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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Hi, my name is Dee… I am a 9 year old German Shepard/Border Collie Cross. My mommy is writing this letter, because at this very moment I am in hospital waking up after my amputation. My mommy has been crying since I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma a week ago. I was limping very bad for two weeks – mommy never thought that it could be cancer… Everyone has been praying for a quick recovery and although I am in a lot of pain at the moment, I am enjoying all the attention that I am getting… I even got a nice shave and bath yesterday – to prepare me for my operation!I am so lucky to have people caring and praying for me! I know that this support group will also help my mommy to deal with what is happening to me. I will give you updates on my progress and share my stories on my way to recovery with you…. (My mommy said that she is going to make me special food that will keep me healthy and strong and will fight all the bad cancer cells that may still be in my body…)
24 April 2008
Hi Dee – so glad your mom made the decision to do surgery! I am a 6 year old Golden Retriever called Winston, and I had my op just 17 days ago now – and yesterday I was trying to chase squirrels in the woods – although strangely my mom didnt want me to! It takes about two weeks to get the balance thing right post operatively – but after that you will be fine. And your mom will spoil you rotten – just wait!!!
From Winston’s mom: Hi Dee’s mom- my name is Carolyn, and I know what you mean about the crying thing!! Winston is my ‘first baby’ ( I also have human babies) – so he has a special place in my affections. You will get lots of support here and lots of advice – so keep checking back. Jerry is extremely helpful – so is Jerry’s dad! I wont overwhelm you with advice now – but I will say one or two things. First – that the pain meds will take away Dee’s appetite – so dont worry about this. Just tempt him with whatever you can for the moment. And secondly – dont overdo the short walks in the days after the op. Winston was so well about 5 days post op that I made the mistake of walking and walking….. we overdid it and needed a couple of days to recover!
Have to go! Human babies calling…
Carolyn and Winston
Cool, you’re the same mixed breed as I am, and the first Shepherd/Collie cross on Tripawds. Show us a photo, we’d love to see what you look like.
We are here for you, my friend. You made it through the riskiest part. Now, wait till you start recuperating and amazing the humans around you. They will be inspired by your canine strength and determination.
If there is anything we can do for you, let us know OK?
Rest up, and take it easy. You’ll be back to your new/old self in no time!
From Dee’s Mom: Hi Jerry, Winston, & Lalla. You are such cool pals for sending Dee best wishes and good luck messages! It really means a lot to us – I feel very isolated here in South Africa – we dont have any support groups that I know of and your website is really helping me through a very difficult time ! I will make sure to read all your messages to Dee as soon as I see him… (I am feeling very emotional today) Dee is my first baby – I bought him as a puppy from a pet shop in Sunnyside, Pretoria (South Africa) and he was my companion and protector when I lived hundreds of miles away from home… He became quite a jetsetter – traveling with me to Cape Town once a month (flying of course!) I owe it to him to give him the best care possible and will try hard to stay positive – your messages of good luck and positive energy makes it alot easier and gives me hope! Dee is currently staying with his grandparents (Dee and my father got very attached to each other when I moved back home and I also couldnt take Dee away from his wifey (Diana) and daughter (Abby) when I got my own place). My parents are taking very good care of him. I am also sharing all your stories with them and they are well informed of what to expect when Dee returns home. I am currently waiting for the Doctor to call me and give me an update on Dee’s progress. I will take a day or two leave to be with him and my dad will look after him after that. I will make sure to buy him his favourite treats and food to encourage him to eat. Thank you very much for all your messages and suppawd!
Dee here! I dont quite understand these humans… They get so emotional and tearfull….over NOTHING! While my mommy was typing her message – I was already checking out my new look in hospital… That’s right! I had my op yesterday, and this morning I got up on all three’s…and guess what?? No more pain from that nasty cancer in my leg! This is soooo cool!! I am so glad that mommy is picking me up from hospital today – I dont like being here and I am making a big noise – I want to be back home with my family! Dr said I must visit them again on Friday and then again in 5 days time – to take off this bandage. I know mommy is worried about how I will look – some of the scars she’s seen on the websites looks nasty and very sore… But I have already shown her how brave I am and I am sure that we will be able to deal with it! I cant wait to get home and show my family that I am doing ok – they must surely be missing me by now! Chat to ya all again soon!
Hey Guys & Gals, Thanks for all your messages! Mommy read them to me last night. Yeah, that’s right – I AM HOME! And guess what? No more pain! I am soooo happy to be home. When I heard mommy’s voice at the vet – I started crying and barking – all at once! I couldnt wait to see my family. I was sooo excited, that I got up on all three’s and tried to RUN out of there.. Grandpa had to keep me calm and after a few hops, I leaned against him – this tripawd thing is something to get used to!! I was so tired after just a few hops, that Grandpa had to carry me to the car… I licked his face while he was carrying me…Everyone was just making a big fuss of me!! At home Diana and Abby was just as excited to see me – they sniffed me properly – just to make sure that it’s me, because I am sure that I do look and smell funny with the bandage on!! I hopped outside – with grandpa keeping me steady… and I tried to lift my leg… this didnt work at all… I forgot that I am a tripawd now, and fell over… but I got right back up and decided that it is safer to wee on three…heehee… The Doctor is very impressed with my progress and said that I am very very brave. She told mommy that I ate ALL my food, this made her very happy!! Last night grandma made me special food that mommy bought – oils and cottage cheese and paw paw… over chicken and rice… mmmmm… I ate like a bear… licking up every single bit!! This is surely the start of a new chapter in my life – and I am very excited about the fact that I have friends like you to share it with! High five to all ya brave dawgs out there!!
Dee’s Mommy: Dee is a new dog. He is so excited and happy – he wasnt behaving like this before the op. Just shows you in how much pain he must have been!! It’s hard to keep him calm, so my mom & dad keeps him in their room so that he wont overdo it. He is eating very very well and looks forward to his special meals. He is sleeping next to their bed, but crept onto the bed during the night…!! (Back to his old tricks!) I am now convinced that I made the right decision by amputating his leg… and I have realised that we as humans can learn a valuable lesson from a canine’s determination, positive energy and strenght (just like Jerry told me!!)
30 March 2008
Hi Dee, I am Kellie. I have my amp surgery 1 month and 2 days and I am feeling like a new doggie. I am also getting chemo treatments and next Monday will be my second one. So far, so good. No side effects and I act like it never happened. Yep, the first few days after surgery I was a bit groggy and did not want to eat much but that was because I had a fentanyl patch (for pain) but once that came off…boy what a relief. I started eating and now my hair is growing back so I am looking good! This is the best website you can ever join. My mom loves it and has found so much information here and very helpful. Jerry, Lalla, Charlie, Winston, and the list goes on of all the buddies you will find here. Love your photo, I had the exact same leg amputated that you did. Wish you the best and lots of licks your way!!!!
Dee’s Mom: Although Dee is doing well – eating and wagging his tail, he has started a slight limp again. This time it is his right back leg. (Same side as amputation) The one they shaved to put the drip & anaestetic in.. I am hoping and praying that it might just be a bit of arthritis or perhaps he hurt himself by being a bit too active. He has been laying and resting more since he started the limp – which has helped a bit. I phoned the doctor and she recommended that we come in for a check-up tomorrow to check out the leg. I am really worried. We are not going the chemo route – basically because it is too expensive in South Africa and because he of his age – might be too much for his system. Keep your doggie paws crossed! Will keep you updated on Dee’s progress.
Interesting, what my doctor called a "partial ACL tear" is on my right rear leg, but that’s opposite of my missing front leg. This makes it a little easier for me to balance. It must be pretty tough for you Dee. You have our best wishes.
Hi pals, Dr says I hurt my muscle by hopping and running around too much. I have to go back again on Friday for a check-up and will start swimming lessons as soon as my stitches are out. I am looking forward to that – havent gone swimming in a looooong time! … I just hope my leg gets better soon so that I can play and have fun with my family again!