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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: 32
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29 May 2016 - 8:40 am
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My 10.5 year-old Mastiff-mix has been limping for a few days and a couple of days ago declined to go for our walk. Her appetite is not normal for 2 days now which is very unusual. I’ve gotten her to go out for really short walks and she’s moving around a little, but not very much. I know she has arthritis pretty bad as she has had a few x-rays for UTI’s and other things. She had TPLO (?) on both knees when she was about 3. Attributed the recent limping to her arthritis, but felt a lump in one of her knees yesterday. Took her to vet where she had more x-rays. Main vet wasn’t there for holiday weekend, but another said it was “maybe an infection”, or possibly bone cancer. We were sent home with anti-biotics and pain meds.

Did research on this and am convinced it’s cancer. Hoping to meet with primary vet today or tomorrow to get more advice. What I’m seeing is amputation is pretty mach a given. She’s 165 pounds (down from 180 at vet’s advice), and I’m really concerned about removing a hind leg. Also, I know that at 10 years old, I’m not likely to get a whole lot more time with her under the best of conditions.   Any suggestions??

Here and Now


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29 May 2016 - 11:08 am
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Welcome! Sorry to hear about Mag. Is that her name?

Search these forums above and you will find lots of stories about Danes, Mastiffs, and other giant breed dogs Loving Life On Three Legs , as well as senior dogs who have managed well. You can also search all blogs here .

Regarding “more time” you need to focus on quality of life, not quantity. While amputation may not get rid of the cancer, it will get rid of the pain. The hardest part of recovery will only last a couple weeks, while the cancer pain will only get worse and eventually cause a tragic pathological fracture. Our best advice is to Be More Dog .

Don’t miss our video of Tazzie, a 200+ pound English Mastiff tripawd, and keep in mind that losing a rear leg is easier on most dogs, since they carry 60-65% of their weight up front.

Best wishes in the decisions you face. Please keep us posted.

Virginia




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29 May 2016 - 6:52 pm
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A BIG CUDDLING MASTIFF! And a “seasoned” one at that!! Can’t wait to see pictures!

Sorry you find yourself here but, under the circumstances there is no better place to be for support and information and understanding.

Sounds like you are on the right track by doing yoir research and making follow up appointments. A consult with an Orthopedic Surgeon should help co firm that Mag (Maggie?) is a good candidate for surgery. Your regular Vet will probably have a Radiologist look at her xrays also. She’ll need chest xrays, as well as regular check up stuff to make sure she’s in good shape for surgery, etc.

Obviously, we’ll hooe for an infection, but, just in case, it’s good that you’re preparing yourself for otherwise.

Yes, we’ve certainly had “Xtra Large”‘ dogs do very well with three legs! Recovery is certainly no picnic, especially for some large dogs. While most dogs are up and mobile within 24 hours, some take several days…yep, especially the XL pups!! Another Mastiff, Big Lou, is enjoying living a pain free life after a bit of a rough recovery.

Just wanted to give you a quick welcome and let you know we are all here ro support you, whatever route you take. Please keep us updated and touch base with us after the preliminary work ups and evaluations.

Hang in there! Once you get all the information you can proceed with a plan to help Mag!

Give that gentle giant a hug for us!

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!

Forum Posts: 32
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31 May 2016 - 10:45 am
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Thanks for the replies. Yes, her name IS Maggie and she couldn’t be any sweeter.

I found this site Sunday after getting the unexpected news of “possible bone cancer” on Saturday. Maggie had had a couple of bad days where she didn’t walk to walk, was pretty mopey and didn’t have much appetite. I did speak to her regular vet on Sunday and he laid out some options (though he didn’t mention amputation). He said their surgeon would be in today (Tuesday) and he’d have me bring Maggie in and meet with them.

Maggie was pretty mopey all day Sunday, but showed some signs of “coming around” that evening. She heard some early fireworks and kind of trotted outside to bark at them like normal. Then, yesterday, she was 90% normal. She wanted to walk, was happy all day, played with her toys, etc. Appetite still not quite normal, but she ate OK. Today, she seems 100%. She does this thing where she kind of howls when she’s happy, like when she gets a new toy or when she hasn’t seen us for a while. She did that as soon as she saw me this morning. Needless to say, THAT was pretty great. She was very anxious to walk, and we had a pretty normal, albeit slow, walk, along with our Great Pyrenees, Murphy. She’s still favoring the right hind leg, but seems much better.

Still planning to meet with vet and surgeon today, but hoping this IS just an infection and that her meds are working.

I do appreciate the “quality of life” advice. I will do nothing that isn’t in Maggie’s best interests. Thanks.



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31 May 2016 - 11:37 am
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Hi Maggie and Mom, welcome heart

I am very sorry to hear Maggie may have cancer but yes you came to the right place.

My girl has osteosarcoma and had her front leg amputated one month ago. She weighed 77kg (now down to 64.2kg) so I can reassure you big dogs do recover, it just takes longer than smaller dogs.

Also, as Jerry said, missing a back leg is better than a front leg as most of the weight is supported by the front legs, so much better for Maggie.

We are keeping our fingers and paws crossed it will be just an infection smiley

Sending you kisses and cuddles to sweet Maggie, keep us posted heart

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 :-) 

Forum Posts: 32
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1 June 2016 - 6:15 am
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Met with Maggie’s vet and a surgeon yesterday. Surgeon is 90% sure it’s cancer. Maggie will go in tomorrow and they’ll remove the plate in the bad leg, get a culture and biopsy and go from there. The good news is her lungs are clear and the leg and hip on the other side are good, whereas, they said the hip on the bad sign isn’t very good.

Here and Now


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Forum Posts: 6646
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1 June 2016 - 12:40 pm
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Great news her lungs are clear Hurrah !!!

Please let us know Maggie’s progress we are all keeping our fingers and paws crossed for her here !

Sending you both lots of kisses and cuddles to sweet Maggie heart

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 :-) 

Copperas Cove, TX
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1 June 2016 - 12:48 pm
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Awe Maggie, hate to hear you are having to go through all of this.  I did too, and now am doing much better.  I really surprised my Mom with how quickly I adapted.  It’s going to be okay Mags.  Hang in there, Bandit from Texas.

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3 June 2016 - 10:58 am
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Maggie had her biopsy surgery yesterday. Pretty rough night as she didn’t sleep much and was pretty whiny. Vet said this was a painful procedure so I kind of expected that. She’s getting around “OK”, but certainly doesn’t want to lie on her bad side. I’ve gotten her to go potty and she’s had some chicken with her meds. Not real interested in “regular” food, but I did hand-feed her some dry food. Vet said that how she tolerated THIS procedure would be a good indicator of how she’d handle a potential amputation. He said bone biopsies wouldn’t be back for maybe a week, but he was 99% sure of the cancer diagnosis. 

Really glad I found this website. Thanks, everyone. 

Virginia




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3 June 2016 - 11:30 am
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Actually, from what I understand, the biopsy can sometimes hurt more than the amputation surgery! So maybe her next surgery won’t hurt as much.

Also, often times the biopsy comes back inconclusive. Just didn’t want that to surprise you if it did.

Uep, chicken, cheeseburgers, steaks, whatever she’ll eat! The fact that she’s getting around a bit is good. TRY and get some rest. She may still hurt for several more days and may not feel like moving much at all.

Hang in there! Progress is being made!!

Gove that big smoochable mug a kiss for us.

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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3 June 2016 - 8:50 pm
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Awwww. Spoil that girl rotten and give her whatever rocks her world. I hope she feels better soon.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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4 June 2016 - 7:06 am
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Hi Maggie heart you are such a brave girl clap you sure deserve to be pampered! 

Let’s have a look at Eurydice’s menu: bacon and eggs, hot dogs, grilled chicken breast, steak …. quick, get Mom to give you some of this too!

Lots of kisses and cuddles going your way heart

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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4 June 2016 - 11:53 am
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VERY happy with Maggie’s progression after the biopsy. First trip for potty was kinds of scary. She walked around for a few minutes as if she were afraid to squat, but she finally did and peed a lot! Next couple of trips were progressively “normal” and now it’s like pre-surgery. She even pooped yesterday! Still very tender and tries not to put much weight on the bad leg, but we’re very happy with how she’s handling this. She’s even starting to lie on the bad side. Appetite is much better and she’s letting us know we’re doing the right thing for her.  I remember that she bounced back from her knee surgeries very well also. We’re kind of anxious to get the “big surgery” done. I keep thinking that she’ll be out of pain. Can’t wait for that. 

And, yes, it’s not as though steak and chicken weren’t part of her diet before. She’s been a very spoiled girl.

Thanks everyone!

Virginia




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4 June 2016 - 12:25 pm
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YAAAAAAAAAY FOR POOP!!!poopicon_pngpoopicon_png

So glad to know Mag is making good progress! I know that is such aa relief!! This speaks volumes!! So happy to see this update!

Love!

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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