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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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Picking a new dog
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Member Since:
21 March 2008
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23 October 2008 - 6:08 pm
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My Ben died in May after amputation, chemo and fighting cancer for months.  He was half rottweiller and half golden retriever.  I am starting the process of getting another dog, and my question is: Are certain breeds more susceptible to bone cancer?  Are certain breeds more bulletproof as to bone cancer?

I really like golden retrievers, but I see from some information that they are really susceptible to many joint and bone problems.  I sure would like to avoid bone cancer in my next dog as much as possible.  Does anyone have any advice or information on which dog breeds to avoid, and which might be better regarding bone cancer?

Member Since:
2 October 2008
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23 October 2008 - 8:04 pm
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Hi Knut,

I'm really happy to see that you are getting ready to open your life up to another dog.  Your posts on Ben were so full of deep love and connection, even reading them for the first time months later, they made me cry.  (Which was probably good, as I was in a bit of a shell shocked state with my own pup's diagnosis, and needed to find a way towards the feelings).  Cliched as it sounds, you've obviously got a depth of heart and capacity to love that deserves to be able to be shared with some other pup, there are so many dogs out there looking to be part of someone's pack!

From what I've read, the larger dogs are most at risk, particularly the ones with fast growing, long limbs.  Rottis, labs, greyhounds, shepards, danes... pretty much any giant and most big breed dogs (I guess a quick look through pictures here, or in the photo gallery at bonecancerdogs.org, would illustrate the higher risk breeds pretty clearly).  The highest risk appear to be the "giant" breeds, who also have the shortest life expectancy anyway. Also, any prior bone trauma puts a dog at greater risk of later developing osteosarcoma.

That's all I know.  Good luck.

Christine & Sophie 

 


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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23 October 2008 - 11:12 pm
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It is hard to predict which dog might get bone cancer.  Rotties and Greyhounds have a definite genetic risk, and any giant breed such as Mastiffs or Danes are at risk due to rapid growth at a young age.  Some evidence shows that delaying spay or neuter until the bones are done growing (2 or 3 years for giant dogs) may reduce risk.  Keeping your dog thin can also help because extra weight stresses bones and joints and may predispose to cancer.  Goldens are great dogs but unfortunately get other types of cancer (hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma) quite commonly. 

A mixed breed may be your best bet, but as you can see from your experience any big dog can get this bad disease.  This cancer is not that common, although it is devastating.  If you like big dogs I would consider getting another mixed breed and take your chances.  It is true that larger dogs don't live as long as small ones, but I think that the love they give you is worth it, even if the time is shorter than we would like.

Pam and Tazzie

Member Since:
26 January 2008
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24 October 2008 - 4:28 am
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Dear Knut,

Troy joined us about three months after Lalla left; he's a (chocolate) Labrador, and the breed is registered as prone to bone diseases, and you can bet I held my breath and bit my lip to bleed when he had his hip exam (Lalla was born with hip dysplasia), which he passed with flying colors and a sob of relief from the vet and myself simultaneously. Just like Lalla, with all her trials and tribulations, poor thing, Troy  brings us incredible joy and laughter and continues his sister's legacy in making better humans of us. I have no idea what the future may hold, but I have excluded it from my mind because I know that Troy has a forever home now, which has been blessed with Lalla and Jerry's spirits. It's really the miracle of life, as my mum puts it.

 

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25 April 2008
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24 October 2008 - 12:54 pm
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According to The Morris Animal Foundation , 1 in 4 dogs will get cancer. (jerry has a link) They have a page which breeds are more susceptible..
http://curecani....._help.html

   Trying to play it safe to avoid the pain of losing a dog is unavoidable. The average life span is 12 years according to this site: http://www.rhia.....fespan.htm which also list the breeds life span.
 Personally speaking, I can not choose a dog to love based on statistics. I fall in love with their personality, eyes and their soul.

 Perhaps a better question is , What can I do to help find a cure?

Kim&Buster

Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

Edmonton
Member Since:
16 February 2008
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24 October 2008 - 1:06 pm
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OKim1 said:

 Personally speaking, I can not choose a dog to love based on statistics. I fall in love with their personality, eyes and their soul.


Amen.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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24 October 2008 - 7:19 pm
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Ah, silly humans, really, when it comes down to it, a dog will pick you, the human, not the other way around!

Knut, we are glad to hear you're considering opening your heart up to another friend. If I were you, I would go with your gut instinct, not with statistics. Good luck, and let us know what happens.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
18 May 2008
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25 October 2008 - 1:43 pm
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I'm so sorry about Ben; it really is hard to say "good-bye for now.." I've wondered the same thing: are there breeds less likely to have the genetic predisposition? I don't want to do this again! And yet, every living being will decline and die of something one day if they avoid fatal accidents and God forbid, a violent death.  All things considered, it could be a lot worse than declining with osteosarcoma.  I wouldn't wish it on anyone of course, however, our tripawds get a good final chapter comparitively speaking.. I hope you find just the right dog for you. He or she is probably already out there just waiting! love, joy, peace, diane riley

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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25 October 2008 - 2:03 pm
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Here's what a member of my extended pack recently had to say to my people ...

Every time I go through that I swear I will never  own another dog. Well after 5 times now I've got a lovely little 3 year old Irish who has stolen my heart and will absolutely crush it in 5 to 8 years when she dies.

Don't let the pain cloud your love of Jerry or your next. We are meant to outlive our dog's because truth be told we do recover. We never forget but we do love again.

When that time is, no one can ever know, until it arrives. We do believe, however, that it is imperative to fully process your grief for the lost pup before unconciously "replacing" him with another.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
21 March 2008
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28 October 2008 - 10:44 am
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Thanks for all the advice, and thanks a lot for the link of breeds more susceptible to bone cancer.  I hear what all of you say that you cannot always pick the right dog, but I have crossed those breeds off my list because I just want to increase the chances of not going through this again.  If it happens, it happens.  I think I am leaning towards a medium sized mutt (or two!), but it is not going to happen until spring.  I don't want to try to train a puppy in the winter.

Metro Kansas City
Member Since:
23 October 2008
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6 November 2008 - 3:36 pm
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jerry said:

Ah, silly humans, really, when it comes down to it, a dog will pick you, the human, not the other way around!


As Director of Adoptions for the, now closed, greyhound race track here in Kansas City, you will never know how many times I have seen that. People begin the adoption process with their minds set on a greyhound they have chosen from the website. I take them through the classes & introduce them to the kennel kids and one certain greyhound will attach itself to them, not the one they thought they wanted from a photo! It amazed me. Especially the people who had their heart set on a tiny female only to take home a huge male! The male that picked them!

Knut, I hope your choosing process goes smoothly & you find a new companion to give your love to.

I read this quote once & carry it on a signature line in another forum. I think it sums up why we do what we do for these pets we have:

"We, who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan."

Cancer or no cancer, the love they give to us is greater than anthing we can ever give back.

Janie & Calamity (who was never in Mommy's adoption kennel)

Janie & Calamity http://www.trix.....gspot.com/

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