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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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10 March 2009 - 8:46 am
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Hi everyone I am new here but wanted to ask peoples opinion on my situation:-

My Fiancee and I have a 3year old border terrier (Lilly), unfortunately 2 months ago she ran out infron of a car and got hit head on at 30mph, luckily she survived and had no damage accept for she has been left with her front right leg paralysed.  We believe she has an injury to the brachial plexus being partially avulsed.  I say partialy as initially they said she would not regain any feeling in the limb however after a lot of physio and hydro therapy she has regained feeling down to just past her elbow and can activley use her shoulder and some function of the elbow (e.g. give paw when asked).

We now face the dilema that we have been told the chances are she will not regain more feeling or use, we are unsure if she would be eligable for a carpual fusion operation so she could keep the leg or if that will benefit her or wether we should just have the leg amputated.  My worry is that leaving her with only one front leg will cause her to devlop arthritus in the good legs joints and she will end up having to be put to sleep early in her life, so ideally i would like to see if her bad leg could be any use to her but maybe i am being over protective? has anyone any information or views on what we should do?

Many Thanks


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10 March 2009 - 11:14 am
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Thanks for joining the discussion JK! FYI: If you register, your posts will not require moderation and will appear immediately.

With such good technical information you might consider posting this question in our Ask A Vet forum discussion.

We can only speak from experience, which taught us that dogs adapt very well and can live long happy lives on three legs. Be sure to watch the second part of our Slab City dogs movie featuring Ruby, another four legged tripawd. Her people did not amputate because they believe she is slowly regaining strength in her damaged leg.

Best wishes with your decision. Thanks again and keep us posted.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

26 May 2010 - 6:17 pm
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I am also very new to this site. However I don't know that I would ever be able to have to decide to amputate or not. The choice was not an option for Chewie. Alltho it has only been a little over a week since the surgery and Chewie is very young, he is up and going strong. But I am thankful that I found Tripawds. If you are new to Tripawds like I am there is a wealth of information and support. Thank you Tripawds!

On The Road

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24 September 2009
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26 May 2010 - 6:59 pm
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Thanks for the kind comment kydog ... makes all our efforts worthwhile!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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