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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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Buster the Beagle's journey
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Columbus, GA
Member Since:
18 February 2010
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1
20 February 2010 - 9:38 am
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We adopted Buster on December 29, 2007. He has been a pain in the butt ever since, but I wouldnt have it any other way. We celebrate his birthday in July, because we dont know when his birthday actually is, and when we took him for his first wellness visit, the vet told us he was between 7-8 years old, based on his teeth.

He has suffered from skin allergies ever since we've had him. Last summer we finally started him on Atopica, and it has made a world of difference in his life.

About 6 months after we had him, he got a lick granuloma on his front right paw. We had it removed and tested, it wasnt anything to worry about.

This past October, he started licking at his back left paw, the same way he had with the first one. We assumed it was similar, and that with the Atopica, he would eventually stop. Well, he didnt. In November, about a week before thanksgiving, we had the spot removed. It never fully healed. We tried cones on his head, we tried wrapping it up where he couldnt lick at it…By Christmas, we though we were finally seeing results, but by mid January, the swelling had poofed back up. We took him in, had Xrays done, and long story short, finally had a radiologist look at it and determined that the good news was that the cancer had NOT spread to the bone yet, but the bad news was that the leg really should be amputated for his quality of life.

So we had the surgery done yesterday, and I picked him up from the vet about 2 hours ago. He's been sleeping all morning. They gave us lots of drugs for him, and he goes back in 10 days to get the sutchers removed.

[Image Can Not Be Found]

[Image Can Not Be Found]

~Buster's Mama (Amanda)~

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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20 February 2010 - 10:37 am
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He is just the cutest thing ever.  Trouble has allergies too, what a wild ride that can be.  She was taken off the Atopica when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.  It is contraindicated for dogs with tumors.  You may ask your vet about it, I'm sure it can be fine in some instances as there are exceptions to all rules.

Wishing Buster a speedy recovery and many ampuversaries along the way.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Kirkland, WA
Member Since:
2 June 2009
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20 February 2010 - 10:39 am
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I think you're the cutest beagle I've ever seen!  We've had quite a few new member with surgeries in the past 2 days, so you're starting life as a tripawd with a fine group of other doggies 🙂  That's very good news that your cancer hasn't spread yet, Buster!  You are certainly a trooper for putting up with those annoying spots on your paws (I don't blame you for licking...I would totally do the same thing!).  I had a tumor in my bone, so I had to get my leg taken off.  Give your mommy lots of kisses so she doesn't worry about you, and tell her that having a supply of gabapentin on hand for phantom pain may not be a bad idea either (I got "the phantom" 3 days after surgery.  I was scared and didn't know what to do so I woke my pawrents up in the middle of the night screaming at the top of my lungs).  You will do great, but take it easy for the first couple weeks, mister!  You don't want to have to go back to the hospital for mandatory bed rest like I did just for being too active 😛  Keep us updated!!!

<3 Captain Jack (oh, and my human, Laura)

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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20 February 2010 - 11:53 am
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Buster, welcome! Thanks for joining us here, we're hoppy to have ya!

Hey I hope you don't mind that we moved your introduction to this "Share your story" thread. It just seemed like a better fit here.

Your pawrents are real saints for being so good to you, as I'm sure you are a perfect match for them too (even if you are a pain in the butt! ;)

As a rear-leg Tripawd, and with your size and all, you should get around great. Take it easy the next couple of weeks, pretty soon you'll be getting around without a problem. We can't wait to hear about your adventures.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Columbus, GA
Member Since:
18 February 2010
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20 February 2010 - 2:43 pm
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Mama took me for a walk this afternoon. I can tell she's worried about babying me too much, but I showed her that I COULD get up over the two inch stoop to get in the door. Of course, she carries me down the stairs to go potty for now. Maybe after a couple of weeks she wont have to.

I surprised Mama today by walking faster than I've walked in months. Hoppity hoppity hop. She was worried about me being able to potty - but I showed her that I was JUST FINE thankyouverymuch!

The walk wore me out though, so I'm off to take a nap....

~Buster's Mama (Amanda)~

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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20 February 2010 - 3:08 pm
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Yeaaaaaaay! We knew you could do it!

All of those little things pawrents always used to take for granted all of a sudden become a big deal when you become a Tripawd. Don't worry, she'll learn to relax when you show her you can handle things without hurting yourself. Keep up the great work!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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20 February 2010 - 3:20 pm
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Well Buster aren't you just a cute as a button!  And a brave one at that!

We are rooting for your super speedy recovery!   It sounds like you are doing just fine.  Glad you could join our club!

So, Welcome!

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.

Member Since:
20 May 2009
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20 February 2010 - 3:22 pm
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Buster and Mom,

Welcome to Tripawds.  You aren't mentioning wondering how recovery is going to be so I am going to assume that either you have a great support system at home or you have been reading the forums here.   My Emily was also a back leg amputation and it seems to me that they have less problems with balance than front legs do.  Makes sense since dogs carry 60% of their weight on their front legs.  You sound like you have a reat attitude and that Buster has a great chance of beating the cancer.  Did the vet suggest chemo or are do they not need to do it with that kind of cancer?

Won't be long and Buster will be back to being a pain in the butt!

Debra & Angel Emily

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Columbus, GA
Member Since:
18 February 2010
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20 February 2010 - 3:35 pm
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Yeah, I've been reading alot. I'm actually, kinda terrified of recovery simply because the wound back in November NEVER healed, and so now I'm scared that this is going to be the same way.

I've been cleaning this morning while he was sleeping. I ran upstairs to grab something and came down to find him licking at the wound. I just about went ballistic I told him NOOO LICKING and I found the plastic cone to put around his neck. I was really hoping I wouldnt have to use it, but he's already showing his pain the butt personality. It looks like at night when we're sleeping and during the day when we arent home, we're going to have to leave the cone on him. The problem with the cone and the paw was that this smart little BUGGER figured out how to kick his paw way out in front and would position the cone just right, so that he could reach it to lick. At least with this wound, the cone will actually cover it, and he wont be able to reach to lick.

I seriously hope he doesn't develop a habit of licking something else...

Thanks for the info about the weight distribution. I honestly had no idea that most weight is on the front. I assumed that front amputees had it better than back amuptees. Hmm.

Vet said nothing about Chemo. They said it appeared to be contained in the leg, and that by removing the leg, it should be removed completely. I sure hope so...

~Buster's Mama (Amanda)~

Wesley Chapel, FL
Member Since:
13 September 2009
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20 February 2010 - 6:38 pm
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Hi Buster!

Welcome to our Tripawds family!! Sorry to hear about your surgery... but your mommy has definitely come to the right place for information and awesome support! Now, you'd better stop licking your incision, or you're gonna have to wear that aweful cone permanently!! Hope you heal quickly!!

Sending you a big fat hug!!!

Angel Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!

krun15
11
20 February 2010 - 8:00 pm
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Hi Busters Mom,

Welcome to tripawds.  My pug Maggie is also a left rear amp.  Once she got her bearings she got around fine.  The only thing she really can't do is go upstairs (more than two or three), but that is more a function of her height- she is only about 12" at the shoulder- so most stairs are a pretty big jump for her.  Gerry just posted a video on his blog showing him going upstairs.

I met a beagle here in CA that was named Buster and had lost his left rear leg.  His was because of an accident.

Please take the time (while Buster naps) to check out all the good information you will find here.  And ask any questions- someone here will probably know the answer.

Karen and the pug girls

Columbus, GA
Member Since:
18 February 2010
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22 February 2010 - 5:32 pm
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Buster is doing SO GOOD. He's being playful again already. I'm almost worried that he's going to be too active and energetic while the incision is still healing. He was running, literally running circles in the living room today when I got home.

I cannot even tell you guys how thrilled I am to have my fun little playful guy back. I am going to have to get a video clip of him soon....

~Buster's Mama (Amanda)~

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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22 February 2010 - 6:06 pm
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Thanks for the great update! That's wonderful news. Do keep him an eye on Buster so he doesn't overdo it. Better safe than sorry, eh?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Northern Indiana
Member Since:
15 January 2009
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22 February 2010 - 8:30 pm
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I am so glad to see that Buster is improving....I am sure he will continue to amaze you!!  He has such a hansome sweet boy, looking forward to more follow up.

Ginny & Angel Paris

Grateful for every moment we had with Paris…..no regrets!

Honoring her life by opening our hearts & home to Addy!

Columbus, GA
Member Since:
18 February 2010
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5 March 2010 - 4:45 pm
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Well, we've made it two weeks as a Tripawd. Buster had his stitches removed today, and I got some video of him running around. Enjoy!

View and Comment on YouTube

~Buster's Mama (Amanda)~

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