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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Hi! Hope I’ve posted this in the right spot.
It’s 2am here in Australia, I can’t sleep and I’m sitting here looking at my dear dog, a few hours post-op, LFL amputation, and asking myself “wtf have i done?”
He is 6 months post soft tissue sarcoma removal from LFL with inadequate margins which recently spread locally to his carpal joint causing him pain/lameness. Meds failed to relieve pain so opted for amp rather than euth. My goal was to remove his pain, first and foremost and buy him a window of time to have some super quality fun. When I tell you he’s 13, you may think I’m mad, but he is a fit, slim, cheeky dog who was sooo happy until his lumpectomy. He’s a cross breed (Aussie Kelpie/Greyhound/Deerhound), but only 24 kilos and a real smoochie couch potato.
Even though I’m a vet nurse who has worked in Asia with street dogs, many of whom are tripods, I’m finding this immediate post-op time extremely confronting. I’ve also received some judgement from peeps i work with…none of whom know my dog tho!
I plan to rent a little seaside cottage (easing of Melbourne lockdown restrictions permitting) for a few days so that my tripod, my other geriatric dog and myself can create some final memories.
This is all so much more confronting than I expected.
Hi Royboy and family, welcome. Your future posts won’t need approval so please post away and lean on us, we get it! Many of us have been through amputation recovery and understand how emotionally difficult it is for us to go through. In fact, that’s why we exist; amputation is so much harder on the humans than the pets! Also as a veterinary professional, we often see that when people in your line of work are caring for their own dog or cat, they tend to take this situation a lot harder than us laypeople. Trust yourself, and know that you are doing all the best things for Roy (is that your dog’s name?).
We also promise not to judge because of his age. Many Tripawds of the same age bracket have also joined us and done exceptionally well on three legs. Just check out our Size and Age Matters Discussion Forum for examples! People make so many assumptions about a pet’s age without personally knowing the pet’s behavior, fitness level, etc. You know him best, you made your decision with love and that is all that matters.
Please let us know what kinds of questions you have OK? I hope you’re getting some zzzz’s in by now and resting, so when you’re ready, ask away and we will be here for you. In the meantime you may want to check out Jerry’s Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books for more tips about life on three legs.
22 February 2013
Okay, deep breathes!! B R E A T H E…..really, take some deep breaths….inhale slowly,…exhale slowly….
Ypu jave DEFINITELY done the right thing for Royboy!!👍👍
First of all, you are watches ganim shake off the anesthesia and waking up co fus2d and out of it. We ALWAYS recommend, if poss, that the dog spend the first night in an overnight fully staffed clinic because the first 24 hrs can be daunting and hard to watch.
Royboy just had MAJOR SURGERY! Humans would be in the hospital for days and on a morphine drip!! AND, he’s trying to adjust to three while heavily medicated for pain!!
So keep that in mind for the next 48 plus hours ahead, okay??
The majority of us here asked ourselves “What have we done TO our dogs/cats” at first. You will soon settle into knowing you did this FOR your Royboy!! Promise!!
Now, recovery is no picnic for a couple of weeks, but he will soon get his sparkle back one glittering sparkle at a time! So STAY CONNECTED and let us help you navigate through recovery and onto celebrating Royboy being Royboy again free from pain!!!
And YOU know Royboy best! YOU know he wants to continue to be the best couch potato ever and cont tomsoakmof lovin and spoiling and belly rubs!! YOU did your research, not those “others” . YOU know to Royboy age is just a number!
Okay..do some more deep breaths….eat some chocolate…and TRY and catch a few 💤💤💤 when you can. This is exhausting me and physically at first. It gets vetter though!
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!.
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!
29 September 2020
We are with you. We just picked up our Brussels Griffon mix with a Front leg amputation. Surgery was only 6 hours ago. No choice to keep him at the hospital. He also had a soft tissue sarcoma with inadequate margins for removal.
I was not prepared for this and the removal of his whole shoulder. He keeps yelping in pain and fear. It is beyond heartbreaking.
they tried getting him to walk at the vet’s. We tried here. Not a chance. We really wonder WTF have we done???!
Thank you for the welcome and the kind words of encouragement.
Being in a protracted lockdown here in Melbourne, I at least have heaps of time to care for my boy (or Royboy as I call him but his name is actually Leroy). I made up a bed on the floor last night so I could sleep next to him. We both managed to get a good sleep. Of course he was still groggy and I was just plain exhausted.
Leroy is already working out his balance on three legs but he tires after a few steps so I’ve been carrying him the rest of the way to his toilet spot outside. Luckily, I had already built some ramps for easy access to the house for my other dog who is 16 and bought a large dog buggy which they are accustomed to now.
I will definitely have a look at the ‘size and age matters’ forum, thank you. Although he’s 13, it was the oncologist who encouraged me to seriously think about amputation because “he’s a good 13, not a decrepit 13” she said.
So, the journey begins. I hope, in time, Leroy agrees with my decision.
We are with you. We just picked up our Brussels Griffon mix with a Front leg amputation. Surgery was only 6 hours ago.
Hey there, welcome. your future posts won’t need approval so please post away, but do start an all new topic so we can better help you and your pup OK? A good place to begin your unique story is here in Treatment and Recovery. I know this is a scary time for you guys and we are here for you. Stay strong, keep us posted, check out Jerry’s Required Reading List and we will look for your post OK?
Thank you for the welcome and the kind words of encouragement.
Paw shucks, anytime! I’m glad Royboy is making progress. If you were able to get some sleep that is a GREAT sign! Did he also too? How’s his appetite?
I sure love the way your oncologist thinks. Please give them our best and don’t forget to request some Tripawds Outreach Brochures for the clinic!
Yep, age is only a number to dogs, and just like for many people. It’s all about the fitness and health of the animal when it comes to deciding about whether or not to amputate a senior dog or cat’s leg. Plus, your experience with senior dogs is going to be suuuuper helpful as he adjusts to life on three legs. And I’ve got all the faith in the world that Royboy is already grateful for having a second chance at a long, happy life with his pack.
Let us know how today goes, we’ll be waiting for an update!
29 March 2020
Hi Royboy and family. My Jake also had a soft tissue sarcoma in his left front leg, inoperable because it was in the elbow. His lungs were clear and he had the leg removed 4/21/20. He’s doing wonderful. Yes, there is hope! Check out a video I posted today of Jake digging under the “share your story” section. I have a carriage, like you, and Jake is still very active and seems real happy. Hang in there, it gets better
30 September 2020
Just out of surgery…
my dog just got his leg amputated a few hours ago..
it’s rough, he’s a big boy and he still wont get up. I understand every dog’s recovery is different. But is it ok for him to lie on the incision???
getting totally different answers
thank you and bless you all and your fur babies
18 October 2009
Hello and welcome junior, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.
Please start your own thread here in the recovery forum if your boy is dealing with cancer or here in the adoption/accident/malformed limb forum is not dealing with cancer so we can better help you and your pup and so your story doesn’t get mixed up with Leroy’s.
But to answer the question- if your pup is comfortable laying on the incision, and the incision is protected from dirt and wet then it’s probably OK.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls