posted: by: Tammy Chastain D.V.M. Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

From time to time we encounter a patient that requires a limb amputation.  There are several reasons why we might have to perform such a radical surgery, but the discussion with pet owners about such a procedure is often met with understandable concern.  Whether the removal of a limb is necessary due to a cancerous tumor or debilitating injury, the question inevitably arises about how the dog or cat will fare on three legs instead of four.  Given the gravity of a loss of limb for humans, it is certainly natural to cast our ideas and fears about dismemberment on our pets as well.  Rest assured, our canine and feline friends are quite capable minus a leg.

Our four legged friends rarely have any long term issues, whether physical or behavioral, as a result of an amputation.  While the surgery itself is extensive, the vast majority of patients recover well and go on to live a very full and happy life.  From a physical standpoint, most go back to very normal lifestyles and return to all of the activities they may have enjoyed prior to surgery.  They often set out to prove us wrong, when we might have doubts about their abilities. 

Dogs and cats live in the present and do not worry about what they had in the past or what might come in the future.  They have no concern about what others might think of them or how they might be different from their friends.  This is one of the reasons we, as humans, are so drawn to them.  They have so much to teach us about living in the moment and enjoying each day that is given to us.  Should you ever be faced with this unbearable decision regarding your own pet, you can expect it may well be harder on you than it will ever be on your dog or cat.  Check out for more information and some fun videos to see just how well these pets can get along after losing a limb.