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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I just joined this group. I’m getting ready for the arrival of a chihuahua that just had her front leg amputated due to an accident. I want to learn about any special care she might need. Her foster Mom says she is already starting to walk on 3 legs, and doing very well. She loose most of her pad on the other front leg, which I’m told could cause spinal problems. Any advice will be appreciated. It’s my first time with a 3 legged dog.
12 February 2010
hi erica, welcome. what’s your girls’s name?? gayle lost her front right leg in february, and she’s really doing great being a tripawd. she’s about sixty pounds – a lab mix – much bigger than a chichi… good for you looking for a harness, as they are very handy. lots of great resources and ideas on this website, especially about post-amp questions… looking forward to more info about your new sister!!
gayle & charon
Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included). She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.
Love Never Ends
25 April 2007
Hey Erica, congrats on your new pack member! Welcome! As a smaller pup we’re betting she’s going to do GREAT! You’ll be so amazed at how resilient she is. What’s her name gonna be?
Our two biggest pieces of advice for new Tripawds are: 1) keep their weight down to make getting around easier and relieve any stress on the joints, and 2) don’t let them overdo it. I’m betting that for a Chi dog, you won’t have to be too concerned about these, but it’s something to think about.
We like to point people to our Tripawds Required Reading List, which is a rundown of the most basic advice we’ve given to new Tripawd pawrents. I know others here will have their own perspectives too, this is a great community.
Good luck, we can’t wait to see photos of your new baby!
P.S. Hope you don’t mind us moving your topic to this “Beyond Cancer” Forum but it’s really the best place for others who have Tripawds for reasons other than cancer to get inspired by your remarkable girl.
…Any advice will be appreciated.
Be sure to bookmark Jerry’s recent Tripawds Required Reading List. The post includes links to lots of information, help, support and answers to questions we’ve received here over the past few years. You will also find more tips and advice about helpful products for helping with recovery and caring for a three legged dog in the Tripawds Featured Blogs.
Thanks for joining, we look forward to hearing about your pups three legged adventures.
Thank You. I’m really looking forward to learning everything I can to help her. Her name is Abby. Her foster Mom named her already and I’m happy with it. I just put some pictures into the photo gallery on my computer, just have to change the avatar? picture. I was going to put one here, but I dont know how to get the url. It has to say “browse” or I cant upload it.
I’ve been reading some already. Found out the harness will help her, raised feeding bowls are better, and swimming is good exercise after amputation. I haden’t thought of any of those!
I just put some pictures into the photo gallery on my computer, just have to change the avatar? picture. I was going to put one here, but I dont know how to get the url. It has to say “browse” or I cant upload it.
Looks like you uploaded an avatar just fine! If you replace that one, you may just need to clear your browser cache before you notice the changes. (Additional help can be found in the Tech Support forum.)
You cannot upload photos directly to the forums. That’s why we started Tripawds Blogs – to give members and easy way to share their photos here. Otherwise they must be hosted elsewhere online – like Flickr, PhotoBucket, etc. Then you can follow these instructions for embedding images in your forum posts.
Hope this helps.
14 August 2009
Welcome Erica and soon to come Abby!
That’s so wonderful you are adopting a special needs pup!
For a little one like yours, I would be concerned with slipping on any tile/hardwood floors – you’ll want to put down rugs, runners or something to keep her from falling as much. Also, I would be concerned with jumping on furniture. I wouldn’t let her jump on and off furniture since she is a chi. (she will when she gets good on 3 legs, trust us!) Those little legs of hers could break easier than big dogs.
When I was a terrible tripawd mother, I would let Comet jump on and off furniture all the time. She was born a tripawd and I’ve had her since she was a puppy. She’ll still surprise me with a jump on the sofa but I don’t let her jump down. Now she is close to 12 years old.
Best of luck!
Comet - 1999 to 2011
She departed us unexpectedly January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.
She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.
9 March 2010
We’re also an adopted tripawd family. Dante had his left front leg amputated at 8 weeks old.
I second Comet with the jumping. It’s something we’re ever vigilante about being that Dante is still growing – I spend most of my days running to pull him off the couch before he jumps off, LOL. He doesn’t quite get the ‘no furniture rule’ yet. The first few weeks were tough, he’d try to jump before we could catch him and his leg would fold under and he’d land on his face – now he can do it, but we’re quicker to catch him.
Another big thing that has been said, is to not let them over-do it. Dante is pretty good about knowing his limits – but every now and then I have to call time out, because I can see in the way that he moves that he is over-exerting himself.
I’m glad you found the site – it’s been invaluable for us since we adopted Dante. I had some serious doubts when we brought him home – but the info on here has made me feel much more confident in being able to take care of him properly.
27 April 2009
Hi Erica and welcome to you and your new charge. Having a Tripawd live with you is a wonderful learning experience. I can’t tell you how much Chuy has taught us in the last 1 1/2 yrs. As for the remaining frt. foot losing most of it’s pad. You may want to use a doggie boot on it until it heals fully. It will protect it from any minor cuts and abrasions, help keep the foot from getting burned in the summer heat too.
Keep us posted on the new kid!
Chuy and Eleanor
Chuy, showing everyone that Tripawds do everything 3 times better than regular dogs!
They’ve been in touch with Neopaws and I believe they will be getting boots from them. The foster Mom called me today and said she will be getting the amputation stitches out tomorrow and probably the toe stiches too. She said her foot is really bothering her more than anything, it’s still pretty raw. She’s also concerned about the affect it will have on her spine. I’m sure when she goes to the vet for the stiches out, we’ll get more information about her foot, too. I’m guessing if she’s concerned about the spinal problem because of the pad and toes on the foot, it would be because of the amount of pad lost, making the leg a little shorter? So, a shoe with padding in the bottom would be whats needed?
Platform shoes for pups? If you want to avoid spinal issues, watch our three part video interview with Cal Animal Rehab where the founding doctors share lots of exercises and stretching tips for three legged dogs!
Abby got her stitches out yesterday and is looking good. Apparently she spent the night stealing all the other dogs toys! It was her first night without the cone on too. I did find out, it’s not just her pad on the other foot that was injured, her toes were amputated too. Those stitches also came out yesterday. Her toes seem to bother her more than the amputation.
I found the perfect boot made by therapaw. It is meant to be used in place of a bandage, or when the foot needs protection. Unfortunately, their discontinuing them, and they only come in Small. I think she will take an extra small. I also found a splint that goes over the ankle and under the foot then goes up, so it would protect the toes. I should have gotten the link so I could ask opinions.
I’m still trying to think of everything I’ll need when she gets here. I’ve ordered her a bed, toys, and am looking for raised feeding bowls. I don’t know if she has a collar or not.
I’m still trying to go somewhere to watch the videos. One of my dogs was sick and I’ve been taking care of her. Don’t like to leave them alone if they’re not feeling good.
… am looking for raised feeding bowls.
Or, consider this new elevated feeding station made from recycled materials we just wrote about.
5 April 2009
Hi and welcome!!
We started seeing a physical therapist when we got Shelby, she taught us great message techniques and we also found Dr Deppe’, a chiropractor that has really helped her also. She is very conscious of the alignment between Shelby’s shoulder, spine and hips.
We see Dr Deppe’ every six weeks.
Thanks for adopting a very special dog.