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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In light of Thanksgiving this week, I wanted to share our experience with Rico’s leg amputation and battle with osteosarcoma. It is a tradition in my family to share messages of thanks during this time. So I wanted to say how incredibly grateful to the Tripawds site and this community.
Rico was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on June 23, 2020. His left front leg was amputated on June 30, 2020. He underwent secondary treatment but unfortunately his cancer metastasized into a subcutaneous lump… this was removed with surgery on October 1, 2020. We found out earlier this month that there are two suspicious lung mets… we will go for another scan the first week of December to see what is going on with these and if there is any additional action that we can take.
Rico has had a tough time, especially given the metastasis. The past five months of our cancer journey has been incredibly difficult, deflating, and heartbreaking. To see your best friend and family member go through something so painful and life-altering, is very hard to deal with. We have tried to change everything in our life possible to make his life easier and more fun.
However, I want to send a message of hope. In the first few weeks after his amputation, I never would have believed that Rico would be able to run, jump and play like he used to. I would see pictures and read stories on this site and think they were anomalies. But, low and behold, given some time, and patience, Rico’s personality and energy and movement returned. He can now run pretty fast on three legs, and still can chase the squirrels in the park. Of course, we will never be able to do our long hikes on the AT again. He looses his balance from time to time, and gets frustrated about not being able to do everything he wants to do. But, watching him recover and adapt has been amazing. Your dog will amaze you too. They do not want cancer or an amputation to ruin their lives. They are not preoccupied about the future, or the past, but about living in the now – “Be More Dog .” It has been unbelievable to see this transformation. It is a good lesson for us too.
I have been very grateful to this site and this community because it has been here for me during some of my darkest moments, and will be there as we confront more in the future. I do not participate much, but it is helpful to read the posts and learn that I am not alone. As well, it has reinforced to me the importance of being there to support my dog on this new journey – to advocate for them, fight for them, and most of all – encourage them along. I hope that we continue to have more memories with Rico along the way, and most of all I hope we are able to find a cure for osteosarcoma. In the meantime, I am thankful for what moments we have had with Rico, and also to this site and this community for supporting one another through such difficult circumstances.
Happy Thanksgiving, and please hug your pets tightly and let them know how much they mean to you.
Sam and Rico
22 February 2013
Oh Sam! You articulated everything about your journey with Rico so beautifully. It was honest and Pie and real and so heartfelt. Yoir acceptance of his “-new normal” and celebrating everything he CAN do and celebrating all the joy of Rico being Rico! Even with challenges you did indeed, send a message of hope.
Rico is so lucky to have you as his hooman. You clearly adore him and are doing everything possible to make every moment together the best ever!!
Regardless of mets or xrays, etc, Rico feels good and that’s all that matters! He has no worries and is blissfully unaware that hoomans worry a lot. Of course, once hoomans master the art of Being More Dog like you have, they learn to live in the now with no worries about the tomorrows
And we are grateful for the priv of being on this journey with such a special doggy and his devoted hooman. Have a good holiday and know that we are all cheering for Rico, okay? And always remember, you are not alone. We are your extended family😎
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!
Sam, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing such a beautiful story of perseverance and hope. I’m teary-eyed right now, just knowing that you and Rico have had a rough go of it. Yet, despite that, and the recent x-rays, you still have an attitude of gratitude and hope for the days ahead…WOW! I’m in awe of how much strength you have. This is so helpful for Rico, it’s exactly what he needs and wants for you no matter what the future brings.
Thank you so so much for sharing your story, and letting us know how things are going. If you need anything at all or just want to talk, please let us know.
And oh yeah, we MUST have some Rico photos! Here are instructions for adding images . If you’d like help message me, I’m happy to assist.
Many hugs and thanks to you and your amazing boy for adding the magic that makes Tripawds what it is. We are better because of you!
15 July 2020
Thank you so much for sharing your grief and your hope, Sam. I’m so sorry it’s been a rough road these months. What you said about “watching your friend go through something painful and life-altering” is right on… it is so hard. Those pics of Rico are GORGEOUS — I’m so glad he’s been to the beach, the creek, and cozy home with you too. Thinking of you both this holiday.
Devo's Tripawd Story here
I’m madly in love with Rico! What a gorgeous, happy, strong boy. Doesn’t look like anything is slowing him down or keeping him from enjoying life to the fullest. Thank you so much for sharing the photos!