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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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Bad Experience at University of Tennessee, Knoxville
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Member Since:
29 March 2015
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15 July 2017 - 12:42 pm
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I took my very dog to UT after waiting weeks to get in and he was in so much pain.  It was very disappointing.  We were assigned someone that was not experienced on the first day appointment and it got worse.  She was in the internal medicine group and didn't really seem to know what she was doing.  The person operating the radiation machine apparently wasn't experienced because it kept overheating so he could even perform scheduled appointments.  We ended up going the surgery route because they weren't even able to operate the equipment to perform radiation.  The surgeon was a no show when we arrived to pick up my dog after the surgery as she was supposed to speak with us so two students that knew nothing discharged us.  The resident oncologist was snippy with me after I complained.  The director was no help and I went so far as to send a letter with the last bill stating that they should NOT charge for such poor performance (a bill for a procedure that was useless and a waste of money and put my dog through unnecessary treatment... it was supposed to be done along with the radiation but they couldn't operate their equipment long enough to do the radiation therapy).  This bill was very small considering what I had already paid (thousands) and she didn't respond as I requested.  Even the physical therapy was disappointing.  I had a slight glimmer of hope with the first couple of visits.  But the doctor was a no show at our followup/fitting appointment and again, we had a student that knew nothing (he just rotated in), a tech, and the department head present at the appointment.  The department head showed no interest and was writing on the board but he stopped long enough to tell me that my dogs nose touched down.  I questioned what he meant and found out that they let my dog fall - a senior dog that had just had his front let amputated so they failed to give him proper support.  The PT on staff told me that she was the only one with orthotic experience on amputees at the time but she was the one that didn't show up... so no-one at what was supposed to be our fitting appointment was qualified.  Needless to say, I was working diligently to find somewhere else to take him and finally did.  I felt trapped because he was in so much pain and they seemed to be the only option after having waited so long.  

It broke my heart to know how poorly they treated him.  I realized that they were just using him for practice on their poorly supervised students/interns/residents.  I would not recommend this establishment to anyone unless there was nowhere else to go.  They were very expensive too... especially considering the poor quality of the care they provide.  I was much happier when I found an oncologist that was in practice as well as other professional establishments that did chemo and physical therapy.  UT just blew through lot of time and money at my poor dog's expense (and mine -was very stressful!)


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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15 July 2017 - 12:53 pm
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I'm sooooo sprry you and your boy had to endure such an awful experience. It's hard enough to see our pets go through this and then to see them have such a horrific experience is just soooo unfair. And then to have your concerns basically ignored...I'm just so sorry.

Glad you finally got in the right hands!! So how is your boy doing now??


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:
17 November 2016
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15 July 2017 - 1:38 pm
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I'm so sorry you had this awful experience (and your dog did, too!) but I'm glad you're working with people now who know what they're doing.

This is such a traumatic ordeal to begin with, and to not feel like the people who are supposed to be helping care as much as you, or in your case, even know your dog, must have been a nightmare.  We were lucky in that everyone we have worked with has made me feel that they cared very much about Zato.  I'm glad you're with people like that now.

We'd love to hear more about your pup and see some pictures!

Wishing you the best and a speedy recovery for your sweet boy,

Tracy & Zatoichiheart

Tracy & Warrior Angel Zatoichi 💓

Zato was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in October 2016. He triumphed through radiation and amputation with dignity and grace. After living a life of love and happiness, Zato earned his angel wings on February 19, 2018.  Read his story here.

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