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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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2 yr old Golden with hemangiosarcoma / leg bone
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Dustin Brown
21 October 2008 - 9:45 pm
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I am new at this and looking for some feed back from anyone with expereince in this matter. 

My wife and I recently found out that our 2 yr old golden retriever (Comet) has hemangiosarcoma in right front leg.  As I am writing this, he is in Vet Hospital recovering from his amputation.  We have many questions. Most of the topics talk about Hemagiosarcoma in the spleen or other body parts, but none originating in the leg.  Comet has been tested and there are NO signs of the cancer anywhere else in his body.  This sounded great when the Dr. told us, but then he dropped the bomb and said we will only have 6- 9 months with him after the amputation and chemo.  We are hoping there will be more time.  

We would love to talk to someone that has been through this same situation or knows more about this than we do.  

Thank you, Dustin and Nicole


The Rainbow Bridge

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21 October 2008 - 10:17 pm
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Thanks for joining the discussion Dustin! I had osteosarcoma, but the doctors told my people I only had 3-4 months to live after my amputation. And I lived nearly two years! I didn’t even do the chemo thing until I started my metronomic therapy about 18 months after the surgery.

We believe doctors tend to give the worst case scenario when it comes to prognosis. It’s safer for them that way.

So, hopefully you consider this good news. But every dog’s story is different. Just remember one thing … every day is a great day when you’re living life on three legs.

It’s not about quantity, it’s all about quality! And you’re off on the right foot with what you’ve done for Comet. Thank you!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Dustin Brown
21 October 2008 - 10:32 pm
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Thank you for the words of encouragement.

This site has already helped us in so many ways!!!

Thank you!!

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22 October 2008 - 4:26 am
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Yo Comet and Dustin,

You heard Jerry – don’t count the days! Comet’s a young gal and will have you running around in no time. We wish you well with the recovery process. Lalla was given two months (!) to live after her diagnosis, and she survived two years without any chemo/radiation – so you see, as Jerry says, every dog is different.  Can we see a pic?

Best of luck


Dustin Brown
22 October 2008 - 6:50 am
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Thank you for the kind words.  We have all the hope in the world that he will be with us for a long time to come. 

I just got my password, so I will be able to upload a picture tonight after I pick Comet up form his amputation surgery  Kind of nervous!! 

Thanks again!

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22 October 2008 - 1:24 pm
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Hi Comet – welcome to the tripawd family, we are so happy that you found us. We’re sending thoughts and prayers your way for the next few weeks while you recover…take it easy and gets lots of rest…tough for a Golden Retriever, I know but wait until you see all the attention you get!!!

No one has a crystal ball as Jerry and Lalla have proven and I agree with them whole heartedly to live each moment and each day in the present and try not worry so much about the future (I know that at times it is much easier said then done) – things happen in their own time and our job here on earth is to live and love as much as we can while we are here.

Please keep us posted on your recovery and tell Mom and Dad that we’re thinking of them too…I think it’s harder on them than it is on us.

(3) Paws Forever!

Zeus and Heather

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

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22 October 2008 - 4:57 pm
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   There is some more info on that particular type of cancer on this site – every type of cancer is different. I agree vets have to tell the worst scenario based on cases that they have actual statistics on. If x-ray’s/ultrasounds show no other metastasis that is good news. I would start a good diet and supplements to boost immune system, which certain vets don’t want to venture into that territory. In the meantime, Comet will recover from the surgery, so keep the faith …


Kim & Angel Buster

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

22 October 2008 - 5:38 pm
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Kim, Buster and Zues, 

Thank you all for the encouragement. 

I just brought Comet home from the surgery.  He is doing good! probably the pain meds.  He is moving around, eating and using the bathroom without to much support.  I am at his side every second though.  I am going to add pictures later. 

As you all said, we are going to help him heal with a good diet, supplements,(K-9 immunity ), and love.  We are going to get the surgery healed and, then keep him healthy, happy and enjoy our time with him.

Thank you all again for your support.   

I will update everyone as time goes on. 

Dustin, Nicole and Comet

We are so so glad we found this site and all of you. 

Stephanie Orzoff
28 October 2008 - 2:44 pm
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Hi Dustin and Nicole,

 We found out about 2 weeks ago that our 3 year old Yellow Lab, Rownik, had Hemangiosarcoma and a malignant tumor in his front left shoulder.  We were also told that the cancer had not spread and after the amputation he would have only 4-6 months to live.  Tragically, he passed away on October 23rd during the surgery due to the cancer affecting his ability to clot blood and stop the bleeding.  We were able to be by his side telling him how much we loved him during his last moments and we are so thankful for that. 

 At the time of the surgery, Rownik was completely himself.  He loved to play, eat, have fun and be the center of attention just like he always did.  We were so looking forward to spending those last months with him and cherishing him every day.  My only advise would be to get him off regular dog food and start him on a cancer diet that includes lots of meats, veggies, fruits, herbs, supplements and fish oil.  And also, just cherish every day with him and let him know how much he is loved.  We tried our hardest to not break-down and cry or act sad in front of Rownik because we know that he can read our emotions and he knows when we are sad and when we are happy.

You never know, Comet could be one of the lucky few dogs that show-up at the Vets office 7 years later healthy and cancer free!

 Best Wishes,

Scott and Stephanie Orzoff      

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