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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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Xena's surgery is done..
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15 September 2010 - 3:45 pm
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She was supposed to have it done yesterday but the vet needed to move it till today. At first he was adamant about leaving the scapula but after I  read so much about it here and me asking him about it a few times he decided to go ahead and take it off. I just got off the phone with him and he seemed very pleased. I will go and visit with her in the morning and depending on her progress will depend if she can come home then or wait for the next day. Thank you all for your kind words of support and knowledge. Zeus is my other Pyrenees, and I can hear him outside barking at sounds in the distance I guesswhateverclown

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15 September 2010 - 4:02 pm
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Glad it went well!!!!  Always good to be a cautious pawrent too!

After Chloe had her amputation I didn't visit because I didn't want her to see me and then get anxious because I couldn't take her home.  She stayed 2 nights with technicians watching her around the clock and her vet called me 2-3 times a day to give me an update.  Some people have visited their dogs during hospital recovery, but sometimes they were really doped up and did not seem to recognize their owners.

It is your decision as to whether you visit Xena, but I am sure that she is getting proper care at the vet.  It is so hard to leave them, but you will be able to see her soon.

Get some rest before you take her home, you are going to need it!!!

-Chloe's mom

Chloe became a rear amp tripawd on 7-29-10. Another tumor was removed on front leg 2-20-14. Found 3rd tumor on neck 2-2015, but she's still kicking cancer's butt at age 14. Chloe's blog

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15 September 2010 - 4:55 pm
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Happy to hear all went well! I brought Leo home the morning after his surgery. I was very nervous to see him when I went to pick him up because I wasn't sure what sort of condition he would be in. I was very surprised to see that he was wide awake, alert and very excited to see me and go home. A little too excited for my comfort level considering the surgery and all. The vet must have agreed because he carried Leo's 90 lb butt out to the car so he wouldn't fall on the floor.

Xena is in good hands for tonight so definitely rest up because Chloe's Mom is right – you will need it. Good luck to you! Hope all goes well tomorrow.

Sheri and Angel Leo

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15 September 2010 - 7:25 pm
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Good news that all went well. Tasha stayed in the hospital for two nights and we didn't visit her, for me I think it would be hard seeing her and then have to leave her again  I would be afraid she might not understand why she had to stay behind.  She was very happy to see us when we did pick her up and we were so excited when she came hopping into the room wiggling and happy.

 I hope for a speedy and uneventful recovery for Xena.


 Jo Ann & Tasha 

Tasha 8 years old, First cancer diagnosis 6/26/09, Last cancer diagnosis 9/26/09, Amputation 10/01/09, Loving our girl moment by moment.

Tasha lost her battle and became my Angel on May 4 2011. Forever in my heart….

Las Vegas, Nevada
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15 September 2010 - 10:40 pm
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Oh!  That's wonderful news!  Now you can breathe!   Hoppy Days are here again! 

Thank you for the update! 

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

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16 September 2010 - 6:11 am
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Yay!  We're so glad all went well with Xena's surgery!  Make sure to give her plenty of loving when she gets home – and some big hugs from us!  Best wishes for a great recovery for your beautiful girl!


Holly, Zuzu and Susan

Holly joined the world of tripawds on 12/29/2009. She has a big little sister, Zuzu, who idolizes Holly and tries to make all of her toys into tripawds in Holly's honor. And she's enjoying life one hop at a time!

Golden Girls
16 September 2010 - 7:10 am
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We are so hoppy to hear that the surgery went well. We got to pick Skyler up the day after surgery, and it really was amazing just how alert she was. She hopped right to us, wagging her tail. Get lots of rest!!! Sending hugs & pawsitive thoughts your way…


Cathy/Jane/Spirit Skyler/Chloe

16 September 2010 - 7:35 am
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Thank you all. Yes I know how hard it is to go visit and then have to leave her behind. She was in the hospital before (back in May, right after she was run over) for a week two different times because of the surgeries to try and save her legs with pins and screws. When those failed I had to take her back quite a few times before removing those to go to a splint. I was wrapping her leg and redressing it every day. So I think she got a bit used to me leaving her (well, a bit anyway). It did help that the whole staff and all the vets just loved her and pretty much gave her the run of the place. So, I may just wait till tomorrow if that's when she can come home. As far as sleep goes, I haven't had alot of that for the last few nights as I have come down with a miserable sinus infectionugh. Life goes on…Now I'm readying her bedroom, mattress on the floor, extra rugs and baby gate on it's door. I already got her an extra high (12″) feeder and water station and the tough harness from this site has been on order since the 9th so I figure it willbe here by the time her stitches and staples are out.

The Rainbow Bridge

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16 September 2010 - 10:23 am
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Bravo for being a good pawrent-advocate for her! I think you’ll be glad the scapula is gone, those stumpy things just get in the way for most of us.

Together, you’ll both do great. Sorry about that sinus infection, I hope you get to spend time snuggling and recuperating together.

Glad to hear everything went well. Keep us posted.

P.S. oh and when you pick her up be sure to have bedding down in the car in case the incision leaks.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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16 September 2010 - 10:34 am
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Aw, thanks Jerry. I just talked to the vet and he want's to keep her another night cause she seemed painful rthis morning and put her on a pain med drip. He said after that she has been resting and just looking around like she comfortable. I'll rest up myself today and not go over there and chance disturbing her. I'm going to make her some lovely meaty meals here in a little while that I can freeze in single servings for her. She loves my cookingwinkbig-blink

The Rainbow Bridge

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16 September 2010 - 10:40 am
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That’s good, an extra night can’t hurt that’s for sure. And yeah, it’s usually better not to visit, as hard as it is to stay away.

What a lucky girl to have you cooking for her. Feel free to share your recipes in our “Eating Healthy” forum, we always love new home cooking ideas.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Cleveland, OH
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16 September 2010 - 4:21 pm
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I haven't been around as much as I should be embarassed .  Hopefully She'll be able to come home soon!!


Denali is my Great Pyrenees Tripawd, Loki is my other Great Pyrenees quadpawd – so the Pyrs have a special part of my heart.  Denali has bone cancer and is a rear amp.  She does not hop like a true tripawd should – rather she does a bunny hop because of “mild” arthritis and “mild” hip dysplasia (which at the time of surgery I was told was too minor to have an impact).

~~~~ Denali ~~~~

June 9, 2010 OSA suspected

June 17, 2010, July 14, 2010 Clear X-rays – no mets

July 1, 2010 Amputation

July 9, 2010 OSA Confirmed

November 23, 2010 Cancer took you from me - Never forgotten, Always Loved - Forever

Supporting the Fighters, Admiring the Survivors, Honoring the Taken, And never, ever giving up Hope

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16 September 2010 - 4:42 pm
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Yea Xena!!!

Your family is so excited and a bit nervous to get you home soon. You take advantage of that pain drip, stay comfortable, you will be up and moving in no time. Your mom has certainly prepared for your return, tasty meals, private room, raised food bowls – just as it should be.

You might remind her to put some soft blankies in the car for the ride home, padding,padding,padding!!! And tell her not to be too concerned if you hang in the car for a bit once you get home. JD was reluctant to get out so we had the 'sling-thing' we made from the reusable grocery bag ready to 'assist' with the exit.

Your mom is not feeling great so be sure to cuddle her real well when you see her.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Spirit JD's mom


One Tough Girl


-Diagnosed with osteosarcoma of her left front leg –

-Amputation July 23 2010 –

-The cancer didn't get her, but she is gone-

-She fought the cancer and loved life till bloat brought her down August 29th, 2010-

Now she watches over her mom and two new sisters, the Quad-Paws Serena and Maya

16 September 2010 - 8:01 pm
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You guys make me cry every time I log on…thank you all for your understanding of my great love for my animals. Ride home won't be a problem, I purchased a small Toyota Tacoma with extended cab JUST for my big dogs to have a cool ride with no big step up. Little did I know 4 years ago when I purchased this, it would really be a Godsend for her. The area  (be it tiny for humans legs to have room) space for ONE Pyrenees who needs a flat and confined space with a Mom's old comforters being the padding. (see, we always knew we would have a reason to keep the out of style beddingwinker) is perfect and with just a few pillows makes her 5 minute ride home a little better.  I have it planned that I will spend at least the first few nights in Xenas bed with her ( mattress on the floor). I'm just so concerned that she will need to move or go out and I can't be right there to help her up or down, so I am figuring I will need to be with her every second , I am prepared.!! or I hope I am…

Here and Now

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16 September 2010 - 9:16 pm
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camelzebrafarm said:

I'm just so concerned that she will need to move or go out and I can't be right there to help her up or down, so I am figuring I will need to be with her every second…

Actually, this is very rare, and doing so can be very detrimental to the healing process. As Drs. Kramer and Waldman suggest, a little “tough love” can go a long way to help speed recovery. As much as you may want to run to Xena every time she whimpers, the best thing you can do is let her learn to do things on her own, only helping her when absolutely necessary. Dogs whose pawrents help them up, bring them food, and pamper them, only come to rely upon the assistance, prolonging recovery. So … you are already more prepared than you think!

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