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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Lucy, 10 yo pit bull, diagnosed with osteosarcoma
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Member Since:
16 February 2022
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17 February 2022 - 10:47 am
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Hi, Everyone,

My Lucy was diagnosed 2/14 with osteosarcoma.  She's about 10 and weighs about 74 lbs.  Before she started limping she was active, happy, well-adjusted.  She's only been limping about 3 weeks, so I was shocked to get this diagnosis.  I understand the bone is the cause of her pain, and once it's gone, she'll have recovery, but the ongoing pain will be gone.  Her surgery is scheduled for 2/22, but it just feels so fast to me.  I know it is an aggressive, painful cancer, and she's in pain now, so I know we need to move quickly.  

I believe she will heal quickly and adjust better than I will.  What should I be doing to better prepare for next week?  I'm trying to read about recovery, but I am not finding much beyond managing pain.

Thanks in advance!  So grateful for this community.


On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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17 February 2022 - 10:52 am
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Hi Suzanne, thanks for joining us but sorry you had to. Rest assured that while this feels like a fast decision, it's going to help her feel better sooner. She sounds like a strong dog, and a great candidate for life on three legs. Here are some links for you to check out about preparing for surgery:

Tripawds What to Expect articles

The Tripawds Recovery Shopping List

The Tripawds e-books , Three Legs and a Spare , and Loving Life On Three Legs

Questions to ask your surgeon

Questions to ask your oncologist

I need to run for a bit but I'll be back. Stay tuned for feedback from others!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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17 February 2022 - 12:40 pm
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Jerry gave you great links chock full off advice and tripawd information

And yes, dogs do seem to handle this whole ordeal better than we do

I believe she will heal quickly and adjust better than I will

Recovery is nompicnic for the first two weeks, especially  the first several days.  It's major surgery, dogs are adequately drugged with good pain meds (hopefull), all while adjusting to three.   It may take a couple of days to be mobile and get their sea legs, but they'll figure things out and get on with living  life to the  fullest pain free!!

Just to highlight  a couple of things  from the links you  can do now to help Lucy navigate  through  recovery.  If you have hardwood f,doors, get non slip scatter rugs for traction   or yoga mats.   A solid foam mattress  bed rather than a squishy on that may be less sturdy when she tries to stand.

She may be off food a bit and not poop for a few days when she first comes ho e.  Drinking and peeing  are important  though.

First two weeks just short, leashed potty breaks and back in for more rest.  Rest is very healing .

She may, or may not, need assistance  to help her fet up at first.  Sometimes  just using a towel will work.

When you go to pick her up at the clinic (fully staffed overnight??), don't  even bother to look at her inc or draw atten tion to it.  Just look into her druggy eyes and tell her what a good girl she is and she's going home!!!

Stay strong and co fide t and upbeat!  Lucy will pick up on your energy so that's  important. 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!   We are here with you the whole way, okay?  So take a look at the li us and let us know as questions arise


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

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!

Member Since:
16 February 2022
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17 February 2022 - 7:18 pm
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Thank you so much!  This is very helpful.  

Member Since:
16 February 2022
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17 February 2022 - 7:19 pm
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THANK YOU!  I will read all of this.  I so appreciate your pointing me in the right direction.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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17 February 2022 - 9:09 pm
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You are so welcome. Please let us know how we can help you and Lucy. You WILL get that happy, well-adjusted dog back before you know it!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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