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Well, we've got an appt with an orthopedic surgeon on Thursday to do a consult. I still haven't looked for a vet oncoologist in our area, will do that today or tomorrow.


After recovering the sucker punch of the diagnosis, I'm really leaning strongly towards amputation. If there's a chance he could run around again, even for a couple months, we gotta do it. His appetite is still great, and he's still the Social Butterfly, so keep your fingers crossed for him.


I've visited the bone cancer dogs yahoo group, and that's been very helpful as well. If anyone has suggestions for pre or post op things to do to make it a bit easier on us all, I'm ready.


Thanks for all your love and concern - it means the world.


Ruth, Terry (aka DH or Mr. urge to herd) and the BC3

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Oh, guys, I sure hope you can find a way to keep your sweetie for a long time.


I've been thinking about you all.


Please continue to keep us posted.



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I posted on the diagnosis thread before I saw this one--I hope you'll be able to do the amputation--I was amazed watching a stylish little imp of a thing running an open trial on three legs after an osteosarcoma diagnosis last year. You could barely tell she didn't have four legs and she was so clearly happy.


I'm sure there are many fingers crossed, including those at our house.

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It's horrible that you have to go through this with Buzz - but I'm glad that amputation may be an option. No personal experience - but a friend had a front leg amputation done on her Malamute - a much bigger ask, I would have thought - the primary cancer was up near the shoulder I think. The dog did quite well, and had a few good months she wouldn't otherwise have had. I know my friend got a lot of help from lists - probably the bone cancer lists - and she also had a vet oncologist who was comfortable with working with a vet who practises both traditional and complementary medicine, so the dog was able to get the best of both worlds. When you do see the oncologist, it's probably a useful thing to ask about.


When I had my previous dogs, we used to meet on our walk a dear little terrier who'd had a rear leg amputation - probably for trauma. That dog looked very normal - but obviously not to my KelpieXBC bitch, who would walk round and round the little dog - apparently counting legs.


My very best wishes to you and the Buzz - social butterly - love it.

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The hardest part of Rhys’ amputation for me was that he whined for the first 30 hours after I brought him home. If he was awake, he whined. The anesthesia can make dogs vocal. I couldn’t be convinced that his whining wasn’t due to pain, so in addition to the patch and pain meds he came home with, I gave him (with the vet’s permission) other pain medications I had. Rhys was doped up. I know now he wasn’t whining from pain because he abruptly stopped after 30 hours. Not whined less, completely stopped. Even when the pain meds were reduced he didn’t whine.


No matter how much you mentally prepare yourself, it is still a shock to see your dog for the first time after the amputation. Below are photos of Rhys' amputation so you have some idea of what to expect.



Initially, Buzz will not be able to get up or stay up without traction. If you have uncarpeted floors, cover them. Some owners have gone on Free Cycle to get area rugs to put down. I have a large kitchen/dining area that is vinyl that I had to cover with throw rugs. Rhys now does fine in this area.


Try to treat Buzz as normal as possible. He will pick up on your emotions. Buzz isn’t going to think “Oh no, I’m missing a leg”. He will not think of himself as disfigured. Remember you are removing the source of his pain.


Expect to get little sleep for the first 48 hours. The first 2 weeks are the hardest. Most dogs completely recover and adapt to the amputation within 6 weeks.


If you have any questions or concerns, post them on the amputation forum at HandicappedPets.com. Someone has likely gone through something similar. Even though the reasons for amputation may be different, the amputation is the same. That forum was a great support to me.


Wishing all the best to Buzz and your family.


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Thanks everyone. Don't know what I'd do without friends like you all.


Rhys, very wise words. Of my 3, Buzz is the one who absorbs our tension/stress and reflects it back. The morning after we heard from the vet, DH looked at me and said, "We've got to stay calm for Buzz, he'll go nuts if we don't keep it together." Boy, is he ever right.


It helps a lot that he's feeling pretty good still, still bouncing at the cats and pestering Shonie to run around with him.


The post op process is intimidating for sure, but we'll get as prepared as we can. We're getting a ramp for access to the back yard, I'll get throw rugs with rubber backing, etc. The bonecancerdogs yahoo group has a few files I've saved that are really helpful, and we'll be perusing them closely.


Did you use a sling to help Rhys navigate? If so, did you buy it or make one? There's a lot to do. I'll check out that forum.


And, my goal for the weekend is to learn to upload pics, so the BC3 can make their debut!


Ruth, DH, and the BC3

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I know times have changed, but when I was a child, we had a fox terrier who lost a leg after being stepped on by a horse. When mom brought Nip home, the vet told mom not to baby her. I think mom would have ignored the vet's advice, except for the fact that when she got Nip out of the car, Nippy saw a squirrel, leapt out of mom's arms, and took off! Nippy never acted as if she were handicapped--she'd follow us everywhere we went on horseback, even swimming in the river.


Cathy makes some good points about traction and the like. If you'd like I can put you in touch with a good friend of mine whose border collie had her front leg amputated due to cancer (a rare one--plasma cell sarcoma, but it took the vets a year to diagnose the actual cause of her lameness, so good that the cancer wasn't terribly invasive), and is still going strong and even working on their farm.



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Did you use a sling to help Rhys navigate? If so, did you buy it or make one?


Ruth, DH, and the BC3


Dh and I thought about a sling before the amputation and considered buying one from Petsmart but then Dh talked to a vet tech. She told him that they use a towel for a sling. So we planned to use a towel but Rhys never needed any assistance.


Rhys’ leg was amputated because he couldn’t bend it so removing the leg actually increased his mobility. He jumped in the car when I picked him up from the vet. Before I picked him up I forgot to close the dogdoor, he was through the house, out the dogdoor and down the 5 porch steps before I could stop him. The first day home he walked around with a puzzled look on his face because he couldn’t figure out why that leg wasn’t getting in the way.


Below are more photos of Rhys. Most I have posted before but I don’t know if you saw them. Having 3 legs hasn’t slowed Rhys down.












I think you will be surprised at how fast Buzz adjusts to 3 legs.



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Just sending a huge hug! My vet always says that they only really need three legs and I'm so happy that Cathy has posted the photos that she has. If Kyra had been younger and not diabetic, it would have been my route also. I think that any amputation often has the biggest effect on the humans .... dogs, bless their souls, find happiness in life that we can only hope to minimally understand. Can't wait to see photos of Buzz bouncing around!!


Sending many positive thoughts your way!


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