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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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17.5 y/o dog - advice needed - amputation recommended by 2 different vets
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Forum Posts: 2
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31 December 2019
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31 December 2019 - 5:21 am
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I have a 17.5 y/o dog (who I’ve owned for 16.5 of those years – she’s followed me through college, career changes, and out of state moves!) who currently has a sarcoma growing between the muscle tissues of her rear left leg. She was “diagnosed” approximately 3 weeks ago with our main vet, and we just had a consult/second opinion with another vet that would be performing the surgery. She was put under anesthesia for the x-rays and she sprung back just fine, albeit a bit sore from them manipulating that leg. I have independently consulted with the two vets on her situation, and they both agree that she is a good candidate for CT + amputation if they took age out of the equation (in fact, they both thought she was closer to 9-10 years old!). She has OA in her hips, but they commented that she is already compensating roughly 10-15% for her left leg- thus, she is effectively loading 30-35% on her right leg instead of the normal 20% and seems to be doing fine with it.

She is healthy other than this sarcoma and her OA. She is still very spunky and spry – she runs, jumps, and plays despite my efforts. Within the past few days, I have noticed more discomfort with her left leg (i.e. licking, avoiding laying on it, swelling, dragging foot), so I really have to make this decision within the next week or less. It is looking like it would be $5.5k total for the CT + amputation.

Does anyone else have a dog who is a “super senior” (i.e. >14-15 y/o) that had a leg amputation? If so, what was the outcome? Am I thinking selfishly here? Is it “worth” it, considering she may die on the table or even within a few months? She’s given me an amazing 16.5 years, so I owe a lot to her.. but I don’t want my feelings to cloud her actual QOL.

Thanks in advance for any time and advice.

The Rainbow Bridge



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31 December 2019 - 11:48 am
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Hi Reese and family, welcome. What is your pup’s name? She sounds like such a great dog, and what an incredible bond you two share! How blessed to have been together so long, with hopefully many more great times ahead.

You did your homework and are being smart about weighing your options. It sounds like she is a case of “age is just a number” and to have both vets agree that she would be great on three is fantastic! We’ve had other vets tell us that neither age nor size should be a limiting factor in whether or not a dog is a good candidate for amputation. Oh speaking of, what is her breed type?

To answer your question, yes, we have had many many many super seniors join us through the years! I moved your Forum post here so you could see stories like:

Samson

Ziva

Brownie

Eddie

Cotee

And sooo many others! 

It’s hard not to be fearful of anesthesia, but as long as your vet is practicing modern medicine (i.e., AAHA-accredited clinic protocols), the risk is minimal for a healthy senior dog.

I think the biggest key is to get your pup into rehab within two weeks of surgery. That can make all the difference for a good recuperation, and we feel so strongly that it does, that the Tripawds Foundation may pay for your first rehab visit . So if you go forward with amputation, please take advantage of the program OK?

Others will chime in soon so stay tuned OK? We are here to support you no matter which way you decide to go, and look forward to learning more about your spunky super senior!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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31 December 2019 - 3:45 pm
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Hi,

Brownie was right at age 12 when he had his amputation and will be 13 in two months. Brownie is a large dog and doing just fine except for some arthritis.  He still hops down the fence line tormenting the neighbors dog. Still let’s me know when it’s 7 o’clock for cookie time, goes to the park and car rides just like before the surgery. It did take him about 3 weeks to fully recover.

I am also curios to know what kind of breed. Considering she is 17 I am thinking small?

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

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31 December 2019 - 3:55 pm
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Just to add, I also was wondering if Brownie was too old for this. But after a couple of weeks I could see his tumor growing and the pain medication stopped working. He was even on a fetinol patch . I think he may of gotten amuned to it. So I Googled senior dogs with front leg amputation and found Tripawds. I knew if the other dogs could do it so could Brownie. Am I am so grateful for the extra time we have together. We always had a special bond but this journey has even made it stronger. You know your dog more then anyone, so you will make the right decision.

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

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2 January 2020 - 12:26 pm
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Hi all,

Thank you for the kind words and the nice welcome!

My pup’s name is Reese and she is a 55# “heinz-57” mix.. shepherd, lab, pit, and who knows what else! Eventually I will figure out how to get a photo of her on here..

We did make the decision to go forward with the CT + amputation if the tumor is only constrained to her leg. She is scheduled to go in for this tomorrow AM, so I will update y’all later on tomorrow evening once I get things figured out with the vets. 

All the best!

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2 January 2020 - 5:48 pm
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Wow! I thought for sure Reese  was a small dog due to being 17 years. That remarkable!

We are sending good thoughts your way. Let is know how it goes.

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27443
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2 January 2020 - 6:24 pm
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Good luck Reese! Let us know how the next visit goes OK?

Meanwhile here are instructions for adding images to the Forums.

If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know. It’s pretty easy: 

  1. Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog
  2. Right click and copy the Image URL
  3. Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself if possible) in your post. It should automatically appear.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 953
Member Since:
4 April 2019
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4 January 2020 - 5:58 am
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Hi,

Was just checking in to see how Reese and you were doing?

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

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