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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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Member Since:
24 September 2009
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29 February 2012 - 8:53 am
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Thanks for the update on what's happening. Amputation may not be right for every dog, and when it isn't, we are still there for folks. It's great you have such a supportive vet. Maybe you might want to ask her about bisphosponates? This post, "Bisphosphonates: When Amputation isn’t an Option" tells more about how this drug can alleviate the pain. I hope it helps.

Please come here to talk whenever you want, we'll all be here for you. Give Winston a big ol smooch from us.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

29 February 2012 - 9:14 am
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First I want to say that it is really important that you are at peace with the decision not to amputate.  I know how hard it is to decide not to peruse the most aggressively cancer treatment.  The aggressive treatments are not right for every pup in every situation.  Knowing you made the right treatment decision will help you cope with things later on.

And on making the end of life decision- Maggie had a huge health crash, she was unable to keep food down, lost about 1.5 lbs in a week (she only started at 17), was at the vet daily for anti-nausea meds and fluids- then the oral melanoma was diagnosed.  No one really expected her to make it through the week, but I never got the feeling that we were for sure at the end.  I was watching her closely- but I never saw the look.  Of course I wasn't confident I would know it when I saw it….

Three months later I did get the look- and I was sure.  I will never forget how she looked at me the night before I let her go.  It is not a scary memory- it was a gift!  I am sure I did the right thing for her at the right time, and that peace of mind is priceless.

Follow Winston's lead- he will let you know.


Karen and the pugapalooza

Albuquerque, NM
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20 June 2011
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29 February 2012 - 10:28 am
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I also opted for palliative care when Jewels was first diagnosed.  It was mostly about the cost of the amp and how her blood sugar levels made the surgery dangerous plus the fact that Jewels was already considered  "geriatric" at the ripe age of 11years for a large dog.  Three months went by while we managed her pain.  We were very, very lucky she never fractured or broke her leg.  Then we were at the point that the pain meds weren't doing enough and we had to make a decision.  She was NOT ready to cross the bridge.  So we happened to come upon a little extra money for the surgery knowing that it would probably only give her a few more months.  In our situation, amp was a good option for our girl.  She enjoyed three more months pain free until the lung mets took over.  Then she went downhill pretty fast and we knew she needed to be released from her suffering.  She was finally ready to cross at that point and we let her go peacefully.  It was the hardest decision we had to make.  I wanted so badly to keep her around for another week or two.  But it wouldn't be fair to make her suffer much longer. 


I am just repeating what everyone said here, follow Winston's lead because he will let you know and then you will know it is time.  Do what you are doingnow  and enjoy every moment you have with him.  We are here to help you through this.


Geraldine, Spirit Jewels' Mom

Jewels was a gorgeous Lab-Shep mix that found us at the pet rescue when she was just 3 months old. Born June 2000; Diagnosed OSA on June 1, 2011; L-front Amputation September 12, 2011; Crossed Rainbow Bridge December 30, 2011. My "baby dog" will always be in my heart.  Now she is running fast and free on all four legs after the rabbits and squirrels!  Jewels was loved by her crazy-busy mom, even-keeled dad, pesky twin human brothers and monkeydog sister Aspen.  Read about Jewels' Tripawd Journey here.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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14 August 2009
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29 February 2012 - 9:07 pm
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We are sorry to hear that Winston's time came today.




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.

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