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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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11 year old pittie with osteosarcoma, amputation?
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4 March 2020
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4 March 2020 - 10:23 am
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So, we just found out my old lady has osteosarcoma in her front arm and it has metastasized to her chest. me and my parents were set on not amputating her arm until I’ve seen some other success stories of older dogs with the same type of issue. Now my question to anyone that has had a similar situation or no someone that has had a similar situation and what are the outcomes that you’ve experienced. Please we need some kind of advice we are making a decision in the next few days. Thanks for any advice anybody could offer.

Here and Now

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4 March 2020 - 10:55 am
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Welcome and best wishes for your pup! What’s her name? How advanced are the mets? Pitties are strong and the vast majority recover quickly and adapt well. Amputation will not get rid of the cancer, but it will remove the tumor pain – which will only get worse and result in pathologiical fracture.

Search these forums and the blogs and you will find many success stories. The majority of “older” dogs here had amputations due to osteosarcoma. Jerry was 8 at the time of his OSA diagnosis and amputation. He loved life on three legs for two years, without IV chemotherapy.

Be sure to check out the Size and Age Matters forum for many topics from members discussing older dogs.

Also see the whole series of Tripawds News blog posts all about What to Expect.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.


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5 March 2020 - 10:23 am
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Sorry you find yourself here, but it is the best place to be for support information and understanding. Clearly you love your sweet pity deeply and are willing to do anything for her. 

As far as her being a mature gal, it’s all about her zest for life and if she is funky and fit and alert. Age is just a number around here and means nothing. We’ve had dogs 12 13 14 15 years and older do very well on three legs. Have you had a chance to have her evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon yet? They can give you the assurance that you need that she is a good candidate, even if she has arthritis. 

it used to be that vets did not operate on dogs with Mets. That has changed now. The belief is, when it is important to remove the pain and give a dog a chance as long as possible for a good-quality pain free life. No dog has a time frame stamped on their butt. Dogs do not count days on a calendar so, they only flow effortlessly from moment to moment and enjoy being spoiled and loved.

You can also ask the surgeon about options if you do not proceed with amputation. I’m not very good at searching on here or remembering the names of the specific therapies, but I know they do exist. A techie person will come along and give you links to those.

Continue to do your research and stay connected here. We know that if you proceed with amputation you want to go ahead and do that as quickly as possible to remove her pain. Recovery is approximately two weeks and, with good pain medication, it’s usually harder on the humans than it is on the dog. If you go that route, I have a feeling that,   being a strong pitbull with a lot of determination,she will probably do just fine. We know this decision isn’t easy, but we also know that any decision you make out of love is the right one. Stand by for others to chime in


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too 

PS. Is she limping now?? Did the Vet give you pain meds for her?  They help a lot.  Did theVet give any indication  of size and location of the met?

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!

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