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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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3 Months since Sissy died
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Member Since:
4 August 2018
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30 December 2018 - 4:46 pm
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I lost Sissy, my black lab, in August. I have put coping with her death on the back burner and I really think I am having problems. I have always abused alcohol and have done so for many years. I am abusing it more than ever since Sissy died. I am seriously digging myself a hole and each time I drink, that hole gets deeper and deeper. When I allow myself to think about Sissy I get physically ill. Would she still be here if she didn't have amputation complications? Sissy died horribly 6 days after amputation and I could not help her. I was stuck with two kids, no cell service, and no one to help me get her into my car. Sissy was dying and I was helpless. The screams were horrible to hear. My poor Sissy. I have her sister still (Abby) and my chocolate lab (Jake). The heart break of losing a pet, especially for the first time, is indescribable.  Six weeks ago, I almost lost my 35 year old sister to cardiac arrest. My sister would not be here right now if things didn't happen the way they did (happened in a public place, quick response, quality care). I know this is not entirely related, but I feel that my vet did not provide the care my dog should have received. I feel that I was treated as get my dog in and get her out. I later found out that the vet I have been taking my dogs to for years, is really a place that is understaffed and they work with limited space and resources. I wanted to pursue an argument with the vet for not giving me the proper follow up care and after amputation care instructions. I literally was handed my 3 legged dog and prevacox and told nothing as far as care instructions. No antibiotics were issued and I did not recognize the signs that my girl was possibly septic. I relied on a holistic group on facebook and while they meant well, I wish I had found this group sooner. I feel like Tripawds has legitimate resources and lots of high quality information on all types of topics. The holistic group basically got my hopes up and were totally against amputation, but this is nothing negative upon them. I just did not know where to turn and like I said, I wish I had found Tripawds sooner. Things are not good in my life and I often wonder if Sissy was meant to die or if I just did things differently... I don't know anymore. I know that I have to make a huge change in my life and for my children. My remaining dogs will also benefit from a happy dog mom. Thanks for listening 🙂

Latham, NY
Member Since:
1 October 2017
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30 December 2018 - 5:56 pm
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I'm so sorry you're going through such a rough time.  Losing a beloved pet is absolutely awful.

There's so much here, I'm not really sure where to start.  First of all, you're recognizing some counterproductive things in your life--the alcohol abuse may be a good place to start.  There are well known ways to receive help for addictions, if you haven't been connected already.  Starting on your way to recovery is more successful when you recognize your problem.  It's going to make life easier and safer for you and your family--kids and dogs included.  

You went through a rough time with Sissy's passing, but second guessing doesn't change outcomes.  You did all you could for her, you helped her the best way you knew how with what you had to work with at the time.  Some times shit just happens, stuff we just can't control.  It's very easy to fall into the trap of trying to figure out how things may have turned out differently.  The trick is that it doesn't change anything.  The one thing you can change now is how you perceive and deal with all that's gone on, and that can help you come to accept you did what you could at the time for your pretty girl.  You are still hurting horribly, and that makes it so hard.  

I wish I could reach through the computer screen and give you a big hug--I know what a difficult time this is for you.  Since I can't---sending virtual hugs and wishing you some peace and comfort heart

Fallon  8/28/06--9/6/18.  My Heart.

Fallon's left front leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma on 10/11/17.

Nothing But Love in Her Heart -


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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30 December 2018 - 7:49 pm
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Dawn, you are a very, very special Soul❤   I want to reach through  the screen and hug you both. 💕

We remember all to well the agony you experienced when Sissy transitioned out of her failing body.   All to well.  Three months is no time at all in the grieving  process, so be kind to yourself.

The courage it took to post here today with such raw honesty and with such  a willingness  to seek help, absolutely  astounds me.   You are sooo wise in your assessment of where you are.  That kind of awareness is a first step.  Your commitment  to turn things around is an equally important  first step.

You have relived  the tragic way this whole journey unfolded over and over, all the "what ifs" all the "if only".  You've tried alcohol to excess.  And none of that helps!   It keeps you stuck!!   It's NOT how you want to proceed!!   It's  NOT how Sissy wants you to proceed!

You are here with is tonight for a reason.  Sissy brought you to us for a reason.

What can be the first step you   take to reach the goal you stated? :

 * " I know that I have to make a huge change in my life and for my children. My remaining dogs will also benefit from a happy mom" *

How can you honor Sissy's life in a way that accomplishes that?

How can you give Sissy's life a meaning where people find empowerment from her journey?   A meaning  where "good" comes out of this and celebrate her and all her specialness.

You know what's  NOT working, right?  You know what's  NOT getting you anywhere, right? 

  So what can you do to get the results you want...the results Sissy deserves, the children deserve, the dogs deserve and YOU DESERVE!!

What type of person do you have to be right NOW to be tjat happy mom for your children and your dogs?  What is your new identity?   How does that person stand?  Tall and confident?  How does that person handle  life's challenges??  Does that person recognize  that every challenge  is a life lesson that needs ro be handled  and not sruffed down in the depths of despair?

These questions are for you to answer in a way that resonates  with one else.  Again, Sissy brought you here for a reason.   She is still with you, srill teaching you.  

We are still with you and we love and care about you❤  We KNOW you are on a path that will being you more joy and peace than you ever thought possible!  Can you feel it??? We can😎

From my heart to yours, thank you for being here tonight💖

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!

Member Since:
1 October 2017
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31 December 2018 - 9:03 am
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I remember that time. I remember feeling horrible for you when I read about it. It is already a horrible thing to lose a beloved pet, but under those circumstances must be magnified X 1000. 

We all have vices of some sort. None of us are perfect. Nobody should have to go through what you and your family went through with Sissy, and I do agree that her lack of professional care just helped to set you up for disaster. But you are here now, and inside of you is realizing that you are hurting yourself. Almost like you are paying yourself back for something that you think you should have done better. Please give yourself the grace to grieve. It also sounds like you did not have very good support from your mother or the person that was supposed to be a husband. 

Right now you have 4 souls looking to you for love, guidance, and understanding. How old are your children? Maybe you can try to take the love that you have for them and find the strength from that love to find the right person for help. I remember being a single parent. I remember getting divorced from an abusive marriage. And when I was younger, I had some things that happened that stayed with me for life. I sought out help several times, and finally I met a counselor that to this day I still call my Angel on earth. He saved my life, quite literally. He showed me that bad things happen even when you are a good person and he taught me how to love myself for the first time. 

((((((((( Sending you a ginormous hug )))))))) Please get through this. If you cannot do it for you right now, then start by doing it for your children and your furbabies that are still here with you. You are a good person and it is time to stop beating yourself up.



Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Phoebe, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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31 December 2018 - 1:42 pm
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I'm so sorry for all of the heartache you've endured these last few months. It was a terrible, tough situation for all of you and it's understandable why you feel you bore the responsibility of Sissy's passing. Know that you did the best you could. It was a learning experience and you did your best with the tools you had available. Sissy would never hold that against you, not in a million years.

And I can only echo what others have suggested. Find ways to honor her life, while honoring yours as well. It's what she would want for you. If getting there means meeting a counselor to talk about your grief, then do it. Sometimes we all need help getting through a tough time and that is OK. As Jackie said, it can literally save your life, so I hope you will consider doing it.

As the new year rolls around, know that we are keeping a candle lit for you and dear Sissy in our hearts. 

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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