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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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Zak's home -- First night
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Here and Now

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2 February 2009 - 12:06 pm
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Sounds like all is going as well as expected. Keep up the good work!

Zaks mom
2 February 2009 - 5:17 pm
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Yes.. I'm very proud of Zak. He's been a real trooper & is handling everything pretty darn well.

It's still hard to see him like this as I know he's still in some sort of pain now while healing. I wish I could click my heals & make things all better for him. or do anything else to make it better for that matter too.

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2 February 2009 - 7:05 pm
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Zaks mom said:

Yes.. I'm very proud of Zak. He's been a real trooper & is handling everything pretty darn well.

Jenna, you should be proud of yourself too!

Rocco's Mom
8 February 2009 - 8:58 pm
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Wonderful stuff! – I just discovered this forum. It is so helpful to read all the posts and know we are not alone. My beautiful Golden Retriever, Rocco is only 2 years old and was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. He had his left hind leg amputated 3 days ago and seems to be doing fine. Actually very proud of him as he is able to negotiate the steps up the patio to the back yard. In fact, we tried using a sling on his first outing but he didn't want to move – when we let him attempt standing on his own he started to walk! I think he thought my husband was holding him back! He loves to lie in the grass and catch the scents that come to him in the wind, sometimes he looks so peaceful.

He is so very sleepy but doesn't seem to be in pain, which is a relief. Curious about his recovery during the next few weeks – how do we know when the pain is less and when to start backing off his meds? He is on Gabapentin and Tramadol as well as an antibiotic. He goes in to the vet in a week to remove the stitches but the vet has told us to give him 2-3 50mg tablets of Tramadol every 8 hrs so I am in limbo trying to decide on 2 or 3 or even just 1? So tough to know! Any advice on pain meds would be great.

Here and Now

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8 February 2009 - 11:27 pm
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Rocco’s Mom said:

Curious about his recovery during the next few weeks

Welcome, and thanks for asking! Please consider starting a new topic to share Rocco's recovery, treatment plan, and results. The more threads we have documenting specific cases, the more information we have to fight cancer.

And yes, Rocco may have been reacting to the sling as holding him back. Sometimes what tripawds need most to help them get going, is just some space.

Zaks mom
8 February 2009 - 11:43 pm
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Hi & so glad to hear Rocco is doing well~

If it were me I'd taper down to 2/day (based on what I saw from Rocco for pain signs) at around 10 days maybe, Until then at 3/day.. Having an amp is really painful & you want to make sure he is comfy. They are also stoic so might not show pain clearly so better to be safe for the 2 weeks.

This is just based on what I've seen with Zak. I'm not a vet but its also what my vet said would be ok.. Zak weighs 55 lbs. He was also on tramadol before his amp at 2 to 3 day based on need. One pill in my opinion would not be enough to control the pain for any part of the 2 weeks. He needs 2/day minimum.

Hope that helps somewhat & best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Jenna & Zak

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8 February 2009
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9 February 2009 - 11:50 am
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Thanks for your reply and advice. Rocco weighs 80lbs (even without his hind leg) so I'm sure the 3 is good for him right now – I saw your posts on Zaks chemo. We are still up in the air on this decision since our oncologist told us that due to the fact he had his tumor for 4 months before we amputated (long story – but they weren't sure it was cancer) his chances of surviving for a year were diminished to 25% as opposed to 50% for most dogs. This has been so difficult and sad. We waited to get our puppy until the kids were old enough to help, this is the only dog they've had! Up until the amputation Rocco was very animated – even with all the pain the tumor was causing him. Seeing him so out of it is heartbreaking. Keep posting Zaks journey – it is helpful to hear about his attitude – he sounds like a wonderful dog!


Zaks mom
9 February 2009 - 1:50 pm
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Hi Diana,

Ya.. I think that's a good plan at the 3/day. My personal opinion is that all dogs react different to cancer. Some it moves very quickly & I've read that others survive years with an amp alone. The later is rare but it does happen.

You could always trying a lower side effect drug like Carboplatin & see how Rocco does with it. If his side effects are too much, then stop the chemo. Are his lung clear on xrays? That's usually the sign on whether to pursue Chemo or not? If they are clear, then I don't see why you couldn't do chemo is you decided that you wanted to try it.

Best of Luck & keep letting us know how Rocco's doing..

Jenna & Zak

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9 February 2009 - 2:24 pm
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Hi Rocco's Mom – 

sounds like you had a similar situation to us with the 4 months – we noticed Marley's limping back in November and it came and went with the cold, damp weather so we thought it was just arthritis! my vet mentioned the word tumor and I practically convinced her otherwise – saying, but it comes and goes with the weather and some days she's just fine!! I'm kicking myself now – I just didn't want to hear it! 4 months later she's having her amputation today. Last week they found enlarged lymph nodes, but the aspirate didn't find anything. (I'm told it's like taking a scoop out of a melon – you don't know if you're getting any of the “bad part” or not.) So her prognosis doesn't look great. All we can do is take away her pain and hope for the best! 

We've also been delayed the past 4 weeks since we discovered the tumor – shock and disbelief the first week – one surgeon telling us she has a bad knee on her good back leg the 2nd week – another surgeon telling us she'd do fine the 3rd – enlarged lymph nodes the 4th – and here we are… very frustrating! I feel like I've failed her though I know it was all out of my control…  All we can do is focus on the here and now – it's all about quality time, not quantity! (these words of wisdom from other people on this site who have been amazing!!)


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