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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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12 year old mix Lab, diagnosed with cancer (ost) in front right leg
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Member Since:
3 January 2014
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3 January 2014 - 10:40 am
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My beloved dog cant really walk right anymore. She is on Previcocs pain pills. Used to help at first but less and less.
Vet suggested to remove the entire leg.... but given the age and weight, i am afraid it would be a mistake.
She is 40 kg in weight.
Money is not an issue.
Need some guidance.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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3 January 2014 - 11:23 am
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Hello there, we're so glad you found us. I'm very sorry to hear about your dog. What is the reason why she isn't walking?

It sounds like your vet thinks she is a good candidate for amputation surgery. 12 years old isn't young, but we've seen other dogs here do fine at that age. All dogs are different in how they recover. Is she otherwise healthy, strong and active? If so, that's great! While amputation isn't right for every dogs, for most it gives them a better quality of life and one without pain. It also gives you more time together. How long is anyone's guess but the important thing is that time can be spent without pain.

I hope this helps. You might want to check out Jerry's Required Reading List for more insight. And of course more folks will chime in here too, so hang in there. Your future posts won't require approval.

Hugs to you and Willow.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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3 January 2014 - 11:50 am
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Gosh! Sorry things aren't going well.

But please share more when you can...see Jerry's questions above.

My Happy Hannah is now over ni e years old, weighs 118 lbs. (sorry..not sure what that is in kilos)...she's a big chunk of a Bull Mastiff and just celebrated her ten month ampuversy and movng forward (kocking on wood over here)!

Several dogs come to mind who were Seniors at the time of amputation.......Shooter (13)...Sam (13 +)...Frank n' Farter (13+)...

Is Willow vibrant, enjoying life, happy attitude...all that counts just as much as age!
Sounds like she's already adjusted to walking on three legs anyway, so that's a plus.

We are all here for you to help anyway we can. Just give us some more information when you have tme so we can be more specific in our advice. Look forward to your post.

Hang in there, okay? As soon as you get a plan, you'll feel much better!

Hugs to you and Willow!

Sally and Happy Hannah

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!

Member Since:
1 January 2014
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3 January 2014 - 12:38 pm
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Welcome!  Sorry to hear the news but you came to a wonderful place to seek advice.  I figured I'd share my story with you as my dog Brooklyn (86 lbs, 11yrs old) was just diagnosed Tuesday with osteosarcoma.  After the initial shock of everything has slightly wore off and I've spent days researching.   I've decided the amputation is the best choice for Brooklyn.  My uncle is my vet and feels the same way.  Since he is family and is passionate about the well-being of animals I know he would never steer me in the wrong direction. Part of my decision was based on the fact that this seems like the best way to alleviate Brooklyn's pain.  Apparently, bone cancer is the most painful type of cancer a dog can have.  Through my research I've found that if I keep the leg on, he runs the risk of fracturing it and he will have to be on a high dosage of pain medicine for the remainder of his life.  Personally, I feel this will not  provide him with the best quality of life.  The idea of having his leg amputated is gutting wrenching and took me awhile to digest.  The way I'm looking at things is I want Brooklyn to ride out his last few months free of pain and I am going to savor each minute with him.  My suggestion to you is to take time to digest the news and do some research.  Hearing other peoples' stories on this website helped me a lot and gave me hope.  Remember it's your choice and I am sure you will decide what is best for Willow.  Best of luck!

Sussex, England
Member Since:
1 January 2014
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3 January 2014 - 5:05 pm
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Hi, Sorry to hear this:(

My dog is 38kg but alt younger than your dog, but weight wise he is around the same. He has just had a front amputation and is walking well on three legs considering. Sorry I can't help anymore, but hopefully other members can they have been a great help to me!:)

Member Since:
18 September 2013
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3 January 2014 - 5:11 pm
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My nine year old chocolate lab, Tucker, who weighed 102 pounds or about 46 kg, before his surgery had his right front leg amputated three months ago and he has adapted beautifully to his new life on three legs.

Tucker had a full check-up before his surgery and, other than the invasive sarcoma of his right leg, and mild hip issues he was very healthy and "full of life" so, for me, I felt fortunate that Tucker was able to have the surgery.

Hope this helps a bit with your decision for Willow.


Linda and Tucker


Member Since:
3 January 2014
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11 January 2014 - 2:57 pm
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Many thanks for all your comments and sorry for the delay.
We were informed by the radiologist who view her X-ray that he saw links to the chest. Meaning the cancer already affected other part of her body.
That also means an amputation would not remove the tumor entirely.
Willow is bit like me, full of life but bit clumsy and not that dynamic or sporty in her nature. We live in the city and spend much of our time in the office or on the couch :-)
So even with the X-ray not showing any bad news I doubt she would manage to walk on 3 (back legs aren't doing great either).

Meanwhile I started looking for alternative treatment, natural pills, etc.
It's prob a waist of time and money but that's all I got left to do for my closest friend.

Thank you guys


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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14 January 2014 - 10:11 pm
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Just saw this update.

There are sevral cases jere wjere amutation wasn't an optiin for varius reasons, nd tjey were able to get extended quality time. I dn't dare try and remember someof the treatments, but I know smencluded holistic and/or conventinal. I also jave learned from this site that many oncologist are proceeding with amputation even with mets.. computer freez

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!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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14 January 2014 - 10:23 pm
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benny55 said
There are sevral cases here where amputation wasn't an option...I don't dare try and remember some of the treatments...

Bisphosphonates is one suggestion when amputation is not an option.

Be sure to tune into Tripawd Talk Radio this Saturday. Lori chose palliative care for Chuck over amputation, and she will be joining us to share her story.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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