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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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Member Since:
28 October 2021
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28 October 2021 - 12:30 pm
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My sweet puppy Poppy (medium sized heeler mix) injured the foot on her remaining back leg. I think we're in for a long period to heal, maybe a sprained toe. The vet said maybe a bruise. Anyway, she's depressed in a cone and I want to try her in a boot instead. Does anyone have any recommendations for a breathable boot with traction that can be worn for a long period and go in and outside? We're in the rainy Pacific northwest... Or any other ideas that might help my furface?

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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28 October 2021 - 2:04 pm
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Hi Poppy and family, welcome. Sooo sorry about the injury, that's a tough situation! 

So is she trying to gnaw on her foot? Is she on any pain control? That will help her not want to mess with it, in addition to some kind of other device. Unfortunately the cone of shame is the most fool-proof. If she is prone to messing with her foot, a boot won't stop her from getting to it.

Boots are made for very short term use because they make it too easy for yeast and bacteria to grow inbetween sweaty toes. They also make it hard for a dog to feel the ground, which is necessary for proprioception (awareness of one's body in space). I don't know of a single one that has enough breathability to wear all day. When boots are necessary, we prefer Ruffwear Booties because they are so well made and fit great.

Have you tried any of the cone alternatives?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
28 October 2021
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29 October 2021 - 10:16 am
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Thank you! I wondered about the impact of long-term boot use. Thanks for the info. She's been on carprofen for about 5 days. She's not gnawing on it, but was licking the snot out of it to the point where she started to develop a sore. I thought maybe the carprofen was messing with her equalibrium because she'll start to walk, then slump into her rear end, but I just tested her out and she's really favoring the paw. Can't put any weight on it. It's been about 10 days since she first showed signs of pain. She's eating fine and drinking water, but I haven't seen her make any deposits in the last few days, if you know what I mean. She can't put weight on her foot to squat.

So my next question is: Got any thoughts on how to give her support so she can go potty?

I'll look into cone alternatives. She's so bendy she can almost get to the foot with her current cone.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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29 October 2021 - 11:03 am
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You are so welcome! 

Yeah the licking is not a good sign, definitely a pain signal, and the not pooping is another one (good observation, she can't squat). It sounds like things are not getting better but worse? If that's the case, keep your vet in the loop. Even a phone call would be good so they may be able to brainstorm about how best to move forward and help her heal. She may need additional pain management .

Do you have any kind of harness like the Ruffwear Webmaster or Flagline harness ? Something so you can help take some of that weight off her rear would be good. Even a DIY grocery bag sling could help.

Also check out this post. It talks about urination but the ideas may work for poopiconing too:


Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
28 October 2021
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31 October 2021 - 5:52 pm
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Poppy seems to be doing a little better the last few days. Cone off without foot licking and she's getting around a little better. Can't launch up steps, but she's managing to go potty ok. We've an appointment to get an x-ray tomorrow morning to understand what's going on.

I'm relieved that she seems to be on the mend.

Thanks so much for the support. We've only been together for 8 months, and as a new tripod parent, it's so comforting and helpful to have this resource.


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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31 October 2021 - 7:32 pm
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Just catching up on your precious Poppy.  As usual,  great input from Jerry.👍

So glad to hear things are a little better today.  Good sign👍  And pottying seems to be getting better too. Yay!

And I maynhave missed it, but did you adopt Poppy as a tripawd?


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!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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1 November 2021 - 11:12 am
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WHEW! That's great news, thanks for letting us know.

Eight months is not a long time, you guys are just getting started. We are glad you found us and happy to help any way we can.

Hope you get some good x-rays today! 

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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