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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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Bone break on soon to be amputated leg (thankfully)
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Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
15 April 2021
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7 May 2021 - 7:09 am
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Good Morning All, 

I'm not sure if this is the appropriate sub-forum but I just wanted to share our boy's, Patton, story, and more importantly a word of caution. 

Patton had his left rear leg amputated yesterday morning.  The night before his amputation our expectation was to shower him with love and a steak dinner with his favorite sides (carrots and butternut squash). We also thought we would be encouraging parents by letting our man run one last time on 4 legs.

Patton ran 10ish feet to my wife with his tail wagging as happy as a clam. Within a few inches of my wife he let out the saddest sound I have ever heard and immediately refused to put weight on his bad leg. The long and short of it is that Patton broke the leg that had cancer and a bone biopsy the night before having it removed. I have never been so physically sick in my life. This was more than 2 weeks after the biopsy and the first time he was off leash in over a month. No one slept the night before the surgery. 

My advice is to learn from my terrible lack of judgment and be mindful of weakening bones due to this cruel disease. 

PJ's story below: 

Exactly 4 weeks ago we thought Patton tore his ACL running after a squirrel in central park (we live in NYC). Thankfully we were seen by our vet pretty quick and she referred us to an orthopedic specialist who took x-rays. From there a bone biopsy, waiting 17 days for the results, and meetings with oncologists and medical surgeon's shortly after. In 1 month our world was turned upside down and our fur-man went from being happy and cancer free to given only months to live. 

We have decided to go with amputation alone and forgo chemotherapy treatment. We are hoping to pick up our man today and start the long road to recovery. Needless to say I am terrified but hopeful that he'll do well. 

Like most, doing our own research at the first whisper of "cancer" led to a lot of crying and depression. All roads lead to amputation. The thoughts of "how will he live, he'll never be the same, his life is over, etc." flooded our minds for weeks. Until we found this forum and its members. While I am still terrified and deeply saddened by his amputation I am hopeful. The dedicated members of this website and those sharing their stories in passing have been a blessing. 

Wishing you all the best, 

Patton, Erika, and Sean

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 May 2021 - 9:47 am
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Hey guys,

We are soooooo sorry that Patton's leg fractured, what a heartbreaking situation for all of you. icon_cry As if the diagnosis wasn't bad enough, eeek. Please don't beat yourself up. This is a learning experience that no pet parent ever expects to go through and sometimes things happen that make us learn the hard way. It happens to all of us in one form or another. So now you know. Now you shared, and you can save someone the heartache of having the same thing happen to them. In fact I may even turn your post about the fracture into a Tripawds News article if you're OK with that?

Back to Patton . . . it sounds like you are well-prepared for what's ahead. You've done your homework, you got your information all lined up to help you make the best decision for your pack. How's your home? Is it Tripawd-proofed? Do you have a recovery space set up? Be sure to check out our What to Expect articles if you haven't seen them, as well as the Tripawds e-books , and Jerry's Required Reading List .

Since you live in NYC you may also want to consider a dog stroller for him, once he's ready to go on adventures. In fact, the first person who introduced us to dog strollers was the mom of Zena, a Rottie who lived in the city too! 

Oh and if you'd like support I'm sure that our active NYC member Stacy, mom to Angel Griffin, would be happy to chat with you!

Please let us know what we can to do support you in your journey OK? We are here for you and ready! 

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




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7 May 2021 - 10:31 am
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First of all, we often see dogs here who have experienced a fracture in the bum leg through NO fault of their hoomans!!   With of without a  biopsy procedure, it has happened with just the slightest  tweak...,., when standing, or walking, or running, or going up or down one step.  So, as horrible as it was to watch, kick that experience to the curb.  At least you were there and you the cause.  It happens to some when the hoomans aren't  home, then  "misdiagnosed" and the leg is treated as "jist" a broken leg, confinement, cast, etc before discovering  the true cause.

Now is the time to focus on recovery, healing and the fact that you are getting rid of that bum leg for good!!!   You are giving Patton a gift of QUALITY  time for  ore ,moving and spoiling  and tummy rubs and treats and yes, more happily running around!!!

No right or wrong when it comes to chemo.  It's  an individual  decision that some pursue and some don't amd we are here to support whatever path you take.  

Let us know any questions  you may have to help you navigate thru recovery.   Since you've  already done your research on here, it sounds like you've armed yourself with knowledge.    pain management is crucial.  Rest. Rest and more rest with jist short leashed potty breaks inbetween.  Drinking and peeing are important , eating and pooping may be off a few days.  

When you go to pick Pattin up, approach  him with a strong confide t Happy energy.   Don't  even bother to draw attention  to his incision  He just wants to see your smiling face telling him what a good boy he is and he's going home!

Recovery is no picnic for a couple of weeks, afterall, it is major surgery all while adjusting to three.  But once his sparkle starts to come back PJ will be living life to the fullest on three without  missing   a beat... or that leg!!  AND, remember  that Patto  doesn't  have a timeframe stamped anywhere on that wiggly wiggly.butt of his!!  He could care less about days on a calendar!  He just flows effortlessly  from one  blissful moment to the next, always living  in the NOW!!  We call that Be More Dog .  So follow  PJ's lead and be , more PJ👌

We are here right by your side, okay?  So stay connected  and let us know how things are going.  You've got this!! 

 YW, love his avatar  picture!  He is so handsome and has the  est smile!!!

Hugs

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!

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7 May 2021 - 1:18 pm
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Thank you both for your kind words. I'd be lying if I said I didn't recognize your usernames and know your stories. Jerry, do with this post what you think is best. Other experiences and questions have helped us greatly and we would love to give back as much as we can. 

For PJ's arrival we've covered most of our wooden floors with carpets and/or yoga mats. We've also turned our 1 bedroom apartment into a studio - moving our mattress to the floor in the living room. Our vet also recommended getting nail grips (she used Dr. Buzby's) - I think these will come later. I am familiar with Griffen's story and saw that his mom Stacey used a wagon. PJ's wagon comes today! I'm going to try to customize the back into a tailgate to make getting in easier but we shall see. 

The Vet has kept us updated on PJ's recovery. He seems to be eating and using the bathroom (1 & 2) already with little problems. We'll see if that changes when he gets home. He knows I'm a softy. 

pain management and comfortability these next few weeks are our number one focus. We've studied the signs to look for and have the vet's email to send photos. Initially our plan is to keep him happy with eating anything he can but will eventually focus on changing his diet to keep his weight down. This forum is a wealth of knowledge and we've only scrapped the surface. 

Being more dog has helped me personally think through this and start to enjoy our time left together more. Our focus is making PJ's time left unforgettable and living everyday together in the moment. 

thank you again with everything and we will keep everyone updated PJ recovers into his new life. 

Virginia




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7 May 2021 - 8:44 pm
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PJ is sooooo lucky to have you as his hooman companions on his earth journey!

Your focus on Patton's well being and making every day the best day ever is just wonderful!!  You attitude  is so important  in helping  PJ be the best tripawd PJ he can be!!  And you have a GREAT attitude!  And that is exactl how you beat this piece of 💩 disease!!  You dont give in and you don't  let it interfere  with your day to day joyful adventures   with PJ.   Je sure isn't!!  And make no mistake a out it, that pawsitive  energy of yours has a therapeutic  value and is the best treatment of all.

And you've done a great job of prepping your home👍

PJ is already pottying  and eating  and drinking.YAY!!!

Get some rest while you can, okay?. You have to take care of yourselves  while taking care of PJ❤

Hugs 

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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8 May 2021 - 11:49 am
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Awww you are very sweet. Thanks. Once you start adding images (oh yes we must see the one and only PJ!), I'll put it into the news blog.

I'm so glad you are here and have been able to find what you need for information about recovery and beyond. And I especially love that your vet is aware of the Toe Grips and has suggested them. We are fans! 

Well, if you think of anything at all please let me know what we can do to ease your worries and help out. We are here for you!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 6
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16 May 2021 - 3:16 pm
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I finally figured out how to make a blog and add photos. Patton's photo (before cancer "BC") are below.

We're about 10 days post amputation - PJ get's his stitches out tomorrow. We've been keeping track of his recovery, and it's hurdles, and will create a new post in the recovery section with an overview of everything we've experienced on a day-to-day recovery basis. 

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Virginia




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16 May 2021 - 4:40 pm
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OHHHHHH PJ!!!  I AM SOOOO IN LOVE WITH YOUR CUTE, HANDSOME SELF!!  You are such a happy boy who really knows how to pose for the camera!👍

Thanks so much for sharing the joy of PJ with us

Hugs

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

PS. Nice touch with the window cord serving as an eye oatch😉

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 May 2021 - 9:23 am
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ADORABLE!!! smiley4 He is so expressive. I didn't really see that he might have some hound dog in him, until that last photo. Does he? Those ears!

Hope your stitches-out day went really well. That's a huge milestone, be sure to celebrate! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

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24 June 2021 - 2:03 pm
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Hi Jerry, 

Sorry for the long wait to reply - time has gotten away from me. We did the MARS Wisdom Panel DNA test when we first adopted him. It came back as mostly coonhound mixed with some lab. I'd guess it's pretty accurate since he was picked up roaming around Bath County Kentucky. 

I'm planning to make a post about his recovery and some of the challenges we faced, and where we are today. Should I post that "hopping around" or "Treatment, Recovery and Oncology?" 

The Rainbow Bridge



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24 June 2021 - 2:41 pm
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Oh gosh that's OK, really! I love that you did the DNA test, he sure has that coonhound in him. What a sweetie!

I think either topic is fine to discuss how he's doing!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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