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.
JUMP TO FORUMS ↓
Join The Tripawds Community
Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:
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.
22 August 2008
It is with a very heavy heart that I have to tell you all that today Tazzie lost her battle with cancer. She had been doing so well that I even let myself forget that this day might soon come. The last week or so she had been having trouble with her left rear leg and seemed hesitant to jump up on her mattress at night (only about an 8-inch height). The last two nights she did not sleep well (restless and panting) even though I slept next to her. Today I woke up to let the dogs out and Tazzie did not follow. She was on the floor next to the mattress looking confused. She could not get up on her own so I used a sling to help her and she ran/hopped outside but fell on her face in the dirt. I had my husband help me with the harness/sling together but she still could not get up and then refused to walk so we brought her back into the house. She could crawl around but both of her rear legs were not functioning normally.
I gave her 4 Tramadol because she could not get comfortable and kept panting. She ate 1 can of chicken and some cheese and drank water but I think that was more for my benefit. Tazzie always tried to please us that way. I gave her more Tramadol and then went to my clinic to get a sedative and other supplies. When I returned my husband and I spent hours talking to her and petting her and telling her how special she was. I hoped that she might feel better and try to walk but anytime we opened the door she tried to crawl away so I did not push it. I had always promised her that no matter what I would not let her hurt and I would not go too far just for my own selfish reasons. I considered taking her to the clinic for xrays but even sedated that would have stressed her out. I could have tried prednisone and waited a few days but that would have meant that Tazzie would be unable to get up and urinate, etc and that would have upset her too.
Tazzie made the decision for me. As I was petting her she kept looking deeply into my eyes and I could see that she was tired. She also kept putting her front paw on my arm (something she does not normally do) as if pleading with me to help her. I knew that most likely the cancer had metastasized to her spine since there was no trauma and her breed is not prone to disc disease. We had to make the difficult decision to let her go. I gave her the sedative followed by the anesthetic injection to stop her heart and she went very peacefully surrounded by her doggie family and with her head in my husband's lap. After she was gone my pitbull Kona gave her a thorough face washing and sat next to her (also not typical).
Tazzie was a huge, goofy girl but she was also sweet, brave, and loyal. We will miss her so much and her passing has left a huge hole in our hearts. Thank you all so much for your support, especially Jim and Renee and Jerry. This site helped me so much in the early days when we were contemplating amputation. Like most others we have no regrets at all, and I know we were very lucky to beat the odds and get almost 14 months with our happy dog. I will continue to be a part of this special community, but you probably won't hear from me for a few days.
Pam, Frank, and Tazzie
28 May 2008
My heart, my head, my soul and my spirit are crying those gut wrenching tears for you Pam…I am so incredibly sorry for your heartache. I wish I could say words of comfort…I don't have many right now to offer as you might well understand. I do know, however, that you and all the other wonderful and incredible pawrents on this website gave our furkids the best life that was even possible…and then some.
You did not let her suffer…I didn't let Zeus suffer…we were not selfish…we gave them the ultimate gift of love and selflessness that we could possibly give to them and we are left to grieve the loss and fill an unfillable hole, but you are not alone.
You have all our love and many virtual hugs. I like to think that Zeus was hanging out with Jerry and all the others welcoming your girl to the joys of a pain free life.
Until we all meet again….
Love to you and your family Pam,
Heather, Spirit Zeus and Buddy
Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together
29 July 2009
I am so incredibly sorry for your loss Pam. She put up such a great fight for fourteen months but I know it's never long enough. I'm glad she didn't suffer long and the three of you got to be together for her final moments like that. How lucky she was to have you care for and love her all this time.
I know she's having a great time in heaven…..I'm sure Mac saw her arrive and was like “whoa…she looks like she could beat me up”. I hope they can be friends and goof off together.
Lots and lots of hugs,
16 February 2008
Dear Pam, I am so very sorry to hear the sad news. My heart sank when I saw the topic of this post. I was telling myself, 'that cannot be!”.
Tazzie was a brave girl, she fought the battle courageously. I admire your decisiveness to prevent her condition from getting worse.
Pam, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
25 April 2007
Pam, we are stunned, and so heartbroken. We too almost forgot that she had cancer, she has been such a strong girl.
Our hearts go out to you, and we would give anything in the world right now to be there to give you hugs. Jim and I are so, so sorry. Tazzie has been such an awesome role model, our inspawration for big dogs everywhere.
The way you were able to be there for her, and carry out her wishes without hesitation, is so admirable, and a real testament to the bond you had with her. We should all be so brave when the day comes for our dogs. Thank you for showing us that being true to their wishes can be done, despite the agonizing heartbreak we go through.
Even though she is gone now, we will continue to shine a light on her story to show others the possibilities when it comes to living with cancer as a big dog. She will never, ever be forgotten.
Much love and hugs,
Jim, Rene, Spirit Jerry & Wyatt Ray
13 July 2009
I definitely did not see this coming and could not figure it out when I saw the heading to the post. I really thought she had kicked the big “C” when you made it to one year, and am so saddened to hear this news. This must be such a shock for you. Thank you for taking time during your grief to let us know. You know how much Your Tazzie and you mean to everyone here. Glad she went peacefully and in the company of everyone in your family (canid and human).
Susan and Tazzie 2
Oh Pam, My heart is breaking with you right now. I am so, so sorry!!! Tazzie has been an inspiration for us all here, and her big spirit will always be remembered. I'm glad that you got to spend the last few hours with her so lovingly, and I'm sure that was a big source of comfort for her. She was definitely telling you it was time, and you listened. More than that, you heard her and honored her. I wish I could offer some comforting words, but they allude me. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers tonight. ((HUGS))
14 June 2009
Such a beautiful girl! It really shows in those pictures. And what a good girl, to eat and drink for you!
Another one so soon … they must be thinking it's a tripawd convention up there in doggy heaven.
I'm so sorry for your loss and will be thinking of you and your family. I'm so glad the choice was clear for you. I know from my first dog how much worse it all is when it isn't.
By the way, thank you so much for all the times you answered questions for me about Yoda and really for every time you offered your expertise to anyone on the site, because often I gained a lot of useful information from posts between you and other people too.
I hope our furry kids are romping together, or will be soon. They better be taking time to have fun and not worrying about how we're doing down here all the time! Who is going to lead the game of chase? Zeus? Mac? Yoda usually follows the littlest dog. They make more realistic prey. And, Jacki, maybe Yoda can bring Mac around on getting to know bigger dogs. Yoda used to have a prejudice against dogs that were bigger than him (he'd get snobby and avoid them), but that seemed to diminish after his amputation – he even tried to get in on the fun with two frolicking Great Danes at the park one day!
Yoda&Mom united: 9/5/06 …….… Yoda&Leg separated: 6/5/09……… Yoda&Leg reunited: 10/14/09 ……… ……………….………….………….……. Yoda&Mom NEVER separated! …………………….….……....….…… Though Spirit Yoda currently free-lances as a rabbit hunting instructor for tripawds nationwide
15 January 2009
She had been doing so well that I even let myself forget that this day might soon come.
Pam, I think we all forgot too. Her story like she was large…..such a great survival story, maybe she had beaten the odds!
I got home tonight and went to the Tripawd site and found your post. Outloud I said…Oh No, not Tazzie!! You have given so much to us all and gave Tazzie a great life. There is no greater love & gift than to care for someone at their time of death. Please know that I and my family grieve along with you and your family.
Thank you for sharing the story of Tazzie, It has toucherd my heart. Love and hugs and prayers to you all,
Gineej & Paris
Grateful for every moment we had with Paris…..no regrets!
Honoring her life by opening our hearts & home to Addy!
20 December 2008
And a howl rings through the night sky. Pam, we are so sorry to hear your news. Tazzie was a giant (literally!) among tripawds and an inspawration to all of us. We are with you in thought and spirit and send you all our love. We are lighting one more candle on the altar tonight for your sweet girl.
Tazzie is at peace. Peace to you Pam, and the rest of your family,
all of us in Oaktown,
CR, Martha, Ralph, and Smokey B.
Woohoo! Tripawds Rule!
Regulator of the Oaktown Pack, Sheriff of the Oaktown Pawsse, Founding member and President of the Tripawd Girldogs With 2 Names ROCK Club, and ... Tripawd Girldog Extraordinaire!
25 April 2007
A moment of silence, please. I am just speechless.
24 January 2009
NO!! My heart stopped when I saw your post. The one who has been so steady and so healthy…it can't be.
I'm so, so sorry for you and your family. You're so generous with the rest of us, with information and guidance– this just isn't fair. How blessed Tazzie was to have you caring for her and I'm so glad you had a chance to love on her a little bit more when she desperately needed it. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers for the next few days.
Hugs to you, and Kona too.
Mary and Cemil
Cemil and mom Mary, Mujde and Radzi….appreciating and enjoying Today
2 June 2009
We are very sad that you had to leave us today, but at the same time we are happy that you beat cancer for 14 whole months, and brought smiles to our faces, and to your parents' faces. You showed us all that it is possible to be happy post-amputation (YES!!!) and that being a dog doesn't have to mean having 4 legs. Your mommy has helped us all with questions we have had, and you were quite lucky to have found her (and she was even luckier to have found you!). I am very sorry that we never got the chance to meet up at a dog park out here, but you can't be bothered with that now for you have a whole new world to run around in, to sniff out, and to discover! Have a great time at the Rainbow Bridge , darling Tazzie, and be sure to send your mom a postcard 🙂 Love you!!!
<3 Laura and Jackers
My thoughts are with you, Pam, during this difficult time. You are an awesome pawrent 🙂
28 November 2008
28 November 2008
Oh, Pam. My heart breaks for you. You and Tazzie have been my light in so many ways. You through your generous contribution of knowledge and wisdom, Tazzie through her strength, beauty, and presence. She's been here every day for me, she's been that light that led the way. I mourn each tripawd loss, but this one is even deeper.
My condolences to you and your family as you adjust to life without the great girl. May your sadness soon be replaced with the wonderful memories of her that will carry you on.
RIP sweet Tazzie, run free at Rainbow Bridge .
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.