TRIPAWDS: Home to 14318 Members and 1608 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

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.
JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!

REGISTER   |   LOG IN


Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
When is amputation too drastic?
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 20
Member Since:
2 August 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
2 August 2018 - 12:27 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

We just found out that our pitbull mix, Horace has cancer. It’s a small lump on his ankle and a biopsy has come back with this devastating news. The vet recommended amputation since he can’t remove the lump so close to the joint. It’s some kind of sarcoma (my mind was spinning when he called so I don’t remember exactly, but he has to go back on Monday for his biopsy stitches out so I plan to ask for the details again). The thing is, he doesn’t even know it’s there, he isn’t in any pain (which surprised the vet) so its hard to make the decision for him to take away his whole leg- it doesn’t feel right. Is it too drastic to do that to him? 

Horace is a mommy’s boy, he has been around before both kids were born (he is about 7) and I love him as fiercely as my human children. He is also wonderful with the girls and I can’t begin to imagine how my 4year old will take this (she can’t leave the house or go to bed without giving him hugs and kisses).

Any advice would be really appreciated. 

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3563
Member Since:
18 October 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
2 August 2018 - 1:34 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I think for you to make this decision you need more information. You need to know what kind of cancer you are dealing with, how aggressive it is, and what all your treatment options are.  Is your vet an oncologist? If not and you have access to an oncologist I would highly recommend a consult so you understand what you and Horace are facing.

If Horace is otherwise healthy and your vet thinks he will do well as a Tripawd then amputation could be a good option.  You said ankle- so is it his back leg?

My Pug Maggie lost a back leg to mast cell cancer.  Her tumor was in her knee and not causing her pain.  It was very hard for me to understand and accept that amputation was the solution to a bump on her knee!  In our case the tumor was not removable and would eventually rupture causing a painful wound that would never heal.  Also with the cancer she had the odds that it would spread if we didn’t take the leg were very high.

We know the devastation of a cancer diagnosis. No matter what you choose to do we are here to help you get through this difficult time.

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: 20
Member Since:
2 August 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
2 August 2018 - 1:46 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you. Yes it is a back leg. These questions are very helpful and I will make sure to ask all of them at our appointment on Monday. I think you are right, if I’m better informed I can feel better about a decision. I will keep you posted on what develops! 

Jo



Forum Posts: 6640
Member Since:
21 May 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
2 August 2018 - 2:27 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Jo and Horace 🌸🐾

No doubt hearing our babies have cancer is like a gigantic punch in the stomach and then hearing further they need their leg amputated is totally devastating 😔

We all get it here, we’ve all been where you now are, sweetie, and we all love our dogs as much you do, our adored heart babies  💓

Karen is right, you need more information on the type of cancer you are dealing with before making an informed decision on the path you should follow.

My baby Eurydice had bone cancer and that is the most aggressive of all cancers so when I was delivered the news and realised what she was facing, it broke my heart but I had no hesitation in proceeding with amputation within a couple of days. 

The vast majority of us chose to do surgery but some didn’t, for several reasons, so please be aware there are other options depending on what type of cancer it is. 

If you do have to amputate, please know back legs are easier for our pups than front legs because most of the weight is carried in the front.

Also, your dog is small so he will adapt very quickly.

Please know the fact he is showing no pain doesn’t mean he is not in pain, dogs are in masters at concealing pain and do not want to worry their humans …

I thought Eurydice was not in pain but the vet told me she was, he said look at her eyes when I press the tumour lightly and you will see her blink (which was the case) this is as much as she will show us. 

Please update us on what the vet tells you on Monday and in the meantime do not hesitate to reach out to us, anytime, we are here for you and Horace.

Sending you hugs and cuddles 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25442
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
2 August 2018 - 6:44 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Ditto what Karen and Theresa suggested. The more information you have the better you can feel about whatever treatment path you take. It really comes down to the type of cancer and how advanced it is currently, as well as how quickly it may spread or regrow if the tumor is “debulked.”

How did you know Horace had anything wrong in the first place? Did you have a lump checked out?

It sounds like Horace has everything on his side to be healthy and happy on three legs. You would be so amazed at how well a dog can do when they’re faced with this kind of situation. They are much stronger than we humans, and it is always such an eye-opening, great learning experience for kids too. Should you decide to proceed there are quite a few kids books about three-legged dogs to help prepare them, as well as our videos and photos gallery.

Keep us posted and ask any questions you’d like, we are here to help.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 305
Member Since:
12 May 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
2 August 2018 - 10:22 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I read your post… I’d suggest that an onco specialist is a must.. if funds permit..  ask your vet for a referral..or look on your own..  Also,  when your vet suggests a plan.. I suggest you thank him and tell him/ her youll think on that… then post here to get the opinions of those here that know so much..  all the best…  You are your dogs advocate and sometimes your general vet isn’t correct… 

Forum Posts: 20
Member Since:
2 August 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
3 August 2018 - 5:48 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

jerry said
Ditto what Karen and Theresa suggested. The more information you have the better you can feel about whatever treatment path you take. It really comes down to the type of cancer and how advanced it is currently, as well as how quickly it may spread or regrow if the tumor is “debulked.”

How did you know Horace had anything wrong in the first place? Did you have a lump checked out?

It sounds like Horace has everything on his side to be healthy and happy on three legs. You would be so amazed at how well a dog can do when they’re faced with this kind of situation. They are much stronger than we humans, and it is always such an eye-opening, great learning experience for kids too. Should you decide to proceed there are quite a few kids books about three-legged dogs to help prepare them, as well as our videos and photos gallery.

Keep us posted and ask any questions you’d like, we are here to help.  

Thanks Jerry, yes I noticed a small lump on the outside of his ankle in Feb and took him in. The vet thought it was nothing to worry about, especially since it wasn’t causing him any issues/pain so he told me to just watch it and if it didn’t change or go away in a couple of weeks he was probably just stuck with it. I did, for much longer than 2 weeks, and it didn’t change at all, for long enough that I stopped worrying about checking it. And then last week I was horrified to see there was another lump the same size on the other side of his same ankle- so I took him straight back and that’s when the vet suggested an x-ray and biopsy. And that’s where we are now. Thank you for the book suggestions, that’s a great idea, I’ll check them out.

Forum Posts: 20
Member Since:
2 August 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
6 August 2018 - 6:12 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

We had our appointment today and I think we have decided to go ahead with the amputation, but I really would like to hear all your opinions. I asked for a copy of the report and I have attached it here. He said that he consulted with the oncology specialist and also a local board surgeon who all agree surgery is the only treatment option. He also said that he would do x-rays and ultrasound to check it hadn’t spread before going ahead with the surgery. I’d love your feedback, this is possibly the hardest decision I have ever made.Link to Horace Diagnosis

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25442
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
6 August 2018 - 8:07 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Hey there Jo, I just had a chance to look. 

Sadly, whether it’s osteosarcoma, synovial cell or soft tissue, amputation is usually the recommended treatment depending on the grade. I’m not an expert at reading path reports so I’m just basing this on what other members have gone through. You may be able to try radiation therapy or stereotactic radiation surgery (were these two things mentioned?), but we see many members return after a few months when the treatment stopped working and amputation was the only treatment left.

I am so very, very sad that your vet took a wait and see approach on the original tumor. It’s not uncommon, unfortunately, which is why Dr. Sue Ettinger, a veterinary oncologist you will no doubt come across in your research, has a “See Something Do Something” campaign to get the word out about the importance of aspirating unexpected tumors on pets. Unfortunately many of us learned this lesson the hard way like you. All you can do now is move forward with something that will slow down or eliminate the cancer that has grown.

Amputation is no doubt terrifying to us, but to our animals, all they want is to feel better. Whatever treatment you decide on, we will support your decision. There are no right or wrong choices, just the best one for you and Horace.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 597
Currently Online: ellie050214
49
Guest(s)
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1041
Members: 9689
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 15674
Posts: 219724
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG