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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: 2
Member Since:
16 October 2017
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16 October 2017 - 3:35 pm
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I am considering adopting a tripawd puppy.  He is 2 months old and is missing a portion of his back left leg due to a birth defect. The stump looks mostly healed but I do not have any experience with a puppy or dog missing part of a limb. Would I be a good fit? Are there any major health concerns I should worry about? Can he play when he is a bit bigger? Will he be able to fetch a ball if I throw it for him. Does he need a prosthetic?  I am on a limited income due to my own disabilities. I can function but I do not receive a large amount of money from Social Security.  I am home all day and would like a companion. 

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 25230
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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16 October 2017 - 5:00 pm
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Hi Alanna, welcome! It was so great talking with you on the Tripawds Helpline . I can tell you’ll make a pawesome Tripawd parent just by the way you are reaching out for info before committing to adopting this sweetie. To recap our conversation here’s what I mentioned:

  • Younger Tripawds of less than a year old may encounter more issues as they age. If bones aren’t done growing, compensating for that missing limb can cause issues in the future like elbow dysplasia. We were recently told this by an orthopedic vet. 
  • However, you can do many things to delay the onset of joint and bone issues, such as: monitoring the dog’s activity to ensure he gets the right amount and type of exercise and keeping him slim.
  • Tripawds don’t necessarily “need” prosthetics . But if a dog has much of the limb remaining, it’s worth investigating. Prosthetics can absolutely give an improved quality of life for the dog who adapts to them, and the human who can invest the time and money into the devices.
  • The best thing for any Tripawd is to emphasize mind games like Sniff-It, obedience, canine nosework and other activities that tire out the dog’s brain over their bodies.
  • Look into a consult with a certified canine rehab therapist to understand what this dog’s needs are and how to meet them. The best part is the Tripawds Foundation will even pay for your first rehab visit !

We are so glad you are thinking of adopting this dog and hope to see you back here again with news that you got approved. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 17555
Member Since:
22 February 2013
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17 October 2017 - 9:26 pm
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Just want to say thank you for considering givi g this very special pup a loving home! 🙂   A tripawd is such a special Soul in so many ways!  He will e rich your live in ways that you never thought were possible! ‘And clearlre you will enrich his.

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Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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