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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What does it mean to Be More Dog?
Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.
2 November 2009
As many of you know, we are finally losing this battle to osteosarcoma and we are nearing the end of our journey. As I type this, I’m fighting my tears as I'm so sad and devastated by this recent turn in events. Last week, the doctors found a soft tissue mass in her rear leg, fluid in her lungs - the cancer is basically taking over now. I'm so torn up about this and my heart is just breaking into pieces. She's been on the decline for these last few days and I really thought we'd be able to have more time than this. The worst part about this is that she's alert and responsive but her body is shutting down now. She has lost a lot of mobility in her rear legs (we now have to help her up and down - thank god for the Ruff Harness), she's losing her appetite (she hardly ate anything today) and she's starting to have labored breathing due to the fluid in her lungs. The irony of all of this is that Mackenzie continues to surprise me in the most unexpected ways. So for example, yesterday I had a couple of friends come over to see her and when she saw them, she went barreling down the lawn to greet them. Her rear legs were giving out on her but she was strong enough to make it down this hill with her tail wagging.
So today, after much contemplation and painful assessment, I called my regular vet and told her about Mackenzie's symptoms (she’s known Mackenzie since she was a puppy.) She agreed that it's Mackenzie's time. We decided to do this tomorrow at my house so Mackenzie can be comfortable. Soon after, I called one of Mackenzie's favorite people – her pet sitter. She came over and Mackenzie surprised me again by getting up on her own and walking over to greet her. We all spent some time together and Mackenzie was very alert and responsive. She even finally ate a little something after not eating all day. This gave me a sense of hope that maybe tomorrow isn’t her time afterall. In the meantime, I had a call into her oncologist to talk about this and she called me back. Basically told me that because Mackenzie is the kind of dog she is, people person, friendly, pleasing, etc., that she will always show these good moments but it doesn’t mean that she’s feeling better. We’ve basically exhausted everything and it would concern her if we were to prolong this for more than a few days. She really gave me a clear picture on what Mackenzie’s condition would be and how debilitated she would become if I were to prolong this. A day, couple of days would probably be ok. So my husband and I talked and we will be making our final decision in the morning. As my sister said to me, if you need a day to wrap your head around this than take it. But just know you’re doing the best, most loving thing you can for her.
I was writing to get feedback on what I should do….but I think I know my answer. I’m not sure it’s tomorrow but I definitely know it’s within these next couple of days. The most painful part about this is that Mackenzie is still so alert and responsive. But my ocean girl will finally be set free (but why does that not feel so good right now?) I’m just so torn up about this. Thank you everyone for all of your support. And thank you Rene for sharing your story with me about Jerry.
Kami (Mackenzie’s Mom)
My sweet golden Mackenzie. She became my angel on Dec 29, 2010 at the age of 8 1/2 although she was always my angel from the time we brought her home. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in Sept 2009 and officially became a tripawd (front leg) on Nov 5, 2009. She will be forever in my heart and now she's running free with all of our other tripawd heroes. I love you Mackenzie!
7 June 2010
Words cannot express how sorry I am for you, your family and your beloved Mackenzie.
It's just not fair.
I'm so sorry.
It's always too soon, you know?
Big hugs, my thoughts are with you.
Kona turned 9yrs on April 16, 2010.
Kona was diagnosed Memorial Weekend 2010 with osteosarcoma.
Right rear leg amputated on June 4th. First chemo June 18th 2010
Second chemo July 9th, 2010 Third and final (yea !!!) chemo July 30th, 2010
ONE TOUGH GIRL this Australian Cattledog !
***Kona's journey/fight ended late in the evening of December 22, 2010***
We Love you so much Kona….always
Bella 9yrs, albino lab/aussie shep/pit?(abandoned in mts as a puppy) deaf & blind (from birth) in one eye limited vision in other.(laid back, ok lazy 73 lbs)
Cotton, 5yrs, albino hound/terrier of somesort/???(abandoned in mts as a puppy) deaf & blind in one eye(from birth), excellent vision in seeing eye. (ball addict…destroyer of Kong balls…yes,etc), high energy 55lbs knots of muscle)
Kona Kai's pup brother and sister as well as her buddy and playmate cat, Shaymous 12yrs (like Seamus), miss her terribly.
28 November 2008
Kami, I am truly sorry you are having to make this decision. I am truly sorry any of us have to make this decision, but as you know it is a decision we make out of love. You (and her lifetime vet) have acknowledged she has a declining quality of live, and we all know quality of life is why we have all chosen this journey. We chose to give them the best treatment and the best care so they would have a better quality of life for however long they had left even though we know it is an uphill battle.
I feel in your words you have made your decision, you just need that time your sister spoke of to become accepting of the finality. You will miss her terribly, we will miss her terribly, but she will live in all tripawd hearts forever. She's had an amazing 14 months she likely wouldn't have had if you had not been the awesome pawrent you are.
Holding you and Mackinzie in my heart as you come to peace with being able to set her broken body free. Sending you peace and strength.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul. Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.
25 April 2007
Kami, our hearts also ache knowing where you are in this journey. It's so hard to come to terms with what is a natural process, one that we know will happen, cancer or not, but that we don't ever want to accept until we know for sure it's time. Lots of us wrestle with this, and some of us are more ready than others to face it at a certain point. Take the time you need, but remember to keep asking yourself if Mackenzie is getting the best quality of life she can at that time.
A blog post of mine that might help is one that my pawrents wrote after I earned my wings, called "Saying Goodbye, How We Knew". There are two parts to it, and while it still makes my pawrents cry when they read it, it is helpful to see the process I went through (it sounds very similar to Mackenzie's).
Our Resources Page also has some helpful grief support links too.
We are just so sad. Mackenzie has led this community through thick and thin, it's hard to believe this is happening. Our hearts go out to you, your hubby and Kobe.
We're glad you posted an update, as you've been on our mind. We are so sorry to hear that the time is almost here. Your description of how Mackensie is acting sounds just like how Spirit Skyler was her last couple of days. If anybody had seen her (and didn't know the history) they would have thought we were nuts to set her free. But in our hearts we knew, as you will know when it is time. Tears are filling my eyes as I write this, as goldens hold (and always will) a special place in my heart. We are sending you many golden hugs. You are in our prayers. Spirit Skyler will look after Mackensie at the bridge, and will show her around.
17 February 2010
I'm so very sorry that you have come to this point in your journey with Mackenzie. It can be so hard to decide when it's the right time to say goodbye. Every decision you have made for her has been made with her best interest at heart. It is part of who you are as a pawrent and that won't change. The problem always seems to be the good day/bad day thing. On a good day, you can't think about letting her go, on a bad day, you start to come to terms with it, and then there's a good day and well, it all starts over. I don't have the answer, but you do. You will know, and it will be right, and we will all be here for you.
Sadie is my 9yr old Rott/Shepherd mix. Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her right scapula 1/28/10. Our brave girl had her amputation 2/13/10 and her last chemotherapy on 6/6/10. Unfortunately, a tumor appeared in her back right leg and on 10/7/2010 Sadie's earthly journey came to an end. On 10/24/2010 we adopted Ranger, a handsome Rott/Lab mix tripawd (got hit by a car) I think Sadie sent him to us.
9 April 2010
Sara and my hearts ache with yours. As others have said, your journey now sounds similar to what happened with us when we made our decision. There was never a moment we felt like yes this is the right time but somewhere inside we knew Etta wasn't coming back and that there was nothing but pain for her. She also greeted all of her friends (our neighbors and friends) that she knew and loved so much. It was as if she was saying goodbye to each of them individually with every ounce of strength and that great lab smile that she had to the very end.
I'm glad that when the time is right she will be at home with everyone she loves. We did that as well and it brings us comfort still. We miss Etta everyday as I know you will miss Mackenzie. But you will carry with you that you gave her an incredible life and the gift of time. I know these words are little comfort right now but please know Sara and my thoughts are with you in this very difficult time.
Julie & Sara (Our angel etta's moms)
Our angel "Etta" amputation on 4-15-10 lost her front limb. initially dx'd with neurofibrosarcoma. However, after surgery they discovered histiocytic sarcoma a very aggressive cancer. After two full rounds of chemo our special angel lost her battle on 6-21-10. the sweetest and most gentle soul. Our lives are forever blessed for having known her...
25 April 2007
We know there are no words that can heal the pain you're feeling right now, so please just know that we understand are there with you in spirit. Peace.
14 August 2009
All I can say, is thank you from the bottom of heart for letting me apart of Mackenzie's life. She is a special girl and she has made a big impact on my whole family here. I feel enriched knowing and sharing in her love.
How does one let go? I don't know. It all seems so unreal right now. But I just have to believe there has to be a good reason why everything has happened the way it has. I have to.
Mackenzie and you have a special bond and your love for her will tell you when. If it is not tomorrow, that's okay.
We'll somehow get through this as hard as it is going to be. So, call anytime you need to. I'm here.
Lots of love always.
Comet - 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.
27 October 2010
I am so saddened to read these words. Mackenzies blog was one of the first I read when Cooper and I began his journey, and I feel Mackenzie and Kami have become true friends in this short time ... as Konakais mom said ... it is always too soon... that speaks volumes for the love our furfriends have shared with us. I know these words from me are feeble feeble words with no power to help you through the pain of this, but know that we are truly WITH you in this and care and are here for you. Peace be with you and Mackenzie....
Coopsdad/ Kenneth Blackburn
the monkeydogs only THINK they have invaded the tripawd state
25 August 2010
I don't know when the time is right. It is the worst thing in the world to face that choice when they are alert and still having good moments. My Jazzy had lost her bowel control and had a very hard time getting up and laying down but during the day she would have great moments of playing and wagging her tail and enjoying her outside time. I think I waited a little too long for her, she was having a really upbeat day after several days of needing me for everything, and then her throat collasped and I rushed her to the vet. Her last moments were not what I would've wanted to give her.
I am so sorry you are facing this, but I know that Mackenzie is with the best person she could be with, you. She loves you and you love her, so I know that when she has to leave this world she will want to be by your side when she does.
It is the hardest thing to try and figure out when it is better for her. All I can say is any decision made with love is the right one. So many hugs I am sending for you guys. You are in my prayers too.
Elizabeth and Sammy
Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the right front leg 8/23/10,
leg fractured 8/27/10,
leg amputated 8/30/10
I couldn't begin to say how special Sammy is to us. Living and laughing with and loving this wonderful boy is priceless.
14 April 2010
8 December 2009
I've been thinking of you and Mackenzie... I don't know what to say other than you will do what's best for Mackenzie...she's giving you signs it's her time....
Many, many, many, MANY hugs to you, from here in Maine...
Tracy & Maggie
Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09
Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13
28 September 2009
I am so sorry things are at the end for Mackenzie. I no your pain and it is so incredible. We took Ruby to the vet on Friday and we knew our hope was gone but she at that time was still eating so we brought her home and had a few extra days. We also had to get our head around that we would be losing her. I aways wondered when everyone said you will no when the time is right but I wasn't quite sure I would, now I understand, I did. Again I am just so sorry you are that time in your journey, you have been a wonderful pawrent to Mackenzie you will always do the right thing for her.
My thoughts, tears and prayers are with you.
Jo Ann & Tasha
Tasha 8 years old, First cancer diagnosis 6/26/09, Last cancer diagnosis 9/26/09, Amputation 10/01/09, Loving our girl moment by moment.
Tasha lost her battle and became my Angel on May 4 2011. Forever in my heart….