Abby joins the Tripawds

Just over a year ago, Abby joined our family as a 9 week old bouncy Rottweiler puppy. It was an adjustment for everyone, but particularly the pug who was unaware that she would not stay 13 pounds her whole life. He terrorized her only to learn the meaning of payback as soon as she towered over him.

Now she is a sweet 15 month old who underwent amputation surgery today for her back left leg. We never thought we’d be here, but it all started 8 weeks ago when we took her to the vet because she would only stand on 3 legs, particularly when she ate. I originally assumed it was just a quirk, but as it progressed I figured we should make sure she didn’t have a piece of glass in her paw or something. I was horrified to hear it could be a torn ACL, but that paled to the suspected bone cancer that showed up on the X-ray a few minutes later. Her knee joint basically looked like Swiss cheese and we were warned she was at high risk for breaking her tibia. She stayed overnight and had a biopsy the next day.


She was put on rest while we waited two weeks for the results. Have you ever told a puppy to REST? We finally found the right combination of medication that allowed her to be herself and put up with the vast change of lifestyle. The biopsy was sent to two labs and eventually came back negative for cancer. She was diagnosed with “reactive bone proliferation” as a result of an injury, although there was no injury that we ever witnessed. An open incision biopsy was suggested, but we declined because we were confident that she didn’t have cancer. She wasn’t in pain and she was still our happy girl!

2 more weeks of rest… X-rays at one month looked about the same which we took as good news because an aggressive cancer would have spread.

4 more weeks of rest…. X-rays at two months looked awful. Knee joint was even more patchy and the tibia was darkening, which to my untrained medical eye basically looked like it was dying compared to the bright white one on the right.

In the end, we declined the additional biopsy, choosing to spare her the pain for something that would offer her no relief. We now see that she is in pain, despite the fact that she masked it so well for so long. We originally just wanted to let her live out her days running on the beach and eating ice cream, but even that sounded like a fairy tale we couldn’t have. If it is osteosarcoma, it will be progressively painful and the risk of a pathological fracture is great.

We don’t have a diagnosis yet, but she did successfully come through surgery and should come home with us tomorrow. Here is our dear Abby resting comfortably at the vet. Super sweet that they sent us a picture!


Paws crossed that, in a few weeks, she’ll get to run on the beach and be a puppy again!

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9 thoughts on “Abby joins the Tripawds”

  1. What a beautiful girl! So sorry for what you are all going through, but you have found a wonderful community to help you every step of the way. Your lives will never be the same, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be awesome! We are 15 mos post amp for osteo in our 10 year old Doberman. It’s been a roller coaster of a journey, but I wouldn’t have missed a second of it.

    Good luck, give your girl a huge hug from us when she comes home, and welcome to the family.
    Paula and Nitro

  2. What a sweet face! I know she’ll do great … you will be shocked at how quickly she adjusts to three legs. My girl lost her front leg, which I suspect might be a tougher adjustment than the back because of the weight bearing ratio, and she is also nearly TWELVE and she was up and moving more quickly that I expected (or liked)!

    Keep up posted! It’ll be a L O N G ten days waiting for your biopsy results but by then, you’ll be catching up to her in terms of “getting the hang” of life on three legs!

  3. Abby is beautiful! 🙂 Thank you for sharing her story, and for upgrading her blog with a Tripawds Supporter subscription!

    Best wishes for Abby’s speedy recovery. Please keep us posted.

  4. What a beautiful girl. I am kinda partial to Rotties as that is what I have and Sassy also was a Rottie.
    Best wishes for her recovery.

    michelle & Angel Sassy

  5. She’s adorable!!!! And she can still do the beach life on three legs! I am a beach girl (west coast) and my angel tripawd still managed some time on the beach before she passed from a different cancer. You will be amazed how well Abby does on her three legs! And she will probably give the little pug a run for her money! Thank you for starting your blog so we can follow your journey!

  6. Surgery is done!!! YAAAAAAAAAY FOR ABBY!! 🙂

    And her pictures are soooo adorable….even the ine where she’s seeing pink elephants! That was really thoughtful of the vet tech to send you Abby recovering.

    Stay connected and keep us updated when you can. Recovery can be a little rough sometimes. But once that sparkle comes back…WOW! This sweet girl is going to love living life to the fullest snd enjoying all the spoiling!!

    Hugs and love!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

  7. Abby is just a doll. How sweet they sent you a post surgery picture!! Stay close here post any questions on treatment and recovery page and we will all help you through this next part of the journey. I have a hunch Abby being so young she is going to rock this recovery thing. Your biggest problem may well be keeping her from doing too much at first. Hugs to all!!

  8. Thanks for the support! She isn’t home yet, but so far she isn’t rocking it at the clinic. She’s protesting eating, walking, and peeing. She’s young and confused and I’m looking forward to getting her back home.

    I just set up an area for her to rest. She’s still a puppy who chews and we’ve never been able to put a bed or blanket in her crate so I bought her a sturdy crib mattress. Fingers crossed!

    I’ll update once she’s home.

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