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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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Weighing your Tripawd?
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Forum Posts: 160
Member Since:
15 July 2016
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18 August 2016 - 8:41 am
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How do others track their dogs weight?  Clearly, Milo is too big for me to hold him while I weigh us, then put him down and subtract my weight.  He's also too big to sit on a nice 12" x 12" bathroom scale.  I did swing by the vet's office a few Saturday's ago to use their scale, but their hours are the same as my work hours for the most part. 

Milo held a very solid, healthy 73-75 pounds for years.  But the day he went in with a limp, he was 83 pounds.  I think that was due to him not being as active due to his May & June shoulder injuries, plus the college kid coming home and restarting his dog feeding routine while husband was also still feeding him.  I think Milo scored double dinners ~3 times a week for a few weeks.

I'm now juggling the various pieces of

  • Changed his diet from kibble to home cooked on diagnosis ~July 15.  All new food!
  • Activity level was way down, but is starting to increase again, but will never be back to what it was
  • We want his weight down to protect his remaining legs
  • We don't want him too skinny because he is fighting cancer

I'm trying to assess his weight by feeling his ribs and fat, but he's a curly-haired dog so his weight isn't as easy to assess visually as many dogs.  It would be nice to be able to weigh him regularly somehow.

Any suggestions?


P.S.  We also have a water drinking issue.  Ever since the surgery, he only wants to drink from a hand-held water dish.  He won't drink from the bowls on the floor or the bowl on his raised dish stand.  He drank from them for years.  I've tried not giving him water in the handheld dish in hopes he'd *have* to drink from a bowl, but I gave in before he did.  Any suggestions for this quirk?

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18 August 2016 - 9:04 am
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Are you close to the vet clinic? They'll happily weigh him on their scale. I did this a few times with my cat so I had consistency. 

I've read that Sally put some ice cream in the water bowl. There might be something else tasty that Milo would like to drink in the water.

Hope Milo continues to heal well.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Forum Posts: 1456
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18 August 2016 - 9:23 am
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Is there a PetSmart near you?  A lot of times there's a Banfield Vet inside of them & they have a scale.

I don't normally weigh our dogs until they go to the vets.


Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs


Livermore, CA

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18 August 2016 - 9:36 am
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Several of the pet stores around where I live have scales, and they are open more hours than a vet office (usually).  They are not always well maintained but are usually functional. 

As far as the water goes- my quad pug boy Obie does not like to drink water for some reason, we have never figured it out.  He will sometimes drink out of the bowl when he is really thirsty, and it does seem that as he has aged (he is 10 now) he drinks more often.  I've always added extra water to his meals which he will lap up. When he does get kibble we soak it in water or chicken broth (from chicken I cook) so there is some added moisture there.

Other things to try are adding low sodium chicken broth to the water.  Tuna water is a big hit around here. 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Los Angeles, CA
Forum Posts: 3554
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18 August 2016 - 10:22 am
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Like others ... I suggest Petsmart since if they have a vet clinic in there, they might have a scale. I did that for Shelby in between chemo appts when she would get weighed there. I am one of those "pet moms" that worries about weight all the time so I also look/feel for ribs and just overall lean-ness. Both my girls are healthy / hearty eaters so I really had/have to watch it. 

I have heard putting ice-cream or chicken stock in the water might help. My girl now, Jasper, won't drink unless I am home as I think she knows she will have to hold it until I get home so I give her some ice-cold water that she really prefers. She also has taken to preferring bottled water which isn't great but it helps her drink! Or if you are concerned about being hydrated, cucumbers and watermelon are healthy for dogs AND high in water content. Also good fillers if you are watching the weight! big-grin

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife


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18 August 2016 - 10:35 am
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Okay, Jerry just had aa ppst abput guaging if your dog is fat or fit. Needless to say, that's not the title! As usual, Ive "searched" and can't find it.

Calling JERRY!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 30837
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18 August 2016 - 10:52 am
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Ask and ye shall receive:

What Is Your Pet's Body Condition Score

We also recommending taking photos of your Tripawd's sides, front and rear on a regular basis so you can track that way too. Taking video of their gait is also a good thing to do, as it helps you to notice any changes from month to month.

Our Tripawds Nutrition blog has lots of diet tips, hop on over!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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Forum Posts: 2010
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18 August 2016 - 12:14 pm
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We did run Otis by our family vet once to get weighed so that they could adjust his heartworm medicine - the missing leg dropped him down in dosage.   Other than that, it seems like he is getting weighed so frequently with onco visits and check-ups (as well as his normal 'senior screen' at our vet) that I haven't worried about it too much. 

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.


Forum Posts: 2043
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11 July 2016
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19 August 2016 - 4:54 am
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Have you tried a water fountain. The moving water might entice him to drink. They make inexpensive ones you can put in his regular bowl to see if it helps before purchasing a fountain. 

PetSafe Drinkwell Hy-Drate

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