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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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Chrondrosarcoma — amputation Or scapulatomy
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Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
16 February 2018
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16 February 2018 - 1:45 pm
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Zorba is my 11.5 year old rescued Afghan fur-kid .  I’m looking for advice on making a decision to amputate or a scapulatomy with radiation.  Looking at one of the blogs, they said radiation was not helpful with having scapulatomy.  He has issues with his rear legs splaying, so I’m concerned about his stability with missing his  front paw.  There are also stairs.  I’m not seeing anything about long any of your fur-kids have lived afterwards.  I’m concerned about his quality of life.  Your stories are heart-warming. Recovery sounds scary. I’ve just joined the site, so figuring out navigation is a little of a challenge, so I hope I’m not being redundant .  Thanks  for any thoughts/suggestions.

The Rainbow Bridge

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16 February 2018 - 2:30 pm
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Hi Zorba and family, welcome. We’re so glad you found your way here! You are not being redundant and you ask great questions.

Making the amputation decision is hard but we realize it’s even harder for a senior pup. How is Zorba’s health otherwise? Is he still a kid at heart? And what does your vet think about his ability to live a good life on three legs? Oftentimes a second or even a third opinion helps people decide. If you haven’t already done so, another opinion with a board-certified orthopedic vet can let you know for sure if Zorba is up to being a Tripawd.

Have you talked to an oncologist yet? What is their opinion about the scapulectomy versus amputation for chondrosarcoma? Is Liam’s scapulectomy procedure the blog post you are referring to? 

Stairs aren’t a big deal once a dog gets their bearings on three legs. Tripawds can do stairs much better than we imagine. They do need our help sometimes, but it’s not a huge issuel

The amount of time a dog or cat lives after amputation varies. There are so many factors that play into it, like the type of cancer and other health conditions. Some live years, some months. There’s no guarantees or predicting how long anyone will live, with or without cancer.

If you decide to amputate, recovery doesn’t have to be scary, you have us! And as long as you go into it with a good attitude and optimism, you will find that it’s much, much easier to overcome. Most recoveries are uneventful and routine. We can help you with things to ask your vet about, if you decide to proceed with it.

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Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
16 February 2018
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16 February 2018 - 6:47 pm
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Thanks for the welcome and thoughts. Zorba is not active — he spends most of his day just laying around—I’d attributed it to his age, but now I’m second-guessing myself. The regular vet said his heart is good and his other signs seem good. She’s been favoring the amputation, but has said nothing about a prognosis. I’m going to see the ortho vet on Monday to get his take on how Zorba would do—my concern has been that his back legs splay some when he goes to sit so I 

Forum Posts: 3
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16 February 2018
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16 February 2018 - 6:54 pm
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Not sure why I couldn’t keep typing.  But I’m concerned about his stability. On 3 paws.  Making a list of questions  to ask on Monday.—figuring out what they should be is a challenge.  I didn’t realize until today that they didn’t tell me what stage the cancer is at — that might make a difference.

 The ortho vet is board certified and has done a number of amputations.  I just wonder about his quality of life.

thanks again for your thoughts

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