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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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Tennessee
Forum Posts: 105
Member Since:
5 June 2012
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5 June 2012 - 5:44 pm
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My 2 year old schnauzer Piper was diagnosed with melanoma of the foot pad on Friday. We’re now facing the decision to amputate 🙁

krun15
2
5 June 2012 - 5:58 pm
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Hi Piper and pack,

Welcome to Tripawds, your future posts will not require moderation.

I’m sorry you have found yourself here- but this is a very knowledgeable and supportive community. That being said- I’m not sure I’ve heard of another pup with melanoma on the foot pad.  My pug Maggie’s second cancer was oral melanoma, just like ET Gayle.

You might read through Jerry’s Required Reading list, a compilation of info from this site on what to expect with amputation, recovery and treatment.  The ebook Three Legs and a Spare can be downloaded as well, also info from this site.

Many folks here are dealing with osteosarcoma, but there are a few of us dealing with other cancers.  Maggie lost her leg to a mast cell tumor. 

Is it on a front or rear leg? How big is Piper?  These details will help other members respond.

Do you have any specific questions or concerns? Geeze, 2 years old is really young…

 

Karen and the pugapalooza

Leicester, NY
Forum Posts: 422
Member Since:
11 February 2011
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5 June 2012 - 6:02 pm
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Welcome Piper and family!

Spirit Samson was Spirit Tripawd Daisys four legged "brother" and ruled as the self proclaimed head of the Monkeybutt Federations East Coast Division. Lady Chunky Monkey stayed from Oct 2011 and left for the bridge in Apr 2012. Miss Perdy is left and has some big pawprints to fill.
Do you have what it takes to be a Monkeybutt? Find out more at the Monkeybutt Federation

Tennessee
Forum Posts: 105
Member Since:
5 June 2012
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5 June 2012 - 7:00 pm
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He’s about 15lbs…the cancer is on his back left foot (the big pad).  The vet seems pretty certain its melanoma. I did some reading online and he best fits the description of 

Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma- This may arise in the nail bed or on the foot pads. It may appear as a discrete mass, an ulcerative tumor, or a diffuse swelling of the affected toe. Lameness is the first symptom in this type of lymphoma. Nail bed and foot pad tumors are secondarily infected and are often wrongly diagnosed as chronic infections.

 

We think 2 is very young too 🙁

5
5 June 2012 - 7:05 pm
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Welcome Piper and Family!! It is so very scary for you Dog to be diagnosed with cancer. You came to the right place for support and information. If you do decide to amputate we will help you every step of the way. I know it is an awful decision to have to make. Most Dogs do just great with amputation. And with Piper being so young things should go very well. The most challenging part is the healing process. For 2-3 weeks they have to learn new things and learn to balance and heal. But after that they usually go on to live good quality lives and don’t seem to miss their leg. So good luck with your decision. Piper is very cute. Male or female?

Tennessee
Forum Posts: 105
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5 June 2012
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5 June 2012 - 7:18 pm
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He’s a male. Thank you 🙂  We’re really scared….mostly because we dont know if it has spread.  We are getting a 2nd opinion on Saturday.  We have 3 small children and cost is an issue for us unfortunately 🙁

San Diego, CA
Forum Posts: 2503
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5 June 2012 - 7:43 pm
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Welcome to you and Piper. Sorry you had to find us here. My heart goes out to you, as our pup was also very young (only 15 months) when she was diagnosed with bone cancer. I don’t know that much about melanoma. I hope they’ve caught it early! I hope the 2nd opinion has good news for you.

Will be sending pawsitive thoughts out to you and Piper. He’s adorable!

Jackie, Angel 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!

Tennessee
Forum Posts: 105
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5 June 2012
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5 June 2012 - 7:45 pm
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Thank you.  We hope so too.  He’s had a spot on that pad for close to a year but only in the past few months did it ulcerate.  He was misdiagnosed a couple of times with an infection in the pad.  I hope it hasn’t gone on for too long 🙁

Las Vegas, Nevada
Forum Posts: 4344
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5 June 2012 - 8:28 pm
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What an adorable little face!!!!!!

I’m so sorry you and Piper have had to join us.  And I’m so terribly sorry about the cancer diagnosis especially at such a very, very young age. Not fair!

We have had a few members have melanoma.  None that I am aware of that resulted in amputation but were actually secondary cancers. (Karen and East Tenn. Gayle being two of them as Karen mentioned)

It’s okay to be scared.  We all are when we have to deal with such a diagnosis. We’ll try to help ease your fears some.  Just know we are here to listen and offer a shoulder. 

I will hope with all my heart that it is contained to just his pad and the amputation will fix it.

Now, I have to check my dog’s pads!  Mine is a 3 year schnauzer mix!  We’re always checking mouths for melanoma but now we know to look at the pads too!

Please let us know what happens with the 2nd opinion.

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Tennessee
Forum Posts: 105
Member Since:
5 June 2012
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5 June 2012 - 8:33 pm
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Thank you so much. I do not know anyone that has gone thru having a dog with cancer, much less an amputation. I dont know what to expect or what to do really.  Until I started doing some research, I also didnt realize that schnauzers (miniature and standard) are a breed that are prone to cancer. 🙁

Our vet really didn’t think it was cancerous since he was so young.  I understand its mostly in older dogs.

I do hope the amputation takes care of it….my family is so attached to our little buddy (me especially).  🙁

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28739
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5 June 2012 - 8:39 pm
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Piper and family, I’m sorry you’re faced with this at such a young age. But that’s pawesome you’re getting a second opinion. What a great advocate you are Mom! You are doing ALL the right things by asking for another opinion, and we all have our paws crossed that it’s not cancerous.

We didn’t know anyone who faced cancer or amputation either, until my diagnosis. Now you know, you are not alone, we are here for you.

Keep us posted on that other opinion. It can make all the difference in the world.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Forum Posts: 4344
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5 June 2012 - 8:43 pm
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. I dont know what to expect or what to do really.

 

Just take it one day at a time. My 3 legged dog, Comet (not the schnauzer mix) was born with a deformed front leg.  I adopted her at 6mths (1999) and I didn’t know what to do either and there wasn’t any information!  We winged it and did great….for 12 years!  I found tripawds.com when she was 10 or 11 years old. So, if you are worried about the 3-legged part, don’t be. Comet had the most wonderful life ever on three legs!

Unfortunately, half of dogs die of cancer but usually as a geriatric dog, not a young one. I had one die at around 8 years old (shep mix). And even my Comet died of cancer at 12 1/2 -ish. 

The great news, is you can pick your little guy up and carry him if needed. That’s a bonus.  It’s not recommended because you want them to get used to 3 legs.  But your little is alreayd three legged now.

We’ll be here for you.  And it will be okay.

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Tennessee
Forum Posts: 105
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5 June 2012
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5 June 2012 - 8:47 pm
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I dont think Im as afraid of the 3 legged part (he’s a tough little guy) and I know he’ll adapt.  Its the losing him part that I’m afraid of.  Its crazy how attached we get to these babies isn’t it?

El Dorado Hills, CA
Forum Posts: 181
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13 April 2012
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14
5 June 2012 - 8:50 pm
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Hi Piper and Family! So sorry you had to meet us this way but I’m glad you found us. I’m partial to Mini Schnauzers as I have had two and still have my Sophie who is 15. My Sophie does not have cancer it is another one my dogs that had Mast Cell cancer on one of her hind legs and amputation to a hind leg is something I do know about. I know how overwhelmed you must feel right now….so read all of Jerry’s required reading on this web site and that will help educate you in a hurry. I don’t know about you but when I am blasted with something like this I want to read and know everything I can about it and there is tons here to read. The more you know about the amputation and recovery will make things a lot more doable when the time comes. Good luck to you, with Piper being young and a feisty terrier, he will do great!

All my Best.

Suzie and Rizzo

Jack Russell born in 2001. Mast cell cancer found Dec 2009 and right rear amputation. Five rounds of chemo done before all treatment stopped. Living life to the fullest!! Read my story at http://rizzo.tripawds.com

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28739
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15
5 June 2012 - 8:55 pm
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scrappinmommy77 said
I dont think Im as afraid of the 3 legged part (he’s a tough little guy) and I know he’ll adapt.  Its the losing him part that I’m afraid of.

If there’s one thing to keep close to your heart right now, it’s this: the only way cancer can win, is if you allow it to rob yourself of each precious day with Piper. 

The biggest lesson we learned from it was, that with or without cancer, nobody really knows how much time we have. So why not try to make the most of every single day, no matter what?

You’ll get there too.

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