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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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Amputation for My Laid-Back Labradoodle?
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
4 April 2020
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4 April 2020 - 3:02 pm
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Hi.  My name is Silvia.  I’m new here and crying as I’m writing.  My son, Georgie (labradoodle) is newly diagnosed osteosarcoma (left rear leg).  The decision to amputate plus chemo or not is excruciating!  I’m a wreck and cry at the drop of a pin.  I don’t know if amputating is the right choice.  He’s VERY laid back and not high energy.  I know we project our emotions onto our animals, but I don’t know if he’ll be happy.  

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 27829
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25 April 2007
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4 April 2020 - 4:51 pm
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Hi Silvia and Georgie, welcome. I’m so sorry that you got the bad news. It’s totally expected that you feel so overwhelmed. Even when the world isn’t so crazy this is a hard thing to deal with. But you’ve come to the right place and we are here to help.

First, tell us more about Georgie? How old/young is he? What kinds of symptoms is he showing?

Just because he’s laid back doesn’t mean that he will not be a good Tripawd. This situation is always harder on the people than the pets. They take it as it comes, and all they want is to feel better. When that bad leg is gone, they just move on with life. It’s us humans who have the harder time doing the same. We see it all the time.

While you wait for feedback from others, be sure to check out Jerry’s Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books library for answers to many of your questions. Our What to Expect series of articles is also helpful.

Thanks for joining. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 19539
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22 February 2013
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4 April 2020 - 5:45 pm
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Labradoodle are soooo xcute! Cannot wait to see pictures!

Okay Sylvia, YPU ARE NOT ALONE, okay?  We are here right by uour aire si sray connected!

We understand  the lock in the gut and non stip crying when you hear the “news”.  Of course, Georgie didn’t  hear at word of it and nothing has changed in her world!  Crying, not sleeping, not eating, scared, frightened, uncertain, sheer panic……WE UNDERSTAND!!!  We’ve all been there.  And because  we’ve all been there, we can tell uoj thst, after you do your research, after you talk to an Orthopedic  Surgeon  and get reassurance  that Georgie is a good candidate,  you will feel more confident  as you move forward.

So take some deep breaths, okay?  Really, do it now,  B R E A T H E…INHALE  S L O W L Y………EXHALE  S L O W L Y……DEEP BREATHS…….INHALE SLOOOOWLY….EXHALE SLOOOOWLY.  

The conclusion we all came to here was that amputation  would get rid of the pain and give our dogs and cats a chance at extended  quality  time for more loving and more spoiling.   Dogs  could  care les about days on a calendar and they sure do have a timeframe stamped  anywhere on their vutts.  Look on sweet Georgie’s Labradoodle  butt……do you see a timeframe stamped on it?  Nope!!!

Keep things chunked down for now, okay?  You have plenty of time to decide about chemo.  No right or wrong when it comes to that.  So just push that side and focus on getting the info you need about surgery and recovery. 

If possible, you’ll want Georgie to stay overnight  at a 24/7 fully staffed clnic.  She’ll be well medicated and seeing pink elephants.   Usually, not always, most dogs are able to hop out of the clinic with a towel aling.  Some logs take a few more days to get more mobile and steady  on their feet.  Every dog is different.

She’ll come home with Gabapentin,  Tramadol, Rimadyl and an antibiotic.   Sometimes dogs are pretty lethargic, sometimes  they are a bit more fussy and restless, and sometimes  they surprise  us and are quite hard to confine.  Again, every dog is different. 

Peeing and drinking are important, eating and pooping can be off fot a few days, so no worries.  For about two weeks, just short, leashed potty breaks and then back to bed.  No stairs, No jumping.  If you have hardwood, use nonslip scatter rugs for traction

Recovery  is no picnic fof  week or two.  It is major surfery, all while adjusting to their new fait, and all while be on pain meds.  I know many of is questioned what we had done TO our dogs.  And then once their sparkle starts to come back, once the tails start wagging, once they get up to greet you at the door, we know we did this FOR our dogs!!

Oh, and my Happy Hannah was 125 lb laid back,  gentle  Bull Mastiff.  Lived for snuggles, hugs, treats, cuddles, tummy rubs, rolling on her back…..and she was the same after amputation only WITHOUT pain!!!!

STAY CONNEC! We are all here with you and are cheering for Geoegie and looking  forward to celebrating  all her victories!!!


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

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!

New York, NY
Forum Posts: 472
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24 March 2020
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5 April 2020 - 11:25 am
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Hi Sylvia!  I’m Stacy, mama to Griffin, a 10 year old goldendoodle whose right front leg was amputated on 04/02/2020 due to osteosarcoma.  I was in your exact situation just a few weeks ago, and can tell you that you have definitely come to the right place for support.  I struggled with the decision to amputate and found that getting a second opinion was the reassurance I needed to know I was choosing the best treatment plan for Griffin, who is also very laid back but still full of life.  At 3 days post-operation, Griffin is doing great and getting better each day at navigating on 3 legs.  It is important for you to process your emotions and then get back to the job of advocating for what is best for Georgie.  We are all here for you!

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 27829
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5 April 2020 - 1:44 pm
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Stacy that is so nice of you to share your experience and encouragement, thank you!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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