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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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Referrals in the Bay Area
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Member Since:
28 November 2018
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28 November 2018 - 3:30 pm
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We are trying to find a lower cost standard amputation for our dog irie; She was found to have a fast growing lesion on her scapula and was recommended to remove the entire arm. We went to VCA in San Leandro and were quote 5000$ (she was a specialist), but that is WAY out of our price range unfortunately. crying 

If anyone has any places they went too or suggestions that would be amazing (we are also considering going to San Diego where we are from).

Thank you! 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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28 November 2018 - 3:37 pm
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Hi Mariah!

To recap what I said in the chat so that others can benefit from our convo:

Make sure you're comparing apples to apples as far as equipment, experience and of course whether or not your dog will get 24/hour care.

You absolutely do not want to leave her alone at night after surgery. If your GP vet cannot offer overnight care, you'll need to take her home (which is hard but not impossible if she has good pain management , another thing to compare when price shopping). You can also transport her to an ER clinic, but then you'll need to take her back to your vet in the AM.

More about that in this post: https://tripawd.....nary-care/

Meanwhile, what I can suggest is getting estimates outside greater San Francisco and see what you come up with. The Central Valley is a good place to start. UC Davis is a great place to start, but they may not be much less expensive than VCA. As I mentioned in our chat, you can also talk to your previous vet about the surgery. Of course, lodging costs will rack up, especially if there are any complications (rare but possible) and you need to stay longer. 

The bummer is that your region (as beautiful as it is!) is the most expensive in the US outside of New York City, and veterinary care costs reflect the high cost of living. I am keeping my fingers crossed that you can find a place that will work with you on pricing.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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28 November 2018 - 3:41 pm
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Another suggestion:

Use the AAHA directory to start calling around indie clinics: https://www.aah.....fault.aspx

AAHA clinics also follow the latest protocols and many are still independently owned and may have lower pricing than VCA.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Oakland, CA
Member Since:
20 December 2008
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28 November 2018 - 6:23 pm
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Hi Mariah, we live in Oakland so have a few suggestions. First of all, I recommend UC Davis--they should be somewhat cheaper than 5K, although there prices have been increasing recently. When we first started going there it really was a bargain, not so much anymoresad Hopefully you can get a ballpark estimate over the phone. All 4 of our dogs have had a surgery there and we have always been very happy with the quality of their work. And they each got their own medical student who looked after them when they spent the night after surgerybig-grin

I did a couple of AAHA searches and when I picked surgery as a specialty they only came up with a VCA in SF and I find that hard to believe. There must be others--they did list a bunch of vets when I did not pick a specialty.

We had an emergency Surgery done at PETS in Berkeley. They share space with a surgery group I am pretty sure our surgery was done by one of the emergency vets but this other surgery group probably does non-emergency surgeries. No idea if they would be cheaper but its worth a call. 

Both vets that we have used do surgeries--Codornices Vet in Albany and Grand Lake Vet here in Oakland (our current vet). Both clinics have great vets and would likely be cheaper than specialist clinics. Not sure if either offers 24 hr care so if you went with one of these you might have to bring your dog home on surgery day. Just something to consider. 

Hope this helps. Where are you located? What kind of dog is Irie? 


Martha and the Oaktown Pack

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Member Since:
28 November 2018
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7 December 2018 - 1:08 am
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Sorry for the late reply. Thank you! I used the AAHA site and looked up the places you suggested. Luckily, our regular vet was able to offer us a good price at the spca in Oakland! I am so thankful for everyone there they are super friendly and so far everything is good. (I think most SPCA are AAHA certified and Oakland spca is too).

I wouldn’t have even thought of some stuff you guy suggested thank you!

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