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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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The Bizarre Amputee Pet Trend
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Member Since:
22 August 2011
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30 March 2012 - 8:19 am
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I was shocked when I read this article actually. I never thought about someone just going out to get a tripawd because it was an in thing to do. Would I adopt a tripawd dog again....yes I would! But not because it is "Cool" or some kind of status symbol or trendy. I realize now, after going through the experience that a tripawd dog can have the same quality of life as a quad-paw if the dog gets into the right hands, and that these dogs deserve the same love and chance to have a good life just like a dog with four legs. Maybe before I would have felt ill equipped to care for a dog who was a tripawd, but with the proper resources and support was able to do it, and with great success when it occurred with Cadence.  There is hard work and special requirements that go into taking care of these tripawd dogs because sometimes they develop secondary problems you do not see in a quad paw requiring special rehabilitation or strengthening. A lot of times there comes with it an issue, like cancer that originally was the reason for the removal of the leg.

Adoption agencies who have dogs with disabilities especially need to screen the owners to find out what their reason is for choosing a particular dog. In most of our cases, the responsibility of caring for a tripawd was thrust upon us, but I think most if not all of us would agree that you do not want to adopt a tripawd just because it "looks cool". 

I'm off my soapbox now, but here is the article below... 



Cadence Faye: Born 10/30/04, stepped into our hearts 12/23/2004. Rear leg tumor found 7/24/11 by mom and dad, Xray on 7/25/11, Osteosarcoma suspected 7/26/11, amputation 7/29/11, Carboplatin started 8/23. Met free so far! 

Rock Hill, SC
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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30 March 2012 - 8:35 am
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This article made me cry.  I love Zeus for being My Boy for all these years.  I love him for his smile and his personality.  And, I love him with three legs - but not because he has three legs.  If I could wave a magic wand and make him whole again I would, because I would never wish on him the pain from the cancer, the surgery, etc.

Yes, we absolutely would adopt a three leg dog in the future.  But, we know first hand the sacrafice, expense and worry that comes with that responsibility and we would enter into that world with eyes wide open.  It terrifies me that people would adopt just for the attention and then not give that baby every ounce of love and care that it deserves.  Sometimes I really hate the world we live in.

Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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30 March 2012 - 9:34 am
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Well, this isn't really an "article" as such. This looks like it's just one blogger's opinion that there's "a trend." I don't see where the blogger puts out any proof or evidence of such a trend. She's probably just noticed more 3 legged dogs for whatever reason - like I notice them more now because I'm more aware of it.


Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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30 March 2012 - 1:02 pm
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I agree with Jackie on this one.  It seems to me that the blogger doesn't have any research and has just found a subject that will fill her blog space. OR perhaps it's just "trendy" to write about 3 legged dogs to garner attention?  I take issue with the subject matter. Period.

Maybe it wasn't "trendy" when I got Comet but there was a reason that she was marked down to a $10 adoption fee....because no one wanted her.  I didnt get her for a ego boost.  I got her because nobody wanted her. I felt sorry for her and knew she needed someone who understood that disabilities aren't an obstacle in life.  Being raised with a brother who had disabilities showed me this.  

Did I mention I take serious issue with this blogger?  Disabilitis is not fodder for a blog no matter if it's a furbaby or a human.  What will be written next?  "Marrying Iraqi vets with missing limbs is now the trend".

After you have lived with human that had a disability and/or lived with a dog/cat with a disability and watching their emotional and physical struggles, you'd would never write such a trite article.


Someone take the mic from me before I get carried away....


Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

New Zealand
Member Since:
6 November 2011
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30 March 2012 - 1:15 pm
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If I could do anything to change what happened to Kayla I would - I certainly dont think it is 'trendy' to have a Tripawd its alot of hard work and worry not to mention the cost.

Kayla has forever lost the ability to run around for hours on end like any other young dog but that doesn't worry her, its only us that it hurts.

One benifit of having a Tripawd is that our kids have accepted people with disabilities as normal as they now know that someone who is different is still a normal person, and deserves as much as the next person but after watching Kayla get on with life they don't feel sympathy towards disabled people just acceptance.

Maybe this person needs to realise that people are adopting diabled pets because it is more accepted now that disabilities shouldn't stop anyone from leading a normal and happy life, and there isn't as much fear of the different!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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30 March 2012 - 2:47 pm
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Interesting article... way-confused

Where is the proof of this "trend" and who are these people who adopt Tripawds because it's cool? We know it's cool, but only because we have been down that road before and we understand these dogs are less likely to be adopted. But apparently not now.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
1 February 2011
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30 March 2012 - 3:24 pm
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Wow, does this person actually believe the load of doo-doo that they are trying to sell??? 

Granted, there are some folks out there who will do anything to garner attention (can you say Kardashians?), and there may even be people that will adopt a disabled pet for the novelty factor, but I think those people are so much beyond the norm that they're not worth discussing.  I would unhesitatingly say that those of us who adopt/rescue any animals -- three-legged or otherwise -- do it out of a sense of kindness and wanting to help, and a love and respect for these animals.  And this author would have a better view of this truth if he/she weren't looking at it from the inside of their colon!

the Woo

~ ~ Rio ~ ~
Forever in my heart...

April 2000 – January 20, 2012
Diagnosed with Mast Cell Cancer in June 2007. Left rear leg amputated Feb. 8, 2011.
Mets discovered Aug. 31, 2011. Read more of Rio's story here.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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30 March 2012 - 3:37 pm
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Hmmm. What a load of doo-doo. Trend? You've got to be kidding.

Honestly, this person is giving me the creeps. Talk about angry! I can't take this poorly-written commentary seriously.

I believe she is confusing "trendy" with growing public awareness about the capabilities of three legged dogs. Yes, there are more Tripawds in the public because more people learning that it's better to hop on three than limp on four.

It makes me wonder if this bitter person would be happier if Tripawds were NOT getting adopted. Should we also go back to a time when physically challenged people were shuttered away? Does the fact that ADA is the law make being in a wheelchair trendy too? NOT. I don't think so.

Remember kids, you can't always believe the hoohaw that's out there on the web. Fuhgettabout it.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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30 March 2012 - 3:38 pm
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riosmom said
 And this author would have a better view of this truth if he/she weren't looking at it from the inside of their colon!

Hahahahaha! I just saw this. Well said!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

New Zealand
Member Since:
6 November 2011
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30 March 2012 - 3:41 pm
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I dont think anyone could say it better riosmum!!!!! love the last comment!!!


St. Louis, MO
Member Since:
16 September 2011
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30 March 2012 - 8:59 pm
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Charley and I agree with riosmom too!!!


DOB: 3-29-08, male chocolate lab  
Dx: OSA L proximal humerus 10-19-10

Amputation: L front leg & scapula 10-28-10

Chemo: 5 rounds of Carboplatin

Video (12 weeks post amp):Tripaw Charley Playing

♥♥♥ Lots of supplements and love!!! ♥♥♥

Member Since:
9 March 2010
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1 April 2012 - 11:03 am
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As a mom of an adopted tripawd I hate this blog 'article'. I also think it's a bunch of hooey, too! Judging by the amount of tripaws I see around the city (which is only my own!), I have to say it's not becoming the popular thing to do! Also judging by the fact that my poor boy likely would've been euthe'd because no one wanted him, it's clear it's not the 'cool' thing to do, infact it seems quite the opposite, sadly. 

Yes we adopted Dante as a tripawd. Partly because he was a tripawd, but not at all for the attention he garners when we go out, or because it's 'cool' to have a tripawd or otherwise disabled dog. We adopted him because he was spunky and full of attitude and just the cutest little thing, and so many people had passed him by because he was a tripawd. We saw what was UNDER the missing leg and loved him despite what others saw as an imperfection or 'special need'.  We just couldn't walk away from the perfect, cute, funny dog that no one wanted. 

This is something we face as pitbull owners as well. Our dogs are not status symbols.  We don't have them because they're 'cool' to own and all the rage. We again own them because so many people misunderstand them, so many people mistreat them, and so many people have the wrong idea about them. Poor Dante has a double whammy being both a tripaw and a pitbull. But, that just gives us all the more opportunity to be an advocate for both causes - dogs CAN be happy and healthy on 3 legs; and pitbulls are not monsters, whether they have 3 legs or 4. 

Madison, WI
Member Since:
5 December 2009
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1 April 2012 - 10:00 pm
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Ya know, it's just a little blurb that no thinking person should pay much attention to, since the blogger doesn't even back up the main assertion that there is a trend at all.  Still, the insensitivity of it is aggravating.  I don't expect the person has a clue about all the hurtful things I've read here that people have had said to them - by family members even - because they decided to proceed with an amputation rather than euthanasia.  And, if people were to take this blurb seriously, then what might we also hear?  Pawrents possibly getting hurtful remarks from strangers who think they're following some trend, when, in fact, the pawrents had to go through a very painful decision-making process for their dog's health and quality of life due to cancer or injury.  But whatever.  We'll just "Be More Dog " and rise above it, right? big-blink

Gerry has been a tripawd since 12/16/2009.

He was a shelter dog with a mysterious past and an irrepairable knee injury.

Videos and pics of Gerry's pawesomeness can be found at:

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