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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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Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor
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Member Since:
6 May 2022
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6 May 2022 - 5:38 pm
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My 11 year old beagle/basset saw an orthopedic surgeon for exam due to a lame front leg. It began with a limp, x-ray showed little arthritis then it progressed to where he cannot use it. Just by examining Arlo, Dr diagnosed him with Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor in his armpit. We're scheduled for x-ray and ultrasound of abdomen and chest to rule out cancer, then MRI followed with amputation. I'm fine with the amputation because my boy is doing  fine now with just the use of 3 legs. My concern is can an older guy handle the trauma of a major surgery?  For an older gentleman, he's in good health. I'd love to hear your opinions. I want the best for Arlo and I want him to stay happy. Thanks ❤️. Kathy, Arlo's Mom

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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6 May 2022 - 6:41 pm
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Hi Arlo's peeps, welcome to the club nobody wants to join. But we are so glad you came over from the Tripawds Chat to post! It was great talking with you. I'll summarize what we discussed and what I shared with you so others can learn too:

  • Senior dogs can do well on three, and since your vet thinks that he's a good candidate, then there's no reason why Arlo shouldn't do well too. He may take longer to recover than younger dogs, but he'll get there!
  • Since he's getting care at an AAHA-accredited clinic (and an award-winning of the year not too long ago!), I'm 110% confident that Arlo will get excellent pain management and care.

Now, here are some results for peripheral nerve sheath tumor situations.

You'll see some senior dog examples in there.

And for browsing, here are some senior Tripawd dog blog features.

OK gotta run for a bit. Stay tuned for feedback from others and let us know how things are going. Smooches to your Arlo from me! sf-kiss


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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6 May 2022 - 9:40 pm
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A Basset Beagke "mix"....can't  wait to see pictures  of the adorable  Arlo.  

Here's a link for adding images .

As Jerry has already  mentioned, there is no reason  why a "senior" dog can't thrive on three as well as handle  the surgery and recovery. As you said, sounds like he's already  adapted  to three.

Weve had dogs fifteen sixteen yrs young do just fine,  And cats even older.

It's always important to remember though, is that with any surgery, major or minor, there is always a risk. But it is a risk that we are all willing to take in order to give our dogs and cats a chance at a pain-free quality life. The most we can do is prepare in the best way possible and that is to rely on veterinarians feedback, test, workups, and assessment as far as whether our Arlo  is a good candidate or not. And it sounds like he is.

Stay connected and let us know any questions you may have as they arise. You're doing a good job getting your research done and asking all the right questions. Will help you navigate through recovery as it is no picnic for the first week or two. Every dog recovers in their own way and at their own pace.


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!

Member Since:
13 May 2022
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14 May 2022 - 8:28 pm
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My 16 year old beagle mix (with elevated liver enzymes and anemia from his fracture) just went through an amputation and he handled it well. 

Unless the surgeon sees any specific reason for concern, I wouldn't stress any differently based on age. 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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15 May 2022 - 3:15 pm
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Thanks for sharing your experience @cloud23! It helps so much for new folks to know that things can be good after amputation, especially for senior dogs.

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