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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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1 October 2010 - 7:16 pm
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Great video! Comet is truly an inspiration to us! She gets around just fine and what's really funny is she looks so much like my dog Angelica…I will post pics soon. I'm just so mixed right now about what to do…he's only missing such a small part of his leg I honestly believe he would do well with an artificial limb. I will see him again this weekend, he's getting around really well and I'm sure Halo will do fine either way!

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 October 2010 - 8:47 pm
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We have heard a lot of stories about dogs who get artificial limbs, but we never hear how they do long-term. My impression after talking with 3-Legged Max (see prosthetics article in the blog) is that unless pawrents have a LOT of time to devote to training them how to use it, they typically do better without. If I were you, I would just wait and see how things go before investing in one. Dogs are so much more resilient than humans give them credit for.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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2 October 2010 - 7:35 am
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If it were me, I think I would wait until your un-named puppy has his surgery before deciding on trying out an artificial limb.  Having the artificial limb might help with balance and spinal alignment.  I know absolutely NOTHING about artificial limbs though but your vet should be a good resource for you.  Good luck with your baby.  

Debra & Angel Emily

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Greater Western Washington area
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2 October 2010 - 9:29 am
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I am sorry I am late to this pawty.   What a cutie your new puppy is!  Congrats on the new family member. 

I wish to tell you that my dog had his “shoulder” scapula left in.  It is an easier surgery for the vet, but because there is no leg at the site anymore the muscle deteriorates and your left with the bone and skin.  I understand that  can make for an uncomfortable experience when the dog lays on that side.  It also isn't as visually pleasing if your dog has short hair, because the bone will always be sticking out. 

I personally don't care about visually pleasing, but I do care that my boy will be uncomfortable.  I wish that I knew then what I know now and insisted that they remove the scapula.

Just my opinion in case you do opt for surgery.

 

Hugs to your new furry friend,

Elizabeth and Sammy

Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the right front leg 8/23/10,

leg fractured 8/27/10,

leg amputated 8/30/10

http://sammyand.....pawds.com/

 

I couldn't begin to say how special Sammy is to us.  Living and laughing with and loving this wonderful boy is priceless.

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 October 2010 - 6:46 pm
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Another thing to consider with prosthetics is that they can only be used if an adequate amount of limb is left in order to attach it to. If they do take the entire limb, a prosthetic probably won't work.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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2 October 2010 - 7:12 pm
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jerry, good point about the long term use of prosthetics in dogs. There is not a whole lot of information out there. I did find lots of videos on youtube with dogs with artificial limbs and it totally amazed me though. Some of them look like they move so well and I like that it would keep his spine in correct alignment. In all truthfulness I haven't given him the chance to really see how he moves. He was 6 weeks old thursday and I will see him again this weekend. Last time I saw him he was doing ok, but I was told he is getting around really well now. 

 

Emilysmom, your Doberman is beautiful! We did name him Halo. It took a while but my son came up with it and it fits! I think I'm going to hold off on the surgery since it's really best to have as much limb as possible before he ever (if we decide to) gets fitted for a prosthesis. I really need to make a lot more phone calls and do a lot more research before I make any decisions. I don't really feel 100% sure about any direction yet : \

 

Elizabeth – thanks for the information. Can you tell me how much of his leg remained after the surgery? Did it look like the sketch I posted earlier? You bring up a very important point about comfort. One of my main concerns is that this pup has a normal comfortable life and I hope he can be as happy as ever living with us! Thanks for sharing your experience with me.

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7 October 2010 - 6:51 pm
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He's home! What a joy he is!

 

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7 October 2010 - 6:56 pm
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Too freakin' cute for words!

Congrats on the new puppy!

"I don't know where I am."

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 October 2010 - 8:18 pm
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Oh my DOG he IS darling! Look at those ears!!!! Congratulations, we’re so hoppy for you.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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