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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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Our Decision
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Forum Posts: 6
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14 September 2019 - 1:55 pm
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Thanks so much for this group. A brief history of our story:  Austin came to us 7 years ago from Tennessee. He now lives with us in PA. We have no children of our own, so as for many he became an instant “buddy” for us. In TN he was in a high risk shelter, having been dropped off there in a box with his siblings just before Christmas. We connected with the rescue group and he was transported to us. About 2 months ago our groomer noticed a small lump on his right hind leg. When we took her again in August the lump had grown. Very quickly after that it became the size of a tennis ball. We took him to one vet who would do nothing with it and referred us to a university clinic 3 hours away. We wanted a second opinion and connected with a caring, honest vet—she is the best!  While she thought it likely to be a sarcoma we did the biopsy and it came back as a Mast Cell Tumor of a high grade. 

Amputation of the leg was on the table but we played with a lot of agonizing what if….what if he won’t run again to play ball and all of the other million questions about possibly putting him down. The vet talked us through and we are confident but scared we are making the right decision to amputate the leg. He is a mixed breed like a golden retriever or a troller and weighs 77 lbs. He is eating and drinking okay and so far is pretty much himself except for the biopsy site that he continues to lick. His blood work was all good.The surgery is scheduled for this coming Tuesday.  I am so glad for this group, to help keep me on track emotionally. 

Here and Now


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14 September 2019 - 3:08 pm
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Welcome t the best club nopawdy ever wants to join, and best wishes for Austin’s speedy recovery!

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with key phrases about any specific concerns, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns, and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation. Meanwhile, start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs.

Livermore, CA




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14 September 2019 - 4:23 pm
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Hello and welcome.

My Pug Maggie lost a back leg to a mast cell tumor, if you are interested you can read her story and about her amp and treatment, the links are in my signature below.

Did you get the mitotic index when you got the path report?  The MI can give you an idea of how aggressive the cancer may be.  Mast cell can be very unpredictable- I’m glad you have found a vet you are comfortable with and that you are confident in their abilities… this is soooo important as you start this journey.

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

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14 September 2019 - 6:43 pm
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Hi,

I know what you are going thru , as well I have  2 four legged children and 1 three legged child due to OST Bone Cancer. I was not sure what to do because Brownie was 12 at the time of amputation, but I am so happy I did. My decision was made after reading stories on this site. The vet gave him 3 months and Brownie is now in his 7th month after being diagnosed.  

I encourage you to read Karen’s blog, “Maggie’s Story” I think you will find it very helpful. 

I read you were worried about Austin will not run again, and he is a Golden Retreiver mix. In the blogs search Jerry, the reason the tripawds community was born, and also Wyatt, Happy Hannah,  and Roane to name a few. They are all large dogs.

The first couple of weeks was a little tough but Brownie inspired me every day. He stayed at the vet for two days. He could of came home but due to his age I thought it would be better he stayed, but on his 2nd day home he was walking on his own and it only got better!

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15 September 2019 - 5:56 pm
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Thanks so much for your encouragement. Austin’s surgery is coming closer…Tuesday morning bright and early. I just hope we are making the best choice. I know it is in our minds every time we see him now with 4 legs but I know the cancer will win for sure if we don’t do something. We just need to trust I guess and take it one day at a time.

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16 September 2019 - 6:00 pm
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Just wanted you to know we are sending nothing but good thoughts your way for Austin’s surgery tomorrow. We will be thinking of you…

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 September 2019 - 11:08 pm
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Ditto! Best wishes! We are sending all our love and healing thoughts. Keep us posted!

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




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17 September 2019 - 9:14 am
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Adding to all the good wishes smiley_clap Update when uou xan agter aurgery.  Eating lots of chocolate  helps calm the nerves on surgery day😎

Stay connected  and let us know how we can best support you during recovery, okay?

Hugs

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!

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17 September 2019 - 2:11 pm
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As I sit here with tears streaming down my face we let Austin sleep today and cross the rainbow bridge . His pre-tests indicated the cancer had already spread to his lymph nodes etc. It is such a hard choice to make…we could have still done the surgery with the unknown factor of time. I loved him too much to let him enter this and suffer. His biopsy sites bled all weekend and his pain with that wretched my soul. It is just so quiet here without him.

Virginia




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17 September 2019 - 4:39 pm
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It just breaks my heart to read this. Stunned.  Shocked and stunned and so very, very, very sorry.   I literally had to read that first sentence  a couple of times to make sure I was grasping what I was reading.

Our tears are falling with yours.  We know there are no words.  You did EVERYTHING possivle for Austin.  EVERYTHING!  We know how agonizing  it was to get through all the research so you could make the best decision  for Austin.  Austin always knew you would ALWAYS do what was best for him.  And today you made the gut wrenching, devastating section tomdo ehat qas gest fot hom.  It was the right decision.   Your put your love for Austin above uour grief, above your hurt.  Such a courageous and selfless act.

As you proceeded with decisions once you got the “diagnosis”, you mentioned “trust”. As unbelievably  hard as it is right now,you have to rely on that “trust” again today.  It is most likely that this piece of crap disease  had already plotted its brutal, barbaric and cruel course.  The discovery of the lymph node involvement may have been an indication that, even IF he had the amputation, the disease would take over even before he had a xhance to recover from the hardest part of recovery….before he had a xhance ro run again…to play ball again.

As Austin got closer and closer to the Rainbow  Bridge, he started running like the wind.  All the dog Angel’s were there to greet him with a wheelbarrow full of balls and treats!!  Tjey jad a welcome home feast of steak, bacon and cheese, all topped off with ice cream and pizza crust.  

When you can, please share more about this precious boy.  He could not have been more loved, that is so clear to us💖   We can help,post pictures when you are ready.

And so look for the brightest star in the heavens on the next clear night.  There will be one that is twinkling brightly and catches uour eye.  That will be Austin’s Eternal Light that can never be dimmed.

We are surrounding  you with our love and with the love of Austin whose bond with you can never be broken💖

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 September 2019 - 10:05 pm
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Oh no! I’m really sorry, my heart aches for the pain you are feeling right now. Cancer is so mean!

There is no way to prepare for this kind of bad news, and such a quick but very compassionate decision. You did your best, and put his own interests over your grief. No dog could ever ask for more.

Our entire community feels your loss and is holding you close in our hearts. If and when you are up to it, feel free to share more about him in Coping with Loss if you’d like, we will be there to honor your boy’s beautiful spirit and celebrate the many years of joy you shared as a family.

With much love & many condolences,

Rene, Jim, Wyatt Ray , Spirit Jerry & the Tripawds Community

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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18 September 2019 - 2:30 am
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Just wanted to say I am so sorry about Austin. I know you really love him, as he does you!

Livermore, CA




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18 September 2019 - 3:50 pm
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I’m so sorry Austin’s journey with you had to come to such an end.  You made the best decisions and all you could for him but cancer is such a sneaky, nasty bastard. 

It is a terrible decision to have to make just when you were thinking you had a path forward.  You were very brave and unselfish doing what was best for your boy.

I know you haven’t been here long but we would love to learn more about Austin if you think it would help you to share here.  We know the heartbreak and grief you are dealing with.

Keep and eye out for signs he will send you.  The special ones have a way of letting us know they are never really far away. 

Karen and Spirit Maggie

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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18 September 2019 - 6:14 pm
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Thank you so so so much for your care, concern, and understanding. Austin was a very very special part of our lives. There is a loss of energy in the house now. I am still stunned. He loved to be outside…we were never really quite sure of his mix but were often told he looked like a Troller. If I can I will attach a photo. I didn’t think the tears would stop but they are not as intense as yesterday. It is our goodbye that will always stick with me.  I told him he would probably come home without a leg or maybe he wouldn’t get to come home at all but either way I loved him.   

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 September 2019 - 7:49 pm
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You bet. What you went through was emotionally devastating, exhausting and so stressful. The shellshocked feelings will dissipate in time, but for now, be good to yourself and allow the grief to flow. He was a very special doggie, and he knew he was loved right up until his last conscious breath. What a gift.

Let me know if you’d like help with photos, I’m happy to do it.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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