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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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6 week old puppy
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23 May 2010 - 10:35 pm
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6 weeks ago my Molly became the proud mother of 10 Springer Spaniel Puppys  the kid’s have been playing with them and have named all 10. Everything was going as expected. Then Chewie hurt his front leg last saturday, so off to the vet we went. By monday he was showing no improvement. Tues. Wed Thur.  at the vet with no improvement only getting worse. On Friday the vet tells us that the leg is gone  and we need to amputate. So at 2 pm we leave him and return at 5pm to take him home. He look’s helpless, laying there in the blanket. My kid’s ask “whats the tube in his shoulder”? “Will he be OK”? and other questions ? I tell them he will be OK. So off to the internet with the kid’s looking for three legged dog’s to show them that everything wiil be fine. Chewie is doing great and for only being 6 weeks old. He has been trying to play with the kids and I have been worried that he will over do it. Chewie goes to our vet tommorow to have the tube checked and have a little IV tube removed from his hind leg. The vet left the IV tube in his hind leg in case we needed emergancy care over the weekend. I have never dealt with a three legged dog before.  I am trying to anticipate what my dog might need and all that has happened thru the last week. So for now I will look thru the posts and look for information to give my Chewie all that he deserves.

The Rainbow Bridge

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23 May 2010 - 11:59 pm
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Hi kydog, thank you for joining us here. We so sorry about Chewie’s accient, but we’re betting that he will make a full recovery and do GREAT! Being that he is so young, he’ll have the stamina and strength to overcome any challenges that he may face. Rest assured, there probably won’t be many, just wait!

There are some things to keep in mind that will make the transition easier. Check out these Top Questions About Amputation, you may find answers here.

What to Expect Part 1
What to Expect Part 2

When he gets bigger, he may need some assistance navigating in and out of vehicles, over small obstacles and such. We’ve found that a harness is indespensible for Tripawds. In Chewie’s case, we’re betting the Ruff Wear harness will do the trick!

As for exercise and overdoing it, here are some great tips from the California Animal Rehabilitation folks.

Be good to his joints and always ensure that his weight is a bit thinner than average. Because Tripawds work harder than 4-leggers, excessive weight is a no-no. You can read up on Tripawd Nutrition in our Tripawds Nutrition Blog.

And finally, you can show your kids that Tripawds have great lives just by showing them the tons of videos we have here of Tripawds playing, swimming, etc.

We hope this helps. Good luck tomorrow, let us know how it goes. And when you can post a pic of Chewie, we can’t wait to see the little guy!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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25 May 2010 - 5:41 pm
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Jerry, thanks for the reply and the information.

so for now just an update:

Well everything is going great, had the IV removed on Monday. My kids are over the fear of holding him or hurting him when they hold him with the drain tube an all. My vet says that everything looks very good. The drain tube comes out tomorrow. Chewie is responding well but seems tired allot but there again at 7 weeks old puppy’s sleep allot don’t they? I have noticed that when Chewie is playing that his shoulder is moving like he is moving the leg that is not there. He is so small that I have been carring him outside for his poty breaks. and I only play with him on a blanket on the floor. He is eating well (hand fed of course) and he is about thru with nursing on his mom. He does not have the stamana of his 9 siblings but is stile recovering. Will give another update in a couple of days.

Here and Now

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Mesa, AZ
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26 May 2010 - 11:26 am
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Our dog Chuy lost his left frt. leg at the ripe old age of 4 months.  He is now 2 yrs. old and his shoulder still moves when he is sitting around.  Not to worry about that, it’s just the muscles flexing!  Your Chewie will do just fine as a Tripawd puppy.  Once he’s healed, he’ll never even remember having that extra leg.  He’ll be jumping, running and playing with the other dogs just like a normal pup!  Keep us posted on how he’s doing.

Chuy and Eleanor

Chuy, showing everyone that Tripawds do everything 3 times better than regular dogs!

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Las Vegas, Nevada
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26 May 2010 - 3:30 pm
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Adorable!  I’ve got one that was born with a funky non-working leg and she hasn’t missed a thing in life!

Best wishes!


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.

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26 May 2010 - 7:23 pm
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Tons of puppy prayers and lots of love we send to your sweet little guy.

Sounds like Chewie is in wonderful hands – cant wait to see some pictures!

Best of luck with your wonderful gift (I think all tripawds are gifts!)

Love Heather and Spirit Zeus

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

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