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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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Pre-Surgery Frustration
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Member Since:
30 November 2022
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4 December 2022 - 9:00 am
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Hi all- I just wanted to share my frustrations. Our Aussie, Arya, was diagnosed with bone cancer on Tuesday 12/29 and the following day we decided to go the amputation route as she was a candidate for it. It was scheduled for 12/7 and I just got a call this morning from the specialty hospital saying they need to reschedule to 12/13 due to COVID related staff shortages. 

I guess everything has just been building up in me over these staff shortages. I know it is not their fault but it just seems so hard to see a vet these days (at least where I live in MD). Arya first started to toe touch with her R hind in Oct and my primary vet couldnt even get her in until December. I had called another vet and was able to get her in to be evaluated the first weekend of Nov (this new vet was the one who referred us to the specialist that we saw last week). I felt so happy that they were able to get her surgery scheduled the following week but now I just cant help but to feel defeated over the rescheduling. I really would like it to be performed at this specialty hospital so I don't know if I want to try to find another place that could do it sooner. I just want this cancerous leg gone ASAP and I hope this delay doesn't come with repercussions in the future. 

At least Arya is in good spirits. She is on Carprofen and gabapentin and hasn't gotten any worse since receiving the diagnosis. She still wants to go on walks and I have to coax her back home with treats as I don't want her to overdue it. I have so much anxiety over this and the postponement of surgery has really elevated it. UGH.

Sorry...i just really needed to vent 🙁  How long have some of you had to wait for amputation following bone cancer diagnosis? 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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4 December 2022 - 1:48 pm
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Oh my gosh I'm so sorry, it's so deflating to know that you have to wait longer. If it's any consolation, Arya doesn't know she's got to wait. She's still the same dog and thankfully her pain is still relatively under control. Try to follow her lead, I know it's hard.

Have you seen our discussion "Vet Care Today: What's Been Your Experience?" Check it out and share your experience there, so others will know they aren't alone. It's all so relevant to what you're experiencing, and again if it's any comfort, staffing shortages and vet clinic challenges are happening everywhere right now, even globally. 

The situation sucks in a big way for everyone. It's something we discovered over the summer when we adopted our Nellie, almost two years after losing our Wyatt Ray . We had no clue how hard it is to get vet care these days, the problems just escalated during the time we didn't have a dog in the family.  All any of us can do is be kind, be patient, and give the industry time to adapt and find new ways to deliver care in a timely way.

Meanwhile yeah you've gotta be super careful right now with Arya. Try to focus on keeping her mind occupied with interactive brain games , and know that you are in a good spot with that clinic, I wouldn't change a thing. You really do want them to be 100% on top of their game when they do the surgery. And you never know, a cancellation might happen and open up for you. I hope so!

No need to apologize for venting, this is all a frustrating experience even without staffing shortages and bumped appointments. 

Member Since:
30 November 2022
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4 December 2022 - 6:26 pm
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I did not see that discussion thread yet, will be checking that out now and sharing for others! I agree, all we can do is be patient and kind, they are doing their best. 

Will be checking out those brain games as well - Arya will love them 🙂  Thank you, Jerry. I truly appreciate you and this community for taking the time to respond to my posts. 

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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5 December 2022 - 8:29 am
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I know this is frustrating but I do not think that waiting one week will matter as far as long term prognosis for the cancer. The main risk is fracture at the site so take it easy with her but as a medium breed she is at a lower risk for this than a Great Dane or other giant breed dog. Just keep up with her pain meds!


Member Since:
22 January 2013
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5 December 2022 - 9:35 am
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I understand your frustration. It's hard and scary to wait. I know it's hard but the day will be here soon. The hospital really wants to give Arya the best care. They want to make sure they have enough healthy staff to give her the very best care.

As well as brain games for her, you might try some games for yourself to distract from the stress?


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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8 December 2022 - 9:49 am
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Jist want to send my suppprt  along with everyone  else.  We u understand  your emotions  and jist wanting  to get  oving forward.

FWIW , as every has said, the delay is no harm to Aya (your emotions though are worked over pretty darn hard!)  Pften dogs are presumed to jave arthritis  or a sprain and fo several months  before a conclusive  diagnose.   So you're acting  very quickly compared to other situations.  

Keep us I formed and remember  to B R E A T H E.


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!

Member Since:
30 November 2022
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12 December 2022 - 11:48 am
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THank you all for the support and encouragement! Tomorrow is the big day! Will keep everyone posted!

On the plus side with this delay I was able to get Arya's new harness adjusted to her and getting her comfortable with being picked up with it. We got the Ruffwear Flagline harness that had been suggested (thanks Jerry!) and it is awesome! It's going to be a huge help for sure! 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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12 December 2022 - 12:07 pm
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Aww yay! So hoppy it worked out well for Arya.

Good luck tomorrow, we'll be thinking of you both and sending tons of pawsitivity your way!

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