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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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Amputation at 15?
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17 July 2008 - 10:47 am
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Hi there, i'm really worried about my best friend Scruffy. She's been limping for 3 weeks on her front left leg, i took her to the vets straight away and they said they cant see or feel anything wrong and are fairly sure it's a muscle strain/sprain. However after 2 weeks of metacam she's still limping (tho not as badly i might add) She appears to have a terribly short toenail on that paw too, don't know if that could be the cause? Anyway, i'm concerned that if they tell me it's bone cancer she'll need her leg amputating Frown

How on earth would she cope? She'll be 15 in 2 months.

 Thanks, Hayley

Sorry meant to say she's a cross Border terrier and Staffordshire Bull terrier

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16 February 2008
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18 July 2008 - 10:00 am
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Has the vet taken any x-ray on Scruffy's leg, and lungs yet?  I'd suggest to get the diagnosis first before worrying the treatments.

If it was OS, I understand that would be a tough call given Scruffy's age.  Genie was 12 y.o. (~68 Lbs) when she had the surgery.  There were quite a few other senior tripawds on the forums who were 13, 14 year old when they had the surgery. 

It would all boil down to how healthy and fit Scruffy has been; and also whether there was evidence of lung mets.  Those would be some of the many factors to help you make the decision (if it was indeed OS).

Amputation is not a cure.  It is to eliminate the brutal pain from the bone tumor and to cut down the risk of metastasis.

Please get an official diag soon if there has not been one done yet, cause if it was OS, it is very aggressive and brutally painful.

Best of luck.


On The Road

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24 September 2009
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18 July 2008 - 11:16 pm
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Hmmm ... for some reason my first reply from yesterday disappeared.  UndecidedAnyway, thanks for asking. I had said how fortunate you are to have had 15 years with your pup!

When it comes to amputation, successful recovery is not so much a matter of age as it is about relative health and fitness. If it turns out amputation is required, you'll need to evaluate Scruffy's strength and ability to recover. If it is cancer and it has not spread, amputation will relieve the pain. And if Scruffy is otherwise healthy and strong, she should be OK.

But we're not vets, and can only speak from experience. I had a six legged play date with Sami girl a few months after her surgery last Spring. She was doing great, and she's 14! But every story is different. Sounds like an accurate dignosis is the first order of business. Best wishes...

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

19 July 2008 - 9:53 am
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Thanks for the replies 🙂

 We took Scruffy back to the vets this morning and they're still fairly sure it's a muscle sprain/strain which is slow to heal cos of her age. She's been given a week's supply of rimadryl, strict instructions to be carried up and down stairs and got another appt for next saturday. She's very spritely in herself though and has still got a very healthy appetite!

When we first took her in 3 weeks ago the young vet that we saw said "it's probably just a sprain but with her age we cant rule out bone cancer" Which of course struck fear in my heart.. the thought of losing my best friend terrifies me, she's a rescue dog that i've had since 16 weeks old, I'd be lost without her.  

That's why i thought i'd research possible outcomes, she's really very fit for her age but starting with cataracts now and going slightly deaf, poor pooch. She also had an operation 2 months ago to remove a large benign lump from her neck so i'm wary of more anaesthetic/surgery.

I have another rescue dog too, Nipper, he's an almost 10 y/o cross border collie and springer spaniel.

Thanks again for the replies, it means a lot to a very worried pooch parent!

Hayley 🙂



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