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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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New Osteosarcoma Diagnosis, Arthritis, Large Breed, Pre Amputation Questions
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Member Since:
13 June 2020
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1
13 June 2020 - 3:39 pm
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 Hi,

I’m new here and so glad I found this site. My dig has a large tumor or her wrist and xrays revealed likely Osteosarcoma. She had a biopsy yesterday. I’m planning ahead because I realize time is precious. Her breed is Boerboel and she’s 8 years old and top heavy at 115lbs. I was told she may not be a good candidate for amputation because of the latter but I’m not giving up on my girl!

I’m interested in stem cell therapy for her osteoarthritis in her back legs to give her frame some much needed support and i was wondering if anyone had experience with this? I considered leg braces as well bu dont know much about them.

I’m also interested in prosthetics but was told the learning curve and mobility potential for dogs with partial imputation is much better than with full amputation. Yes I have not had luck in finding any surgeons in my area (DC, MD, VA) that would do a partial amputation and I’m concerned about risk of leaving cancer behind.

I want to give my girl the best chance of a good amputation recovery as we have a long road ahead so any feedback would be appreciated!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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13 June 2020 - 3:59 pm
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Hi Johnette, welcome. We are so glad you joined us. So your girl’s name is Dig? She is so lucky to have you looking out for her and asking great questions. At 115 pounds she’s not the biggest dog we’ve ever had here, some have been 150 or more!

I just came across this photo of Sugar the Boerboel Mastiff yesterday, what timing! They are such beautiful giants.

Yes, it’s true that the more residual limb a dog has left, the better the odds of traditional prosthetics working (click on the link for our articles). There is a company that just came out with a new support brace for full front leg amputees but the jury is still out on its long-term effectiveness. We are waiting for orthopedic vets to get back to us on it but you may want to look at it. 

As for stem cell therapy, that’s another interesting therapy that’s new and exciting, but again, not enough evidence for many ortho vets to get behind it. However, there is one ortho vet who is breaking ground in that area and he happens to have a practice in Annapolis MD. Look up Veterinary Sports Medicine Group, they are amazing and I know will be able to give you the latest options for your girl. 

Meanwhile don’t forget to look up Jerry’s Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books Library for answers to your questions OK? And stay tuned for feedback from the community! 

I’m in the Tripawds Chat room right now if you want to talk.  Take care!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
13 June 2020
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13 June 2020 - 5:27 pm
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Hi Jerry!

That was actually a typo…lol. I meant “dog” not “dig”. My girl’s name is Xhosa (pronounced Kosa). 

Thanks much for the resources and I have heard of that facility in Annapolis you mentioned! I actually called them about the amputation but they do not do that. But I will contact them again next week about the stem cell therapy. I’ve also read that Prolotherapy is good for arthritis so I’ll ask them about that as well. 

Do you happen to know of amputation surgeons in my area?

Also do you know of success stories of dogs with arthritis and amputation?

Thanks for the many great resources shared. 

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13 June 2020
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13 June 2020 - 5:29 pm
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And I saw Sugar in your site. She looks just like my dog!

On The Road


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13 June 2020 - 5:44 pm
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Hey there!

Thanks much for the resources and I have heard of that facility in Annapolis you mentioned

Yay!  Yes call them. They will be able to help you with rehabilitation therapy for Xhosa (what a beautiful name!). And the best part is the Tripawds Foundation may pay for your first rehab visit ! We highly recommend it for all new Tripawds, especially giant breeds. 

Do you happen to know of amputation surgeons in my area?

When you call VOSM, ask them for a referral. Otherwise I would search the AAHA Directory for a clinic near you. AAHA clinics are our go-to providers because of the high standards they are guaranteed to follow.

Also do you know of success stories of dogs with arthritis and amputation?

TONS. There are so many members who have dealt with this condition, I don’t even know where to begin. But let’s start with biggest dogs I can think of right now, like:

Hank and Mable

Cemil

Porthos

There are more so I’m hoping others will chime in. Just remember that in the big picture, arthritis isn’t a deal-breaker for almost all dogs. Your surgeon will be able to tell you so do get other opinions so you can feel good about making a decision OK?

I hope this helps! Keep us posted.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
13 June 2020
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13 June 2020 - 7:02 pm
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This is EXACTLY what I needed. As many in this community I’m sure know, this early stage I’m in is a tough emotional battle. Success stories like these and the positive feedback from others who have and want to fight for their pet’s right to life is immensely helpful! 

I loved the stories of Hank and Mabel, Cecil and Porthos!  So inspiring. 

I’ll be looking into the foundation for the rehab visit and thank you!!

Johnette

Member Since:
6 June 2020
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14 June 2020 - 11:26 am
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We are in a similar situation. Great Pyrenees weighing at 165lbs. Osteosarcoma of the left distal radius.  We want to give him the chance of a partial limb amputation to get a partial limb prosthetic to keep him all fours if possible . But with covid, we have had a hard time 1) finding vets who are familiar with/willing to do a partial limb amputation and 2) have any availability in the next month. We did find two vets, one in Augusta GA and one in Flint MI. We were also told several vet schools, including U of FL, U of GA, and U of MI, do these kind of procedures plus have many other similar procedures (like limb sparing and stereotactic radiation) that may also be good choices to consider, but they are booked out for a few weeks right now. Not sure how far you are able to drive. 

On The Road


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14 June 2020 - 12:49 pm
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Johnette that makes us happy! So glad we could help.

scmaxwell9 thanks for chiming in. Welcome! Please consider starting a new topic so we can follow along in your journey ok? Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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