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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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Forum Posts: 79
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17 April 2020 - 4:45 pm
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     Had to go visit Dr Allen today and pick up a prescription for a fentynal patch and we will go in Monday to have it applied in prep for her surgery Tuesday. I will be bringing her home the same day so hopefully all goes smoothly. 

    I’ll keep this updated and now that I am a master at doing pictures, I’ll try and figure out the video part lol! Stay tuned!

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17 April 2020 - 10:29 pm
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Hi Steveh and everyone! This is my first post here, and I had to post, because reading through all of this has me reliving the past couple of months. 

My rottie, Roman, will be 7 on May 5th and this coming tuesday will mark 2 weeks since his front right leg amputation. I’m so so sorry you have to go through this with your beautiful girl. I know how hard it is to wait for all these appointments during this pandemic…I never got to meet Roman’s oncologist or the surgeon who removed his leg. I had to hand him off to a tech in the hospital parking lot while I watched him look around, confused, while knowing this was the last time I would see my baby on 4 legs. It’s scary but so relieving at the same time. I wanted his leg gone as soon as I found out it was cancer. It took 8 weeks from the first vet visit to the date of the surgery and it was AGONIZING. The guilt I felt for waiting a week before calling the vet after the limp started (I thought it was his usual I-played-too-hard limp), the guilt I felt for not bringing him to an oncologist after he had a mast cell tumor removed from that leg 1.5 years ago (they told me to just watch for any more lumps), I cried anytime I let myself think about it.

The day of his surgery I was a wreck. I felt like a new mom, like I wasn’t prepared to have a three legged dog. What if he couldn’t walk on 3 legs? He stayed at the hospital 24hrs and was able to walk out to my car in the parking lot afterward. I was so relieved!  And his tail was wagging he was so happy just to see me! We used a towel as a sling under his front end to help him into the car but he didn’t need much help at all! He thinks he can do much more than he can, which is the hard part. Day 2 I left the room for a second and came back to him up on the couch in his usual spot! I worry about the pressure on his remaining front leg while getting down from the couch, going down stairs, getting off the bed, etc so I got him a brace for his front leg and his Flagline harness will be here Tuesday! 

It’s gotten better day by day for us, and the past few days he has gotten up to greet dad when he gets home from work.  Yay for small victories! Luckily one of us is working, because although I love having this time to spend with him, I need to get back to work to pay for all this! It really is bittersweet, to not be working because of Covid, but not caring because having this time with my boy is priceless..

You are making the right decision for Ziva, and she will thank you for it afterwards! I was so nervous that Roman would be mad at me…I can tell you he absolutely does not seem mad at me lol. And I can tell you, one of the best feelings after surgery is seeing them come hopping over, tail wagging, when you open the door!

I’ll try to figure out how to post a picture of my boy. But in the meantime, you’re in our thoughts and I’ll be staying tuned for pupdates!

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The Rainbow Bridge



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17 April 2020 - 10:51 pm
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Stacey thanks so much for taking time to share your story about Roman! I know your experience is already helping others. Things are so uncertain in the world right now that I cannot even imagine how hard it is to go through the amputation process. But you made it through and now you are here to help others…thank you! 

I hope you will start an all new topic about Roman so that we can follow along with your journey. He is a gorgeous pup! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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17 April 2020 - 10:58 pm
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Hi Jerry!

Yes I will start a new topic about Roman and his journey! Such a strange time we’re in, that adds a new stressful dimension to an already unpleasant time! I hope everyone is staying well!

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17 April 2020 - 11:07 pm
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     Thanks for the post Stacey, and Roman is a handsome boy. I can just picture my Ziva in that same pose! 

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20 April 2020 - 10:58 am
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   It’s Monday already! I take Ziva in to have her Fentynal patch put on. Tomorrow is the big day. Surgery is scheduled for 9am Washington state time. 

   While I have her there I’m going to have the Vet/Surgeon check her left front leg as well. She’s been licking that one now and that was the first sign of the cancer in her right leg. Also have her lungs checked too. I hope those come back clear because if they don’t that is not good at  all. 

   Fingers crossed for as positive  an outcome as could be expected. I’ll keep you all posted and thanks for all the support so far. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 April 2020 - 11:15 am
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Alrightee Ziva and Steve, you guys have GOT THIS! I know you can do it. And we will be with you when you have doubts so don’t forget that.

Let us know how the pre-surgery vet visit goes OK? I’m so glad they’re starting her on pain meds right now, that’s the best pain management approach to amputation surgery!

We are sending nothing but pawsitive thoughts and lotsa love!

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