When a pet lives to play, the news that he or she needs to have a limb amputated can be devastating for pet parents. The loss of a limb is a drastic concept, and it’s OK to be upset. But rest assured that you will likely be more bothered by the idea than your pet!
Limb amputation is a common procedure in veterinary medicine, and very often it is a life-saving measure. The most common reasons for limb amputation are cancer in the limb or severe trauma, as sometimes seen in pets who have been hit by a car. In these cases, the limb is not salvageable and the only other option is humane euthanasia.
Dogs and cats both recover well once they’ve gotten through the post-operative period, and because they are extremely adaptable, they’ll be up and running before you know it. While cats tend to have an easier time with the loss of a front limb and dogs with the loss of a hind limb, they all generally recover exceedingly well regardless of the location of the loss.
Don’t take our word for it, though. If your pet is facing amputation, ask your vet to connect you with other clients of “tripod” pets, or check out the many online support groups for such pet parents. They’ll likely tell you that once their four-legged family member adapted to being a three-legged family member, they never looked back!