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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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Should we go through with the amputation or use other treatments?
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knoxville, tn
Forum Posts: 1705
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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23 June 2010 - 6:20 am
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hi chessie - great name, were you named after the railroad??  gayle is ten and a half, had her right front leg amputated in feb 2010, and is amazing.  she went through five IV rounds of chemo and is now 'living the good life' at home with her sister and three kitties.  she is not in pain, and has been remarkable in her ability to get about on three legs.  when we first found out, we were given all kinds of percentages, odds, numbers, etc.  remember - all that statistical stuff is based on history, and is not based on your girl!!!  she can and will surprise you with what she can do, if you give her a chance.  whatever you decide, make your decision out of love and it will be the right thing.  don't hesitate to ask any of us anything that pops into your head - there are no bad questions or silly concerns...we have all been were you are, in one way or another.  hugs to chessie!!

charon & gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends


Palm Desert, California
Forum Posts: 123
Member Since:
8 February 2010
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23 June 2010 - 9:52 am
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We are very sorry about your diagnosis; it is a tough decision for your parents to make.  In Rusty's case because our original Vet failed to diagnose Rusty's Fibrosarcoma until it was a level 3 and the tumor was growing before our eyes, we did not have time to research our options and relied on the Oncologist Surgeon's advice that Rusty had only a few weeks without amputation & Chemo. 

I also did not find Tripawds until after surgery but before we started Chemo.  We purchased Dr. Dressler's guide and conferred with him along with our Oncologist before starting Rusty's chemo treatments.  Unfortunately, because the cancer was already a level 3 and the pathologist's report said that it had more than a 50% chance of metastasized, we had no choice but to go with the most aggressive possible Chemo treatments.

Good luck on your decision and outcome.


Chuck & Rusty

Rusty is a Labradoodle who was diagnosed with level 3 Fibrosarcoma on January 16th, 2010 and had his left hind leg amputated on January 25th, 2010 five days before his 18 month birthday. Please see Rusty's blog  He is putting up one heck of a fight against this terrible disease.

Forum Posts: 35
Member Since:
22 September 2008
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23 June 2010 - 11:26 am
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I'm glad you found this site. Titus is 20 months post amp (Left rear leg on 4 October 2008) and I have never regretted making that very tough decision to amputate. It took a lot of researching and second (and third) opinions for me to make the best educated decision for his treatment options, so I understand you have a million and one qns going through your mind.

Titus had a tough 3-week recovery period but bounced back with three healthy legs and as strong as before. He has a strong will to live and play and i knew it wasn't his time yet. We had 6 sessions of carboplatin that went pretty well. Meanwhile, we started with short walks and swims to build up his strength in his remaining legs, and can u believe at almost 7 years old then, he only learned to swim and he still does that so well at 8.5 yrs.

Now at 20 months going on to 21, there has never been holding back on enjoying each and everyday to the fullest. It is so true that statistics are just numbers, just remember that no matter which path you decide to take, you are doing it out of your love for Chessie.

Will be thinking of you both.

"A dog is the only thing in the world that loves you more than he loves himself."

OSA in left hind leg–30 August 2008. Ampuversary–4 October 2008.

Titus earned his wings on 15th July 2010.

He is dearly missed and our love lives on.

Forum Posts: 731
Member Since:
1 January 2010
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23 June 2010 - 11:42 am
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Welcome, Chessie - you are a beautiful girl!  We're sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but are glad you found tripawds.  As everyone has already told you, you are faced with a tough decision that only you and Chessie can make.  You know your girl best, and we're sure you'll make your decision out of love for her.  We opted to do the surgery - Holly is a right rear amp, and is now almost 6 months post amp.  We haven't regretted the surgery a bit - after about 2 weeks of recovery time Holly was showing more enthusiasm for life than she had in the few months prior to surgery.  We just didn't realize how much pain she was in - she hid it very well.

Whatever decision you make, we're all here for you.  Please keep us posted on your sweet girl.

Holly, Zuzu and Susan 

Holly joined the world of tripawds on 12/29/2009. She has a big little sister, Zuzu, who idolizes Holly and tries to make all of her toys into tripawds in Holly's honor. And she's enjoying life one hop at a time!

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