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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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Knoxville, TN
Forum Posts: 4
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4 September 2015
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4 September 2015 - 12:32 pm
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We have a 6 year old Irish Wolfhound recently diagnosed with osteo in his left front leg.  He is currently undergoing chemo with carboplatin supplemented with hyperthermia.  We are considering amputation.  How many of you out there have experience with amputating the front leg of a giant breed like our wolfie?  How do they usually do on 3 legs?  Are they able to do many of the things they enjoy?  Like our guy loves being on the couch.  Are they able to get up and down from the couch OK after amputation of a front leg?  How about playing with our other dogs?  Do they need help getting up from lying down?  Any information you can give us to help us decide whether to move forward with this will be a help.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27831
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4 September 2015 - 12:40 pm
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Hi Rose & Family, welcome. It was nice chatting with you today, I hope you get a chance to look at the links I shared. Hope you don’t mind I moved your post here but this Size & Age Matters Topic is a great place to start your research here in the Forums, and in time, your story will be here to help other giant breed parents too.

A couple more links for you:

Tripawds e-books library.

Jerry’s Required Reading List

I have to run but we’ll talk soon. Stay tuned for more feedback from others in this pawesome community.

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




Forum Posts: 19541
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5 September 2015 - 10:40 am
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Sorry to hear about your Wolfie’s diagnosis, but you are DEFINITELY in the right place for support and invaluable information! We understand this journey like no thers can. We are right by your side the whole way!

My Happy Hannah, a Bull Mastiff, was 125 lbs. at the time of her amp. She’s not as big as a Wolfie, but she had a whole lot of “chunkiness” squeezed into her compact self! Someone referred to her as “Rubenesque”…a fluffy plus size model…a well muscled firl…you get the picture!

Her actual recovery was rough for about three weeks, but her mobility astounded me right from the get go! Now many large dogs DO need more time to adjust ro mobility…that’s “normal”.

Lying down, getting up in the couch…no problem once they get their “sea legs” back. One member here had a Bull Dog and she actually cut the tall legs off her sofa so Bruno Bruiser could jump up on jt with no problems! Love that devotion!!

I did build a ramp for my Happy Hannah to go in and out and I had about seven or eight porch stairs. She was a rear legger and coukd go down just fine, but not up. Front leggers can go up easier than down. Although, my rescue tripawd Coonhound is a front legger and he sails up and down stairs with no lroblems!!

I’m going to attach a few pictures of bid dogs who have handled amputation just fine. Continue to check out the forums and videos for reassurance.

If your surgeon thinks your Wolfie is a good candidate and has checked out his legs thoroughly, that’s a good sign. Osteo is very painful and one of the main purposes of the amputation is to remove the pain.

Would love to hear more about your “pup” AND see pictures!

Let us know how we can help, okay?

Sending lots of hugs your way!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

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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!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19541
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5 September 2015 - 11:36 am
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And one more for ya’!

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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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27831
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6 September 2015 - 1:41 pm
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Aww thanks for sharing those Sally! you’re the best!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Knoxville, TN
Forum Posts: 4
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4 September 2015
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19 September 2015 - 5:40 pm
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Well, after much agonizing we decided to have Faodhlan’s leg amputated.  The surgery was done Friday and went well.  He was recovering well, and then this afternoon (Saturday) Faodhlan died suddenly.  My wife and I are still in severe shock.  The vets have no idea what happened.  He was fine one moment, and then the next crashed, his heart rate dropped, then he quit breathing and was gone.  He was at the vet hospital in recovery, so there were vets and techs with him and they tried to revive him but it did not work.

This is the second of our companions we have lost after amputation.  In 1997 we lost our Dane Abby after amputation of her rear leg due to bone cancer.  At this point should another of our dogs develop bone cancer and the vets recommend amputation, we will be very reluctant.

Los Angeles, CA
Forum Posts: 3554
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19 September 2015 - 6:04 pm
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Oh my…. I am just as stunned as you are. I am so sorry for your loss and at a young age. I completely understand your reluctance in the future. I am just so sorry… hugs and love and peace your way. 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife



Forum Posts: 1471
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19 September 2015 - 10:45 pm
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I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your Faodhlan. I think it makes is so much harder when we agonize over making the decision to amputate and then they don’t even make it home. I’m sure you made the decision to amputate because you wanted Faodhlan pain free.

Please remember that it was that darn cancer that put Faodhlan in that operating room.

Having hopes dashed is always so sad, my heart goes out to you and your family.

Kerren and Tripawd Mona

Maryland
Forum Posts: 384
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28 March 2015
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20 September 2015 - 4:00 am
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I’m so sorry! I completely agree w/ others though—you only have the cancer to blame. You made your decisions for the right reasons, out of love, and you must not blame yourself. I know when we made the decision to amputate, the possibility of losing Ellie during surgery never even occurred to me. Having lost your Dane, I can appreciate how hard making the decision would have been for you. But I’m sure you also know that w/o amputation, Faodhlan’s life might have quickly become unbearably painful. It is very sad. Faodhlan knew you loved him though and left knowing that you tried everything possible to keep him pain free.

Denise, Bill and Angel Ellie.

Active 10+ Pyr mix suddenly came up lame with ACL tear in left rear leg. Scheduled for a TPLO but final pre-op x-rays indicated a small suspicious area, possibly OSA, which could have caused the ACL tear. Surgeon opened the knee for TPLO but found soft bone. Biopsy came back positive for OSA. Became a Tripawd 9/18/14. Carbo6 with Cerenia and Fluids. Pain free and living in the moment. Crossed the Bridge on 7/12/15 after probable spread of cancer to her cervical spine. A whole lifetime of memories squeezed into 10 months. Here's her story: Eloise

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 September 2015 - 11:12 am
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Ohhhhh this is awful guys, I’m really, really sorry, it just broke my heart to see this and all of us feel for you. If there is any way we can help you get through this please don’t hesitate to let us know OK? We have our helpline 844-TRIPAWD and our chat room and our Coping with Loss Forum all available. You do not need to go through this alone.

I wish I knew why this happened. There are so many reasons and nobody ever seems to know. It so rarely does happen but when it does, it’s horrible. Do not blame yourself, you did what was in your hearts and you made the best decision you could with his quality of life in mind. No dog could ask for more.

My heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Norene, TN
Forum Posts: 1072
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21 October 2014
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21 September 2015 - 7:44 am
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Oh no!!! I’m so sorry! I simply have no words.

Like the others have said, put blame where the blame belongs; cancer. It’s a ruthless and merciless villain. Don’t let it cloud all the right decisions you made on behalf of your fur-baby.

Condolences on your loss. {{hugs}}

pam

Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey

Knoxville, TN
Forum Posts: 4
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4 September 2015
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21 September 2015 - 3:39 pm
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Thanks to all for your kind words.  Faodhlan’s surgery went well on Friday and there were no problems.  Through the day Saturday he was recovering well, with no issues.  He was beginning to try and stand up on his own, and was able to do so with a bit of help. Suddenly he had what the vet techs describe as a focal seizure centered on his face, around his mouth and eyes.  His heart rate plummeted, and his blood pressure dropped. They were trying to get his heart rate back up and his blood pressure back up when he went into cardiac arrest.  They could not revive him.

Does anyone have any experience with something like this?  What could have caused this?

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27831
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21 September 2015 - 8:28 pm
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Honestly I’m not a vet but to me it sounds like what happened to Pru. Could it be a blood clot? I don’t know, I’m not a vet. But it’s so odd that Faodhlan and Pru’s passings occurred so close together. This doesn’t happen a lot, so it’s just breaks our hearts when it does, it’s the thing nobody ever expects. And to have it happen to you twice, I just can’t wrap my head around how this kind of thing happens to such good people. I’m just so sorry.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Knoxville, TN
Forum Posts: 4
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4 September 2015
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22 September 2015 - 8:16 am
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I read your story about Pru, and I am so sorry for the pain you went through.  What breed of dog was Pru?

I spoke with a vet tech this AM who cared for Faodhlan as he recovered from his surgery.  She said he was doing great in recovery, then suddenly gave a loud vocalization, appeared to have a focal seizure centered around his face, and then crashed and quickly died.  She said this is a common manifestation of a thrown clot that travels to the brain.  They think this the most likely thing that happened.

Our question is how is it that we got so unlucky to have this kind of thing apparently happen twice, the first time in 1997, and the second this past Saturday.

Schofield, WI
Forum Posts: 1454
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13 August 2015
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22 September 2015 - 10:19 am
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I am so so sorry for your loss!  Run free beautiful Faodhlan run free! 

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