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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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New here, recent cancer diagnosis
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Forum Posts: 23
Member Since:
19 July 2019
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19 July 2019 - 1:54 pm
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Hello all, I’ve been lurking the past couple weeks since my dogs’ soft tissue injury/partial ccl tear diagnosis turned into a cancer diagnosis. He is scheduled for surgery to amputate his leg next week. 

Ive been a mess of anxiety and second guessing myself since the diagnosis. You’ll probably be hearing from me a fair bit over the next few weeks as we navigate these uncharted waters. I’ve never had a dog undergo a major surgery like this before.

Here is the fellow in question, his name is Luke. He’s a 5 year old shepherd, he is my foster failure I adopted three years ago. I never thought we’d be here, especially at such a young age. 

[Image Can Not Be Found]

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27769
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19 July 2019 - 5:46 pm
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Luke is gorrrrgeous! 

(Photobucket is truly a nightmare to post images on other sites. I can’t figure out how to post them here, I think they have banned the process, which wouldn’t surprise me. You may want to consider starting a Tripawds blog or creating an Imgur.com account so we can see your handsome boy without their dumb logo).

He is still such a baby, I’m really sorry you are going through this. I hope that the stories you’ve seen here of dogs who beat the odds are giving you hope. There are soooo many dogs who defied the prognosis and went on to live long, healthy lives on three (and many still are!). 

So how can we help you? We are here to answer any questions, don’t be shy OK? 

Sending lots of love to you and Luke. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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new hampshire
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19 July 2019 - 6:42 pm
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What a handsome boy! Im such a sucker for a big furry love! 

Welcome luke and luke’s human! Your in good company here 😊 im fairly new too and i can say from personal experience that posting and the support from this wonderful group made things alot less stressful for this dog mama.

I know suprises like that ugly “C” word are stressful and emotionally draining. I definitely second guessed my self too. I won’t say it’s a walk in the park but after the pain is gone and luke will feel soooo much better. Is he having issues with a front or rear leg?

Please feel free to post away, ask questions, vent or just say hi. It looks like you have a little time before lukes surgery. If you havent found them already, there are some great articles on what to expect and how to prep for recovery.

As jerry said were just a question away & here to help anyway we can. 

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

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21 July 2019 - 3:13 pm
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Thank you both! This site and the stories here gave me enough hope to choose surgery over euthanasia. I have no hang ups about amputation, I work as a kennel tech/receptionist for a large boarding facility and I know the dogs themselves don’t care how many legs they have. I mostly worry about putting him through a very major surgery only to have it not buy him any more time. I know how hard this recovery is going to be. I really hope he is one of the lucky ones to beat the odds. 

Surgery is coming up this Thursday. They will be removing his rear right leg. We had a fine needle aspiration and a biopsy done, the results came back as synovial cell sarcoma/histiocytic sarcoma. They said they could do more testing to try to determine exactly which one, but couldn’t guarantee a definitive diagnosis. Treatment is the same either way so we figured it was better to put the money towards that and hope for the best. 

Also, ugh sorry my photobucket link didn’t work. I haven’t used it in a while. 

new hampshire
Forum Posts: 278
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21 July 2019 - 6:10 pm
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Im so glad we were able to put your mind at ease about amputation vs quality of life. I had that same battle with my self when we got Roanes diagnosis. Now 3 weeks later i can say that im sooo glad i made this choice. Recovery wasnt easy but seeing her happy and moving around pain free is SO worth it. We have a little ways to go still but were getting there. 

I think you have a good plan as far as knowing exactly what kind of cancer it is. It doesnt change your plan of attack.

I’ll be thinking of you both and sending lots of good vibes your way. Keep us posted when you have a minute. 

(Im not sure about everyone else but i was able to see your handsome guy with the photo bucket link)

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

Virginia




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21 July 2019 - 6:51 pm
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As yoj already fou d oit, this is the best place to be for support, information  and understanding!  We’ve all been where you are…the self doubt….the crying…..the fear…..the second guessing.   Yeah, we understand! I even cancelled my Hapoy Hannah’s first scheduled  surgery appointment  because I was so scared and uncertain!  This was BEFORE I found this site (which wasn’t until six days AFTER she finally did jave rhe surgery).

We also understand  how happy you will be when you see Luke pain free enjoying life on three!!  Recovery  is no picnic.  You are giving  him a gift of extended  quality  life full of spoiling and tummy rubs and extra treats and snuggles!!

Let us  know what questions  you have and how we can help you navigate through  recovery, okay?  You are not alone!  We are right by your side the whole way!!

BTW, love his handsome photo!  MORE!!!!!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS. Is he staying  at a 24/7 staffed cljnic the first night?  Is he on any pain meds now?

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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21 July 2019 - 7:20 pm
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Just wanted you to know about 15 years ago I had a Shepard, and at age 5 was diagnosed with OST bone cancer and had rear leg amputation, and she did awesome! The vet gave her 6 months, but Charlee beat the odds and lived 1.5 happy years after diagnosis. 

That was 15 years ago! Now there is so much information and different kinds of treatments.

Now my lab Brownie at age 12 had front leg amputation due to cancer. It took him a little longer but he is doing awesome as well.

I am just thankfull however much time he has left he is happy and pain free!

There is alot of great information and Jerry and Happy Hanah, and others gave me great advise!

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

Forum Posts: 23
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23 July 2019 - 2:08 pm
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Thank you all who responded, I deeply appreciate it. Surgery is day after tomorrow, I’m getting so nervous. Right now he is on tramadol and carprofen for pain and I’m trying to get him to eat as much as possible. His appetite seems to come and go. That’s actually why I sought a second opinion from a different clinic, he’s never missed a meal up until about 6 weeks ago. He’d been diagnosed with a soft tissue injury/ partial ccl tear 5 months earlier, but something just seemed off when it slowly worsened despite meds, rest, and a leg brace. I was trying to prepare myself for a probable TPLO surgery. And now here we are. 

For now the plan is to bring him home the same day as the surgery. The clinic doesn’t have staff on site overnight so I’ll feel better having him with me so I can take action if anything seems wrong. My fiancé will be home as well and a family member is taking our toddler for the first night so we can just focus on Luke. I’ve also taken a few days off work.

Im trying to focus on all the things we haven’t been able to do the past few months, that we will hopefully be able to do again once he recovers from surgery. Like hiking and playing fetch. His eyes light up and he still gets excited if you ask ‘where’s your ball?!’ I can’t wait to see him run after his ball 🙂

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 July 2019 - 2:53 pm
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Yeah, sounds like the pain is getting to him. Poor guy. But wow he is in great hands! You have the experience to make his recovery as easy as it can be. And if there is anything at all we can do to make it easier just let us know.

Luke still has a lot of great times ahead. You will get there! Stay pawsitive, keep up your great attitude and recovery will be behind you before you know it.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 1005
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23 July 2019 - 8:55 pm
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Have you seen the videos of Jerry hiking and even swimming? Jerry had more energy on three legs then Brownie had on four….

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27769
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23 July 2019 - 9:23 pm
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Aww thank you Nancy! Here’s one of our favorites from the way back machine, filmed not too long after his recovery:

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19482
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12
24 July 2019 - 8:40 am
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Sray connected, me okay?  Coming  home the first night is definitely  better than leaving  him by himself.  It can be really rough on the hoomans though!  Seeing a dog shake off the anesthesia and still heavily  drugged can be rough to watch.  Some dogs, however, are so zonked out at first, you may not jave ro witness too much of this.  He may come home with a pain patch and that can make them a vit whacky too.

Just make sure the Vet gives you the home number should you have any concerns.

And, again, stay connected and we’ll help you navigate  through this,,okay?  And continue to stay focused on all the wonderful things Luke will be doing pain free!!!   Glad Nancy brought up the video of Founder Jerry showing you how great life can be on three!😎😁

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!

Forum Posts: 23
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24 July 2019 - 7:26 pm
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What an awesome video of Jerry, he looks so happy! That put a big smile on my face today. 

I will definitely be back tomorrow to update after the surgery. 

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25 July 2019 - 4:33 pm
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Just got a call from the clinic, Luke’s surgery went well and he’s awake! I’m soooo relieved. I’m about to go pick him up and go over pain meds/aftercare with them. 

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25 July 2019 - 6:08 pm
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He is home. He is, as expected, really out of it. They gave him some heavy duty injectable pain meds and antibiotics before leaving and a small pharmacy worth of pills to take home. I dunno if I’ll be able to get him take all the pills willingly, I’m thinking probably not. 

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