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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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Introducing Molly!
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Member Since:
3 April 2018
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5 April 2018 - 7:03 am
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Our almost 7 year old greyhound Molly (her birthday is April 8) will be undergoing amputation surgery on Friday, April 13. 

I noticed a lump above her wrist at the start of March. My immediate thought was osteosarcoma, as we've gone through that with several of our other greyhounds in years past. You know, one day nothing and the next day there is a growth the size of an egg - or larger!

In Molly's case, she wasn't limping or favoring it thankfully (and still isn't). Vet diagnosed soft tissue sarcoma. Oncologist gave us several options, but amputation was our family's choice.

Our concerns are how serious the surgery is, how hard it will be on her for recovery. The vet discharges the same day. I have planned to be off of work the week following surgery to be with her. 

It is Molly's front driver's side arm that has the growth. And we've decided to refer to her as being a tricycle - cuz that sounds so much more fun to us!

Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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5 April 2018 - 11:20 am
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I'm sorry cancer has brought you here, but this is the best place to be when dealing with amputation and cancer!

Coming home the same day of surgery can be a bit tougher but can be done, several members here have done it and hopefully they will chime in.

For peace of mind be sure you have a phone number or an emergency vet located- most likely you won't need it but just to be safe.

You might look through the Reading List if you haven't already- lots of links there with info on what to expect with amputation and recovery.

The first couple of weeks tend to be the hardest, more on us then our pups I think! It's not uncommon for pups to not want to eat which can make getting pain meds in challenging.  Different dogs react differently to pain meds so often some tweaking of the dose or dosing schedule is needed.  Keep in contact with your vet on how Molly is doing with the meds.  New Tripawds tire very easily and the pain meds can make them loopy or sedated leading some to think their dog is depressed.  Our surgeon told us that only short, leashed potty breaks were allowed for the first two weeks.  A restful, quiet recovery is best.  Many people here set up a room for recovery- make sure stairs and furniture are blocked off.  If she needs to do stairs to get in or out of the house it should be supervised at first.

Stay tuned for more input!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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5 April 2018 - 11:22 am
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tricycle said
Our concerns are how serious the surgery is, how hard it will be on her for recovery. The vet discharges the same day...

Welcome and best wishes for Molly's speedy recovery!

Coming home the same day after surgery can be difficult, but if the clinic does not have overnight supervision it may be best. Have the number of the nearest 24-hour emergency clinic, just to be prepared for the worst case scenario. The vast majority of dogs recovery quickly without any problems, but Greyhounds are susceptible to post-op bleeding issues.

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!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

PS: Thanks for creating Molly's blog! Be sure to publish at least one post or it may be deleting during future network maintenance. For help getting started, see the Tripawds Help Videos in your dashboard.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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5 April 2018 - 11:56 am
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As you can see from the Greyt feedback, you've come to the right place for support and information.

As mentioned, coming home the day if surgery can be rough.  Actually, the dirst week or two can be rough.  It is MAJOR surgery and managing the pain is crucial. 

The Vet should send you home with Tramadol, Gabapentin, Rimadyl and an antibiotic.  Some come home with a pain patch, some don't.

You mentioned you've jad other Greys with osteo.  Sorry to hear that.  It sou ds @ike though, this may be your first time for pursuing amputation,so stay connected, okay?  We are here with you the whole way!

Also,we have a Tripawds Helpline . 1 844 TRIPAWD.  It's staffed by volunteers who've been through this journey.

Keep us posted and let us know what other questions you may have.

Extra hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Schofield, WI
Member Since:
13 August 2015
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7 April 2018 - 8:31 am
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Welcome and so sorry you have to be here.  I will be keeping you and beautiful Molly in my thoughts and prayers on Friday for surgery day!  Others have given you great thing to remember is traction for your girl so make sure you have non skid rugs or yoga mats for pathways on non carpeted floors.  Please keep us updated as you can on surgery day and know we'll be here if you have questions once you get her home.  So glad to hear you'll have the week off to be with her.  Love that you can use a bit of humor (tricycle) Molly to help you will help 😉  Fingers crossed for a smooth sailing recovery for you both!  Hugs!

Member Since:
3 April 2018
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10 April 2018 - 9:26 am
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Thank you so much for the warm welcome!

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