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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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Amputation costs
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Forum Posts: 1
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25 March 2016
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25 March 2016 - 9:01 am
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Hello Everyone,

     I’m new to the site and new to the “forum/blogging” concept so please bear with me if this topic has been addressed recently.   I did a search and the most recent post about surgical costs was many years ago and we all know how prices change.  Hahaha!!  My beloved “fur bestie” Asia is facing probable front limb amputation in the next two weeks.   The long and short of it is, about a week and a half ago, she started limping.   I thought she injured herself playing in the yard.   After a few days of rest and no improvement, Asia went to her doctor.   X-rays were normal but he discovered a small mass above her ankle.   Fine needle aspiration recovered no liquid material (no abcess) so the cells in the slide were sent for cytology which indicated a large amount of spindle cells indicative of sarcoma.  This past Tuesday, she had a biopsy and attempted tumor removal.  Asia’s Doctor is not confident that he was able to get clean edges as the tumor is “very adherent to her connective tissue and appears to be extending up her leg” which he says is indicative of fibrosarcoma.  He said we would wait on biopsy results but based on what he saw to “plan on” amputation in the next two weeks.   I have been in contact with another tri-pawed owner whose dog had his surgery done by our doctor and she couldn’t remember what she was charged but thought it was somewhere around $4500 (all inclusive for surgery, overnight stays, meds, dressing changes, etc).  No chemo, no radiation.  I was a little shocked and thought that was kind of on the high side.  can anyone share with me what your vet costs were for surgery?   How many days did your pet have to stay at the office?     I’m thinking I may also get some quotes from area vets for comparison.  I’m planning on doing whatever is best for my Asia, no matter what but if I can I’d like to be armed with some information before I get the final “sticker shock”.   Thank you so much for your help and consideration

Livermore, CA




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25 March 2016 - 10:14 am
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Hello and welcome to Tripawds, you future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry you are dealing with cancer and a probable amputation for Asia.

Where are you located?

Costs vary widely depending on what area of the country you are in, and if you are in a large city or smaller town.  Also if the Vet Practice is a large one or a smaller one, and if the surgeon is Board Certified or not.  Is there  a Teaching Hospital or University Vet program near you?  Sometimes their costs are lower.

My first Tripawd had her amp years ago and my current Tripawd had her amp before I adopted her so I can’t help you with comparisons. 

Maggie, my first, spent one night in the hospital after her surgery.  Elly, my current, was in the hospital for a few nights but she had been hit by a car.

Let us know how the biopsy comes back.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 March 2016 - 10:14 am
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Hi Asia and family, welcome. We’re so sorry you’re dealing with this situation, it’s not an easy one that’s for sure.

Have you seen our Forum post, Costs of Amputation and Chemotherapy for Dogs: What Did You Pay?

Keep in mind costs vary depending on who is doing the surgery (specialist or general practitioner), where you live and what kind of clinic it is. Here is some reading to do before you decide:

The Difference Between Low Cost and Regular Clinics

How to Choose a Veterinarian for Amputation Surgery

Considerations When Price Shopping for Veterinary Care

How to Get Affordable, Awesome Veterinary Care for Your Tripawd

Your future posts won’t need approval so post away, you’re doing great!

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Maryland
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25 March 2016 - 10:36 am
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Hi !

We had our amputation w/ an ortho surgeon at a local referral center (24 hr monitoring).  It included one night pre-op (because Ellie had mild kidney disease, she had IV fluids overnight prior to surgery) and one night post-op, prescriptions, suture removal etc. It also included pre-op x-rays and the biopsy (sending out the leg for final confirmation of OSA). I think somewhere in the neighborhood of 3500-4000 is about where we ended up. It was a lot (the credit card got a huge workout those months!) but we had previously used the same surgeon for a hip replacement on a different dog and were very comfortable w/ his skill and care. 

Hope this helps!

Denise, Bill and Angel Ellie

Active 10+ Pyr mix suddenly came up lame with ACL tear in left rear leg. Scheduled for a TPLO but final pre-op x-rays indicated a small suspicious area, possibly OSA, which could have caused the ACL tear. Surgeon opened the knee for TPLO but found soft bone. Biopsy came back positive for OSA. Became a Tripawd 9/18/14. Carbo6 with Cerenia and Fluids. Pain free and living in the moment. Crossed the Bridge on 7/12/15 after probable spread of cancer to her cervical spine. A whole lifetime of memories squeezed into 10 months. Here's her story: Eloise

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25 March 2016 - 1:20 pm
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Ours was closer to $6000, but Otis had broken his wrist and was in the vet hospital on pain meds for 24 hours prior to surgery.  Stayed one night after the surgery.  We live in the Chicago area, which is probably on the expensive side.

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Maryland
Forum Posts: 384
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25 March 2016 - 4:07 pm
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I came home and took a look at the actual invoices. I was a bit high thinking off the top of my head. Our amp was $3200. But we also had an aborted TPLO surgery the previous week which is probably why I was thinking high. 

Active 10+ Pyr mix suddenly came up lame with ACL tear in left rear leg. Scheduled for a TPLO but final pre-op x-rays indicated a small suspicious area, possibly OSA, which could have caused the ACL tear. Surgeon opened the knee for TPLO but found soft bone. Biopsy came back positive for OSA. Became a Tripawd 9/18/14. Carbo6 with Cerenia and Fluids. Pain free and living in the moment. Crossed the Bridge on 7/12/15 after probable spread of cancer to her cervical spine. A whole lifetime of memories squeezed into 10 months. Here's her story: Eloise

London, UK


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26 March 2016 - 11:10 am
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Meg’s was £2,200 ($3,100) for a front amp two weeks ago at a specialist hospital in the UK. She stayed one night before and three nights after with 24 hour nursing etc. She didn’t have any X-rays etc., as she’d already had them elsewhere, but they did do bloodwork.

Meg, Mutt, aged around 12, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


Durham, NC
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29 March 2016 - 7:53 pm
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I got quotes for anywhere from 3000 to 3500 (I’m in North Carolina) but ended up traveling to VA for the surgery, which cost about $700 for a front leg amputation, including the scapula. Izzy came home the same day, which was nerve-wracking, but it was totally fine! Here she is just a few hours after surgery at home 🙂

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Momma to the world's most beautiful American Bulldog, Izzy!! Lost her front leg to OSA 9/18/15. Diagnosed w MCT in June 2016. Celebrated her 1 year ampuversary with knee surgery on 9/18/16! MCT recurrence in Dec 2016. Happy & hungry til nearly 14, earning her wings on 7/31/17.

Minneapolis, MN
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29 March 2016 - 8:02 pm
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Hi. We are in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Chloe’s surgery was performed by a surgeon specialist in the suburbs. It was $2,136.16 for her surgery, one night stay & pain meds. Plus no charge for the follow up visits to check things & remove her stitches. We paid $600 before the procedure for fine needle aspiration, blood work up, and X-rays to determine what kind of tumor, and if there was cancer on her internal organs. 

The University vet clinic near us was quoting about $4000.

Anita - mom to two human kids and two dog kids. 

Chloe the white boxer - tripawd on 2/16/16 at age 6.

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3 April 2016 - 4:37 pm
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I got a quote today in Brooklyn for $2725 low to $2960 high. This includes a 2 night stay and the $160 I spent today for the consultation. There’s another $25 for the cone, which I already own. This does not include the several thousand I spent on fracture repair that failed and is leading up to this.

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3 April 2016 - 6:16 pm
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Regular vet: b/w, x-ray, exam $300

University vet: Initial visit, X-rays, CT, B/W, Hemipelvectomy, 5 night stay, meds-  $4200.00  No chemo…not yet!

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