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.
31 March 2011
I have a 8 year old 130 lb. Cane Corso. She was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma. We just lost our 6 year old Cane Corso to this disease last month. By the time it was diagnosed in him, it had spread everywhere. Now our girl has a tumor in her back right leg. What bad luck!!! Amputation was suggested by our oncologist, but I don't know how she would do on just three legs. We will do whatever it takes to help our girl. Any advice is appreciated.
Hello and welcome to Tripawds,
I'm sorry you have found yourself here- and just after losing your other pup! But you will find that this is a great place for information and support.
A good place to start is Jerry's Required Reading List. It is a compilation of information from this site on what to expect with amputation, recovery and treatment.
We have lots of big dogs here- and giant breeds. Spirit Fortis was a Cane Corso- he was also a rear amp. He loved life on three for 11 months after his amputation. You can read his blog HERE.
Are you worried about her size or her ability to cope with amputation? My rear amp was a pug. Maggie was not at all adaptable- she hated change so I was worried about how she would adapt. She took her time but did adapt- dogs are amazing that way. They seem to just take whatever comes their way and keep on going.
Amputation is a big surgery with risks and should not be taken lightly. And for most of us the two or three week recovery period was full of ups and downs- sometimes you wonder if you did the right thing. But once healed up most pups here have done just fine.
What is your girl's name?
Do your research and decide what is best for your girl. We have been where you are now and are here to help.
Karen and the pugapalooza
p.s.- your future posts will not have to wait for moderation- only the very first post from a new member has to wait.
Oh my gosh, first of all we are soooo sorry that you are dealing with this not once, but twice? Wow. This has gotta be so hard. But rest assured, we will do what we can to help you through whatever decisions you make.
I would start by saying that if your oncologist believes that she is a good candidate for amputation, that is a terrific sign! Plus, as a rear-legger, she's automatically got points there (dogs carry more weight on the front legs, which means they work harder as front-leg Tripawds). So many doctors immediately dismiss large dogs as amputation candidates. So having a medical team with a pawsitive outlook is great. My biggest suggestion is that if you decide to go through with amputation, keeping her weight down (and slightly underweight) is critical for making mobility easy on her. If you can commit to that, you're set!
I'm not saying it's going to be easy, because the first couple of weeks after amputation can be ruff, especially if she is the type of dog who needs a lot of love and TLC. That's what you as her human have to put on the tough love face to ensure that she gets around soon after surgery and starts to build up strength.
If you haven't already, check out our ebook, "Three Legs and a Spare," it's another good place to start and get a feel for what to expect. Reading Fortis' blog is another place to review. Gosh how I wish he was still here for you to talk to. Fortis' Dad is currently hiking the Appalachian Trail but perhaps his Mom Pattie will be here to offer her perspective (didja hear that Pattie?).
Take things one step at a time. If amputation is a scary thought, deal with those emotions first, then when that's been decided, consider what kind of treatment you'll pursue. Remember that after amputation and recovery, any extra time is icing on the cake, whether or not you pursue chemo.
Good luck. Thank you again for joining us, we hope we can help make this journey easier.
21 October 2010
I am so sorry to hear of your other baby. But, at least you caught your girl's cancer early. And you found this place.
My Champ is not a big dog (cocker spaniel) but he is also a rear-leg amp. Yes, the first two weeks are challenging but I feel completely worth it. Most people who first meet Champ don't even realize he is a tripawd. They are almost shocked when they realize it because he gets around like before. Yes, there are things he can't do anymore... namely jumping up on the sofa (although I'm not sure how but he has managed it a couple of times). But for sleeping, I adjusted and just put my mattress on the floor so he could get in bed still. Champ doesn't even know he's a tripawd I don't think. He's just Champ... lol.
As mentioned earlier, it is good to keep them lean. Even so, Champ has had an episode of back troubles. I think it was more an effect of running around and slipping or his cocker sister knocking him down. But 2 weeks of rest and he was back to normal.
i will honestly say I don't know what I would have done without this place. Chances are someone has had the same concern, problem, etc.
Best of luck in your journeys. Ask away. The folks here are great.
Joy & Champ (and the 4-legged Lady)
Thanks for joining, so sorry to hear about your pups. We have had two members sharing the stories of their Cane Corso cancer heroes…
Fortis – The Tripawd With A Golden Heart
My Brave Friend And His Battle With Cancer
Goddess of war with a heart of a warrior
And here are some other Tripawds Blogs following the progress of other large breed dogs…
The Tripawd Times of Nova the Great Dane
The Inspiring Story of an Osteosarcoma Survivor
Alexander the Great Dane battles Cancer
Blog of Io the Wolfhound
Hope this helps. best wishes with the decisions you face, please keep us posted.