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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:
27 July 2013
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30 July 2013 - 8:31 am
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Could someone tell me how long you should be with your pet after the surgery?  Our dog is scheduled for amputation on Thursday and we're told she'll likely come home on Saturday.  By Monday would she be OK to be left at home for a few hours?  Unfortunately we're already short-handed at work so I know I couldn't take the whole day off, but I'm hoping for half of the day.  But I can check if a grandparent could come be with her if people suggest she shouldn't be alone yet.  Would appreciate you experienced owner's suggestions!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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30 July 2013 - 10:09 am
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Hi CJ, thanks for joining us! What is your dog's name? How come she is losing her leg? We are happy to help however we can.

You're not the first person who had to leave your pup alone soon after surgery. As long as you can keep her confined in a small, comfortable and quiet space and have someone stop by to check on her, she should be fine. Most dogs just sleep the first few days after surgery, unless they're a puppy, which is more challenging. But hey, your pup will probably love the time with grandma/grandpa so if they're retired and can be there, that would be a sweet arrangement!

Thanks again for joining us, we look forward to learning more about your pup. Good luck this week!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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30 July 2013 - 11:04 am
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Yeah, ditto everything Jerry said...especially if someone can check on her.

Sorry you're going through this but welcome to your new extended famiy.

As Jerry said, please tell us more about your journey when you can and maybe we can be of further help.

Your icture of your pup is adorable!! Would love to hear ore about him.

Hang in there. Tne initial recovery period is no "walk in the park" but we're nere to walk with you if you need us! Vut when the recovery is over, you will be so thrilled at how happy and joyful your pup will be!

Please kee us posted. Oh yeah, if you have hardwoods, maybe get some sctter rugs so he wn't slip

Surrou ding you with calm,

Sally and Hapoy Hannah

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!

Columbia, MO
Member Since:
10 December 2011
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30 July 2013 - 1:16 pm
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Like you my Daisy had her amputation on Thursday and came home Saturday.  I didn't take any time off work for her recovery.  I had her gated off in the living room (only carpeted room in my house) with her bed and food/water.  I came home for lunch everyday to check on her.  She did just fine.  All she really did for those first few weeks was sleep and go out to do her business a few times a day anyway.  I'm lucky that Daisy is kind of a slug so keeping her down is not much of an issue for us.

Good luck with the recovery!

Marla and Daisy

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

Twin Cities, Minnesota
Member Since:
6 March 2013
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30 July 2013 - 1:44 pm
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We dropped Sam off on Thursday on our way to work; surgery was that afternoon. Picked him up Friday after work.

We went to work as normal on Monday. I did block off the main level so he (and his sister, by default) couldn't use the stairs, but other than that, no changes (all the cats could jump the barricades at will).

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."
-Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

"May I recommend serenity to you? A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment. Learn to be one with the joy of the moment."
-Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Member Since:
27 July 2013
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31 July 2013 - 10:13 am
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Thanks for the input!  This website has been a huge help preparing me for this.  Our dog's name is Nevada.  We adopted her from a shelter about 4 years ago.  She's estimated to be about 6 now.  She's an incredibly sweet girl.  She's been having leg issues since April.  First we were told it was osteosarcoma, then another vet who treats animals with chemo told us he doesn't think it is cancer.  She did come back with a positive Blastomycosis result, which we were thrilled with as it's usually curable, but they've found there's something else also going on with that leg.  We've done a gazillion tests so Capital One really likes us right now.  They've run everything besides a biopsy and after thinking everything through we decided to go straight to amputation instead of the biopsy. She's been in a lot of pain and we think we just need to get rid of it.  We've been told that even with the biopsy, we may not have a clear answer of what's going on, so we decided one procedure would be better than likely two.  We're of course hoping we don't get a cancer result, but it's still a good possibility.  I'm pretty nervous about everything but keep trying to tell myself it's in her best interest.  We'd like her to be able to run and play with our other dog again.  Thanks for all your help!


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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31 July 2013 - 12:17 pm
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Okay, we've got all paws crossed for you and NEVADA! And that's a whole lot of tripawd paws!

Sounds like a good decision...a hard one...but a good one. Yoj're taking away pain! Most here did NOT do bone biopsy either for the exact same reasons and it's pretty painful too. Yeah, first coup,e of weeks during recovery are tough too...but once recovery takes place you will be soooo thrilled!

Just take it one day at a time. If test results aren't good---there are tons off options on this site! Chemo, holistic, neither--both. So use us and this site to help guide you through the maze.

TRY and rest the next couple of days.....because when Nevada comes home, you may have a few sleepless nights! Stock up on chocolate and kce cream!!

You have made a decision out of love for Nevada---and that is a right decisio :-)

Sally and Happy Hannah

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!

Tolland, CT
Member Since:
7 March 2013
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31 July 2013 - 9:19 pm
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Hi CJ; hope the worst is behind your sweet girl and she's resting comfortably.  We've been told the surgery pain is nothing compared to the bone pain - and that's gone now!  Thursday seems to be a popular surgery day.  We took Roxie to the onco on a Wednesday in March, reviewed options, she stayed overnight and had surgery Thursday, also with a Saturday pickup.  Gave me time to get the house tripawd-ready and block off most areas until she found her balance again - which happened very quickly.

One of the few times I'm glad I have a retired spouse is when we have a sick/recuperating pet, since there's someone home most of the time.  A grandpawrent visit would probably make you feel better as well as reassure Nevada - I've been in that stuck-at-work situation and it's not fun!  We used a towel as an easy sling for her - back-leg ampu - but didn't need it long.  Sally's rug and nutritional ideas are all excellent, too.  We were very lucky to have a fast, problem-free recovery; I wish that for you, also, but I'll echo others and repeat that you'll find lots of support and experience here whatever you encounter.

Capital 1 also loves us.  I've spread the wealth around a bit too, with Care Credit (GE Capital); they offer some decent interest-free payment plans for these big (huge) expenses; most vets here in CT seem to participate.

My husband was very emotional about the ampu.  I told him we needed to be strong and pawsitive for Roxie and get our crying done before we went to get her.  So we did.  She was quite wobbly but in a big hurry to get home and we've been running to keep up with her ever since.  Like most who came here because of cancer, we don't know what's coming next, but I don't regret anything about the decisions we've made so far.  Every day is a blessing, and Roxie has helped me understand that and live it.

Best of luck - warm thoughts and prayers upstairs for you and Nevada.

-Liz and Princess Roxie


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