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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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Failed Ortho Surgery, Now Amputation. Suggestions?
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Member Since:
2 February 2022
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9 February 2022 - 3:42 pm
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Hi, I am new to the site but have found it extremely informative.... especially following Gabriel's surgery/recovery. Raven is a 13month old black lab mix who has failed orthopedic surgery on his left front humerus (car accident before I adopted him). He is scheduled for amputation 3/11. So, needless to say I need all the help/information I can get! I did not see a discussion about how to transport post-op. I was told he would be released for pick up the day after surgery. I have a Subaru Outback with a hammock type dog sling in the second row. Any suggestions how to safely transport him home?  He is being taught to walk with a slip leash. Should I continue with this or have readers of this forum found a harness is best.  Thank you for any advice. Susan 

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24 September 2009
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9 February 2022 - 5:11 pm
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Hello Raven and furmily, welcome! I'm sorry that you are having to join our club. It sounds like you have time to do research, which is great. We are glad you found us too!

 I did not see a discussion about how to transport post-op.

Great point! We talk about it in the Forums among other things people want to know about, but it sounds like I need to do a blog post about it. Thanks for that nudge. When it comes to transporting, it's usually not much different than before. By the time he is ready to go home, he should be able to stand and move enough to get in the car.

You can try assisting him with a DIY grocery bag sling but chances are, your young pup is going to try to jump in as usual. That's fine, since he will have all the power of his back legs that help him jump up. Just make sure you can assist him getting out so he doesn't have a hard landing. The sling, or parking curbside at home will help if you can do that. Do you have a friend who can go with you? 

He is being taught to walk with a slip leash. Should I continue with this or have readers of this forum found a harness is best.

As a young dog, he's going to have a lot of energy and move even faster when he's on three. All Tripawds walk at a faster pace than four-legged dogs for momentum. If he is already walking on a leash that's fine. Just be aware that there may be stumbles during the first few weeks as he gets his sea legs. 

If you haven't already, consider booking a rehabilitation therapy appointment. It's a great way to know what to expect and how to help him stay strong and injury free. As a young pup he's got a lot of years on three legs so you want to make them as low-risk and easy as possible, while giving him the activity he needs. Therapists can help you figure out what's right for him. As his parent, it's up to you to moderate and manage his activity level so he doesn't overdo it over the years. And the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit so you've got nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Be sure to check out our e-book Loving Life On Three Legs for lots of pointers about raising a Tripawd. Here's a few blog posts too:




Stay tuned for feedback from others! And holler with any questions.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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