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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 GoldenDoodle Leg Amputation
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Forum Posts: 3
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11 January 2013
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11 January 2013 - 1:17 pm
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What a great forum and site… so happy we found this.

 

We have a 4 year old Golden Doodle who is absolutely incredible.  In early November he (Bosco) started limping and showed an inflammation on the inside of his left hind leg.  Anti-inflammatory medicine prescribed by our Vet did very little to ease the pain or swelling and eventually a lesion developed and the skin opened.  We had suspected Bosco had broken the skin himself as he was continually biting at the inflamed area.  The rounds of stitches – he’s great a getting them out on his own despite having a cone AND muzzle – we had to eventually leave the wound open to heal.  After a few weeks inflection looked as though it had set in and he was put on an aggressive schedule of antibiotics.  Unfortunately they didn’t work and we suspected a fungal diseases (pythiosis or blastomycosis).  Sadly, we suspected that it might have spread through Bosco’s body and only yesterday we were preparing to put him out of his pain.  He wasn’t eating, loosing control of his bladder, etc.

 Fortunately, and to the surprise of most, his biopsy test came back showing cancer and the vet’s (we were at two hospitals where the Dr’s worked together to figure out what was wrong with him) suggested that Bosco was an excellent candidate for amputation.  This was a relief to us as we went from thinking we would be putting Bosco to sleep, to now being told he will have a great quality of life and free of the cancer as it hadn’t spread past his leg.  Coupled with a probability of 10-15% that the cancer would return over the course of his life, we elected for the amputation which he is, as I type this, currently undergoing.

 

I am a little concerned that he hasn’t eaten for the past week and now he’s got major surgery – I’m sure he’ll be find but concerned nonetheless.  I’m happy to have found this site for support and tips.  I’m sure it’ll be a challenge but he’s a young pup and happy go lucky so I’m confident he’ll pull through.  He hasn’t be using the leg for the past 5 weeks, I guess because of the pain so at least he’s already started his adjustment.  No doubt he’ll also love how spoiled he’s going to get. rasberry

 

Any support and advice is welcomed for loving owners of a new tripawd!

Here and Now


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11 January 2013 - 2:24 pm
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Welcome, your future forum posts will not require moderation. Bookmark Jerry’s Reading List for links to some of the best information this community has to offer, or consider downloading Three Legs and A Spare for quick answers.

What kind of cancer was Bosco diagnosed with? Just like Jerry’s vet told us long ago, “he’s already a tripawd” so he should do well on three legs. His appetite is likely to return once that pain is gone too. Please keep us posted.

San Diego, CA
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11 January 2013 - 3:25 pm
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Welcome, but sorry you had to find us here.

Their appetites are usually off after the surgery, so you may find you have to tempt him with delicious goodies – chicken and beef and whatnot. Our Abby really went off her Blue Buffalo kibble for a while after her surgery. Also don’t be surprised if he seems depressed – that can be quite common. Most dogs do great and get through this better than the humans.

Do you have carpets? If not, traction can be an issue and you might want to buy some yoga mats or throw rugs. 

Hope all went well during the surgery. We’re here if you have questions during the recovery!

Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

 

 

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

krun15
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11 January 2013 - 5:18 pm
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Welcome.

What type of cancer does Bosco have? Sound a little like mast cell with the wound not healing.

I posted in your blog- check your spam folder, that seems to be where my posts go for some reason.

I hope the surgery went well and that Bosco is on his way to recovery.

 

Karen and the pugapalooza

 

New Haven, CT
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11 January 2013 - 7:37 pm
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Best of luck for your pup!  Today we’re 2 weeks after amputation, also a hind leg.  If you’ve got questions, we’re here for you!  I can tell you how it went for Jackson, but the short of it is, he’s not in pain anymore with that bum leg.  We’re glad we did it and just started chemo.  I recommend having loads of doggie beds around, yummy treats (cottage cheese?  chicken?  ground beef?  Cheese?  Bacon!) to keep him eating, and even be prepared to lose some sleep, both b/c of nerves and b/c your pup may warrant some extra attention.  Many of us seem to camp out for at least a night with our pooch so soon after surgery.  We’re 2 weeks out, and just tonight Jackson showed some major personality rebounds.  We are SO happy!  Post-op was largely a sleepy and/or depressed affair.  We ended up having some of his most favorite people come over about a week afterward to perk him up; it worked!  Then he slept the whole next day….  ups and downs.  Good luck!  I’m excited for your story and news.  May the procedure go well and the recovery, too.

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

The Rainbow Bridge



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11 January 2013 - 9:43 pm
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Hey Bosco, I hope your surgery went well!

Isn’t it crazy, that you’re glad it was cancer? I know, nuts huh? But hey we’re so hoppy you were given another chance to keep on keepin’ on, you’re so young!

Be sure to check our Required Reading List & ebook, Three Legs & a Spare, for lots of info and help. For now, please tell your people to get lots of rest, you’ll be home soon enough and tearing up the place again. I can’t wait!

Good luck and thanks for joining us. Keep us posted.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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12 January 2013 - 11:50 am
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Wow, thanks for all the support and advice!

So, Bosco went in yesterday morning and the vet called later in the afternoon to say the surgery went smoothly and was successful, without issue.  At the time they didn’t know how long he’d be in for but would call again in the morning.  Good news this morning – he’s been trying to stand up, is barking whenever someone walks by for attention, and they took him outside to see if he’d pee (he didn’t).  Anyway, based on that, they said I can pick him up this evening and bring him home.  I was concerned because before surgery he hadn’t eaten for a week and now, I am hearing that he probably won’t eat for awhile after surgery – not sure where he gets his strength from.

 

I’m off now to try and find some sort of orthopedic bed for Bosco and a harness to help him out for the first few weeks.  Unfortunately we live in a narrow and tall house with lost of stairs inside and out to get to our yard… hopefully with a bit of help he’ll manage.

 

Will keep you all posted and I plan to carry on the Blog with his progress and photos.

 

Thanks again and as for the question about what type of cancer he has… I honestly can’t remember.  I was just so happy to hear that he was going to be fine and that euthanizing was not necessary that I didn’t pay attention to much else.

 

Plainfield, Illinois
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12 January 2013 - 1:07 pm
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Congrats on Bosco getting through surgery like a champ!  Make sure you check out this site, as they have several harnesses that could help you, especially if he has steps to navigate.  With our Chili Dawg, we ended up using a towel under his backside as a sling for the first few days until he got his new “hop” mastered.  Also, the first 2 weeks are the toughest- and you may doubt whether or not you made the right decision.  Don’t worry, as he comes off of the pain meds, you will see his old personality returning.  Chili Dawg also had not eaten a lot before his surgery.  His appetite really didn’t return until he was almost off all his pain meds at the end of the 2nd week.  We bribed him with all sorts of foods to get him to eat, so we could feed him his pain meds as well as some food. 

 

Jenna and Spirit Chili Dawg

Diagnosed with OSA: 5/2/2011 Ampuversary: 5/11/2011 OSA returned in hip: 8/26/2011
Chili Dawg crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 8/30/2011 & is now pain free. He was my heart dog, and I miss him every day.

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 January 2013 - 6:31 am
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Hey Bosco, glad to hear everything went well with surgery. How are you doing?

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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13 January 2013 - 11:19 am
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Thanks again for all your wishes.  I am documenting his progress through a blog:

http://boscotor…..ipawds.com

I’ve added photos as well. 

To those that were asking what kind of cancer he had, it is a very rare skin cancer predominately found in cows and horses.  I can’t recall the name – it was long!

Sydney, Australia
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13 January 2013 - 7:10 pm
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Oh wow.  I never thought I’d hear someone say I’m glad my dog’s got cancer. It shows everything is relative.  I’m so happy for you that you’ve been given this second chance and the prognosis sounds promising.

 

The first few weeks can be rough but then you’ll be amazed at how well he does on 3 legs.

 

Karen and Spirit Magnum

Magnum: 30th May 2002 to 5th May 2012. Lost her back left leg to osteosarcoma on 5th Sep 2011. Lung mets found on 20th Mar 2012 but it was bone mets in the hip that ended her brave battle. Magnum's motto - "Dream as if you'll live for ever, live as if you'll die today" (James Dean). Loyal, loving, courageous and spirited to the end. My beloved heart dog, see her memoirs from Rainbow Bridge ...... http://princess.....pawds.com/

San Diego, CA
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15 January 2013 - 5:08 pm
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Glad to hear he made it through surgery okay. He is adorable! He looks like a great, wooly sheep!

I hope he is doing well with his recovery! We’re here if you have questions.

Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

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