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Help making a good decision. Pup facing a rear leg amputation. | Presentation and Diagnosis

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Help making a good decision. Pup facing a rear leg amputation.
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12 October 2018 - 1:14 pm
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Help! My 9-month-old labradoodle pup was hit by a car 5 weeks ago & broke his left femur. We had surgery & he has been making good progress.  He started to limb & a recheck today shows the break is back & the vet recommends amputation.

I have read thru this forum. I see lots of happy ending. My husband is opposed and think he would have pup would have a bad life, no quality.

Thoughts?

Livermore, CA
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12 October 2018 - 2:20 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry to hear about your pup’s accident…what is his name?

Did the vet give you any alternatives to amputation?

My current Tripawd is a little Pug-mix who lost her right back leg after being hit by a car at 7 months old.  She is getting close to 4 years old now and has a great life quality!  She can do pretty much anything a dog her size and age can do.  I don’t take her on long walks and I limit the burst type activities- but otherwise she lives a normal life.  We have taken lots of classes to find good, safe activities for her.  We have done tricks and obedience training and we now do the sport of Nose Work.  Elly does not like water but swimming is great exercise for Tripawds.

Have your husband look at some of the videos posted in our Gallery.

Life is slightly different as a Tripawd, but it’s not bad.  There are some things to consider especially when the pup has their whole life ahead of them.  Tripawds will most likely develop arthritis and at an earlier age, there is always a concern about injury to one of the remaining legs.  But keeping a Tripawd fit and slim helps with those issues. 

Does your husband have specific concerns we can help with?  I know when I was told that my first Pug Maggie needed an amputation due to cancer I was devastated.  I didn’t remember even seeing a three legged dog before.  I thought maybe she was in for a life of sitting around and being carried everywhere.  But Maggie hopped through life for almost 4 years and did just fine. 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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12 October 2018 - 2:22 pm
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Welcome and best wishes for you pup! What’s his name?

Please consider showing you husband some of the many videos of Tripawds Loving Life On Three Legs – running, playing, swimming…or share some of the many success stories here. Like Jerry, the whole reason we started this site. He was given only 6± months to live, or 3-4 with ever-increasing pain if we chose not to amputate. He went on to survive and thrive for two years, without chemotherapy.

Since you are not dealing with cancer, your dog is much better off. Amputation will remove the pain, and if he is anything like the vast majority of dogs, he will recover quickly and adapt well to life on three legs. After all, dogs are born with Three Legs And A Spare !

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation. Meanwhile, start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs.

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12 October 2018 - 4:17 pm
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Hello,

His name is Kuro (Black in Japanese). He is 9 months old & is 30 lb.

He is a fear reactive dog – people, other dogs, noisy trucks etc – he does not handle well .

We did a lot of training and he was just starting to move ahead on these issues before the accident.

Kuro also injured his right back  knee & had a surgical repair.

Hubby is concern  that his right back leg will be strong enough. He is worried about mobility – we like to ski & hike.

Will he be able use to the staircase in our house?

Will he fully revert  to his fearful ways despite his training?

Hubby did watch some of the video and he see that many dogs do fine.

Just the unknown, I think.

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12 October 2018 - 6:22 pm
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plp2 said
Hubby is concern  that his right back leg will be strong enough…

Proper rehab and conditioning can take care of that. there are many starter exercises you can do to keep Tripawds fit and strong, and the Tripawds Foundation will even pay for your first consult with a certified CCRT or CCRP to learn more exercises you can do at home.

You may not ski or hike for miles on end, but every dog is different. We have had members who continued to hike and win AKC hunting trials with their Tripawds.

Your husband needs to decide how badly he wishes to have Kuro around, and pain free…considering the alternative.

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13 October 2018 - 8:59 pm
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I’m very new here but have been doing a ton of research. My 14 year old dog is facing a front leg amputation next week. A fact that I learned during my research is that it’s easier for a dog to lose a rear leg than it is for them to lose a front leg. This is because the front legs support twice the weight. Either way, it seems the vast majority of amputees live great lives on 3 legs. Good luck!

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14 October 2018 - 5:06 am
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Hi Kuro and family 🐾🌻

Dogs do really well on three, we have tons of examples here, all sizes, shapes, ages and with or without other medical conditions.

Your Kuro should be no different plus he is young and healthy and as Beija’s Mom says, loosing a back leg is easier for the dog than a front one.

I would do rehab as Renee suggested, Kuro is very young so you want to make sure he is kept fit and exercises in a correct way. 

I’m adding a link to my adored Dane Eurydice’s travels and hope this will reassure your husband, she was huge and lost a front leg but that didn’t stop her enjoying life to the full and being very energetic 💓

https://tripawds.com/forums/anything-goes/eurydices-travels-in-europe-5-months-after-amputation/

Hugs and cuddles 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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14 October 2018 - 8:04 am
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Oscar had his rear leg amputated 2 months ago and you will be amazed by how well they do, I am. He gets 2 walks a day, runs in my back yard and even plays with my neighbors dogs. It a slow transition and I’m always watching so he doesn’t overdo it but he’s doing great and your dog will too. I have physical therapist cone for a few weeks to teach me some exercises for him and usedvall the resources on this sight. We still work on stairs in my house but he is getting better. He finally goes down by himself and We are working on getting up and he is making progress. I think he will get them all eventually. Its a scary choice and probably one of the hardest to make but dogs do well. Keep us posted.

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14 October 2018 - 10:33 am
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Dogs do very well on three legs, especially rear amps, but I’d seek a second opinion before proceeding, especially in light of the injury to his other leg.  The key issue to me is Kuro’s youth . . . he’ll be on three legs for a long time.

It’s easier (but still really hard) for those of us who had no other choice due to cancer.  We amputated Casey’s left arm due to cancer, and have zero regrets as it resolved his pain and is giving him many months of quality life.  The spirit that is Casey, with all his personality quirks and huge roundhouse tail wags when he greets us at the door and his mischievous behaviors like eating mail are all still with us, and that is wonderful, but he is not the inexhaustible running/swimming/bounding dog he was.  He has a high quality of life yet, but losing an arm is a BIG deal.

If it’s at all possible to repair the leg, perhaps with steel rods for support during the healing process, I’d try to pursue that first, especially with his age.  If that’s not possible, know that he can still live a high quality life on three legs.

Finally, there’s anecdotal evidence out there that injured bones are more prone to future cancers. 

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14 October 2018 - 4:58 pm
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Hi Kuro and family 🐾🌻

Concerning the point for limb sparing surgery Tom referred above perhaps you should consider getting in touch with Clare, Meg’s Mom as she had several procedures done to her dog to avoid amputation. 

She is probably our biggest expert on the theme here and her user name is megstamom.

It is wonderful when it works but you should be aware these procedures involve a very long recovery time and there is a very high risk for infection and implants’ rejection. 

I don’t mean to be difficult, Tom, and I do sincerely respect your opinions and consider you as a treasured member of our family but I must disagree with your comment on injured bones being more prone to future cancers as anedoctal evidence. 

Angel Eurydice’s UK oncologist is very well respected and the same can be said about her oncologist in Portugal.

Both told me separately that, although we cannot be completely sure about what causes Osteosarcoma, the most credible studies point in the direction of micro fractures which may not have healed correctly and eventually over time degenerate into cancerous cells. 

Incidentally, Eurydice’s tumour formed around the wrist she had injured several times whilst growing up. 

Thank you, Tom, for all the support and good advise you share with others, I hope you don’t mind my comments on this one point…

Hugs and cuddles 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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14 October 2018 - 9:47 pm
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eurydice said

I don’t mean to be difficult, Tom, and I do sincerely respect your opinions and consider you as a treasured member of our family but I must disagree with your comment on injured bones being more prone to future cancers as anedoctal evidence. 

Well, you just go ahead and be difficult.  Good discussions makes us all stronger.  This community is all about sharing what we know as well as what we think we know, and we learn from each other every single day.  Still, I think you confirmed my point (perhaps you are saying it is more than anecdotal).  Anyway, fractures, micro or not, involve new bone cells for healing, and in our precious dogs, especially the larger breeds, injured bones seem too often to lead to osteosarcoma.  What a crappy disease this is.

I still believe, considering Kuro’s youth, that if his leg might be saved, it may be worth a try. 

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15 October 2018 - 10:33 am
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Thanks for the ALL advice & discussion.

We discussed this again with Kuro’s vet. He and his colleague reviewed all the x-rays and decided that they might be able to save his leg.

On Tuesday, he will have his surgery.

His Vet will have a look & exam his current injury & make the decision if the leg can be safely repair or not.

If not, he will amputate the leg.

After spending the past 3 days watch my pup romp and play (controlled manner) despite a very broken leg (great pain medications), there is no way I would choose to euthanize unless no other option.

I feel very calm and ready to take on whatever the surgery outcome is.

This site is amazing, and I feel if he does lose his leg I will have all the resources and help to get us thru this transition period.

I will report back Kuro’s status.

God Blessheart

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15 October 2018 - 2:10 pm
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Wonderful news.  We are looking forward to Kuro’s progress.

Virginia
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15 October 2018 - 2:43 pm
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Just catching  up.  Lots of good feedback and open discussion .  Is this a great caring community or what!?  You have a plan and you are moving  forward.  We support you whatever path you and your surgeon deem the best approach. 

Update when you get a chance.  We’ll all be sending  extra pawsitive en4erfy your way tomorrow😚

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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16 October 2018 - 3:31 pm
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Hi Kuro and family 🐾🌻

Thinking about you and sending a cloud of kisses and hugs 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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