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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 set for next week; have questions
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Forum Posts: 14
Member Since:
1 November 2008
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1 November 2008 - 8:48 pm
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This web site is a Godsend.  It really helps to know you are not alone in this and everyone has been so informative and supportive; thank you.  Our Tanner is set for surgery next week and we are nervous but we know this will help with the pain.  We are on the fence about chemo – we are leaning towards not doing it because we want quality not quantity, but we are not 100% in our decision.  Tanner is a 2 year old Golden and this diagnosis came as a complete shock to us.  Is there anything advice or info you can give us that the vet may not tell us post-surgery? Anything we may be alarmed by that may be common?  Thank you all in advance for your answers.

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 27797
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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1 November 2008 - 9:24 pm
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Hi Amy,

We saw you were in the chat room earlier. We’ll be online tonight if you want to talk, but meanwhile…

Thanks for the compliments about the site. We apreciate your becoming a member, and hope we can help make the process easier for you. We are so, so sorry to hear about Tanner, we do know what an awful shock it is, but maybe you can be thankful that he has his youthful energy on his side. What kind of cancer does he have?

Well, not sure what the vet might not tell you, but we can share our experience. Check out our "Health Tips" page, that has a lot of our info that we compiled after going through the surgery. 

One of the big things that my surgeon forgot to tell my pawrents about, was something called a "seroma ." It’s an accumulation of bodily fluids that can build up at the surgery site. My pawrents didn’t know what it was, and got freaked out. You can find lots of info about it here on the website if you search the forums or the blog, and even see photos if you want to get really grossed out. I’d say that is a big thing to watch out for. It’s not dangerous at all, but it may need a vet to intervene and drain it if the fluid doesn’t get reabsorbed.

That’s my big tip. Anyone else have things they want to add?

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Forum Posts: 14
Member Since:
29 October 2008
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2 November 2008 - 10:29 am
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2 years old.  The good side of that is that he is young and strong going into it.  It takes some time to build the muscles on the opposite side.  Tanner may have an easier time of that due to his age and current activity level — so arthritis, etc. isn’t an issue as it is with our guy.  We have a 9 year old and have opted for no chemo.  It is a tough choice.  Follow your instincts.

Buddy’s surgery was Monday.  He is a big golden — 88 pounds — and is beginning to move around pretty well at this point; balance is getting better every day.  He has had a tough time deciding he wanted to move, and he is too big for me to carry him.  I think his confidence level is up now, so things are not so hard. 

Dogs are super sensitive.  He reacts so quickly to my emotions.  One of the big things I am learning is that I need to show him how confident I am that everything is fine and he is doing just what he needs to be doing.  It is a shock to see your dog missing a llimb and hurting.  Try to prepare yourself for that.  We are 7 days out of surgery now, and I have come back to this site time and again to ask questions and find support and encouragement.  If you would like to talk via phone, we can work that out.  You’re smart for finding this level of support before surgery.  These guys can help guide you through the recovery piece. 

Healing thoughts,

Maria and Buddy 

Forum Posts: 170
Member Since:
26 January 2008
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2 November 2008 - 12:23 pm
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We’re rooting for you guys! Buddy sounds true to his name, and a real golden boy. You’re on the right track Maria, with such a positive attitude. Looking forward to hearing more good news.





Forum Posts: 80
Member Since:
18 May 2008
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2 November 2008 - 1:43 pm
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Dear Amy, Welcome to the community~ I hope your Tanner will do great with the surgery and recover quickly since he is young and strong. I remember how shocked I was too when Abbey was first diagnosed. I think I cried for a month! But honestly, if given the same diagnosis, I would amputate immediately to provide a pain free life. (We waited several weeks)These dogs really do adjust quickly and have amazing attitudes! Be as positive and normal around Tanner as possible, not that you can’t ever cry around him, but try to minimize it because they really do pick up on our moods and emotions.  I encourage you to read as much as you can on this site; you’ll have so many questions and concerns answered AND you will feel the love and support of people who have faced or are facing exactly what you are going through.

As to tips on recovery, I would suggest only having the vet him/herself rewrap the bandages. We must have had an inexperienced vet tech rewrap Abbey 4 days post op and it wasn’t tight enough. The next day she bled through and we had to rush to the ER because it was the weekend. There was blood everywhere and it nearly scared us to death; it was so traumatic! She clotted and was fine, thankfully, but after that, I only let our doctor rewrap her…

Please keep us all posted~ which day is his surgery?

 Praying for the best for you and Tanner,


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