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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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Scared and worried
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UK
Member Since:
6 September 2022
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1
6 September 2022 - 4:24 pm
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Hi,

My 10 1/2 year old mini schnauzer Lexi is having her front leg amputated tomorrow and I really don't know what to expect.

Basically she had her toe amputated in April due to squamous cell carcinoma  - recovered well and all results said tumor had been removed with clear margins.

Unfortunately in July she developed a lump/infection which we and vets thought was due to embedded grass seed, but after biopsy turns out cancer is back.

On Saturday we were told its either full leg amputation or putting her to sleep as tumor is ulcerated and eating into her leg - she is such a little character,  full of life and mischief that we've opted for amputation to give her the best chance of being with us as long as possible 

I'm just scared she won't survive the op, and worried she won't cope being a tripawd and to make matters worse I'm currently on crutches due to surgery after open tibia/fibula fracture

My husband won't talk about my concerns and I'm trying to stay strong for my daughters (aged 22 & 19) as lexi is our world.

Sorry for the long message I just want someone to talk to xx

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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6 September 2022 - 4:44 pm
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Hi and welcome to you and Lexi! If you want to talk we have the Tripawds Chat open right now, or you can call the Tripawds Helpline anytime at 844-TRIPAWD and one of our volunteers will return your call if they miss it.

We are sorry about the diagnosis but glad you found us. We are the club nopawdy wants to join but we can help make it easier. As a smaller dog, Lexi can do really well on three. Most all do! Have you seen our Quality of Life Survey Results? You'll see that almost all pet parents who have been through this are glad they did it. 

As long as you have a great vet team in place, you've done everything possible to ensure a good recovery. You may want to ask these questions before surgery to put your mind at ease. Also check out our e-books library, the Tripawds Recovery Shopping List , and Jerry's Required Reading List for more input. 

Why won't your husband talk about it? Is he opposed to the surgery? 

You don't need to apologize about anything, we are here to help. And remember, the more optimistic and pawsitive you are, the more Lexi will give that back to you with a smoother recovery. That will help you too, sorry about your leg fracture! Ouch!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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3
6 September 2022 - 4:54 pm
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You have come to the right place for support, information  and reassurance!  You are not alone!  We are all here ro support you through recovery  and into seeing Lexi be Lexi again pain free!!

We understand  how scary  it is and how uncertain  you're avout everything.   We've all been in your shoes....maybe not with crutches though!  Ugh! Sorry about that for you!  You can both heal together.

We all make the decision to,proceed with amputation  to give our pus and cats a chance  at quality  extended  life for more spoi and loving.  Any surgery, no ,atter how small or how big has a risk.  But all of is were willing  to take that rest for them.  That's  what they would want us to do.

Recovery  is "approximately " two weeks of just short leashed potty breaks and back to bed for rest.  Some dogs take several daysm to get their sea legs, to stand on their own, etc.  Some dogs are mobile after the first 24 hrs.  Every dog is different  and every dog recovers  at their own pace.

I have to run out for a bit, but st least wanted to get this cyber hug out to you and to let uou know we are by your side the whole way!  Tell hubby you have some extended  family to talk to so he can go back and watch TV😂🤣

((((((((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!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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4
6 September 2022 - 5:20 pm
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Just a quick video of Jara 24 hrs after surgery  and still druggy

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!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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5
6 September 2022 - 5:31 pm
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Okay, let me try again.  Here is Jara 3 werkish after surgery

   

View post on imgur.com

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


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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6
6 September 2022 - 6:53 pm
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Awww I love that video, thank you for sharing it Ms. Techie!

UK
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6 September 2022
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7
7 September 2022 - 9:30 am
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Thank you all for your lovely supportive comments  , me and lexi live in the UK so hope you don't mind us joining  !!!

Just heard from the vets that the op went well and she's already awake and quite alert - the nurses and vets are all lovely and she'll be spoilt rotten by them overnight !

Hoping we can collect her late tomorrow  morning , still not sure what to expect and how she will be but at least she's still with us and hopefully will adapt to being a tripawd over the coming days and weeks.

I'll let you know how it goes and thank you again xx

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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8
7 September 2022 - 11:41 am
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Ohh my gosh we love that you are in the UK, and have many members from there and all over the world.

I'm so happy your pup is doing well and surgery is over! It's great she's staying overnight with a team. If you're not sure about bringing her home, check out our What to Expect articles which should put your mind at ease.

Keep us posted!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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9
7 September 2022 - 6:08 pm
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YAAAY FOR LEXI!!!   Surgery is done and she is sky high on some good drugs right now!!!  This is when you need to get some good rest, okay?  

When you to go to bring her some, don't  even bother lto ook at her incision  or draw attention to it!!  Put forth a strong and confident  energy full of happiness  and tell her she's a good girl and going home!!

Some dogs hop out of the clinic....some need assistance.  Often the first couple of days the dogs have enoug  good hospital  meds in them to make them feel better than you might expect.  Some sleep a lot, some are restless and whiny and some adapt to three fairly quickly.  But once the hospital meds wear off, they often have a bit of a Fresh, or seem to digress.  All normal.  This just means their meds may need to be tweaked a bit.

Drinking  is important  as is peeing.  Eating and pooping  may be off for a few day

Stay connected  and update when uou can.  Recovery  is no picnic vut it doesn't  last furever!!!

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!

UK
Member Since:
6 September 2022
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10
8 September 2022 - 1:40 pm
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Hi

Just a quick update, we got lexi home at 6pm this evening she's a lot btighter than what I thought she would be and is able to sit, stand and walk a small distance by herself - only thing she seems to be struggling with is going to the toilet but hopefully with my husbands help,  our home made sling ( brilliant idea of a tote bag that I found on your website) she'll soon get the hang of it!!!

There's so much useful info on this site, I reckon I'll be awake all night reading articles and keeping a watchful eye on lexi !!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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11
8 September 2022 - 6:11 pm
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WOOHOO!!! smiley_clapWelcome home Lexi!

Now try to chill out and get plenty of couch time, don't too too much too soon or it will set you back. Relax, play some easy interactive brain games , and know that in time you will be back to your old self.

Let us know how we can help. We are cheering you on from across the pond.

P.S. I'm so sorry about your Queen. icon_cry

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