Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
Tripawds is your home 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.
Join The Tripawds Community
Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:
Instant post approval.
Private messages to members.
Subscribe to favorite topics.
Live Chat and much more!
If your dog or cat is facing amputation and you asked your vet "What would you do?" but they wouldn't answer, don't get frustrated. This excellent blog post by Dr. Patty Khuly explains why most vets will not answer this question.
What Would Your Veterinarian Do? Is It Fair To Ask?
In other words, when I offer my opinion I might well be leading you astray from what’s right … for you and your family. And I’d never want to do that, especially when it concerns life and death decisions like the ones that typically lead up to this line of questioning.
Which raises one final point you should keep in mind should you ever want your veterinarian to answer this very personal WWVD? question: Be aware that, in many ways, the very act of stepping into your very personal shoes goes against how we were trained to practice. In fact, it’s probably considered unethical to volunteer our what-would-we-would-do-if-we-were-yous without a client’s permission.
Nonetheless, I recognize that it’s a sign of trust and respect when my clients raise this question.. . . READ MORE:
22 February 2013
Really good jnsight from a vet's compassionate a d logical perspective.....
Thank you for sharing this with us!
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!
24 June 2015
This is great....
I never asked my veterinarian this question. But I DID as on of my friends (who is a veterinarian)... and I also learned that one of my random FB friends, from my running group is also a veterinarian. Both of them said that they would do what I did for my dog ... simply amputate the leg and enjoy the remaining time. Neither said anything negative about chemo., but said that it's a excellent option to prolong life and that dogs often have very little side effects... but both also said that they wouldn't do it.
(I should mention that ... Immediately after the diagnosis I talked to my good friend, 'Dr. H' who told me that there isn't, technically a wrong decision. It's completely personal and you have to consider all factors ... and some dogs still 'go' shortly after surgery.)
However ... about 2 months after surgery. Jersey, main veterinarian said "Seeing Jersey like this lets me know that we made the right decision for him"...
I think we're almost at the 5 months post surgery point ... and it isn't easy. But i'm grateful for this extra time to spoil him. And... he is completely COMMMPLETELYYYYYYY SPOILEDDDD!!!!
16 October 2012
That is the way it is supposed to be. They are supposed to be spoiled spoiled spoiled. I felt that we did the right thing with Sassy and so did Dr Boyer. They were afraid with her size she wouldn't be able to support her weight. She proved everyone wrong. So no right or wrong answer but I am glad you feel you did the right thing for Jersey Boy and hoppy almost 5 month ampuversary
Michelle & AngelSassy
Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013
05/04/2006 - Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19 fought cancer for 4 months.
"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."
4 March 2016
It was wrong, but we asked our vet this question.
First he said he wouldn't do it. But later, after seeing our doggie in a different setting and seeing how alert/energetic she was, he said he would go ahead with the amputation.
I felt bad for putting pressure on him like that but what are dog owners to do then? 🙁
27 July 2014
Mona got cancer from a vaccine and this led to an amputation. The vet said Mona will no longer have vaccinations. When it came time for my other cat's vaccines I was hesitant. I asked my vet what he would do if this happened in his pet family. I sensed he was thinking about it and responded that he would no longer give vaccines to his cats. He has put on my cat's charts that this is a vaccine free family.
My vet knows my cats personalities and he also takes time to get to know me. He said that his main relationship is with me. I would ask this question of this vet in the future because he knows and understands my family.
I don't see this question as wrong or unfair and if I was uncomfortable asking it then I'd find another vet. I think this question can lead to a very good discussion.
29 July 2016
Damn power went out just before I posted!!!
If you value the poinion of the person you are asking then its fair to ask. Whats not fair is to expect that person to amswer That question in that moment. There are too many variables. Allison and I took weeks to make our decision we talked to everyone we knew. researched all we could about cancer in general and in animals. We found Tripawds and read all the posts, saw the pictures and videos of how many tripawds are out there that have had a pain free happy life, some for years after their surgery. We aksed our vet and she had just been through it her self a few years ago. She was for it her self but told us to look at our situation as a whole and deside what was best for us, and she would help and suport us all the way.
You have to learn everything you can to make a decision like this and the way to do that is to ask questions, All of them...
Dont judge the answers you get but use them to form your own opinoin and tell others what you think, if they ask.
Say what you mean and mean what you say...
14 December 2016
I tell everyone to ask exactly that question of their vet. Who else is better qualified to answer that?? Yes, I know that they make themselves liable to some extent when answering and I'm sorry for that. I do believe that you need a certain rapport with your vet and that it helps if you've known them for a while (and they you!).
It is also important to remember to always take this advice with a grain of salt since they might have a generally different approach to the topic personally.
I did not have the luxury of doing research before Manni's amputation, in fact I had probably 15 minutes to decide what I wanted to do if I didn't want to take a dog home who was in so much pain that it couldn't be controlled. So, what did I do in my utter despair, without any knowledge on the subject? Right, I asked the vet what she would do if it was her dog. What she told me was very helpful actually and she managed to save face with it at the same time. She said that she had two dogs and would only go ahead with the amputation with one of them, because that one was active, self-assured and generally tough. The other one was very insecure and the opposite of tough. She added that I would know better than anyone what my dogs psyche was like and that no two dogs were the same.
Now you can think of her answer what you will but this pushed me towards surgery because I knew I had one tough cookie and I hadn't thought of it that way.
So, long story short: I am all for asking those kinds of questions to make the most informed decision. But yes, as always in life: I am responsible for my decisions, nobody else.
Guardian of Manni the Wonderdog. -Or was it the other way around?
Osteo and amputation in Dec 2015. Second, inoperable, primary osteosarcoma found in June 2017.
The end of our adventures came Dec 10, 2017. 2 years to the day.
Awesome feedback! Thank you for sharing.
7 April 2017
I think the important thing to remember also is not to be upset if they do not answer as you hoped. That is a lot of pressure, but if you value their opinion maybe let them know so they can be at ease with it. I don't think I would ask such a heavy questions myself but I know given a certain mood or special case I might
4 November 2016
I'm so glad I asked my vet this question, as her answer was that she would without a doubt do amputation, and actually referred me to this forum! I'm so glad I found her for the second opinion after being told to put Ginge down. If you have a vet you trust, and the vet phrases it the appropriate way, it can be a good question to ask.
Great feedback Tasha! We are hoppy your vet referred us to you, it's an honor. And yes, when the lines of communication are open this kind of discussion can be quite beneficial. As your story goes, second and even third opinions can mean all the difference. You're a great advocate for Ginge!