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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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Vader the 3-legged Rottweiler Cancer Survivor
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25 June 2008 - 2:47 pm
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Vader is my 8 year old Rottweiler that I rescued from downtown Detroit in 2000. Vader was diagnosed with osteosarcoma cancer on June, 11th 2007. My two options were to do nothing giving him about 3 months to live, or to have his right leg amputated. At that time I didn't think about cost, only what was best for Vader. How would he get along with only three legs? How long would the surgery prolong his life? Many tough questions went through my head.

After weighing all the options and doing online research about how dogs adapt to having only three legs, I decided to have the surgery performed. I went to pick him up the day after his surgery, which he came through the great, and I was so surprised to see him standing waging his little stub of a tail. I thought I was going to have to carry him. I custom built him a ramp to get into my Trailblazer and he went right up it, as you can see in his YouTube video here...



I practiced with him going up the ramp BEFORE his surgery so he would be familiar with it. I took a video of the whole trip from getting in and out of the truck and into the house. He actually RAN into the house and up some huge stone steps, I was amazed. The scene in the video with his T-shirt on is actually day one post surgery.

The story continues, Vader is still doing well, but for space concerns I will stop here for now. I can continue the story with more details like the costs, healing, care, the chemo treatment and diet if desired.

I really believe that the diet I put Vader on after his surgery and during his Chemotherapy was and still is instrumental to his remarkable recover and his continued health.

I hope this video gives hope and helps people make the difficult decisions when confronted with this horrible and much too common disease.

Vader has survived the streets of Detroit and now cancer.

Vader is a true survivor and my best friend.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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25 June 2008 - 7:39 pm
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Way to go Vader! Thanks for sharing your remarkable story and letting us embed the awesome video of you Loving Life On Three Legs .

I'm sure our readers would like to at least hear about the type of chemotherapy treatment you underwent, and what kind of supplements you may take with your new diet.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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25 June 2008
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26 June 2008 - 2:53 pm
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During Chemo it is important to give them bone meal as a supplement to help their bones and teeth because the Chemo reduces calcium in their bodies. I still give Vader bone meal in his food just to be safe. For breakfast we supplement his dog food with sardines either in water or tomato sauce. The stores around me must be going nuts wondering why they are selling so many since I buy them up by the case whenever they come in 🙂 The dog food I use is IAM's senior; it has a lot of protein and a little less fat. You can use other brands but just make sure the first ingredient is chicken, beef, fish... and not some cornmeal or byproduct. For dinner we give him eggbeaters mixed in with his dog food. And whenever we make broccoli or vegetables I will give him some. Vegetables are supposed to be very good for them. I wish I would have known some of this when he was a puppy so I could of fed him better. I always used whatever the vet recommend and something with glucosamine and chondroitin but didn’t supplement it with anything. Luckily he has always been fit and healthy until this bout with cancer.


Manchester, UK
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2 February 2008
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30 June 2008 - 10:26 am
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Great video!  Vader is looking fabulous Kiss

Darcy – tripawd since 16th October 2007.

***Darcy would love to be your friend on Facebook - just search for Darcy Deerhound***

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