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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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Jett aka Jettalino - Becoming a tripod
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Forum Posts: 19
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1 June 2020
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2 June 2020 - 2:26 pm
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Hello everyone,

Last Tuesday I was hit with the news that my 9 year old yorkie poo, Jett, has a STS or peripheral nerve sheath tumor on his front left foot that his vet recommends we amputate. The news hit me like a ton of bricks to say the least. Why Jett, why now? He is only 12lbs. He was fine a week ago. 

After reading many stories on here, I noticed it takes a special dog to become a tripod. I believe Jett has been chosen to start a new journey. I commend all the dog owners who have been through this process. The first thing I felt was alone. I don’t take Jett to dog parks so I have not seen many tripods but looking at these beauties on here made me smile.smiley4 

I have cried myself to sleep many nights leading up to his second opinion visit this coming Friday. I am nervous to say the least but preparing myself to hear that amputation is indeed the best option for him. 

I will definitely write again after his visit on Friday. In the mean time I will continue to read the many stories on here and figure out how to post pictures. 

Forum Posts: 35
Member Since:
15 May 2020
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2 June 2020 - 2:57 pm
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Hi Jett and Jett’s human! 

My dog Kinzi became a tripod 2 weeks ago (tomorrow). My husband and I shed so many tears leading up to this and very few afterward. The waiting, the worrying about whether you’re making the right decision, the worrying that your pup won’t enjoy life as a tripod– all very normal, understandable feelings.

Kinzi had a mast cell tumor (MCT) on her front right paw and had most of her leg amputated. We agonized over the decision but felt it was her best chance at continuing her happy life.

So far, we were right. She has adjusted much better and more quickly than we have. She can now walk up and down a few steps, go for short 5 min leashed walks, and when she sneaks by, jump on the couch. You can see updates about her in the Kinzi Pupdate thread.

I’m sure Jerry or another admin will be in here in a minute with all the great resources on this site. You’re not alone, your feelings are normal, and Kinzi and I are here for you! <3

Ashley

Forum Posts: 19
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2 June 2020 - 3:44 pm
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Thank you for reaching out Ashley! Kinzi looks awesome!!!! Jett has been with my mom while i’m work and he is certainly limping more. So hard to watch. Friday cannot come soon enough. I will definitely keep tabs on Kinzi’s progress. 

I just want my Jett back to normal 🙂

Virginia




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2 June 2020 - 4:41 pm
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Jett!!! Jettalina, you are adorable!!!  Can’t  wait to see more pictures of your cute self.

Yeah, it’s a lot to wrap your jeans and your jeart around when you first hear the “diagnosis.   Then you hear the word “amputation”. And the tears start and the fear and uncertainty  kick in.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!  We understand  all those emoticons  like no others can.  We ALSO understand the relief you will feel when surgery is over, recovery is past and Jett’s sparkle has come back bigger and brighter  than you could imagine.  Recovery is no picnic and we are here ro help you navigate thrumit, okay?   

Jett is showing you she’s ready to get that bum leg removed.   Is she on pain meds now?  

As questions come up, don’t  hesitate to let us be a resource  for you.

jettjett said

After reading many stories on here, I noticed it takes a special dog to become a tripod. I believe Jett has been chosen to start a new journey.

EXACTLY

IThe first thing I felt was alone.

NOPE, NOT ALONE

I don’t take Jett to dog parks so I have not seen many tripods but looking at these beauties on here made me smile.smiley4 

  

Jett is going  to be sich a Cute Tripawd!

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!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19486
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2 June 2020 - 4:47 pm
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Here’s  a link for adding photos.     adding images

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27772
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2 June 2020 - 5:50 pm
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Hey Jettalino, welcome to our little club. Yes, you will make a GREAT Tripawd IF that’s the way things will play out. I hope not, but if so, as you can see here, dogs and cats do really well on three legs (especially smaller ones!). In fact, we even have another member here named Jet, only he’s a Trikitty! So you can see that you are definitely not alone. 

I’m so glad to hear you are getting a second opinion. If it’s with an oncologist, here’s a list of questions to ask your vet oncologist so you don’t forget anything. To add to that list, I would

  1. ask their opinion on whether or not you are a good candidate for a prosthetic. If the paw is the only affected part of the leg you may be able to use one. 
  2. also discuss the possibility of electrochemotherapy or intralesional chemotherapy. Both methods are geared toward preserving the leg while getting rid of the tumor. Not too many US vets use these methods but they are common in other countries.

Whatever happens, we are here for you so keep us posted. And if you’d like help adding images to the Forums just let us know!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 19
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3 June 2020 - 8:32 am
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benny55 said
Jett!!! Jettalina, you are adorable!!!  Can’t  wait to see more pictures of your cute self.

Yeah, it’s a lot to wrap your jeans and your jeart around when you first hear the “diagnosis.   Then you hear the word “amputation”. And the tears start and the fear and uncertainty  kick in.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!  We understand  all those emoticons  like no others can.  We ALSO understand the relief you will feel when surgery is over, recovery is past and Jett’s sparkle has come back bigger and brighter  than you could imagine.  Recovery is no picnic and we are here ro help you navigate thrumit, okay?   

Jett is showing you she’s ready to get that bum leg removed.   Is she on pain meds now?  

As questions come up, don’t  hesitate to let us be a resource  for you.

jettjett said

After reading many stories on here, I noticed it takes a special dog to become a tripod. I believe Jett has been chosen to start a new journey.

EXACTLY

IThe first thing I felt was alone.

NOPE, NOT ALONE

I don’t take Jett to dog parks so I have not seen many tripods but looking at these beauties on here made me smile.smiley4 

  

Jett is going  to be sich a Cute Tripawd!

  

Hi Benny!! Jett is currently on Galliprant for his luxating patella’s. We are also giving him a joint supplement called Synovi G4 Chews by Bayer. Thank you for your support!!

Forum Posts: 19
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3 June 2020 - 8:34 am
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Hi Jerry! Thank you for the warm welcome! I will certainly ask the oncologist those questions. I am preparing a list so I don’t forget anything. 

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6 June 2020 - 11:32 am
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Hello Everyone!

Quick update.

Jett saw an Oncologist on Friday(6/5/2020) who advised amputation is indeed the best treatment for his soft tissue sarcoma tumor. She said we can do a biopsy to confirm the grade of cancer but most people bypass that step because they biopsy it after amputation also. She said Jett is healthy and will do awesome as a tripawd.

Getting the surgery done at her office will run me $3000-$3500 which includes an overnight stay. That is really pricey! We live in Richmond, VA. I am awaiting a call from Jett’s regular vet to see what it would cost at Bandfield. I am not sure the average cost but that first location is known to be expensive. Jett’s appetite has been really all over the place lately. 

I will update again once I speak to his vet next week. Thank you everyone for your support.

Shakira!

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27772
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6 June 2020 - 2:26 pm
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I love the way your oncologist thinks!

Yes, the cost of care at a specialty clinic is higher but in the case of a soft tissue sarcoma, the more experienced the practitioner you can afford, the better the chance that you will get clean margins when amputating. It is worth the price if you can afford it.

Banfield does not do amputations as far as I know but maybe yours done.

In the meantime since it sounds like money is a huge concern (when isn’t it right?!), please call Helping Hands in Richmond.

https://www.hel…..vetva.com/

We know the owner, Dr. Pasternak, personally and the practice specializes in affordable surgery like amputation. Many members here have had a great experience at the clinic. You will have to bring her home the same day but when cost is a first priority, they offer a very safe and caring service that we feel comfortable recommending.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 19
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8 June 2020 - 1:45 pm
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Jerry!! Thank you so much for recommending Helping Hands. I had no idea they existed! What a blessing!

I just spoke to Jett’s vet and she says they are really good. However, she will research some overnight care facilities for me. I told her I would feel better having him monitored the first night. 

She has to call me tomorrow to see if she took x-rays of his chest as yet. If not she would want to. She also wants to do the full blood work up. I should be scheduling his surgery soon. As surreal as all of this feels, I do feel progress. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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8 June 2020 - 3:24 pm
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Oh I’m glad we could be there to help! Yes, chest x-rays are important, and the labs. Good moves!

It feels good to have a plan, even if it’s a plan we never wanted to make. You are asking great questions and if there’s anything we can do in the meantime just holler.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out Jerry’s Required Reading List for other pre-surgery tips and ideas.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 19
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11 June 2020 - 1:48 pm
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Quick update. Jett did his pre op x rays and blood work. Everything looked good so then sent his medical records to Helping Hand today. I am impatiently awaiting their call to get his surgery scheduled.

I have not found an overnight care facility for him. I am wondering if my option is just to show up at an veterinary ER with him. This part makes me nervous.

Have any of you taken your pet home same day after an amputation surgery? 



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11 June 2020 - 2:15 pm
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My vet did not offer overnight care for my cat Mona so I was expecting to bring her home. He decided to take her to his home for the night (others in the clinic said he was very attached to her). I picked Mona up the next morning and he gave me his phone number if I had any concerns over the weekend.

When you pick Jett up make sure you understand the pain management plan, i.e. dosage, schedule, etc. 

If you end up bringing Jett home ensure you have phone numbers to contact the vet during off-hours. Sometimes it’s helpful to be talked through any concerns that may arise.

You might feel more comfortable once you set up a little nursery for Jett. I set up my office with a mattress for me and Mona slept in the closet during the day and on the mattress with me at night. It’s good to contain the pet so they can heal safely.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

The Rainbow Bridge



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11 June 2020 - 3:15 pm
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I’m so glad Dr. Pasternak will be taking care of Jett! You are in good hands.

I have not found an overnight care facility for him. I am wondering if my option is just to show up at an veterinary ER with him. This part makes me nervous.

Did you ask Helping Hands to refer you to one? I know they work with some in the area and should be able to arrange his overnight stay as long as you drive him. Don’t show up unless they know you are coming. 

If for some reason you cannot get him to an overnight clinic, you can certainly care for him yourself at home. It’s not easy but Helping Hands will give you good instructions on how to care for him. 

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