In addition to providing all sorts of routine care for your dog, your local veterinarian is someone who can perform surgeries when needed. While there are many minor surgeries that some dogs can require, a major surgery that some animals face is the amputation of one of their legs. Hearing during a veterinary clinic visit that your dog may need its leg amputated can be distressing, but it's important to know that dogs can live happy and fulfilling lives with just three legs. In addition to performing the amputation surgery, your vet can talk to you about how to help your dog adapt to its post-surgery life. Here are three scenarios in which amputation may be necessary.
A severe injury to your dog's leg can often require it to be amputated. While other treatment methods can help with minor leg injuries, there are times that a dog's leg is simply too damaged to fix with the expectation that it will heal appropriately. This can often result from encounters with cars. For example, if a car were to hit your dog at a high rate of speed, one of its legs could sustain multiple serious fractures, including compound fractures. These injuries can be so severe that the veterinarian would not be able to save the leg, and may have to amputate it.
While antibiotics can help with minor infections, those that are more serious can threaten the dog's entire leg. Infections can occur in wounds that result from your dog having negative encounters with other domestic pets or even wild animals. If another dog were to bite your dog on the leg, the wound would likely become infected. If you were to fail to notice the injury or not realize its severity, the infection could progress to the point that it threatens the leg. If antibiotics cannot control the infection, or if the infection has damaged too much of the leg, your vet may advise that amputation is necessary.
Like humans, dogs can develop cancerous tumors in different parts of their bodies. While there are different ways of successfully treating cancer in dogs, including removing the tumor itself through surgery, there can be cases in which the cancer has spread aggressively throughout the leg. In order to prevent the cancer from spreading beyond the dog's leg and potentially threatening its life, your veterinarian may recommend amputation as the best course of action.
For more information, contact a veterinarian near you.