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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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Meet Charlie
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Member Since:
31 March 2015
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25 April 2015 - 11:21 am
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Thanks everyone. My wife and I were debating whether or not to take him in even right before the appointment. His attitude, mood, energy were great! But I took him in anyways. His surgeon, the nurses, and the hospital has been and truly amazing.

When we got into a room and the doc came in I could tell she was either having a bad day or something was wrong. When they had taken Charlie into the back area before we got in an exam room the doc had noticed his leg, the one he's been trying not to use, felt thick. Without even asking (or charging) she took an x-ray.

It was relayed to me that when the images came up on the screen all the nurses started to tear up. Charlie is quite popular apparently and when the images came up and showed that the cancer had spread to his leg everyone had a knot in their throat. The doc was hoping, we were hoping, that HE'D be one of the ones that surgery fixed.

As soon as she told me, even before I saw the x-ray, my mind went fro rehab to hospice. From day one of this journey the first question regarding any sort of treatment, test, procedure, anything, was "Is this good for Chuck? How will this effect his quality of life".

Heating pads can't help this, nothing will. Even if money was no object, this would be the end of the road. He's been on the novox and will continue until tomorrow because he still has arthritis. I'm not concerned with the narcotics knocking him out. It doesn't matter, I don't want him in pain so we've started his Tramadol again. He's been in a great mood and great spirits as we spend today just hanging out as a family, soaking up some sun, and trying to distract ourselves just a little from what's next.

Tomorrow the surgeon and two nurses are coming to the house. We'll take care of the next step at home, in the sun, without the stress, without the anxiety of making the trek to the vet. He beat the odds already, I couldn't ask for anymore from the pup. He's been a huge part of our family since we've been a family and I'm not sure what it will be like when I come home and he's not here. I have a hard enough time just when he's at the groomers!

Oh, about the way he acted when I was sick. Charlie was never trained for any of that and it wasn't the first time he clued into something that we missed. When my wife was pregnant, with just a few weeks to go until the due date, Charlie started acting weird. He was really clamoring to my wife, wouldn't leave her side and anytime she sat down he'd be next to her with his head on her lap. At the time we never thought anything of it other than for my wife it was a little annoying if she was trying to eat or something. He's always wanted some lovin' but this was by far over and beyond what he normally would do.

A week or so later we found out there was a problem with pregnancy and that my wife had to have an emergency c-section. My son is now totally fine, but he spent a week in the NICU and while we were there day and night, it dawned on us that the doctor had told us problems started happening with the pregnancy about a week and a half before we had gone in. That's pretty much right when Charlie started acting the way he did. Never acted like that again to that degree.  

He's a good dog. He will be missed dearly and greatly.

Thanks everyone for the responses, it's been a very welcoming and comforting experience to share his story.

This image was taken this morning. It's too cold to give him one last dip in the water (wearing a life jacket of course) but at least it's sunny.

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Martinsburg, WV
Member Since:
3 June 2014
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25 April 2015 - 3:31 pm
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I am so sorry that your family & Charlie are facing this end of life decision.  This is the hardest thing to do for fur kids but it's also a final gift we can give them.  Just know that we are wrapping your family in a Tripawds hug now & will be here to lend you support as you go through the grieving process.  There will be lots of tears probably for a while but you will eventually be able to smile when you think of your sweet Charlie.  And you will see Charlie again & he'll be waiting to greet you with slobbering kisses & a wiggling butt when it's your time to leave this earth. 

Keeping you in my thoughts. 

Sahana and her Angel Leland


November 17, 2009 - June 30, 2014

May you finally be healthy and running free at the Rainbow Bridge. Until we meet again my sweet boy!


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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25 April 2015 - 11:39 pm
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So very, very, very sprry. My heart breaks for you...and with you.

Your loved and deve to Charlie will get you through this. Charlie knows how much you love him a d he KNOWS he can count in you to release him from a body that no longer serves him. That picture of him un the sun, it shows Charlie still able to be Charlie. What a selfless gift to give him at this time.

PLEASE stay connected. We can do nothing to take your pain away, we can do nothing to stop the despair and deep void you will be facing. We can only tell you we u derstand. Charlie is our family and his incredible story of courage has touched us all. His rebound after his surgery challenges will continue to inspire anyone new to this journey. The bond and deep connection Charli has to you and yourwife...and that little bald AN JNBREW CONNECTION! Nothing can interfere with the kind of special "energy connection " Charlie has with you.

Just as Charlie was your protector here on earth, and you his, that has not changed. He'll jist be watching over you from a different location.

One thing Jerry always reminds us is these few days are jist a blink of an eye compared to the thousands and thousands of joyful days you two shared. That's what he wants you to remember...that's what he's remembering...that's all that ever mattered ro Charlie, just having THE best rime eith his best friend!!

I know you felt privileged to have Charlie in your life. He felt just as privileged to have you in his!!

Continue to share more Charlie stories with us whennyou can..AND pictures! He is stunningly handspme...and always looks so happy in all his pictures!

Sending so much love to you and your family tonight.

Sally and My Eternal Light Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle

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!

Los Angeles, CA
Member Since:
13 June 2013
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26 April 2015 - 8:15 am
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I have been captivated by your story and storytelling... it's like reading a beautiful love story that has no end ... no matter what. Soul mates ... I am so sorry your earthly journey is ending but I can tell you, your story doesn't end here. My beloved soul mate passed away a year ago (an april 2014 angel) and she still guides and protects me and our home daily. She sent me a little dog that needed more love than I did and together we are healing, grieving, laughing and smiling again. All while our Spirit Shelby keeps us safe.

I am sending you love and light as you embark on this next part of your journey... it is horribly sad and painful but thank you for you sharing your story with us... you have a gift for writing.

Much love,

alison with spirit shelby furever in her heart (and little jasper too) 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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26 April 2015 - 10:45 am
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Oh no! Now I'm tearing up, I'm really, really sorry. How I wish there was a way to let every Tripawd have a long, long time on three legs, it's so tragic when their time gets cut short by cancer. My heart and all my condolences go out to you and your family, I'm so sorry.

Alison said it so perfectly, there is no end to Charlie's story. He will continue to look after your sweet little boy and you, your wife and the beautiful future you have together. Nobody could ask for a better angel than Charlie, his work will always continue.

We'll keep a candle lit in our hearts for all of you. Please know we are thinking of you and when you want to talk, we are here. You'll always be a part of our community.


Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Norene, TN
Member Since:
21 October 2014
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27 April 2015 - 7:10 am
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Along with everyone else, I'm saddened with this news. What a beautiful pup (love the picture). My heart goes out to you.


Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey

Orrtanna Pa.
Member Since:
25 January 2014
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27 April 2015 - 4:39 pm
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I am so sorry I am just now posting. I somehow missed this. My heart is hurting for you and your family. Charlie will always hold a huge piece of your heart. Know that you are held close in thought here. Lori, Ty & Gang

TY GUY, Best Black Lab ever! Diagnosed  and had amp in January, 2014. Kicked MRSA's butt. Earned his angel wings on April 16, 2014. Run Free my boy and don't forget a shoe. Ty is a proud member of the " April Angels". Ty sent us Daryl, a Tripawd rescue in Sept. of 2016. Daryl is 5 +or -. We are also Pawrents to Chandler, a Border Collie mix who is 15 and 1/2, Lucy, a Corgi who is 7, 2 minis, 2 horses, and a feisty cat named Zoe. Zoe had a non skeletal Osteosarcoma removed in July 2015. No Chemo, she was at least 16. She is going strong although she is now completely blind. She is now close to 20 and her hobbies are eating and sleeping in front of her personal heater. 

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