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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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14 Year Old Mix Breed
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Forum Posts: 8
Member Since:
10 September 2012
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16
10 September 2012 - 7:29 pm
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Thank you all SO much! This is such an amazing community. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your stories. His lung x-rays came back clear. Yaaaaay!

We are headed to a specialist tomorrow to talk about amputation.

Thank you again and I will keep you posted on our progress.

Forum Posts: 53
Member Since:
15 June 2012
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17
10 September 2012 - 8:47 pm
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Please do let us know what your specialist has to say.

 

I am sorry you are going through this. Our 11-year-old Lab Loa was diagnosed this past June, and had her amputation in early July. Such a shocking diagnosis. We have chosen not to do chemo and had many of the same concerns you do–primarily, about her quality of life post-amp.

 

She is doing so well. And is clearly happy to be rid of that awful tumor. Like your pup, she was so spunky and full of life other than her limp from the tumor that I couldn’t bear to put her down. Our vet declared her a good candidate for the surgery, so we went for it.

 

I don’t know how long we’ll have with her, but she’s more than two months out and doing fantastic. Loves her walks, the dog park, the food I now cook for her every day (read: spoiled rotten!) and just being loved on. For us, it was very much the right decision.

 

All our best to you and your pup!

Somewhere over the rainbow... probably swimming in a lake
Forum Posts: 63
Member Since:
18 August 2012
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18
10 September 2012 - 9:06 pm
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Hi Dukes family,
Hooray for clear lungs!!! That was huge in our decision to move forward with amputation for Sam. We are only three weeks out, but even as a 10yr old golden, he is so healthy and bright and adapting so quickly we are amazed every day. It isn’t all peaches and cream, but each day is a little sweeter.

Every test came back clear, except the oesteosarcoma on his front right leg, and we made the decision to go after anything we couldn’t see on those tests with chemo. We decided if it really knocked him out, we could stop any time. Just because we start, doesn’t mean we have to finish. One round down, and thought he was tired the day after, he has
bounced back and had his best weekend yet.

Listen to the docs, listen to your heart and listen to your dog. He will tell you if he is strong enough to fight this.

We send as much healthy energy your way tonight as possible. Keep us posted on your progress as you make this very hard decision.

Hugs from Sam and his mom.

Samdog was a 10 yr old Golden and retired SAR dog. We found a bone mass on 8/17/12, needle biopsy showed sarcoma 8/22/12, amputation on 8/23/12, post-amp biopsy confirmed osteosarcoma on 8/28/12. Sadly, we found lung mets on 11/27/12 and my Spirit Sam earned his wings on 12/2/12.

We didn't know where we were headed and we don't regret a single step along our path. It all happened too fast, but he left a legacy of love that we will always cherish. Good bye my heart.
You can find our story at http://samdog.t.....ipawds.com

In your heart, where I belong.
Forum Posts: 1153
Member Since:
9 February 2011
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10 September 2012 - 9:28 pm
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Welcome to the site! Sorry you needed us but glad you found us.

You say that Duke is a mixed breed, but any guess on what he is? How big is he? Since smaller dogs generally live longer than large breeds, that can make a huge difference in your decision, I think.

Lots of people can’t bring themselves to have their dog’s leg amputated. But you aren’t at a site like that. And lots of people wouldn’t think of doing it if they knew they dog might not live terribly long afterwards. But you aren’t at a site like that, either. And I imagine there are people who do it and regret it. But in general, you aren’t at a site like that, either.

For the most part, people here will tell you all the positives that will come from having Duke’s leg amputated. And they are absolutely right. But even with those positives on the table, you are the only one who knows what is best for Duke. You know what he’s like when he doesn’t feel well, or how quickly (or not) he recovers when he’s sick, or how he adapts to big changes.

Not every dog is a good candidate, but every dog will lose the terrible pain of cancer if they lose the leg. You won’t find much regret here, which is a good thing. I’m only pointing this out because your sample here is very biased toward the good stuff. Most of us simply don’t have experience with the bad. And that’s good, too. You’ve found yourself in the middle of a large collection of optimists. We want Duke to feel better and live long and be happy and have fun. Knowing how big he is and what kinds of breeds are likely in his makeup will help you know if he has a good shot at that.

What does your vet advise? 

Shari

From abandoned puppy to Tripawd Warrior Dude, Dakota became one of the 2011 February Furballs due to STS. Our incredibly sweet friend lived with grace and dignity till he impulsively raced over the Bridge on 12-15-12.

Dakota's thoughtful and erudite blog is at http://shari.tr.....pawds.com/

Sebastopol, CA
Forum Posts: 421
Member Since:
11 June 2011
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10 September 2012 - 9:59 pm
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Hello Duke’s family,

So sorry you have to deal with osteosarcoma, but as you have found out you have great support from a wonderful group of people!

Our Lylee is 85 lbs and was 11.5 years approx when she was diagnosed with OSA.  She had amputation of her right front leg and underwent 6 rounds of Carboplatin. She did very well with both and is now almost 15 months post amputation. If you check out her blog she has spent a lot of time on the beach and having a wonderful quality of life :)

http://www.lyle…..ipawds.com

So happy Duke has clear xrays! Keep us posted.

Joanne & Lylee

ps we did many holistic treatment as well as the western medicine, our oncologist was very supportive of this.

http://lyleegir.....ipawds.com

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 26533
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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11 September 2012 - 5:45 am
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Wow! Wow! Wow! Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences, this is one of the best discussions we’ve had about life on three legs for a senior dog!!! 

Good luck Duke & family, let us know how the visit goes.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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