Most dogs and cats who lose a “spare” fourth leg can adapt to being a Tripawd. But if one of an animal’s three remaining limbs is compromised, that’s when things get tricky. The good news is that if a FHO, TPLO, hip replacement or other major procedure is necessary, a Tripawd recovery from remaining leg surgeries isn’t impossible. With the right board-certified orthopedic surgeon and top-notch rehabilitation therapy, most Tripawds of all ages can go on to live a great life.
The Reality of a Tripawd Recovery From Remaining Leg Surgeries
As recently as ten years ago, most veterinary orthopedic surgeons would tell you that a Tripawd recovery from remaining leg surgeries is impossible. For instance, when Tripawds Spokesdog Wyatt Ray was a puppy we learned he had hip displaysia in his one remaining hip.
We asked about the possibility of a hip replacement when he got older, but his veterinarian looked at us like we were nuts. There would be no way for a Tripawd to recover from a hip replacement he said.
Thank goodness we’ve come a long way! Through the years more veterinarians like Dr. Randy Acker in Sun Valley Idaho and Dr. Neil “The Bionic Vet” Fitzpatrick in the UK have gone out on a limb to explore the pawsibilities. And as you can see, their research and development has paid off. More three-legged dogs can make full recoveries from FHO, TPLO and hip replacements thanks to recent orthopedic developments.
Many Tripawds have remaining leg problems.
The sad reality is many Tripawds will endure an orthopedic disorder at some point. According to this Tripawds Orthopedic Disorders Study with Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences both front and rear limb amputees “may be” susceptible to future orthopedic conditions at an average of 1.75 years after amputation.
Tripawd parents play a huge role in preventing orthopedic injuries. From keeping your Tripawd lean to monitoring activity levels and providing appropriate exercise for Tripawds, your dog or cat can lead an injury free life.
But if there comes a time when your Tripawd is faced with one ore more remaining leg surgeries, know that you have options (see “Conservative Management Alternative to Leg, Knee and Hip Surgeries for Tripawds”). If surgery is necessary, there is hope for a full recovery.
The following links and blogs share the reality of a Tripawd recovery from remaining leg surgeries. Take a look and if you want to discuss your situation, be sure to start a forum topic in “Hopping Around“ or start a Tripawds blog and lean on our community.
Examples and Advice for Tripawd recovery from remaining leg surgery
Remaining Leg Surgery on Tripawds Studies Report Good Results
Vet Tips to Avoid a Remaining Leg Surgery for Tripawd Dogs
All About Remaining Leg Surgery Recovery for Three-Legged Dogs
What to Know About Remaining Leg Surgery on a Tripawd
Tripawd Recovery From Femoral Head Osteotomy (FHO) Surgery
Tripawd Tuesday: Chuy Keeps Up with the Chase
And a Tripawd Recovery From Total Hip Replacement (THR) Surgery
Tripawd Tuesday: Murphy’s Miraculous Milestone
Here’s Tripawd Recoveries From TPLO / TTA CCL Rupture Surgeries
Zora the Tripawd Greyhound TPLO Surgery and Recovery
Lulu the Tripawd Cat’s Remaining Leg Surgery Recovery Details
3 week post op hind leg amputation/TPLO on other hind leg
Senior Tripawd Labrador Max has Cruciate Repair Surgery
Bionic Ajax is Home and Hopping Around
ACL/CCL Surgery for Ajax
Dakota the Gripper Girl: Two Surgeries!
Petra the Senior Boxer Recovers from TPLO
All Tripawds Discussion Forum Posts with “TPLO”
Tripawd Recovery From Other Limb Surgery
Raleigh Roo recovers from modified cranial closing wedge osteotomy (CCWO)
Ziggy Recovers from High-Tech 3D Angular Limb Correction Surgery
As we hear about more miraculous Tripawds recovering from other leg surgeries we’ll be sure to add their stories here.
8 thoughts on “Remaining Limb Surgery Recovery for Tripawds (updated 2023)”
Thank you so much for the info. I have a 12 yr. old Yorkie/Poo who is now a tripawd. She is missing her right front leg and now she has a torn ACL on the hind leg same side.
Carrie, we are sorry to hear that. Glad you found this helpful. Please visit our Discussion Forums and post so you can get feedback from the community. See you there!
Our 6 year old lab mix was diagnosed with a grade 2 soft tissue sarcoma on his left hind leg. The only potential cure is an amputation for him but he also has severe hip dysplasia. So, if he gets the amputation then we will also likely be faced with hip replacement soon to follow. The alternative is getting the hip replacement, allow him 2 weeks to heal and then do the amputation. We truly feel he still has so much good life to live but surgeries have risks and only the final pathology after the amputation will show if the entire cancer was removed or if it even spread. Anyone else ever have a similar situation?
Hi Steven, we are sorry to hear about your pup but glad you found us. Please consider posting in our Discussion Forums for more feedback from the community. Meanwhile, if you haven’t gotten a second or third opinion from a board-certified orthopedic vet surgeon, now is the time. They can give you a good idea as to whether or not a future surgery may be needed. Our own Wyatt Ray, a rear-leg Tripawd for 10 years, has hip dysplasia and that hasn’t kept him from having a good quality of life. See you in the Forums we hope!
Izzy’s knee repair recovery was tougher than her amputation and, even though old age caught up with her just shy of a year after her CCL repair, I’d do it all over again.
Thanks for the feedback Amy! Izzy was such a great example of the pawsibilities on 3!
Yep, it takes time but it’s so worth it to compile these in one post. We’ll be doing more “Best Of” posts this summer so stay tuned.
Thanks so much for putting all this GREAT information in a thorough and concise “link”.
A whole lot of behind the scenes work encompassed in this one link!
Al always, mucho thanko for all you do!
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!