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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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I'm a new tripawd and need some direction
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
25 June 2008
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25 June 2008 - 8:20 pm
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Hi all, my name is Tucker, and I’m an male 8 yr young golden.  On tues june 10 I had surgery to remove 3 cysts from my left ankle, only to discover that they were not cysts but cancer, suspected hemangiopericytoma.  The biopsy came back the following tuesday as sarcoma (not sure what type yet) totally shocking my doc and my parents. I was told urgently that amputation would very possibly save my life if done immediately.  Whoa! So the next day I had my back leg removed.  I did great and came home 2 days later.  The weekend was very rough, I almost died, but am doing well now except that I believe I’m experiencing phantom limb pain/sensations. I’m very nervous and tremble but not sure why so I take acepromazine to calm me down – somewhat. I can maneuver quite well except I’m constantly moving in circles &  I can already tripod expertly to potty.  I keep looking for my leg and am confused when I try to scratch or bite an itch that I come up w/ only air!   I would sure appreciate any words of wisdom anyone can offer to help me get through this difficult time. 

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25 June 2008 - 9:56 pm
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Hey Tucker,

There is a link, at this site, which points to some info related to phantom limb pain.  Check it out in the "resources" page, under "General Info about Dog Cancer".  Hope that helps.

Oh boy, what happened during the weekend? That sounded scary, but I gathered that you are doing generally ok.   That ‘s good to hear.

Don’t overdo, rest well, and get frequent short walks to help build up muscle strength.  Tell you pawrents to relax too.  I am sure that the more they look worried, the more nervous and scared you will become.

Hope you have a speedy recovery, and please keep up posted on your progress.



The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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25 June 2008 - 10:02 pm
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Hi Tucker! Thanks for registering and welcome to the Tripawd Forums.

There has been a lot of discussion about phantom limb pain after amputation. I didn’t have any serious issues after my operation – I’m a lucky dog – and while I still do sometimes lick the spot where my leg was, I am not so sure about the idea phantom pain .

I believe that most of the peculiar reactions after amputation surgery – trembling, howling, etc. – are related to the heavy medications most vets prescribe. In truth, we dogs can handle pain better than the way some of those meds make us feel. The trembling could also just be a matter of the strength you need to regain.

I’m sorry if this isn’t much help. Others who have dealt with similar experiences may be able to provide better input on this one than me.

The one thing that I know will help, is time. It is still very early in your life on three legs. Once the surgery pain subsides and the wound fully heals, you should be feeling like your old self again since otherwise
it sounds like your getting the hang of things.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 27443
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25 June 2008 - 10:13 pm
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Genie said:

There is a link, at this site, which points to some info related to phantom limb pain.

Thanks for the reminder Jessie! Here’s that document Calpurnia’s mom prepared:

There is also this post about phantom pain in my blog. And if you haven’t read about Cali, be sure to check out the inspirational canine cancer survivor story of this three-legged working sled dog! I was lucky enough to meet this pretty girl, and my people made this movie of us running together.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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