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.
JUMP TO FORUMS ↓
Join The Tripawds Community
Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:
Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.
21 May 2016
Eurydice’s one year ampuversary was May 4th so I made sure she would have the Mother Of All Pawties but I really had to turn off my brain and concentrate on living the day with Miss Cow.
Truth is for about a week before the big day she has been more tired and her breathing became somewhat laboured.
During our walks I noticed she needed to stop more frequently (although she never lies down) and would puff away for quite a few minutes …
The night before her ampuversary she was quite restless in bed and would breath rapidly.
So, against my initial decision I went for lung X-rays.
It is amazing how one has to constantly adapt and change routes during this crazy journey.
Nothing is set in stone, really.
So, the morning of her ampuversary we went for the X-rays at the vet hospital.
She had them done but as she is so big the vet said they could not provide a good image and coverage so she booked us for the next day at an X-ray centre.
She was given a metacam injection there and then.
The day after the pawty we went to have it done and sadly it is not good news at all.
I did not want to be told exact details and have not looked at the CD with the images but they told me there are many, many tumours everywhere and several are the size of tennis balls.
Also, and most importantly, sadly she has fluid in her lungs.
And this really is the no return point.
The vet, who is very competent and very compassionate, explained she is now at the end of her journey.
I asked whether we would still have a couple of weeks … one week ????? … and she said she doesn’t think we have that long.
She told me NOT to leave it to the end as the end is totally horrible.
She would struggle to breath and eventually choke in the lung’s liquid.
The only temporary solution is to give her diuretics and cortisone (dermipred and furozenol) which we started immediately.
We are starting with a dose for 40 kg (she is 72kg) so we have scope to increase the dosage.
So far so good.
She has been sleeping wonderfully and loves Mickey’s company (I borrowed my daughter’s dawg)
The vet doesn’t want her to get in and out of the car (I’ve got a small jeepy kind of car but it is too high for her to get into now) so we are getting something to make the height smaller for her to step out and hopefully she will then get to go out and see the world a little bit every day.
I so wish there was a cure for cancer.
I see my girl’s eyes and expression all joyful and full of beans but her body is not following as it used to.
Wish us luck, we need it.
Saying I am devastated is a gross understatement but I am keeping those thoughts and feelings firmly locked away at the back of my brain.
No point getting Miss Cow worried.
Wish us luck and pray we still have some time.
I was going to take her to a trip to Tuscany, in Italy, but sadly that can no longer be done…
Sending you hugs and slobbery kisses from Miss Cow
Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-)
29 April 2013
I am sorry that the 1 year ampuversary was so bittersweet. Learning to live in the now is the hardest part of this horrible disease. You have my prayers for more quality time together. Enjoy all the sloppy kisses and hugs you can get.
Yes, our decisions change a lot during this experience. Every dog is different and we have no idea what is going to happen until it does. We adapt, we learn, and we really try to be the human our dog thinks we are.
As for the car, I think it is a wonderful idea to make it easier to get in and out of. My biggest regret now with Nixon is that I sheltered him too much and didn’t honor his extrovert nature to the fullest. A friend of mine used a ramp when out and about but built stairs (a mounting block!) with sheets of insulation foam for his tripawd Taylor to use at home when he was most excited or tired. It worked great but did not travel well because he made it the width of his car. Don’t know if you would need one that wide.
Sending you love and prayers.
15 December 2015
I’m so sorry, Teresa. I know this is devastating news. You have done such a phenomenal, inspirational job of making every single second a celebration of the love that you and Eurydice share. I know you will continue to do so, but I also know that your heart is breaking as Eurydice’s time approaches. I wish I had something more to offer than my love and heartfelt admiration. We have not (yet) met in person, but I think of you as a dear and very precious friend. Please know that you and your glorious Miss Cow are in my heart and in my thoughts.
Sending love and strength,
Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx
Meg, Mutt, aged around 11, 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
13 August 2015
Oh Teresa this news devastates us all. I’m sitting here with tears rolling down my face. A few weeks ago I had a dream about Eurydice. In the morning when I woke I could not remember what the dream was about I only knew she was in it and was happy. So she’s been on my mind a lot since then. I know you will stay in every precious moment you have with that girl as hard as that will be. Sending you and our Ambassodor of Love hugs and many prayers along with much love at this hard time in your journey. Please know we are with you.
Linda & Spirit Mighty Max
27 July 2014
Lovely Teresa, thank you for letting us know. This is heart breaking. As I enjoyed each and every photo of Eurydice’s pawty day, I sensed she was slowing down although her spirit and curiosity is still strong as obvious in the photos.
How sweet that Mickey is with you to give comfort, he is playing a special role. As you celebrate Eurydice’s life and anniversaries with such fanfare, please know that you can make her last day just as special. Perhaps you can ask the vet for a room that you can make less clinical with a blanket, a Pedro or two, music, special friends, etc.
I cry for you, your family, Eurydice and her many friends. She has touched our hearts.
Auntie Kerren, Eli, Mona the comfort cat
25 April 2007
Teresa, I’m so truly sorry. In my mind, Eurydice could live forever. How I wish that her joyful nature, endless curiosity, love of adventure and the care you give her every second of the day could cure the cancer. I love that you went ahead with her ampuversary celebration, and focused on the here and now.
When you described her current symptoms, it took me right back to the end of Jerry’s journey. Her symptoms are identical to Jerry’s. We didn’t do x-rays at that point and if we had, I probably wouldn’t have looked at them either. There was no need to, the disease played out textbook style. Jerry celebrated his tenth birthday just two days before he transitioned.
Your vet’s suggestion to not wait is appropriate and wise. We also chose to make that last call to the vet before things got too desperate. We didn’t want Jerry’s final days to be painful and sad. He left this world as we would all want to, on a high note and ready to find out what’s around the bend. Although I questioned our decision about when to say goodbye for many weeks, even months afterward, to this day I know it was the right call. Coping with grief is one thing, coping with the guilt over waiting too long would have been too much for me to handle.
Please know you can reach out to any of us, any time. We are keeping you close in our heart and thoughts. Give your beautiful, one-of-a-kind girl lots and lots of smooches from us.
23 April 2016
Teresa, I am so sorry. I know her spirit is strong and I hope these measures continue to make her more comfortable for this time that is left. Miss Cow has had the most amazing post amputation year – an incredible year for you both, I trust. Sending love and best wishes for a gentle journey when you know the time is right.
On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly. His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.
31 May 2016
16 September 2015
Oh goodness. My heart is breaking. We love Miss Cow so much and love having a front row seat to all of her adventures – thank you so much for sharing her with us all. I know we ALL dread the end of the journey and hope that we do right by our sweet babies. I can only say that you give Eurydice the most wonderful life, every day. I wish I could do half of what you have with your girl but I know that, in the end, you will still wish you’d done more, had more time … the truth is, there is never enough time. Izzy could live 10 more years and I would still be there, kicking, screaming and dragging my feet at the end.
And so, I try to keep reminding myself that our loved ones – furry or otherwise – never really leave us. Sure, we can’t see them anymore but they are with us. It’s such a hard lesson and I struggle to accept it as true but just when I’m feeling the most lost, my dad will remind me. He might play me a song on the radio or tuck a $20 in my laundry (I never carry cash and he was always good for a 20 spot) just so I don’t forget he’s still around. I wonder how Miss Cow will let you know she’s close by? I hope Izzy will let me know she’s here when her time comes, which I’m sure is none too far away.
I am sure that I speak for everyone when I say that I am devastated for you and along with you. Izzy just hopped over to see what momma is crying for … either that or she thinks I should feed her – a constant state here … I wish I could crawl through the screen and give you a hug. I’m so very sorry.
Sending love and sharing hope that you will have some more time with your beautiful girl.
Amy & Izzy, too
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.
14 February 2016
Even though you seem to be nearing the end, please remember that each day and each hour count. Make each one wonderful. And if that day or that hour is not ‘the’ day or hour, then you have nothing to do but let yourself be surrounded by her love and the great joy that is her life and your bond.
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.
23 December 2016
2 April 2013
Oh Teresa ~
You have made some amazing memories with Eurydice over the past year, and I’m sure many before that, even. She is such a beautiful girl! You have showed so many people that there are possibilities for giant dogs. Your journey has been way too short, but so full of grace, love and adventure.
Know that we are with you.
Donna, Glenn & Murphy
Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs
31 December 2016
We are so sorry to hear this You have given Miss Cow some great adventures and are a wonderful mom to her. She is a very lucky 🐮.
This news is so heartbreaking…
Otis - 121 lbs pre amp - 114 lbs post amp and now 118 lb Great Dane - English Mastiff X. Started limping on 12/24/16. Diagnosed with Osteosarcoma 12/28/16 - amputation of front left leg on 1/6/17. Stitches out and 1st round of Chemo on 1/19/17. 2nd round of Carboplatin on 2/10/17 - 3rd round on 3/2/2017. 4th round was scheduled for 3/22/17 - however due to low WBC postponed - 4th Chemo completed on 3/28/17. Had breathing difficulties, stayed in Tufts ICU overnight. Due for 2 more rounds of Chemo but we are opting to go with homeopathy with Dr. Loops instead.
22 February 2013
Everyone has spoken so beautifully from their hearts. I can only say “ditto”.
Iv’e attached a link to a video that Kitty Jill (Mom Erica) made for Happy Hannah when she developed a large met.
And then you will see Happy Hannah’s attempt at duplicating that video.
The video has stayed in my “archives” for three years. I can think of no better time to bring it out of hiding.
So. EURYDICE….these videos are for you!! So petend like the plaque’ says “WE LOVE TERESA AND EURYDICE””!
Sending you love…so much love.
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!
14 December 2016
I am kind of torn right now. I feel like I want to try and console you, hug you and give you strength, yet at the same time this hits so close to home I am not sure I have words. Like many before me have said: Eurydice and you have been an inspiration for all of us. Eurydice’s travels have been a revelation and a motivation and if every pet owner in this world was a little more like you the world would be an infinitely better place.
I can only imagine how you feel right now and to me you are the bravest in carrying on for Miss Cow.You know that we are all here for you and I would love to embrace both of you right now. Eurydice and you have left an impact with all of us here and what better thing can be said about a dog’s life. You guys have made a difference.
All the strength in the world for you, Teresa. Eurydice already knows she is loved.
from both Manni and I
Guardian of Manni the Wonderdog. -Or was it the other way around?
Osteo and amputation in Dec 2015. Second, inoperable, primary osteosarcoma found in June 2017.
The end of our adventures came Dec 10, 2017. 2 years to the day.