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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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Rosco P. Colpayne, Survivor!
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Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
9 October 2012
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15 August 2013 - 8:43 am
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In March 2011, I began looking for a playmate to adopt for our Aussie/border collie mix female, Zoe. We also had 2 rat terriers, Cricket and Peanut. But, after coming home to find our gate opened one day in Feb. 2011, Zoe and Cricket were there, but Peanut had run off. We searched for 4 days, and got a tip on the 4th day, but we were too late. He had been hit. Zoe and Cricket never really got along, so we needed a male dog for Zoe to play with. I saw a pitiful looking dog on petfinder at our local animal shelter. I went to see him. He was so scared, he wouldn’t even walk on the leash when they brought him out. They drug him down the hall. He was only 8 months old, a flat coated retriever mix, they thought. I went home to tell my husband about him. That next Saturday, we took Zoe to the shelter to meet him. They hit it off and have been together ever since! When we adopted Rosco, he was just finishing antibiotics for kennel cough, but they released him. Well, the poor boy was still very sick. We took him to the vet the following Monday. He had to go through 2 more rounds of antibiotics to get over a very bad respiratory infection. Then, he had demodectic mange, but we got that treated, and he was finally good to go! He was still very skittish about some things, and we really had to work to get his confidence up. In March of 2012, I noticed him limping one day and figured he and Zoe were playing rough, which they do. After about a month, it never got better, so I took him to the vet for xrays. They saw a small mass in the area of the joint of his front right leg and shoulder. They didn’t think was really anything, so they gave him an anti inflammatory and pain meds. Still didn’t get better. Next step was a biopsy. They did the biopsy, but it came back inconclusive. They removed the mass and sent it for biopsy. It came back as a chondroma. Apparently, this was very unusual to be in that location. Our vet referred us to a surgical specialist 2 hours away. He did a bone biopsy, which came back as Chondrosarcoma. Even this specialist said in his 30 years of work, he has never seen a diagnosis of chondrosarcoma in that location. It is usually associated with flat bones, like ribs. He went over treatments available, but recommended amputation. We went back home and decided to have our own veterinary hospital do the surgery, since it would be half the cost, and he had just done some very similar in procedure to ours. Rosco had the surgery done on August 17, 2012. They removed his right front leg and shoulder blade. Recovery was difficult for us, as he had to be crate confined and leash walked for a few weeks, and we both worked. Even before the actually amputation, Rosco was having to recover from each of the biopsy surgeries, as well, over a span of about 2 months. But, we were willing to sacrifice, and Rosco healed very quickly. We had to get his staples replaced of couple of times from him licking them out, so we had to be vigilant in keeping the inflatable donut on him almost 24/7. He is doing great now! When he runs, you can’t even tell he has 3 legs. He keeps up with Zoe and they play constantly. Zoe has been doing agility for a little over a year, and now Rosco is in Pre-novice agility class. He just doesn’t do the jumps or contact obstacles. He isn’t as skittish as he used to be, and is always happy. He loves everybody! I just took him for his 1 year anniversary checkup. They did a chest x-ray, and everything looked great! We love him so much and can’t imagine life without him. He and Zoe are now 3 years old and are best friends for life! laughing


Forum Posts: 19281
Member Since:
22 February 2013
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15 August 2013 - 1:43 pm
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Thanks for sharing such an uplifting journey—albeit a rough start but all’s well now.

Sorry about the loss of Peanut. I know he was having a ball running arund up until the end.

Your Aoe is very strong girl and has certainy overcome obstacles….on and off the sgility course!

Keep doi g what you’re doing…it’s working!

Thanks for sharing yor story of hope.

Hugs to all! Applause to all!clapclapclap

Sally and Hapy Hannah

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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15 August 2013 - 10:45 pm
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What a great story! Thank you for sharing. We love seeing uplifting posts so welcome to the site.

Luanne and Shooter

Spirit Shooter was a Miniature Australian Shepherd who was diagnosed with a MCT and had a LF amp 1/28/13 at 13-1/2 years old. 

Shooter crossed the Bridge on 8/28/13, his 7 month ampuversary and two weeks from his 14th birthday.

Southwestern Ontario, Canada
Forum Posts: 555
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22 November 2012
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16 August 2013 - 6:52 am
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awwwwww.. way to go Rosco!!!  I bet he is just living the dream and enjoying life!!  We really do will go all out for our fur babies to help them get better and overcome things!  You must post some pictures please!!!  We would love to see him in his pre-novice agility class showing everyone that threeleggers can do it too.. and sometimes better!!!!

Christine….. with Franklin in her herat ♥

Franklin, he was the Happiest Dog on Three Legs! Diagnosed 09/26/2012 with Osteosarcoma, amputated 12/4/2012.  Had a wonderful 5 1/2 months painfree until he ran for the Bridge on 5/15/2013.  Always in my heart, and always a guardian angel of my pack...   You can follow his Tripawd Adventures, before and after, in my blog, Frank'n'Farter!

The Rainbow Bridge

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16 August 2013 - 3:58 pm
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Wow Rosco, you have the most inspawrational tale! Congrats on your ampuversary and finding such a great pack. I’m so glad your people came here to share your story with us, you are truly amazing, and handsome too. Keep in touch ya hear?

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