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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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New here...parents of almost 3 yr old bulloxer w/osteosarcoma
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Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
14 March 2016
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14 March 2016 - 9:44 am
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Good morning or afternoon to everyone. 

My name is Ani and I am new here. My husband and I share our home with our toddler daughter and our almost 3 yr old fur baby Patch. Our story started a little over 1 month ago, when my husband took Patch out for his short morning stroll. During his morning strolls, sometimes Patch loves to “go crazy” if you will and run around a in circles like a maniac. That morning Patch did just that, and when he was done running around, as he and my husband starting walking back home, Patch began limping. We weren’t concerned at first because this had happened to Patch before, but it usually took him a day or two to recover. We always figured he sprained or pulled something. But that morning of limping turned into 2, 3 and 4 days of the limp getting worse. So, I told my husband that we needed to take Patch to the vet. Patch was diagnosed with a CCL tear and we were told that he would need surgery. We sought the opinion of another veterinary orthopedic specialist whom gave us the same diagnosis. So, we scheduled the surgery. 

On February 26th, only 1 week after the original x-ray image was taken, upon beginning the TPLO surgery, the surgeon stumbled upon some abnormal tissue. A sample was taken of the tissue for a biopsy. A follow-up x-ray after surgery also confirmed a mass around the area of the surgery site that was not visible in the original x-ray image. As Patch began recovering from surgery we waited for the results, hoping that the tissue was just scar tissue that was beginning to form around the injury. Unfortunately, the biopsy came back positive for Osteosarcoma. 

Last week Friday, one of the options we were given to attempt to save Patch’s life was amputation of his right hind leg. We spent the weekend researching, reading and making phone calls. And I have to say that this community has given me some peace, although I am still VERY unsure about the decision to amputate our fur baby’s leg. I keep thinking, “is this what he would want”? How do you come to terms with a decision that perhaps seems selfish or cruel? Wouldn’t it be easier or less cruel to just put him to sleep now?

Patch is scheduled for amputation surgery tomorrow afternoon and although I feel it is the right decision, I am still very anxious. 

Thank you for your time, your advice, your support and prayers!

Patch is a 60 lbs baby boy Bulloxer (American Bulldog/Boxer) born on May 10, 2013 - Right hind leg amputated on 3/15/2016 due to Osteosarcoma mass that grew around the CCL/ACL area of the knee. He lives with his and is very loved by his human pack Mommy, Daddy and Hannah.

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3987
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14 March 2016 - 9:54 am
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Welcome to Tripawds, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry I have to run right now, but I wanted to get your post approved so other members can comment.  I’ll check back later.

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

Maryland
Forum Posts: 384
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14 March 2016 - 11:25 am
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Hi There,

Our story is very similar to yours—going in for a ACL repair and coming home with a diagnosis of OSA. You’re probably as gobsmacked as were were. But it sounds like you’ve pulled yourselves together and thought about the choices and decided to amputate. Of course you’re anxious and worried and stressed about what is going to happen to your pup. But it helps if you don’t think about doing something to him and instead think about doing some for him. He doesn’t care about the leg. He cares about being with his pack! He wants to be with you and you’re giving him the chance to do that w/o pain. So no, I don’t think it is cruel or selfish to amputate Patch’s leg. 

When we faced the decision, we knew that our Ellie had so much life in her. We just couldn’t imagine putting her to sleep when she just wasn’t ready. For us, that would have been more cruel. Once we figured out that she could manage life as a tripawd—that she wasn’t too big or too old—then we knew we had to try. Sure, her life was a bit different as a tripawd (mostly her walks were shorter) but otherwise she lived pretty much as she always had. She still laid on the patio and chased squirrels and barked at the UPS guy and got and gave lots of snuggles. She was happy to be with us and that is what she wanted. I imagine Patches would say the same thing if you asked him. 

Denise, Bill and Angel Ellie

Active 10+ Pyr mix suddenly came up lame with ACL tear in left rear leg. Scheduled for a TPLO but final pre-op x-rays indicated a small suspicious area, possibly OSA, which could have caused the ACL tear. Surgeon opened the knee for TPLO but found soft bone. Biopsy came back positive for OSA. Became a Tripawd 9/18/14. Carbo6 with Cerenia and Fluids. Pain free and living in the moment. Crossed the Bridge on 7/12/15 after probable spread of cancer to her cervical spine. A whole lifetime of memories squeezed into 10 months. Here's her story: Eloise

Forum Posts: 2010
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14 March 2016 - 1:09 pm
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I wish they could talk to us in ways that we could understand clearly, but having said that, I knew that I had made the right decision the first day I saw Otis sleeping in the sun with his sister Tess.  Nothing selfish about it – Otis wants to be with his family, he does not want to be in pain – the amputation was the way to get both of those wishes fulfilled.  Some people’s situations might be different, but with an otherwise healthy dog, for me, putting him to sleep was not an option.   It is a hard decision, and the two weeks post-amp will be really hard, but you will be amazed at how quickly Patch adjusts.   For now, spend time with him, and make sure that you have good traction on your floors.   This community has been terrific for me, so keep us updated!

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Michigan
Forum Posts: 1451
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2 April 2013
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14 March 2016 - 4:46 pm
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So many of us can relate to how you are feeling right now – like the floor just dropped out from underneath you.  Murphy was 7 when he was he had his surgery, and aside from his leg, he was perfectly healthy.  We knew that we needed to do what we could to give him a chance to live his life.  He has had 3 years, so far, of chasing squirrels, barking at Cassie & Max, jumping on the couch and laying out on the deck.  He is such a happy dog!  We have absolutely no regrets.  The first couple of weeks were hard – Murphy didn’t want to eat, and we had to keep up with his pain medications.  There was such a roller coaster of emotions those first couple of weeks, but we got through it, and so did he.

Go to you tube and look for tripawds on there.  You’ll find a lot of videos of our dogs living their lives.  There are no guarantees, some have been extremely lucky like us, while others lost their babies shortly after surgery.  There’s no way to know.  But we are here for you. 

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs

Donna.png

Forum Posts: 2
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14 March 2016
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15 March 2016 - 8:26 am
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Thank you all so very much, for your very encouraging replies. I feel better already. Patch’s amputation surgery is scheduled for this afternoon. I don’t have an exact time yet. I am feeling positive that everything will go well and Patch will feel better soon. big-blink

Have a great day!

Ani, Jesus, Hannah and Patch

Patch is a 60 lbs baby boy Bulloxer (American Bulldog/Boxer) born on May 10, 2013 - Right hind leg amputated on 3/15/2016 due to Osteosarcoma mass that grew around the CCL/ACL area of the knee. He lives with his and is very loved by his human pack Mommy, Daddy and Hannah.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19877
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15 March 2016 - 11:19 am
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Just catching up! Sorry you jave to be here, under the circumstances however, there is no better place to be for support, information and understanding. And we do understand the fear, the panic, the shock, the uncertainty, the second guessing…and the love!

You are doing this FOR Patch, not TO Patch! Recovery is no picnic for a couple of weeks, lots of ups and downs. Once recovery is complete and Patch’s sparkle co es back brighter than before you will put all this behind you a d get on with living!

Patch doesn’t care about a “diagnosis” or days on a calendar. He just cares about living in the moment and getting extra treats and tummy rubs and lots of loving and spoiling!

Stay connected! We are all right by your side cheering for you and supporting you! Let us know when surgery is done so we can celebrate with you!

Love to all!

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!

Ohio
Forum Posts: 8
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16 March 2016 - 8:31 pm
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Oh Patch!  My story is a little different with my dog, but I agree with all the members and remember being where you were when the bottom fell out getting a diagnosis of cancer.  I’ll never forget what my vet told me as I contemplated amputation, she said that amputation is a “salvage procedure.”  What you are doing is salvaging your dog’s life.  Amputation was the right decision for me, and it sounds like Patch has a lot of life in him and it is the right decision for him.  I can say, with experience, that amputation is not cruel.  It is a salvation in situations like this.  Had the cancer been checked to see if had spread any where else?  It is unbelievable how adaptable dogs are; it seems to be us humans that have the hang ups!  The first few days and possibly weeks can be challenging, but soon Patch will be hopping and twirling around like a maniac again.  I hope all goes well with his surgery, good luck!  

Kendra and Thisbe 

Livermore, CA




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17 March 2016 - 9:39 am
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Checking for an update on Patch.  Did he have his surgery?

Karen

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

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