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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Hello there, I was just told that I have to amputate my dogs hind leg.. the thing is I have no idea what this tumor can be. She’s gone through 2 surgeries, one of which they were able to remove 80% of it, but unfortunately it grew back very quickly. I’ve been told its a muscle tumor and if I do decide to go through with the amputation there is a chance it can grow back in a different spot. I have also been told it’s cancer, but no tests have been done. I want to be 100% sure of what this tumor is before I decide to amputate her leg. I love my dog, but I would not want to put her through another surgery after amputation because it grew back, it hurts me seeing her after surgery. As of now she does not complain about her tumor..she does limp but she is still a very active dog and it seems like it does not bug her. Im just afraid, scared, and I don’t know what to do. Obviously her health is my number one priority, but so far she’s been to 3 different vets and none can tell me what kind of tumor it is.
Hi and welcome. We are sorry you found yourself here but hope to make your decision easier no matter which path you take. And we will support you no matter what, even if you don’t amputate. First though, tell us more about your dog: what breed type? age? size? And of course her name 🙂 She is so lucky to have a parent who cares so much for her well-being.
We totally understand your confusion and worries, many of us have been there too. This is not an easy decision, especially if the cancer may return (that it often the case for many people’s Tripawds). In many cases, amputation won’t get rid of the cancer but what it does is buy quality time with a dog or cat, time that is pain free because the cancer is gone.
Although your dog might not seem like she is in pain, the chances are very good that she is. Dogs are just so good at hiding pain signals . They will do anything not to show their weakness and that occasional limp is a sign the pain is breaking through at different times. Plus, try to put yourself in her paws: how would you feel if you had a tumor wrapping around your leg muscles? You would probably not take it as stoically. I don’t know any human who would.
It’s good you have gotten multiple opinions. Are any of them vet oncologists? If not, that should be your next move. Sometimes a diagnosis just isn’t possible until the leg is removed. And while it seems insane to remove a leg without knowing what the cancer is, if your dog’s leg is already beyond saving with the tumor attached to it, then there is no reason to keep it any longer than necessary.
If you decide to amputate, there is no guarantee the cancer will — or won’t — return. But really, do we ever have any control over events in our lives anyways? You just don’t know what cancer will do, sometimes a dog will beat the odds, sometimes they will not. Cancer is a reminder that life is so precious and we should live every day to the fullest, with or without it.
I hope this helps a little. Stay tuned for feedback from others and tell us more about your dog so we can help you better.
Hi and thanks Jerry! My dogs name is Luna she is 5 years old and she is a mix of a Husky and a German Shepherd. She is so beautiful and a very kind, loyal, and loving dog. She has not seen an oncologists.. I was told that once her leg is removed her entire leg would be sent for a biopsy and then from there we will see what our next steps are. Her amputation appointment is tomorrow and I’m just really afraid that it’ll eventually come back although I try to think otherwise.
Aww what a pretty name. She is so young! But that is good, between her breed and her age she has everything it takes to bounce back from surgery.
So you have the appointment set for tomorrow? OK, now is the time to be strong and pawsitive. She will look to you for guidance and the more you reflect optimism and believe that she can come through recovery without a problem, the more she will show you that she can!
I will be in the Tripawds Chat tomorrow if you want to pass the time waiting for news about her surgery!
22 February 2013
Can’t wait to see pictures of your beautiful Luna. Here’s a link for adding images
We know this whole ordeal is soooo ja4d ,to wrap upir head around. We understand the fear, the uncertainty, the physical and emotional exhaustion. We also understand the depth of love and devotion you have for your Luna♥️
Jerry has given you great insight, As she said, it sounds like the painful leg really does need to go, regardless. Jist keep things chunked down right now and get through the suorgery and then the recovery. When you get the pathology report back, then you can forge a plan ahead at that time.
Every dog is different. Every recovery is different. One thing that’s certain though is that we are here for you every step of the way. We will help you navigate through recovery and then we will celebrate with you as Luna gets on with living life to the fullest with no pain!
Luna doesn’t jave a timeframe stamped anywhere on her butt. She doe count days on a calendar. She just lives in the now and makes every moment the best moment t ever. Be ore Dog! Live in the NOW. These mare the lessons she’ll teach you….and many more!
Will she be spending the night at a staffed clinic? Make sure she comes home with proper pain management . If you have hardwoods you’ll need non-slip scatter rugs for traction . For the first two weeks, no jumping or running, no stairs…..just short leashed potty breaks and back in for rest, rest, rest.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! STAY CONNECTED!
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!