TRIPAWDS: Home to 21078 Members and 2060 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG
All sites currently ad-free!

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
Amputation scheduled in 2 weeks
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Member Since:
25 October 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
25 October 2022 - 10:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

My boy Chisum, an 8 year old German shepherd, is about to join the tripawd club. Thankful for the resources here, it’s put my mind more at ease with this decision. He is my son, not just a pet, and I can’t bare the sight of him in pain and I know he has life left in him. 

I just wanted to post and see if anyone else has had a similar experience as myself and Chizzy boy. He tore both of his ACL’s before he was 3. Tore one had the TPLO surgery and within 9 months had torn the other. TPLO was performed on the other leg, and the hardware had to be taken out of both legs after bones fully healed because of fluid build up in the tissues. My current vet said the hardware (even though taken out) has a large risk of bone cancer later on. He has been diagnosed by the vet and radiologist to have cancer. They said a bone biopsy could be performed but is very risky for fragile bones and could cause more problems. I decided with the pain and mobility issues on that leg the amputation was the way to go regardless if it was cancer/severe arthritis/avulsion fracture. 

Has anyone asked the vet to perform a biopsy of the bone even though they are amputating? I’d like to have a definitive answer so I’m not constantly jumping to conclusions about cancer if any other symptoms show after the recovery. 

I’ve read many posts and forums so far.. but any and all advice is appreciated! Also, has anyone changed their dogs diet in preparation for the amputation or after for supporting recovery? My boy isn’t overweight, just wondering if any dietary changes are recommended or beneficial before or after! 

Very thankful to have this community of pawrents who can share their struggles and triumphs in taking this journey with their babies. 

- Chisum’s worried momma 

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
25 October 2022 - 10:16 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Chisum's momma, I'm in the Tripawds Chat for a few minutes if you're still here. Otherwise you'll find me in the chat in the daytime tomorrow, Pacific time. Back in a sec with some thoughts.

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
25 October 2022 - 10:24 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

We are so sorry you are having to join our club but glad you found us. Our Jerry was also 8 when we discovered bone cancer, and he had two amazing years afterward, enjoying life on 3! I hope with all my heart that Chisum does too!

Has anyone asked the vet to perform a biopsy of the bone even though they are amputating? 

Yes, many people do opt for the biopsy. But usually only when the diagnosis is very iffy and the bone is still relatively strong. It's a really painful procedure and as the vets mentioned, a big chance of fracture when done on a weakened bone. If the leg is beyond saving, the biopsy can be done after amputation. If you haven't already, ask them if there is no chance, or any chance, that the leg can be saved. If yes, then maybe a biopsy is in order. If no, then it's often best to skip putting Chisum through 2 surgeries. 

I’ve read many posts and forums so far.. but any and all advice is appreciated! 

Be sure to check out our What to Expect articles , Jerry's Required Reading List , and the Tripawds Start here page too! Oh and our Quality of Life Survey Results are also helpful. 

Also, has anyone changed their dogs diet in preparation for the amputation or after for supporting recovery? 

You bet! I'd say a good percentage of folks here do upgrade their pet's diets after a diagnosis. Generally, however, if someone opts to treat the cancer with chemotherapy, the oncologists usually ask that no major changes are made, or supplements added, until after treatment is over. That way if there are side effects, it will be easier to diagnose where they are coming from. If you are leaning toward dietary upgrades, the Dog Cancer Survival Guide is essential and suuuuper helpful. There's a lot of garbage products out there, and this book helps you sort through the junk versus the good stuff!

I'm going to run now, back tomorrow and again, welcome!smiley4

Member Since:
25 October 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
26 October 2022 - 6:26 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Sorry I missed you, I will try and catch you on the chat soon! I am very hopeful for his years to come! He is pretty much practicing for the 3-legged life right now, he holds his leg up off the ground the majority of the time and only sets it down to rebalance or adjust. 

The xrays immediately had his vet worried, saying it was most likely cancer. She said the textures and shape of the bones around the knee and his history of the TPLO with hardware were the reasons she diagnosed that way. I asked a bit about the treatments for his leg initially, asking if it wasnt cancer what would be the course of action. She said if it wasnt cancer it was the worst case of arthritis she had ever seen along with an injury that was causing a great deal of pain. He is on pain medication currently, gabapentin, tramadol, and galliprant. The vet indicated that the treatment would be amputation in his condition for the injury/arthritis just as it would be for the cancer. I am just a worrier, and he's my best friend so I know without a confirmation of cancer I may be constantly wondering if he has it. She did take xrays of his chest and said there were no mets showing there yet, so the amputation would definitely slow the progress of the cancer (if thats what it is). 

I have splurged on Chisum's dry dog food diet for quite a while now. I never wanted to buy the cheap stuff... he's my son after all, he deserves the best! But I have seen lots of people lately feeding a diet of more whole foods or even raw? I wasn't sure if there were benefits from other foods than dry dog foods with supplements (and the leftover bit of my dinner, lol). I will definitely check out that guide! 

Thank you for replying, knowing I have a support system and knowledge from people with experience in this area is comforting!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
26 October 2022 - 11:12 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

We totally get it, and your feelings about wanting to know for sure about whether or not its cancer, before you amputate, are understandable. From what you're describing, this is a scenario that unfortunately has happened to many people in our community whose dogs have had TPLOs. I'm so sorry it happened to your sweet boy too. We are for sure here for you and ready to help any time so just holler with any questions.

Member Since:
25 October 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
30 October 2022 - 5:12 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

The vet moved Chisum’s surgery up to this Thursday, she said she would have extra help to perform his surgery and he’s a GSD so the extra pair of hand would help. I’ve read some of the preparation posts.. I’ve got a full sized 4inch tall tri-fold mattress in the living room for him to sleep and recover on, new runner rugs all over the hard floors, and a blow up donut cone so the cone of shame doesn’t prevent him from resting. 

Is there anything else essential to making him comfortable or helping his body for recovery and adapting? Moving the surgery up has decreased my prep time a little! I’m starting to feel like I’m not as prepared. As always any advice is appreciated from all!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
31 October 2022 - 10:32 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Oh wow coming up soon!

As a GSD mom myself I had to chuckle about the vet's wish for extra help 😉

Sounds like you are doing good with preparation. Do you have any baby gates you can use to block off access and keep him in a smaller area of your home inside the living room?

The donut cone of shame may not be enough. Take the evil plastic one the vet gives you just in case. I know that with our own GSDs their big snout could always get around a donut cone.

What about his access to the backyard for potty breaks? What's that like?

What is essential to keep him comfortable right now is for you to maintain a very pawsitive attitude. I see you are already doing that. You are totally prepared. You can do this!

Member Since:
25 October 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
31 October 2022 - 5:37 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I laughed a little as well when she said she needed the extra help, not surprised at all lol! 😅

I do have a baby gate , but our living room actually is a spare bedroom in the house so we have a door thank goodness! 

I am taking off work Thursday, Friday, and working from home Monday to make sure he has at least 5 days of me being here with him. My wife works from home (his bonus momma) so he will have her here to keep and eye on him when I go back to work. She’s is a little more stressed and emotional, so keeping that pawsitive attitude is a struggle but we are working on it! They’ve known each other for a little over 4 years and are very comfortable together… but she worries more and isn’t as used to the surgery aspect that I am with his medical history. Plus I’m original momma so he’s still a little partial haha

I used the donut cone after his TPLO surgeries, it worked pretty well for him. He did try to outsmart it a few times, dang smart GSDs! He ran into everything with the evil cone and turned into a floor lamp sitting in a corner terrified lol! But I will keep it incase needed. I’ve also been looking at the recovery suit on the website for him, I just wasn’t sure how long I have to wait to use it post surgery.

Access to the backyard is good, same with front. Since his diagnosis we have been taking him our front because it is flatter and a smaller area. The backyard has some slopes and is not fully fenced yet, we just moved about 6 months ago. So he is used to going potty on a leash (also thank goodness for this)!

Thank you so much the encouragement, both mommas are a little anxious, but overall happy he will be out of pain soon ❤️‍🩹

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
1 November 2022 - 12:54 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

It really sounds like you are set! The ability to be home with him for that amount of time is terrific. The house is Tripawd-proofed, he goes potty on leash (yes, a HUGE plus right now), and you both know that attitude is everything! I'm confident that recovery will be relatively smooth.

Glad you know the cone will work out OK. Those plastic cones...ugh! So sad and pathetic!

As for the recovery suit, it should be used until stitches are out and the area is healed. After that, it's really nice to have on hand if issues like hot spots come up.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
1 November 2022 - 2:12 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Just sending  extra pawsitivty  to your sweet Chisum♥️  

You have thorough and excellent feedback from Jerry and it sounds like you are as prepared  as any of  us  can ever be!

As you can see, we are here to help you navigate  through recovery  and onto celebrating  all the upcoming  milestones  for Chisum as he gains  all of his sparkle  back.

The only thing I'll add about going to pick him up from the clinic (fully staffed 24/7??)  is to come in all upbeat and over the moon happy to see him.  👍👏  Don't  even bother to look at the incision  or draw attention  to it.  Just look into his happy druggy eyes and tell him he's a good boy and he's going home!!!  Whenever  you do glance at the incision,  just be prepared  for a lot of bald  shaved area. I think sometimes  they get a little clipper Happy. I found that more "shocking" than the incision  itself.

Okay, check in when you can.  We're  here for you.  And you ARE doing the right thing for Chisum!!

Hugs

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!

Member Since:
25 October 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
1 November 2022 - 4:27 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Yes, thank goodness for an understanding boss who loves his fur babies like I do! 

I feel like I’ve successfully tripawd-proofed my house so far! (That term gave me a good laugh!) 

Thank you for the pawsitive reinforcement! I’ll definitely be getting that recovery suit, those GSD snouts can get just about anywhere (Chisum’s favorite is between the couch cushions for crumbs LOL) 

Member Since:
25 October 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
1 November 2022 - 4:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Benny55, thank you for the extra pawsitivity! Chisum sends nose boops! 🥰

I am so ready for the sparkles! He’s maintaining a good attitude for the amount of pain I know he is in.. but definitely ready for him to not know the pain of the cancer anymore. I cannot be thankful enough that I decided to us the magic of Google to research and find this incredible community! Chisum and I are so grateful for every resource, story, and knowledge y’all share!

Your words of affirmation during this are so encouraging, thank you! I will definitely be mindful of the shock that can come with the area of the incision. Can confirm the clipper happy comment, they shaved so much of his leg and rear end during his TPLO surgeries 😂 

Keeping good attitudes and praying hard for this little dude, along with family prayers, pawsitive vibes, and a the amazing support system here I think we are in good hands! ❤️

Member Since:
25 October 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
3 November 2022 - 5:46 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Chisum is home from surgery! Y’all weren’t kidding about keeping up with him, he was MOVING outta that vets office. 

He’s a tad restless, we have been home about an hour and a half. He struggles with being on the loopy meds, he whines a lot and tries to fight the sleep. But overall I think we are doing well, hoping he will drink some water and possibly eat a little something in a bit. He’s gotten up once and I assisted him walking with a towel under the belly, he seems to be figuring it out!

I just wanted to update y’all. Pray for this boy to get some rest, or just send some peaceful vibes our way if you aren’t into prayin! 

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
3 November 2022 - 8:18 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Welcome hone Chisum!!!  So surgery was today and he's home same day?   Wow'

He'll be coming  out of the anesthesia  tonight and, hopefully he's on some strong hospital  meds.  So yes, he will be loopy and probably restless and whiny .Exhaustion should soon.

Stay strong.  This early part of recovery  is no picnic at first, but it does get better!!!

Hugs

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!

Member Since:
25 October 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
3 November 2022 - 8:48 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Yes, same day.. I was a little nervous for this. But also thankful that he can be home with his momma’s and hopefully get better rest. He is on good meds, they gave him a fentanyl patch (will be removed at the clinic Monday), more gabapentin, carprofen, cefpodoxime (starts tomorrow) and an iron supplement.

He is definitely restless and whiney.. can’t seem to get comfy very easily. But he’s already been up a few times moving around with the towel under the belly trick and he’s drank quite a bit of water as well! 

thanks for the encouragement Sally! It’s a struggle for sure, I’m somewhat familiar from the TPLO surgeries but not to this extent of course.

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: carolina
Guest(s) 79
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1217
Members: 15980
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 17851
Posts: 247765
Administrators: admin, jerry, Tripawds
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG
All sites currently ad-free!