Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
Tripawds is your home 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.
Roman is a fairly new Tripawd (6 weeks post-op) and going through chemo (1 of 6 treatments complete). I've been on a mission to help him lose weight since before his surgery. At the advice of his vet, I reduced his kibble by about half and supplemented with green beans, as they are low calorie but help him feel full. This worked for a while but he has started eating around the green beans even when I mix in pumpkin (he licks the pumpkin right off the beans, the stinker) so I'm looking for another low cal option that will help him feel full. I'm working carrots into his meals and that seems to be working for now, but are there any other options that have worked for your tripawds? I'm just trying to get ahead of it or at least have options to switch it up and maybe keep him interested for longer.
I have also started switching his kibble to a "joint diet" (switching from merrick ancient grains to hill's science diet healthy mobility) and he seems to like the new kibble and is tolerating it well. This has the added benefit of less protein since his kidneys enzymes were in the "high/normal" range, determined to be due to normal age-related degeneration. Not directly related to my question, but just thought I would mention.
4 July 2023
Hi Sylvia - so glad Roman’s doing well! Is the goal to help him lose weight, or help him eat more veg, or both?
Speaking only from my own experience, if the goal is only weight loss you can easily do this by cutting his kibble back to approximately 60% of the amount recommended for his goal weight (as determined by your vet) on the petfood package. A trainer once taught us this, saying that pet food companies are out to sell kibble, not necessarily keep your pet at a healthy weight! We’ve used this rule of thumb for both cats and dogs and with just a little tweaking in the end as they neared their target weight, and it has worked great. (We use this handy chart to help us gage our ongoing +/- tweaks.)
As far as feeling full, we’ve found that cats and dogs are creatures of habit (as are we!) and if they’re used to getting more kibble they may complain and beg for more at first, but if you stick with the planned amount, in pretty short order they adjust and don’t seem that bothered. You can also help them savor the smaller amount longer with food puzzles and slow feeders.
I know Honorary Tripawds Spokes Dawg Nellie has gone on a similar journey!
All that said, feeding Roman some veg may still be a great idea, but it can sometimes be challenging to change up diet while doing chemo, so take it slow and see what he likes. (I like your vet’s suggestion of 50% of what’s recommended for his target weight on the kibble package, which then leaves 10% of his calories for veg.) I’m told that starting with cooked veg can help ease them into new options (something I’m going to try with Juno post chemo).
Cheering for you!
Natalie & Juno (aka June)
Hi Natalie! Thanks so much for all the great info and resources. To answer your question, my main goal is to help him lose weight. I was told subbing part of his kibble with veggies was a good way to do that. I have been feeding him raw (canned) green beans so maybe cooking them might help, that's a great suggestion. Hope Juno is doing well with the chemo treatments!
25 April 2007
Natalie's insight is spot on. Go slow, especially during chemo. Yes try steaming the green beans! Our Nellie won't eat them raw but if I steam them and then chop and put into her meal she will. As Natalie mentioned, she was 15 pounds overweight when we adopted her. We went so hard and fast with her weight loss she actually lost tooo much weight and we got scolded by her vet lol! She is now at her ideal weight, one year later.