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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Hi Everyone! I’ve actually been on Tripawds for a few months now, but I guess i didn’t really understand how to use it to it’s fullest potential. I started a blog in late February about my girl Roxy, so some of you already know her story. I just really started looking at the forums this week (strange, right?) and finally figured out where all the other people are. I see all these names that leave comments on blogs, but can’t figure out how to find their stories. Yeah…it takes me a while.
For those of you that maybe haven’t heard Roxy’s story, here it is.
Roxy came to my family in May 2009. At the time we already had two boxers – a male, Dakota 6 yrs, and a female, Kali 3 yrs. I was looking out my window one evening and saw a boxer and a bassett trotting through my neighbors back yard. They had collars, so I grabbed my phone and went out to see if they had a name tag. When I got to them I realized these dogs had been homeless for a very long time. This is about Roxy so I won’t talk about the bassett, however I will tell you that I found her an incredible home on a 101 acre farm where she is so very happy and well taken care of. There was no name tag and it was a shock collar. When I first went up to them Roxy would only come to the end of my reach, and she wouldn’t look at me. She stood hunched over, shaking. I thought she was a puppy (but later found out she’s around 5-6 years old). I could see every bone in her and she was covered in bugs. I crated her outdoors over night and took her to the vet the next day. He said she really just needed food, so we got her shots and tested for heartworms (negative!) Then we got to working on getting her cleaned up. We started debugging her in intervals because she was so fragile acting that we didn’t want to torture her for too long at once. I stopped counting the ticks at 70. My husband later told me he did the same thing, but stopped counting at 50. Her paws were swollen to three times their normal size (from walking so much the vet said) and she slept for the better part of three days. I really believe she wouldn’t have made it much longer on her own. For the first couple days she wouldn’t get up to eat or drink. I kept bowls next to her bed and she would just move her head over the bowl to eat/drink while laying down.
Fast forward a bit and the spot on her left leg had blown up to this huge sore. After many other treatments, she was diagnosed in January with Grade III Mast Cell. I felt like there was absolutely no justice in the world. Maybe a bit melodramatic, but I did. She had survived God only knows what, finally found a family that would love her and spoil her, and not 8 months later be diagnosed with cancer. I struggled a lot with the decision to amputate, so much that I scheduled it for Feb 15th, cancelled, ran more tests, then rescheduled for march 2nd. I went through with it that time. As usual, the first two weeks were incredibly difficult. I just knew that I had made a huge mistake. She seemed depressed, she didn’t want anything to do with us, she hurt all the time. I couldn’t believe I had put her through that kind of surgery. I just knew I had destroyed her spirit. And I’ll tell you why I believed that.
Roxy was a very damaged dog. I’m not sure what her life was like, but we have clues. For example, the first vet we took her to estimated her age at 8-10 years old by looking at her teeth. Our current vet, the one that has treated her throughout the cancer diagnosis, said her teeth were ground down in a fashion that indicated she had been pinned up and had been nawing on something constantly. It wasn’t age wear. She had the eyes of a 5-6 year old. It took her a long time to warm up to us. We loved her, we fed her good stuff, we tried to play with her, we tried to give her space. Nothing seemed to make her like us. She kept herself secluded for a while. Then she would watch from the edges of the room. Then she would stay in the room with us and while our other dogs played she just watched. After a bit she would bark at them from the edges of their “arena”. It wasn’t until we took notice of this place on her leg and started trying to treat it that she really came out of her shell and started acting like she belonged. It was almost like she finally felt that we cared for her, or she was relieved that she didn’t have to fight it alone. It may sound crazy, but I truly just believe she was waiting for someone to help her fight this. I worried putting her through something so severe right after her true spirit came out would kill it.
Luckily, it didn’t. We all made it through recovery. Roxy has been a tripawd for 4 months and 7 days now. She gets around fine. She plays crazy rough with her brother and sister. She chases the cats. She jumps on us and loves on us. She is truly an amazing dog. We opted not to do chemo. Instead we contacted Dr. Loops, who I found through this website, and she is on a homeopathic cancer protocol. Even though she put on weight after we found her you could still always see her bones. She was a pig, but she just didn’t put on weight easily. Now there are no visible bones. Her coat looks better since the surgery than it ever did before. I’m not sure how much time we will be given with her because Grade III Mast Cell just doesn’t have a good survival rate. But we are doing everything we can to give this girl a good life for as long as we can. And we, like all of you, are incredibly blessed to have our tripawd in our life.
Thanks for reading! I hope now that I’ve found out how to use the forums we’ll make more tripawd friends. By the way, anyone out here live around southern Indiana?
I see all these names that leave comments on blogs, but can’t figure out how to find their stories.
Roxy was a very damaged dog. Nothing seemed to make her like us.
I hope now that I’ve found out how to use the forums…
FYI: Use the “Members” button above to search for user names who have commented, or click their avatar (here in the forums to view their profile). Both results will provide links to forum topics started or poted by the members. You can also visit the Tripawds Blogs Directory page to see all the recently updated blogs.
Bless you for taking such good care of Roxy. We can now totally relate to the work it takes to “fix” dogs who have had a ruff start in life. Wyatt brained his damage pretty good being tied up for prime puppy training months! But with lots of time and effort, he’s making progress.
Looks like you’ve got the forums down! Thanks for posting. Looking forward to future updates in Roxy’s blog. Check out the tutorial videos if you need help uploading photos.
28 November 2008
Welcome! Looks like Roxy couldn’t have found a better home. Bless you for finding a way to add one more special creature to your home.
So happy to hear Roxy is getting around so well.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul. Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.
22 December 2009
Bless you for helping Roxy like you have!! So glad to read Roxy is doing so well! Welcome to the Forums!Looking forward to reading/learning more about Roxy.
(Harley was also a damaged dog; he turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.)
Amputation on 11/10/09, due to Histiocytic Sarcoma in left elbow. Angel Harley earned his wings on 06/24/10.
7 June 2010
Thank goodness that Roxy found you and you found her.
(Also GREAT job on finding the bassett a wonderful home!….wow, seems like it would take a bassett years to cover 101 acres !!!)
Not only have you blessed Roxy, but she in turn, has such a special place in your family.
It’s when you realize that these throw away kids have such a simple wish………To Belong…..to have their very own Loving Family.
You can’t do anything better in your life.
p.s. thanks so much for sharing her story.
Kona turned 9yrs on April 16, 2010.
Kona was diagnosed Memorial Weekend 2010 with osteosarcoma.
Right rear leg amputated on June 4th. First chemo June 18th 2010
Second chemo July 9th, 2010 Third and final (yea !!!) chemo July 30th, 2010
ONE TOUGH GIRL this Australian Cattledog !
***Kona's journey/fight ended late in the evening of December 22, 2010***
We Love you so much Kona….always
Bella 9yrs, albino lab/aussie shep/pit?(abandoned in mts as a puppy) deaf & blind (from birth) in one eye limited vision in other.(laid back, ok lazy 73 lbs)
Cotton, 5yrs, albino hound/terrier of somesort/???(abandoned in mts as a puppy) deaf & blind in one eye(from birth), excellent vision in seeing eye. (ball addict…destroyer of Kong balls…yes,etc), high energy 55lbs knots of muscle)
Kona Kai's pup brother and sister as well as her buddy and playmate cat, Shaymous 12yrs (like Seamus), miss her terribly.
I did the same thing, put together a blog and missed the forum concept.
When we launched the blogs to easily share photos and document recovery, certain factions may have arised – ahem, you know who you are – but we all love each other and their dogs. One good suggestion is to start a forum topic like Daisy did and remember to update it every time you publish a new blog post.
Hi Leslie & Roxy……thank you, as a person very active in rescue, for saving those two precious souls!
Look forward to getting to know you two better. My foster golden, Shelby, celebrated her 1 week ampuversary today……this week has been full of sleepless nights but these 3 & 4 legged kids are SO worth it!
I’m in Central Florida….sorry 🙁
Welcome to the bigger side of Tripawds!! I remember reading Roxy’s blog, I might have even posted there, I always keep an eye out for dogs with MCT. But when you started I was in the midst of a bad spell with Maggie, so I lost track of you.
When I saw you respond to Alicia and Pixie I was thinking that Roxy sounded familiar. That was a really great post by the way. You have some good insights and experiences to share- I hope you spend more time here now that you found where we were all hiding out!!
You have done awesome things for Roxy, most importantly giving her the chance to just be a dog. I’m glad to hear she is doing so well. Who knows how much time we have, but as far as our pups are concerned there is only today. Mag was given 6 to 9 months after her amp, with chemo. I said good-bye to her just last month, 3 years and 9 months after that prognosis and it was not because of the mast cell cancer, but an unrelated second cancer.
And- happy ampuversary!!! Why don’t you post about that in ‘Shout Outs’, everyone here likes to share in the milestones.
Karen and the pug girls
13 September 2009
Hi Leslie and Roxy,
I’m so sorry about everything that happened to Roxy… but I am so happy that she found such a wonderful family to love and take care of her. It sounds like she knows that too!!!
Just keep loving her… None of us know how long we have on this earth…
Sending you and Roxy lots of loving hugs!!!
Angel Jake and Wolfie’s Mom
Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!
I hope now that I’ve found out how to use the forums we’ll make more tripawd friends
HA! Who said we are a friendly bunch? (wink)
I’m so glad for you and for Roxy! I have an emotionally damaged dog, too. (and also a defective leg by birth) So, I get choked up when I hear stories like Roxy’s. I’m not a softie by nature, but I’m terribly tender-hearted to abused dogs.
By the way, she sure is pretty! Not knocking you beautiful goldens and all the other beauties here but I think that the damaged pups on tripawds are THE most beautiful!
I saw your comment on a post recently and I was thinking you came out of no one! Glad you found where the party was going on! And OH, we are partying fools! I won’t even mention all of the ice cream we have consumed! (inside joke, you’ll get it in no time!)
25 July 2009
I think that the damaged pups on tripawds are THE most beautiful!
Wha? Damaged dawgs? Was someone talking about me?
Wyatt Ray Dawg . . . The Tripawds Leg-A-Cy Continues!
Read all about my adventures at my Tripawds Blog
I think that the damaged pups on tripawds are THE most beautiful!
Wha? Damaged dawgs? Was someone talking about me?
Thanks everyone for the great welcome!!
Denise – From what I hear the bassett (Wendy) is so fast she covers that 101 acres in about 10 minutes! Her mom says she takes off after something and you can hear her barking her way all around the property! Giving the throw aways a home truly is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Dakota was a shelter dog too. I find that the one we bought from a breeder is sweet, but she just doesn’t seem grateful, like the other two. I’m a CPA, but after helping my throw aways I really want to find a way to work with animals. I just can’t figure out how to support my family while doing my passion.
Pam – Happy Ampuversary to Shelby! Hang in there. The roughest part is almost over for you guys! I have a feeling there is no one on here from my area. I really wish there were because I read about the tripawd pawties and would just LOVE to be able to take Roxy to one.
Karen – I have silently followed Maggie’s story. I was so sad to hear of her passing….along with all of the other tripawds the community has lost lately. It’s so heart breaking. All of their stories will live on for a long time to come and help so many people.
Comet – Thank you! I think she’s so beautiful! Full of so much excitement and joy. I’ve seen an aweful lot of references to ice cream on here. After a while I started realizing there was an ongoing theme. My kind of people!
I will try to get some pics posted of all my furbabies. I don’t mean to brag, but I think they’re all pretty darn cute!
I’m a CPA, but after helping my throw aways I really want to find a way to work with animals. I just can’t figure out how to support my family while doing my passion.
I hear that being a ‘Mod Pawd’ Squad Member pays well! (I’m sure my check is in the mail, admin! )
Serioulsy, I may need your services…my CPA of 20 years (and friend) called last week and has lung cancer. It’s blown us away! He also decided he’s not doing taxes anymore.