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.
I just spoke with our oncologist on the phone to clarify a few things.
Since she’s uncertain about the cytology, she still wants us to get the biopsy on the chance that this lump is just a fatty mass. She said that fatty masses and spindle cell tumors look similar on cytologies and that she’d hate to lop off his leg when they could just remove the mass without worrying about the margins. Her personal recommendation for if the biopsy comes back as spindle cell is amputation. She thinks that Bogart is young and healthy enough to adapt well and we won’t have to worry about arthritic issues or spine issues because he’s young and a good weight. Losing the leg now would also prevent this particular cancer from coming back and metastasizing in the future, and she would expect him to live a healthy regular dog life afterwards, just minus a leg.
It was a major relief to hear this… even if the biopsy comes back at spindle cell, knowing Bogart will adapt well is encouraging. She said that she doesn’t see any evidence currently that this is a very aggressive cancer like osteo, so she’s not worried about us pursuing treatment aggressively. They will also take xrays of his lungs to make sure nothing has spread there, though… just to be on the safe side.
You are doing a wonderful job here…. please have confidence in that. You’ve learned things, uncovered all the options and why, and getting knowledge to help make the best plan of care for Bogart. He is lucky to have such wonderful pawrents
I know this is stressful, but you’re doing a great job!
Jackie and Huck
Electrochemo is one of the options we discussed with our oncologist. We’re in Austin, and the closest place that can do it is in Dallas. This isn’t a huge issue, we can just take some vacation time if that route is best. The only hiccup with electro is that our onc recommends debulking first and the position of the tumor is slightly wrapped around the leg – going from the outside over the front and into the inside of the leg. In this position, she doesn’t think they can do a surgery that get’s enough of the margins out and they can only debulk some… giving us the possibility that this will come back later… I think the 20% chance that this tumor comes back is our main concern right now… We don’t want to put Bogart through surgeries and treatment over and over again… We still haven’t settled on a decision yet though, but we will probably be sure of something next week.
That makes me sooooo hoppy your onco vet discussed it with you! 👏 We fins it surprising how many do not even bring it up. Kudos to your pawesome vet team, their recommendations make total sense.
PS driving from Austin to Dallas is no easy thing, shows how much you love Bogart!
22 August 2008
That is a super cute dog! I recently treated a 4 yr old English Bulldog in a similar situation. Since the FNA was inconclusive for cancer type we elected to do a surgical biopsy where I took a big chunk out and it turned out to be a soft tissue sarcoma intermediate to high grade. The dog is insured so I sent him to a board-certified surgeon and he took the leg off and after some metronomic chemo the dog is doing great and is still very active. If it is a nerve sheath tumor then surgery alone can be curative.
Thank you Pam ❤ Gives hope!
Hey everyone. I haven’t posted in a little bit.. we’ve been going through alot and have had consultations, biopsies, and recovery from the biopsy, etc. The results from that biopsy came back – Bogart does have a soft tissue sarcoma in the leg. The placement makes it impossible to get the margins, so our vet agrees with amputation as her final sort of final recommendation. We just had a consultation with the surgeon she recommended (board certified) and he also agrees that amputation is best. We are acting quickly and Bogart is going in for the procedure in the morning (thurs 22nd). He will stay overnight.
The last couple days, his mom and I have taken him out to dinner with us each night after work and walked the downtown of the city near us. He went to play at his favorite dog park last evening and had a ton of fun on the agility equipment. Last week was his last agility class for probably a couple months, and he had so much fun. His favorite obstacle is the tunnel – he could go through the tunnel all day long and will purposefully pick routes that involve the tunnel just so he can go through it.
A little uplifting bit – he was in some pain after the biopsy, but in less than 24 hours, he was himself again. He ran and wanted to jump on us when we got home from work even with fresh stitches in leg. He completely recovered mentally from that in no time… luckily for us I guess, we don’t have to worry about him pulling out the stitches or getting them removed now… but there’s going to be new stitches to worry about.
Bogart looooves the water, but Texas is experiencing a pretty dangerous crisis right now with the deadly algae in the waters, so we haven’t been able to hiking and swimming in the last few weeks like we always do. So to make up for it, we play with the hose. This is a video of my boy playing the day before his biopsy.
Here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery and him being able to keep his balance so that we can never stop playing with the hose.
I’m off to cuddle and snuggle with my main man before his big day and the start of our new journey.
18 October 2009
You’ve crossed every T and dotted all the I’s!!!
Surgery sounds like the best option, I hope you have some comfort with the decision being made and the surgery scheduled. You have a plan and can start moving forward.
I hope you have seen some of the videos here and seen how well Tripawds get around. There are lots of videos in our Gallery if you need inspiration, there is a link to the Tripawd YouTube channel there too.
I’ve had two rear amp Tri’s- Bogart is loosing a back leg, right? My current Tripawd Elly lost her right rear to a car accident when she was 7 months old. She is now 4.5 years old and can do pretty much anything a 4 legger her size and age can do (she is a little Pug mix about 15 pounds). She has great balance and is very strong- most people don’t notice she is missing a leg right away.
BTW- are you on the west coast? Just wondering if you are on the left coast or can’t sleep!
Keep us posted on surgery tomorrow.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
I’ve watched alot of videos giving me hope and optimism… I’m sure we will watch plenty more. We’re hoping this doesn’t have too much of an effect on his agility, because he just loves doing it. So we will figure out how to transition that best for him.
It’s his back left leg. We’ve heard it’s pretty lucky that it’s a rear leg just in terms of him not putting too much strain on his front leg in the future if it were the other way around. Bogart is just 3.5, and we want him to live forever (like every pet family member)… this diagnosis was such a scary and unexpected surprise… we went to the vet assuming he got bit by some critter while hiking and left in tears when the “C word” was brought up. But we’ve all persisted and tried to remain strong. And Bogart is going to be the strongest of all of us.
I’m in Texas in the central time zone… I’m having trouble sleeping… I’m gunna force myself to close my eyes in a second and just hope I knock out.
I’ll update everyone when we hear any news! Thank you!
Great video, he is a sweet pup Glad you popped in with an update! Good luck to all of you today, I will be thinking about you. He is young and strong, he has a good doc, and he has wonderful pawrents. The next couple of weeks are going to be challenging for you all, but once he recovers you are going to be amazed at how well they do. Keeping fingers, toes, paws, and tails all crossed for an easy and successful procedure today. Please keep in touch and let us know how he does.
Jackie and Huck
Bogart, you’ve got this! You’ll be back doing agility and splashing around in no time.
We are sending lots of love to you today for a speedy recovery. Keep us posted!
We talked to the surgeon today after the amputation was over. He said that everything went well and that Bogart was resting. It’s been a really stressful day for us, but I can’t imagine how he feels.
The vet let us see him for a little bit tonight, so we just got back from visiting him. He’s completely drugged up and zonked out, but he definitely recognized us and even tried to get up when we said his name. His little tongue was hanging out of his mouth and he looked so helpless, but him moving and following us with his eyes showed how much fight he has in him. I’m crying my eyes out right now… but I’m so happy everything went well. The vet let us leave him with a couple shirts that had our scent on them so that he can sleep with us tonight, in a way.
Tomorrow, we should be able to bring him home. It’s so hard seeing him completely immobile. It’s just not who he is. I can’t wait for this recovery to start.
His recovery has already started papa. Tongue out=good meds. He saw you, yay!!
It’s ok to cry, hell…I cried over my feral baby before i knew he’d be a family member.
Please get some rest. He made it through surgery and is doing wonderful. He’s right where he needs to be.
Have faith and stay in touch. I am going to visit my family tomorrow but i will stay in touch as much as i can. Everybody else will be here too.
You are not alone!!! Don’t forget that. You are going to be ok… all of you❤
That’s terrific news! I hope your reunion today is wonderful. Don’t worry, he will be back to his new normal in no time at all.
Keep us posted and let us know if you have any questions.