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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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Member Since:
10 June 2020
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10 June 2020 - 6:00 pm
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My dog named lucky tore his CCL last night. I got lucky seven years ago when I saw him get hit by a car down in Phoenix. To make that story short now he’s my dog minus one front leg. Anyway, last night when I called him to go outside he came running around the corner from the living room to the kitchen and slipped on the hardwood floors. He went down but got right back up and came outside but within just maybe 40 or 50 feet I could tell something was wrong. I ended up carrying him back into the house and after a visit to the vet this morning he has a torn CCL on his left rear leg. He is missing a front right leg so he is trying to balance on his left front leg and his rear right leg and not put any weight on the rear left leg. We’re faced right now with the deciding on should we have surgery for him or not. I am all for it, but my biggest concern is he’s already short one leg. Is he able to get over the recovery of this operation. Does anyone have any experience with this? Lucky is a pitbull mix and weighs 54 lbs. he is in good physical condition except for this injury. 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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10 June 2020 - 10:19 pm
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Hi Lucky and family, welcome. We are so sorry you are dealing with this tough situation. Our Fairy Vet Mother Dr. Pam has lots of experience in this area and she should be here soon to share her feedback.

Meanwhile, you may want to check out a blog post about Tripawd injuries to remaining limbs. In short, yes, it is possible for him to have a good recovery provided that your surgeon is good and your rehab team is too. This article explains more:

Remaining Limb Surgery Recovery for Tripawds

What to Know About Remaining Limb Surgery on a Tripawd

All About Remaining Leg Surgery Recovery for Three-Legged Dogs

When a Tripawd Needs Another Leg Surgery

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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11 June 2020 - 8:59 am
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Dogs typically recover well from CCL surgery and most dogs start using the limb within a few days of surgery. Regardless of which type of repair you choose I would definitely seek a surgeon with a lot of experience.


Member Since:
10 June 2020
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11 June 2020 - 11:08 pm
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Thank you! I talked with an orthopedic vet in Sun Valley ID that was in one of the articles. I need to decide pretty fast. He was getting around fairly well until tonight and did something that made him yelp. Now he won’t even attempt to walk😢

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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12 June 2020 - 10:59 am
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Oooooh you talked to Murphy's surgeon? He's pretty awesome. That's the kind of vet I would want if our Wyatt Ray needed a surgery like this. Are you in Idaho?

Poor pup. Make sure he's got some good pain medication OK? Not just Tramadol either, but something stronger for acute pain. Ask your vet today and keep us posted.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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