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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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New Members....My best friend Fortis
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9 February 2010 - 10:34 am
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I joined Tripawds yesterday and hope to start a blog soon. This is my first post although I used the site repeatedly in the time leading up to Fortis' amputation. First I want to say thanks so much for such a great site and community.

My boy Fortis is a 10yr old, lean 150lb male Cane Corso. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of the right rear leg on 1/23/2010. It was only suppose to be a checkup…shots. Yes, I had noticed the slightest of limps a couple of weeks earlier but Cancer. My wife and I were crushed. Not fortis, he always loved his visits to the Vet's office. We were told that we would probably need to euthanize fortis by the middle of February. We didn't even have a month. I have never felt such sadness.

Finally with the much needed help of this site I was able to pull myself together and start acting like the pack leader my loyal friend deserved. I ordered K9 Immunity, changed his diet, scheduled a leg amputation and met with an oncologist to discuss chemo.

It's been 6 days since Fortis had his right rear leg amputated. We were so lucky to have such a great Vet. I was allowed to be with Fortis as he was preped for surgery and as he recovered in ICU. I was even allowed to stay the night and was with Fortis until he was ready to come home the following day. I am so thankful for this.

Fortis is doing great thus far. He is getting around surprisngly well, eating, sleeping, loving, and yes going to the bathroom. We celebrated the first night this happened by the way!!!

Fortis has taught me so much about courage, strength and even more importantly about presence. Fortis and I don't know what the future holds but we do have the magic of this moment. What more is there? My old friend Forits has shown me this. I am truly thankful.

I will continue to update. Thanks

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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9 February 2010 - 11:01 am
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Awwwwwww - that's wonderful about Fortis!

Welcome to our little community of dog lovers (cat's too - but no one seems to have a three legged cat!).  We love,  laugh and cry but we are the place for great support, especially for the nasty "C".

You did a wonderful thing for Fortis by getting your big boy out of pain.  Some vets are funky.  I hope Fortis doesn't love the vet visit now to the vet that thought you should just put him down!  I used to have a vet that lived next door to me but I would have never gone to him because he didn't have any pets! 

I can't believe you found a place that would let you spend the night and let you in ICU!  Wowsa!  I  refuse to leave my baby, Comet overnight for that very reason, no one (especially me) isn't there.  My vet told me that she would just cry all night and I should let her stay overnight at his place.  For that reason alone, I refused.  And she did cry all night, but I was so thankful to have her home crying.  In full disclosure, one of my dog's died on his watch after a successful ACL repair surgery while I was waiting to pick her up. So, he's been pretty swell about me picking her up that evening everytime she has surgery.

Now, I have to go look up Cane Corso - I never heard of one.

Again, welcome!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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9 February 2010 - 11:04 am
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Welcome and thanks for joining! We're sorry to hear about Fortis' diagnosis, but glad you found us and happy to hear that he is recovering well. We look forward to following his progress. These pups are amazing teachers indeed.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Portage Lake, Maine
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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9 February 2010 - 11:58 am
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Welcome!  Your Fortis has great pawrents!!  I hope his recovery goes well.  I wished I'd found this website before/after my Maggie had amputation - instead of two months later.  The people here are AWESOME!  What a support group...

Keep us updated on Fortis.

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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9 February 2010 - 1:28 pm
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What a beautiful Mastiff!  I am partial to the brindles, and your boy is so handsome.  My husband and I had considered a Corso when we were looking for another Mastiff but we went with a Dogue de Bordeaux instead (he is a nut). Our English Mastiff Tazzie was a front leg amputee and she lived 14 months after surgery and carboplatin chemo.  If you pursue chemo I would encourage you to do 6 treatments of the carboplatin since recent studies have shown some dogs living past 500 days.

Good luck,


Member Since:
20 May 2009
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9 February 2010 - 3:41 pm
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I saw your other post first so it is nice to read your whole story.  I am very sorry about Fortis' diagnosis.  When we heard Emily had cancer I felt like the bottom of my world collapsed!  Bless you for not listening to your original vet.   I'm glad that Fortis is doing so well.  Keep us posted.

Debra & Angel Emily

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Wesley Chapel, FL
Member Since:
13 September 2009
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9 February 2010 - 5:37 pm
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Welcome to our Tripawds family!!! Your Fortis is such a handsome boy!!! The fact that the OS was caught so early and his leg amputated so soon afterwards... well, I hope that means that they got to the cancer in time and that he'll have a good outcome.

My Jake had been limping on and off for months before... we all thought it was just due to arthritis (after all, he was 10yrs old). It was only when he fractured his front leg that we found out that he had osteosarcoma and then amputated his leg... I often wonder if he would still be here if we had discovered his cancer much earlier, before it had a chance to metastasize...

I'm wishing all the best for Fortis... and hope that he is one of the lucky ones, that gets to have many, many happy ampuvarsaries to share with us all!!!


Angel Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… ….. CANCER SUCKS!

9 February 2010 - 5:58 pm
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First I want to say thanks for the warm welcome and all of the kind words. Secondly I'm sorry If I implied that our Vet was against amputation. Its not so much that he was against amputation but that he felt Fortis wasen't the best candidate. Fortis is a big guy with a lot of go in him. He plays hard and I feel our Vet feared a nasty fracture was at most weeks away. He didn't want to see Fortis suffer. He loves Fortis as does his entire staff. They have been great to us over the years and we think the world of them. Our Vet has been a true friend and Fortis and I had complete trust in him performing the surgery. Sorry for the confusion.

Thanks, Brett

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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9 February 2010 - 6:38 pm
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No worries Brett, that's kind of you to clarify.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Northern Indiana
Member Since:
15 January 2009
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9 February 2010 - 10:05 pm
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Fortis has taught me so much about courage, strength and even more importantly about presence. Fortis and I don't know what the future holds but we do have the magic of this moment. What more is there? My old friend Forits has shown me this. I am truly thankful.

You will be amazed at what Fortis will teach you, and what you will learn about love and strength and patience.  The life lessons abound in this situation and I am grateful for every single moment!!  Even the ones that break your heart, because there are many joys and laughs as well.

Welcome to our little community, we are sorry you need to be here but so glad you found us.  Here you will learn that there are no wrong decisions and that one day at a time is not a cliche it is a reality!

Take good care of Fortis, it sounds like you are off to a good start.  Be sure to reach out if you need anything.

Ginny & Angel Paris

Grateful for every moment we had with Paris… regrets!

Honoring her life by opening our hearts & home to Addy!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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10 February 2010 - 2:38 am
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I read your other post first also, but welcome to our community.  This is a great place, full of warmth and support, sprinkled with some pain when we lose a tripawd hero.  Fortis is beautiful dog and even more proof the big guys can make it on three legs too!  Can't wait to hear more great Fortis stories as he recovers and thrives.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

10 February 2010 - 5:27 am
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Way to Go Fortis! It is amazing what pain a dog will live with, and such a joy when you know you have relieved it! Can't wait to here how is progresses.

Shaun & Supai

Member Since:
10 February 2010
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17 February 2010 - 5:37 pm
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So glad to hear that Fortis is doing good!!! Looking forward to seeing your blog and more pictures of Fortis!

Hugs and smiles to you, your wife, and Fortis!!!

Hang in there!!!

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