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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21 December 2019
My golden retriever Cooper will have his first chemo (of 6 ) in two days and I’m getting really nervous. He had his (front right leg) amputation 3 weeks ago. On the whole, he’s been doing really well. I’m just really afraid that he will be sick, and will have a setback. While at the vet for his checkup one person I talked to said their dog was horribly sick and another said they had no problem at all. Does anyone have any advise for me? Anything I should or should not do? If he doesn’t want to eat should I let it go, or try enticing him with anything in particular? Wow, I’m scared about this.
On a completely different subject, Although we haven’t let him get up in our bed since the amputation, this morning Cooper wanted to cuddle and said “enough of this” and jumped on the bed. He hates being picked up but when he wanted down we lifted him off just as he was going to jump. It scares me to think he will jump down now. Does anyone have a recommendation for some steps we can get so he can get up and down? All the ones I have looked at are not tall enough, we need at least 22 inches tall, and the steps are too shallow. With having to go down on one front leg I think we need maybe 10 inches deep. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks for your help. I really appreciate this group.
Marlene – Cooper’s mom
22 February 2013
No need to fret about chemo. okay? Shoild Cooper have really bad side effects (which RARELY happe ), you can always stop and the symptoms disappear.
Chemo is much, much easier for dogs than for humans and it’s a much lower dose.
What does happen sometimes, is a bit of nausea and maybe some lethargy around day threeish. The Onco will give you Cerenia for the nausea should you need it, Yes, it’s good to have some really yummy foods on hand most in case he does have a low appetite for a day or so.
My Happy Hannah had four rounds of chemo (it varies Onco to Onco…some suggest four, some five and some six) and sailed through it with no issues at all. Again, some dogs may have the mild side effects I mentioned above, but they only last a short while and are manageable with the Cernia.
Keep us posted and let us know how things go.
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!
PS. Love that he decided it was time to reclaim his bed! Ivey forgotten, how much does Cooper weigh? You may end up having to build some sort of “makeshift” steps out of pallets or wooden boxes from a Home Depot. Also check out our Gear section for steps.
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!
25 April 2007
Does anyone have any advise for me? Anything I should or should not do? If he doesn’t want to eat should I let it go, or try enticing him with anything in particular? Wow, I’m scared about this.
Sure! First, you should not worry. Most dogs handle chemotherapy really, really well. The worst we usually see here is a bit of inappetence and some nausea. But there are remedies! Your vet should provide you with “just in case” medications like Cerenia to help ease any possible nausea, and something like Entyce to stimulate his appetite if he doesn’t want to eat.
Remember, fear and worrying doesn’t solve anything, it’s useless energy. Instead, focus your energy on being prepared. Make a list of questions to ask your oncologist and have it ready for chemo day. You’ll be glad you did.
Does anyone have a recommendation for some steps we can get so he can get up and down? All the ones I have looked at are not tall enough, we need at least 22 inches tall, and the steps are too shallow. With having to go down on one front leg I think we need maybe 10 inches deep. Does anyone have any suggestions?
It’s good to be aware that jumping off the bed is a bad idea, especially with a front-legger. Has Cooper ever done steps before? You may need to train him if not. I’m sure he’s a smart boy who will pick it up quickly. Here are stair training tips to study if that will be new to him.
If you can’t find any pet steps you may need to go the DIY route. This blog post has some ideas about DIY pet steps.
Remember, breathe. Cooper will look to you for guidance and calming energy. You can do it!
30 November 2019
My dog Maya got her first chemo 3 weeks ago and the only thing that I noticed was that she was feeling nauseated on day 2&3 but other than that no side effects. The vet should give you some Cerenia and it works really well for nausea. I have been cooking her food for a little while now and she loves it so the only thing I did was give it to her in smaller portions and she would eat a little be at the time. I totally understand being nervous about the chemo after going through amputation I was on the same boat but try to stay positive and everything is going to be just fine. As the other mentioned below severe side effects are very rare. Our vet told us most dogs do really well with little to no side effects. Good luck and keep us posted
18 October 2009
As far as steps for the bed how about something like these from Pet Gear?
I’ve never used their stuff so I can’t vouch for the quality.
For my small dogs I have made a variety of steps and stools.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
7 December 2018
I simply have a mattress beside the bed for my front-leg amputee. That makes the landing softer and has worked well. I too was worried that he would jump and break his leg, but it’s amazing how gracefully and softly he gets off that bed.
Chemo didn’t cause any side effects for my boy Razbeg.
Good luck for Cooper & you all!
Razbeg the rescue borzoi (born in 11.06.2009) became a tripawd in 20.09.2018.
He and his adopted "brother" Myrsky have their own facebook page:Razbeg & Myrsky
18 May 2014
My boy Nitro also sailed through chemo….we did have to increase the interval from every 3 weeks to every 4 about half way through, but other than that he had no issues.
As for the jumping off the bed – he was also a front leg amp (an 80 lb Dobe) so we put our mattress on the floor for the 3 years he survived after surgery. A little inconvenient for us, but totally worth it for him. After he passed, it almost felt wrong to put the bed back together again (but we did).
Good luck, keep us posted how it goes
Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro
Nitro 11 1/2 yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms. Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"
"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior