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.
JUMP TO FORUMS ↓
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:
Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.
Life takes some crazy turns when you least expect it to. Less than two weeks after speaking about coping with dog cancer at Greyhounds Rock, and almost six years to the exact date I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, my pack is doing their best to follow their own advice while steering their doghouse on wheels and Tripawds Spokesdog Wyatt Ray’ from Atlanta, Georgia, to Texas A&M Veterinary Teaching Hosital for a diagnosis.
What Is That?
Last Thursday night, November 16 a large, golf ball-sized lump suddenly appeared on Wyatt’s rump, near his tail. My pawrents knew it was a recent development, because just a few days earlier, Wyatt had a bath, and they certainly would have seen it then. While they wracked their brains about all of the potential things it could be; fatty tumor, impacted anal sac, ingrown hair follicle, they noticed that the bump wasn’t bothering Wyatt at all.
But by the next morning, there was no denying it; the lump was bigger, so a vet visit was in order. On Friday morning, November 17, my people located an excellent AAHA-accredited veterinary clinic near their RV park in Atlanta, and were lucky enough to be seen by Cumming Veterinary Clinic at 8:30 am.
TIP: When you’re on the road with your pet and need a vet, always use an AAHA-accredited veterinary clinic; these practices continuously meet rigorous standards for hospital protocols, surgical tactics and more.
Abnormal Cells Detected
The word “cancer” wasn’t even on their mind, but after some poking and prodding by the excellent Dr. Heather Harkins-Barroso, a fine needle aspirate brought some scary news: possible perianal or anal sac tumor.
As just 3.5 years old, it seems impossible that Wyatt might be in for the fight of his life, but as you probably already know, cancer doesn’t always play by the rules, and even dogs as young as 18 months have been diagnosed with cruel canine cancers that typically only hit older dogs, like osteosarcoma.
We learned from Doctors Demian Dressler and Susan Ettinger, authors of the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, that a best case scenario is that the anal sac tumor is non-cancerous and minimally invasive, making it easy to surgically remove. Worst case, it’s the appearance of perianal carcinoma, a challenging dog cancer that’s usually seen in older pups. They tell more about perianal and anal sac tumors in this video:
The good news is, thanks to my people’s full-time RVer lifestyle, they were able to quickly get from Atlanta to their official winter home in Texas, a RV park that’s close to Texas A&M soft tissue specialists.
Their appointment isn’t until Monday the 26th, which seems like an eternity. While they wait, they can’t help but think about how eerie it is that almost six years to the day that I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, Wyatt Ray will be biopsied for cancer.
In the meantime, my people are doing their best to live up to the Tripawds motto while facing an uncertain future and all the worries that a cancer diagnosis can bring.
Be. More. Dog.
To do this, all it takes is one look into Wyatt Ray Dawg’s crazy eyes.
They remember that Wyatt didn’t understand “perianal anal sac tumor,” he doesn’t know what we know, he doesn’t care that a golf ball-sized lump on his body is getting worse by the day. He’s living life to the fullest, and doing what all humans need to learn how to do: Be. More. Dog.
22 August 2008
If I’m not mistaken Wyatt wasn’t neutered right away so that makes the benign perianal adenoma more likely. Was the vet able to express the anal gland? An anal sac tumor is more of a deep SQ mass while a perianal adenoma is usually more visible superficially. There are other benign masses that can also be present in that area and to me they all look similar on a fine needle aspirate so a biopsy is the next step. Hopefully they can just resect the whole thing and then do a biopsy but they might also want to do an ultrasound study of his abdomen to evaluate the local lymph nodes.
Please keep us posted!
11 November 2008
I am sorry to hear about this. Chances are it’s benign. I know how it feels, getting that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when a lump appears. Lumps and bumps have cropped up all over Nova and Emmy since Nova’s diagnosis, and each time I run to the vet in a panic to get each and every one aspirated. So far so good, they are all cysts or adenomas. I will be thinking pawsitive thoughts for Wyatt this week and hoping it’s just an adenoma.
Sue and Queen Nova
Dane Mom Sue at nova.tripawds.com and Mom to Beautiful Great Dane Queen Nova, a Blind Tripawd, who kicked cancer's butt from 11/08-03/13. The Queen is Spirit Nova now, but her legacy lives on here at Tripawds!
28 November 2008
Can’t tell you how my heart goes out to you. And having to wait until next week for ‘THE’ appointment must seem like an eternity. Sending tons of good thoughts your way. You know what my moto is – Don’t worry until you know what you are dealing with. Yes, I know it is hard, but it saves your sanity.
Get well soon, Wyatt Ray ! You need to keep the humans on their toes.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul. Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.
28 November 2011
I am so sorry that you guys are in this waiting game, especially over the holiday. Please know that you have been in my thoughts every single day and I am sending you every wish in the world for benign.
I am glad that you decided to share this in the community because you, of all people, know that understanding and support is a huge part of what we are. Not only have you guys provided this incredible resource for members, but you have stood with us (and sometimes held us up) through our journeys and our medical scares. Now we are honored to do the same for you. I will take the liberty of speaking for this entire community to say that we adore all three of you and we are here for you during this frightening time. Our collective prayers will be offered for good news and an easy fix!
Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11. A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...
Paw shucks guys, thanks. This means so much and really helps us keep calm.
Woke up today to see that bump had doubled in size overnight and it definitely couldnt wait till Monday. We drove to A&M emergency ward where we are now waiting for the first word back from the vet. Paws crossed for good news.
20 December 2008
All lucky 13 paws crossed here in Oaktown! Sending you all our love and strength…….Zeus’s mom sure has it right–the whole tripawds community has your back!
CR and the OP+1
Woohoo! Tripawds Rule!
Regulator of the Oaktown Pack, Sheriff of the Oaktown Pawsse, Founding member and President of the Tripawd Girldogs With 2 Names ROCK Club, and ... Tripawd Girldog Extraordinaire!
30 April 2012
29 October 2010
Paws and fingers crossed here. Glad you are getting answers sooner rather than later.
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!
5 April 2009
7 January 2011
So very sorry to hear that the tumor has doubled overnight; I hope it’s not causing Wyatt any major discomfort. However, I’ve never heard of cancer behaving this way, so I’m hoping it’s some weird, easily curable infection. At least you won’t have the agony of the wait. Thinking of you and saying a prayer for Wyatt.
Scout: January 31, 2002 to November 7, 2011
Scout's diagnosis was "poorly differentiated sarcoma"; amputation 1/11/2011. Scout enjoyed 9 fantastic years on 4 legs and 9 glorious months on 3 legs. If love alone could have saved you…
4 June 2011
27 December 2011
So, so sorry that you are dealing with this–sending huge wishes that it is benign. Paws crossed that all is well, and it is very treatable. Wyatt couldn’t be in better hands–your family is amazing! Hoping that no news is good news.
Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers,
Joan and Lily
Our beautiful Lily was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her front leg on 12/14/11 at age 8 and had amp on 12/16/11. She completed 5 rounds of carbo. She was so brave and kicked cancer's butt daily! She lived life fully for 4 years, 3 months, and 15 days after her amp. My angel is a warrior princess. I miss her so much.
10 December 2011