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 found out today during Maya’s first chemo treatment that the biopsy of the tumor after amputation confirmed osteosarcoma (which I was not surprised about) but also that a lymph node that was taken during the surgery was also cancerous. My oncologist said that this would likely change her prognosis for the worse (origionally he said with amp & chemo likely 1 year). He said that most (90%) of the lymph nodes taken during osteo amputations are negative so I took this as pretty bad news. We continued with the chemo (carboplatin) as planned but he said he will watch her closely (bloodwork and chest xrays). I am pretty bummed about this and was wondering if anyone has dealt with this issue. I pray that I did not put her through all of this just to lose her quickly anyway. I plan to start her on K9 immunity
and fish oil asap and I guess I’ll just love her lots & lots and see how it goes…
-Kathy & Maya
30 March 2008
Bummer Maya but don’t be discouraged. I am sure that your mommy and the vet will keep a very close watch on you and that everything is going to be fine. Just keep your chin up and always be positive. I have learned that positive energy is the best treatment for a full recovery and a happy life. check out Jerry, no one has more positive energy than him that keeps all of us on the right track and gives us the strength to face anything that comes our way. Know that we are all praying for you and you will see that with lots of love from your family and our families you will get through this. Lots of lickies your way and I will keep all of you in my prayers.
I pray that I did not put her through all of this just to lose her quickly anyway.
We are so sorry to hear this news, but please try to remember that any time – free of pain – which you have bought her by going through with the procedure, is a gift.
17 July 2008
Just try and be positive and remember you’ve made the best decisions you could based on the information that you have had. Puddin began limping on July 4 th weekend. She had the amp July 25th and her biopsy came back with mast cells which meant her leg was a secondary cancer site. We lost her on August 22nd. removing her leg helped to get her out of pain which was our main goal and she seemed to be recovering pretty well and was happy up until the week before she passed. I’m so sorry your going through this but were all here to help. Hopefully getting her on the k9 will help, Puddin was only on it about a week. I felt the same way and was questioning myself just as you have been but we just do the best we can at that time.
My thoughts and prayers are with you,
Thank you all for your encouragement. I really appreciate your responses and positive thoughts.I have to be honest I was really hoping someone would respond saying “my dog had lymph nodes involved too, but they are doing ok so far…” but I guess that was being unrealistic. I am so sad about this news but you are right… I just have to continue with her treatment, pray for the best thing for Maya and really enjoy every single day with her. She and I took a short walk last night and she did awesome and was thrilled to go. For 10 days after amputation, I was so impressed with her! I thought she was doing well enough to give it a try and when she realized that I was going to allow her to try a walk she literally wiggled with joy. She pulled me along our normal route and stopped at all the same places to smell what has been going on since she was out of commission. We didnt go far but for a first tripawd walk it was awesome. Like you said Jerry, without the amputation she wouldnt have been able to take that walk last night, so I guess everyday and every walk should feel like a gift. Thanks again for all your thoughts and support. I wish all of these wonderful dogs and owners didnt have to be going through this. My heart goes out to all of you and I am so inspired and encouraged just by seeing & learning everything you are all doing.
Kathy & Maya
Like you said Jerry, without the amputation she wouldnt have been able to take that walk last night…
That’s the spirit! Every day on three legs is a blessing. Bless you…
27 July 2008
Dearest Kathy & Maya,
I’m very sorry to hear about the cancereous lymph node. I’m sorry I can’t tell you that my dog had his leg amputated and had the same thing happen with the lymph node; but I can offer encouragement. It sounds like Maya is recovering from the surgery very well and I’m glad you got that old tail to wag, once she knew she was getting a walk. I’m glad you arre continuing the chemo, and as one writer stated: just look at Jerry, he’s 21 months post-op with front leg amputation from osteosarcoma which then metsed into his lung. They were able to stop the progression of the lung cancer and he’s been a very happy dog (just look at all his videos on jerrygdawg on youtube.). They are absolutely inspirational and other people have started adding their own videos of their tripawds, as well. I wish you both the best of luck and hope for a full recovery. Love, Blazer, Kimber & Vicki Tankersley
19 July 2008
Kathy and Maya – I’m so sorry to hear about Maya’s test results. I’ve been trying to research on this very topic as I just found out a week ago that my Smokey’s cancer had spread to his lymph node as well. Smokey was diagnosed with malignant melanoma on June 19th. It took us two months to have oncology and surgical consults, as well as more x-rays. On August 20th we had his front right leg removed. He bounced back so amazingly from this. The first day I got him home I regretted my decision, but that quickly changed as I’ve seen him get stronger every day. He’s running better than he’s walking, his appetite is more ferocious than ever, he’s back to his old ways, in every way possible! And last week it hit me that I don’t regret this decision at all. At the time, removing his leg was ensuring that all of the cancer was removed, as it was isolated to his paw pad (the tumor was on the large paw pad). I thought we were in the clear, with another good few years left in him. Zero sign of hip dysplasia, all other tests clear…
While in the surgery, the surgeon noticed that the lymph node near his armpit was a little discolored so he removed it and had it tested. It took over two weeks for the results to come back. Last Tuesday during our checkup the surgeon confirmed that the melanoma spread to that lymph node and it was at stage 2.
I completely shut down. I still don’t know what everything means, as I’m still digesting this news, but will be heading in to see my regular vet within the next week. I haven’t felt angry like this in a long time. Thinking that amputating his leg was giving him more time with me and now to find out, it did end up spreading, even though we scoured every inch of his body to confirm it hadn’t spread anywhere else. The awesome news is that I know he’s not in pain anymore and I can tell he’s feeling so much better than he’s felt in months. But I’m terrified to lose him, especially now that it can happen sooner than later. But yet, I still don’t know what the prognosis is. I’m scared to find out and trying to decide if I want to know, or if I want to continue to spoil him rotten and enjoy every additional second I have with him. I’ve grown up with dogs all my life, but I’ve never bonded with one like this and he’s my first, all mine, dog. And he’s not a dog, he’s my child – ever since he was 6 weeks old.
Gosh, I realize I’m rambling, so many apologies… my fingers just took over to type everything out.
Even though I’ve heard this news (although still needing to learn everything it means), I remain extremely hopeful. Smokey is a very resilient, happy, fabulous, awesome, and stubborn pup :). He’s been through a lot in his 11 1/2 years – I’m not going to let this get him down – I have to keep the hope and my spirits up around him so we can fight this together.
I’m just so sorry to hear that you are going through this as well. Smokey will be sharing his strength with you!
24 January 2009
I just noticed this post! Our Marley is 5 days post op – we'll get the results within a week or so on what kind of cancer it is. They did find one of her lymph nodes to be enlarged before the surgery – they could not remove it as it's deep in her abdomen and would require a separate surgery – the aspirate only drew “reactive lymphocytes” which could be reacting just to the tumor that was in her hip. The oncologist described it as taking a scoop out of a melon – you don't know if you're getting any of the “bad part”. So it could be osteosarcoma that has spread to the lymph node or it could be hystiosarcoma which can be found both in bone and lymph node. Either way it's not a good prognosis. OR there is the possibility (slight) that it's not in the lymph node and it's simply just reacting to the tumor in her hip. I guess the next step would be to ultrasound the lymph node again and check to see if it's gone down in size.
Just wondering how Smokey and Maya are doing? Have you learned anything else about prognosis when it's spread to lymph nodes?
Holly and Marley