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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 Tripawd Daisy
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Columbia, MO
Member Since:
10 December 2011
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12 December 2011 - 4:13 pm
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Daisy became a tripawd on 12/9/11.  She was diagnosed with OSA on 11/29/11 after she starting limping.  I decided to amputate but will not be doing chemo.  Just wanted to give her pain relief for the time she has left.

Daisy is a 6-1/2 year old, 81 lb. lab/wolfhound mix.  I adopted her from Columbia Second Chance when she was 10 weeks old.

We are 3 days post op and everything has been going well.  She was a wild girl when I picked her up Saturday.  Yesterday was another story.  She wouldn't get up, kept panting and drooling, and was extremely restless.  She had her two favorite people in the world (my 10 and 5 year old nephews) visit her last night and she perked up and finally got off the couch.  I think I'm going to use them if she gets into a post op funk.

Today she had breakfast like normal (other than I had to deliver the bowl to her on the couch).  And she had her first post op poop!  The panting and restlessness has stopped.

Thanks for the site.  It really helped me know what to expect with her amp.  Never imagined anything like this would ever happen to my girl.  What an emotional rollercoaster!


Marla & Daisy

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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12 December 2011 - 4:30 pm
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Welcome and thanks for joining. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Best wishes for Daisy's speedy recovery. Try to enjoy the ride! smiley

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
13 June 2011
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12 December 2011 - 5:27 pm
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Bo was a 6 year old lab diagnosed with OSA. We opted for amp, no chemo and chose to focus on quality of life. You have found a wonderful support group…welcome! Come here for any questions and keep us posted!!

Madison, WI
Member Since:
5 December 2009
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12 December 2011 - 5:43 pm
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Sounds like Daisy and you are doing great so far!

How great to have nephews as secret weapons too big-grin

Gerry has been a tripawd since 12/16/2009.

He was a shelter dog with a mysterious past and an irrepairable knee injury.

Videos and pics of Gerry's pawesomeness can be found at:

Member Since:
30 July 2010
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12 December 2011 - 5:46 pm
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Welcome to the tripawds community and there are others like you with dogs diagnosed with OSA and went with amputation, no chemo.  Dealing with cancer is never easy, and like you said, its an emotional roller coaster. 

Every moment is precious, so we hope you both have as much quality and quantity time together.  We look forward to hearing your story and if possible, seeing some pictures of your Daisy.

-Chloe's mom

Chloe became a rear amp tripawd on 7-29-10. Another tumor was removed on front leg 2-20-14. Found 3rd tumor on neck 2-2015, but she's still kicking cancer's butt at age 14. Chloe's blog

New Jersey
Member Since:
4 June 2011
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12 December 2011 - 6:17 pm
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Good luck with the recovery! Sounds like the nephews are great medicine!

Plainfield, Illinois
Member Since:
14 May 2011
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12 December 2011 - 6:31 pm
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Chili Dawg was a front amp with OSA.  We also elected for only the amputation and no chemo.  For the first week I had to hand feed Chili because otherwise he wouldn't eat on his own, but once he was off his medication, his appetite returned.  You have found a great community.  I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't found this website. 


Jenna & Spirit Chili Dawg

Diagnosed with OSA: 5/2/2011 Ampuversary: 5/11/2011 OSA returned in hip: 8/26/2011
Chili Dawg crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 8/30/2011 & is now pain free. He was my heart dog, and I miss him every day.

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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12 December 2011 - 10:35 pm
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Welcome to the site nobody wants to join but everyone is glad they did.

It sounds like Daisy is doing well so far. The panting and the ‘funk’ all kinda come with the recovery period. Having people come and visit was the only thing that really cheered Abby up during the first couple of weeks.

We’ve been there and can help if you have questions or just need support!
Jackie, Abby’s mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Columbia, MO
Member Since:
10 December 2011
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13 December 2011 - 8:11 am
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Thanks for the words of support.  Daisy goes back to the vet today to have her pressure bandage removed.  Having them do it since I didn't think I could.  I'm kinda squeamish.  This will be the first time I'll get to see her “battle wound”.  Not sure how I'm going to handle it.

She continues to improve even though it has only been 4 days since her amp.  We were outside this morning and she took off up 6 stairs to the upper part of our backyard before I could stop her.  There's a possum that hangs around up there on the other side of the fence on some mornings and I think she “forgot” that she's supposed to be taking it easy!

I haven't figured out yet how to get pictures into posts.  Heck I had to ask for help from Admin just to get my first topic posted.



My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

Golden Girls
13 December 2011 - 8:40 am
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Welcome! It sounds as though Daisy is doing great! Just don't let her overdo it, as it's only been a few days post op.

Skyler had a mast cell tumor, and we did the chemo. Unfortunately, it didn't extend her life past 3 months. It's a personal choice, and every pup is unique – so remember that every decision you make for Daisy is done out of your love for her.

Can't wait to see more pics!

Sending you many golden hugs,


13 December 2011 - 9:14 am
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Hi Marla,

Welcome to Tripawds.

If you are still home you might look at a few pictures of recent amps so you are prepared.  There are some in the photo gallery, just scroll down to the Surgery and Treatment pics.

Have you checked out Jerry's Required reading list or the ebook Three Legs and a Spare?  Both are good sources of info from this site on what to expect with the recovery process.

As far as inserting pictures- they have to be hosted somewhere on line before it will work.  Many of us have started a blog here which is a good way to do it.  You can find detailed instructions on inserting pictures and Cometdog wrote how to insert pictures from facebook.  If you still can't make it work Admin guy can help you.


Glad to hear that Daisy seems to be healing and recovering well.  There can be lots of ups and downs the first couple of weeks or so, don't get discouraged if she has some down time.  Hopefully she will have an uneventful recovery!


Karen and the pugapalooza

Member Since:
8 November 2011
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14 December 2011 - 5:58 am
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Hi Marla!
I usually just read, but thought I would weigh in on the squimish comment. I too thought I would not be able to see Baxter’s surgery site. But to be honest, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, once his bandages came off, I found myself facinated by the “nub’s” movement. The nub doesn’t know there’s anything missing and it moved like the leg was still there. And dogs seem to heal pretty fast. Once my little Baxter had his stitches removed, within days he looked normal- just with no leg there. Once his hair growns in, all evidence of his wound will be gone.
I’m embarrassed to say, but I give his little nub kisses.

So all that to say, the wound is probably not as bad as you think. Good luck with Daisy! And know you have found an amazing group to help you and Daisy thru this.


Member Since:
22 August 2011
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14 December 2011 - 7:34 am
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Hi Marla, welcome to the site. Glad your Daisy is doing great. My dog Cadence was also diagnosed with OSA. We did the amputation and followed up with chemo. She was diagnosed at the end of July, and here we are already in December. We have finished her course of chemo and now just trying to boost her immunity and pray. She sounds a lot like your girl as far as healing goes and trying to do everything at one time right away. Cadence was jumping up on our deck a couple of days after the surgery when we would let her out to go to the bathroom, ignoring the ramp we built. She wanted nothing to do with slings of any kind to help her walk or get in and out of the car. It was hard to keep her confined. She even tried the stairs on day two so we had to block that off! Sometimes they just don't know they need to take it easy! 

Like Sonya said, I think you will be fascinated with the nub. I did prepare myself with pictures, but I was so amazed how good she was doing when we picked her up the day after surgery that I forgot all about being worried to my reaction to the surgery site. I was pleasantly surprised to see that although swollen, it wasn't gross at all. It was clean and pink, and all stapled up. I was just floored. Then you start seeing how the muscles in the “nub” move around and they start learning to get their balance. It really is a wonder. Cadence uses her tail now for balance. Have any of you guys noticed how your dog adjusts their tail if they get off balance just a little bit. It always gives me a chuckle when I see Cadence “steering” her rear end with her tail. 

Anyways, welcome Marla and Daisy! Let us know what we can do to help. 


Cadence's Mom

Cadence Faye: Born 10/30/04, stepped into our hearts 12/23/2004. Rear leg tumor found 7/24/11 by mom and dad, Xray on 7/25/11, Osteosarcoma suspected 7/26/11, amputation 7/29/11, Carboplatin started 8/23. Met free so far! 

In your heart, where I belong.
Member Since:
9 February 2011
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14 December 2011 - 8:01 am
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Hi and welcome, Maria! As others have said, it's a ride that's sometimes wild and woolly and sometimes smooth and straight. Less like a roller coaster and more like a rafting trip.

When the dogs come home, they're usually filled up with pain meds and think they can do anything since they don't hurt. The next day, though, is when they pay for it. Like football players on Monday. It sounds like this is what Daisy got herself into. She'll get the hang of it.

Just so you know, we take any occasion as reason to celebrate around here. So putting Daisy's first post-op pee and poop in blinking neon is appropriate.    superstar  clown superstar  clown   Like that! We usually have cheeseburgers for such things! Make sure to remind us of important dates: 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, etc. (Or anything just as an excuse!) so we can have a pawty! My Dakota just celebrated 10 months, along with 2 others at the same time, and we're still partying!

Shari and Dakota and Evelyn the Embarrassment

From abandoned puppy to Tripawd Warrior Dude, Dakota became one of the 2011 February Furballs due to STS. Our incredibly sweet friend lived with grace and dignity till he impulsively raced over the Bridge on 12-15-12.

Dakota's thoughtful and erudite blog is at

Columbia, MO
Member Since:
10 December 2011
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14 December 2011 - 8:09 am
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Daisy got her bandage off last night and phew!  It wasn't as bad as I thought.  I was afraid it would I would get upset seeing it for the first time.  I think it helped that it was covered for a few days for me to get used to seeing her without a leg.  Vet said it looked really good and she was surprised how little swelling and bruising there was.  Have another week until stitches come out.

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

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