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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18 October 2019
I was hoping to get some advice. My 11 year old Rottweiler, Ollie, recently had his front left leg amputated and the results came back positive for osteosacroma. I have talked to our vet and did some research of my own, only to learn how aggressive this cancer is. We discovered Ollie’s osteosarcoma because he had started to limp on his front leg, due to the aggressiveness of this cancer by the time a dog exhibits the limping and lameness the cancer has most likely already spread even with amputation. We proceeded with the amputation in hopes to get Ollie out of pain, he is now 12 days post op and seems to be doing very well in his recovery. My question is what do we do now? I don’t know if I want to put my 11 year old boy through chemo and radiation, I have a consult with a homeopathic doctor to see what options he recommends, I am also willing to seek out palliative care to keep him comfortable. I guess I am looking for advice or recommendations of what people that are going through this same thing are doing. My hopes are to keep him comfortable and out of pain for as long as possible which I think is ultimately everyone’s goal in this situation. Please share any advice or recommendations you may have.
Hi Alex and Ollie, welcome. I hope you don’t mind I moved your post here but we wanted to make sure Ollie has his own topic. As a senior dog, this is a good place to see what other senior dogs and their people are doing after amputation surgery.
It sounds like you are covering all your bases, which is great. It’s easier to make decisions when you have all the options laid out in front of you. And yes you’re right, it’s all about quality of life after amputation!
I hate to make this short but I have to run right now. I will be back in a couple hours though, and wanted to make sure others can see your post.
22 February 2013
Glad to hear Ollie is doing so well. It’s still early in recovery so he needs to take it slow for a bit longer.
First of all, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Ollie has any other cancer a ywhere. We have many dogs here that dispelled that theory. Nitro comes to mind. A “mature” Dobie who got over two additional years of pain frre quality and passed basically to old age. Murphy lived life to the fullest for over four years and passed from something other than osteo.
Yes, good for you checking out all options. There are no wrong choices, okay? You know your Ollie best and any decision you make is out of love, ,and that is ALWAYS the right decision.
Some do chemo, some don’t.. Some “appear” to get extended quality time with chemo, some don’t. It reall is a crap shoot. The only thing I’ll say about chemo is the side effects, of at all, are generally mild. And you can always stop if Ollie has bad side effects (it’s rare, but it does happen).
Clyde is an example of a dog member here who has not done chemo, just more of a holistic approach. He has celebrated over two uears…actually may be three now…living life to the fullest as a tripawd.
Talk with Holistic Bet, talk with an Oncologist, talk with your regular Vet and, most of all, talk to Ollie! You’ll come to a path that resonate with you.
Let us know any questions you may have and how we can conti ue yo suppprt you.. Give sweet Ollie an extra treat for us. And we would love to see pics of his cute self. Here’s a link to help adding images
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!
Here are the dogs that Sally mentioned:
and more senior dog examples
Always remember that just because a dog has osteosarcoma, that doesn’t mean that they will follow the exact prognosis associated with it. Many dogs live far longer than anyone assumes, I’ve seen them go as long as seven years! Seriously. It doesn’t happen all the time but we see it here. Our own Jerry lived two years post-op and without any IV chemotherapy (we did low-dose metronomics ).
For now, celebrate that your boy is doing great after recovery! This is a MAJOR reason to celebrate, and so hopeful to others with senior dogs who are facing the same situation. Congrats!
One more link for you, Gizmo’s story. Yes, he just passed, and we are seriously heartbroken over that. But this boy, well he was one for the recordbooks. Gizmo thrived for four amazing years after osteosarcoma, and ended up living to a ripe old age of fifteen! We have to celebrate that, he was truly remarkable and a beacon of hope. He goes to show everyone that cancer is not a death sentence.
5 September 2019
Hi Alex and Ollie! We unfortunately are going through the same experience. Our 5 year old American Bulldog was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in August, and we made the decision to have her front right leg amputated to relieve her of pain. Her surgery was on September 20th, so we are a month in recovery and for the most part, Loki is figuring out life on 3 legs. It’s taking her a little longer due to her size, she was 135 pounds at surgery. We did opt to start chemo. She had her first treatment 12 days ago and we dealt with very little side effects. A little loss of appetite and there were a couple days she seemed to want to sleep more. We had her blood cell count checked last night and everything came back excellent. We are also going to start Physical Therapy with her tomorrow to help her with figuring out her “new body”…..she also had knuckling of her back leg after surgery, but that has finally straightened out. But anyway, we are definitely happy we started chemo and praying we get extra time with her and she has quality life. We all love our dogs like family and we never want to have to say goodbye to them…..so while we have options, we will take them. I also have her on CBD oil 3 times a day plus her Rimadyl. Our oncologist had us put her on a herbal med called Artemisinin . Apparently it only has an effect on bone cancer….so we have her on that now too.
Wishing you luck and know that you are not alone! And absolutely there is no right or wrong decision🐾❤️
Rachel and Loki
24 June 2019
My boy, a 12 1/2 year old GSD/Malamute mix just finished his five rounds of chemo for osteosarcoma. His only significant complication was a complete refusal to eat. We ended up having to use an appetite stimulant. His post chemo scans two weeks ago were clear! We’re also doing PT and massage. I’m not sure PT is helping honestly, so we may be dropping that. The massage definitely makes him move easier for a while.
27 July 2014
Riot, I agree that PT can eventually end because you can just find a few things that help and do them at home. I think balance exercises are especially important. I took my cat for a few chiropractic sessions and was taught some stretch and balance games (she cheats) and how to massage.
Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona