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Piper

Rear Limb Amputation
Piper’s owners, John and Marsha, never questioned whether the decision to amputate was the right one and felt well-prepared for what to expect post-surgery thanks to candid discussions with hospital staff. Although adjustments were made to Piper’s routine, her owners show how any obstacle can be overcome with planning, such as a little life jacket for their water-loving dog.

A PDF is available of the entire intervew. Learn about a front limb amputation and Berkley.

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Q1 - Recovery Period
John and Marsha were initially apprehensive about her recovery care and her ability to function normally, but found that their dog is more resilient and adaptable than they had thought.

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Q2 - Getting Better
Some changes will have to be made at home for a dog with three legs, but as John and Marsha point out, it is just a matter of patience, paying attention, and planning.

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Q3 - Getting In and Out of the Vehicle
As a former hunting dog, Piper had clocked a lot of miles in John’s Suburban, but now she - and her owners - had to relearn how to enter and exit a vehicle.

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Q4 - Activity Level
John and Marsha have made sure that Piper is maintaining a low activity level during recovery and healing, while still allowing her a little freedom to be herself.

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Q5 - Ability to Walk Around
Piper has adjusted so well to getting around on three legs - walking, eliminating normally, and moving up and downstairs - that her owners believe she may be ready to resume some of her favorite activities.

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Q6 - Any Personality Change
Although occasionally a little more subdued now, Piper’s personality is typically just as expressive, exuberant and playful as before her cancer surgery.

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Q7 - Pain Management
Piper’s owners share how the prescribed regimen of medication worked for her post-surgical pain.

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Q8 - Post-Surgery Observations
John and Marsha reflect on making the tough decision about Piper’s treatment, which they agree was the right one for their dog, and describe the regimen of post-surgical home care for Piper.

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Q9 - What to Expect
Piper’s owners felt well prepared for what, thanks to experiences with family and friends who had undergone surgeries, but also thanks to clear, candid discussions with Piper’s health care team.

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Q10 - Surprises About the Experience
Although they thought they were prepared for Piper’s post-surgical, home care regimen, John and Marsha acknowledge that they were surprised at the labor intensive nature of monitoring all aspects of their dog’s recovery 24/7 for the first 14 days.

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Q11 - Going to the Restroom
This topic is the first concern for owners whose pets will undergo a limb amputation. As Piper’s owners discovered, there may be ups and downs, but pets are incredibly resilient and will adapt.

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Q12 - Future Goals
John and Marsha say their main goal is for Piper to be safe and happy. That means changing some things in the home, like slippery flooring, to improve safety; as well as fitting Piper with a life jacket so that she can once again do what she loves most: go for a swim.