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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Gracie - 7yr old Giant Schnauzer Diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on front leg
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Member Since:
13 May 2011
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13 May 2011 - 1:00 pm
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Hi everyone,


My Giant Schanuzer, Gracie (my life), has been diganosed with osteosarcoma on her front right leg. We found out today the plan is to remove the leg and start chemo. I am willing to do whatever it takes to keep her happy and healthy and with us for many more years. If thats with 3 legs, so be it.


I am very nervous and overwhelmed by all this news and would love to hear about other peoples situations. I am looking for some hope and any advice. I have no fear that Gracie will be great with 3 legs...i think i'm the one who needs the help!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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13 May 2011 - 3:45 pm
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mnewton331 said:

...i think i'm the one who needs the help!

You're not alone, this is usually the case. winker

Be sure to bookmark Jerry's Required Reading List for the best advice and recovery tips from the Tripawds News blog and discussion forums.

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Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

knoxville, tn
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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13 May 2011 - 5:42 pm
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welcome to the site.  we too lost a right front leg, ours was to a soft tissue sarcoma in february of 2010.  just remember, your response will dictate how gracie reacts.  if you are brave and happy, she will be too.  it's hard not to be scared, frustrated and just 'pissed' at the situation, but gracie needs you to be positive.  she will be fine on three legs, in fact she will be great!!  gracie will be the best teacher you've ever had, and will open your eyes to all sorts of 'everyday miracles' if you let her. 

sending our best ET juju to you guys!!

charon  &  gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends


San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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13 May 2011 - 6:10 pm
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Sorry you and Gracie had to join us all here, but you've come to the right place. My Abby (18-mo-old Collie/Shep mix) is doing amazing as a tripawd. We also did chemo and are 6 1/2 mo. out from diagnosis. Almost every time we go to the dog beach, someone (or several people) comment on how amazing she is and how she gets around so well. (She moves at such a blurry, darting pace that they often don't even notice she's a tripawd until she stands still.) She's been like that since about a month after her surgery. The first two weeks are hard - will be hard for both of you - but it goes by fast and you'll be amazed how quickly Gracie adapts.


Hang in there! It's so overwhelming at first (and still is sometimes - I just had a big melt down two days ago), but there are good days ahead again. Come here for all the info/support you need! I'm so glad we found this site - you will be too.


Jackie and Abby

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

13 May 2011 - 9:29 pm
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Welcome Gracie and Pack,

Yes, it is all overwhelming at first.  All I heard from the vet I think was "blah blah blah cancer blah blah blah amputation...".  In fact I think amputation was harder to digest than cancer (in our case we had already had a tumor removed 8 months earlier).

Please take full advantage of this site- read through the information here, look at amputation pictures so you know what to expect, and ask all the questions you want.  We all have been through this and can provide lots of knowledge from our experiences.

How old is Gracie?  Is her surgery scheduled yet?

Be warned the first couple of weeks after surgery can be full of ups and downs.  A few lucky pups sail right through, but most of us experienced some difficult times.  And when you are tired and emotional already you might think you made the wrong decision.  But it seems after two weeks or so most pups bounce back (my Maggie took her time- maybe 4 weeks!).

Good luck with Gracie's surgery- keep us posted on her progress.


Karen and the pugapalooza

Member Since:
13 May 2011
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13 May 2011 - 9:56 pm
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Our great dane, who is also named Gracie, just went through front leg amputation(due to bone cancer) and has had her first round of chemo.  I was apprehensive at first due to her sheer size (prior to surgery and her low carb diet plan she was a fluffy 174-now down to 154-with 15 more to go) but the surgery was the best thing that we could have done. We read everything we could, and this site was so helpful. Our oncologist at NC State recommended this site as a supportive format and they were right.  I never realized how much pain she was in until after surgery. The day after her amputation when I was allowed to see her she immediately leaped up on her three legs and wagged her tail.  I'm not sure who was more excited to see each other me or her. We are 2 week passed surgery and 3 days past the 1st round of chemo and even with all that you can tell she feels better(even with the chemo)-she is doing awesome.  I wish you good luck and you and gracie will be in our prayers- just remember to hang in there and take it one day at a time.smiley

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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13 May 2011 - 10:20 pm
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graciegirl said:

Our oncologist at NC State recommended this site...

Wow, word is getting around. Thnaks for letting us know!

Welcome and thanks for joining. Your future posts will not require moderation. Thanks for your input, please consider starting a new topic to share Gracie's story.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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14 May 2011 - 12:03 am
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Welcome Gracie and family!

Overwhelming is an understatement!  We totally understand!

Just remember to try to get rest when you can and not try to be super human trying to nurse Gracie!  Sleep deprivation can really start playing a number on your head! 

Try posting another pic for your profile!  We want to see Gracie.


I have a mini schnauzer mix (according to his DNA).  He's 4 legged (not cometdog) but you'll see him here- he'll be the one with bunny ears!    I could use some schnauzer personality tips!


Good luck with Gracie and keep us posted!

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:
14 April 2010
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14 May 2011 - 6:54 am
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Welcome to the family, your feelings are right on par with how most all here have felt at the beginning, trust everyone here, the dogs usually do great once they get past that initial healing stage. Ups and downs are normal, they usually come home in pretty good spirits then seem to crash a day or so later, meds play games with them sometimes, restless, not eating, laying around, etc. I think it helps them heal better if they aren't to active right away, don't worry, these guys don't even think about having three legs once they get back to normal. Good luck, don't be afraid to ask anything, experience gives the best answers, paws up, Spirit Gus and Dan

My buddy Gus had a left front amputation on April 7, 2010 and lived a great life until July 26,2010

Greater Western Washington area
Member Since:
25 August 2010
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14 May 2011 - 8:58 am
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Yes, I know, it is a daunting course you are on.  Our boy had his front leg amputated due to osteosarcoma 8 months ago.  He did chemo and is now on metronomics .  I love your attitude, all you have to be is willing to take on the fight, your puppy will do the rest.  They are amazing!!

Everyone is right on here, that helped me alot when I joined.  Just keep your head up and let Gracie see that you think it is all going to be okay.  If you think so, she will think so too.  I would suggest reading some of the blogs, it helps to see what others have felt and done in situations for me it had a calming influence.


Much luck,

Elizabeth and Sammy

Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the right front leg 8/23/10,

leg fractured 8/27/10,

leg amputated 8/30/10


I couldn't begin to say how special Sammy is to us.  Living and laughing with and loving this wonderful boy is priceless.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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15 May 2011 - 8:03 am
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Welcome Gracie and pawrent!  Overwhelmed is an excellent word to describe those first few day, even weeks. Be prepared for 'recovery hell' and be thankful if it turns out to be uneventful. Gracie will amaze you as she adjusts and continues to live her life. And we will all be here to cheer her on.

Best of luck to you both.

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.

5 January 2020 - 1:10 pm
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how is Gracie doing? I’m going through the exact same with my giant schnauzer. She’s my baby and I’m dying inside with what’s happening. 

thanks for this page. So much helpful info and community. 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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5 January 2020 - 4:33 pm
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Dhes said
I’m going through the exact same with my giant schnauzer...

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Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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