TRIPAWDS: Home to 15020 Members and 1669 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

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.
JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!

REGISTER   |   LOG IN

Be More DogNEW! Be More Dog – Learning to Live in The Now

Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
Newly diagnosed bone tumor, considering amputation.
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
28 January 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
28 January 2020 - 6:15 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Everyone,

My 12 yr old female beagle Doris was diagnosed with a bone tumor on Thursday. The tumor is in her front right shoulder. We had chest xrays done yesterday and they were clear. I do understand that she could have microscopic cancer in her lungs that the xrays can’t pick up. The vet gave us the option of amputation and we were immediately against it. But now that we have had some time to process and have educated ourselves a bit we are considering amputation if she qualifies. She is on deramaxx and gabapentin to manage her pain. She is rarely weight bearing on that leg. We initially thought it was arthritis plus a bulging disc. Started physical therapy and an anti inflammatory and initially she improved. Then when the pain meds ran out she stopped weight bearing, that’s when we brought her back to the vet and did an xray on the shoulder. We have not had a biopsy done, not sure if they’ll need one or not. She also has a heart murmur and degenerative valvular disease. Besides her painful shoulder you would never know she has a heart condition or cancer. She’s just a happy, hungry, stubborn beagle. 

Our initial thoughts were: We can’t put her through an amputation at her age (almost 13). But now seeing her pain and knowing that she could easily break the bone especially as the tumor progresses, amputation doesn’t seem so bad. We just want her to be pain free and happy for the rest of her life. We aren’t planning on treating her cancer as of now. I understand amputation will probably prolong her life a little. Our main objective is taking away her pain so she can have a better quality of life. The thought of her breaking a bone causes us a lot of anxiety, we are nervous to leave her for any amount of time. 

I’m hoping to hear from a few of you that have been through this before. I’m not sure what to expect in the future but I’m hoping to educate myself to the best of my ability. Sorry this is so long, I appreciate you taking the time to read my novel! 

Here and Now


Forum Posts: 12132
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
28 January 2020 - 9:15 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

doris4816 said
I’m not sure what to expect… 

Welcome and best wishes for Doris!

While amputation will not eliminate the cancer, it will get rid of the pain. The growing bone tumor is more painful than the diminishing pain of surgery recovery. If she is otherwise fit and strong, it can help improve quality of life.

Don’t miss the whole series of Tripawds News blog posts all about what to expect.

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. 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.

Forum Posts: 449
Member Since:
26 January 2017
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
3
29 January 2020 - 12:48 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

It’s always difficult to wrap your head around the idea of amputation. At least initially. But as my vet said “don’t look at it like you’re removing your dog’s leg; you’re removing his pain.” And the pain from a pathological fracture is excruciating from everything I’ve read.

Sounds like Doris is a good candidate for amputation. Plenty of older dogs do fine. Rocky was nearly 11 when he had his right front leg amputated due to bone cancer. The first few days into the first few weeks can be tough, but most dogs bounce back quickly. You’ll be amazed at how quickly and completely Doris adapts. Dogs are so resilient.

Best of luck to you and Doris no matter what path you choose.

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18361
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
29 January 2020 - 3:10 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Sorry you’re  here, but glad you found us.  We all understand far too well the vanquish of trying to make a decision  best for our cats and dogs.  It’s exhausting  mentally  and physically.  Keep in mind you are making a decision  out of love, and that is ALWAYS the right decision!!

As David said, you are removing her pain.   AND you are giving  her a chance at extended  quality  time for more loving and spoiling!

YAY that lungs arr  clear and it’s good that the surgeon thinks Doris is a good candidate.  Age is just a number arpund here.  Weve  had many  dogs more “senior” than Doris do very well on three.  Once recovery  is over, you will see her sparkle  come back and we will celebrate  with uou!!

Your Surgeon will be aware of her heart “issues” and will take the necessary  precautions in pre-op work up.  

Recovery  is no picnic for a week or two.  It is major surgery and she won’t  feel like running a marathon at first.  She’ll spend the night at an overnight fully staffed 24/7 clinic and will be well medicated.   She’ll most likely  co e uome woth gabapentin, Tramadol, Rimadyl  and an antibiotic .  She’ll need .ots pf resr.  Ahort leashed potty breaks and back to bed.  No jumping.  If you have hardwood floors, you’ll want non slip scatter rubs for traction .    These are just a couple  of tips.  Let us know what questions  you may have, okay?

We’re  right by your side the whole way!  Stay connected.

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: 1
Member Since:
30 January 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
30 January 2020 - 4:33 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi, I’m in exactly the same situation as you, my 11 year old lab was diagnosed yesterday with bone cancer in her front right leg. 

Although it’s an option, Vets weren’t very encouraging with amputation because she is a bit arthritic and slightly over weight. Having bought her home last night with drugs and thought things through, I’m considering amputation too, only a few weeks ago she was running around , enjoying her walks. 

Early days maybe, but if she can manage on 3 legs , I’m happy to adapt in any way possible after recovery to help her enjoy getting out and about.

She’s in so much pain it’s unbearable really!

Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated!.. I hope your beagle recovers well if you too take this scary journey!

Forum Posts: 553
Member Since:
4 April 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
30 January 2020 - 5:47 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi, Brownie was 12 at time of amputation and will be 13 in 32 days. I was also reserved about amputation and being the front leg. All dogs are different, bit Brownie breezed thru recovery and has been happy on three. I knew Brownie was a fighter, so I thought I should at least give him a chance. I also was scared he would fracture his leg and end up in the ER..

At almost 13 I would suggest joint supplements. Brownie does have other issues as a large senior, but is doing great as a tripawd 

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18361
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
30 January 2020 - 9:30 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hey Tilly and Pup!    When you can, go ahead and start your own thread for your sweet pup (name?).  That way we can better support you.

Quick suggestion though.  Get a second opinion  from an Orthopedic  Surgeon.  As you can tell from Brownie, age is just a number!  And yes, lots of dogs have arthritic  issues and start out overweight, but rarely, rarely are turned down for amputation. Weight comes off pretty quickly with dogs.  Also, you can consult with a Rehabilitation Specialist after recovery and they can show you great ways to improve mobility  and help your dog stay strong and fit.  The Maggie Moo Fu d Tripawds Fpu ration will pay for the first visit.

So do get that second, or even third opinion  if you need to.  Clearly your dog is in pain, even with pain meds.  The amputation removes the pain and gives your dog a chance  at extended  quality  time pain free!

Look forward to following  your journey and cheering for your pup!

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



Forum Posts: 26347
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
30 January 2020 - 11:06 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

ti11y said
Hi, I’m in exactly the same situation as you, my 11 year old lab was diagnosed yesterday with bone cancer in her front right leg. 

She’s in so much pain it’s unbearable really!

Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated!.. I hope your beagle recovers well if you too take this scary journey!

  

Hi @ti11y, welcome. We’re glad you chimed in but please start a new topic in Treatment and Recovery so we can better assist you and your sweet pup. In the meantime please check out our pain management articles for some tips. Thank you so much. 

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: 6
Member Since:
28 January 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
1 February 2020 - 8:00 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you all for your responses! Doris has been doing well as of now. We reached out to the recommended surgeon in our area and have a consult scheduled for Feb 17th. I’m a little disappointed that we have to wait so long but atleast it’s a step in the right direction. We bought a dog stroller so we can start walking again, Doris seems to love it! She gets to get out and see her friends and still gets to walk a little bit every so often. She’s been having some trouble sleeping so I just reached out to our vet to see if there is something we can do to make her more comfortable at night. She fidgets a lot, tosses and turns, as if she’s uncomfortable of in pain. I’m assuming her deramaxx wears off since she gets that with breakfast in the am. Same thing in the morning until it kicks in, fidgeting a lot to try to get comfy. My fiancé and I have really altered our work schedules to be home with her as much as we can. I’m anxious to leave her alone for any amount of time even with her being confined to her crate when we are not at home. We are still going to PT once a week. She really loves it there. She swam 10 laps in the pool yesterday and had some laser therapy on her back and neck. I really appreciate all of your responses, they’re very reassuring! Thank you all so very much! 

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18361
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
1 February 2020 - 9:39 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Doris, you are a well .loved gal sweetheart!!   Your hoomans are clearly devoted  to you❤   You have your own Royal Carriage and Chauffeurs😎

Yes, definitely  have your Vet give her  more  pain meds!  Thie Deramaxx is basically an anti-inflammatory and mot strong enough to deal with bone pain.  Wasn’t  she on Gabapentin at first?  If she’s still on that, then the dose amount may need to be increased or at least the frequency.  If she’s not on it, she needs to be.

Just throwing this out there.  Double check to see if  she should still be doing swimming.  Curious to hear if she shoild be doing that with her shoulder tumor.  Obvioisly  it would  be great after recovery.  Anyway, ru. that by the “professionals” and see what they say.

If you haven’t already done so, you can ask the Surgeon  to put you on call if there is a cancelation.  I know they do have cancellations because  I cancelled the first sirgery appointment for my Happy Hannah because  I was sooooo scared!!   I had. not found this wonderful community at the time!

Keep is posted.  And we woild lpve yo swe pictures!  Here’s  a link to help. adding images .

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



Forum Posts: 26347
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
1 February 2020 - 12:45 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Hey it’s good to hear from you! I’m glad to hear that Doris is holding her own and that you were able to talk to your vet about additional pain medication. What did they give you?

The 17th is a long way off, so I would remind the surgeon’s office that Doris has osteosarcoma. There is always a risk that a dog may fracture the cancerous leg before surgery. It’s not at all uncommon and a terrible situation. If you haven’t asked, see if they can put you on a cancellation list in case something opens up.

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: 6
Member Since:
28 January 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
2 February 2020 - 9:31 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I’ll call the surgeon’s office tomorrow to ask about being put on a cancellation list. She is on gabapentin and deramaxx. I called the vet yesterday and explained the night time situation. They recommended upping her evening dose of gabapentin from 1mL to 1.5mL. Seemed to help last night (slept much better) but we also fed her dinner later than usual. So we’ll see how it goes tonight. So the tumor is in her humerus, just below the shoulder. The vet actually suggested that we keep up with PT to help strengthen her muscles. The physical therapist changed her routine from underwater treadmill to swimming once she was diagnosed. Said it would be less stress on her front leg. I also do daily stretching and massage to help keep her limber. She had a little stumble in the house this morning (she’s fine though) and it made me really nervous. We have all hardwood and linoleum floors. So we’re going to get some rugs today. We’ve been meaning to for a while and seemed to just keep putting it off. Seems like today is the day. I’ll try to upload some photos. I tried to the other day and couldn’t figure it out but I’ll try again with the help of the link shared above. Thanks for all the support!! Hope everyone has a good weekend! 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 26347
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
2 February 2020 - 1:47 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

You are doing GREAT! I’m so glad that the extra gaba is helping, and so will the no-slip floors. Good job! Sounds like she has a terrific vet team in place too. How awesome that she’s already in PT!

Let me know if you have any questions about adding images OK?

Keep us posted.

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: 6
Member Since:
28 January 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
2 February 2020 - 5:02 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

When adding photos, do they need to be on a platform like Photobucket or snapdragon? Or will Facebook be sufficient? 

We just got all our rugs laid down. Big area rug in living room. Two long runners that make an L shape running from living room through kitchen and into the bedroom. Scatter rug also in kitchen leading to our den. And a few little area rugs for in front of her crate, food/water dishes and bed. Hopefully that will help her out quite a big. Thank goodness for ocean state job lot and their very reasonably priced rugs Haha!

Denise Cmar
15
2 February 2020 - 8:15 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Its good to know and gives me peace of mind to know that there are folks who have loving pets that also have had a leg amputation or are considering it. My dog Benny was just diagnosed with bone cancer and we are considering it. We have a appt this Tuesday to see if he is a candidate. He is such a loving dog, he was a rescue. We were blessed to get him at 3 years old. shortly after we had him, he broke his rear leg, playing ball which he loves to do. He has a skin condition where he lost his hair on top of his head. He has been through alot. But as we all know as pet owners, they are so loyal and will do anything , be strong for us humans. So I pray this will all work out. I will post pictures after the surgery. God bless all your loving pets!

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: Rocky's dad, riotfromma, golden123
108
Guest(s)
Currently Browsing this Page:
2 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1072
Members: 10396
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16024
Posts: 224187
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG