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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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4 year Old Bullmastiff - worried
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Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
24 October 2018
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24 October 2018 - 5:32 am
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Hi everyone, 

We have a 4 year old bullmastiff that has just been diagnosed with bone cancer. Our options are leave it, amputation or amputation and chemo. 

As she is 60kg we are worried about quality of life for larger dog. She comes every where with us and really worried about her becoming stuck in the house and cant get out. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Heart breaking in Australia 

Thanks Siobhan 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25575
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24 October 2018 - 7:50 am
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Hi and welcome! Sorry to hear about your girl, what’s her name? How do the docs feel about her being a candidate for amputation?

Have you seen Jerry’s Required Reading List or the Tripawds e-books yet? Those are good places to start. I’m on my phone now and will reply with more thoughts but I wanted to get your post approved so others can chime in. stay tuned for feedback!

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




Forum Posts: 17772
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24 October 2018 - 9:08 am
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Your girl is beautiful .  Cannot wait to see more pictures of her lovely self.

From first hand experience , I can tell you that Bull Masriffs handle three legs like a champ!!!  I’ve been owned by several Bull Mastiffs,  one who had a rear leg  amputation due to osteosarcoma.

My Happy Hannah weighed  125+ lbs and was 8 1/2 at the time.  Recovery was no picnic  for a couple of weeks, but as far as being mobile right away, she nailed it!

Keep things chunked down right now.  You can decide  about chemo later.  The most immediate focus is whether  to amputate  or not.

Great Dane Eurydice traveled  all,over Europe with her hooman!  She’ll  come on and give you links to her adventures.   You’ll be amazed!!!

Your girl will be able to travel with you, go everywhere with you,  jist like before, except she will be pain free!!!

I had not found this site when my Happy Hannah was dirst diagnosed.  I was scared out of my mind when the Vet first mentioned  the word “amputation” and said absolutely  not!  At the rime her limp was “not that bad”…..and then it became bad!  A dog full of life was not ready to be “put down”.  She deserved  a chance at a pain free quality life.

It became very clear her pain was going to get worse quickly  and I needed to make a decision. I spoke with an Orthopedic Surgeon and was assured  my Happy Hannah was a good candidate  for surgery and would handle being a tripawd brilliantly!  

Again, had not found  this site and was completely  absorbed  with fear.  I scheduled  the surgery  and then cancelled  it!   I obviously  rescheduled and it was a great decision!!

I’ll come back with more detail later, but just wanted to assure you larger dogs do just fine!!!

A couple  of examples…Eurydice, a gorgeous  175 lb Great Dane (she may have weighed more);  Tazzie, an English Mastiff was just over 175 lbs;  Big Louie, a 200 lb Neapolitan  Mastiff …..these are just a few.

STAY CONNECTED  and continue to let us know as questions come up, okay?  We’ve  all been through it  and understand  the emotions involved  like no others can.

Hugs and extra slobber kisses to your beautiful  girl❤

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

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!

Virginia




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24 October 2018 - 9:14 am
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Here’s  a pic of my Happy Hannah shortly after the amputation loving  lounging  on her deck .  

  2017-10-18-11.09.44.jpgImage Enlarger

And a quick  clip of me trying  to put on a birthday  hat  for her ninth birthday.   At the very end of the clip  can see how quickly and effortlessly she got up…no problem 

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!

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24 October 2018 - 1:50 pm
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Hi Siobhan = just to chime in on size/age, my Great Dane Maddie just celebrated her one year ampuversary!  She is also a big girl weighs in around 160 lbs now; she was closer to 170 before her amputation.  She is older (she’ll be 9 soon) so I was especially worried – but she did great and I’m so happy we had the surgery and got this time with her.  She was never a super active dog – she did the zoomies a few times a day, but otherwise was a couch potato (that hasn’t changed!).  She gets around really well and she still loves to do all the things she used to do.  The most important thing is getting rid of her pain.  I know how terrifying it is when you first hear that word “Osteosarcoma” and how hard it is to make a decision like amputation.   The people on here will help you get thru it, no matter what you decide.  

Bobbi & Maddie a/k/a ManiacMads

Front leg amputation 10/17/17 due to Osteosarcoma

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

The Rainbow Bridge



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24 October 2018 - 3:38 pm
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Oh yay I’m so glad that you have some feedback already! Sorry but for some reason our Jerry’s Required Reading List didn’t link. This should work. Follow it for the best care tips for life before and after amputation.

As for big dogs, we have tons of Mastiff examples and Happy Hannah’s is one of the very best! These Tripawds News Blog search results are just a few (Scroll through for direct profiles).

https://tripawd…..?s=mastiff

We are all looking forward to hearing about your girl. Remember, size alone need not be the deciding factor. The best veterinary surgeons have told us that just because a dog is large, doesn’t exclude them from being a good candidate. If your vet isn’t confident in her ability, get a second or even third opinion to ensure you have all the feedback you need to make an informed, confident decision.

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: 2
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26 October 2018 - 11:42 pm
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Thank you for your comments already. 

We are getting a second opinion with the vet next week. 

The things we are worried about is that she won’t be able to go anywhere. 

What are the limitations after the operation? Can we still go for walks and not just out to the front yard. 

How would her quality of life be? She’s a lazy thing but still loves to be with us and goes stir crazy if she doesn’t get her daily walk. My partner if finding this decision very difficult. 

I just want the cancer gone and I think she will cope. it has already eroded hr upper bone in front right leg I cant imagine it going through her body. 

I would really like to to know the recovery and other complications to come up after the surgery 

The Rainbow Bridge



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27 October 2018 - 12:26 pm
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I’m so glad you’re talking to another vet. They can advise you about potential complications after surgery but in general as long as they are a quality practice and following modern procedures, things should go routinely. See: https://tripawd…..s-surgery/

Try to keep in mind that all recoveries are a bit different, but in general most dogs will do great and have an excellent quality of life after surgery. Big dogs do take a bit longer to find their new normal but most do get there.

Many of the changes that members and their dogs experience are no different than the kinds of changes you would normally deal with for a senior, geriatric dog. So you would just be dealing with it ahead of schedule.

Regarding walks: yes, her stamina will be reduced and those walks will be much shorter than they used to be. How far she can go depends on what her health and fitness level is like now, and how well you maintain that after surgery. A consult with a physio therapist can help you figure out proper exercise.

Getting her outside with you is not a problem if you invest in a good dog stroller. Many members have one for their dogs (even as large as a Mastiff) and say it was the best thing they ever did.

The question you and your partner need to ask is, would you rather have her around and enjoying a good, “new normal” of a life for as long as possible, or not have her around at all?

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!



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31 October 2018 - 3:24 am
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Hi gorgeous girl and family 🌸🐾

I am late welcoming you but want to add my voice to others to reassure you surgery can be done and your girl will cope!

My Great Dane was very large, weighed 77kg pre amp and she also lost her front leg (and shoulder) but that did not stop her from enjoying her life to the full, every single day.

Initial recovery was not the easiest thing but after stitches came out we never, ever looked back, I have zero regrets for having had her surgery!

Have you decided what to do?

Have you talked to the surgeon for a second opinion?

In Eurydice’s case we were told straight away by the surgeon, oncologist and vet surgery was the best option and she would do great despite of her size.

They were absolutely right.

I will add a link to our travels when i can get to my computer (can’t copy link from my mobile) I’m sure that will reassure you at how well your gorgeous girl can do.

Please let us know how things are and be assured we are all here to help and guide you through your journey. 

Hugs and cuddles 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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