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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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subluxating shoulder :(
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Leicester, NY
Member Since:
11 February 2011
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26 January 2012 - 5:08 am
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Sorry I missed this! Im glad you are going to try water therapy. Ask your PT vet about a quad cart rental to help in recovery. K9 Carts has a rental program for dogs in PT and surgical recovery. The quad cart supports the whole body instead of them carrying the weight on the rear, which may cause more issues.

Spirit Samson was Spirit Tripawd Daisys four legged "brother" and ruled as the self proclaimed head of the Monkeybutt Federations East Coast Division. Lady Chunky Monkey stayed from Oct 2011 and left for the bridge in Apr 2012. Miss Perdy is left and has some big pawprints to fill.
Do you have what it takes to be a Monkeybutt? Find out more at the Monkeybutt Federation

Plainfield, Illinois
Member Since:
14 May 2011
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26 January 2012 - 1:55 pm
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I haven't been on in almost a week.  I don't have any advice, but I'm sending you positive thoughts and praying for you and Sammy.  Hoping the doc can help your sweet boy!


Jenna & Spirit Chili Dawg

Diagnosed with OSA: 5/2/2011 Ampuversary: 5/11/2011 OSA returned in hip: 8/26/2011
Chili Dawg crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 8/30/2011 & is now pain free. He was my heart dog, and I miss him every day.

Greater Western Washington area
Member Since:
25 August 2010
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28 January 2012 - 2:12 pm
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Ok, soooo... after asking about surgery and continued treatments with accup/chiro, and/or water therapy I have come to a conclusion.  I still need to talk with Dr. Pam but she isn't in her clinic today, so going off of what I talked with the rehab vet about I will share it with you.

I borrowed $1000.00 from my mom for a last ditch "save Sammy" chance.  I have spent 455.00 of it on his 4 accup/chiro treatments which may help but will need to be continued way past the point that I can financially continue them. ( $230 a week)

Water therapy may work, may not.  It won't hurt him, but there are no guarentees.  Plus they are a lifetime commitment  of 1 to 2 times a week and I don't have lifetime funds. $(115 a week without accupuncture)

Surgery at Dr. Sodhi's clinic runs $5000.00 to $7000.00.  Just an estimate from him, he would need to do a consult with me to quote a direct price.  Wayyyy out of my league.  Not guarenteed either.

Front cart.  About $700.00.  no guarentees, no take backs.  I don't know if Sammy's shoulder would continue to hurt or if he would even use the cart.  Could I even get him in it?  I watched several front cart video's from Eddies carts, they were really encouraging. 


Since Sammy got unlucky enough to live with a mom who can't do it all, we will have to make tough choices for him.  The only choice off the table (unless pain management isn't working) is killing him.  I won't do it unless there isn't any other choice and he is suffering.


Looks like the cart wins everyone.   clapclapclap  Thanks for all the advice and help.  You guys always come through!  I will post more info when I talk with the cart guys and Dr. Pam.   I wonder if he has a cart, can we wrap his shoulder and make it better?  I will let you know.


Hugs from Sammy and me. 

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.

Rock Hill, SC
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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28 January 2012 - 2:33 pm
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Oh, Elizabeth, I'm so sorry you have to go through all of this turmoil.  It almost seems as if the harder we try, the harder it gets.  It sounds as if you have really tried and/or considered every possible choice and I am sure you have made the right one for your boy.  I am confident that Sammy is thankful for you, and so are we!  Good luck with the cart!



Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...

Member Since:
14 April 2010
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28 January 2012 - 3:28 pm
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Hey Elizabeth, I just saw your dilemma, and I hope you can get Sammy back to walking better again. May I say something about your last post. Do not say since Sammy is unlucky to have mom that can't do it all. He is EXTREMELY LUCKY to have you, just think of how many people would have never given him 1/4 of the chances that you have, so having said that you and everyone here knows you are doing all you can, and you should NEVER feel like you have failed or are not doing enough. As we all know when we start this journey, it is not an easy road, and it seems the challenges are never ending, cancer or other issues that arise because of it, whether it be medical, emotional or financial. No one here will EVER say you didn't do something right, we all do what we feel is best for own individual situation. You know you have the support of everyone here, hopefully you can feel it. Big Paws up for Sammy, Spirit Gus and Dan

My buddy Gus had a left front amputation on April 7, 2010 and lived a great life until July 26,2010

knoxville, tn
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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28 January 2012 - 3:32 pm
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we agree with dan.  you have been the best mom sammy could ever have, and you continue to make the best choices you can.  you love him unconditionally - just like he loves you.  don't doubt yourself, sammy doesn't.

charon & spirit gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends


Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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28 January 2012 - 3:34 pm
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I'm so sorry.  I'm sorry you feel like it's your fault because there are not enough funds to do everything you want for him.  

There is no doubt you love him  - we all know that!  And there is no doubt in his mind that you love him.  But even if you did have endless funds, how much is  enough?  The questions that need to be asked is will Sammy be in pain still?  If you do get him a cart, will that alleviate his pain?  And, I'm not an expert - but using a cart will probably cause his front leg muscle to atrophy.  And then it won't work at all.



And Elizabeth you know I love you - but I have to speak up and say something about this:

The only choice off the table (unless pain management isn't working) is killing him.


I don't want to speak for others and I don't want to be controversial or mean sounding but if Sammy is suffering and nothing can be done, this is not killing him. It's letting him go with dignity and not letting him suffer.  Saying those words like that sends a terrible message to all of us that have had and will have to make the decision.  We didn't kill our dogs, we let go because they needed to be let go. We let them go because we had to dig deep in heart and soul and not be selfish.  Hanging on to a poor innocent dog that can't tell you how badly they are hurting is selfish.  The sad fact is dogs just can't live as long as we'd like them to.   

Please know - I mean those words lovingly.   And I truly hope with all my heart Sammy can be fixed so you will have much more time together.

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.

Scottsburg, IN
Member Since:
5 February 2010
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28 January 2012 - 6:33 pm
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Elizabeth, you are fantastic. Sammy is so lucky that you just happened to see that horrible person throwing that "rug" into the dump. Sammy loves you unconditionally and I just know he's eternally grateful for the love you show him. I know it feels like an impossible situation, but hold your head high knowing you're doing fantastic things for your boy.

Give him hugs from us.


Sebastopol, CA
Member Since:
11 June 2011
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28 January 2012 - 10:08 pm
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You are wonderful Elizabeth!! And many people use doggie wheelchairs for years for their furbabes. I found one on Craigslist in the Seattle area - it would have to be customized to Sammy's needs so he can use his back legs but maybe this person could do it for you?


Many of the professional cart folks make great front carts! Good luck!!

Sending huge huggs & wags

Joanne & Lylee

New Zealand
Member Since:
6 November 2011
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28 January 2012 - 10:14 pm
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I know how hard it is when funds are limited, you want to do all that you can but you just aren't able to, its a hard fact to live with. But at the end of the day we have to do what is in the best interests of our best buddys. Dont feel guilty for that there is only so much we can do.

I hope something works for Sammy, its so hard to watch them struggling.

Good luck and crossed paws

Sarah and Kayla

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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29 January 2012 - 7:35 am
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Never, never, sell yourself short Elizabeth. None of us have the funds to go on indefinitely. This is a brutal disease and takes a toll emotionally, physically, and financially. You are doing an AWESOME job. You are thinking through your options, you are asking the right questions.

None of us can fight forever, there will come a point when you know you've made the last decision. It will be a very sad day for you, and you will feel defeated even thought you know there is nothing left to do. When that day comes we will be there for you. Until then we will be behind you, supporting the decision you make.

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.

Greater Western Washington area
Member Since:
25 August 2010
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29 January 2012 - 10:15 am
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Thanks for the bolstering my friends.

I am going to try and address each one of you.  Lisa and Jenna, thank you 🙂  Dan, you are my rock.  Your amazing words always seem to be spot on.  We are lucky to count you as a friend.  Charon, I know you always have our back, thank you, Sammy and I adore you.  Ge'Lena, I hear what you are saying and thank you. Also, I guess I was thoughtless about how others would feel.  I am so sorry 🙁  I was talking from my anger at my situation and didn't want to use words that would make the pain kinder to live with.  In my mind, that is what I was facing and I didn't think about how it might make you feel.   I am in my dunce hat now, see you when I get out of the corner.  I appreciate all of what you said, the good and the points.  Leslie, you are always so postive, thank you for the boost.  Joanne, that is awesome!  I just showed it to my husband and he said it wouldn't work but maybe he could think of something like it.  Fingers crossed that he can save us some funds….Sarah, thank you.  It seems like I am a failure at a time when it is unacceptable, when my boy needs me the most, so I guess knowing others face it too makes me feel somewhat better.  Shanna, you are on my mind alot, I know you went through something like this and I feel your pain.  As so many others have pointed out, we didn't do this to our furry babies, nature did.  We can only do what we can to fight it.  Sometimes there just isn't anything we can do to fix them.


Dr. Pam,  I tried the clinic but you were off this weekend.  I have an idea… Since I am going for the cart, can we wrap Sammy's leg like you talked about?  I know you are concerned about his wrist.  Also, if I can do the cart cheaply enough I might have extra funds left over for a couple of water therapy sessions.  Would that help or would they have to be on going?


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.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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29 January 2012 - 12:56 pm
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Elizabeth, I just have to repeat what everyone else here said, you are absolutely doing everything humanly and financially possible to help him, please don't apologize for anything you say or feel OK? I'm betting that it's safe to say that ALL of us have been where you are and had to make tough choices about our dog's health when it came to finances.

And Cometdog said it best, even if we had all the money in the world, that still doesn't make our dogs happiest. What does, is spending time together and appreciating every single minute without letting worry and fear take over. So now that you have a plan, you need to let go of any guilt you have and feel good that you have determined the best course for all of you to take. Follow the plan, the get out there and live your life with Sammy because that's what he wants most.

Hugs coming your way....xoxo

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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