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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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Mastiff with Osteosarcoma Diagnosis
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Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
23 December 2008
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23 December 2008 - 10:12 pm
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Help!!! This morning we took our English Mastiff Laverne to the vet because she has been limping and wabammmm....osteosarcoma. What do we do? Our initial thought was we would just have to keep her comfortable due to her size - 175 lbs. We have been reading and searching the internet and have found this site - what an awesome site. Her chest film looked clear to the vet but she is sending all of the films to the radiologist for review. Laverne is 5.5 years old and otherwise healthy. First and foremost we want her to be comfortable and happy. What are the realities of amputation in a large breed dog? Please give us any advise you can!

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16 February 2008
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23 December 2008 - 10:44 pm
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Csmith1026, so sorry to hear of the dx.  There are a lot of success stories about giant breed amputees. (re: Jerry's reply to Maurasmom)

Osteosarcoma is very aggressive and painful.  Amputating the trouble limb gives immediate relief of pain, and to buy her as much "quality" time as possible.  Laverne will thank you! 

Otherwise, she would be taking pain meds, and gradually more pain meds, until no more she could take to not feel the brutal pain.  In some cases, where the bone is eaten away by the nasty beast would fracture or even break.  Then it would be an even more pressing decision time for you.  By then, the nasty beast would have spreaded even more.

It is going to be a challenging journey, but we are all here to offer you support, you are not alone. 


The Rainbow Bridge

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23 December 2008 - 11:34 pm
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Genie, you rock! Thanks for the awesome response.

Thanks so much for joining us here and becoming a member of the Tripawds family. Whatever happens, remember we are here for you, you are not alone. We too are so sorry about the diagnosis. But don't give up hope! Like Genie said, check out the links we posted in our reply to MaurasMom.There are SO many success stories of giant breed dogs here, you'll be amazed. 

What did your vet tell you? Are you being referred to a surgeon and oncologist anywhere?


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Forum Posts: 2053
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22 August 2008
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24 December 2008 - 1:08 am
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I am so sorry to hear about Laverne (that is a great name by the way!).  Please see my response to Maura's mom regarding how my big dog Tazzie handled the surgery.  Tazzie is a 6 year old female English Mastiff and she weighs 175 pounds without her leg.  She is a tall Mastiff and thin, so that is in her favor.  If your dog is overweight try to trim her down ASAP.  Tazzie had both of her knees repaired (torn ACLs) 2 years ago so that was also a concern but she has done very well.  She can still run and play although she tires easily.  I am hoping that now that she is done with chemo that she will be able to build up to longer walks.

Many vets will tell you that she is too big, but if she is healthy otherwise without any major orthopedic or neurologic issues then I say go for it.  She will surprise you with how easily she will adjust.

Please keep us updated on her condition and feel free to ask questions anytime.

Pam and Tazzie

Forum Posts: 3
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23 December 2008
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24 December 2008 - 1:25 am
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Thank you everyone for your responses.

Pam(tazziedog) - I noticed that you are from Puyallup. We live in Maple Valley and our vet is in Covington. Can you recommend a vet/oncologist/surgeon in the area?

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24 December 2008 - 1:41 am
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The best oncologist in the area is definitely Dr Karri Meleo of Animal Cancer Specialists in Seattle.  She is very nice and the staff there is great!  Your vet can probably refer you to the closest surgeon or may be able to do the procedure himself. I have done many amputations but I was not mentally able to do my own dog so I used Dr Chip Rischen.  He is a traveling surgeon in the Puget Sound area so he would come to your vet’s hospital for the surgery then your vet can do the aftercare. He also practices at the Animal Emergency Clinic in Tacoma every Friday.  I would also recommend Dr Johnson in Seattle (Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle).

Pam and Tazzie

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