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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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Questions about post-amp recovery with your older dog
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Livermore, CA

Forum Posts: 3881
Member Since:
18 October 2009
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21 October 2015 - 8:27 pm
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Hello and welcome to Tripawds, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

Please consider starting your own thread in the Share Your Story Forum, that way your story won’t get lost here.


Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Durham, NC
Forum Posts: 406
Member Since:
16 September 2015
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22 October 2015 - 6:38 pm
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Wish I’d seen this thread when I first arrived!

Momma to the world's most beautiful American Bulldog, Izzy!! Lost her front leg to OSA 9/18/15. Diagnosed w MCT in June 2016. Celebrated her 1 year ampuversary with knee surgery on 9/18/16! MCT recurrence in Dec 2016. Happy & hungry til nearly 14, earning her wings on 7/31/17.

Forum Posts: 10
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21 December 2015
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1 January 2016 - 2:12 pm
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Debva, We are 9 days post amputation (F-11 yo, Retriever cross, right leg, soft tissue nerve sheath sarcoma tumor). 

Our girl is healing really well, and we managed pain well. Here are two things I did over what the vet said and they worked like a charm:

1. I gave her natural liquid drops of Valerian (Sprouts, etc.) at times she looked agitated and anxious (panting, standing in a way that showed anxiety). She was on: Simplicef, Metacam, Tramadol and Gapapentin.  That is a lot of meds, and can cause anxiety. The Valerian eases the anxiety. She would always fall asleep like a puppy when we gave the Valerian to her. (She is about 85 lbs, so I gave her a half a dropper full with plain yogurt) 

Note: I did ask our vet if that was OK to give Valerian and they said as long as it didn’t increase her anxiety, which it didn’t. 

2.  BE CAREFUL ABOUT THIS next one: I was instructed to clean her wound with water, and pat it dry. I added a light bit of Tea Tree Oil to the water that I dipped my cloth in.  How I did this is that I took a Q-tip and just touched the very tip in the tea tree oil, and swished it in the bowl of water I used to set my cloth with. Then I patted it dry. It has never gotten red, or oozed, and the vet is really pleased with how it is healing. She wears a t-shirt.  Tea Tree Oil is a natural antibiotic but can be toxic to dogs, so you need the wee-est bit in the water, just so you can barely smell it. More is not better with dogs. 

I hope this helps somebody. We thought it was great. 

The Rainbow Bridge

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1 January 2016 - 9:00 pm
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gonzo said
I hope this helps somebody. We thought it was great. 

Thanks for taking the time to share!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 2
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21 September 2019
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21 September 2019 - 6:06 pm
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Hi all, I’m so glad to have found this community. Our lab/catahoula mutt-mix, Emerson, just got diagnosed with osteosarcoma. He is scheduled for amputation of his left front leg this Tuesday (Sept 24). He’s just shy of 10 years and he’s just under 70lbs. I was especially glad for the topic about older and big dogs. It’s been such a hard decision, and one we feel rushed to make, but with the help of all of you we feel braver going into this. Emerson is very lame in that leg, but he wakes up happy each morning, brings us his toys and I think if he can have a bit more time, and can be pain free and get to go back out to our favorite walking spot (Point Pinole in the SF East Bay Area), then we want to give him that opportunity. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Sugie, Heidi and Emerson

The Rainbow Bridge

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21 September 2019 - 10:03 pm
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Sugar, Heidi and Emerson, welcome. We are glad you found us too! Of course sorry that you had to join our club.

Yes the decision is so hard and you may question yourself at first, but when Emerson shows you how much happier he is without that bad leg, you will know that by giving him a chance at a pain free life, you made the best decision for him.

We want to follow along so please start a new topic all your own OK? This forum topic is a great place to do it but holler with any questions.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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