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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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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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Amputation Success for Senior Dog Khaos
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Member Since:
12 April 2022
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1
6 July 2022 - 12:47 pm
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About 3 years ago, we started noticing some lumps surrounding my dog, Khaos', dewclaw on his front right paw. My vet at the time thought they were fatty tumors and removed them to the best that she could as well as his dewclaw. Several months later and while we were switching vets, we started noticing them returning.

Working with our new/now vet, we closely monitored the lumps for 2 1/2 years, as we knew that doing any surgery would just cause them to return bigger faster. While his quality of life wasn't being impacted, we let it be.

Fast forward to March of this year, the lumps spiraled downhill rapidly. We went from him being fine one Thursday afternoon, to something looking off that evening, to rushing him to the vet the following morning because part of the skin split. Seeing how this was impacting him and discussing options with my vet's backup doctor (since he was out sick), we knew debulking wasn't an option, and euthanasia was suggested. With a wrapped leg, home we went to spend the weekend with our Khaos before saying our goodbyes. 

Thank goodness for us not rushing any decisions! We don't know what happened, but suddenly Saturday night Khaos was back to himself! His leg was still stressing him, but his tail was wagging again, and he got that spark back in his eyes! Unable to sleep, my husband starting researching amputations with large senior dogs, which thankfully brought him here, to the Tripawds site! After seeing many success stories, we decided we'd take the risk and try it! What was there to lose?!

After working with our actual doctor, we scheduled his surgery. April 4th, and just a month shy of his 12th birthday, my sweet Khaos had his full front right leg amputated. The vet kept the muscle, which we still see him trying to move, but to avoid the soft tissue sarcoma - grade 1 (officially confirmed) from returning, we determined this was the best solution. 

Fast forward 3 months later, Khaos is as happy  as he's ever been! Friends and family continually tell us how he just seems so much younger now. He has two younger doggie brothers that he can play with again, but based on his limitations. He even got to go on vacation with us again, something we feared wouldn't happen, and accepted his doggie stroller when he got tired.

Yes, after the surgery, it was rough at first, and we struggled to find the right harness to help him. Since we don't have carpet, we bought a bunch of throw rugs and runners so he could move without slipping. It took him a few days to adjust to walking on 3 legs, and he learned that he couldn't lift his back leg anymore. It was a huge adjustment for all of us, but it's a decision we are so grateful we made! 

While this is my first post ever, thank you to the Tripawds community for sharing success stories and encouraging us without your knowing! I'm also so glad we listened to Khaos and his signals, as it seemed like he was telling us he wasn't ready yet. I'm also grateful to our wonderful vet for listening to us instead of trying to talk us out of it as the other one had tried to.

Here's to many more happy days to Khaos!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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6 July 2022 - 3:21 pm
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Awwww you guys! Thank you so much for sharing, you made our day here at Tripawds HQ. Khaos is a hero to all, now, and always. 

You are such great pet parents. Kudos to you for listening to your gut instinct, and the signals that Khaos was giving off to say he wasn't ready to get his wings. How wonderful you got your dog back! Thank YOU for sharing a story of hope that so many folks need at the worst time in their lives.

Do you have pictures you'd like to share? See how adding images to the Forums works and let us know if you'd like assistance. 

YAY KHAOS! sf-kisssmiley_clapsp_hearticon2

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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6 July 2022 - 4:54 pm
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Oh gosh, reading this beings happy tears to my eyes!  

Chock full of o many wonderful lessons, especially  listen to your heart......listen to your dog!!!  No one knows your dog better than you!

I, like you, like everyone here, am so grateful for a dawg named Jerry and his hoomans.  Without  question, dogs and cats have been pulled back from the brinkmof euthanasia  and have been given qua pain free extended  time as a result.

Yes, would love to see pics!!

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!

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11 July 2022 - 6:21 am
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Thank you so much for the kind words! There's nothing we wouldn't do for our fur-kids! 

YES, I definitely have pictures!! Let me try adding them again. When I tried to while creating the post, I was seeing an Image Not Available message.

[Image Can Not Be Found]

[Image Can Not Be Found]

[Image Can Not Be Found]

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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11 July 2022 - 10:02 am
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Yay for pictures! I'm sorry they didn't show up.

This is how adding images to the Forums works.

  • Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog. Pictures and video have to be hosted (live) somewhere other than in the forums.
  • Once the photo is uploaded somewhere, right click and copy the Image URL or just copy the image if you’re on a phone
  • Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself) in your post. It should automatically appear. 

If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know. Can't wait to see 'em!

Member Since:
12 April 2022
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11 July 2022 - 7:26 pm
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3rd time's a charm.... 1 day post showing off his new toy

1 day post surgeryImage Enlarger

Member Since:
12 April 2022
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11 July 2022 - 8:20 pm
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Enjoying the sunshine!

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Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11 July 2022 - 8:47 pm
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Now that is the definition  of a Happy, laid back pupper luvng life in the sun!  He is so very, very handsome.👍Luv the pic with his toy and how ALERT he looks on daymone post op.  And those ears.........preciois!!!!

So glad you got these posted......and now we need more ofmour Tripawd "Mature" Rockstar😎

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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9
11 July 2022 - 10:42 pm
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Yay thank you for trying again! It's a joy to see Khaos being himself and doing what he loves! What a remarkable boy, he is pure joy!!

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15 July 2022 - 7:41 pm
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Thank you! ❤️ Definitely one of the hardest but best decision we ever made! 

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