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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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Member Since:
26 September 2012
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26 September 2012 - 11:34 am
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I have a 12 year old pitbull that was diagnosed with cancer yesterday =( The vet briefly mentioned amputation. Our dog, Ty, also suffers from arthritis. We really do not want to put hi to sleep would rather him go naturally. Do you think amputation is a good option?

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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26 September 2012 - 1:12 pm
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Hi and welcome to the group.  My pitbull, Trouble, was diagnosed with OSA in November 2008.  Her diagnosing vet did not think she was a good candidate for surgery.  We got a second opinion and were able to give her another 27 1/2 months with amputation and chemo.  She developed arthritis as she aged, and in the end her age & the arthritis took her from us.  She was 12 1/2 when she went to the Bridge.

I think you need to consider how bad the arthritis currently is.  You may need a vet to advise you on whether life on three legs would put too much strain on those already taxed joints.  I know you are probably thinking about the age, but I've had friends with pitbulls that lived to be 14 and older.

There are tons of things to read here and the group is extremely supportive.  Make you decision with the best interest of that wonderful pit at heart and you can't make the wrong decision.

What ever your final decision, live each day one at a time and enjoy each moment you are given.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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26 September 2012 - 1:36 pm
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Sorry you had to find us here. What kind of cancer is it? If it's bone cancer, it is extremely painful and the amp will get rid of the pain. But if your vet feels the arthritis makes Ty not a good candidate, there are supplements you can try - there is a post currently in the forums about the "miracle Dane" Sophie - you might want to read what all supplements/diet she is on. Also, if amp is not possible, you might want to check out a Yahoo Group called "artemisinin_and_cancer" - I don't want to give false hope, but some dogs on there (in particular an older great Dane) have done really well on the artemisinin without amputation.

There is no wrong decision. I know all the info can be overwhelming - but you'll make the best decision for Ty because you make the decision out of your love for him.

Keep us posted,

Jackie, Angel Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

krun15
4
26 September 2012 - 1:49 pm
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Welcome to Tripawds.  I'm sorry you are dealing with cancer in your pup- is it osteosarcoma?

I agree with hugapitbull, the arthritis has to be considered.  Is Ty otherwise healthy? We have members who have amputated when their pup has arthritis and they do OK as tripawds.

I was fortunate that arthritis was never an issue with tri-pug Maggie, before or after amputation.  Maggie's little sis quad pug Tani is still with me, she is now 12.  Tani has terrible arthritis in her back and all four legs. Her arthritis made itself known when she was about 6.  Up until a year ago it was pretty easily managed and I could imagine her doing OK as a tripawd.  Now she would not be able to function as a tripawd.

No matter what you decide to do we are here to offer information and support.  Keep Ty's best interest in your heart and you will make the right decision for him.

 

Karen and the pugapalooza

Member Since:
26 September 2012
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26 September 2012 - 4:08 pm
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Thank you for all of your answers.

Ty does have bone cancer and besides the arthritis he is a healthy dog. The vet recommended to treat the arthritis aggressively for a few days and then decide if he would be a good candidate for amputation.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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26 September 2012 - 7:44 pm
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Sounds like a plan! Don't miss this video with Trouble and her pack:

Cancer Doesn’t Trouble Miss Trouble

Thanks for joining, your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
26 September 2012
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27 September 2012 - 8:16 am
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We are interested in getting a second opinion. Any suggestions on vets in the massachusetts area?

Portage Lake, Maine
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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27 September 2012 - 8:56 am
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You could ask Butchey's Mom, Nancy.  She's from MA - Boston area I believe...his blog name is Butchey Hudson I believe..

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

Member Since:
26 September 2012
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27 September 2012 - 9:02 am
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Thank you!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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27 September 2012 - 11:22 am
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Hi there, I'm so sorry I'm late in catching up on your situation. While amputation isn't right for every dog, Tripawds has  had numerous senior dogs over the age of 10 live long, healthy happy lives afterward (our "Size and Age Matters" discussion topic is full of them). You are smart for getting a second opinion, especially because of his arthritis issues. Be sure to check our Veterinary Referrals discussion topic for vets near you, or post your request there to help locate one. 

I know you have a lot to deal with right now, and we hope we can be there to help you make a good decision for you and your pack. 

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Boston, MA
Member Since:
31 May 2012
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27 September 2012 - 1:41 pm
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Where in MA are you?  I'm in the Boston area.  Lupe's surgery was done at Mass Referral in Woburn by Dr. Zitz.  She was AMAZING and had personal experience with tripawds (2 of her St. Bernard's were tripawds...I think one due to OSA).  I've heard the people at NEVOG are great and my boss took her dog to Angell Memorial (she had lymphoma) for her chemo treatments.

Good luck with Ty and please keep us posted on his progress!

-Kori & Angel Lupe

Diagnosed with possible synovial cell sarcoma of right front elbow 5/31/12. Amputation surgery performed 6/7/12. Final diagnosis of histiocytic cell sarcoma 6/11/12. Her soul and spirit were strong, her body was not...my little girl earned her wings 6/14/12. "If there are labradoodles and goldendoodles, why can't I be a cockadoodle?"-Angel Lupe (June 28, 1997-June14, 2012) http://lupepod......pawds.com/

Columbia, MO
Member Since:
10 December 2011
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27 September 2012 - 6:26 pm
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My Daisy lost her front left leg not to cancer but arthritis.  I was concerned how she would handle losing a leg when she has hip dysplasia with arthritis in both hips and some arthritis in her spine.  My vet felt Daisy would be able to handle it so we went ahead. Daisy is now 9 months post-amp and she still has good mobility.  Mind you she doesn't run around like other tripawds I know but she wasn't too agile before her amp.

Daisy is a 7 year old, 80 lb. lab/wolfhound mix.  I give her Meloxicam daily for pain and inflammation and I also give her a glucosamine/chrondrotin supplement.

Wishing you the best in your decision.

Marla and Daisy

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

Member Since:
26 September 2012
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27 September 2012 - 7:44 pm
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Thank you all very much. Tonight was a bad night =( It was very hard seeing him in so much pain. However, it was good to see that the pain did not take away his love for peanut butter <3He goes for his second opinion tomorrow morning. Praying we get good news because we do not want him to have another night like tonight =(

I will update on the vet appt as soon as i can tomorrow.

 

Thank you again for all your you support we truly appreciate it.

 

Please keep him in your prayers.

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26 September 2012
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28 September 2012 - 2:01 pm
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UPDATE on Ty

 

We took him to the new vet for a second opinion he prescribed Ty pain medications and gave him a shot. He should be much better by tomorrow. Depending on how tomorrow goes we will be taking him back to discuss treatment options and possibly amputation.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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28 September 2012 - 6:36 pm
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I hope the pain meds help him. What kind did they give him? 

Glad you went in for another opinion, let us know about whether or not they think he's a candidate. I hope tonight is restful for you both.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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