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.
JUMP TO FORUMS ↓
Join The Tripawds Community
Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:
Hi, My dog Jackson is a mix-breed 50lb. dog approximately 1 year old. I adopted him after he was removed from an abusive home where his leg was fractured in multiple locations. I knew when I got him there was a chance he would need surgery for his leg. After going through multiple vets I found out he needs the leg amputated (his front right leg). I just made the appointment for the surgery in two weeks. I am very concerned for him and was wondering how the healing process went for others and what to expect. Jackson is a very active dog and I have had to hold him back from a lot of activity because of his leg, How soon after surgery will he be able to run around outside again? I have only had Jackson for a short time but he is definitely a member of the family and I want the best for him!
25 April 2007
Hi Jackson and family, welcome! I hope you don’t mind but I moved your post here because this is a great place to learn from others who’ve lost their legs to non-cancer related issues. You’ll find that sadly, many dogs and cats have walked in Jackson’s paws and had to have a leg amputated.
Our very own Wyatt Ray lost his leg to neglect. It happened when he was eight months old. He is now eight years old and going strong. Although it’s not easy when you have a young Tripawd because all they want to do is run around and go bonkers, there are many other things you can do together to prevent him from injuring those remaining legs. Don’t get me wrong, running around is part of being a dog, but as a Tripawd parent we have to be vigilant to prevent them from overdoing it. We address these issues in our e-book, Loving Life On Three Legs , and throughout the Tripawds Gear Blog .
Meanwhile, how’s your house looking for his recovery? Do you have traction on your floors? A place to keep him confined so he’s comfortable and able to remain calm, while not moving around too much?
Getting interactive dog puzzles and games is another smart idea during recuperation and beyond. We highly recommend getting into the habit of playing brain games with him. Did you know that tiring a dog’s brain is just as effective as tiring out his body, without putting it at risk? Yep! See:
As for when he’ll get back to normal. Generally, most dogs get their sparkle back within a couple weeks. But again, you’ll have to think of Jackson’s life as a “new Normal” that is still fun, but filled with more than just chasing a ball or dogs at the dog park. It sounds like work but it is SO rewarding for both of you.
Stay tuned for more feedback from others OK?
18 October 2009
Hello and welcome to you and Jackson.
My current Tripawd is a 2 year old pug mix who lost her right rear leg after being hit by a car at 7 months old. I adopted Elly at 10 months old so she was full of puppy energy. She was healed from her surgery but not very strong so I started her slowly on core strengthening and balance exercises. As Jerry suggested food games and puzzles are great ways to challenge the mind, burn energy and build strength. We have also taken several classes including basic obedience, strength and balance, and tricks. We are currently learning nose work which is really great!
We go to the park almost every day so she gets some walking and grass time where she looks for gophers. We also work every day on strength and balance through the food puzzles, games, balance exercises, obedience, tricks and nose work (not everything every day!). Elly can do pretty much anything a dog her size can do (she weighs 15.5 pounds) including stairs.
As far as recovery time the first couple weeks after surgery are the hardest. However, we have seen here that the young pups seem to bounce back faster than most and I’m guessing that Jackson will feel much better once that painful leg is gone. Our surgeon told us that only short, leashed potty breaks were allowed for the first two weeks (that was with my first Tripawd Maggie). I’m guessing that your biggest issue will be keeping Jackson quiet until the sutures or staples come out.
Good luck with the surgery!
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
Thank you so much for the information. I am a zoology student with an emphasis on animal behavior and I did an experiment on social transmission and learning in dogs. I already use some of the techniques learned from that for Jackson and I will continue to do so after the surgery. He loves puzzle boxes! My apartment is small and mostly carpeted. There is a small portion of hardwood floor in the kitchen and I will have rugs laid down over that.
At night Jackson usually sleeps on my bed with my cat Miracle curled up next to him. Could this cause any problems? Should I keep Jackson in his crate at night?
I was also wondering how soon after surgery I will be able to leave him for short periods of time? Again I am a college student and will need to go to classes and work in the lab during the week days (maximum5-6 hours at a time). I have the surgery scheduled for Friday and I will pick him up the same day after my class. That gives me Saturday and Sunday to be with him the entire day. Again, Jackson is crate trained and can stay in his crate to keep him from being too active while I am gone. Mondays I leave twice for only one hour each time. Is that too soon to leave him?