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 was feeling right about the choices for Dexter reference his amputation until today now I am in tears:( My husband and I got into a disagreement about chemo I am undecided slightly but just like to discuss it. My husband doesnt want to put him through anymore, fair enough. I thought he supported my choice of amputation everyone else did. My husband then says if it were him alone he would have had him pts straight away as dogs dont know any different. Basically he means without saying it I have done amputation for my benefit not the dogs and I feel awful!
I couldnt just have him pts knowing there was a chance he could have a few more quality weeks/months on the beach. Before the op he couldnt walk a block without pain.
Now I just feel like its all been a waste if he doesnt have long after all this. Have I made him suffer for my benefit? Yes I love him and want him around but not to cause him more pain I would never think that. What hurts the most is I told my husband I did it to improve dexters quality of life and he pointed to him and said thats not quality of life or something along those lines. Dexter is still lethargic etc so still recovering.
Can anyone tell me that I did this for good reason or am I just being selfish:(x
16 October 2012
Wow that was a mean thing for him to say. I do not think you were being selfish. No one knows how long our babies have. Some have a short time some have longer. I never thought of myself as being selfish once when I had Sassy’s leg amputated. I looked at it as trying to give her the longest pain free life she could have with cancer. I wanted her to live forever with me but that wasn’t to be.
Is Dexter still on pain meds? Probably. The first couple of weeks are the roughest. Usually people start to see more of their babies personalities come back once the stitches/staples are out.
I didn’t consider anything a waste. I would do it all over again if I had to.
Michelle & Angel Sassy
Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013
05/04/2006 - Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19 fought cancer for 4 months.
"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."
18 September 2013
Emotions run hot and cold for everyone during this tough time!
I think you made the perfect choice for Dexter….not to his – for him. Once he is finished recovering from the surgery, Dexter will rebound and will have time for those painfree walks that you want to have with him. No one knows how long we will have to spend with our furbabies but I, like you, feel blessed that I have had extra time to spend with Tucker.
The night before Tucker’s surgery, I asked the surgeon if he would make the same choice as I was knowing all of Tuck’s medical history – he stopped for just a second and told me about one of his dog’s that he had to pts because amputation was not an option and he told me that he wished he would have had the choice with his dog
I haven’t looked back since that conversation……keep snuggling Dexter and celebrate all his firsts. Things will get better.
Linda and Tucker
9 June 2012
You are NOT being selfish! Of course you want to do what’s best for your dog and you feel that in your heart. I’m so sad you and your husband not agree. Of course I don’t know your husband but maybe his reaction has to do with fear. Anyway your dog is so happy that you helpt him get rid of the hurting leg. When my Penny got chemo she didn’t seem to feel bad at all, so I don’t think giving chemo is so hard for most dogs, but of course I just know after my experience of Penny. Discuss with your vet. I hope you soon will see your dog running and playing like before! I was sooo amazed how well Penny lived her almost one more extra year of life. Running as fast as any other dog, played with our labrador Wilbur and was happy. Try to be positive! But the first two, three weeks or so can be quite hard, but then for most dogs everything goes well. I wish you all the best and sending lots of hugs!
Gunilla, Wilbur, Bellis and angel Penny
10 June 2013
Give dexter some time to heal. . He’ll let you know you did the right thing. Honestly.. When it comes to this disease there are no regrets. Because there is no perfect answer. By that I mean so much of any outcome no matter what your choices are such a craps shoot. But the important thing is you are making making these decisions because of how much you love him. And how lucky is a dog to have lived his whole life in a home where people love him so much?
The only thing you have a small amount of control over is how you are with dexter and around him. Try to breathe. Relax. Enjoy him. He feels all those emotions. But can also feel the stress.
Hang in there. You are all doing great. ..give dexter a big hug from all of us..
Lori and Angel Chuck
Thanks guys I knew I would get a better perspective from people who have been in our shoes. I don’t think it helps being on edge all the time, every little symptom and I’m thinking this is it, and it’s all been for nothing I hope I will relax more! I took Dexter for a drive to the beach today, had a little sniff and hop along. Stitches out tomorrow. He ate all his dinner and is now sleeping:)
15 December 2012
Sorry you and your husband don’t agree but you can read on this site how much that does happen with partners and friends. I don’t think my husband was totally on board with me having our dog’s leg amputated but he knew I had my mind made up. I opted not to do chemo. I think we all have to understand that not everyone thinks like we do and like Linda said it’s a very emotional time and tempers flare. My dog died last April and I was really surprised when my husband said let’s not ever put our current dog Blink through what Maggie went through. I was so surprised because as I saw it I had 4 wonderful months with her pain free. I guess it was painful for him although he never said anything. Men really are from Mars. You did the best thing FOR YOUR DOG and you won’t regret it. Sounds like he is doing good, now RELAX.
Penny, Blink and Spirit Maggie
5 August 2013
Hi Dexters mum
I understand how you feel. My husband and I felt differently about amputation, he thought it was cruel as Yasmin (our doberman) wouldn’t understand why she had lost her leg and that her quality of life would be just an existence, waiting for the inevitable. I had done lots of research, mainly on this site and was hoping Yasmin would be ok, I was still concerned but more confident. Our vet convinced my husband that it was most definitely the right thing to do and that Yasmin would be fine. I showed my husband you tube clips of tripawd dobermans running around in the woods, hunting and playing, running and jumping. From that moment he changed his mind. He had been scared of the unknown. We went ahead with the amputation, Yasmin bounced back well after a couple of weeks and we never regretted it.
A few weeks after the amputation after the meds had worn off, Yasmin had a major setback, she had bloat and a twisted stomach. She was rushed into our vets in the middle of the night. The vet wasn’t our usual vet, he looked at her and said he had to operate or put her down immediately. He said it was 50/50, the op would cost £4,000 and was it worth it after all she had already been through. Both my husband and me immediately said of course he should operate. Since the amputation, my husband had quietly come to terms with the new ‘normal’ and wasn’t ready to lose her.
Yasmin recovered well and is back to her normal, naughty, barky self. It will be 5 months next Wednesday since her amputation. She is loving life, much more than before the amputation. We don’t know what the future will hold, but we both cherish every day we have with her.
Kate and Yasmin xxx
30 December 2013
Hi Dexter’s mama
Honestly, none of the choices with this disease are good and it does seem like everyone has doubts all along the way. It’s so hard. You want to take away the cancer pain but doing that causes recovery pain. Who wants to make THAT wonderful choice?! Of course, putting the dog to sleep is an option but if the dog’s got LIFE and JOY in him, I don’t see how that choice is any better. If it makes you feel better, my husband and I weren’t necessarily on the same page at first either. We didn’t fight about it but we did talk through each of the awful choices. I was the one who thought maybe the most loving thing to do WOULD BE to put Jersey Girl to sleep, ESPECIALLY if she only lived a couple of months. Gregg was kind of appalled by my point of view. He said what if it was you, would you want someone to kill you just because your life was taking a different path than you expected? He said, NO, you’d learn to adapt and love the life you had, no matter what it looked like. So why would you make a different choice for your dog? I really struggled with which was the best choice. I love Jersey so much I don’t want her to suffer AT ALL! Then I read that a lot of people on this forum have had wonderful experiences with their tripawd dogs and many of these dogs have lived a year, 2, 3 or more after surgery! When I heard that I thought, if there’s a chance Jersey Girl could live that long, of course I don’t want to have her pts! We’re just 3 days out from her surgery and it’s not been smooth at all but I’m putting faith in what folks on this forum have said. And they’ve been pretty upfront about it – it’s NOT AT ALL pretty for the first couple of weeks and you WILL most likely feel like you’ve made the wrong choice. But then the clouds part and the sun comes out. I can’t wait for that day. I know my stomach is in knots so I can only imagine how you must feel. We both need to have faith in the process. There are almost 6K people on this website and there’s a reason for that! Sometimes you just have to take a chance and hope for the best.
For what it’s worth, I think a lot of men truly can’t handle the angst of seeing their babies in pain EVEN if the likelihood of a happy ending is there. I think watching something innocent suffer just eats them up. My Dad is no longer with us but I’m absolutely certain he would have counseled me to put Jersey Girl to sleep for just that reason, he wouldn’t be able to bear her suffering AS AN OBSERVER. He’d have himself convinced she was miserable and if she could talk she’d be begging for mercy. Lol. I believe that’s called projecting and it’s not helpful or healthy.
I’m not an advocate of “I told you so’s” BUT who knows, maybe in a few weeks you’ll be telling your husband “Look how happy and full of life Dexter is…and YOU wanted to have him pts. Aren’t you glad we didn’t do that?!”
Stay strong for Dexter!
23 December 2013
Hi Dexters mom, Sorry my typing isn’t that good , but my dog Karma had her right leg amputated one year ago today, please don’t be so hard on yourself and you are not being selfish at all if you did it to give Dexter a chance at having more time with the family. I know the pain you are feeling and my girlfriend and I definitely second guessed ourselves and the decision we made we take Karmies leg. I’m not gonna lie and tell you it will be easy because it won’t, but I like I said today is our babys one year ampuversary and we took her to the beach and she ran around like she still had 4 legs. She doesn’t care that she has 3 legs she loves life and we now know we made the right decision for her and not for us. She is doing so well and her vets can’t even believe how well she is. We also argued over chemo or not, she wanted her t have chemo and I thought the surgery was enough, I finally gave in and we went ahead and got her 6 sessions of chemo and today, she is completely cancer free. If she didn’t get chemo I don’t know if she would be cancer free or not, only god knows that answer. I promise you it will get easier, the first month was very hard and we both cried several times wondering if we made the right decision, but seeing the way she is now I definitely know we did the right thing for her. If it would help you and your husband I would be willing to send you video of her success. Please don’t beat yourselves up to bad, just show Dexter love and she will be fine. You will be very surprised at how strong dogs are. Goodluck and if you need to know anything else or want to see video we would be happy to do that for you and your husband. Thank you Karmies Dad
22 February 2013
The advice you have gotten has been STELLAR…..absollutely STELLAR!!
Did you gey a chance to read the link gave you to my original posts under your “Need to focus thread” Did you show it to yor husband?
There is nothing worse than seeing your dog “suifer” and, at the same time, trying to BELIEVE he will feel better! And we’re all here telling you it WILL get better and you’re just not seeing it. And boby oh boy! That’s when the doubt…the regret…the “what have I done TO my dog”…jumps in and takes over your. mind and crives you crazy!! It’s so darnhard to imagine better days ahead and to just feel defeated.
Yes, we’ve all “been there–done that”!
Dexter HAS mad progress! Go back and look at some of your posts. Every LITTLE thing is a HUGE victory during the first few weeks of recovery.
All of this turmoil is robbing you of staying in the moment and just loving on Dexter. The decision has been made out of love and with the guidance of professionals. Done. That, along with the recovery are all “the hard part”. Done. From what I “know” of you, yo would have beaten yourself up “’til the cows came home” had you not given Dexter a chance. You are giving him the chance that HE would want yo to give him!! As Jersey Girl’s dad said to his mom…you would want so eone to give YOU that same chance!
Heck…just to make the conversation even MORE fun with your husband, bring up chemo treatments!! Okay, clearly I’m not a marrisge counselor… so maybe it’s not a good idea right now!
You get back on here and let us continue to help support you! Right now the energy you and yoir husband are putting forth …-well….Dexter realy needs to feel yoir confidence in him…your STRONG belief that he will get better and live life to the fullest!!
WE ARE ALL HERE FOR YOU!!!!!!!
Surrounding yo with love amd serenity and, of course, CHOCOLATE!! Does your husband snore?? Why, you ask?? aybe your could pour some chocolate in his mouth while he’s s snoring
Sally snd Happy Hannah
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!
Wow there is such wisdom in this discussion!
Dexter’s Mom, I’m sorry that you and your husband aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on this. I know it’s adding to your doubts and I know you must be struggling with trying to be optimistic. I’m going to be the feedback here will help you to feel more confident though.There isn’t a single person who didn’t doubt their decision to amputate as they watched the recovery phase unfold, but by focusing on the big picture, most folks are able to feel better about it and know that the day will come when their Tripawd is healed and happy.
But oh my gosh, Dexter went to the BEACH? He ate? He’s sleeping peacefully without pain? Those are HUGE accomplishments! Please remind your husband that humans would never be this far along after going through amputation. Dexter’s recovery might be going slow in your mind but he’s doing it all on his good time and he is getting there. Ask your husband if he would feel the same way about a human amputee who is recovering. Dogs are so much stronger!
Good luck tomorrow. I’ll bet he’ll check out just fine by your vet. Keep us posted.
Hi Dexters mom, Sorry my typing isn’t that good , but my dog Karma had her right leg amputated one year ago today,
WOOOHOO!!! Congratulations!!! That’s so pawesome!! We’re dancing a hoppy dance for your pack today