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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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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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From bad to worse
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Oakland, CA
Member Since:
20 December 2008
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24 August 2015 - 4:06 pm
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Ziya is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures with us. I am so glad that you have this community to come to for support and information. It sounds like you have great resources at home as well. Alot has changed since I had to deal with HSA (sorry for my semi-rant yesterday, your story just hit so close to home and stirred up all kinds of things!) and it is so great that you have some options to explore. I know you will find the right path through this and walk it side by side with your girl. We are here for you every step of the way.

Sally and the others are right, it is time to learn to Be More Dog and live in the here and now with Ziya. Yes, you have to chart a course forward, you may be devastated and angry, and you don't know what the future will bring, but don't forget to spend as much time as you can each day enjoying time with Ziya!

Sending lots of love and tripawd strength from the Oaktown Pack,


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!

Visit Codie Rae's Blog!

Member Since:
17 August 2015
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25 August 2015 - 12:20 am
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I just have a moment to say HUUUUGE HUGS to all of you that have taken the time to provide information, support, and love from afar! My heart is ABSOLUTELY touched, and it feels comforting knowing that we're not alone. I received the I'm - Yunity (not My correct on phone sorry) today and have started that. We are currently in Oahu, HI (hence the view behind Ziya) and I was thrilled that Dr. Dressler was so close in Maui (considered him doing surgery), but the tumors mean we likely won't fly. I had also considered taking Ziya back to WI to be evaluated at UWMADISON and then remain there (my home state) so she could enjoy her time outside in the cooler weather. I sadly don't think that will be an option now. I may still consult Dr. Dressler online, but will see a holistic vet here first. We are lucky to have a close vet friend as we have sent endless questions. Searching online educates, yet terrifies me. The information via Internet and the vets we've consulted is hard to sort out. Even told today the tumors could be benign, but unlikely. Up and down..hope and despair. Ziya is otherwise in good health and mentally sharp, and could do well with surgery, but one never knows. The statistics scare me. "She could die any moment," said the insensitive oncologist vet as I cried. No comfort (hand on shoulder, offer of a tissue throughout entire appointment). Show sympathy or get out of that profession! Ziya used to sleep in our bed, but the jump is now too high so we've all moved out to the living room to be next to her. I barely sleep listening for her. Our friend reviewed the images and said the tumors didn't appear to be bleeding yet. I just don't know what to think. Hate feeling helpless and like I'm watching her die :/. Is there such thing as an orthopedic boot to protect her leg and it's chance of fracture if we don't amputate? 

She's our 2nd GSD, our other lived until 11, had Cushings and then one day lost feeling in back legs and passed. I was shocked and deeply saddened to see that so many dogs (and cats) are victims of cancers and need amputations. The input and stories are inspiring! To be connected to such a loving group is a blessing. Thank you all. I read though all the responses, but will re-read when time permits. Thank you for caring ♡.

Jerry thanks for putting pics up of Ziya. I tried to change my profile puc, but it wouldn't work. 


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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25 August 2015 - 9:54 am
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Don't have any insight into whether a brace could help or not, but that's a great question.

And yeah, your onco apparently went to the same vet school as my Happy Hannah.... WDTCBM UNIVERSITY..."We Don't Teach Compassion or Bedside Manner University"! I soooo hopenyou have other Onco options.

And yes, do try and get a consultation with Dr. Dressler!

And, if I may make a suggestion, you are NOT watching Ziya "die" way! You are watching her LIVE!!! Crossing over..transitioning...that only takes a second. Ziya is living life large right now and living it to the fullest!

Perhaps you can look again at Ziya's butt. Look really closely. Get out a magnifying glass if you have to. Do you see a timeframe stamped amywhere...anywhere at all...stamped on that pretty buttnof hers?? Nope, didn't think so!

Remember to B R E A T H E....seriously...deep breaths! Research and googling can pretty much drive you insane. I think you'll feel better after you speak with a Holistic vet and Dr. Dressler.

Stay connected. Every dog or cat who are on this journey become family instantly. We care...we care so very deeply.

Sending you love and huge hugs!!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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!


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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25 August 2015 - 10:04 am
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Wanted to add this link for you to cjeck out. Yes, it's a very different scenario. But it's also a story of beating the odds and doing it holistically..


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!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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25 August 2015 - 10:14 am
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I'm so glad you found comfort.

One thing to keep in mind: Ziya doesn't know what those lab results or tests say, she's just her usual self living every day to the fullest. That's what you have to do as well in order to ensure she has the quality of life she deserves. Don't focus on the what ifs, the statistics, the harsh stories. Do your best to Be More Dog and live in the now as she does. It's all she wants for you.

I don't know of any kind of boot unfortunately but it is a good idea to check into bisphosphonates (bone-building drug, search the forums for results), which can help tremendously. Did your onco say anything about this treatment option?

And speaking of compassion, or lack therof. One of our favorite vets, Dr. Patty Khuly, recently wrote a great blog post about this topic:

When Veterinarians Cry: Are Public Displays of Emotion Unprofessional?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
17 August 2015
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25 August 2015 - 6:41 pm
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Benny55- Thanks for the laughs..Nope,.no time stamp! Thanks for the link also. 

Jerry- Thanks for additional links. While I know vet and medical dr. training may disuade emotional involvement, a simple gesture or hand on shoulder goes a long way in a needed connection (we're not just a "number" $..what have you. Will look into bisphosphonates and possible radiation. 

I did see a specially designed boot for one dog online, but the owner pulled in a vet and orthopedic dr. Just wondered if there was anything available mainstream.

Thanks again ALL ♡

Orrtanna Pa.
Member Since:
25 January 2014
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26 August 2015 - 12:39 am
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I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Cancer stinks , big time! I hate it!  Ziya certainly is a beautiful girl. I wanted to add some input about mushrooms. We had a pony boarded at our barn. She had a very rare type of cancer in her eye. She was given 3-6 months and thumbed her nose at that prognosis. She was on mushroom therapy. Not sure if that made the difference or not, but she got over a year and it was great quality. Thinking of you, Lori, Ty & Gang

TY GUY, Best Black Lab ever! Diagnosed  and had amp in January, 2014. Kicked MRSA's butt. Earned his angel wings on April 16, 2014. Run Free my boy and don't forget a shoe. Ty is a proud member of the " April Angels". Ty sent us Daryl, a Tripawd rescue in Sept. of 2016. Daryl is 5 +or -. We are also Pawrents to Chandler, a Border Collie mix who is 15 and 1/2, Lucy, a Corgi who is 7, 2 minis, 2 horses, and a feisty cat named Zoe. Zoe had a non skeletal Osteosarcoma removed in July 2015. No Chemo, she was at least 16. She is going strong although she is now completely blind. She is now close to 20 and her hobbies are eating and sleeping in front of her personal heater. 

Green Bay, WI

Member Since:
18 May 2014
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26 August 2015 - 9:15 am
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Ziya is sooo beautiful! So sorry to hear about all of this. Like Rene said, Ziya doesn't know any of the drama going on with her, but she will pick up on your feelings. Hard as it is, try to be upbeat and pawsitive around her. It's so cool that you've moved into the living room with her....our bed is still on the floor 14 months after Nitro's surgery.  It's sure sounds like you're doing all you can for her, what great pawrents she has. Hang on there, we're all here for you.

paula and nitro

p.s. We live in WI

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

"Be good, mama loves you" free my beautiful Warrior

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