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New Dx of Osteosarcoma. New limb amputation | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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New Dx of Osteosarcoma. New limb amputation
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Forum Posts: 84
Member Since:
4 November 2015
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4 November 2015 - 4:52 pm
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I joined the group for emotional support.  My 10 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback Mix was just diagnosed recently with a lesion suspicious for osteosarcoma of his right hind leg.  There were no mets on X-ray so I proceeded with amputation.  


I just have so much guilt for doing this to him.  Right now his is 5 days post op and he’s doing fine but I guess I’m the one who needs the support. 

Thanks for any advice for how to get through this without losing my mind



Julie and Buddy Darling

Livermore, CA

Forum Posts: 3499
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18 October 2009
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4 November 2015 - 6:56 pm
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Welcome to Tripawds, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I think we have all gone through this stage…’did I do the right thing?’, I know I did with my little pug Maggie. 

Look at it this way- you didn’t do this TO him, you did if FOR him!  Bone cancer is incredibly painful and that doesn’t get better until the source of the pain is gone.  You are GIVING Buddy a chance for more pain free, quality time with you.  That is not selfish, that is being a good mom.

The first couple weeks can be full of ups and downs- so don’t get discouraged.  Most pups come back to themselves around 2 weeks or so or when the stitches/staples come out.


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: 17446
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4 November 2015 - 7:47 pm
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Sorry you jave to be here but, under the circumstances, there is no better place to be! You are not alone on this journey anymore! We understand everything you are going through all too well!

Ditto everything Karen said.

Five days is REALLY early in recovery. This IS major surgery for Busdy Darling AND it is emotionally draining for the humans!!

Take some deep breaths….really….right now….B R E A T H E…….B R E A T H E……wait….there’s more….give yourself a big hug for having the STRENGTH and COURAGE to make this decision ro give Buddy THE best possible chance to get more loving, more spoilw, more tummy rubs, and all pain free!!!

This stupid piece of crap disease is soooo intense and really @ikes to make us second-guess ourselves like crazy. But very quickly we learn not to give it that kind of power over us. We decide not to let that piece of crap disease interfere with our lives anymore! Buddy is living in the moment and isn’t worried about a thi g! Buddy doesn’t give a rip about any ole’ stupid diagnosis. Buddy is his own dog and he certainly does not have a timeframe stamped on his butt!!

You probably havent slept well for weeks and have to be exhausted! Now you jave us to help, okay? Know that everything you are feeling is “normal”. Once Buddy Darling is over recovery and you start to see his sparkle come back brighter than before, you will be so glad you did this FOR him. Try and look at it from Buddy’s perspective. He would want this chance. He woukd want extended quality time with you.

Okay nkw, youved done the deep breathing, right? You’ve given yourself a great big hug, right? Now it’s time to break out the chocolate and take a really not bubble bath. Yep! Chocolate and hot bsths help!! Oh…and give Buddy a big hug for us! You are doing great!!

Love and hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

PS…PICTURES ! We would love to see pictures!

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!

Here and Now

Forum Posts: 11826
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4 November 2015 - 9:00 pm
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Free yourself of guilt and blame. Buddy doesn’t know he has cancer. What he needs most right now is for you to be strong and balanced, showing him that all will be OK.  Try to  Be More Dog .

Bookmark Jerry’s Required Reading List for lots of helpful links or download the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns.

Forum Posts: 1433
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2 April 2013
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4 November 2015 - 10:15 pm
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Oh my gosh, I had so much doubt the first couple of weeks after Murphy had his surgery!  But after he was feeling better I realized that we did the right thing.  Murphy was initially misdiagnosed, like so many dogs are, we thought he had a sprain or strain, and his initial x-rays were “fine”, although the radiology center didn’t medicate him for them and did them quickly.  I guess they assumed that since he was walking, he couldn’t have a break, but he was taking anti-inflammatory and pain medication, so he was feeling better and not limping right then.  When his prescription ran out, his pain came back and he yelped and cried, wouldn’t eat or go outside.  It took awhile to get the appointment for the orthopedic specialist, so by the time he had his x-rays and biopsy he had been limping for about 4 months. Then the biopsy was inconclusive and the next x-rays showed a worsening tumor, so we went ahead with the surgery, so then it was about 5 months from when he started limping.  That’s a really long time to wait when it comes to bone cancer.  But, it’s been 2 1/2 years now, and Murphy is still with us, and he’s still healthy and happy and hopping around!  So I have no doubts and no regrets for what we did.

What you’ve done for Buddy is to give him a chance at life.  A chance for more days in the sun.  A chance to play in the snow.  A chance to cuddle and give kisses.  A chance to be pain-free, even if it’s for a little while.


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  


Forum Posts: 111
Member Since:
24 September 2015
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5 November 2015 - 5:25 am
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Julie, welcome to you and Buddy Darling.  I doubt there is a single Tripawd Mom or Dad who doesn’t go through the emotions you are feeling.  Removing a dog’s leg is not a decision any of us ever wanted to make and seeing a dog we love minus a leg is a hard emotional transition for us humans… far more so than it is for them.  Almost 7 weeks post amp surgery for my Sketch there are still moments when I look at him and feel like crying, but he is a happy camper and that it what I try to focus on.  Cancer changes lives, whether in a human family member or in a beloved pet, and change is hard especially when it is not a change we would ever choose.  One day at a time…it does get better.  

Trini and my Sketchie Boy

Forum Posts: 384
Member Since:
28 March 2015
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5 November 2015 - 7:28 am
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Ditto everything that has been said!

But also a question—you say ‘get through it w/o losing my mind’.  So even though Buddy is doing well, perhaps you’re really just so so sad that your dog has cancer and you might not have all the years with him that you wanted? That is also a very hard thing to deal with—recognizing that there will be an end. When you get a cancer diagnosis, that fact sort of slaps you right in the face. 

Unfortunately, even if our pups are perfectly healthy we never get as much time with them as we want. But what you’ve done is to make sure that whatever time you do have with Buddy can be w/o the pain of OSA. Now you and he can focus on living and loving each other. There should be no guilt! You’ve done a brave thing for Buddy. Your decision was made out of love. How can it be wrong?

Denise, Bill and Angel Ellie. 

Active 10+ Pyr mix suddenly came up lame with ACL tear in left rear leg. Scheduled for a TPLO but final pre-op x-rays indicated a small suspicious area, possibly OSA, which could have caused the ACL tear. Surgeon opened the knee for TPLO but found soft bone. Biopsy came back positive for OSA. Became a Tripawd 9/18/14. Carbo6 with Cerenia and Fluids. Pain free and living in the moment. Crossed the Bridge on 7/12/15 after probable spread of cancer to her cervical spine. A whole lifetime of memories squeezed into 10 months. Here's her story: Eloise

Forum Posts: 52
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8 September 2015
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5 November 2015 - 8:27 am
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You sound like me when I first got here.  Let me say, you found the best place you could for love and support and words of wisdom. is the best site EVER.  Like you, I second guessed myself, felt guilty, worried, lost sleep.  And here we are, Patches is two months and change post surgery and she is doing great!  Since the day after surgery she’s been happy and finding joy in being herself. It was HARD.  It was SCARY.  But oh gosh, the joy in her eyes make my heart explode and I am absolutely positive that I did the best thing for her.  and yes, I did it FOR her not TO her.  

Try to be strong.  It’s hard.  You will have hard days.  And you will have good ones too.  Take it one day at a time.  And come here whenever you are scared and need a hug, a kind word and an ear.  Well, a bunch of ears.  You can see my whole experiences on my blog Patches Journey.  I hope it helps you as you navigate through this new world with a tripawd.  Thanks to this site we have come a looooooong way.  Let us know what you need, that’s what we are here for.

good luck and keep us posted,


Debbie and Patches

Forum Posts: 84
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4 November 2015
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5 November 2015 - 11:37 am
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Wow!  I’m sitting here in tears at the outpouring of support.  You guys ‘get me’

I do just want Buddy to have quality time that is not shadowed by daily pain.  The leg hadn’t been right for over a month.  

You are right, I haven’t been taking care of myself.  I’m nauseated all of the time and I’m not sleeping.  Thank goodness I have a wonderful job/boss who allowed me to take time off to be with Buddy until his stitches come out.

You guys actually helped me make a decision about an upcoming trip.  I was going to travel over Thanksgiving but I don’t think I can bear to leave him for a week this soon after surgery.

This has been so helpful.  Many thanks and I’ll post some pics when he’s more himself


Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Julie and Buddy

Norene, TN
Forum Posts: 1071
Member Since:
21 October 2014
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6 November 2015 - 7:44 am
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Howdy and welcome!!!

So glad you’re here. I simply can’t add a single thing to what everyone else has already said.


Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey

Forum Posts: 18
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20 September 2015
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6 November 2015 - 6:54 pm
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Hi Julie and Buddy – he looks so sweet!!

I can only echo what others here have said, the emotional and practical support here is amazing.  My Maggie is a month and a half post surgery and every day gets more and more “normal” (always a relative term) and my doubts about treatment subside a bit more every day.  As others have said, the shock of realizing your dear pup will not live forever is unfortunately part of the equation even as you are focused on getting him/her to feel better right now.  For us, I think the whole experience has forced me to come to terms with this fact, and in a way has been a blessing in that our whole family has been able to give Maggie the attention and love she deserves in her “golden years”!  She’s 12 and we’re hoping she has many good old-lady years left with us, but I’ve come to realize that she isn’t counting the days on a calendar, she is just happy every day that she gets to be with her people, sniff around outside, and terrorize squirrels.  With amputation, she can do all of those things now without pain and look happier than she has in a while (I’m sure the extra attention and doting helps, too!). 

The first 3 weeks for us were pretty hellish, even though Maggie had a relatively uneventful recovery – I stressed out about everything, and the fact is those first couple of weeks are a huge adjustment.  But it won’t take long before Buddy is acting like himself again and you’ll be able to just enjoy every fun moment together. Something I had to do was actually write down every little improvement, so when I lost my mind (yeah, happened plenty of times) I could point to something concrete and see that things were getting better.  Even with one step forward, two steps back – it helped to remember the little successes.

You’re definitely in the right place for talking to people who “get it”!  I realized pretty quickly that my coworkers and neighbors don’t really want to hear every detail about my dog’s incision or vomiting!!!! 

Hang in there, Julie!  And rest and keep up the great progress, Buddy – you’re doing great!!! 


Cindy and Maggie

Forum Posts: 84
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4 November 2015
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7 November 2015 - 9:31 am
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Hi Cindy

Yes, you hit the nail on the head.  We know they aren’t gonna live forever but I thought i’d have him for longer.  
I’m meeting with the Oncologist next week.  Not sure if I’ll do chemo or not.  I want his life to be quality or quantity but if it gave us more time and that time was quality, I’d take it.

He’s my sweet boy.


Thanks again

Julie and Buddy


Forum Posts: 17446
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22 February 2013
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7 November 2015 - 10:22 am
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Hi Julie! Isn’t it nice to be surrounded by people who”get it”?

I enjoyed our chat this morning. Your love for Buddy came throuh loud and c@ear. I know you’ll make the right decision out of love for Buddy…you always have a d you always will! It sounds like you are leaning towards the chemo. Once you speak with his Onco you’ll co firm if that’s the route you want to go. It will actually give you relief to decide (one way or another).

Update us after your appointment. Know that we are all right here by your side! Right nest to that bag of CHOCOLATE!!!

Love a d hugs to you both!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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!

Schofield, WI
Forum Posts: 1447
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13 August 2015
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7 November 2015 - 11:00 am
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Yes we get you!  I like you was sick to my stomach.  Lost 8 pounds thru the first 3 weeks of our journey with Max.  Someone said on one of their postings that early on we go through the process of mourning the dog we had.  I found that to be so true.  I also found that by embracing the “new” Max I found many things to celebrate.  Now almost 10 weeks post surgery I find joy in Max’ new normal.  Partly because Max finds joy in his new normal.  We started this journey to get Max out of the pain of osteosarcoma.  We have accomplished that and anything beyond that is a bonus.  I find I no longer worry about the tomorrow’s in life.  Just as Max does I have learned to love the today’s. Max has taught me so many life lessons I’ll carry with me.  Let your Buddy show you the way.  Any decision you make you make out of love and is never wrong. As Sally said once you make a decision it will be a relief.  Good luck and many hugs to you and Buddy.

Linda & Max


Forum Posts: 17446
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7 November 2015 - 11:10 am
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Well said sweet Linda!

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!

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