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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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Remaining leg collapsing
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Member Since:
21 October 2019
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21 October 2019 - 1:14 pm
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Our 3 yo dog Little Bear had her rear left leg amputated earlier in January this year due to dislocating it very badly (we adopted her after she had the amputation). This past week her remaining right rear leg tends to collapse and she isn't as active as she usually is. She does jump up and down to get on our couch and no longer does this, we lift her up and down now. She's been sleeping a lot and in general has been low energy and she doesn't seem bothered when we examine her leg. Last week she did go to the dog park and was very active so we think maybe she pulled something? She's been at this level of activity for a while and has been to the dog park to run around multiple times with no issues. 

She's a lab mix and is 42lbs per our vet's recommendation. We do have an appointment later this week but was wondering if anyone had any thoughts. She currently takes an allergy chew but is on no other daily medication. 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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21 October 2019 - 5:14 pm
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Welcome and best wishes for Little Bear. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

The best thing you can do is consult with a certified rehab vet/tech (CCRP or CCRT ) for a professional evaluation, recommended treatment, and exercises you can do at home to keep her fit and strong. You can even get reimbursed for your first visit by the Tripawds Foundation from the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab. 

Based on your dog park comment, Little Bear may be overdoing it. FYI: Walks and free play do not build strength, only endurance. There are various starter exercises you can do to help improve core strength, balance, and proprioception . Loving Life On Three Legs , also includes lots of conditioning tips, exercise instructions and videos, but there is not much other assistance that can be provided online without a hands-on evaluation.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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21 October 2019 - 7:57 pm
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Good for you dor adopting cute Bear....and  ditto everything  Admin Guy said.

Not a Vet and not giving  Vet advice.  For now though,  Bear needs complete rest and going out just for potty breaksuntil you can have him evaluated by a Vet and Rehab Specialist.     He most like has tweaked a muscle, or may have damaged a tendon or knee joint.  In the meantime, maybe your Vet would be willing to prescribe Rimady or some other a anti-inflammatory, as well as maybe a pain med.

Also, you can try massaging g yp snd fown jer neck, shoulder  and spine.  Any signs of tension?

Let us know what the Vet says.


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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22 October 2019 - 10:21 am
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Your vet will have to feel her all over and might need to take an xray but there are several possibilities including a partial ACL injury, luxating patella, or soft tissue strain.  Based on age and breed a knee injury seems most likely but could just be a sprain.  Keep her rested with leash walking only until you see your vet.


Member Since:
21 October 2019
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22 October 2019 - 11:10 am
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Thanks everyone! We'll have her take it easy until we can see the vet on Friday. And once she's better we'll start on strengthening exercises. We have a small backyard so we've been keeping an eye on her when she goes out so she doesn't run or anything. Thanks for all the advice, we just want to help her live her best life!

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