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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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Delilah - Home from hospital
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14 February 2009 - 11:27 am
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Delilah had her rear right leg removed on Thursday.  I brought her home last night.  We had a very rough night.  I think I need some encouragement today that I did the right thing.  She is 11 yr old Bit/boxer mix.  She broke her leg on Tuesday and during this process we found she has cancer.  My dr says she probably only has 6 months.  I think I was selfish and just wanted her to come home again.  She has a fentel patch but she has cried a lot.

I read your stories and know once we get through the next couple of days it will be better, but I feel guilty.

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20 December 2008
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14 February 2009 - 11:47 am
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Those feelings of guilt will vanish once you get through the next week or two.  Patience is key at this stage.  I think sometimes its tougher for the parents than it is for the patient. 

Delilah will be back to her old self before you know it!  You won't regret this surgery – whether you have 6 months with her or 2 years.  Day at a time. 

Northern CA
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23 December 2008
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14 February 2009 - 12:09 pm
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We found out Wrigley had cancer in mid Dec- with an amputation on Dec. 22. ( she had been limping since Nov.). At the time of amputation it was either that or euthanasia. I knew she had too much life left in her to take the euthanasia route.  She also came home after only one night in the hospital.The docs felt she would be better at home and I agreed.  Those first 2 weeks are very rough. She also had a pain patch- which can make them feel very strange and react strange. Hang in there.It is important to keep them very quiet for those 2 weeks of recovery. It is very important to their healing process.  After you get through the first 2 weeks of recovery, I am sure Delilah will be back to her old self- just as you remember. 

Wrigley ( and Rookie) and I just got back from a run down at the river. We ran into a stranger who was there training for a 1/2 marathon for stroke vicitims. I told him we were training for our Canine Walk For Cancer- he could not believe how well Wrigley was getting around on 3 legs – he was amazed she could run like a “regular” dog. It truly is amazing how well the adapt to the 3 legs.  I really think you will be thinking the same thing about your Delilah in a few weeks.

As far as the “how long we have left part”. We too were told Wrigley only had about 4-6 months- if we did chemo we could get maybe 12-18. We are trying the chemo, but more importantly we are cherishing and enjoying each and every day that we do have. One thing we do know is that with the amputation, we were given this extra time with her, and she was given this extra time to LIVE like she likes to – loving life to its fullest, without the pain of the cancer.

I don't think what you did was selfish. What you did is give your dog the gift of a pain free life. That is the greatest gift we can give our faithful companions. Just try and take one day at a time and enjoy each and every moment. Or as it is often said here , one hour at a time  sometimes if that's what it takes.

Lean on us for support- I know I could not have gotten through without the help of Jerry and all the gang here. Have you watched Jerry's videos on You Tube- I know we found them very helpful in showing how Tripawds really do great. There is also a great post here What can a Tripawd do – wonderful pics of dogs doing jsut what they like to do.

Keep us posted.

Seanne and Wrigley

Seanne and Angel Wrigley

Livermore CA
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14 February 2009 - 1:11 pm
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Ditto on that. Cemil is taking longer to recover than some of the others here, but he is making progress. I was faced with the same options–take away the life, or take away the pain. It didn’t feel selfish, it felt like showing love to a creature I cherish. Even though Cemil is going slowly, he’s happier without the pain. I bet Delilah will show you that too, once she can think straight (no more pain meds). We’ll be at 3 weeks on Monday–and still mentally okay, thanks to the awesome group here.

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

Cemil's blog

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11 February 2009
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14 February 2009 - 1:51 pm
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It's a hard decision. My Rottweiler's front leg was removed yesterday. For me, there was no question – he was not ready to die, he just wanted the pain taken away. He was already on 100mcg Fentanyl and tolerating it well, but I know a lot of dogs have a hard time adjusting to it…they can get loopy and confused and vocal.

For what it's worth, and I don't know you at all – you did the right thing and there is NOTHING to feel guilty about.

If you are selfish, then that makes us all selfish. You are taking the chance and fighting for your dog that she may have some more time, without pain. I think this is courageous, and a gift.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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14 February 2009 - 5:41 pm
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From what I've read about the patch, some dogs react to it by whining etc. Give Delileah some time.  She will likely do much better once the patch is removed and you will feel better too.  Please don't feel guilty, you made the choice you made based on quality of life for Delileah, just as we all made the same decision.  Believe what you did was right, vow to take the coming weeks one day at a time, look here for support, and keep loving that beautiful little creature.  I believe it will get better for both of you, just don't beat yourself up until it does.

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.

14 February 2009 - 5:49 pm
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Thanks for the encourging words.. we will take it one day at a time. Sandy and Delilah

Here and Now

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14 February 2009 - 11:03 pm
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sferris said:

…we will take it one day at a time.

That's the spirit! Before you know it, Delilah will be showing you lots of encouragement. Thanks for taking such good care of your pup and sharing the experience here.

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