Super Dogs and Wheelchairs
When I was initially diagnosed with canine osteosarcoma, Mummy looked into the different options but it was clear. Amputation with chemotherapy would give me the best hope of survival. Mummy looked online and tried to find other LARGE BREED DOGS who had undergone a front leg amputation. Luckily, she found Cassie's Three Legged Dog Club and learned about numerous dogs who had lost a limb and continued to walk, play, run, and even swim (yuck - I hate swimming). In the off chance I did not learn to walk (nice confidence you have in me MOM!), she looked up other mobility options such as K-9 Karts, Doggon' Wheels, and Eddie's Wheels. She emailed each of the manufacturers and they provided her with all the information she needed if I could not figure out how to walk with three legs. Luckily, I did not need such assistance although I did meet a nice man out on a walk who had a motorized scooter due to his Multiple Sclerosis. I think I could handle one of those. Just get me a helmet and some goggles and I'm off to pick up chicks! Or not.
Today in the local paper (search "Mindy & dog"), there was a story about Mindy, a chocolate lab, who is eleven years old and has severe hip dysplasia. In her older age, her pain became so severe that her humans made her a wheelchair to use. Essentially, they took a human wheelchair and put a platform on it so it would fit her. Mindy continues to visit humans in nursing homes and hospitals to cheer them up! I think that is pretty amazing and shows how well dogs can adapt to adverse conditions.
Long story short, if you are facing the choice of amputation, please do the research and realize it is not nearly as bad as it seems. I am a GIANT BREED DOG and although I did not walk as quickly as a medium or smaller dog would walk, I could ambulate only five days after surgery. Plus, if your human is willing, there are options such as canine wheelchairs and slings to help get you around.
That is my public service message of the week.