Leg Amputation Due to Cancer

Lili Duda, VMD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I would like to find out info on helping my dog adapt to a front leg amputation due to cancer. Are there resources where I can get info or talk with people who may have had the experience?

Is there rehab training for this?

Lili Duda, VMD, Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Section, responds:

Most dogs adapt very well to amputations. Possible complications are concurrent orthopedic problems (such as degenerative joint disease) and obesity. There are several rehabilitation facilities for veterinary patients, but as it is a relatively new field, it might be hard to find one in your area. You might want to consider massage therapy, either with a professional or at home—there are books available on the topic. The surgeon performing the amputation might have resources available—don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian as many questions as you need to in order to feel comfortable with the procedure and recovery process.