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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4 December 2017
Hi everyone! We live in NC and are waiting for transport to bring us our new dog, Santana from a rescue shelter in Abilene Texas. I just wanted to get some advice on what I need to make sure I have for him when he gets here. So far, it looks like I need a good orthopedic bed , raised food bowls and paw cream. I was looking at supplements but, some posts say to start right away and other say wait until symptoms arise. I think I will ask my vet when I take him in for his first check up, we don’t know how old he is, he looks like he is around 2-3. His leg was amputated when he was found trapped in some kind of fencing and suffered major nerve damage. I know I can find the dog bed and bowls but, are all pad creams the same? Won’t that make his feet slippery? We have some that we use on our Vizsla that is lavender based but, she licks at her feet when we put it on.
25 April 2007
Hi there and welcome! Santana is a lucky pup to have you!
Have you seen our Tripawds Shopping List? Many things on here are for amputation recovery but a fair amount applies to adopted amputees as well.
I highly recommending picking up a copy of Loving Life On Three Legs , which is geared toward life after amputation and how to keep your dog fit and injury free.
What are your floors like? Do you have stairs in the home? The best thing you can do is Tripawd-proof your home by adding non-slip surfaces and blocking off staircases with slippery surfaces. Tripawds can do a few steps (3 or 4 say) without a problem but more than that and they should be supervised when using them. A Ruffwear Webmaster harness is useful for this purpose as well as helping Tripawds in and out of vehicles.
Most people don’t mention pad creams a lot here but if you live in an arid climate they can be useful. Some will make paws slippery so always be sure to have throw rugs and traction around your home.
You mention you have another dog. One challenge that folks face when one dog is a three legger and the other is four, is the Tripawd will always want to keep up with the quadpawd. This isn’t always good for their joints or muscles. A Tripawd needs different activity levels than a four-legger (shorter, more frequent walks of 15-20 minutes tops, as opposed to one or two long walks in the day). Our e-books and the Tripawds Gear blog talk about that a lot. You may want to consider purchasing a dog stroller and training Santana to enjoy riding in one, so the whole pack can get out together for longer periods of time.
A good thing to do is to gauge his fitness level so you match it to your other dog and make sure Santana gets appropriate, save activity. The best way you can do that is to visit a canine rehabilitation therapist. They can evaluate Santana to find out what his physical strengths and weaknesses are and show you how to avoid injury. The best part is the Tripawds Foundation may even pay for your first rehab visit !
Oh and we also have a Tripawd Rescue Reimbursement Fund so you can apply for that instead if you prefer! Thanks for giving a Tripawd a great home!
Stay tuned for feedback from others!
21 May 2016
Ditto to René, you’re all covered !
And many congratulations, your dog is a lucky dog, it sure looks like he found the most loving family 💓💓
Lots of hugs and cuddles 😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹
Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-)