Three Legged Dog Club
Cassie's Club Members

This is Ozzy and he is 5 1/2 years old.
He had his front right leg amputated on June 9, 2007.
Having his leg amputated was the best thing that ever happened to him. That leg began bothering him when he was about 8 months old.

He had a congenital defect which resulted in his coronoid process breaking and floating around in his elbow.

This caused a lot of discomfort for him,
so when he was about 10 months old
he had surgery to remove the broken piece of bone and to correct the defect. The surgery helped him a lot, but never made him 100% better.
The leg always looked different from the other three; it bowed out.
My family liked to joke that the doctor put a Bulldog leg on him.
Over the years, he still had a lot of pain in his leg,
especially when he would run or walk too much,
or when the weather was too cold.

During the last couple of years, he occasionally had to take arthritis medicine and pain killers.

On June 8, 2007, Ozzy jumped off the couch and broke his leg.
When I took him to the vet that day,
the x-ray showed that there was cancer in the bone.
The next day, his leg was amputated.

Hours after his surgery, I picked him up from the vet
and they walked him out to me.
I just lost it, when I saw him.
That night was rough; he slept between my mom and me on the floor and he woke up every hour screaming.

The next morning, we carried him out to the yard, hoping that he would go potty. I was worried that he would fall over, but he didn't.

He squatted like a pro; he looked like a little football player
in a three point stance. When he was done, he turned around and walked back into the house with a look on his face that said 'don't pick me up, let me do this myself.'

At that moment, the reality of it all hit me,
the reality that my dog has only three legs
and also this feeling of being so proud of him and I once again lost it. That was the last time I cried about him.

Ozzy adapted to his amputation very well.
He seems so much happier now.
That leg gave him nothing but problems.
He gets so much attention when we go out and he loves it.
He knows he is irresistible and totally plays that up when we are out. He has a way of manipulating the people at the pet stores
to give him the best treats, and a lot of them.

He still gets a little tired when we go out.
Sometimes I have to carry him and sometimes he has to ride in his stroller. He loves riding in his stroller, but he doesn't love wearing his shoes I bought him to protect his paws on rough surfaces.

Ozzy breaking his leg was a blessing.
It made us aware of the problem and allowed him to escape the pain he was in. Thank you for having a club for dogs like Ozzy
and allowing them to share their stories.

Regan and Ozzy
Thursday January 3, 2008


We've been meaning to write in for a while -
here's the story of our Golden Retriever, "Ellie."

We adopted Ellie from a breeder in Michigan in 1999.
A few months after having her home, we were romping around the house when we felt and heard a pop in her hips.

She was diagnosed as being dysplastic in both hips,
and the orthopedist also detected a smaller problem of unknown origin with her right foreleg.

At 10 months and again at 11 months,
she had a triple pelvic osteotomy performed on each hip,
one at a time.

The procedure involves breaking and resetting the pelvis
to better fit her hip joints.

Both surgeries were successful, and after a bit of rehab,
Ellie was as good as new!

In the next few years of her life,
Ellie's hypothyroidism reared its head,
and she also contracted lyme disease.

Our vets got both of these ailments under control,
but we couldn't figure out why Ellie kept lagging behind on walks, getting tired and acting lame.

Furthermore, as she moved into middle age,
she didn't seem to have the spunk she had as a puppy.

Even an occasional tail wag was becoming more and more rare.

When Ellie turned six, one of our vets here in New York
discovered a bump on the elbow of her right foreleg.

The first diagnosis was an injury due to swelling,
but an attempt to drain fluid from the area
literally came up dry.

A biopsy was performed and Ellie had cancer -
synovial cell sarcoma,
a non-aggressive but still debilitating form of cancer.

In January 2006, Ellie's leg was amputated.

While it was heartbreaking to leave her at the surgeon's that day
and devastating to see her when she was released a couple of days later, we soon recognized that this was the best possible thing
we could have done for Ellie and regretted that we had not
better diagnosed her cancer earlier.

Ellie adjusted rather quickly to being three-legged
and surprised us just a week or two after returning home
when she made her way upstairs one morning - halo and all -
while my wife and I were getting showered and dressed.

Soon thereafter, our now seven-year old dog
started acting like the puppy we remembered.

She wagged her tail far more often and was much more energetic than she had been in years.

Her puppy "attitude" that had been missing for years was back,
and it was a joy to see.

She doesn't tear through the house like a four-legged dog would,
but there's nothing she did before that she can't do now.

Today, two years after the surgery, Ellie is doing GREAT.

It's interesting how the loss of a leg
has drastically improved Ellie's quality of life.

She'll be nine this summer and is a happy, fun-loving companion dog. She will always hold a special place in our family's heart.

Dave Mornhinweg
Tuesday January 8, 2008

< < Previous Page   Next Page > >