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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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Adjusting to 3 legs
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Member Since:
7 May 2019
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7 May 2019 - 6:51 pm
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My boy Grady is an 8.5 year old Springer diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and Anal Sac Cancer (yes, 2 different, concurrent cancers as confirmed by cytology) in late Jan 2019. You all know how it felt hearing that. 

He had the anal sac removed  and his right front leg removed on March 11. I agonized over the decision  to amputate the leg because the last thing I wanted to do was have his spend his last few months in pain and  bewildered about what had taken place. After several consultations with the oncologist he had the surgery. He was walking immediately, but unsteadily. For the first 2 nights he groaned in his sleep despite the pain meds and I had to pet him all night. On day 3 he stopped groaning but remained unenthusiastic about going out or eating. He would do both but had to be nudged quite bit. On day 10 we tapered off the pain meds, ending them on day 13 or 14. As soon as he was done with the keds he was BACK. Clearly it was the medication that subdued him, not the surgeries.

He began using the stairs, jumping into the car, running after balls, everything he did before. I prepared myself for what it would be like for us after surgery but could never have imagined how well he has adjusted. I am astonished how well he does. We are back to walking a mile to work and back as we did for 8 years and we are going to try swimming (he’d run by a steak to get to the water) in a few weeks.

The decision to amputate proved to be correct and  I am so relieved.

He has had the second of what will probably be 6 chemo treatments and has experienced no side effects.

The oncologist guesses that he could now live 12-24 months.

If you are reluctant to elect amputation, I can definitely understand that. I just wanted to share our experience because it may help with your decision.

If you need more proof, I have videos of him running, leaping into the air, etc I would certainly share.

Thanks. And thanks to Tripawds! The site has been a wonderful resource for us over the last few months. 


Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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7 May 2019 - 8:41 pm
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Hello and welcome to you and Grady, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

Thank you Eric for sharing your story here, every success story helps the next new member grappling with the tough decisions we have to face on this journey.

We would love to see your videos and pictures would be great too!

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

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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20 May 2019 - 12:04 pm
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Aww Erik, thank you for taking time to share Grady’s story with us. It’s wonnnderful to know that he is kicking cancer’s butt and doing so well getting back to life as before. What a lucky dog to get to go to work with you!

Ditto on photos and videos when you have a chance. We want to keep cheering for your hero 🙂

And we so appreciate your kind words about the community. Be sure to let your vets know with our free Tripawds Outreach Brochures.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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