TRIPAWDS: Home to 15728 Members and 1741 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

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:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!

REGISTER   |   LOG IN

Be More DogNEW! Be More Dog – Learning to Live in The Now

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.

Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
Kinzi becoming a tripawd on Wednesday-- Help with grief leading up?
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 34
Member Since:
15 May 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
15 May 2020 - 2:34 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi folks,

I’m Ashley, Kinzi’s mom. She is a mystery dog: they think corgi, terrier, spaniel? Anyway, for sure part terrific, part wonderful. She is a rescue so I don’t know how old she is but she adopted me as her human about 6 years ago.

She has a mast cell tumor that is unfortunately so close to her paw pads, that it would be very difficult to get wide enough margins to clear this rapidly growing tumor. (It has only been there for a few weeks and grows so fast it is scary.) Option 1 is to see how much they can get and there is a stronger chance of it coming back or spreading. Option 2 is to amputate, significantly reducing the chance of cancer spreading or coming back.

My instincts tell me that Option 2 (amputation) is the right thing to do and gives her the best chance of survival… but I am experiencing a lot of grief. It feels very unfair that this is happening. I’m also worried she’ll hate me for making this decision.

Any advice on dealing with grief leading up to the surgery? icon_cry I know she picks up on my stress and upset.

Why am I so sad when it’s not my leg?

Here and Now


Forum Posts: 12280
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
15 May 2020 - 2:55 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

ashleycleland14 said
Any advice on dealing with grief leading up to the surgery?  

Yes! For starters, your feelings are perfectly normal, to be expected, and you are not alone.

Next, do not show your emotions around Kinzi. She will follow your lead, and needs you to be a strong balance pack leader right now to show her everything will be okay.

Finally, Be More Dog . And that is not just some silly saying. The hardest recoveries we see, are with dogs whose people are the most distressed. Watch the Be More Dog keynote address for details and tips.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation. Meanwhile, start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs.

Forum Posts: 34
Member Since:
15 May 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
15 May 2020 - 3:16 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

admin said

ashleycleland14 said

Any advice on dealing with grief leading up to the surgery?  

Yes! For starters, your feelings are perfectly normal, to be expected, and you are not alone.

Next, do not show your emotions around Kinzi. She will follow your lead, and needs you to be a strong balance pack leader right now to show her everything will be okay.

Finally, Be More Dog . And that is not just some silly saying. The hardest recoveries we see, are with dogs whose people are the most distressed. Watch the Be More Dog keynote address for details and tips.

  

Thank you! We went for a car ride today and sat on a bench together feeling the breeze.sp_hearticon2 When I was having fun, so was she. Good advice and helps me reframe my role here. 

She’s a survivor & a fighter– also lived through an emergency spleen removal a few years back and heartworms when I first adopted her.

New York, NY
Forum Posts: 409
Member Since:
24 March 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
15 May 2020 - 3:56 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Ashley!  Welcome to the Tripawd family where you will find a ton of support and answers, and zero judgment.  I joined this community about 6 weeks ago when my 10-year old goldendoodle, Griffin, became a tripawd.  I totally understand your feelings of indecision and guilt.  Ultimately, you want Kenzi to have a happy life free of pain, which amputation would achieve.  Dogs recover remarkably well as amputees – you can check out my boy’s story in the blog Griffin’s Journey, which I hope will serve as inspiration for what Kenzi will be able to do with 3 legs.  And I promise you that they do not hold grudges!  Kenzi will thank you for ridding her of pain and then will get on with living her life.  You describe Kenzi as a fighter and a survivor – qualities that will serve her well in her recovery and ones that I’m sure she learned from her mom.  Please reach out with as many questions as you have – someone here always has the answer!  Sending hugs from Griffin and me in NYC!  ~ Stacy

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3881
Member Since:
18 October 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
15 May 2020 - 4:25 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Ashley, welcome to you and Kinzi.

Is the tumor on a front leg or back leg?

My first Pug Maggie lost a back leg to a mast cell tumor.  In Mag’s case there was no pain associated with the tumor (she was a real drama queen!) and it was really hard to accept that the best option for a bump in her knee was to remove the whole leg!  You can read Maggie’s story and about her amputation and treatment if you are interested, the links are in my signature below.

Mast cell tumors must be removed with wide margins or it will almost always come back.  Our oncologist explained it to me like this: imagine the tumor is a fried egg.  The yoke is the part you can see and the white, which you can’t see, is much larger and tends to spread way out.  If you don’t remove all of the white you haven’t removed all the cancerous cells. Unfortunately on a leg or foot it is pretty much impossible to get a wide enough margin and still have enough skin to close the incision.

I learned that if I didn’t proceed with amputation the tumor in her knee would keep growing and eventually ulcerate creating a painful wound that wouldn’t heal.  In addition the chances of internal spread were greater if I left the tumor there.

We did lots of tests pre-surgery to make sure the cancer hadn’t already spread.  Hopefully your vet has done or will do some testing before surgery.  Her lymph nodes were aspirated, there was an abdominal ultrasound and some type of bone marrow test- I don’t remember exactly.  Mast cell tends to met to the liver, spleen and bone marrow.  Also whenever one of her tumors was aspirated or even just manipulated she was put on benydryl and pepcid to protect her stomach.

As far as grief leading up to the surgery- remind yourself that you are doing this FOR Kinzi, not TO Kinzi.  She has a diseased leg that is unlikely to heal and will become very painful. You are GIVING her a chance to have more pain free, quality time with you!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Forum Posts: 34
Member Since:
15 May 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
15 May 2020 - 7:48 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you Stacy and Karen. <3 Your words were exactly what I needed to hear today. Grateful to have stumbled across this community!!

It is on her front left leg. She’s also quite long (a corgi mix of some kind) so I definitely worry about how she’ll manage without a front leg. But I’m a bit of a worry wart, so I’d worry regardless. They’ve done lots of tests, and I believe there are a few more tests they’ll do on surgery day. She’s looking good and they think it hasn’t spread. Thank goodness.

I really appreciate that I’m doing this FOR her instead of TO her reminder. That helps. This is her best chance at continuing to do the things she loves- car rides, feeling breezes on her face, eating, and sunbathing. All things she can do with three legs.

Forum Posts: 77
Member Since:
29 March 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
15 May 2020 - 8:34 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Ashley and Kinzi!  Welcome to Tripawds.  Ashley, I know exactly how you’re feeling.  I think all of us here can say that.  These fur babies are our babies and we want the best for them!  3 1/2 weeks ago my 3 year old lab/mix Jake had his left front leg removed due to a soft tissue sracoma in his elbow.  It was impossible to excise.  He is doing FABULOUS!  There are some videos of him post amp in Jake’s Journey under the heading “share your story”.  He had a tough first week post amp but you’d never know it now.  He is so happy and full of life.  He chased a chipmunk out of my cellar todayicon_lol

I won’t lie, it was very tough bringing him for the operation.  I had to put my faith and trust in the fact that this was the ONLY choice I had to give Jake the chance at a happy life.  So that’s what I did.  I must have looked at a thousand videos and read the oncology report/lab report many times over and then dove in.  The Tripawds community gave me the courage and strength to know that I was doing the right thing and move forward.  I am amazed at Jake’s recovery.  I am also amazed at this community and how helpful everyone is!  I wish you and Kinzi the best!

Forum Posts: 79
Member Since:
10 April 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
15 May 2020 - 10:01 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

     Stay strong Ashley it will get easier. I’m three weeks in with my Rottwieler Ziva. I actually came very close to cancelling her surgery three times. But with help and support from everyone here I realized I. Doing this to help my best friend not hurt her. 

  It was still very hard to take her in, but the first time I saw her post surgery she still had that “I love you” sparkle I. Her eyes. The next couple days are rough because your friend will be very doppy from the meds. Don’t panic as soon as the meds subside a bit you’ll know you did the right thing. When my girl looked at me a few days after surgery I could see in her eyes that she was thanking me for getting rid of the pain. 

   Everyday since has been better and better. She moves around like she did before. Up stairs, down stairs, on the couch, in the car!!

you will be amazed at how well your baby will do. You can do this and every one here is here to help!!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19267
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
16 May 2020 - 9:19 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

As you can see, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!   We are here with you every step of the way.  As you can see from all the great support you’ve gotten, we understand  the emotions  involved  in this journey like no others can.

Kinzi will NOT be sad to have that bum leg gone!!!  You are giving  her a gift of a pain free quaility  lofe full of love, joy and spoiling!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

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!

Forum Posts: 26
Member Since:
29 April 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
17 May 2020 - 10:52 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I am so sorry you are having to face this decision. My husband and I just made this decision for our girl, Beesly, last week. It was so difficult! I still feel guilty, it has only been three days since her surgery though so I can’t wait to see her back to herself. Just know, sometimes there is no other better choice and the one you make, is the right one for your Kinzi. This is honestly, a super helpful community! Keep utilizing it! I have posted almost everyday looking for advice and tips. It really helps!

Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
10 May 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
17 May 2020 - 1:45 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Ashley and Kinzi!

I am so sorry that you are having to make this decision, but I thought I would let you know about our experience.

We are now 11 days post op and our lovely Monty is doing fantastically!

He went in for a different op on his carpal joint on the 6th May, but unfortunately when he was on the table they realised there was more to it and we had to make the decision to remove his front left leg whilst on the phone to the vet, as he was already under anaesthetic. I’m glad we didn’t have the time to think about the decision, because it would have been so much harder I think.

I was so worried and scared. I was worried about how he would cope as he’s a very active dog usually, how we would cope, and how he would be emotionally afterwards. He has actually taken it better than I have. I broke my heart when I saw him after surgery, because I felt so sad for him, but he came out wagging his tail like he’d just spent a day in the spa! 

Seeing him now, I know it was the best decision we could have made for him! He is doing so well, he has totally blown me away! It’s like he’s always been a tripawd! He is back to the vet tomorrow to have his stitches out and then our new future begins!

We don’t know what has caused the damage to his joint yet as we are waiting for results, but he is so much happier since having his op, whatever it is, it was worth itsp_hearticon2

I suppose the point of my post is that Kinzi won’t hate you. Dogs are so amazing at adapting and she will still love you regardless, and she will be pain free once she’s all healed. Don’t be hard on yourself. x

Here and Now


Forum Posts: 12280
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
17 May 2020 - 2:57 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

monty said
…I thought I would let you know about our experience.
 

Welcome! Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Forum Posts: 59
Member Since:
10 December 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
17 May 2020 - 6:43 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Ashley and Kinzi and welcome to the Tripawd’s family.

Ashley, we have all been exactly where you are right now.  We have all been overwhelmed by the “what ifs” of amputation.  I remember thinking the same thing with my Lucky, “this is just so unfair”.  It is unfair, dogs don’t deserve this.  The thing is  you are going to be amazed at how well Kinzi will do after the surgery.  The 1st few weeks can be challenging for sure, but your vet will send her home with lots of meds to help her with the discomfort following the surgery.  Every dog is different, but they do amazingly well adjusting to life on 3 legs.  Kinzi will lose a leg, yes, but she will also lose the pain from that leg.  It won’t take long for her sparkle to return.  She could never hate you.  I have to echo what Karen said, “You are doing this for her, not to her”.  She knows how much you love her!  Please let us know if we can do anything to help.  We are always hear to listen and to encorage you through the journey.

Sending love,

Pam

Forum Posts: 34
Member Since:
15 May 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
19 May 2020 - 6:49 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Image Enlarger

Thinking of all of you and your thoughtful comments. Hard to believe tonight is her last with 4 on the floor. I’m just filled with dread.

But I’m remembering this picture we took of Kinzi on our family beach trip. She is resilient and happy. She hopefully has many days of sunbathing ahead.

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3881
Member Since:
18 October 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
19 May 2020 - 7:24 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I’m just filled with dread.

This is a big surgery so some worry is normal.  Try and find some things to keep you busy tomorrow. 

When Maggie lost her leg I spent a lot of time while she was recovering missing and mourning the things I thought she wouldn’t be able to do anymore.  As it turns out Maggie could do many of the things I thought she couldn’t- stand in the car, go up a few steps, play with her toys…etc. 

And the few things she couldn’t do?  Well I was the only one missing them.  She figured out how to do what she wanted to do and I helped her with other things (like getting up on furniture, she was a small pug).  After she recovered she was the same happy, obstinate Pug she had always been!

That is a great picture of Kinzi!

I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you guys tomorrow, keep us posted.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 68
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1094
Members: 11080
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16343
Posts: 229587
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG