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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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Adopting 3 legged pup soon!
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Forum Posts: 16
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20 September 2010 - 3:46 pm
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Just wanted to update. Consulted with my vet and she said partial amputation would be fine. The pup is not having any problems with his leg right now so we will wait until he gets a little older to do the surgery.

 

Here are pics from today:

 

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Here and Now


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20 September 2010 - 4:07 pm
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What a cutie! Thanks for the update.

We fixed that photo link for you. FYI: Here are instructions for embedding photos in forum posts. For PhotoBucket images, be sure to use the “direct link” in the image URL field when using the Insert Media button (the small tree).

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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20 September 2010 - 5:22 pm
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What a sweetie.  So glad he's getting a great chance at life.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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20 September 2010 - 8:40 pm
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OH MY DOG!

How did I miss this?  It's a mini Comet leg!

 

 

I've had Comet almost 12 years since she was a puppy.  I openly admit I love her deformed leg but I wished I hadn't gotten attached to it and had it removed when she was young.  I'll just tell you…I had to watch out for that leg and was afraid it would get hooked on something.   Plus, she has neck problems and I feel they could have been avoided without it.  The shoulder blade is pretty mucked up and the muscles around it seem to pulling toward the leg.  But I wouldn't put her through surgery now. 

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

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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21 September 2010 - 11:35 am
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Awww your pup is soooo adorable!!! It looks like he was a white pup who stuck his face in some soot 🙂  Whether you do a partial or full amputation, he will be fine. He's not going to use that leg anyway, so why keep it? They adapt quickly and since he will grow up a Tripawd, he won't know any different!

-Chloe's mom

Chloe became a rear amp tripawd on 7-29-10. Another tumor was removed on front leg 2-20-14. Found 3rd tumor on neck 2-2015, but she's still kicking cancer's butt at age 14. Chloe's blog

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22 September 2010 - 1:32 pm
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Thank you so much for fixing the link. I'm sure I will learn how to post pics eventually because I will be posting more soon!

 

Cometdog is so adorable – love the avatar picture! Thanks for the support. Both vets I talked with said they suggest removing some of the leg but not the shoulder.  Also it would be a much easier and less expensive surgery. I'm not sure yet what age he wants to do the surgery…he goes for shots next week and I will find out. It's one question I don't want to know the answer to right now.  I agree since cometdog is 12 not to put her through the surgery now. She seems to have done fine so far!

 

He has a shy personality until a sibling jumps on him then he has a mean little growl! I guess he's learning to be tough already. Good for him…I'm sure he will do fine. I think we are nameing him Halo or Bradley…hard to decide!

 

Thanks hugapitbull for the kind words. How is your dog doing?

 

LOL Chloe's mom – he sure does! He is just getting his bearings and trying to play with the other pups. It's sad to watch him try to use his bad leg! He moves it around and looks at it like he can't figure out why it's not working. Does that eventually stop happening? I already told my children they have to let him learn some things on his own, of course they want to baby him and help him do everything, but I know we have to let him learn….such a hard lesson!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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22 September 2010 - 2:18 pm
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Thanks for your kind words to Cometdog!  I hate to brag but I think she is just the cutest darned thing ever!  She has a very sassy personality in her comfort zone at home. (she's fraidy cat outside of her comfort zone but she makes up for it at home)  She demands everything from us and not in a nice way with a hateful bark;  fluff her bed, keep her bedding clean, don't wake her, carry her upstairs at night, get her a cookie, get her a cookie, get her a cookie, get her another cookie!

 

We actually never treated Comet any different than normal.  She couldn't go around the block which is 1/2 a mile even younger because it was tiring.  But she could play fast pitch tennis ball for hours when she was young.  She loved to go out 20 feet and wait for a low fast pitch that would nearly knock her over.  She was good at it and could do that forever!

 

I think you are going to find very few challenges for the everyday life while young.  You may have some physical issues later on but that's not always the case.  Comet was a two legged ballerina which didn't help her knees. And  it's hard to watch them get old and gimpy.  But Comet still has her personality and I can see her youth in her eyes.  Her body has taken it knocks from hopping but I know she has been happy and I know she wouldn't have wanted it any other way in life.

 

Can't wait to hear so much more from  – Ace, Bradley or Halo????  (Can we suggest names?)

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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22 September 2010 - 7:05 pm
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Chloe had full use of her legs before amputation. Afterward she had the funniest little bunny hop because she had to learn to use only her one back leg for propulsion.  I think that once the majority of your pup's front leg is gone, he will stop trying to use it.  Until then, no suggestions about how to prevent him from doing something silly because he thinks his stump is useful…

And with what cometdog suggested, are you open to new names? Like maybe Ash because it looks like he has soot all over his face… I was going to say “Soot”, but maybe that is a weird name. 

Cheers to many happy tripawd years!

-Chloe's mom

Chloe became a rear amp tripawd on 7-29-10. Another tumor was removed on front leg 2-20-14. Found 3rd tumor on neck 2-2015, but she's still kicking cancer's butt at age 14. Chloe's blog

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22 September 2010 - 7:43 pm
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Comet sounds like one happy and slightly spoiled doggie, LOL!

Yes you can suggest names. I'd love to hear some opinions on what he could be named. We already have 2 cats…one named Ash and the other Coal. Soot or Sooty would fit right in with them, lol. I love original names! I think it's a cute name and I will run it by my children. My son really likes Halo and my daughter and I are undecided. : – 0

I really do feel sorry for him when he's attempting to use his leg and he looks so confused why he can't do what he wants to. It's kind of sad, but I'm trying to be positive and not pitty him. It's so hard when he's only 4 weeks old.

Thanks for the encouragment…I really appreciate all the support and advice I'm getting. It's so helpful to hear your situations and have the understanding that everything is going to be fine. As soon as he starts eating on his own we will be bringing him home.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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22 September 2010 - 10:03 pm
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He looks like he has a top hat and white tails on!

“Tuxedo” – “Tux” for short.

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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23 September 2010 - 4:15 pm
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That's cute too! Problem is getting 3 of us to agree! oh-my

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23 September 2010 - 5:03 pm
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I've been thinking…does anyone on this forum have experience with artificial limbs. He has so much of his leg left I wonder if that is an option?

Off to search…

Here and Now


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23 September 2010 - 5:22 pm
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jwoody said:

…does anyone on this forum have experience with artificial limbs.

Jerry wrote about prosthetics for dogs in the Tripawds News blog long ago, and here are the forum search results for existing topics about canine prosthetics.

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1 October 2010 - 5:04 am
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Thank you for the information. I'm seriously considering a prosthetic leg. It's very expensive so I'm trying to figure out a way to make it work. I've called one company and it was $1,000 for the leg and $80.00 to $100.00 every year or two for upkeep. Any new prosthetic leg would be half the price. They would fit him at 6 months so I still have time to decide. I am quite crafty and might attempt to learn how to make him one!

 

Anyway, we get him in 4 days…going puppy food shopping this weekend! And he just loves to give kisses! : )

Las Vegas, Nevada
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1 October 2010 - 12:15 pm
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OH!!!  How exciting!  4 days!  WOOHOOO!

 

I have to admit, I went through a phase of wanting an artificial thingee limb for Comet, too.  I even tried to think of ways I could retrofit something to her leg.  But it wasn't worth it.  I honestly think it would have been uncomfortable since she was born this way and had her own way of walking/hoping.

I stumbled on this video of her and her brother. (he died last year)   I would like for you to see her move on three legs.  AND!  Keep in mind, she is 9 years old in the video!  AND she had two back knee surgeries!  (she had just had the last one 8 months earlier)

 

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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