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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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Member Since:
14 September 2012
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14 September 2012 - 5:43 pm
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Hi My best friend is a 136 pound St Bernard named Abby Road,  She is 8 years old and a certified Therapy Dog who has logged 2500 hours of Volunteer hours.  Three weeks ago she developed a limp took her to the vet and they thought she had a infection in a pad we did antibotics.. this week we x-rayed her left front leg and she has bone cancer.. I do not know where to turn we have her on predisone and trimadoyl..  I wonder about protection they say as the cancer progresses there is a chance her leg will break, question is I wrap it in ace bandage will that help support it.  I worry that when she is loaded in the car and jumps out if the jump will break it.  I would love any advice you can give me.what-ever

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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14 September 2012 - 6:11 pm
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You have turned to the right place. And your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Does you vet believe Abby is a good candidate for amputation? Giant breed dogs can tend to have a harder time with recovery, but the vast majority do very well. Tazzie was a 125 lb three legged English Mastiff who faught a valiant cancer battle.

Unfortunately, without amputation that painful tumor will continue to grow and the limb will eventually break. Ask a veterinary oncologist or specialist about bisphosphonates if they don't don't believe Abby will do well on three legs, but be sure to search the forums and blogs for plenty of success stories from big dogs, including Saints who have done quite well.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
14 September 2012
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14 September 2012 - 6:24 pm
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No they are not suggestion amputation or chemo for her since is a senior, just make her comfortable

Somewhere over the rainbow... probably swimming in a lake
Member Since:
18 August 2012
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14 September 2012 - 9:40 pm
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I am so sorry that Abby Road is hurting. Believe Jerry when he says you have found a good place for support. Tripawds is an amazing community.

Have you considered getting a second opinion? There are quite a few stories here about big old dogs that do great on three legs. My Samdog is an 85 lb, 10 yr old golden and though we are new he is doing great.

The folks here suggested a ruffwear Web Master harness to help me get my big boy in and out of the car. He is a front amp and I was really worried about all of his weight jumping from the car onto his one good front leg. I cant lift or catch 80lbs, but I can slow it down enough tor all of his feet to be down before his weight is on them. We have also ordered a ramp to get him in and out of our truck. I'm confident thst with both of those things, we can take him with us wherever we go. Perhaps they would work for Abby too?

We wish you all the best. Keep us posted, we are sending good thoughts and healthy energy your way tonight.

Samdog was a 10 yr old Golden and retired SAR dog. We found a bone mass on 8/17/12, needle biopsy showed sarcoma 8/22/12, amputation on 8/23/12, post-amp biopsy confirmed osteosarcoma on 8/28/12. Sadly, we found lung mets on 11/27/12 and my Spirit Sam earned his wings on 12/2/12.

We didn't know where we were headed and we don't regret a single step along our path. It all happened too fast, but he left a legacy of love that we will always cherish. Good bye my heart.
You can find our story at

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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15 September 2012 - 8:07 am
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I would agree that a second opinion can be very helpful if she isn't dealing with pre-existing conditions. If amputation still isn't an option, you may want to ask about bisphosphonates , which is a therapy drug that can strengthen the bone while providing pain relief. Here is some info that may help:

Bisphosphonates Brochure from VCC

Bisphosphonate: When Amputation Isn't an Option

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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15 September 2012 - 10:43 am
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Hi, and sorry you had to find us here. I would also suggest a 2nd opinion

You might also want to check out the "artemisinin_and_cancer" group on Yahoo Groups. Artemisinin is an herb with cancer fighting properties (you can read more about it here: http://nutritio.....temisinin/ )

There is a woman on that Yahoo Group with an older great Dane - she managed to actually lower the risk for fracture through a regimented use of artemisinin and other herbs. I'm not saying it's a miracle cure or will work for sure - but it did wonders for her dog. Not sure if they are still in the group as I left long ago, but their names are Penny and Jane and the dog's protocol is in the groups folders.

Radiation is also an option for palliative care. It might give her more time and lessen the pain.

Hang in there!
Jackie, Angel Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Member Since:
14 September 2012
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15 September 2012 - 5:04 pm
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thanks, I have had two opions already and they agree not to ampitate.. I am going to look into the harness for her.. and I have a friend who is getting me a formula for a herbial mix..   I am trying to stay positive but it is hard to see her in pain.

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