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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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Postponing Osteosarcoma Amputation worries
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Member Since:
7 October 2015
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8 October 2015 - 10:42 pm
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 Hi everyone, 

Thanks for taking the time to view my post. So, my sweet baby Matilda is my rescue rottweiler who came to me when she was approximately 6 mos old. She is now about 9 years 9 mos. We confirmed my suspicion that a limp she developed on her right forelimb is due to osteosarcoma, a little less than two weeks ago. I was heartbroken naturally, and very unsure what treatment I would pursue. Not only because I want to make sure I do the best thing for her, but unfortunately I also have to take in to account finances because I don't have the money for surgery/chemo and I'm on a limited income :/ In these two weeks since diagnosis, she has been receiving supplements: IP-6/Inositol, Quercetin, Pomegranate, Curcumin , Artemisinin , Selenium, Melatonin, Essiac along with tramadol and rimadyl. I think I have also decided to proceed with the amputation. I got a line of credit through Care Credit, being concerned about an unforeseen emergency, i.e. pathological fracture. My big worry is that she actually just began limping 5 weeks ago and she will probably have to wait another 3 weeks for surgery. I will be out of town in two weeks for four days, unfortunately I have to go, it's my sister's wedding. So I just figured she would go in after that. BTW, her chest and the rest of her was x-rayed and no other lesions and no metastasis was seen. I'm worried about waiting but I don't want to leave her post op. Oh also, her pain seems well managed at the moment but I'm concerned that waiting 3 more weeks will cause her undue pain and ultimately drastically change her prognosis post op. Any thoughts or experiences with this? I appreciate any input here. 


Green Bay, WI

Member Since:
18 May 2014
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9 October 2015 - 9:15 am
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Hi, our case last Spring, I first noticed my Dobe limping in early April. Diagnosis took quite awhile for us so he didn't have surgery until the middle of June. I can't speak for your circumstances of course, as each case, each dog, is different. Does your vet have any opinion about this? 

All of us here know how stressful this can be, we're here for you! The Tripawd community rocks, keep us updated.

paula and nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

"Be good, mama loves you" free my beautiful Warrior

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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9 October 2015 - 9:19 am
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Matilda and family, welcome. Your future posts won't need approval.

I'm sorry you're dealing with the diagnosis, but we're here to help however we can.

Many folks had to wait to amputate for various reasons. There are risks to doing so as your vet probably explained, mostly in the area of a possible fracture if the bone is too deteriorated. Did your vet give you any idea about the kind of condition it's in? Use care in her activity levels in the meantime, a fracture is a bad situation. Pain is also another issue, dogs are very good at hiding it. She may wake up one day with an enlarged tumor or really bad pain, so just in case I would have a backup plan in case it happens just before the wedding.

Try not to feel bad if you can't do chemo, it's not mandatory and many dogs beat the odds without it, including our Jerry, who beat osteo for two years with just amputation alone. Chemo does give your dog a better chance at keeping cancer away but it's no guarantee. Quality of life is the #1 priority when it comes to cancer, sounds like you're doing a great job at it.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Schofield, WI
Member Since:
13 August 2015
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9 October 2015 - 9:42 am
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Welcome.  Sorry you have to be here.  I don't have much insight but I do know there were quite a few here that ended up waiting for amputation pending their biopsy results.  You are right you don't want to leave her post op for a while unless you have someone you trust to stay with her.  Fingers crossed for you to figure it all out.  As Paula said we know how stressful this can all be and we're all here with you.  Is there anyway you could get the surgery done earlier and have someone you trust stay with her while you are gone?  If you could get the surgery done early next week she would be close to 2 weeks post op by the time you have to leave and if you have someone you trust come and stay while you are gone with her maybe that could work?  Just throwing things out there for you to consider.  Don't know if that is an option for you or not.  Good luck and keep us posted we'll be thinking about you and Matilda.


Linda, Bob & Max


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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9 October 2015 - 12:12 pm
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We u derstand all too well the challenges this journey puts before us. You are not alo e, okay!

Sorry for a short note, having computer issues. You've gotten great advice anyway and I don't have much to add.

My Happy Hannah was treated off and on for a several months as the limp appeared to be a strain or a touch of arthritis, because it would get better...and then it didn't. Even when she was diagnosed it took me awhile to wrap my head around things and get some knowledge. I eventually proceeded with amputation and we had the most spectacular bonus time of a year and two months of extra loving and spoiling!

Sending love and hugs.

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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:
7 October 2015
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9 October 2015 - 10:04 pm
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Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to reply. There is definitely some comfort in knowing that it is not uncommon to go to surgery later. Linda, Bob and Max: Thanks for your kindness and suggestions. I wish I had a reliable friend available to watch my girl but I just moved to the area a few months ago so unfortunately, that's not an option. Honestly, I really was unsure what route we were going to take for Matilda and I just decided in the last few days that I want to go ahead with amputation. I'm going to speak to the vet tomorrow more thoroughly since I just decided to go ahead I have lots of questions for him. I leave in 11 days and I just get worried that within that time or during the 4 days I'm away her pain will be much worse (she uses the leg currently, does everything unhindered, must be stopped when she jumps around- and I wince every time!!) or that in the end I waited too long for surgery and realize what an idiot I was for not having it done right after diagnosis. Well, I hope I can be at ease with this worry soon because I really don't want to project that energy around her. Thanks for the input and definitely big thanks for this community!

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