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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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:
29 February 2024
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1 March 2024 - 7:40 am
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This past week my dog was hit by a truck. She had her front right leg amputated, and her back right paw is severely wounded. The vet expects the paw will make a full recovery eventually but should take about 6 weeks to heal and she has quite a cast on it. We just brought her home from the emergency vet yesterday. She is somewhat walking, but I think is having a harder time than she normally would because of the paw injury. My partner and I are having a very hard time and I think might still be in shock. I’m so happy she is alive and home, but I want to make this transition as easy as possible for her. Does anybody have post operation advice? I think we are all just so traumatized right now and I’m worried my dog is too from the accident. She’s been peeing herself but we’re working on taking her outside to pee. She still hasn’t pooped since Monday morning but she also didn’t eat at all at the vet and she ate with us yesterday so hopefully that will happen today. What are some things that are common for this situation that I should wrap my head around? What are some key things we should do to help with recovery? Any advice would be appreciated. We are completely devastated. 


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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1 March 2024 - 10:02 am
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Hi Hannah. 

Geez, what an ordeal you and your pup are gping through.  You have come  to the right place for support  and information.

Your post has been approved and we are here to help in anyway we can.

What's  your pup's name? What are his  pain meds, dose and frequency?  How much does he weigh?

Yes, he has extra challenges  with his back paw being in a cast, that for sure.  Trying to adjust to three.....actually 2 1/2 ...after MAJOR surgery.poor fella's

Check out our Gear Blogs,  for some harness options (like Ruffwear harness as an example) that may help when trying to take him out to pee.  In the meantime  you can try a towel sling or a canvas tort bag with handles (cut thru the sides to make a sling)  

The fact that he is drinking, peeing and starting to eat....all good.  You can add some canned pumpkin  ( spices, etc) based on his weight.  That will help soften the stool and make it easier for yim to poop.

If you have hardwood  or vinyl floors use non slip scatter rugs for traction

You can also check out the link to interactive brain games to help keep from getting bored while he's working through recovery.

Slow and easy.  Just quick short potty breaks and back in for rest.  This is doable....patience is the key though 

Update when you can.  You are not alone!  We are with you, okay?


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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1 March 2024 - 12:10 pm
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OH my gosh I'm sorry about your girl! What's her name? How old? What breed type is she? 

I'm so glad she survived the awful ordeal. Of course you are all in shock. Plus, when a car accident is involved, amputation recovery can be extra tough. So be kind to one another and give yourself permission to grieve. This is a major ordeal. 

We are glad you found us, lean on this community! Sally gave you some great input. I don't want to overwhelm you with too much more, so for now I'll just add that our What to Expect article series is helpful at a time like this.

Oh, what pain medication is she on? How much, how often? The best recoveries all start with good pain control so be sure to stay ahead of the pain by sticking to the schedule. And if she shows any signs of anxiety or restlessness, let your vet know as it could indicate the meds need fine-tuning (they usually do).

Last thing for now: your girl will recover on her own timetable. Don't compare her recovery with others, she is going through a lot of healing right now, so be patient and keep the big picture in mind. She WILL get to a good place and amaze you with her strength.

(((hugs)))) to you all! You can do this!

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