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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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Member Since:
24 May 2019
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26 May 2019 - 1:45 pm
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  Zoey is my best friend. My first Great Dane. I’ve wanted a Great Dane for as long as I can remember. We’ve been from Georgia to California, and back again, in the 10 years I’ve had her. We’ve had a lot of awesome adventures. I love her beyond measure.

  She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her left rear leg, 2 weeks ago. Other than the bone tumor, the vet and oncologist couldn’t believe how healthy she is for a Dane who will be 10 yro in June. She’s really never had any major health issues her whole life. One ear infection is all. So this hit me pretty hard. They went over the different options we had. Make her comfortable or amputation w/ chemo. 

  She was acting fine before being prescribed pain meds and antiflam, but I know she was in pain. She had just started to limp here and there after her initial visit. Her lungs came out clear on the xrays. So I decided to go ahead and amputate. She’s still acts like the little puppy I brought home all those years ago, so I believe she has the spirit to make the best of her life given the circumstances. 

  Jumping to post-op. They told me she surprised them at how well she did after surgery. Jumped right up unassisted and went to potty. They also told me she ate. When I got there to get her, I most definitely held some tears back once I saw her. She did her new hop toward me and my girlfriend, and we showered her with excitement. She was ready to hit the exit after the reunion, lol. I ended up carrying her to the car, due to how tired she obviously was and a busy lobby. She weighed 125 lbs pre-op, so she’s still a solid girl lol. 

  She was very relaxed on the car ride home, chilling in the back seat. Upon getting home, she offered no help of getting out of the car. Taking the smaller car for a big dog was not the best option. Should have known better. I drive a Jeep, so the car was still the better option for her comfort I believe. Once we got her out of the car, she let me know she didn’t want to be picked up. She’s never liked being picked up, btw. She walked toward the house unassisted, taking a short break halfway there. Zoey hopped though the doorway, and straight into her bed.  She worried us the first day and night. We knew she was wore out and drugged. Didn’t want food, didn’t care to go outside. She was drinking plenty of water when offered though! She just looked so sad and tired. And I don’t blame her!

  The next day, the real Zoey started to return! She started eating a lot more, and started urinating more. Way easier to give her medicine now too. She definitely had to be motivated to go outside, I’ve been helping her get up with a towel sling. She slowly looked better throughout the whole day and night. 

  We are on day 3 now. We’ve been sleeping in the living room so she didn’t feel the need to move to the bedroom. She likes to be wherever I am. I awoke to her standing at the sliding door like she normally does when she needs to go outside. Being startled to see her standing up and at the door, I jumped up and scanned her bed and the room. I saw she was ok, and loved on her. We went outside, I took the towel just in case. She peed in one of her usual spots, and then made her way back to the door. She’s gotten up a few times on her own unassisted to move around. I’m sure she’s getting tired of just laying around.

  All in all, she’s gotten increasing better in these first 3 days. I look forward to more improvement. I have already laid rugs out everywhere to discourage slipping. She has mostly still been laying in her bed, but loves for anyone to lay next to her. I’ve ordered a harness that should be here in 2 days.

  I have gotten a lot of info from this website and am greatly appreciative of it! Any tips or advice for the future would be awesome! And if anyone has any questions about her or the recovery, shoot away! Thanks!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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26 May 2019 - 2:13 pm
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Hi Raymond and Zoey, welcome. It sure sounds like she is doing great! Three days out and she’s like “OK can we move on, people?” Her behavior is terrific, all signs point to an uneventful recovery.

I guess what I would suggest is to follow her lead. Return to normalcy in your pack as soon as you can so she can stop wondering why her routines are all mixed up. Get back to sleeping in your room, try not to baby her and project the kind of confidence that will help her continue on this terrific path. You can do it! Be More Dog as we say!

It’s not easy having a big dog go through amputation recovery but you are doing great. I’m so glad we could be there for you. Have you seen the Tripawds Start Here page or Jerry’s Required Reading List ? If not, hop on over there for answers to many of your questions. And if we don’t answer them there you just let us know how we can help.

My big question is: You CARRIED her to the car? All 125ish pounds? OMD! smiley3Wow that’s a lotta dawg! 

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
24 May 2019
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26 May 2019 - 3:31 pm
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I will check those links out ASAP, thanks Jerry!

And yes, she is a lot of dog! Luckily, I didn’t have far to go! She was by no means light lol.

She’s still resting a good bit. 

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