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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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Osteosarcoma Consultation Monday for my Grey
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Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
25 September 2021
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25 September 2021 - 7:13 pm
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   My Greyhound Piper is a 9 year old retired racer and has been my daughter and love of my life since we met (I like to say she rescued me 6 years ago not the other way around).  Over the past week and a half she had started limping a little here and there but I had seen her playing rather aggressively with our 1 year old puppy in the backyard so I assumed she had aggravated something.  On Wednesday when going for a walk she jumped down the bottom two steps like she normal does and let out an awful scream and started limping on her left front leg.  I immediately took her to the vet who moved her arm in all different rotations but only when he extended it forward did she yelp again, he gave me pain meds and wanted me to keep observing her (not my normal vet). 

    Come Friday she was getting worse and had already stopped using the leg.  When I took her back in and saw my regular vet she immediately ordered X-rays and that's when she gave me the news. I can't remember much more of the conversation as it still seems like a dream even though it was literally yesterday.  The conversation ended with me being told to take her home and make her comfortable for as long as I could.  Thankfully I found this amazing website and have been learning so much about osteosarcoma not meaning the end today.  I called my vet back this morning and we had a really long in depth conversation.  We are meeting Monday at 11:45EST to do her blood panels and an Xrays of her lungs.

 I was hoping to ask what are some additional questions I should go in prepared to ask.  So far from reading on the site I've seen a few but any recommendations would be greatly appreciated...

  • Will there be 24 hour observation post surgery 
  • Do you keep Amicar available for greyhound blood clotting issues
  • Is the anesthesiologist familiar with differences for greyhounds
Livermore, CA

Forum Posts: 4040
Member Since:
18 October 2009
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25 September 2021 - 9:08 pm
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Hello and welcome to you and Piper, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I'm sorry you got the dreaded diagnosis but so happy you found us and were inspired to discuss amputation with your vet!

One question first- it sounds like Piper may have fractured her leg?  Did the vet give you adequate pain management to keep her comfortable?

As far as questions to ask your vet here are a couple links:

Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Amputation Surgery for Dogs and Cats (Part 1)

Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Amputation Surgery for Dogs and Cats (Part 2)

It's great that you are getting questions lined up before your appointment, this is all so overwhelming.  Be sure and take a notebook with you so you can take notes during the conversation. 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Forum Posts: 2
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25 September 2021
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26 September 2021 - 7:15 am
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Thanks so much for these links Karen! They have her on carprofen, gabapentin and tramadol. Overall she seems ok it’s just a lot of shrieking (the greyhound scream of death) when she’s trying to lay down or get up.  Other than that she walks around on her other three legs and keeps the front left hanging.  I think she’s afraid of the pain with sitting down so sometimes she stands for 30 minutes to an hour having me pet her.  
  She still has a monster appetite and keeps trying to eat her little brothers food when he walks away.  We have stairs on our back deck so I carry her down but as soon as put her down she seems happy to go walk around in the fresh air and relieve herself. Yesterday she even guilted me for a small leash walk and I saw her put some light weight on the foot as she was so happy to be sniffing. 
   I say all this because these are the queues I’m taking in my mind to say she’s a fighter and is telling me she’s ready for this next stage of our journey together.  But it comes in waives of me thinking I’m being selfish and that it’s really only for me not her when she screams or cry’s. It’s been an emotional 3 days. 

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 30837
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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26 September 2021 - 11:37 am
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It was really nice chatting with you yesterday. Yes, she IS a fighter! No you are not being selfish, you are doing what you need to do to get rid of that bad pain and give her a shot at a great quality of life.

Here's a Tripawds Quality of LIfe Survey article you may find interesting:

As I mentioned when we talked, be sure to ask your vet about a stronger pain management prescription while you wait on a surgery date. And use a lot of care in those walks, you don't want that leg to fracture (I'm guessing you already know this!).

Keep us posted. I'll be in the Tripawds Chat tomorrow afternoon if you want to talk.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 21287
Member Since:
22 February 2013
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27 September 2021 - 3:49 pm
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Just want to add a "hello" and support for you and your sweet Greyt Grey♥️. Clearly  Piper found a loving and caring furever home.  Your commitment  to jer well being is called LOVE!!  Giiving her a chance at a  quality  extended  pain free life is not "selfish", it's pure love♥️

Keep is posted when you get a chance and, as you can already see, Piper has developed  a Fan Club here cheering her on👏👏


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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