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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Hi everyone. I hope this is the right place to post this.
I’m looking for some advice for my Tripawd. He’s a 5 year old front leg amputee (he’s been like that for 4 years now). He really loves a good walk but he’s been struggling with distance lately. This has cut down on our walks but I can see he wants to stay out. Does anyone have a suggestion on how I can still get him out and let him enjoy the walk without getting too tired?
We have recently moved to a town where I can no longer walk him off lead. I think that when he was off lead before he did more of little bursts of running than a constant walk. I also like to go for walks on my own and he will try escape the garden to come with me but then stops half way. Is there a way for him to come with me without too much strain on him.
Hello there! Thanks for joining, your future posts won’t need approval so post away.
Tell us a bit more about your pup. What’s his name? What kind of breed? And how far did he walk previously? For how long/frequency?
Our first recommendation is to always have your Tripawd evaluated by a canine rehabilitation therapist, especially when showing what sounds like pain signals . These experts can guide you in the kinds of exercises that are good for your dog, and the best part is the Tripawds Foundation may pay for your first rehab visit !
Next, there are many ways that he can continue having an active life. Pet strollers are one way you can take him along on your long distance walks.
But please do have him evaluated by a rehab therapist before trying anything new. Front leg amputees are especially prone to front wrist (carpal) wear and tear and it sounds like this may be an issue for your guy. Please keep us posted OK? We are happy you joined us!
Thanks so much for your reply Jerry.
So my boy is about 5 years old, I got him as a rescue 4 years ago and he had just had his leg amputated due to a car accident. He was around 1 at the time. So he has been a tripawd most of his life. His name is Samkha, he’s an absolute mix but essentially a medium-sized black dog.
We used to walk about 2km for around an hour and now he is walking around 1km max before he just sits or lies down so our walks are about 15 mins. We used to walk about every second day, I walk him every few days now.
Unfortunately, we live in a very small town in South Africa and there aren’t any specialist vets or rehab centres here, only regular vets who have seen him but they don’t have much insight for me as to what is wrong. The nearest specialist is about a 6-hour drive away which is a very stressful drive for him.
I will definitely look into pet strollers. If anyone has any DIY advice on that front that would be helpful too as again, I’m quite limited in my little town with things I can find.
Thanks again for the advice! It’s nice to have help with him.
Samkha is a lucky pup to have a parent asking such great questions! What does his name mean? It’s lovely.
OK so I see your predicament. It’s tough, but you can do lots of things to help him so that he doesn’t keep overdoing things. Have you seen our Tripawds e-book Loving Life On Three Legs ? We have lots of great fitness and diet tips there. Also be sure to check out our Exercise Tips in the Tripawds Gear Blog . We link to a lot of products that you may not be able to get where you are, but sift through the results for DIY fitness tips, you’ll find many.
If you have a simple garden wagon you may be able to train Samkha to enjoy wagon rides. That will allow you to take him out for longer periods of time. Check out Tripawd Shelby’s wagon. See how they added sides to it so that she doesn’t bounce out if they hit a bump in the road?
Just try to remember that when it comes to walking, shorter, more frequent walks of 10-15 minutes at most, three times a day are best for Tripawds, even younger ones. I’d love to see pictures of Samkha! Here’s instructions on adding images to the Forums, let me know if you’d like help.
I just remembered that Angel Winston’s mom is donating his stroller in the Tripawds Angel Exchange. These items are not being sold, all you would need to pay for is shipping. That could cost more than the stroller but I thought I’d mention it. Feel free to post in that Forum if you are interested and if you don’t hear back let me know, I know how to get a hold of the poster.
22 February 2013
Absolutely Samkha is a lucky pup to have you as his Soulmate, and him as yours ❤
As Jerry said. much shorter walks can be given a bit more frequently. Ypu eill be surprised at how much Samkha enjoys slowing down and “smelling the roses”. Dogs thoroughly enjoy sniffing all the scents nature offers, far more than how far or how fast they walk.
Another thought, you can get one of those extra long training leads (I think you can get one as long as about 20-25 feet or so). That way he can feel like he’s off lead for a SHORT burst before he gets to the end of the leash. Then he can stop and sniff around for a few minites.
When you want to go on your own walks, maybe you could keep him distracted in the garden by giving him a beefy bone to gnaw on. There are .ots pf “puzzles” you can get for dogs where you can hide treats yo keep them occupied trying to find them.
Is he a front legger or resr legger? There are several little at home exercises you can do to help strengthen his core muscles (his abdomen miscles). Also joint supplements are helpful for a tripawd. Here in the States we use a form of fish oil. etc.
Update when you can and let us know what’s working out for you, okay?
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!
Thank you both so much for the advice.
Jerry, Samkha actually means 3 legs in Thai as I rescued him in Thailand.
I will check out those resources you sent and try some of the exercises. I’m going to go to a little shop we have here and have a look for a wagon, that seems like a really good option.
I’ll also check out that stroller to see how much shipping will be.
Sally, thanks for the advice. I’ll have a look around for an extra-long lead or maybe make one.
He’s missing a front leg. Do you perhaps have a link that has some exercises for him? He currently is on a joint powder as well as some fish oil.
Ohhh I learned a new word today! And it’s so pretty. Thank you.
As for exercises specific to a front or rear legged Tripawd, well, I’m not a PT so take that for what it’s worth. But what I do know from the therapists I’ve interviewed is that it’s not so much about strengthening the legs as it about building stronger core muscles that can help take some of the brunt off the joints. Here are some blog posts about it:
Also, keeping your pup slightly slimmer than you think he needs to be is super important too. Any extra weight can put a lot of stress on the joints.
Oh good! Slim Tripawd = Hoppy Tripawd!
I’ll message Winston’s mom to make sure she saw your post. Remind me if you don’t hear back from her in a few days OK?
Brownie’s stroller is available. It’s like brand new. Brownie does not like being confined and would rather walk and sniff. It’s the gray large expedition. Brownie can curl up and lay down or sit and look out. It has 4 wheels with front and rear entrance. Just don’t know how to get it to Africa. Any suggestions? You can see it on Amazon.
18 October 2009
Hello and a late welcome!
My current Tripawd is a little Pug mix who lost her back leg after a car accident when she was 7 months old. Elly is now 4.5 years old so has been on three for almost 4 years.
Core strength makes a huge difference for Elly. I am good about working on her core strength regularly but sometimes circumstances make us miss a few training sessions over a couple weeks and I can really tell the difference! She isn’t as balanced, she slips more, and she isn’t as energetic on our walks.
For core we do all kinds of trick and obedience training, food puzzles and games as well as balance exercises. A game of tug is a great way to work on core and balance- start slowly with just getting him to shift his weight. It’s amazing what weight shifting does for the core!
As far as walks- Elly is only 15.5 pounds (7 kg) but her most comfortable gait is a bit faster than my old knees can handle. I use a flexi-lead for her (many people don’t like them but they work for us) so she can get out ahead of me a bit. She seems to always find something to sniff so I can catch up. She can walk ‘with me’ which is my heal command- and we practice on almost every walk so she stays sharp on that. I also have a 11.5 foot lead that we use for Nose Work, a dog sniffing sport, which works well for us too. The long lead also gives you a chance to hone your leash handling skills!
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls