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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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28 January 2011 - 3:45 pm
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Here at Tripawds, we share information about our dog's journeys with amputation and oftentimes bone cancer, but one thing we can't emphasize enough is that we aren't vets.

That's why we are so grateful for the ongoing help and feedback in the Discussion Forums by Dr. Pam Wiltzius, a pawesome veterinarian in Puyallup, Washington.

Dr. Wiltzius has firsthand experience with amputation and bone cancer. Her beloved Tazzie was a beautiful Mastiff who battled bone cancer for just over a year. Although Tazzie earned her wings in October, 2009, Dr. Wiltzius continues to share her expertise with Tripawds nearly every day. Thank you, Dr. Pam, we are so grateful!

A Shepherd's Itchy Mystery

Last Fall we were lucky enough to shadow Dr. Wiltzius at work. In the following video, Dr. Wiltzius meets Gunther, a regular patient who was brought in because he's been scratching and itching more than usual.

Dr. Wiltzius performed a skin scrape on Gunther to see if he had mange, which he didn't have. But Gunther's symptoms weren't typical of a flea or pollen allergy either. Since German Shepherds are highly susceptible to allergies, Dr. Wiltzius suspects he could be developing an allergic reaction to something, and a blood test could be in his future, possibly even allergy vaccines.

Itchy Skin Recommendations

Before spending the couple hundred dollars for an allergy test, Dr. Wiltzius recommends looking for common signs of pollen allergies, including red, sore ears and feet, and a general overall itchiness.

Additionally, she suggests:

  • Castor & Pollux Head to Tail Aloe Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats
    Frequent bathing every seven to 14 days with hypo-allergenic oatmeal shampoos (aloe-oatmeal combinations are best). Bathing can help remove any allergens that are sticking to him and making him itchy. And as long as an anti-itch shampoo is used, his skin won't dry out even with weekly bathing.
  • Trying a stronger, but gentle, shampoo if itching gets worse. (See recommendations below.)
  • Canine Earth Roll Over Oatmeal Aloe Skin and Coat Cleanser Shampoo For Dog 8 oz.
    Temporarily using a prescription antihistamine (with a very low dose of prednisone) to break the itch cycle. While it's not desirable to have a dog on prednisone for a long period of time, the amount in this antihistamine is a temporary solution to help Gunther stop scratching.

As you can see, Dr. Wiltzius is a fantastic vet. If you live in the area, your fur kids will be in great hands by having her as their veterinarian. She practices at River Road Animal Hospital in Puyallup. Stay tuned for more informative videos from our visit with Dr. Wiltzius

Recommended Pet Shampoos:

Here are some great shampoos we found that can help a dog with itchy skin:

Canine Earth Roll Over Oatmeal Aloe Skin and Coat Cleanser Shampoo For Dogs.

Castor & Pollux Head to Tail Aloe Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

Pet Naturals of Vermont Soothe Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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28 January 2011 - 4:38 pm
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Just wanted to say WooHoo, Dr Pam.  We really do appreciate your input.  I know it isn't easy after a long day at work to come here an answer more questions about dog you can't even reach out and touch.  I, for one, value your opinion, and appreciate the time you spend.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Member Since:
20 May 2009
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28 January 2011 - 5:38 pm
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I know that I have said it before but let me say it again.  Your advice was invaluable to me during Emily's amputation and recovery and subsequent death.  I absolutely love our vet and the doctors at OSU Vet hospital but it was wonderful to hear from someone with the veterinary  knowledge and the experience of being a tripawd Mommie.

Thanks again, Pam.


Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Greater Western Washington area
Member Since:
25 August 2010
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29 January 2011 - 6:14 am
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Dr. Pam,

We love you!  Sammy and I and my husband are huge fan's.  You are the exact right person to be Sammy's Dr!  I recommend you enthusiastically to everyone with animals that I meet.

Thanks for being there for us and everyone here,

Elizabeth and Sammy

Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the right front leg 8/23/10,

leg fractured 8/27/10,

leg amputated 8/30/10


I couldn't begin to say how special Sammy is to us.  Living and laughing with and loving this wonderful boy is priceless.

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