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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14 March 2020
Hi from Down Under
i met a beautiful new puppy today who is due to have his hind right leg amputated. He’s a miniature dachshund and from a healthy litter of 4.
unfortunately this one little guy did not receive enough blood flow to his hind leg and the bone did not form properly so it’s all floppy and useless. The owners have consulted the vet and they said they will need to amputate it.
He will be ready for sale in a weeks time so he’s still pretty fresh. I’ll try and attach the video I have of him up and about.
ive never owned a tripawd before but this little guy has melted my heart, but I want to be sure I’m making the right decision. I’m already prepared for ramps and keeping an eye on slipped disc issues for this particular breed. What I want to know is, because he’s been born this way, and it’s the hind leg, how much trouble will he have correcting his posture and gait and will he likely run sideways for the rest of his life. Could this potentially cause more issues for his joints and his spine down the track?
thank you in advance
25 April 2007
Hi and welcome! You ask great questions, this little guy is lucky if he ends up with you.
When it comes to young 3-legged animals, they do tend to have a few more challenges than older ones who lose a leg. That’s because they haven’t had a chance to develop motor skills for balance that come in handy when a leg is removed. As a rear leg Tripawd, he will have different challenges than a front-leg one, but they are challenges nonetheless, especially because of his long body. Later, he may need a wheelchair but that’s not a certainty.
All Tripawds tend to be more prone to arthritis and joint stress over time, it’s something to be aware of but you can do lots to help ease the complications by keeping him slim and properly exercised. We have tons of tips in our e-book, Loving Life On Three Legs . Also check out the Tripawds Gear blog for tips about staying fit.
It would be in the dog’s best interest if you were able to work with a canine rehabilitation therapist to help him learn good mobility and movement for a 3-legged dog. At such a young age it would take time to train him and while he will never have a normal gait, any kind of professional guidance can only benefit the both of you. I know there are practitioners in Australia. Where abouts are you?
Oh, and I’m just curious how badly that leg is mangled? A dog with a “chicken wing” or any kind of stump past the elbow is a good candidate for a prosthetic limb, so if it’s not bothering him or getting banged up right now, I wouldn’t be in a rush to amputate until you take him home and consult with an orthopedic vet who is experienced in prosthetics for pets.
P.S. I hope you guys weren’t affected by the fires. How are things Down Under today? We send lots of pawsitivity and love your way!