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.
JUMP TO FORUMS ↓
Join The Tripawds Community
Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:
What does it mean to Be More Dog?
Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.
…vet sounds fabulous! May I ask who it is? When you said the tumor had only affected Charlie's paw so far I was going to recommend investigating prosthetics
so yay that you are already on that route! You will see that our prosthetics
link will take you to various articles that we've posted.
…you for the kind words. Sounds like you made the decision. I hope you feel a little more relieved with that behind you?
I'm glad you asked about prosthetics
. This is something that needs to be discussed with the surgeon asap, it has to be taken into consideration with the location of the cancer and how…
…much leg can be left. The more residual limb, the better the chance for him to successfully use a prosthetic.
Our link has information about prosthetics
. Read up on it when you can but for now you want to talk to the surgeon asap. This is to find out if he is a candidate. Not all dogs are,…
… especially those with cancer.
You want to make sure that your surgeon is experienced with prosthetics
and orthotics, because the way the incision is done will determine how successfully the wound heals so that you can put the device on his leg.
… you have been so amazing and have so much information. He is going to be having a full amputation. If I wanted to look into a leg prosthetic, where should I start?
…pup. What a little guy! What's his name?
You ask a great question. First though, is the vet wanting to keep the dog's leg so that he can get a prosthetic later on? If so, you'll want to make sure that your vet is experienced in amputating with that goal in mind.
One of the big issues we see with…
…longer residual stumps on dogs, especially young ones, is wound healing. Prosthetics experts tell us that if the vet is not well versed in this area, and not used to leaving enough "cushion" at the end of the stump during the…
…site tends to get banged around a lot and doesn't heal well. Many people are forced to undergo a second amputation, if the dog is not eligible for a prosthetic, or that's not what they want to do.
To answer your question about a stump protector, no, we haven't come across anything that actually works for
…have very good news to report! After learning that Derrick Campana did not think Bonnie was a good candidate for a prosthetic, and getting an amputation estimate of $4,100 from our vet (!!), I contacted the rescue organization that saved Bonnie, and they immediately
OK first things first:
It's GREAT they are working with Bionic Pets. They are a terrific group who is constantly coming up with innovative prosthetics
for animals. They may have something they are working on that might be perfect. I don't know, but they are always looking for ways to help
…or "cushion" between the cut edge of the bone and her skin. They are sending her X-rays to Derrick Campana in Virginia for his opinion on a prosthetic but the vet didn't believe Bonnie has enough of her lower leg bone to make a prosthetic viable. I am waiting to hear.
So their recommendation was
…you talked to your vet about? If not, you may want to have your dog evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon to see if he's a good candidate for a prosthetic leg. That would be a real bonus if you are able to invest in the time and cost of prosthetic training.
If it's any comfort, you aren't the only
…she is in pain but I have to agree with Jerry it doesn't look healthy.
Given she has a relatively long stub finding someone who can fit her with a prosthetic is an awesome idea and would likely save her a lot of arthritic pain if you can get that set up before she is too old(start with a strap on not a
…at a time, you're getting it!
Rehab can certainly help and it can't hurt when done by a credentialed professional. They can also assess her for prosthetics
. We've seen miraculous things happen with rehab. Stay pawsitive, you're doing everything right to help her get there.
You are very welcome!
…on 3 legs! She deserves to be more comfortable, although she never complains which may be why the rescue thought she was ok. I'm wondering about a prosthetic, but am not sure she has enough bone remaining below her knee joint. I will keep you posted. I haven't seen many posts in the forums about dogs in
… I was totally thinking about a cast cover type of device. Ask the prosthetist for a Zoom consult asap. This is a big challenge when a prosthetic is in a pet's future. Let us know how it goes.
…pop up every now and then, but nothing for the rear. You might be able to get a customized protector by working with the company that's making the prosthetic. I would reach out to your prosthetist to ask. And keep us posted! This is a common issue for dogs needing help in that area, and we'd like to
…improve the lives of Tripawds! That's so awesome. It sounds like you are looking at designing some sort of mobility product like a cart, brace, or prosthetic? Talking to Tripawd parents is certainly helpful, but we also recommend that you team up with a local canine orthopedic surgeon or canine rehab
…him engaged and active. Remember, there is SO MUCH more to spending time with our dogs than walks and ball throwing!
Do we need to consider a prosthetic leg or something? Is that possible given they went all the way up for the amputation?
Well, probably not at this point in time, honestly. But I…
…am not a vet. So check out all of our info about prosthetics
, and if it still sounds good, get in touch with an orthopedic vet who specializes in prosthetics
, so that Koda can get evaluated. The science is evolving so quickly that I'll bet within his lifetime there will be a device that works on dogs
…to other types of health issues down the road we ask because that doctors comment albeit unsolicited, has us worried a bit. Do we need to consider a prosthetic leg or something? Is that possible given they went all the way up for the amputation? Thanks all. Looking forward to getting educated and giving
…information and something I wasn't familiar with. Bone break down...who knew? Makes sense though. Did they mention any chance of her being a prosthetic candidate or does the whole leg have to go?
…to help determine if Mariah can live with it, or not.
Also, did either of the ortho vets discuss the possibility of her being a candidate for a prosthetic? They're not right for every dog or parent, but when the stars align, prosthetics
can make a huge difference in quality of life as a Tripawd. For…
…the best chance at adaptation by the dog, a prosthetic needs to be researched and decided upon before surgery. If this sounds like something you're interested in, that would be something to pursue before
…looks like she may be a great candidate for a prosthesis, she's got a ton of residual limb left. I hope whoever adopts her will want to investigate prosthetics
for her. They can make such a huge difference in long-term quality of life.
OK we'll do our best to get the word out. Thanks for posting and
…human looking out for her future. As I mentioned in Instagram, it's important not to rush to amputation until an orthopedic vet experienced in prosthetics
can take a look at her. Many dogs who are limb different are great candidates for artificial legs and if her future family wants to pursue it,
…guys are wonderful, I love that you are doing your homework. We totally agree that the best way to go is to work with a vet who has experience in prosthetics
and can oversee the process every step of the way.
You are right about prosthetics
; they do need to be modified as a dog grows, and even later…
…to help! PM me your location if so.
Keep us posted. We love following along with stories like this!
P.S. In our most recent webinars about prosthetics
, you'll hear from ortho vets Dr. Sherman & Deborah Canapp from Maryland, who work closely with Dive Designs, the company who designed the
Thanks for adopting this sweet pup! What a lucky pup to find his way to you. I'm SO glad you wrote!
If your vet is against prosthetics
, please find a new vet who is more up-to-date with what's going on in the world of prosthetics
, preferably an orthopedic specialist. The…
…current thinking is that a prosthetic can make a HUGE difference in quality of life for a Tripawd, and leaving as much of the limb as possible gives the greatest chance of success at…
…adapting to a prosthesis. If you are considering a prosthetic, this is the vet you want to consult with BEFORE amputation. Once that leg is amputated, if there's not enough limb left your dog's chance of…
…you do anything, I have some information to share, here goes:
Ten Things to Know About Adopting a Tripawd (Part 1)
All Tripawds Posts about Prosthetics
We have a two-part webinar about prosthetics
, including the brace you are referring to.
Also, please consider consulting with a canine
…leg but after consulting with multiple vets it has been decided he will have a full front limb amputation next month. The Vet says he does not like prosthetics
and feels leaving a small portion of the limb would be worse for him in the long run. We have been looking at the full limb vests and I wondered
…for physical therapy. I wish I had a pool for him, and I feel he'll need some good water-based rehab. I'd also love to consider a full limb prosthetic to help him out (but I might be getting ahead of myself, will try the wheelchair
Thanks so much for any tips; I'm excited to join the
…Everypawdy! Head's up. If you are considering prosthetics
for your amputee dog or cat, the Wizard of Paws TV show wants to talk to you. Here's an announcement they just sent to us. If you're interested
…pretty doped up. Such a sweetie.
Fascinating about the way the Surgeon logged the process. How long do they wait to start trying to fit the prosthetic? Curious if she will try and use her "stump" at first, or hold it up like a true tripawd.
So she does have Gabapentin, right? Yeah, Rimadyl
…about surgery or life on 3 is off-limits or traumatizing in this community, we are all here for education. When Admin and I talk to folks about how prosthetics
must be considered before surgery happens, Tsuki's story will be invaluable to show people the process. So yes, by all means, do share and thank
…. Both can give you their perspectives on the possibility of saving the leg, or at least doing a partial amputation which could enable her to use a prosthetic if you are willing to give it a try.
She's a very lucky girl to have you for parents!
…most aggressive and thorough option... and knowing that we have such a great site that she'll likely have almost 100% of a natural gait with the prosthetic because it's literally just replacing her paw and part of her ankle, I find that I can live with that choice.
I say that with great relief because
…Finn (http://www.finndvm.com) Dr. Finn is an integrative vet specialist who is connected with OrthoPet, who will be the ones who make the prosthetic. So she'll not only have traditional veterinarian care, but Chinese Medicine also.
I am very aware... as I watch all the videos and