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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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Need advice if a BIG Great Dane’s leg must be amputated.
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Forum Posts: 1
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8 November 2017
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8 November 2017 - 4:55 pm
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Our 3 year old Great Dane torn his Cruciate ligaments beyond repair in his left hind leg. He weighs 75kg – he is really a big boy. He is on a strict diet though. He has so much pain. I am considering amputation. Just for quality of life. My dad is saying he won’t cope because he is too big. I disagree. Does anyone has stories about big dogs with successful amputasions ?? 

Kind regards

shani

The Rainbow Bridge



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8 November 2017 - 6:22 pm
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Hi Shani, welcome. What’s your Dane’s name? Sorry that he’s in a tough spot like this, it’s awful to see our furkids in pain. 

My first question is: is your dad a vet? If not, I recommend getting at least another opinion so you can feel more confident about your decision, whatever you decide.

Current veterinary thinking is that size need not be a reason to disqualify a dog from amputation, provided that the dog is otherwise healthy. An orthopedic surgeon can confirm that for you, have you seen one yet?

We have TONS of stories about how well big dogs do on three legs! Search the Tripawds Size and Age Matters discussions and check out our blog features about Giant Breed Tripawds.

Stay tuned, others will chime in soon!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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9 November 2017 - 8:03 am
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Why would you not fix the ACL?  The price for a lateral suture repair is probably not much more than for an amputation.  A TPLO repair costs more but will fix the problem.  Even if you did nothing but rehab the knee would eventually scar up and the dog could walk but with a limp.

75 kg is not that big for a Great Dane even if he is tall so he is a great candidate for ACL repair.  If your vet is telling you otherwise you need a second opinion. I have never heard of an ACL that can’t be repaired. (My 190 pound Mastiff Tazzie had both of her knees repaired and she did well and both of her knees were completely ruptured).

Pam



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9 November 2017 - 11:04 am
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Hi there Shani 🌺

I am not a vet (but Pam is and she just replied above ☺️) but I had a 77 kg Great Dane who lost her front leg to osteosarcoma.

She lived an extraordinarily happy life for 13 months and 1 week and, apart from the initial recovery period, she Rocked on 3 legs !

I certainly hope you can get your baby’s ACL repaired but if that would not be possible (touching wood here) size would definitely not be a problem for amputation.

My Angel Eurydice’s Dad, who is still alive and kicking at almost 9, also had an ACL rupture when he was 2 1/2 but he had surgery and although he limps he’s had a wonderful, healthy life so far.

We’ll all be waiting for your news, hopefully an orthopaedic surgeon can bring light into this and, let’s not forget, Pam, Tripawds wonderful vet had surgery done in her Mastiff!

I’ll be posting a link to Eurydice’s travel log when I can get yo my computer so you can see how well big dogs can do on 3 🐾💕

Sending you a big hug and lots of cuddles to your baby boy 😘😘😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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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9 November 2017 - 12:18 pm
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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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9 November 2017 - 2:38 pm
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Hi Shani – I was in a similar spot not so very long ago.  My female dane, Maddie, needed front leg amputation due to osteosarcoma.  Her pre-surgery weight was 167 lbs (which translates to I think about 76 kg??) and her vet was really not optimistic about amputation, mostly because it was her front leg and she’s very large.  Thankfully I found this forum and saw the story of Eurydice and other very large dogs then I sought out the opinion of an excellent surgeon.  The surgeon (and oncologist) told me Maddie was an “ideal candidate”! She had her amputation surgery and after the first 10 days or so of recovery, she’s been hopping around like the maniac she’s always been!  I’m so thankful that we went ahead and did it and she’s no longer suffering and in pain.  

Of course, if you can fix the ACL and not remove the leg, that would seem to me to be the best option!!!!  Good luck!

Bobbi & Maddie a/k/a ManiacMads

Front leg amputation 10/17/17 due to Osteosarcoma

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

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11 November 2017 - 9:58 am
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Hi Shani

My hope for you, is that you can repair the ACL! But please don’t let size deter you from amputation… IF IT IS NECASSARY! 

Our Stewie boy was at 110lbs and very front heavy, when he lost his front left leg to Osteosarcoma, 4 months ago. He is now hopping around very well on three and acts like a puppy again!

wishing you and your boy well.

Super Stu and his pack ❤️ 

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

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