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Is your pet already an amputee? Has your veterinarian suggested amputation as a form of treatment? Living with a three-legged animal takes a slight adjustment for the family and pet, but it can also be rewarding. Pets seem to do a much better job than humans of living in the moment, accepting new situations, and not feeling sorry for themselves.

Limb amputation is currently the gold standard for the local management of primary bone tumors. It is also used after catastrophic traumatic injury to a limb. Deciding to amputate your pet’s leg can be a very daunting decision. Please know that most patients recover quickly and walk within 24-48 hours. An adjustment period is to be expected, and a total return to normal function can take about 2-4 weeks. Pet recover much quicker when their family is supportive and maintains a positive outlook.

Amputation sometimes involves the entire limb but sometimes can be partial. In the case of partial amputation, sometimes a limb prosthetic can be fitted to help your pet better distribute his/her weight. If you are interested in this process, a boarded surgeon and a veterinarian certified in canine rehabilitation will guide you.

For more information on canine limb amputation please visit the Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology at www.vsso.org. For information about amputation, videos of amputees, supportive apparel, and rehabilitation, please visit Tripawds at www.tripawds.com and Canine Rehabilitation and Integrative Veterinary Center at https://finndvm.com/.