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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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Forum Posts: 1399
Member Since:
27 July 2014
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20 May 2017 - 8:14 pm
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What a cutie. I think your biggest challenge will be confining her to restricted rest for 10 days. 

You have lots of time for exercises. I’ve never heard of “muscle wastage”. The way your pup is wiggling around I doubt anything will get waste away!  I’m sure you’d want to wait until after the stitches are out before too much activity. Could you ask your vet or a rehab vet about a plan for rehab and strengthening?

My vet just told me he did an amputation on a small adult dog who adapted to 3 legs within 3 days. I suspect it’s much easier for smaller dogs. I always said it was easy for my cat with her short legs because she didn’t have far to fall when doing a face plant. Her little falls didn’t faze her, she’d get up and give it another go.

Have fun!

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Forum Posts: 19
Member Since:
7 March 2017
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22 May 2017 - 3:20 am
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Dally here – thank you guys 🙂

Yes, I guess we’ve been pretty ‘lucky’ in that because she’s had 10 weeks of crate rest, it’s very much “the norm” for her now.

I just spoke with my partner, he’s just come out of Toller’s first check up after surgery,with our favourite vet! The vet said everything is going great – there’s a little rash which could be from the stitches meeting the top they put on her, but it’s already clearing up, and some bruising, which is normal. The vet has cleared her for 2 minute on lead walks 1-2x a day, and doing slightly more walking in the house 🙂 

On Thursday they have said we can stop her pain meds – is this normal?! Haha it seems so soon!! I wondered if it was because she was on pain meds for quite some time due to the original injury, too, or it could be because every single time they’ve done a pain score on her (even just after surgery) she showed no evidence of pain at all. They said if we notice any pain we can give extra doses, but they don’t think that will really happen.

Really good appointment though 🙂

Livermore, CA

Forum Posts: 3846
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18 October 2009
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22 May 2017 - 10:59 am
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Sounds like she is doing great! 

We often see here that the youngsters bounce back really quickly.  When Maggie had her rear amp we were told that only short, leashed potty breaks for the first two weeks.  And Mag was on pain meds for two weeks, but we were tapering down the last couple of days.  All pups are different- if she is comfortable enough without the meds that would be great!

What a great new life she is going to have after all the restrictions are done- free to be a puppy again without crate rest and drugs!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Forum Posts: 134
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13 March 2010
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24 May 2017 - 3:12 pm
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OMD, just got caught up on your whole story. Toller is absolutely adorable and you two have done an exemplary job in getting her the care she needs. I am sorry that she was not able to keep her leg but little dogs do SO well being tripawds! Looking forward to following your adventures on three! 


Martha, Travis Ray, and the Oaktown Pack

Forum Posts: 19
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7 March 2017
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30 May 2017 - 4:26 am
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Hello all, Dally here!

krum15 she is already SOOO happy with how much life has improved bless her, I’ve never seen a dog smile so much 🙂 

travisray thank you! It’s already such a relief to have the leg gone, I only wish we had fought harder for it to happen sooner, so Toller hadn’t had so many months wasted…she’s definitely making up for it now though 😉

Toller is doing GREAT!! She had her last vet appt yesterday, they don’t want to see her again unless we’re worried about something! Her stitches are out, she’s been off pain meds for 4 days, and the vet has said we can build up to full walks over the next 2-3 weeks. We also double-checked about her back legs, because she kind of ‘hops’ when she runs and sits with them wide. The vet reassured us it’s her learning how to balance with one front leg…which we were hoping for!! So I’m going to be reading up on exercises, and we’ll increase her walks a little everyday as she’s still on 5 minutes 2x a day atm.

She’s doing amazing in herself, and now her stitches are out we’re feeling more confident doing things with her…she said hi to our other dogs for the first time (no running play, just sniffing and happy hellos!), we’ve played tug of war etc. We had a lovely rough house last night where she was on her back grinning madly and flailing and I tickled her tummy 😀

Weirdly her ears, after being stuck up since she was less than 4 months old, have flopped!! All we can think is maybe she might be coming into heat soon, and it ties into that? So weird though, and took me a day to get used to it haha!

Saturday night

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Her ‘stump’!

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And she’s such a character, sat in front of the treat drawer until I gave her a sprat and then managed to get to our oldest’s kibble drawer that we’d left open hahaha!

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