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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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Minneapolis, MN
Member Since:
23 May 2010
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29 May 2010 - 1:52 pm
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I adopted Daisy on Sept. 11, 2008, when she was 10 yrs. 4 mos., and the bond was immediate! What a playful, sweet girl. Last December 3, she was diagnosed with bone cancer in her left forearm wrist. In looking back, I can see signs of it as early as last summer, when she would come up limping after retrieving her ball for the 20th time.laughing  Not knowing then that bone cancer is common in labs, I assumed it was age-related arthritis. Anyway, I felt cheated out of having had so little time with her and asked God to please guide me to help Daisy stay here longer than is typically expected.

I started reading everything I could find online and found Dr. Demian Dressler's e-book, which I promptly purchased, and started following his recommendations for supplements and diet. (I cook for Daisy about every 8 days; it's lots of work but worth every minute of my time, as I think her good nutrition and all the love I put into her food contributed to her staying relatively healthy.) I am also fortunate in that my vet uses a type of kinesiology to determine if a pet has parasites, yeast, toxic metals and minerals, etc.,  and what supplements the animal's body needs at that time. Therefore, Daisy was quite healthy and her immune system strong.

I knew right away I wasn't going to do chemo. I vacillated about amputating and initially chose not to because of my vet's experience with other cancer patients and the cancer going to the lungs. As the tumor grew, we added pain meds to Daisy's diet. She still ran around and retrieved the ball 5 months after diagnosis, which was amazing. As I've read elsewhere, this situation helped me stay present, as every day I thanked Daisy and God for one more day with my best girl.

In May the tumor started growing more rapidly–nearly baseball-size–and it got to the point where she couldn't put any pressure on it and was in pain even with pain meds; this is when she had her first experience hopping on three legs. To make matters worse, we live in a split level, and Daisy is used to following me everywhere (upstairs, downstairs, etc.) I knew she couldn't go on like this, but she still had so much spirit and will to live. After having her lungs x-rayed and finding them clear (amazing!), I had her left foreleg amputated the next day (May 19). There were people praying for her hourly that day, and other people were sending her healing energy. My vet was quite surprised to find her standing up 24 hrs. after surgery. After he carried her out to do her "business" and back in, he set her down and she took off running for the other door–she was ready to go home.

So we are now 10 days post op., and she is doing great. Her energy is coming back, and she's more and more like her old self. On day 5, she went down a flight of 6 steps by herself–scared me to death oh-my but she was so proud!–and since she follows me everywhere, I realized I had to either keep the baby gate in place or take her with me. On day 7 she went UP a flight by herself! Most of the time, though, she waits for me to put a towel under her middle to assist her. (I have her harness but won't use it until the stitches come out.)

She is a very courageous girl, and I am so grateful that I get to enjoy her for however long. smiley

Lexi, Daisy's momma

Daisy, 12 years young, had left forelimb amp on 5/19/2010 due to osteosarcoma. She left her body behind and joined the other spirit tripawds on 7/16/2010.
So grateful for each day with her!
Lexi (Daisy's momma)

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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29 May 2010 - 2:47 pm
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Wow, Daisey!  What a mom you have.  It is obvious she cares very much for you.  You are a lucky girl.

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.

Member Since:
10 March 2010
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29 May 2010 - 9:28 pm
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I am in awe.  What a wonderful wonderful story...thank you so much....may God grant you many many more loving months and years with your girl....

Wesley Chapel, FL
Member Since:
13 September 2009
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29 May 2010 - 10:10 pm
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Hi Lexi,

What a sweetheart you have in Daisy. smile 

I'm so sorry to hear about her diagnosis (My Jake also had bone cancer) but I'm glad the amputation went well and Daisy is feeling good.

Keep us posted on her progress... and maybe put up some pictures of your adorable girl!!

Angel Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… ….. CANCER SUCKS!

knoxville, tn
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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30 May 2010 - 9:30 am
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lexi, what a powerful story!!  isn't it amazing the bonds we have with our 'sisters/brothers'.  glad to hear daisy is doing so well after her surgery, you two are so lucky to have found each other!!  welcome to the tripawds community!

gayle & charon

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends


Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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30 May 2010 - 12:11 pm
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Wow!  I'm amazed at the both of you!  You guys didn't even need any one's advice during the post amputation period.  It's sounds like you guys have done very well.

I'm sorry about Daisy's diagnoses but oh my gosh, how wonderful of you adopting her as a senior.  It's sounds like fate intervened so that she  would be in precious hands for her next journey!

Have you thought about doing a blog on Daisy?  It can really help heal  mentally and physically (although Daisy has the physical thing down!)


Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Comet's mom

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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30 May 2010 - 9:38 pm
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Lexi, wow, what a story. It takes a very special person to adopt a senior pup, what a sweet thing to do by bringing an older dog into your family.

Daisy was obviously put in your life for a reason, what an incredible, unbreakable spirit she has. With your heart and her spirit, the world is a much more beautiful place. Congratulations on making it so far, we send our love for an easy recovery and lots of wonderful memories ahead.

Where is your vet? We'd love to hear more about the therapies and protocol Daisy is on. I didn't have IV chemo either and my pawrents also believe that my diet, and staying present had a lot to do with my outliving the prognosis I got by about two years.

Thank you so much for joining us here and for generously helping out the Tripawds community, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Minneapolis, MN
Member Since:
23 May 2010
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30 May 2010 - 10:01 pm
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Thanks for all your "welcomes".

Comet's Mom - I don't know if I could find my way around a blog, even with the tutorials. I had trouble enough figuring out the forum thus far. lol

I am from Minnesota, and my vet is Dr. Fred Pomeroy of Pomeroy's Animal Hospital in St. Paul. Since surgery, Daisy hasn't been on any meds except for pain for about 4 days and an antibiotic. She will have her stitches out next Friday, and Dr. Pomeroy will use his kinesiology then to see what else she might need. Other than that, Daisy's just eating my home-cooked food. Oh - except for the Dairy Queen she had today. I wish I'd had my camera! We went for a car ride to the DQ drive-through. (DQ is not something I make a regular practice of with her--usually I go by myself laugh). I bought two cones, one for her and one for me. She was in the backseat, and as soon as she saw the cones being passed out to me through the window, she put her front leg on the storage compartment between the seats and was literally in my face trying to get at the cone. When she finished hers, she went for mine, but I was quicker and moved it out of the way.wink

Jake's mom mentioned putting up pictures, but I can't do that here, can I? It would have to be in a blog, right?

Daisy, 12 years young, had left forelimb amp on 5/19/2010 due to osteosarcoma. She left her body behind and joined the other spirit tripawds on 7/16/2010.
So grateful for each day with her!
Lexi (Daisy's momma)

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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30 May 2010 - 10:20 pm
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lexi said:

Jake's mom mentioned putting up pictures, but I can't do that here, can I?


Sure you can, but they must be hosted somewhere online first. That's why we started Tripawds Blogs – to give members an easy way to upload photos here. Give it a try, then follow these instructions for embedding photos in forum posts. Or, if you have photos on Flickr, Facebook, or elsewhere, you can use those image links.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Grandad's Garden
Member Since:
9 December 2009
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31 May 2010 - 4:43 pm
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Senior dogs rock!!  Go Daisy Go!

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