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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I currently have a bulldog who has been going through chemo to shrink a mass cell tumor on her left hind leg. I was able to get it down but due to a disruption in refills the tumor aggressively grew back in as little as a week. She is currently on chemo but looks like the chemo cannot get a hold of the growth and is now grown twice it size in the past month. Any suggestions or stories out there to help with my situation? I am also considering amputation but I was told by the oncologist that she would not take an amputation well since she’s a bulldog and they have issues with breathing already.
At this point I’m looking at every avenue to help my baby bully so give her the best quality of life and to have her live as long as possible. I appreciate all the responses and I look forward to everyone’s stories. Thank you!
Hi Andrew, welcome. What is your dog’s name? And what is her age?
We have had quite a few Bullies join us over the years and they did great ion 3. Please get another opinion from a different vet, preferably from an orthopedic specialist.
I hate to cut this short but I need to go for now. I will be back tomorrow with some feedback. Stay tuned for input from others!
my bully is 11 years old and her name is jelly.
at the Moment it is very depressing seeing this mct just continue to grow on her leg. My only options are to put her on a stronger chemo and if that doesn’t work I want to start considering amputating her leg before it spreads.
it’s the last thing I want because I don’t know how she’d handle not have a leg that’s shes had her whole life. A lot of blogs are definitely reassuring but it’s still a huge decision.
Hi Andrew and Jelly (great name!).
Yes, it’s definitely a huge decision and not one to be taken lightly. When we are talking about a senior dog, and one with a unique body type, it makes things harder. Add to that, when a vet doesn’t think a dog is a good candidate simply because of size, age or body type, well it makes the decision even tougher. That’s why we always encourage people to get another opinion from a specialist.
It’s not unusual for a member to get one kind of advice from the family vet who does maybe a few amputations a year, and a totally different one from a specialist who sees amputee cases consistently, day in and day out. The fact is, modern thinking vets now tell us that neither size nor age nor body type should immediately rule out amputation if a dog is otherwise healthy. So if Jelly is a ‘young’ 11 years old, and she’s doing pretty good otherwise, there’s no reason why she wouldn’t be happy on three.
With cancer it’s hard to say how much time you would have left with her. Nobody can tell you, they can only guess. But if you check out our most recent Tripawd Dog Quality of Life Survey, you’ll see that the majority of pet parents felt good about the decision, even if their pup didn’t live up to the prognosis.
I’m glad you saw the blogs and were able to get some reassurance from the stories of other Bully members.
A Bulldog named Jellu, doesn’t get any cuter than that! We HAVE have a picture!!
Can only ditto everything Jerry said, ESPECIALLY about a second opinion from an Orthopedic Surgeon. As Jerry said. Specialist have a different perspective because of their expertise in these areas. They also would be well versed on how to best hand sirgery/anesthesia/intubation, etc in Bull dogs .
Continue to stay connected and ask any questions s that come to mind. Good for you for researching options, all the while focusing on the best way to give Jelly a pain free quaility life.
Where do you love? It may be that we have Ortho Surgeon suggestions s in your area.
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!
thank you to everyone responding! It def helps with this difficult time! I will try my best to upload a picture right after this. I am still trying to register to this site and happened to incorrectly register before.
I currently live in San Diego, CA and I am currently seeing an oncologist at a place called pet emergency specialty center. I would love to get second opinions and I am going to talk it over with the vet once again to see if she changes her mind etc.
I firmly believe jelly is a young 11 years young and if it wasn’t for this tumor, I believe she could easily live another 3-5 years. I can see the toll it’s taking on her going through chemo but she still has her spirits high and definitely hasn’t lost her appetite or the will to annoy us every chance she can. She has the usual bulldog laziness. I just can’t stand seeing her bothered by this tumor. It makes her uncomfortable for sure. If I could, I would rather lose my leg than have her going through this.
id rather have her leg amputated than have her life cut short because of the stupid tumor. Doing some research I saw lots of pictures of bulldogs who are tripawds and living normally and they also have dog wheelchairs as well! My only concern is getting her used to not have that leg and using the bathroom and laying down etc.
once again thank you for all the feedback! I love reading all of your responses.
I will try to upload pictures of jelly below!
Hello and welcome.
My Pug Maggie lost a back leg to a MCT, she was about 7.5 years old at the time of surgery. You can read her story and about her amp and treatment if you are interested, the links are in my signature below.
Obviously as a Pug Maggie was brachycephalic breed, prone to breathing issues. Mag lived almost 4 years after her amp and being a TriPug didn’t affect her breathing at all.
Maggie was a stubborn dog who hated any changes to her routine. It was 6 weeks after her surgery before she would play with me again and I spent nearly all that time thinking I had made a terrible decision. She was hopping on her own the day of surgery and figured out peeing right away and pooping in about 6 days (pain meds can be constipating). She had this spinning routine she always did before pooping and in the days right after her amp she would try and spin and fall down into a sit. But around day 6 the constipation cleared and she was able to keep her balance and spin!
Anyway, most pups are back to themselves in 2 or 3 weeks so Mag was a bit of an outlier. But in hindsight it made sense because she was so resistant to any changes in her life. As an example- she always rode in the front seat of my truck. Then I bought a little SUV and the Pugs had to ride in the back- the whole back with the seats folded down. Mag would sit in the back and not look our the windows and pout since she couldn’t get in the front… that went on for several weeks until she decided she was OK with the new routine.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
Thank you Karen for sharing that. Every story gives me more reassurance to go through with the surgery. Did you happen to go through any type of physical therapy or did you use a doggie wheelchair ? I was looking at buying one just to help out when things get a little difficult for my bully.
Sorry your image didn’t show up earlier. This is how adding images to the Forums works.
- Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog!
- Right click and copy the Image URL or just copy the image if you’re on a phone
- Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself) in your post. It should automatically appear.
If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know. Meanwhile, about that wheelchair . Please do not buy one until you consult with a canine rehabilitation therapist. Soooo many people get one and then it turns out that it’s the wrong size, model or their dog won’t use it. A therapist can tell you if a wheelchair is even necessary. As an example, our German Shepherd Wyatt Ray didn’t need one until ten years after he lost his leg! See:
P.S. Please consider registering as a member so your future posts won’t have to wait for approval.
I never used a wheelchair for Maggie, she never needed one. I did get a stroller for her which we used more as she got older, she passed when she was 11. And Maggie was only around 17 pounds so I could easily pick her up if I needed to.
Maggie had her amp quite awhile ago- I’m not sure doggie rehab was a thing then
I have another rear amp Tripawd now, a little Pug mix who lost her leg to a car accident. Elly was 10 months old when I got her, she is 5.5 years old now. I have not taken her to rehab although I would like to. Elly has severe separation anxiety and also gets very anxious around strangers. Our regular vet visits have been very stressful for her and she tends to shut down when a stranger touches her. I was thinking at the beginning of the year that she was ready to try a rehab vet but then the world shut down. I won’t try a rehab visit until I can be with her for the appointment.
We do spend lots of time working on core and leg strength and balance through food games and puzzles, trick and obedience training and exercises.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
Hi jerry thank you for the info I def will follow that advice. Also that’s awesome about the first rehab paid for! I will look into that when the time gets a little closer.
I have also been having issues registering for this site? I tried creating an account again and nothing pops up for a password or anything. I haven’t gotten any emails to confirm registration or anything. Maybe I’m doing something wrong?
thank you again for your response!
I really hope my bully has a good outcome as well after we get the surgery done. I’m just assuming the worst and it makes me worry day in and day out. Cancer is a sucky thing and I wish it wasn’t the way it was.
Jelly is a solid 65 lbs so I guess I’m just worried that she won’t be able to handle her weight on one hind leg. What kind of exercises did you do to strengthen the other leg and for Maggie to get used to not having one of her legs?
25 April 2007
Andrew Weibel said
I have also been having issues registering for this site?
Hmm…registration is working, so we’ve gone ahead and created your user account for you. Please check your email for the credentials we sent. Not: Gmail may forward it to your Promotions tab, or check your spam folder if you did not receive it.