide will be the right choice. We will keep our paws crossed for you.

Sarah and Kayla

Rock Hill, SC
Forum Posts: 875
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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30 January 2012 - 3:58 pm
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angel said:

Anyway the vet said that it is possible that the steroids could significantly help her and she could get back to the way she was. I have a hard time believing this but I hope that is true because he said that if the steroids don't work then her quality of life won't be good and we would have to put her to sleep. So I'm just praying that the steroids work.

Angel, if your vet was honest enough to tell you the worst case scenario if the meds don't work, then I don't think he would have given you false hope by telling you that “the steroids could significantly help her” unless he really believed that is a possibility.  I know this is very hard for you – the separation from your baby, the waiting, the worrying.  Please know that there are many, many prayers being said for your girl tonight.


Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...

Forum Posts: 209
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13 October 2011
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30 January 2012 - 4:52 pm
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Valentina, Warrior Princess!! We are hugging you in our thoughts and our hearts!

San Diego, CA
Forum Posts: 2503
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29 October 2010
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30 January 2012 - 5:14 pm
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Oh how stressful. It’s always a very hard decision to make, but it does sound like maybe it’s best if she stays at the vet – at least tonight. Maybe in the morning if they say the night was not tooooo bad, maybe then you could consider bringing her home early? I don’t know because i haven’t been in that situation, but it does sound like leaving her there is for the best. You don’t want her to come home and get dehydrated on top of everything else.

Sending good thoughts that the steroids help and she’ll be home soon!
Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Forum Posts: 2009
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30 January 2012 - 5:52 pm
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Many dogs have spondylosis on xrays and hopefully that is the problem.  Unfortunately these are also the symptoms of spinal mets which often don't show up on rads.  I hope that the prednisone works!  My Tazzie had a similar issue and I chose not to go forward but we could not get her up and she was in severe pain so my choice was straightforward.


Edmond, Oklahoma
Forum Posts: 333
Member Since:
7 January 2011
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30 January 2012 - 6:06 pm
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I think that the findings today are really positive– that he wants to do the steroids is a good sign. In our situation (where cancer was suspected) the vet wouldn't consider steroids.  Also, I remember our vet going on about deep nerve damage– as long as it's not deep nerve damage (which Valentine doesn't exhibit), she can recover.  I understand how difficult it is to make the “right” decision, but I am sure you two will figure it out.  Thinking of you…

Scout: January 31, 2002 to November 7, 2011

Scout's diagnosis was "poorly differentiated sarcoma"; amputation 1/11/2011.  Scout enjoyed 9 fantastic years on 4 legs and 9 glorious months on 3 legs.  If love alone could have saved you…

Forum Posts: 982
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30 January 2012 - 6:51 pm
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Being separated from your girl is hard, and not knowing what’s going to happen is even harder, but Valentina is strong and so are you, and you can make it through this — regardless of the outcome. We are here for you, and are sending you tons of support, so you can rest assured you don’t have to go through this alone.

All our strength and courage are being sent to you right now. Hang in there. I’m certain Valentina will feel better in the morning.


the Woo

~ ~ Rio ~ ~
Forever in my heart...

April 2000 – January 20, 2012
Diagnosed with Mast Cell Cancer in June 2007. Left rear leg amputated Feb. 8, 2011.
Mets discovered Aug. 31, 2011. Read more of Rio's story here.

Hemet Ca.
Forum Posts: 46
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25 April 2011
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30 January 2012 - 7:50 pm
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Jeez, I'm so sorry for all the stress and worry you are going through. It so reminds me of what I just went through with Roman. One day we were celebrating almost 9 Months since his amputation and the next day he cant use one of his rear legs from arthritis. Roman was the world champion of “holding it” there were times when we'd go to bed at 9 or 10 and he wouldn't get up to go out for 12hrs or more how or why he did this I dont know, and this was throughout his whole life, after the arthritis set in I could tell he didn't drink as much and I'm sure its because he didn't want to get up to pee or otherwise. The arthritis being an issue came on suddenly. He had xrays to confirm the problem and went home after a steroid injection and  some Rimadyl and he definitely perked up and seemed much improved. Two weeks later he was in so much pain he couldn't sleep, Even some stronger meds didn't help him. Romans outcome was worst case scenario, I'm hoping that your dog finds the relief I know you want for her. Poor beautiful thing. Best wishes.

New Jersey
Forum Posts: 270
Member Since:
4 June 2011
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30 January 2012 - 8:55 pm
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I hope that Valentina feels better tomorrow morning.

Forum Posts: 732
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10 February 2011
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30 January 2012 - 10:26 pm
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I hope you both have an ok night and a better day tomorrow!

Las Vegas, Nevada
Forum Posts: 4344
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14 August 2009
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30 January 2012 - 10:28 pm
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I'm so sorry to read about Valentina!  I do hope with all my heart the prednisone helps! 

Tons and tons of strength and good thoughts!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Edmond, Oklahoma
Forum Posts: 333
Member Since:
7 January 2011
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31 January 2012 - 7:34 am
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I just wanted to send good thoughts your way this morning.  I hope you were able to get some sleep and the vet calls with a positive update. 

Scout: January 31, 2002 to November 7, 2011

Scout's diagnosis was "poorly differentiated sarcoma"; amputation 1/11/2011.  Scout enjoyed 9 fantastic years on 4 legs and 9 glorious months on 3 legs.  If love alone could have saved you…

Calgary, AB
Forum Posts: 277
Member Since:
30 January 2010
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31 January 2012 - 12:41 pm
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I don’t know if this helps but I have a very old (14) lab who has the same thing going on with his spine. He’s not a cancer dog, his sister was, but he has the same arthritis and pointy bone projections you spoke of. He had the same trouble with balance etc. Our vet put him on steroids and a pain killer (perhaps Tramadol?) for a few days and he was completely better. That was 2 years ago, he’s been fine ever since, although the bony points are still there and could reek havoc again with any misstep. So there is hope that this is just a bump in the road.
Paws crossed,
Laura, Kali and Angel Tai

Tai – 9 yr old lab. Diagnosed Osteosarcoma Dec 18/09. Front right leg amputated Dec 21/09. Started chemo Jan 7/10. Lung mets discovered Sept 16/10. Valiant to the end on Oct 26/10 when cancer reappeared in a leg and we made the decision to set her free. Forever in my heart where not even cancer can take her from me.

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