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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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Advice for Front Leg Brace
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
7 June 2017
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7 June 2017 - 10:03 pm
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Hello, my name is Michelle 

And I recently adopted a 2 year old pitbull that has a full front leg amputation. He has now been 3 months strong with only 3 legs. But his back hips are already starting to bow and I he has to stop several  times when I take him for walks (usually 15-25 min walks). 

I just need some advice on if a front leg brace for the remaining front limb is a good idea to help elevate some of the added stress on the leg.? 

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 30560
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25 April 2007
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8 June 2017 - 8:49 am
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Hi Michelle, welcome! What is your pittie's name? Thanks for adopting him, what a lucky boy!

You ask a great question. There are many reasons why a Tripawd would need a front leg brace, but before going that route it's critical that you talk to your vet and ask for a referral to a canine rehabilitation therapist (the Tripawds Foundation may even pay for your dog's first rehab visit !).  You don't usually need a referral to a therapist so if your vet isn't enthusiastic about the idea (many general practice vets are unfamiliar with therapy's benefits), let us know and we can help you find a good therapy center.

Oftentimes the reasons for mobility issues are related to a few things:

  • weak core strength
  • too much of the wrong exercise
  • weight issues

These issues are usually resolved with guidance from a therapist. Domino had a similar issue which he overcame with guidance from his therapist, see his mom's post, "A Setback for Domino". In fact, you ought to check out all of the posts about Domino in Hopping Around, his challenges are quite common to front-leg Tripawds.

One of the most valuable things we learned from rehab therapists is, anytime a dog sits down on a walk, they've gone too far. That's their way of telling us it hurts to go that far. When that happens, scale back the walks, add plenty of R&R, and build up slowly.

Are you doing any other core-building exercises with your pup? Three months is a little soon after amputation to go on 25 minute walks. See our post, Why Longer Walks Won’t Strengthen a Tripawd’s Leg Muscles

You may want to check out our e-book about post-op care, Loving Life On Three Legs , and the Tripawds Gear blog . You'll find tons of tips for helping your pup stay fit and injury-free.

If he does need a brace, fear not, there are good devices that can help. See our OrthoPets posts about prosthetics and braces for more info.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 12448
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8 June 2017 - 8:53 am
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mbobbie13 said
I just need some advice on if a front leg brace for the remaining front limb is a good idea...

Please watch our Orthopets video interviews for details about the benefits of braces and orthotics for Tripawds. Contact them directly for further information, they can work directly with your vet for proper fitting and use.

Hero Dog Braces is another reputable company that produces braces, only available through your vet. Stay away from any off the shelf, or DIY casting/measurement kits.

Better yet, please consider visiting a certified rehab vet/tech (CCRP or CCRT ) for a professional evaluation and recommendations. They can determine if a brace would be beneficial in your case, and provide exercises you can do at home to help build strength in remaining limbs to help prevent injury. You may even get reimbursed for your first visit by the Tripawds Foundation from the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab.

Also consider downloading Loving Life On Three Legs for more rehab tips and how-to videos, and check out the starter exercises recently published in the Tripawds News blog .


Forum Posts: 21150
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22 February 2013
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9 June 2017 - 9:05 am
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Just want to say THANK YOU for giviw that sweet Pittie Tripawd a loving furever home!!

You jave terrific advice from Jerry and Admin Guy.

So yeah, for now, maube shorter walks with lots of rest stops. Dogs love stopping to take in all the scents of nature. I think a Rejab Specialist will do wonders. It takes patience and time, but so many here have votten great results

Check into joint supplements too. Many here use Dasequin, but there are a lot of others that are good quality too.

Update ehen you can! We'll be cheering for your sweet.boy! We would love to see pics!


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!

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