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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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Prosthetic limb for my cat. Is it possible?
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
16 July 2019
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16 July 2019 - 2:28 pm
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My dear cat Georgie was diagnosed in April 2019 with osteosarcoma. The time has come to amputate her front left foreleg since two debulking surgeries did not help and radiation is palliative not curative.
We will do amputation next week but I want Georgie to have the use of a prosthetic. 
The surgeon wants to amputate to the shoulder but I want to save as much of her leg as possible so that  a Prosthetic can be fitted.
The surgeon was too busy to speak with me this morning after Georgie’s sutures were taken out, so I asked the surgical nurse about a prosthetic but she said no bc they have to put a metal rod in. 
I contacted OrthoPets in Colorado to see if this is accurate and to find out what they have to offer.
Has anybody had this experience and what did you choose? What is your experiences with prosthetics ?
Thank you so much for your help!
The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 27207
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25 April 2007
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16 July 2019 - 5:13 pm
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Hi Maria, welcome. Sorry to hear about Georgie’s diagnosis. But you’ll see here that we’ve had quite a few Trikitty members with osteosarcoma who did great and went on to live long, hoppy lives on three.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of a debulking surgery for osteosarcoma. Was it subcutaneous? 

Regarding prosthetics : if you click on the link you will see all of our current information about them. What the assistant may have been thinking of, as far as a metal rod, was implanted prosthetics . These are still in the experimental stage (see below link to interview with Dr. Marcelin-Little: he actually pioneered the use of prosthetic implants).

For the right animal, a prosthetic of any kind can really boost quality of life! You are right in asking your oncology surgeon to leave as much of the leg as possible, because artificial limbs have to be considered before surgery. 

However, keep in mind that in this interview with prosthetics expert Dr. Denis Marcelin-Little, he explains that for total success of a prosthtic, a dog or cat needs at least two joints left on the affected limb. Where is the tumor on Georgie’s leg?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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