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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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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

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Akita 10 yrs old with Osteosarcoma
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Member Since:
15 February 2022
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15 February 2022 - 7:00 pm
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Has anyone had a 10 year old big breed dog that had their dogs leg amputated? If so, how long did it the dog live after? All I’m seeing are very grave prognosis. Im so worried that I would be keeping her alive for my own selfish reason if it only provided her with a few months. Would I be best to put her down as heartbreaking as it is? She’s my best friend, but I hate to see her in pain.

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24 September 2009
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15 February 2022 - 7:17 pm
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Hi there! It was nice meeting you in the chat, sorry it's under these circumstances. I'm still in the Tripawds Chat if you want to talk but meanwhile:

Yes, ostesarcoma has a crappy prognosis. BUT, always remember that a prognosis doesn't take into account your dog's health. These are numbers based on averages, and they aren't predictions. Many dogs will outlive the prognosis, like our Jerry, who made it 2 years out, and others who have lived much longer, beyond 5 years even. Not all will, but there is that chance. So, try not to get stuck on that 6 months to a year number.

Now, what does your vet think about your dog's ability to cope on three legs? Does your dog have any other conditions that would make it difficult? The best vets in the world say that neither size nor age should exclude a dog as a candidate, as long as they are otherwise healthy. 

Amputation is not selfish, it's a decision that's difficult to make but it's one that if you decide to proceed, will immediately take away her pain and help improve her quality of life for however many days she has left. There are other palliative methods, like radiation therapy, but generally amputation is the fastest way to a pain-free life. Did you meet with an oncologist yet to discuss the options? 

OH and what's her name? 

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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15 February 2022 - 8:04 pm
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Wanting your sweet pup with you as long as possible  is not's called love.  And make no mistake about it, she wants to be with you as long as possible (without pain) because she loves being with you♥️ ,  

Only we hoomans think in terms of calendar much time, how little time.  Dogs are happy to be with us staying fully focused on the present, in the now.   Weeks, months, years mean nothing to them, as long as they are loved, spoiled and pain free.

And yes, we have many dogs who have blown statistics out of the water.  As Jerry said, not all do, but everyone  here is willing to take that chance AND willing to do what it takes to give their dogs and cats pain free for however long on this earth.

We know what a kick in the gut it is to hear the diagnosis.  Continue  to do your research, talk to the Vets, ask questions here.  We understand  the emotions, the fear, the uncertainty  like no others can.  We understand the depth of your bond and can clearly see how much you love your pupper. 

We are here for you to support you in whatever path you take.  


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

PS. My Hapoy Hammah was a chunky Bull Mastiff who was 8 1/2 when she had the amputation.   That was considered `mature` for a large dog. We've  had dogs fifteen and older, 170 lbs and larger...

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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