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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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Question: Tassie is an 11 year old Healer/Lab Mix, is she too old for an amputation?
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tassie
1
25 October 2012 - 5:19 pm
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We just found out today that Tassie must have her front leg amputated.  She is about 70 lbs. and very healthy, although we are getting a chest xray tomorrow to make sure the cancer has not spread.  Could I hear from folks who have gone through the op on an older doggy? We are crushed but after reading online a bit, there appears to be hope she can lead a normal life…… thanks so much and I really, really appreciate this forum!!!!!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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25 October 2012 - 6:47 pm
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Trouble was 10 when she was diagnosed and amputated.  Also close to 70 pounds.  She was really too heavy and it was a concern, but by the time she finished her 5 rounds of chemo she had lost 15 pounds.  She kept the weight off until about the last year.  The weight began to creep up again and we put her on a home made reducing diet that she stayed on the remainder of her life.

Trouble lived an amazing 27 1/2 months after her diagnosis.  Old age and arthritis took her from us, not cancer.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

tassie
3
25 October 2012 - 7:14 pm
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hugapitbull said
Trouble was 10 when she was diagnosed and amputated.  Also close to 70 pounds.  She was really too heavy and it was a concern, but by the time she finished her 5 rounds of chemo she had lost 15 pounds.  She kept the weight off until about the last year.  The weight began to creep up again and we put her on a home made reducing diet that she stayed on the remainder of her life.

Trouble lived an amazing 27 1/2 months after her diagnosis.  Old age and arthritis took her from us, not cancer.

Thank you sooo much for your post, to have another 27 months with Tassie would be amazing…….

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 October 2012 - 8:21 pm
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Tassie, welcome. I’m sorry you are in this situation, because it’s a tough one for sure. But as you can see in the forums, many dogs do really well after amputation surgery, even older ones. Not every dog is the ideal candidate, but most are. If your vet has given you the go-ahead and you really believe she will thrive as a Tripawd, then heck, why not? One thing though, with her having the Lab in her, is she at all overweight? If so, keep in mind that keeping her weight down is going to be vitally important for helping her get around easier.

What kind of cancer are you dealing with? Do you know yet? If it’s osteosarcoma, I hope it brings you some comfort to know that we’ve seen dogs beat those depressing odds, some for as long as 5 years! I lived 24 months with osteo, and no chem. You just never know, so try not to get too down when you learn more about this disease. 

As you learn more about what to expect, keep in mind we have some good information that can answer many of your questions in our Required Reading List, as well as our ebook, Three Legs & a Spare. And of course you’ll find lots of support from folks who have been there here in the Forums. We’re here to help!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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25 October 2012 - 9:11 pm
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Hi.  Our Zeus (husky mix) was 11 years old at diagnosis and he did great.  He strained his back about a week after surgery so his recovery took a little longer than most dogs, but once he was healed and off the pain meds he really left us in awe.  Of course every dog is different, but having a senior dog, I paid special attention to the other mature dogs on the site and all of the ones I can recall did fabulous.

Good luck!

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/

tassie
6
25 October 2012 - 9:23 pm
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zeuspod said
Hi.  Our Zeus (husky mix) was 11 years old at diagnosis and he did great.  He strained his back about a week after surgery so his recovery took a little longer than most dogs, but once he was healed and off the pain meds he really left us in awe.  Of course every dog is different, but having a senior dog, I paid special attention to the other mature dogs on the site and all of the ones I can recall did fabulous.

Good luck!

Thank you so much for your reply.  I read about sweet Zeus on the forum, what a beautiful, beautiful dog………

tassie
7
25 October 2012 - 9:31 pm
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zeuspod said
Hi.  Our Zeus (husky mix) was 11 years old at diagnosis and he did great.  He strained his back about a week after surgery so his recovery took a little longer than most dogs, but once he was healed and off the pain meds he really left us in awe.  Of course every dog is different, but having a senior dog, I paid special attention to the other mature dogs on the site and all of the ones I can recall did fabulous.

Good luck!

jerry said
Tassie, welcome. I’m sorry you are in this situation, because it’s a tough one for sure. But as you can see in the forums, many dogs do really well after amputation surgery, even older ones. Not every dog is the ideal candidate, but most are. If your vet has given you the go-ahead and you really believe she will thrive as a Tripawd, then heck, why not? One thing though, with her having the Lab in her, is she at all overweight? If so, keep in mind that keeping her weight down is going to be vitally important for helping her get around easier.

What kind of cancer are you dealing with? Do you know yet? If it’s osteosarcoma, I hope it brings you some comfort to know that we’ve seen dogs beat those depressing odds, some for as long as 5 years! I lived 24 months with osteo, and no chem. You just never know, so try not to get too down when you learn more about this disease. 

As you learn more about what to expect, keep in mind we have some good information that can answer many of your questions in our Required Reading List, as well as our ebook, Three Legs & a Spare. And of course you’ll find lots of support from folks who have been there here in the Forums. We’re here to help!

Jerry, thank you so much for this forum….. I was in such a daze today when i received the news on the phone, I can’t even recall what type of cancer it is.  My one concern, from reading this forum is that she has arthritis in her good front leg/shoulder.  I know we will learn more as we research this oh so new field for us, but I guess we will wait and see what tomorrow’s xray of her lungs brings.  

 

In answer to your overweight question, the vet thinks she is at the weight she should be, she is a stocky girl and of medium size……. such a beautiful girl!  

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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26 October 2012 - 3:25 am
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The one regret I have is that we didn’t pursue treating Trouble’s arthritis aggressively when it first presented. My brain was wrapped around minimum medications to keep her comfortable.  At her age I should have realized we were at the end of the life cycle and focused less on the long term effect of the drugs.  By the time I found an acupuncturist in our area and started her on Adequin, it was too late to do her any good. We saw minimal short term improvement for maybe a day and then the quick and steady decline.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

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26 October 2012 - 7:04 am
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As I write this, my 10-14 year old GSD mix is sleeping comfortably near me, recovering from her amputation surgery yesterday.  She’s a rescue, so I’m not sure of her exact age.  I struggled with the decision to amputate for awhile because of her age, but in the end her spirit and strength led me to know with certainty that this was the best and only decision for us.  It was a bit rough last night and I’m pretty sure, at her age, that her recovery is going to take a while, but I don’t regret it for a second.

UCD Jake CD CGC - aka Jake D Dawg, gone over the Rainbow Bridge on 5/10/09 at age 16 1/2. There will never be another Jake. <3
UCD Dawnee's Brooklyn Treasure CD CGC - aka Brookie my right hand girl, developed Hemangiosarcoma and went over the Rainbow Bridge on 1/2/11 at age 14 1/2. Always in my heart <3
Resqdogs Justa Lil Pixie - My sweet Pixie, diagnosed with Osteosarcoma 4/10/12, tripawd since 10/25/12 <3

stormy
10
26 October 2012 - 11:50 am
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Just letting Tassie and her Mom know that I am here for you my sweet sis.  See that we have been checking the same sites.  It is such a difficult decision and you will know in your heart what is right.  Love you.

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