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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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arackiss von mathwolf!
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Forum Posts: 2
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8 January 2009
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16 January 2009 - 5:02 pm
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hello all,

just wanted to share the story of arackiss. well, back in january of 2008 arackiss was playing in the snow and slipped, crossing his left front leg across his chest. he let out a big yelp, bigger than any we (my boyfriend and i) had ever heard before. as soon as we could we took him to the vet. she believed he had a sprain of some sort because, although he was in pain, he was using his leg. she sent us home with plenty of drugs to make him rest for two weeks. he got better, and everything seemed fine except for a slight limp, but he still would go on 2+ mile walks. 

in june we moved from iowa to rhode island. two weeks into being here he started limping again. we eventually were told to go to ocean state veterinary specialists in east greenwich, ri. x-rays showed that a piece of his scapula (distal tip ?) was actually lying within the joint. because of how uncommon an injury it was, the surgeons believed that it was possible to allow the bone chip to fibrous in. they sent us to the local physical therapist, healing paws, in order to hopefully build the muscles around the joint so that they could help settle the joint.

one month later he was still in so much pain, not even capable of walking more than two blocks.

we returned to ocean state and the fine surgeon then felt, along with feedback from others, that he should detach the triceps tendon from the bone fragment in order to lessen the pain (argument being that the muscle, while still attached, was pulling on the bone fragment). we went through with the surgery and arackiss was soooooooo much better……for two weeks. the limp came back and this time he would suddenly yelp in pain for what seemed like no reason. 

we went back to the vet, x rays were taken, and what do you know? the surgery was a success! but something else was happening on another portion of the scapula…it looked like a tumor. a biopsy confirmed ostoesarcoma.

arackiss is a rottweiler and german shepherd mix, and by mix he looks exactly half and half, with the body of a shepherd and the head and barrel chest of a rottweiler. he is our best friend and true life companion. he has been through more than his share of challenges. in 2005 while we were living in new orleans, la he trudged through oil slick waters and miles of highway in order to escape post katrina with us. by the time we got out of there he was ill, completely dehydrated, and so tired he could only whine when he finally saw his grandma calling out to him with open arms.

when asked if we wanted to go through with the amputation there was only one thing we thought of…is it fair to him? he has hip dysplasia and a chronic form of arthritis in his right front toes found commonly in rottweilers. was it fair to him to put him through the pain of surgery knowing that all of his issues would probably be exacerbated? well, one look in his nine year old puppy eyes told us that he wasn't ready to give up the fight. 

that was one month ago and we since feel that we made the right decision. just yesterday we went to the park and he was running, making snow puppy angels, and catching and eating snow balls like he was 2 all over again. he loves his life, i know it, and we are soooooooo happy we believed in him and his ability to strive despite the challenge of getting around on three legs.

Here and Now


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16 January 2009 - 5:33 pm
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Wow! What a story … you have been through so much with Arakiss. Thank you for sharing his story and bless you for taking such good care of him. We look forward to hearing more.

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