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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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Almost 4 year old great dane with osteosarcoma
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Bridgeport, MI
Member Since:
19 March 2012
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16
20 March 2012 - 12:47 pm
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At this time it is still hard but I decided to go for a second option about where to amputate and what they think. She goes in on Thursday this week. I was in touch with Nova's mom early today and I am going to where Nova had surgery done. Can't hurt for another option. But no matter where I go, if Tesa goes through surgery it would be next week. Thank you all for the support and I will keep everyone posted.

Rock Hill, SC
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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17
20 March 2012 - 12:56 pm
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I am so relieved to hear that you are going to a facility that has experience with not only amputation, but amputation on a giant breed.  So many vets are behind the curve when it comes to amputation and recovery and I think they still spew what they learned in school so many years before.  Good luck on Thursday!

Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...
http://zeuspod......pawds.com/

Member Since:
18 January 2012
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18
20 March 2012 - 1:17 pm
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 Yay!  I'm so glad you're getting a 2nd opinion.  There are some wonderful 'specialists' out there, but in my area they were a real pain in the rear.  Their 'we know best' attitude was too much for me.  We ended up going a little out of town to a small town vet. surgeon and she did great.  Suddenly everything was a simple 'take off the leg' . 

Whatever you decide - can't wait for her to get rid of the pain!

Hugs and Slobbers

Judy and Baby

19
20 March 2012 - 4:05 pm
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I think it is very wise to get a second opinion for Tesa. I think it will help you make your decision. You will be in my thoughts and prayers every day!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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20
21 March 2012 - 9:53 am
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Second opinions are ALWAYS a good thing! So glad you got talk to Sue. Please keep us posted.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Linden, MI
Member Since:
11 November 2008
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21
21 March 2012 - 6:40 pm
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Whether you choose MVS or Animal Cancer and Imaging Center, Jill, either way you are in very capable hands.  Nova had all of her glaucoma treatment at MVS, and her amp and chemo at ACIC.  Like I said to you on the phone tonight, the first 2 weeks are brutal.  Tripawds is THE place to come to for support and advice, and if you are like me you will find yourself here CONSTANTLY in those early days.  I never could have made it through that time without my very special Tripawds friends.  We will help you keep your sanity!

Don't forget to call me tomorrow after you meet with Dr. W.

 

Big hugs and Dane leans,

 

Dane Mom Sue and the Queen

Dane Mom Sue at nova.tripawds.com and Mom to Beautiful Great Dane Queen Nova, a Blind Tripawd, who kicked cancer's butt from 11/08-03/13. The Queen is Spirit Nova now, but her legacy lives on here at Tripawds!

St. Louis, MO
Member Since:
16 September 2011
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22
21 March 2012 - 7:04 pm
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Jill,

So sorry that Tesa was diagnosed with OS. My Charley was 2.5 years old when he was diagnosed with OS in his left proximal humerus and we chose amputation and 5 rounds of Carboplatin chemotherapy.  Charley can do everything on 3 legs that he did on 4 -- he counter-surfs, jumps and runs like the wind! 

There is a link at the bottom in my signature to a video of Charley playing in the snow at 12 weeks post amputation.  It is amazing to watch!  Charley will celebrate his 17-Month Ampuversary on 3-28-12 and his 4th Birthday on 3-29-12 so a big pawty is planned.

Even though there is no cure for osteosarcoma, there is no need to just give up hope either.  There are pups that live 2, 3, 4+ and even 7 years after diagnosis.  Unfortunately there are no guarantees with whatever course of treatment you decide.  Vets can’t make accurate predictions on how long a dog will survive.  They can only give you a prognosis based on statistics, which are only averages.   No one knows exactly how long any of us will survive and I can guarantee that there is no expiration date stamped on the bottom of any paw either.

Age and the size of the breed should not be a reason to not consider amputation.  OS is most common for large and giant breeds, and many do great as a tripawd.  You really have to look at each individual dog and assess how each individual would do on 3 legs.  OS is very painful and often the dog is already using only 3 legs, so you may already have a bit of insight to how they would do after amputation.

One thing I have learned from this unwanted OS journey is that our dogs live in the moment.  Charley is still the same happy labby boy we knew before, only minus a leg.  To be honest, there are days when my hubby and I forget he only has 3 legs.  Charley reminds us everyday that he is living with cancer, not dying from cancer. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Today is a gift.  That is why we call it the present."  

Hugs and chocolate labby kisses,

Ellen and Charley

Charley's Blog:  CHOCOLATE KISSES


DOB: 3-29-08, male chocolate lab  
Dx: OSA L proximal humerus 10-19-10

Amputation: L front leg & scapula 10-28-10

Chemo: 5 rounds of Carboplatin

Video (12 weeks post amp):Tripaw Charley Playing

♥♥♥ Lots of supplements and love!!! ♥♥♥

Bridgeport, MI
Member Since:
19 March 2012
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23
2 April 2012 - 9:23 pm
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Sorry everyone, I have been so busy trying to get everything ready! Wanted to let you all know that Tesa will be having her rear leg amputation surgery tomorrow morning at Michigan Veterinary Specialists. I will let you all know how it goes. Thank you all for your earlier advice and hope you all don't mind that I might need your support after tomorrow to get Tesa through everything.

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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24
2 April 2012 - 9:48 pm
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Sending pawsitive thoughts for Tesa's surgery tomorrow!

Let us know how it goes. Rest up as much as possible before she comes home post-surgery!
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!

25
2 April 2012 - 10:17 pm
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Hello again!! I am so happy to hear from you!! I knew that you needed time to process and get things ready. I have been praying for you every day. I will continue to pray for Tesa as she goes through her surgery tomorrow. I hope everything goes perfectly and you can get her back home soon . You will undoubtedly need Tripawds support as you go through this journey. Ask any and all questions that you have. Get lots of sleep before Tesa comes home from the hospital. It possible that you will get little to no sleep the first couple of nights that she is home. You might be on here alot of that time too. I know I was. Looking forward to hearing how her surgery goes and then all of her triumphs as she enters Tripawdhood. Wishing and praying for the best for your beautiful Tesa.  (((Hugs))) to both of you!!

 

Angel and Valentina Angel Dane

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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26
3 April 2012 - 8:03 am
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Good luck today! We're thinking of you, keep us posted.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

St. Louis, MO
Member Since:
16 September 2011
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27
3 April 2012 - 1:52 pm
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Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers for an uneventful surgery and a speedy recovery!

Hugs and chocolate labby kisses,

Ellen & Charley

Charley's Blog:  CHOCOLATE KISSES


DOB: 3-29-08, male chocolate lab  
Dx: OSA L proximal humerus 10-19-10

Amputation: L front leg & scapula 10-28-10

Chemo: 5 rounds of Carboplatin

Video (12 weeks post amp):Tripaw Charley Playing

♥♥♥ Lots of supplements and love!!! ♥♥♥

Member Since:
5 April 2012
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28
6 April 2012 - 10:58 am
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I hope Tesa's surgery has went well and that she is having a easy recovery. 

29
6 April 2012 - 3:59 pm
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Thinking about and praying for Tesa everyday! Hoping that she is doing well!

Bridgeport, MI
Member Since:
19 March 2012
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30
6 April 2012 - 5:01 pm
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Thank you all, sorry been a little hard to not leave Tesa's side. She came home just 24 hours after surgery. The surgery went great, per the doctor but they had to give her a sedative because she is not use to being crated. I feel so bad for her, she is on a ton of medications and looks so depressed and is so bruised. =( But one day at a time for now.

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