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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29 September 2021
My 12 year old lab mix has an adenocarcinoma in between her "digits" on the bottom of her right front foot. After biopsy results we spent a whole day at Texas A&M where more tests were ran and there is miraculously no show of any spreading (rare for this cancer and also rare location) it is inoperable due to location (not really any surrounding tissue to take with it). We have spent a couple weeks in discussion about what to do. We have finally made her amputation appointment. I am so nervous and sad and don't want to regret amputation nor do I want to regret not doing it too. She is in pain walking on it and we've spent months fighting keeping it not infected and also keeping her from constantly licking at it. I worry about her age and the little bit of arthritis in her hips already. She is very spirited especially for her age. I'd love to hear success stories about older dogs and front leg amputation. Both our local vet and the oncology team at Texas A&M both are very confident that she is a great candidate for amputation. I am very nervous about the whole process, recovery mostly. We have 2 other large breed dogs and 2 toddlers. I need to hear stories! I am to the point of wanting it done and over with!
Hi and welcome to you and your pup. What's her name?
You are in GREAT hands at TAMU! We love those folks, and honestly if they believe your girl is a good candidate on 3, that's golden. She will get excellent care and pain management and that is going to make recovery easier than you think.
I know it's hard not to worry though. It's hard to picture her on three, but as you mentioned, she's in pain, and it needs to go. Once it does, and she is recovered, you'll see her sparkle come back. That spirit of hers is going to SHINE!
Here are some stories for you to feel more confident:
The Tripawds Size and Age Matters Forum topic is also a good place to check out.
As for the kids, this article should help:
As for the other dogs, if you can separate them for a few days that would be helpful for a smoother recovery (even just crating your new Tripawd in the living room is fine if your dog is crate trained). Be sure to check out our What to Expect articles and Jerry's Required Reading List if you haven't already. And our e-books library also has lots of resources too.
When is surgery day? Keep us posted!
25 March 2019
My Maggie is a Black Lab/Great Dane? mix and she lost her right front leg almost 4 years ago. It has not slowed her down. She bugs me every morning until I take her for a walk. Except for going on shorter walks now, being a tri paw has NOT slowed her down. We adopted her after the amputation so we did not have to make that decision. But seeing her now, it's a no brainer. This site is full of information along with a loving tripaw community for support. Hope all goes well.