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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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Age & Amputation
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Las Vegas, Nevada
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6 December 2010 - 2:45 pm
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I feel so bad for you guys.  It is a very hard decision. 

I opted out of amputation because Comet had kennel cough the day of her amputation and so they wouldn't do it.  It took months for her to finally get over the kennel cough/pneumonia.  At that time, I couldn't put her thru what I deemed as a cosmetic surgery.  (I felt that way at the time since the vet was going to take some extra toes off, too!  But if I had do-overs I would do it)

 

I know you want to ensure Poppy isn't in pain, so try to focus on eliminating the pain, not eliminating a leg.  That may help you emotionally.  Pain with leg.  Pain gone without leg.   Don't think about how much time you may or may not have. Or what kind of cancer she may or may not have.   Just think of this being necessary to remove the pain.  I know for myself, I wouldn't hesitate if Comet's gimpy, non functioning leg was painful.

Dogs are fine without the leg.  Comet has been the sassiest and most spunky dog ever for 12 years without the use of her leg!  I'm almost glad she wasn't born with 4 legs!  She would have been a rude, rude little dog if she would have had 4 good legs!  

 

Sending you lots of pawsitive thoughts to help you with this terrible desision.

 

Comet's mom

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

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7 December 2010 - 6:49 pm
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Thanks everyone for you kind words and advice.  Just when i think i have made up my mind, i change it again.  Im running out of time to change my mind.  I have booked poppet in for xrays tomorrow, being the chest and legs/pelvis.  Want to see what is going on in there before i make the final decision.  If the lungs are clear and the leg is still deteriorating i will advise them to keep going and do the amputation as i know she is in some pain.  At this point im not going to put her through a more invasive biopsy to get a result.  They can biopsy the leg afterwards.    They are saying tho, without the biopsy before hand that they cannot advise if the cancer is osteo or myeloma, and if it is the myeloma then they may be able to throw different chemo at it (than the one she is on) and there may be a 50% chance she would use the leg again to some degree (and be made comfortable) with some medication i presume.  Obviously money comes into the equation (i wish it didnt, but having a family it does) and im trying to do the right thing by all.  If the xrays are bad, i will go for pallative care for a little while.  Being human, im still finding it hard to take off the leg.  Is she going to look at me and wonder why i did this to her ?   Silly i know, but i know that she looks up to me for assurance.  Thanks again everyone. Kaz & Poppet.

Here and Now


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7 December 2010 - 6:59 pm
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poppy said:

Is she going to look at me and wonder why i did this to her ? 

No. Think about dogs in the wild who will chew off their own leg to free themselves of pain. She may look at you to say thank you though!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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7 December 2010 - 8:49 pm
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Don't ever beat yourself up because money has to play into the equation.  The vet will likely work with you on payments, but even that puts a strain on most family finances.  Make your best choices based on what you can afford , and it will all come out well.

Will she look at you and wonder what you have done to her?  Not likely.  When they brought Trouble out to us after her surgery, she was very tentative when she saw us, happy, yet looking for our approval.  Once we greeted her and assured her all was well, she was the happiest dog ever.  She was good with her new look and so were we.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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7 December 2010 - 9:08 pm
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Kaz, whatever you decide is the right decision.  Of course, money plays a part.    It's played a role with all of us.  You do what you can and what you can afford. 

 

Really and truly Poppet is not going to worry about the missing leg.  Those of us that have been here a while can tell you we'd all be rich if we had a dollar for every time we heard that beforehand!  AND we'd super rich if we had a dollar for everyone that comes back and says their pup is okay afterwards without the darned leg.  As a matter of fact, most come and tell us that their pup's leg must have been in more pain because their spirits were so much better just getting rid of the pain.

 

Good luck and let us know!

Comet' mom

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

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8 December 2010 - 7:06 pm
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Well, poppet had her xrays this morning and all are ok.  Clear chest and all over except the “leg”.  Have decided to remove leg as she has lost her spark and i believe its the pain and meds which are causing this as she still wants to run with me whenever i go outside.  So this afternoon Poppet will join the Tripawds ranks (all going well).  Thank you all very much for your words and for being a sounding board for me.  I think the best bit of advice i have gotten here (and even my partner now keeps repeating it to me) is that im not removing the leg, im removing the pain and giving her another chance (no matter how small) of enjoying life to its fullest.

Thanks again Kaz & Poppet….

littlemanjake
22
8 December 2010 - 7:21 pm
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Best of luck. Poppy will do great. Isabelle was 12 & has severe L-S arthritis. I never really had reservations about her not having a leg and she definitely never missed it. I just made sure, as much as possible, to carry on as usual as soon as she got home.

 We were in a store today & someone came up after we'd been there for at least 30mins & said they'd just noticed she was a tripawd. Poppy will be free of pain & will adapt quickly. Try not to focus on her disability because she doesn't see it that way. Enjoy your time together!smiley

Here and Now


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8 December 2010 - 7:56 pm
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Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Please keep us posted.

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9 December 2010 - 7:09 pm
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Hi Everyone,

Well i cant wait to leave work today (have to be here to pay for op) to go see my little Poppet.

Word is that the operation went well yesterday afternoon, she is off fluids and waiting to go home.  She has been up and about for a toilet stop and my hubby & 3yr old son dropped in to see here at the vets this morning with a little snack, which she ate mind you, and a big cuddle.  They said she is going well on three legs, “like she has already adapted”.  Im sooooo looking forward to seeing her.  Im sure we have a long way to go, but its a good start.  I have asked the vet to biopsy the leg, so we should have a result next week.

I watch some of the tripawd videos last nite and i must say they were uplifting.  It was great to see all the dogs getting around so well.

I wonder if there is a tripawd contact site in Melbourne Australia.

Thank you again for all your assistance.  I wish everyone the best for xmas and the new year.

 

karen & Tripawd “Poppet”.

Here and Now


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9 December 2010 - 7:30 pm
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poppy said:

I wonder if there is a tripawd contact site in Melbourne Australia.

You're looking at it! smiley post your location in the Tripawd Parties forum to see if there are any members near you.

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear poppy is off to such a great start. Consider starting a new topic – or a blog – to share her progress.

Northeastern PA
Forum Posts: 116
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9 December 2010 - 10:26 pm
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That is great news – it sounds like Poppet is off to a wonderful start being a tripawd.

And, it will only get better once you get her home and she can get back into a routine.

Love her up with extra cuddles tonight!

Zack, King of Dogs, 1996 to 2010

Zack lived a full 14 years, even to the end.

The joy and memories he provided us will last a lifetime.

Surviving him is his sister, Izzy, a 12-year-old boxer mix quadpawd.
And the latest addition, Zula, an 11-month-old pit bull mix tripawd.

Portage Lake, Maine
Forum Posts: 1019
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10 December 2010 - 6:28 am
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Go Poppet!  All sounds great so far!  Hoping her recovery goes just as well!

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

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10 December 2010 - 7:40 am
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Welcome to the family, we all know about that emotional roller coaster this crap puts you on in the beginning, but once you see how well these guys adapt you say it was all worth it, not to say there won't be some rough road ahead, expect that including little sleep for the next week or so. I found that when I picked Gus up he was in great spirits, and I'm thinking this will be a breeze, silly me, I think once the meds they have given them wear off they tend to seem to not look so ” recovered”, even though you will have pain meds, the first few days they don't seem like themselves, and part of that will be the meds. There will be a lot of stress for you the next week or so, which sometimes makes you feel guilty for having it done, DON'T, the surgery is done and you can't change it, this is the rough part so take it one day at a time. Most dogs have their roughest times the first 2 weeks but some take longer. I'm glad you didn't put Poppy through the biopsy, I don't think I will ever do that again BEFORE surgery if the vets  and xrays show a suspected cancer, time wasted  in my opinion from the standpoint of getting the surgery done as quick as possible, from the time we had the biopsy done, which came back negative anyhow, to the actual surgery day was a little over 2 weeks, by that time the poor guy was in terrible pain, the only thing I regretted about the how I did things for him. Good luck, Big paws up, Spirit Gus and Dan 

My buddy Gus had a left front amputation on April 7, 2010 and lived a great life until July 26,2010

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11 December 2010 - 4:46 am
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Hi Everyone,  Poppy the “tripawd” is doing really well.  The vets were amazed.  She is getting around just fine.  A few bumps into things, but otherwise going really well.  I let her walk for about 100m and then back for a rest.  She wants to take off into the paddocks.  She is giving the wound an occasional lick, but we have some bitters to put around it and she doesnt like the taste of that.  The bruising has gone down today and it doesnt look as angry.  what i have noticed tho is that her other leg seem to be a little swollen and under the hair, very red, like this leg has been bruised too.  Not sure about this.  I hope we have not been doing too much moving around, or could it be that she is lying on that side all the time ?  She has a little bit of swelling (odema) behind her front leg, on her chest, presume from lying down on that side all the time too.  I did start to have that thought today of “i have done the wrong thing here” what kind of life is this just sitting around with the occasional walk, watching the world go by, but, that is what she was doing before the operation anyway and probably has been that way for the last year.  So maybe i need to calm down and just see how we go.  Its not my week, cause my 15yr old dog buddy fell over last nite, and with a suspected fracture, he was stressed out and due to arthritis could not take any weight on his other legs.  I called the vet at midnite (who happened to be the same vet who operated on poppy) he came around & could not find a fracture, gave buddy some pain killer and said to review in 24 hrs.  12 hrs later with buddy still not taking weight on legs i resigned myself to the fact that he would have to go to doggy heaven (even rang my son who was at his dads to tell him).  On seeing the vet, Buddy decided that he was not going anywhere today and proceeded to hobble around for us.  Vet reviewed, said he may improve once the pain killers wear off further and see how he goes over the next few days.  I now have the “2” geriatrics holled up together (im sure it was a plot) in our garage, on beds and blankets, being waited on and spoilt.  What a stunt to pull just to get back with your girlfriend.  I swear, im emotionally worn out.  The vet said i had spent that much with them over the past week, so my last consultation was “no charge”…  Off to check the terrible twosome and then off to bed for some well deserved rest.  Thanks everyone.  Kaz & Poppet.

Here and Now


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11 December 2010 - 1:02 pm
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poppy said:

…maybe i need to calm down and just see how we go

Excellent advice indeed. Thanks for the update on Poppy, and best wishes for Buddy!

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