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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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Should We Wait or Amputate for 12-year old Pilot?
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19 August 2012 - 5:44 pm
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Hello new to this site.  My 12yr old mix has right front sarcoma. I opted to not do amputation for he is not in pain and if that is the best to remove it I figured why not wait until we HAVE to –  giving him the best days he can have with all 4. He has minor arthritis on he left side, but seems to be doing ok with this mass – not in any pain – getting to be the size of a tennis ball now where 2yrs ago it was the size of a golf ball – MY BAD, thought it was a fatty tumor when it was smaller then all of a sudden it was a golf ball size. Could have removed with good margins – but maybe not. 

My onocologist did say, in a nice way, that something else might get him since he is 12. It is a slow growing sarcoma and if you can call Cancer good – its one of the better ones to get – NOT life threating.  

so my question: – has anyone waited and if so what happened – and why do you need chemo after an amputation? 

I did not want to do that to my dear Pilot – the day he had his ultrasound he was not himself – and i know he KNEW right there and then that he had something wrong. He was VERY depressed a few days after all the tests. 

so…. he goes to the beach weekly, he digs in the sand, jumps the waves to catch his tennis ball and hangs on the couch sharing my snacks with me (good snacks for him).

Yes it is heavy on my mind so thanks for reading and sharing. I will post photo of him.

Here and Now

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19 August 2012 - 7:29 pm
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Welcome, morneault3. Please consider registering to take full advantage of these forums.

The Rainbow Bridge

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20 August 2012 - 9:49 am
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Hi morneault, thanks for joining us here. 

It sounds like your oncologist isn’t in a hurry to remove the leg either. I’ve actually seen quite a few dogs getting around OK with a large tumor like that. It’s hard to say how it feels to them though, since dogs can’t communicate about things like that. 

It’s a tough situation to have to decide on whether or not to amputate, but it’s especially tough when a senior dog is involved. We’ve had quite a few seniors do just fine after surgery, but you can’t always predict who will and who won’t. You know Pilot better than anyone else. If you feel that he is not able to handle amputation recovery and life on three legs, then you must make decisions based on what you know about his personality. 

In my case, I had a fast growing terminal cancer so a quick amputation was the best option for me. We didn’t do chemo for various reasons, and I lived two years longer than anyone ever thought.

As for why folks did or didn’t do chemo, you’ll find lots of reasons why people did or didn’t do it if you scan through these results from our “Treatment and Recovery” forum discussions

Hope this helps. Can’t wait to see pics of Pilot!

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