TRIPAWDS: Home to 24487 Members and 2169 Blogs.

Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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.


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:

Instant post approval.

Private messages to members.

Subscribe to favorite topics.

Live Chat and much more!

Please consider registering
Forum Scope


Forum Options

Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
11.5 year old for hind leg amputation due to cancer
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Member Since:
23 May 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
23 May 2024 - 3:46 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hello! My best friend and soul dog has been diagnosed with synovial cell sarcoma with no spread in her body so amputating is the best solution ! Her surgery is next week Thursday and I am horrified! My biggest worry is her age and anesthesia. Has anyone performed surgery on a senior dog especially amputation? I went to two different oncologist/surgeons and both feel super comfortable operating on her since she’s super healthy otherwise. Everyone usually thinks she’s a lot younger than her actual age. I can’t stop thinking about what can go wrong instead of focusing on all the positive things😭 it’s killing me, also the surgeon was recommended by a couple people . 


Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
23 May 2024 - 8:28 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Hi Maria and your sweet pup.  What's  her name? Is she a little, ,medium or larger bundle of joy?  BTW Your post has been approved.

While we are sorry you find yourself here, this is the best place to be for support, information and understanding from those of us who have been on a similar journey. We know how scary it is to hear the word amputation and then to wait for the surgery, go through the recovery etc. We will be here for you and help you navigate through all of those initial hurdles.

Let me assure you right off the bat, we have had many, many dogs are older than 11 1/2. If you check out. https://tripawd.....e-matters/ r you'll see some as old as 16, 17 years old,   

  I went to two different oncologist/surgeons and both feel super comfortable operating on her since she’s super healthy otherwise.


Good for you for doing your research and getting feedback from the professionals. You've heard the saying that age is just a number and it is so true. It sounds like your girl is fit, active, alert and considered a good candidate by her Vets Etc

We understand the Panic that has set in and the uncertainty and all the worries that are creeping into your mind. It sounds like your surgeon comes highly recommended. Will she be staying at an overnight fully staffed Clinic for at least the first night? That's always the best scenario, however, not every vet is equipped to stay open 24/7.  They will so blood work, etc prior to surgery  and make sure everything  is a "go".  

Of course, any surgery, small or major always has a little element of risk. It's a risk that we are all willing to take to get the quality that we need for our dogs.

Keep in mind that your sweet girl is completely oblivious to all the things that scare the heck out of you right now! That's the beauty of being a dog.  

You are removing her bum leg and giving her a chance at a quality, pain-free life. That is exactly what she would want. You will be amazed at how well she adapts to life on three in no time. Not saying recovery is a picnic at all. It takes about 2 weeks to get through the surgery itself as far as recovery and then the mobility becomes more fluid and balanced generally within the first 30 days.

Couple of tips to help you prepare. If you have hardwood floors you'll want to get non-slip scatter rugs for traction . I

If you have stairs that she has to go up and down to go potty, you'll want to be prepared to assist her. And an Ideal World if you could have a ramp it built for her between now and surgery, that would be great. As we know, it's not an ideal world!

The first two weeks she should just have short least potty breaks and come straight back in for rest. This is not a time when she should be overly active. Sometimes it takes some tweaking of the pain meds for a couple of days to find the best protocol that works for her. She'll probably come home with gabapentin, and antibiotic, and an antonflammatory.

Drinking and peeing will be important, but she may be all food at first and may not poop for a couple of days. Perfectly normal.

You are not alone,! You've just adopted us as your new extended family and we are here to support you in any way we can, okay?

Let us know as any questions arise and we are here to help answer any that we can.


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!


PS check out.  https://tripawd.....o-expect 

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!

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
23 May 2024 - 11:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Maria, welcome.! I'm really sorry you are joining our club but we totally get where you are coming from and you are not alone in this. 

It's great your dog is in such great shape! Age really is just a number and she is going to surprise you with how well she does. It doesn't mean there won't be challenges, and you will likely wonder "what have I done?!" at first, but over time as she recovers you will see that she's doing better than you think. 

Your biggest challenge will be keeping her pain managed, so be sure to get to know the meds your vets will give her, what potential side effects, etc.

By the way we are having our monthly Zoom call next week so be sure to register for it and we will help answer any questions you have. Hope to see you there!


Member Since:
23 May 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
24 May 2024 - 8:22 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi! her name is Luna!

Yes, i have been finding this community very reassuring. And yes the place where they are doing her surgery is overnightly staffed as it is open 24/7 and they are equipped with staff and Doctors. It's been a very rough two weeks, but hearing everyone's story I am feeling more confident little by little. I never questioned the decision nor had to think about it because i know in my heart this surgery will provide Luna with a better qality of life. And as her Primary Vet always says " She is full of life!" I can't wait to put this all behind us. Thank you all for the support!

Member Since:
23 May 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
24 May 2024 - 8:26 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

i forgot to mention she is a medium pup, weighing about 44 lbs. I adopted her 11 years ago so shes a mix of some sort lol! 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
24 May 2024 - 11:04 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Well I'm so glad you found us helpful! We will continue to be here for you and Luna too. She's so lucky to have you for her human!

Here are some more links about senior Tripawds:



Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 95
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1277
Members: 18080
Moderators: 6
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 24
Topics: 18721
Posts: 257737
Administrators: admin, jerry, Tripawds
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.