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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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My Brody 's Story
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Member Since:
11 January 2020
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28 January 2020 - 10:06 am
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Thank you everyone for the prayers and well wishes for my Brody, especially my dear friend Rebecca who sent out the request as I have been off of facebook the past few months. My entire world came crashing down last Wednesday in a period of ten minutes, as you all know my dogs are such an integral part of my family, they are my babies, and I love them with my entire heart. Last Wednesday they woke up went out to potty, came in and ate breakfast then rang the bell to go back outside. I watched and laughed as Brody, Shelby and Lilly played in the snow. It was pretty cold so within 10 minutes they were at the door scratching to come in.

Brody came in limping and holding up his left front paw. I sat down to examine it and it appeared distorted and was swollen the size of a baseball, I knew the limb was fractured. I called my vet and was at his office within 5 minutes. I had an awful feeling when he went back for an xray that the news was going to be more than just a broken leg. The vet came in and showed me the xray and my gut feeling was correct, the bone appeared abnormal and consistent with cancer. She called another veterinary center so I could meet with an orthopedic surgeon and have a board certified radiologist confirm the diagnosis.

Well I saw neither, as the emergency vet said the were unavailable even though she made an appointment for them to meet with me. A very kind Er Vet spoke with me and stated if this was indeed osteosarcoma and I only had 2 options amputation or euthanasia as this was a very painful cancer and would spread quickly. I left and called my vet and the next morning we were off to Cornell University, we met with a team of specialist who gave me the same 2 options. Less than 24 hours prior Brody was a healthy happy, full of life dog who never once limped or showed any signs of pain or discomfort.

I did not know what to do as I would never ever allow my babies suffer. The Dr assured me that dogs adjust very well and could live a happy life with 3 legs, he said,” dogs are born with 3 limbs and the fourth is just a spare “. Being that Brody is 9 years old and boxers do not have longevity, in all actuality even without this awful diagnosis my Brody would probably be with me for maybe only a year or two more. My sons and I agreed that as long as he did not have any signs of cancer anywhere else we would give him a chance. That entire night I questioned myself wondering if keeping him alive was selfish or was I buying him more quality time with us. I prayed to God and asked Mike to watch over Brody and help me make the right decision. I even asked Mike to send me a sign.

The entire day the team at Cornell ran every test imaginable and they concluded that all looked well and if it were them they would amputate and give him more time. They could not say he was 100% cancer free because this type of cancer does produce micrometastatic disease, so follow up chemo would be necessary to prevent spread of the disease, also there is a vaccine available that actually slows or prevents the spread of the disease, giving them a longer lifespan.

Brody had the amputation late Friday and I still wondered if this was a selfish decision and would he hate me for doing this to him. He came out of surgery like a trooper and even went out to potty the same night. He was going to stay at Cornell until Monday but Saturday night the Dr called and said this guy is amazing, he is acting like he is weeks post surgery not 24 hours,he felt that Brody could come home in the am. My son Matt and I left early Sunday morning and on the way in the sky was a beautiful rainbow peeking out from some very angry storm clouds. My sign from Mike.

They put us in a room and we waited for Brody, the door opened and in walked, actually hopped, my amazing guy. His nubby wiggling happily, he jumped up on one leg to kiss me. He looked so happy and excited. He slept the entire ride home and by the evening he was outside to potty and jumped up and down on his side of the sofa like nothing happened. He also has not shown any signs of pain. His wild sister Shelby was so happy to see him and is so gentle, it is as if she knows he went through a terrible ordeal and needed TLC.

Every day with my boy is a gift, and if ever he shows any signs of pain or the cancer spreads I promised my boy I will never let him suffer and will set him free to run with Ekim and Delilah over the rainbow bridge .

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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28 January 2020 - 11:07 am
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Hi and welcome to you and Brody! We are so glad you came here from Facebook to share your story with the greater community. The more people who know that amputation isn’t the end of the road, the more dogs like Brody can go on to have great lives! Yay!

I’m so glad he’s doing well. Through the years many boxers have joined us and gone on to live way beyond their prognosis. We hope Brody rocks it too! If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask. Be sure to check out Jerry’s Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books library for answers to many common questions and concerns. 

We can’t wait to see photos of your sweet pup. Let us know how things are going and don’t forget to share photos here, we would love to see him.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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28 January 2020 - 1:19 pm
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Well helloooo Brody!!!   Sorry you had to be here, but sooooo happuy to hear how well you are doing!!!

Sounds like you have a very special  Guardian  watching over you, Brody and the pack.   Ike k ew uou needed his Rainbow just at the right moment😊

Brody needs to take it easy, even though he seems to feel a bit more spunky than most do this early on.  Short leashed potty breaks, no jumping  and down, rest, rest, and more rest.

Keep is posted and yes, photos please!-


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie!

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!

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