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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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Member Since:
1 September 2011
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1 September 2011 - 2:08 pm
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Hi.  I'm new to the group.  My 3-year Golden Retriever was recently diagnosed with bone cancer (likely osteosarcoma) in the pelvic bone.  We've consulted with a vet oncologist.  I'm interested in hearing about people's experiences with the removal of half the pelvis and a rear leg (hemipelvectomy). 


Thanks in advance.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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1 September 2011 - 4:31 pm
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Hi Merb, thanks for joining us here. We're sorry about your Golden, s/he's just a kid! Ugh. But remain hopeful, many dogs here have beaten the odds.

Search for "hemipelvectomy" in our Forums Search box (search by term as well as tag) and you'll find lots of experiences here.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Chicago, IL
Member Since:
5 March 2011
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1 September 2011 - 7:18 pm
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3 years old!  Oh, that's way too young.  But the good part is that young probably means strong and no other complicating diseases or conditions.

My 4 year old flat coated retriever (about the same size as a golden) had a hemipelvectomy last March.  He's doing fine now, he doesn't have any issues that aren't common to any other rear amp.  He can't jump up into the back of the Jeep, he can't dodge when he's playing as well as he used to and sometimes falls trying to.  He's just plain not as fast as he used to be.

His recovery was a little more difficult than most.  Common wisdom around here is 2 weeks of hell after the surgery, and Tate was into his third week before he was really getting back to himself.  All the details are on his blog.

Best of luck to you and keep us informed okay?

Jan & Tate
August 16, 2006 to November 28, 2011
TATE ~ Forever in our hearts.

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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1 September 2011 - 7:26 pm
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Your dog is so beautiful! And so young - that sucks. Our Abby was only 15 months when we got the diagnosis so I know how shocked you must be by all this. And I'm sorry you've had to find us all here - but you've come to the best place possible. Our Ab just had a regular ol' amp, so no experience with the hemipelvectomy (doesn't it suck that we all had to learn words like that??) but just wanted to say to be sure to come here with any more questions or just went you need to rant or get some support. There's probably not a better virtual group of folks on the planet!

Hang in there and big hugs and kisses to your gorgeous pup,

Jackie, Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Chicago, IL
Member Since:
5 March 2011
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2 September 2011 - 5:15 am
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Jackie, you got that right!  The first time I posted someone had to tell me that the surgery I was describing was called a "hemipelvectomy".

I tell you what, when the surgeon explained it to us, we were horrified.  We just could not imagine doing that to Tate.  But now we're so glad we moved forward, he would not be with us right now if we hadn't. 

I never would have made it without Tripawds.  Hang in there Merb!  I know you are probably in shock right now but we're here to help.

Jan & Tate
August 16, 2006 to November 28, 2011
TATE ~ Forever in our hearts.

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