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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Gucci's Story - Soon to Be Tripawd and Looking for Advice About Treats, Games, Life after Surgery
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9 January 2021
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17 January 2021 - 2:35 pm
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My dog is Gucci and she is a nearly-13-ish year old beagle mix. Three days before Christmas, she had a sudden onset of limping on her left front leg. A few days later, she experienced swelling in her entire leg. After antibiotics, the swelling went down, but we kept our appointment with a surgeon that we had scheduled because our vet didn't see anything apparent on an xray, but thought she might have felt something in her elbow joint. The surgeon diagnosed her with a suspected forelimb soft tissue mass. We will have a CT scan to confirm and then amputation. We'll do a few other tests too to make sure she's otherwise healthy first. I've read a few stories on this site and as a result am already working on getting a stroller that we can use, which will be helpful now as well as later. I know in my head that she'll be resilient and pull through, but I keep thinking of "What about this? What about that?" and all of the things that she does now that she may not be able to do. She doesn't play much; she doesn't really like other dogs, and her preferred activities are sniffing around the yard, going on walks/runs, and eating treats, chew toys, etc. Will she even be able to use her Kong or hold on to her chew sticks after her surgery? She always holds onto them with both her front paws. It's probably a silly thing, but it's been keeping me up at night! Another favorite toy of hers is a puzzle toy where you put food in the compartments and slide the compartments to get the food - that one needs two paws, too. 🙁 Her scan and surgery are scheduled February 5th, so I'm trying to prepare myself as much as I can for what is coming without obsessing over it. Thank you for any advice you can give.

(Also I hope I'm doing this post right - I have no idea what I am doing!)

Here and Now


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17 January 2021 - 4:37 pm
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msustargazer said
Also I hope I'm doing this post right - I have no idea what I am doing!

Perfect! Welcome, and thanks for sharing.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you're sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

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17 January 2021 - 6:00 pm
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Hi, I am so sorry to hear about Gucci. I also have a Beagle mix. If Gucci is as bull headed as Sassy, she will do just fine!

My tripawd was Brownie, a choc lab. He had amputation ten days before his 12th birthday. I was not going to amputate at first. I was thinking just like you. What about this, and what about That? But I soon realized this was not about me. Who am I to decide that Brownie  can't make it on three. So I made the decision to amputate, and if Brownie was not happy we would say goodbye. Brownie deserved the right to fight. It turns out that I didn't need to worry about anything. He did everything he did before, just found another way to do it and moved on. I'm  proud to say that Brownie hopped on three for one year and eight days. And he was Happy!

Until the stiches come out you want Gucci to get alot of rest. Please talk to your vet about pain management . What type of pain meds will she come home with? If you have hard floors look at some non skid rugs. When Brownie was recovering I would read to him, and he would do his puzzles. Brownie used one paw and his nose. And I promise if Gucci wants that Kong bad enough she will defintely find a way.

And most important, relax. Gucci is looking at you for guideness.  When you pick her up don't pay any attention to the incision site. Just look into her eyes and tell her you love her! You will see once she recovers she will figure out everything on her own. Brownie was a senior like Gucci. It did take Brownie about three weeks to get his spark back. So I will give you the same advise I got. Be patient! Brownie's spark cane back bigger then ever, and so will Gucci.

Sending positive thoughts your way, and please let is know how she is doing. ❤

Nancy and Angel Brownie

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

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18 January 2021 - 5:55 pm
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Brownie, thank you so much! I think we are doing the right thing - I actually have more hesitation about this now that I said "yes" then when we first got the diagnosis/treatment plan, so I know that it's mostly just my worry. Gucci is definitely my "independent" girl and a terrible patient so, you're right, if she wants something she's going to do it! She's currently supposed to be doing no running, stairs, or jumping. She HATES that I won't let her go up the stairs on her own; yesterday I didn't close the gate all the way and next thing I knew she was not only upstairs, but on top of my bed - aka a dog where she was not supposed to be! I'm grateful that she's getting around pretty well, but I have to watch her like a hawk! I will definitely get more rugs for the house, she's already slipping a little. I appreciate your advice and support.

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18 January 2021 - 7:37 pm
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I had the same worries but Gucci seems like a determined dog like Brownie. The right kind of attitude to have!

I had the same kind of thoughts you are having. I remember Brownie 2nd day home I helped him to the back yard. I went in the house to change hos bed. I turned around and there he was! Scared the crap out of Me! I was so proud he made it back into the house in his own.

Brownie inspired me everyday, and Gucci will inspire you too! Remember they are not human and dwell on what use to be like we do. They just move on and except it is what it is attitude. 

I would love to see some pics. What is she mixed with besides Beagle.  Think mine is mixed with some kind of bull dog.

Please let us know how she is doing, and relax mom❤

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 January 2021 - 11:13 am
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Welcome! I'm sorry you had to join our club, it's not where anyone ever expects to be, but we are glad you are here so we can help you through the ruff times and the good ones too, which there will be!

Gucci will surprise you with his resilient nature. Dogs and cats know how to make the most of life no matter their circumstances, it's always the humans that have a harder time with this situation. Ask whatever questions you want and we will help. Don't ever feel silly for asking anything at all, we get it.

Also, don't forget that our community is full of answers when you are up at 3am with worry!lol! Our Discussion Forums have various areas related to Eating Healthy and Mobility, and our featured blogs also focus on specific areas too. 

How's your house? Is it ready for a Tripawd? Be sure to check out our What to Expect articles , the Tripawds Recovery Shopping List and Jerry's Required Reading List for more tips.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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