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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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Cory Power
16
12 August 2008 - 4:44 pm
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Hi,
I stumbled across this forum while searching for information on St. Francis of Assis.

I too am in the situation with my best friend, Stunner. He is a 5 year old Doberman Just turned 5 a few days ago.) He has always been the sweetest and most wonderful dog. His eyes are absolutly full of passion to do anything I ask of him.

I noticed about 6 weeks ago that he had a limp. I had the vet check him out. I thought he had injured his shoulder while chasing the horses at night and running into a fence! It turns out he has osteo sarcoma (bone cancer) in his right upper humerous.

Unfortunatly this is so terribly close to his lungs and is spreading rapidly. My beautiful boy has literally aged 30 years in 3 weeks. I took him to the University hospital for a biopsy to confirm the inevitable. I was told that the cheapest way to prolong his life would be to amputate the limp at the shoulder and he would live about 6 more months! No way would I do that to him for 6 more months of new pain and coping.

As sad as I am, I will know when he is ready to make his trip up. 🙂 I’m 26, this guy is my best bud. Although I do not know how to cope with life around the farm without him, I cannot be selfish and keep him alive for my own needs.

Currently he is on Rimadol and tramadol for his pain and inflamation. His spirits are up although he can barely use his limb. I can see his decline each day, and it breaks my heart. When I sense it is becoming too much for him we will make the trip to our vet to end his pain. Although mine will still be there, I refuse to make him suffer for my own needs.

This isn’t a lecture by any means, just my time to vent. I love all God’s creatures especially dogs. Aferall, dog spelled backwards is god, mans best friend. I love you Stunner.

The Rainbow Bridge



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17
12 August 2008 - 6:00 pm
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Cory Power said:

I too am in the situation with my best friend, Stunner.


Hi Cory,

We are so sad to hear about Stunner, and send our deepest sympathies out to you both.

The decision to amputate is such a personal one, and only you know what’s right for you and Stunner in your heart. The hardest part of being a dog pawrent is taking on these heavy responsiblities, we know it’s not easy.

But please do keep in mind, that vets will give the worst case scenario when it comes to bone cancer. Some dogs may only live a month after the surgery, others we know have gone on to live two years. The best part about amputation is that it immediately removes the pain, which is why we as Tripawd pawrents do it. And, we get extra time to live healthy, happy lives for a longer period of time than if we didn’t go through with it.

The worst part about amputation though, is that it’s a gamble as to whether or not your dog will outlive the prognosis once he heals from the surgery.

Only you can decide if you’re emotionally and financially able to take on this gamble. We understand that you’ve chosen not to, and nobody will condemn you for it.

We send our love and comforting thoughts your way. If you want to chat anymore, we’re here for you.

Love,

Jerry, Rene & Jim 

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



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21 August 2008 - 4:41 pm
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Hi Smokey, how are you doing? Did you have your surgery yesterday? Send us an update when you are feeling better. We’re rootin’ for ya!

Best wishes for a speedy recovery,

Jerry 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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tazziedog
19
21 August 2008 - 10:26 pm
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I just wanted to let you know that this is a great website! My 6 yr old female (spayed) Mastiff Tazzie has just been diagnosed with osteosarcoma of the right front leg, near the wrist joint. I know that we caught it early because it is only a slight swelling but I was afraid to amputate and pursue chemo due to her size. She is 170 pounds and maybe only 5 -10 pounds overweight. She is tall like a Great Dane and not too bulky but she has had both her knees repaired in the past. The surgeon who fixed her knees said she could handle it, and the oncologist also said many giant dogs do well. It wasn’t until I saw the videos of Finnegan and the other large dogs without a front limb that I thought it could be okay.

I plan on buying one of the harnesses I saw on your website to help her get around and I will keep you updated. Her surgery is scheduled for Tuesday 8/26th!

I tried to attach a picture but can’t make it work.

The Rainbow Bridge



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21 August 2008 - 11:28 pm
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tazziedog said:

My 6 yr old female (spayed) Mastiff Tazzie has just been diagnosed with osteosarcoma of the right front leg, near the wrist joint.

Her surgery is scheduled for Tuesday 8/26th!


Oh we are so sorry she was diagnosed, but so glad you found this community of great folks. Anything we can do to help, just let us know.

Good luck next week, we’ll be thinking of you. Be sure to update us by starting a new thread about Tazziedog, in the "Share Your Story" topic. 

Also, if you are still having trouble posting the pics, please email them to us at jerry-at-tripawds-dot-com and we will get them up there in your new thread.

Love,

Jerry 

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

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