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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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6 year old Pug facing left front leg amputation
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
22 July 2018
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24 July 2018 - 7:37 pm
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Hello, I am new to the group and would love to know if there are any other Pug parents who have experience with a Pug front leg amputation? Chance was recently diagnosed with a mast cell tumor. After numerous x-rays, ultrasound, CT scan and blood work, the oncologist and surgeons at UT College of Veterinary Medicine have determined the Mast Cell has NOT metastasized.  The location of the tumor is the inside of his left lower leg, his wrist area, meshed with ligaments and the surgeons are concerned they cannot surgically remove the tumor enough to obtain clean margins, without the risk of damaging his leg. They have recommended amputation but, I am very concerned of the after effects. Chance is a top heavy slightly overweight Pug who also has some hind leg issues. (He is a rescue and has a history of hip fracture and leg and ankle fractures that were unknown by me but were detected on x-rays during this recent work up) Currently, he has no hip or back leg issues from those old injuries but, I know that sooner than later he will have arthritis in those areas. 

I would greatly appreciate any input regarding pugs and front leg amputation. 

Thank you


The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 28741
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25 April 2007
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24 July 2018 - 9:09 pm
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Hi Robyn, welcome. We are sorry to hear about Chance’s diagnosis. Mast cell cancer is a tricky condition so it’s not uncommon for us to have members join because of it. The good news is that you are in good company here, and you also have a great team on his behalf.

Did you address your concerns with the veterinarians? If they have given him a green light for amputation that’s great. Excess pounds are indeed not good but weight can be lost with your help. We have many members here who joined us in the same situation, and with extra effort on their human’s behalf, the weight came off and their mobility was greatly improved. You can consult with the vets at UT for diet coaching to get the best tips for helping him lose weight. In the mean time you can also check our Tripawds Nutrition blog weight loss tips.

If you are still concerned, get another opinion from an orthopedic surgeon to put your mind at ease. Many people are helped by doing so. As for the arthritis, all Tripawds are predisposed to it so as long as you are aware of his previous injuries your vet can guide you in treating it as it develops. Losing weight will also help to lessen the effects of arthritis, so bonus!

Meantime, yes, we’ve had quite a few front-leg amputee pugs including Romeo the TriPug!

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Livermore, CA

Forum Posts: 4009
Member Since:
18 October 2009
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24 July 2018 - 9:56 pm
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Hello and Welcome.

I’ve been a Pug mom for almost 20 years including my first, the original TriPug Maggie.  Maggie lost a rear leg to a MCT and although her prognosis was not good she hopped happily through life for almost 4 years.  If you are interested you can read her story and about her amp and chemo on her blog, the links are in my signature below.

You are the second Pug to join in the last few days facing a front amp due to a MCT.  Levi is an 8 year old Pug, here is the post although they haven’t posted since the original.

I know what a battle it is to keep Pugs in a good weight range, and with an amp you will want to keep Chance on the slim side.  I’m sorry to hear about the old injuries…

Although you are right to be concerned about his health going forward, but from my experience with Maggie you need to act soon so the tumor does not rupture and you don’t want to give the cancer a chance to spread.  Chance may develop arthritis but there are things you can do to help him with that.  My quad-Pug Tani had terrible arthritis, she was diagnosed at 6 with arthritis in her back and all four legs.  With meds, diet and exercise Tani made it to almost 15 before she crossed the Bridge.  Tani also had multiple MCTs.

I have two strollers that I’ve used over the years starting with TriPug Maggie. She could go with us on longer walks without putting too much stress on her body. 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

25 July 2018 - 10:10 pm
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Thank you Karen. We are scheduled to take Chance for his second surgical consult at UTCVM tomorrow, 7/27.  Last Thursday when we met with them they put him on prednisone to help with the swelling. The initial plan was to perform a second surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible without damaging his leg ( the tumor is currently very small and staged as a low grade) and then proceed to radiation  5 days a week for 4 weeks, with my leaving him last Thursday for surgery on Friday, which did not happen due to the slight swelling.  They felt the tumor was still too swollen from the aspiration the week before.  I will know more tomorrow. 

I have read your sweet Maggies story. She was certainly a trooper.

Thank you


Livermore, CA

Forum Posts: 4009
Member Since:
18 October 2009
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25 July 2018 - 10:35 pm
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Good luck with the consult tomorrow.

Rad was an option at one point in Maggie’s treatment but I decided against it.  She did not do well under anesthetic (we almost lost her during previous surgeries) and I didn’t think she would do well day after day.  She was also not great at the vet.  It turned out that amputation was the best option in the end.

Also- don’t forget to log in when you post, when you are a ‘guest’ your posts have to wait for approval.


Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo


Forum Posts: 20110
Member Since:
22 February 2013
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27 July 2018 - 9:46 am
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Just catching  up on your sweet Chance.  You’ve  already gotten the best input possible from Karen (our Pug Whisperer) and Jerry.

Sending  lots of pawsitive  energy for your consult.  We’ll be watching  for your update.

Extra hugs…and we would love to see pictures!

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

PS            http://bustersr…..ion-18-18/

        Here’s  a link to Buster who just finished  18 rounds of chemo.  Not  many go that route due to the daily  anesthesia,  availability  of the procedure,  as well as financial.   Buster seems to be one of  the few who managed  with very few side effects, although  some may show up later, they are manageable. 

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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