AMPUTATION – $325 to $655
View our DOG & CAT LEG AMPUTATION VIDEO for more information
About Leg Amputations
Having your pet’s leg amputated is a very scary thing. We, at Helping Hands,understand how scary it can be. Pet’s have no vanity. They do not care what they look like, only that they are loved. We think people have a harder time adjusting to their pet’s amputation then the pets do. Three legged pets live happy lives, with minimal adjustment. Most are up and walking within 12- 24 hours of surgery with little to no assistance.
There are several different reasons a pet may need to have a leg amputated. Birth defects, neurologic disease, or most commonly, cancer or trauma in the leg. Generally, amputation offers immediate pain relief, as post surgical pain pales in comparison to the pain of leg cancer or trauma to the leg. It has been shown that the size of the pet does not affect recovery. All sizes of pets can recover well and go on to live a happy life after having a leg amputated. If your pet is overweight, weight loss will help reduce the strain on the remaining joints that now support your pet. A trim body condition is healthier for your pet regardless of how many legs they have.
Immediately after amputation surgery, it is very normal for there to be swelling and a lot of bruising around the incision site. We are always happy when they feel great after surgery and want to move around, but the more active they are immediately after surgery, the more swelling and bruising may occur. Remember, they have had major surgery and rest is important. Please do not allow your pet to over do it in the first week after surgery, even if they feel up to it.
Front leg amputations often will be bandaged to collect any post -op drainage. Hind leg amputations cannot easily be bandaged so you may see some drainage from the incision for the first few days. The amount of drainage can be minimized by keeping your pet calm and quiet. The easiest way to keep them calm and quiet is to put them in a well padded crate. No matter where they rest, please be sure it is well padded for their comfort. If you see drainage from the incision, a warm, moist wash cloth can be used to keep the area clean. Sometimes we place sutures in the skin. Sometimes, we are able to bury them under the skin. Your discharge instructions will tell you if the sutures need to be removed, but usually, if you can see sutures, then they need removal in 2 weeks. If you do not see them, they are under the skin and will dissolve on their own.
When you get your pet home, they will need supervision and support until they can walk on their own. For some pets this will happen right away and others may need support for a few days. Stairs may be a challenge at first, so please be sure they are supervised until they can go up and down with confidence. Smooth floors may pose a challenge so rugs and runners with non skid pads can be super helpful to your pet. Keeping their nails clipped short can also help prevent slippage.If extra support is needed, you can purchase a sling that is made to fit yourpet’s size. You can also improvise by using a towel or cutting up a canvas shopping bag with handles. For front leg amputees, sling it under their chest and for rear leg amputees, place the sling under their belly. Be sure to stand on the same side as the amputation to act as a counterweight when helping them with a sling. Your pet will have to adjust how they use the potty by learning to balance differently. They will figure this out quickly, but it may take a few days before you see a bowel movement, as they may hold it for as long as possible while they are learning to adjust. Don’t worry, they will move their bowels when they are ready.
Rest is important for the first few days as their incision heals, but after a few days, getting them up and moving slowly is good for them so that their muscles stay strong. Other pets may not understand what has happened and may try to play too rough, so keep your amputee away from other well meaning pets until they are healed. You can allow them to return to full function after a week or 2 if they can get around on their own with confidence. If your pet enjoys the water, swimming is great physical therapy.
If you need more information or want to learn more from owners who have been through the experience of a pet’s amputation, there is an online community that is devoted to amputee pets. Tripawds.com is a community supported web site for sharing stories and learning about amputations and bone cancer care for pets. We are sorry that your pet may need an amputation, but at least we can help get you through surgery safely and affordably.
The only additional fees you may incur would be for Bloodwork, Biopsies or E collars
While bloodwork ($50) is always suggested, as a cost savings, it is only required on dogs over 7 and cats over 9 years of age. If your veterinarian has run bloodwork within 48 hours of your pet’s procedure, please have them fax it to us or bring us a copy to save you this fee. *Biopsies ($100) If we are removing a growth, a biopsy is required to determine if it is cancerous or benign. If you choose to have a biopsy, the results will be faxed to your full service veterinarian for review and any follow up care. * E Collars ($15) Many animals chew or lick open their incisions after surgery. We STRONGLY recommend that every animal have an e-collar to help prevent this. If your animal opens his or her incision, you will be charged for closing the wound.
We are outpatient facility which means the pets go home the same day and are usually back to their old selves that night or the next day. While rare, if your veterinarian believes your pet needs post op monitoring, you can return to your full service veterinarian or a 24-hour facility for continued care at your expense. We are here to get your pet through the procedure and back into the hands of your full service veterinarian.