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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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anybody else just amputate
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Forum Posts: 93
Member Since:
16 June 2012
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20 June 2012 - 11:19 pm
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First – I want to say thank goodness for this website and all the information provided!!!

      Our Sweetpea had bilateral TPLO’s when she was 1 yr old and fast forward 5 yrs/ later, she began hopping on one leg and I took her to the vet – who said it’s prob arthritis and gave her more pain meds and time went on – still not better and I asked for x ray and was told – there was no need. I went to another vet for a second opinion and hoping someone would listen – I had a gut feeling there was something else wrong (I’m an Oncology nurse). This vet listened and did xrays, labs, etc and the diagnosis was bone infection, where the plate and screws were in that leg. Did antibiotics and once again – I asked for the plate and screws to be removed and they did – but I asked for a biopsy to be done and was told they were 99% sure it was a infection. 3 days later the cultures came back – neq. for infection and then 2 days after that – osteosarcoma.

     We did a chest xray and they said it looked clear and we decided to do the amputation (2nd surgery in 10 days) and not chemotherapy. Her surgery was last Monday and she is doing good. Did anybody choose amputation only and what type of diet did you put your doggie on? Thank you for your time and any advice clap

Las Vegas, Nevada
Forum Posts: 4344
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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21 June 2012 - 12:17 am
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Welcome Sweetpea!  Just so you know, your first post isn’t visible until it gets approved by one of us.  You future posts won’t need to be approved.

I’m so sorry to hear about Sweetpea. What a ruff time she has had!  Glad she is doing okay now.  It’s super scary to have the diagnosis but glad you stuck to your guns and were persistent!

I have done two TPLO’s on an already 3 legged dog and I worried that it could cause bone cancer since there was a risk.  We were lucky it didnt.  I’m so sorry that Sweetpea wasn’t.

Many here choose to do just amputation and nothing more (if you are referring to chemo).  There have been many that have done very well without it.  As an oncology nurse then I’m sure you are more familiar with it than any of us. 

I’m sure others will chime in but most like to feed a grain free diet.  (like Wellness and others)

Again, I’m sorry you find yourself here. We’ll be rooting hard for Sweetpea!

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.

Forum Posts: 137
Member Since:
27 May 2012
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21 June 2012 - 3:33 am
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Hi Sweetpea,

Im so sorry you had to find us, but believe me, there are many people on here that will give you heaps of support and advice.

We have a 7 year old Pyrenean Mastiff called Porthos who has had TPLO surgery performed on both knees 3 years ago. He was diagnosed with Bone cancer (front right leg) last month and we amputated 1 week ago. His lungs are clear at the moment.

We are not sure about chemo at this point (we live in Vanuatu so am not sure if we can get it here) I have changed his diet to Dr Dresslers cancer diet (cooked meat and veggies) and before amputation had him on Artemix, Butyrat, k9 immunity, k9 Transfer factor and am going to be adding something called C-Statin, I will continue with these as soon as his stitches come out.

There is a yahoo group called “bone cancer dogs” they are treating thier pups with all different kinds of treatments from chemo, to holistic, they have also been very supportive. There is also another yahoo group called “Artimisinin cancer” they have given me great advice with using Artimisinin to treat Porthos’ cancer.

Porthos is currently on carprive for his Hip dysplasia but I am going to ask our vet if we can put him back on Metecam as I have read that Metecam can help to shrink tumors.

If we are able to get it in the country we may try Metronomic therapy but am still looking into it at the moment.

Initially we were told Porthos was not a candidate for amputation so I tried to treat his cancer holistically and also with something called pamidronate (and with pain medication) but his tumor was very aggressive and after consulting with a specialist we amputated, Porthos is doing very well so far.

Its scary for me to think that we may not use chemo and just go the holistic way, I would also be interested to hear some more stories of people that only did amputation.

Warm wishes to you and sweetpea.

Angel Porthos, Pyrenean Mastiff, 7 years old Os front right leg, DX 18 May 2012, Amputation 14 June 2012, Hip Dysplasia, Two TPLO surgeries. Is now somewhere over the rainbow, 21 November 2013.

Livermore CA
Forum Posts: 684
Member Since:
24 January 2009
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21 June 2012 - 1:42 pm
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Hi Sweetpea’s folks

I too am sorry anyone has to be here, but it’s a good place to be for support.

Cemil was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his left front leg and it was amputated almost 3 and a half years ago.  I opted not to do chemo or radiation.  His vet is an acupuncturist and knowledgeable about holistic methods–she suggested I put him on Hoxsey and AHCC.  Additionally, I switched his diet to a grain-free food and I give him antioxidant and liver support supplements made for people.  He’s done well with that combination.  His diet has changed many times in the last 3 years as I went through cycles of stress and worry and then relaxing a little.  Now I’m pretty relaxed and I don’t blend vegetables for him anymore, but I give him a raw meal once or twice a week.

I wish you the best.


Cemil and mom Mary, Mujde and Radzi….appreciating and enjoying Today

Cemil's blog

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 28326
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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21 June 2012 - 2:39 pm
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Hi Sweetpea, welcome!

Sorry about the diagnosis, I know it’s so hard to cope with, but there is definitely hope after amputation and a cancer dx. I personally didn’t do chemo, and I lived two years after surgery. Others, like my friend Eisen, and Nova and Maggie the cow dog have also beaten the odds. Our blog is full of stories of long-term survivors, some who had chemo, some who did not.

For the basics about coping with the diagnosis and life on three legs, we highly recommend checking out our Required Reading List, as well as our eBook, Three Legs & a Spare. Our Tripawds blogs also have great info about Nutrition, Gear, downloadable resources, etc. Search around, you’ll find tons of tips for making the most of life on three legs.

It’s great that you have the background in oncology, you will be a great advocate for your pup. How is she doing, recovery-wise? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 12
Member Since:
2 June 2012
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21 June 2012 - 5:20 pm
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Hi Sweetpea!  I echo the sentiments of all on this site…I’m sorry about the OSA diagnosis but this is an INCREDIBLE place to be for support, encouragement, advice, etc…we too, are new to the site and the OSA diagnosis but this place has been an invaluable resource!

My 9 year old GSD/lab/pitbull mix Lily was diagnosed with OSA almost a month ago and is 3.5 weeks post amputation of her left front leg.  Being an otherwise healthy, extremely energetic doggie (who finally caught the ‘evil’ rabbit in the backyard on 3 legs on post operative day #5!!!!), we opted for conventional treatment of OSA -amputation and chemo as well as Eastern/naturopathic treatment.

As far as diet, as soon as she was diagnosed with OSA, I stopped feeding her processed kibble (she was on Fromm’s whitefish and potato) and started cooking for her.  She is on a low grain (only grain she gets is long grain brown rice), high fat and high protein diet.  I had the diet formulated specifically for her through a nutrition consultant (who is outstanding and reasonable in her rates – her name is Sabine Contreras).

As far as supplementation, I will be starting her on K9 Immunity Plus, Artemisinin (a sweet wormwood extract that preferentially kills cancer cells – has also been used to treat drug resistant malaria in humans) and something called Cell Support (which is based on the protocol that Dr. Hoxsey used to treat cancer in humans). 

In addition, we will also be adding an oral herbal chemotherapeutic agent called Neoplascene (its also known as ‘blood root’) and an inordinate amount of positive thoughts!

There isn’t any one intervention or combination of therapies that are ‘the right ones’…..there’s only what’s right for you and Sweetpea and her quality of life! 


Warm wishes and hugs to you and Sweetpea!  Lily and I are rooting for you!



Lily is 9 y/o Shepherd/Lab/Pit mix who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma 5/26/2012. Left front ampuversary 5/29/12. Eastern and Western medicine used to attack the cancer. Splenectomy secondary to mets 8/24/12. Mets to right rear femur, neck and lungs 9/21/12. Sweet Lily fought hard for 4 months and earned her wings on 9/27/12. Run free and chase those squirrels my love bug!

Leicester, NY
Forum Posts: 422
Member Since:
11 February 2011
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21 June 2012 - 6:35 pm
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Just wanted to say welcome! Cant wait to see pictures of Sweetpea!

Spirit Samson was Spirit Tripawd Daisys four legged "brother" and ruled as the self proclaimed head of the Monkeybutt Federations East Coast Division. Lady Chunky Monkey stayed from Oct 2011 and left for the bridge in Apr 2012. Miss Perdy is left and has some big pawprints to fill.
Do you have what it takes to be a Monkeybutt? Find out more at the Monkeybutt Federation

Forum Posts: 93
Member Since:
16 June 2012
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21 June 2012 - 4:06 pm
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Thank you so much for the kind words and advice!!! I started her own grain free food today – Wellness Core. I am going to get the supplements mentioned above also:) She gets her staples out tomorrow – yeah!!! I will post a pic – as soon as i figure out how:)

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