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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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THR and Amputation Surgery Issue
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Member Since:
29 November 2017
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11 January 2019 - 9:11 am
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My 5 yr old lab is going in for a THR. His acetabulum is flat (puppy mill rescue).

His amputated back left leg was amputated but the surgeon left the hip joint in place. Other dogs I see have the entire leg removed.

I'm concerned that part of the leg is just hanging there and I'm not sure if that's normal because even amputated, he must be in pain. Did the surgeon make a mistake in not taking the full leg?

Secondly, we weren't given any rehab instructions at all so I'm concerned about the THR on a bad leg but he's not walking well so the THR is his only hope. I would like to know what other dog parents have done for rehab after a tripawd THR. I tried to look it up but can't find anything on rehab or best advice for after surgery.

Thank you to anyone who can give feedback or suggestings on these two questions.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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11 January 2019 - 9:54 am
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His amputated back left leg was amputated but the surgeon left the hip joint in place. Other dogs I see have the entire leg removed.

It really depends on the surgeon's preference and sounds normal. Got a photo? Also see: 

Partial vs. Full Leg Amputation for Pets, What’s Better?

Secondly, we weren’t given any rehab instructions at all so I’m concerned about the THR on a bad leg but he’s not walking well so the THR is his 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, 


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

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11 January 2019 - 10:03 am
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You are a wonderful  advocate for your pup❤

Gonna also find a link to a dog named Murphy, a tripawd whi jad a THR on one of his remaining  legs.  It took lots of Rehab and lots of recovery  time, but he thrived and enjoyed life to the fullest.

I'm  owned by Frankie (the link Jerry gave you). Glance through  the posts.  Any help I can offer, please  let me know.  

Extra hugs

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!

Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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11 January 2019 - 2:15 pm
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Hi and welcome.

You want to look at Murphy's Story as Sally mentioned. Murph was hit by a car and lost one back leg, then had a THR on his remaining leg.

How much femur does Roscoe have left?  My Pug Maggie had a mid-femoral amp which left a small piece of the femur wrapped in muscle.  She did great for almost 4 years, no complications with her leg or incision.

My current Tripawd Elly was hit by a car at 7 months old and her entire femur was removed.

Based on my experience I like the mid-femoral amp much better.  Maggie was better balanced in her back end and had a good base to sit on.  Elly can't sit on hard surfaces and her hip bone is sensitive.  She also has a hard time keeping her balance when pooping and she is 3.5 years post amp, very strong and fit.

As long as there isn't a stump protruding that he could bang or get caught on things he should be OK.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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