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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 member with Labrador that has soft tissue sarcoma facing front leg amputation.
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Member Since:
9 November 2022
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9 November 2022 - 4:24 pm
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Hi everyone,

My Labrador, Bo, was just diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in his front left shoulder.  My vet has told me that the best option at this point is to amputate his leg.  Has anyone else had this diagnosis?  I’m looking for help getting information on recovery and life after amputation. I want my boy to have the best chance at a long, healthy post operative life.  It’s a little overwhelming right now.  Any advice and info offered would greatly appreciated!

Regards,

AJ

Here and Now


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9 November 2022 - 7:26 pm
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AJ said
soft tissue sarcoma…Has anyone else had this diagnosis?  I’m looking for help…

Welcome AJ, best wishes for Bo!

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…

Search results for ‘soft tissue sarcoma’ (551)

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.

Virginia




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9 November 2022 - 8:35 pm
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We know it’s a ahock to hear the diagnosis. We understand  the fear, the uncertainty, the worries, the feeling of not knowing  what to do etc.  You have definately come to the right place for information  and support.  We understand the curve ball that was just thrown your way.

Osteosarcoma is very painful and one of the main benefits  of amputation  is it gives the pets pain free extended  quality time so they can get back to living life to the fullest

Has Bo been evaluated by an Orthopedic Surgeon?  They are the best source  to trassure you Bo is a good candidate  for the surgery/ amputation.

Just to give you a bit of insight as far as what to expect for recovery, it’s not a picnic for the first week or two, plus or minus.   It is MAJOR  surgery so  most dogs spend at least one night in a staffed 24/7 clinic.  They are nicely doped up on good meds so they don’t  mind the overnight stay at all.  

How much does Bo weigh?  Generally a dog of Bo’s age (and assuming  he’s not overweight) will be mobile  to some degree within a day or so after getting home.  He may need some sling support at first.

If you have hardwood floors you’ll want nonslip scatter rugs for traction

He needs to avoid steps, jumping, running,  etc for the recovery  period.  Usually  they don’t feel like running  a marathon anyway at first.  He only needs short leashed potty breaks and then back to bed for rest the first two weeks. 

Usually dogs come yome with Gabapentin,  an antiinflmmatory  like Rimadyl and an antibiotic.   Some dogs have a Fentynal  patch on for a few days, some don’t.   Often pain meds need tweaking  a vitro see what works best.  Every dog is differen, every recovery is different.

Drinking water is important.   Peeing is important.  He may not have much of an appetite though for a few days due to meds,etc.  And he may not poop for a few days either. 

Maintaining a strong and confident energy is  important to help Bo know everything is okay.  

You will be amazed at how resilient  dogs are and how quickly  they adapt to three.

Anyway, just want to throw oit as few things to help you navigate  recovery.   Let is know as questions  arise and how we can best support  you and Bo.  We are eight uour side and we look forward to celebrating Bo’s milestones  as he goes throigh recovery  and onto being a pain free Happy  Bo!!

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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1 December 2022 - 7:45 am
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Thank you Sally!  Bo had his left front leg amputated on Tuesday and came home last night.  I did get scatter rugs but he doesn’t want to walk on them just lay down on them.  I was able to walk him twice this morning to pee and he also pooped on the second walk.  The adjustment to his new gait is going slow.  A little better than last night. Which broke my heart.  I know this is the best decision to give him a chance and hopefully he improves each day.  Do you know if the stitches sort of bubble and look a little red in some areas?  I think that is one of my major concerns, keeping his incision from getting infected. 

Alice

The Rainbow Bridge


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1 December 2022 - 9:44 am
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Hi Alice and Bo, nice to meet you. I’m so glad he’s home. Can you get a picture of the incision? If you want to share it here, you can upload it to your Tripawds blog, or a photo sharing site like Imgur.com. Then come back here and paste the image into your forum post. We aren’t vets but i’m not sure what you mean by “bubble.” 

Just a quick tip so that Bo doesn’t overdo it: try to take it realllllly easy together during recovery. It will be a while–at least a week before you see Bo moving around better and less wonky. What pain control is he on? Pain meds will also make him tired. It’s a great sign that he’s already gone potty. His appetite may be reduced right now too. 

So keep those walks leashed and just to potty. He shouldn’t be doing much other than couch surfing and snuggling with you. Try some interactive brain games to keep his mind busy. 

Virginia




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1 December 2022 - 12:17 pm
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Welcome home Bo!  And YAY for poop and pee!!

Yeah, slow and easy.  Bo just had MAJOR surgery and is on pain meds.  The fact that hes’s mobile enough already to go potty is quite remarkable.   It generally takes about two weeks-ish to recover  from the surgery itself and about a month to get the gait fluid and balanced.

Try and get some rest!!!

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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1 December 2022 - 1:34 pm
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jerry said
Hi Alice and Bo, nice to meet you. I’m so glad he’s home. Can you get a picture of the incision? If you want to share it here, you can upload it to your Tripawds blog, or a photo sharing site like Imgur.com. Then come back here and paste the image into your forum post. We aren’t vets but i’m not sure what you mean by “bubble.” 

Just a quick tip so that Bo doesn’t overdo it: try to take it realllllly easy together during recovery. It will be a while–at least a week before you see Bo moving around better and less wonky. What pain control is he on? Pain meds will also make him tired. It’s a great sign that he’s already gone potty. His appetite may be reduced right now too. 

So keep those walks leashed and just to potty. He shouldn’t be doing much other than couch surfing and snuggling with you. Try some interactive brain games to keep his mind busy. 

  

Hi Jerry,

Bo is on carprofen 75mg twice a day and he takes gabapentin three 300 mg capsules twice per day.  I’m trying to figure out how to post a picture but haven’t had any success yet.  

Bo I has been sleeping most of the day other than going out to pee one more time.  I’ll check out the brain games!

Thank you!

Alice

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1 December 2022 - 1:35 pm
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Thanks Sally!  I’m glad he’s home and doing slightly better today.

Alice

The Rainbow Bridge


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1 December 2022 - 9:57 pm
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Hi Alice! How did today go? Did you get to talk to Gayle? Any luck finding a rehab place?

I’m hoping things went well with Bo. We are cheering him on! Is he doing any better on the flooring you put down? Sounds like a guy who’s set in his ways but you’ll find workarounds as recovery continues.

How are YOU doing? Feeling better about your decision? 

For adding images , you need to upload them somewhere first.

  • So you can start a Tripawds blog and upload them there, or open an Imgur.com account for the pics.
  • Once uploaded, copy/paste the image URL (right click to get it), or if you’re on your phone just tap the photo to copy it.
  • Then come back here and paste it.

If that’s feeling overwhelming right now that’s OK, we get it. Just message me the photos and I’ll share them here. Can’t wait to see him!

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2 December 2022 - 7:23 pm
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Hi,

Bo did a little better today.  I removed the e collar and put a t shirt on him which seemed to help.  He was standing and walking more but he still doesn’t want to eat. He is set in his ways and can be a little stubborn.  I picked up an anti nausea medication from the vet so I’m hoping that will help.  This evening he was licking the t shirt so I took it off and put the e collar back on.  There was a little staining on the inside of the T shirt but I don’t see any leakage around the stitches.  There are so many variables and it can be a little overwhelming.  I am feeling better about my decision, at least he has a chance.  After losing my Bailey to cancer that was inoperable, I want to give Bo the best possible chance.

I spoke with Gayle and she is great.  I can’t thank you all enough for your support!  I spoke with a rehab center about 45 mins away and like their approach of combining Eastern and Western philosophies.  They have worked with a lot of Tripawds and have done prosthesis and wheelchairs for some of them when rehab didn’t work.  There are a few closer but I didn’t get a good feel after being messaged by them.  They weren’t familiar with harness specific to tripawds and had no idea what I was talking about.  

I think I am most worried about his stitches at this point.  Not knowing what they should look like is scary.  He has a lot of bruising on his abdomen.  

One funny thing from yesterday was he wanted to get up on the couch so I boosted him up there and I laid on his orthopedic dog bed next to him. He was perfectly happy with this arrangement ☺️

The Rainbow Bridge


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3 December 2022 - 12:30 pm
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Alice he really sounds like he’s making good progress! I would expect his appetite to be dull right now. Have you tried giving him ‘real’ food like boiled chicken or scrambled eggs, just to entice him into a meal?

YAY for Gayle! So happy you connected. And the rehab center sounds perfect. Yes, go with your gut instinct! What’s the name of the clinic?

Bruising is normal and it usually looks worse before it gets better. As always holler to your vet if you are super concerned about it, or the stitches. Have you seen our incision pics in the photo gallery? Scroll down to the “treatment” section.

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3 December 2022 - 12:46 pm
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Hi,

Bo seems a little more tentative this morning.  Is it normal for amputees to have good and bad days?  He is moving slower today and tends to stick close to walls or the furniture.  He ate a cup of food this morning mixed with some rotisserie chicken.  I’m going to try scrambled eggs this afternoon.  I put him back on the carprofen and he is still taking the anti nausea meds.  It’s hard to judge his pain level.  I did send some photos to your email and I have sent photos of his stitches to my vet as well.  They said it all looks normal.  This definitely seems like a one day at a time journey.  

I don’t want him to hurt himself trying to walk too much.  Since this is all new, is it possible they just get extra tired and will slow down some days?

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3 December 2022 - 12:51 pm
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BTW, the name of the rehab center is Healing Paws in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  I did browse through some of the photos in the gallery.  There are a lot of differences in the way each dog’s incision looks. It’s good to see what others have experienced.

The Rainbow Bridge


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3 December 2022 - 2:18 pm
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Yes it’s totally normal for them to have up and down days. Oftentimes a down day is preceded by a day in which a Tripawd tried to do too much too soon. What was his activity level like yesterday? Allowing him to rest and staying ahead of the pain will probably do the trick to get him to a more comfortable road ahead. 

That looks like a GREAT rehab center! Yes book that appointment now, they’re awesome. The therapists have wonderful backgrounds and as vets too, it’s the gold standard for canine rehab care.

Got the pics!

Snooze time for Bo sf-kiss

1_Bo1.jpgImage Enlarger

Oh my gosh those eyes! What a gorgeous boy.

Bo3.jpgImage Enlarger

His incision looks very normal to me in my non-vet opinion:

Bo2.jpgImage Enlarger

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3 December 2022 - 3:08 pm
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Thank you for your feedback! I think he was more active yesterday.  He did walk round the house more than today. He did finally eat almost two cups of food today.  His usual amount is five cups.  I’m glad you think the rehab center looks good.  It’s further away but they definitely seemed more knowledgeable and have a better facility.

I’m glad the pics came through!  He definitely has gorgeous eyes. He’s a goofy, silly boy!  He has my heart ❤️ 

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