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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We recently adopted Captain, a stray pit mix who had been hit by a car. The shelter considered amputation, but he seemed to be getting around fine, even though his leg hadn’t set correctly. He is such a fun loving pup, and has an adorable sideways run. Unfortunately, he fell and twisted the already broken leg/hip a few days ago. We took him to our vet, who suggested amputation. He has a fractured femur, hip, and previously fractured pelvis, and tendon, ligament, and nerve damage. I know it’s the right choice, and I’m sure he’ll feel better no longer dragging around a sore leg. But, I’m not sure where to start when he comes home. We have lots of steps, and another dog (who just had acl surgery 4 months ago) to consider during his recovery. He loves his crate, so I’m glad we don’t have to worry about that. What will help him and us while he’s healing? Anything special we should make sure to have on hand, or to do?
Hi captain and family, welcome. I”m away from my desk but will be back in a bit with some thoughts. I wanted to get your post approved so others can see it though, so stay tuned for lots of great feedback. Thanks for joining!
22 February 2013
Oh gosh! Captain has really had a rough time!! Thank you so much for giving this strong and determined fella’ such a loving home!
Is the Vet whomis doing the Surgeon an Orthopedic Surgeo ? If you haven’t already done so, try and get an Orthopedic Specialist to evaluate Captain. With all his injuries some additional special “attention” may be needed during surgery and recovery.
Once he recovers from the surgery, you may want to consult a Rehabilitation Specialist (the Tripawds Fpundstion has a fund set up to help with the first visit if you qualify).
If you jave Harwood floors you’ll want to get non slip scatter rugs for traction .
Recovery is no picnic for about two weeks. It IS major surgery! The Vet should send you home with Tramadol, Gabapentin, Rimadyl and an antibiotic.
Rest, rest and more rest. Sounds like the crate is yiur perfect solution. Just short potty breaks, no jumping, etc.
Is there anyway to avpid the stairs? Are you talking ablut outside stairs? If so, is it possible to build a ramp? If inside is there anyway to keep him in a area where he won’t jave ro use steps?
These are just a couple of quick tips to get yiu started. Be sure and check out all the downlaod e-books and Loving Life On Three Legs .
When is his surgery scheduled? Is he spending the night in a 24/7 clinic?
CAPTAIN WILL BE SO MUCH HAPPIER WITH THAT BUM LEG GONE!! 🙂 We’re here to help you in a yway, somplease lean on us and ask any questions you have! Tons of first hand experience here, that’s for sure!
Can’t wait to see pictures and hear more about Captain 🙂
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!
Sally gave you some great input!
To that I’d like to add that if you’ve been through a cruciate tear surgery recovery, this will be a breeze for you! Seriously, amputation recovery is easier most people say.
Do check out Jerry’s Required Reading List , you’ll find lots of helpful tips there too OK?
And thank you for adopting Captain. How recent was the adoption? You might still be within the qualificiation period for a Tripawds Rescue Reimbursement Grant!
We adopted him back in September. The shelter vet had considered amputation, but decided he was getting around well enough as-is. We had recently lost a dog to cancer (a six year old St. Bernard named Zoe), and our Molly (a 9 year old lab) was recovering from ACL repair.
We didn’t know how extensive his injuries were, but knew that no one else would adopt him, given his history. He and Molly have been inseparable ever since. If he’s not at her side, he’s with our son, who’s 5. Luckily, he’s much smaller than Molly, and I can pick him up to carry him. Of course, he took himself down the stairs today when I wasn’t looking, so he’s not going to let anything stop him.
18 October 2009
How old is Captain? My current Tripawd is a little pug mix named Elly who lost her back right leg after being hit by a car when she was just 7 months old. She gets around just fine, including flying up and down stairs, and can do pretty much whatever a pup her size and age can do. I bet Captain will do much better without that painful leg!
I second what Jerry said about amp vs. acl surgery. My first Tripawd was a pug who lost a back leg to mast cell cancer. She was hopping the day of surgery and never needed help getting around, although it took some months to build up her strength and stamina. My quad pug Obie has had both knees repaired- in each case he wasn’t removed from activity restriction for months- but then again you have lived that!
I think your biggest issue with Captain will be to keep him quiet while he heals. While Elly was a Tripawd when I adopted her I went through the recovery period with my pug Maggie. Our surgeon told us only short leashed potty breaks for the first two weeks after surgery.
Traction is very important as Sally mentioned. Also- many of us here use a harness- specifically the RuffWear Webmaster harness . Elly does not need help getting around but it is very useful to get her in and out of my truck, helping her over obstacles, and getting her out of trouble (she is a little erratic around other dogs).
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls