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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.

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Search results for 'cruciate surgery remaining limb' (20)

…. Sounds like things will only get worse if something isn't done.

Your situation reminds me of Ziggy, a member in Australia who had an angular limb malformation that needed correcting on one of his remaining limbs (he was already a Tripawd when the surgery happened). If this is indeed the same…

…type of surgery, then here are my thoughts about it:

Do you have pet insurance that will cover it? This kind of surgery is expensive as you already know. And the associated costs will add up over time. If your dog is insured for the procedure, you've already won one…

…major victory. 

I would not have anyone do this type of surgery other than a board-certified veterinary surgeon with plenty of experience in angular limb corrections. Yes, this is a complex surgery and not every…

…dog, if my dog was in the same situation. As you can see, Ziggy had his done with the team at the University of Queensland. And Belle had a similar surgery, also done at the Queens Vet Teaching Hospital in the UK. I would be happy to connect you with their people if you'd like to talk to them.

If you…

…the time, money and physical capabilities to help your pup get through the rehab? Following through with the team's orders is as critical as the surgery itself for success. When it is a success it's awesome, you've just given your dog a shot at living a full life on four legs.

Surgery isn't right…

…need to focus on building up and maintaining in order to minimize the effects of osteoarthritis on a senior Tripawd dog. Tripawds are also prone to cruciate tear injuries. As a result, the costs of care, if you are good about pursuing regular rehab therapy as he ages, will add up. 

If you decide to…

…amputate, see if a prosthetic limb is a possibility for your dog. The surgery will need to be done with that in mind. If you have the time and money to invest in a prosthesis, it can make all the difference in your dog's

10 July 2020 5:19 pm
Posts: 6
Views: 63

…gosh I'm so sorry about his injury. Don't panic; a cruciate tear in Tripawds (partial or not) is not unusual and there IS hope for recovery even without surgery if you go that route. Our own Jerry had a…

…suspected cruciate tear and also rehabbed without surgery.

As Sally asked, how was this confirmed? And what is your vet's plan for dealing with the suspected problem?

It's important to get a…

… may pay for your first rehab visit

Also, check out this article about rehabbing soft tissue injuries. You may find it useful.

Finally, IF surgery is your only option for a successful repair or relief, these remaining leg surgery articles explain the process (and how it's not hopeless, Tripawds…

…can recover from a surgery like that).



Let us know how things are going and how we can help

3 May 2020 6:54 pm
Posts: 9
Views: 149

…s so lucky to find his way to you. 

Ok so here's what we have learned about remaining limb surgeries on Tripawds. Rehab is crucial for a good recovery. Not just water therapy, not the confinement phase alone, but passive range of motion…

…city and I'll look OK? And if we cannot I know of some who will do long distance consulting.

It's so important to get your pup into rehab after a surgery like this. And if he has never been the Tripawds Foundation
may even pay for your first rehab visit

28 March 2019 9:34 am
Posts: 5
Views: 249

…but you can do it!

Unfortunately this is one of the most common post-amputation surgeries we see around here. This post amputation orthopedic surgery study was done recently and it should give you some comfort knowing that even after a remaining limb surgery, the majority of pet parents who went…

…Loving Life On Three Legs
? Many of the recovery tips we have in there are applicable to your situation.

Here is the link about Izzy and Amy's cruciate repair recovery that Sally mentioned.

Keep us posted on how she's doing, we're cheering you both on!

23 February 2019 1:02 pm
Posts: 8
Views: 341

…and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I'm sorry Lily has to recover from another surgery!  It is harder of course for a Tripawd to recover from a limb surgery but there are quite a few here who have.

Here are some links that may help…


What to Know About Remaining Limb Surgery on a Tripawd
Frankie’s cruciate repair!!
Maggie’s Knee surgery recovery
Remaining Limb Surgery Recovery for Tripawds
Ziggy Recovers from High-Tech 3D Limb Deformity Surgery
Since you've been through the recovery before you know its longer than…

…recovery from amputation surgery

She looks like a white shepherd in your avatar?  We would love to know more about her when you have a chance.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

23 February 2019 11:33 am
Posts: 8
Views: 341

…mornings and early afternoons, Pacific time. You can also call the Tripawds Helpline
too so don't forget.

Meanwhile, I'm sorry to hear about the surgery but fear not! Many other Tripawds have been through this. It's a big worry of all of us who have long-term Tripawds, but the good news is that…

…been through a THR and others who have been through FHO and also TPLO surgeries. Different situations but similar recoveries.

What to Know About Remaining Limb Surgery on a Tripawd
Frankie's cruciate repair!!
Maggie's Knee surgery recovery
Remaining Limb Surgery Recovery for Tripawds
Ziggy Recovers…

…from High-Tech 3D Limb Deformity Surgery
Has your vet lined Taj up for rehabilitation therapy? It's crucial for recovery so be sure to get that referral if they haven't arranged it already…

…help out?  Oh and don't forget to add traction
to all your floors if you haven't already.

My guess is that your vet has experience doing this surgery on a Tripawd since they're optimistic about it. That's pawesome! 

I hope this helps. Stay tuned for feedback from others. Oh and Please keep in…

…touch and let us know how things are going, as we are always interested in remaining limb surgery recoveries, so that we can share information with others.

13 February 2019 10:20 pm
Posts: 10
Views: 493

…only hope. 

Is the vet lining up rehab for post THR? Also, you may want to see this article, which as information and links about rehab after a remaining limb surgery:

What to Know About Remaining Limb Surgery on a Tripawd
Also see Frankie's story, 



…luck with surgery. Keep us posted on how things are going in 'Hopping Around."

11 January 2019 9:54 am
Forum: Ask A Vet!
Posts: 4
Views: 224

…question to you is, have you gotten another opinion from an orthopedic specialist? That's what I would do next, to weigh the pros and cons of this surgery on a senior dog (Frankie, Sally's dog that you saw earlier, is much younger). 

Also, do you have physiotherapists in your area who can weigh in…

…on the opinion? I would also talk to them about the feasibility of the surgery and more importantly, how recovery might go with a dog like Spike. And speaking of dogs, do you have any others? If so, that could make recovery…

…extra challenging.

Meanwhile do check out this article for some insight:

What to Know About Remaining Limb Surgery on a

30 December 2018 11:47 am
Posts: 4
Views: 305

…Trina, thanks for hopping over here. We are sorry about your dog but you are definitely not alone. Many Tripawds have gone through a remaining limb surgery. Here are some posts that should give you an idea of waht to expect:

What to Know About Remaining Limb Surgery on a Tripawd
Also, hop on over to…

…Frankie's recent cruciate repair surgery tale, he just had his second repair surgery today so he and your dog are on the same timeline!

So it sounds like overall he's done well as a Tripawd right? Eleven years on three is pretty

11 December 2018 5:15 pm
Posts: 4
Views: 281

…wishes for your pup! Is she a Tripawd? What's her name?

You will find many articles, videos and podcasts about remaining limb surgeries in the Tripawds News blog
. Search these forums and you will find many topics discussing cruciate ligament surgery.

While you wait for

20 November 2018 10:23 am
Posts: 2
Views: 297

…a definite diagnosis of histiocytic sarcoma right? If so, that's super duper she's done so well.

Also, I was unaware that HS can spread to other limbs but apparently it can go anywhere.


it is the thought of the radiologist that Bailey has torn her cruciate in her remaining back…

…any thoughts you all might have on where we should go from here

I would definitely meet with the ortho vet to confirm whether or not it's a cruciate tear. If so, the ortho will probably recommend surgery. After all, it's what they do. However, to get a balanced perspective and put your mind at…

…a canine rehab therapist to get their perspective. They can tell you whether it's a tear that can be managed with a brace and rehab therapy, or if surgery is mandatory.

If it is not a tear and is metastasis, that's a whole other type of situation. For now, find out what you're dealing with and take

15 November 2018 12:59 pm
Posts: 9
Views: 339

…a Tripawd dog have a good quality of life after an orthopedic surgery on a remaining limb? A scientist from the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital wanted to find out. Her multi-year Tripawd research project, …

…"Postamputation Orthopedic Surgery in Canine Amputees," is now available for all of us to download and read, in the peer-reviewed "Topics in Companion Animal Medicine" journal, Volume…

…33, Issue 3, September 2018, Pages 89-96.

Download the Postamputation Orthopedic Surgery in Canine Amputees Study Until October 17, 2018

The vast majority of peer-reviewed veterinary studies are only available to paid subscribers, so…

…hurry and get your copy of the Postamputation Orthopedic Surgery in Canine Amputees Study. It will only be live until October 17. You do not need a user account, nor do you need to provide your email. Anyone…

…began in 2013 when was contacted to help her find amputee dogs who had subsequent orthopedic disease (with a diagnosis) in a remaining limb, which was treated via surgery, orthotics or medical management. From the beginning we were excited to participate. That's because even though…

…cranial cruciate tears are one of the most common injuries in Tripawd dogs, there is little research about how surgeries like TPLO and FHO affect them.


…objective of this study was to document cases of postamputation orthopedic surgery in canines and evaluate owner satisfaction and outcome. Postamputation Orthopedic Surgery in Canine Amputees Study

The sample is small, but…

… veterinarians now have a solid body of work to reference when presenting Tripawd pet parents with the news that their dog needs an orthopedic surgery on a remaining limb. 

Any Tripawd parent being faced with a remaining limb surgery on a Tripawd dog will find this helpful. Now, both…


Perioperative outcome was acceptable in 15 of the 17 dogs. Two cases had major complications, including asseptic arthritis after TPLO surgery and uncontrolled long-term pain for several months afterward.
Despite the challenges some faced, all 12 survey respondents were satisfied with the…

…postamputation orthopedic surgeries and outcome.
These Tripawd parents said they would recommend surgery to other owners of canine amputees with similar orthopedic diseases.

We hope this is the first of many more studies about Tripawd dog and cat…

…as well as the temporal relationship of the development of PAOD also warrant exploration. 

If your three-legged dog is being faced with a remaining leg surgery like Frankie, fear not. You'll see that even with some post-surgery complications, Tripawds pet parents who have been through the…

…recovery process don't hesitate to recommend it to others.

Download the Postamputation Orthopedic Surgery

in Canine Amputees Study&nbsp

5 September 2018 3:33 am
Posts: 1
Views: 279

…tell. The specialist (an orthopedic or an oncologist?) can give you more info on each path.

We've had some members undergo amputation and then cruciate repair surgery not long afterward. It's not an easy but it's also not impossible for a Tripawd to recovery from surgery on a remaining limb.

Remaining Limb Surgery Recovery for Tripawds
I hope this helps. Stay tuned for feedback from others OK? And let us know how tomorrow's appointment goes.

21 September 2017 10:18 am
Posts: 3
Views: 402

…a good orthopedic vet. Just please make sure she is on pain medication until then. 

The good news is there are many Tripawds here who have needed cruciate repairs done and they recovered from the procedure. It's not an easy recovery but it is possible. Here's an article that may help you with…

…information about what to expect:

Remaining Limb Surgery Recovery for Tripawds
I hope this helps. Stay tuned for feedback from others. And please keep us posted on your pup OK? We hope she can get some

11 September 2017 6:45 pm
Posts: 5
Views: 895

…m glad you asked these questions! 

First, yep, one week or so out of surgery is waaaay too soon to do steps alone. That's why the Webmaster is indispensable when you you have stairs. All dogs recover at different paces but…

… you'll see in time that it's not a problem (but you should still assist, always, to avoid spills). In time you'll also see that his front limbs and chest will become really muscular, as it compensates for the lack of strength in the rear.

Don't fret though, because if you stick to a good…

…that rehab therapists discourage for Tripawds. Again, especially with rear leggers, that kind of activity in too many long increments could put that remaining rear leg at risk of a muscle pull or even worse, a cruciate tear, which is one of the most common injuries we see in Tripawds (front or rear). If

29 December 2016 11:27 am
Posts: 8
Views: 752

…yes, that's how it typically progresses. However, sometimes it takes longer than statistics predict. Our Jerry lived two years post-amputation surgery, and we have seen many others outlive the dreaded diagnosis. So don't let that get you down too much. Move on and deal with the first issue: the…

…and buy your dog more quality time with you. So that's your first decision to make.

How does your vet feel about your dog being a candidate for surgery? Has your dog been seen by an orthopedic specialist? If not, I would recommend a consult with one to be sure that your pup's remaining legs can…

…handle the additional weight. We've had many dogs here with limb surgeries both before and after amputation and they did quite well. Just search the forums
for "cruciate tear" and you'll find many examples.


…survival times with chemo. It's a roll of the dice and something to consider for sure but for now, figure out if you want to proceed with amputation surgery.

As for the cost, have you gotten other estimates? I know surgeries in large cities is higher but you may find that your vet is willing to work…

…are some other ideas:

How to Get Affordable, Awesome Veterinary Care for Your Tripawd

How to Choose a High Quality Vet Practice for Your Dog’s Surgery

Considerations When Price Shopping for Veterinary Care


Also don't forget to check out Jerry's Required Reading List
, it will help answer

…adopting this pup. I'm not a vet but hopefully our fairy vet mother can chime in. I can tell you that  many Tripawds here have had some sort of leg surgery on a remaining limb. The recovery isn't easy but it's definitely do-able. And yes they've gone on to lead normal lives. My biggest questions…

…would be:

Is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon doing the surgery? I would want that for my dog to ensure against any post-op complications.
Who will the dog be cared for during recovery? Are you ready for it?…

…in the meantime:

Murphy's Miraculous Milestone

Tripawd Tuesday: Chuy Keeps Up with the Chase

Bionic Ajax is home and hopping around…

ACL/CCL Surgery for Ajax … tips from Tripawds who have had ACL surgery welcome
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture on Remaining Back Leg

TPLO for front leg…


When a Tripawd Needs Another Leg Surgery

3 February 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Ask A Vet!
Posts: 3
Views: 1037

…preventing joint injuries in our dogs -- until we're faced with it. If your Tripawd has lost a leg and you're worried about injury to the other remaining limbs, your concerns are valid; Tripawds are at greater risk of long-term injury than their four-legged counterparts.

Learn How to Prevent…

…injury-free. Congratulations!

In this first video, you'll learn:

How amputation affects large dogs
Which dogs adjust better to the loss of a limb
The importance of weight management
Which supplements prevent joint problems
How rehabilitation therapy helps tripawds

As part of our mission to…

… DVM, DACVS-SA, DECVS, DACVSMR. Dr. Duerr is a faculty member of Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital's Small Animal Orthopaedic Surgery department.

Many thanks to Dr. Duerr and his team at Colorado State University for allowing us to film on-site and bring this important…

…of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (ACVSMR).  Dr. Duerr's clinical interests include sports medicine and rehabilitation, cranial cruciate ligament injury, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, minimally invasive surgery (arthroscopy) and arthritis. Current research projects include the

8 January 2014 5:00 am
Posts: 1
Views: 1426

…around midday to discuss their findings.


She said that they believe that Beamer's episodes are caused by nerve damage from the amputation surgery, specifically a condition called peripheral neuropathy.  Essentially, the peripheral nerve that goes from Beamer's spinal cord to her amputated limb

…Dr. Ehrhart and I also discussed Beamer's other issues:

Her hip joints both show signs of arthritis
Her right knee shows signs of a partial/full cruciate ligament tear
Her remaining elbow joint shows signs of arthritis

Treatment for the arthritis in her hips and elbow is essentially NSAIDs and pain…

…meds, and the cruciate ligament will either need surgery ($$$) or a custom knee brace (also $$$) in the long term to get better.  At the time, these issues plus the extreme pain Beamer seemed to

9 April 2013 12:26 pm
Posts: 83
Views: 12118

…either one. As a result Buster occasionally has some stiffness in his hind leg area.

    Recovery time is not as long as amputation surgery. However the first day he was in pain and did wear a patch. My concern would be all the pain meds and the residual effects. Also with the repair…

…will they take into consideration the extra weight Ivan carrys due to having three legs? With Buster his remaining front limb is also hyper flexed... that wound be my concern with Ivan since the front legs carry a majority of the weight...

    Will the…

…chemo somehow affect recovery? Otherwise I don't see without surgery how else he would ambulate. I remember Jerry did not require surgery... Yes during recovery it is crucial that he is confined so the scar tissue to form & aid in recovery. Afterwards, we began to walk and if…

…possible swimming is great physical therapy. How is his weight? That is an important factor... just make sure enough testing is done before surgery ...I once asked Dr Pitcairn about cruciate repairs and he believes its all auto immune related.. I hope Ivan well during recovery so he can

2 November 2008 4:47 pm
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