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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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10 year St. Bernard Front Limb Amputation
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10 August 2021 - 7:17 pm
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Hi there, 

We are desperate For advice and any tips. Our St. Bernard dog who is 10 years old was recently diagnosed with bone cancer. Yesterday her front limb was amputated and today we got to see her. 

what is normal after surgery? She seems so depressed when we visited her and we wonder if we did the right thing. Is this life for her? A once semi active dog now just laying there for the rest of her life…. Our hearts are breaking for her.

Any advice is greatly appreciated as we have no idea to expect when we bring her home tomorrow. We just want to make sure she’s okay. 

thanks so much 

Livermore, CA

Forum Posts: 4040
Member Since:
18 October 2009
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10 August 2021 - 9:38 pm
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Hello and welcome. Please consider registering as a member to take full advantage of this site.  It's free and easy.

I'm sorry you are dealing with cancer and amputation, but glad you found us!

First off- remember your girl is on strong pain meds and still processing the surgery meds out of her system, she is not depressed, her body has been through a lot in the last 24 hours.  She should come home with pain meds too, so she may not be herself for a couple weeks.  As hard as it is to see our pups whacked out it is important to keep her pain under control and all she needs to be doing is short potty breaks and rest, rest, rest!

Many pups are back to themselves in two or three weeks post op.  Some come home hopping and never look back, some take longer to get used to their new normal.  My little Pug Maggie lost a back leg to mast cell cancer and spent 6 weeks in bed.  I was worried I had made a bad decision but in hindsight it perfectly fit her personality.  She came around and hopped happily through life for almost 4 more years.  Every dog recovers on their own timeline so don't compare your girl- is her name Krystal?- to others.

That being said we often see here that the bigger dogs and more 'mature' dogs tend to take a bit longer to get their sparkle back.

Here are some links you might find useful with information on what to expect with amputation and recovery.

You might also look through the posts in this forum, Size and Age Matters, for stories about the bigger pups.

The most important thing you can do now is be strong and positive around your girl, she will follow your lead.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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