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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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Pythiosis - 90 lb with hip dysplasia needs amputation
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Member Since:
16 November 2021
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16 November 2021 - 5:25 pm
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Hi everyone,

I have a dog named Zeke, a sweet almost 2 year old GS mix. We rescued him as a puppy and since then he’s been my number one friend. He was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia when he was less than a year old but since he was still growing and a puppy we decided to treat it with pain meds and exercises. Now at a year and 8 months old he is profoundly better and has grown some muscles in his hips.

Unfortunately he was wounded by something in his rear leg, it started out as looking like a non-venomous snake bite then slowly started looking infected. I brought him into the vet when I noticed the skin turning darker. We treated it as a mild skin infection and was sent home with antibiotics after ten days the wound was looking worse so we brought him in again and we were given antibiotics, a steroid and pain meds for two weeks. After two weeks it was again looking worse, so our doctor decided he would have to surgically remove it, so we removed it around a week and a half ago. We sent it off for testing and it came back positive for pythiosis. 

Pythiosis is a rare form of a fungal infection that doesn’t respond much to medicine. It will spread from his skin to the GI system, luckily we caught it before it had the chance to spread. However the doctor recommended amputating the leg as that’s usually the only necessary treatment. I have a 8 year old mini schnauzer who is also a tripawd, she does amazing and has done amazing ever since the leg was gone. Zeke however i’m a little worried about, he’s 90 lbs, clumsy, and moves awkward. I’m so worried he won’t be able to walk with his one back leg supporting him and I guess i’m looking for a little support and some success stories.

Has anyone dealt with pythiosis? Has anyone had a dog with severe hip dysplasia become a tripawd? 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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16 November 2021 - 8:05 pm
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Hi Zeke and family, welcome. Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away.

I'm so sorry about the pythiosis. How scary! Just glad you caught it and that your dog is soon going to beon the road to recovery. It sounded familiar to me (it's the one nicknamed "swamp cancer" right?), so I looked it up and found these Tripawds members who have dealt with it. Here are the only two returns since we've had Forums (starting in 2007!):



Unfortunately I don't know how things turned out with these dogs. You can try Private Messaging their humans through our system to see if you can find out. If you don't have any luck let me know, I'm happy to help any way I can.

So how does your vet feel about Zeke doing on 3 legs? If there's any way possible to have him evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon that would be ideal.  A rehab therapist would also help you see if he could do well on three. 

As for the dysplasia, that's not unusual. See what I told Banyu's people about that


It's crazy that you already have a Tripawd. Why did your other dog lose a leg?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
16 November 2021
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17 November 2021 - 7:54 am
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Thank you so much Jerry! We’re still working with the vet on what we can do. The vet says he’s not a good candidate for leg amputation but if it’s our only option we have to. It sucks :(. We are going to an orthopedic specialist once we know he has to have the leg amputated. Our other tripawd is Allie and she lost her leg after she broke it in too many places! She’s a fighter! Thank you for the links I will definitely try to private message them, it’s nice to know that other people have gone through the same thing!!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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17 November 2021 - 8:11 pm
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Aww you are so welcome. And I know this sucks, this is the club nopawdy wants to join. I know that you guys can handle it though, based on Allie's story -- yikes! So glad she is OK.

Let me know if you don't hear back from the other members and I'll try to contact them myself.

One question: why would you go to the ortho specialist after deciding on amputation? I only ask because usually the ortho vet visit is for a second opinion before deciding. Just wondering, hope I'm not being too nosy.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
16 November 2021
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29 November 2021 - 4:16 pm
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Hi Jerry! 

Sorry on getting back to you so late, to answer your question we are going to an orthopedic specialist after amputation to see if he’s going to need a rod or stent placed in his remaining hip to help him! I just wanted to update you but he’s getting his leg amputated tomorrow! We had to wait for a blood test to come back before we amputated and it came back as definite pythiosis :(. I’m so sad for him but it’s been refreshing to see so many others have gone through something similar and have recovered so well. He’ll have to of course stay over night so I will be able to pick him up wednesday and i’ll definitely make sure to give updates! thank you for your encouraging words! 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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29 November 2021 - 9:05 pm
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Ohhh OK got it, that totally makes sense about the ortho doc.

Yes, he can get through this and show you he is stronger than you ever imagined!

Well tomorrow is a big day for him and you. Ask any questions and please keep us posted OK? 

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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