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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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Back legs giving out
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Member Since:
25 August 2013
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25 August 2013 - 2:41 pm
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Paisley had her front left lwg amputated July 8th,2013 she is a cavalier King Charles and weighs 7.5 lbs she is 5 months old. Paisley has done amazing learning to be a tripawd and getting back to our "new normal" but we have just started noticing that her back legs seem to cramp up and give out. If we go for a walk she can do about 4-5 mins and if she is running/playing she can do about 2-3 mins before this starts to happen. She dosnt seem to be in any pain she just looks awkward and pulls her back legs up as if shes stepped on somthing. She will fall and lay down until I pick her up. Once I get her inside and rest she's fine. This really scared me at first because I was thinking oh no not her other legs but we went to the vet last Saturday they checked her out and said she is fine that her legs knees hips feel great. Has anyone else had this problem? And what can I do to help her? Thank you all so much!

Jennifer & Paisley

25 August 2013 - 4:35 pm
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Welcome to Tripawds, your future posts will not require moderation.
Why did Paisley have her amp? She is so young so probably an accident?
My little pug was a rear amp, Maggie weighed about 17 pounds. She never really had the issues you are describing- but it did take her about 6 months to build up her strength and endurance. Cramping sometimes has to do with diet or water intake- is she drinking enough? What kind of diet is she on?
Tripawds really need to work on strength, you can check out some exercise ideas in our Gear Blog here:
Sorry, I don't have any other ideas for you. Maggie was quite a slug after her amp and tended to be on the lazy side so I NEVER had to worry about her over doing things.

I'm glad you had her checked out at the vet, hopefully you figure things out quickly.


Columbia, MO
Member Since:
10 December 2011
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25 August 2013 - 5:50 pm
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Hi Jennifer and Paisley!  It takes quite a while for tripawds to rebuild their strength post amp.  Daisy was about 6 months before we were able to walk without tiring out but we have never been able to walk the 4-5 miles like before but she is a large dog that has other orthopedic problems.  She is an 80 lb. front left amp lab mix.  Once she was thru her two week initial recovery we started taking very short walks.  So short that it would be from our driveway to the next door neighbor's and back.  Every few days we would go just a little further until we could make it to the other end of the street and back.

It also takes them much more energy to hop on three legs than to walk on four and they are using their muscles in different ways.  Daisy will start to stumble when she is tired.  That's my cue that we have done too much.

It's not been quite 2 months for Paisley so I bet she is still getting used to her new normal.  She has her young age and small size on her side.  I'm sure since she is still a puppy it's hard to keep her from overdoing it!

Marla and Daisy

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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25 August 2013 - 6:39 pm
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Paisly sounds adorable. You certainy have your hands full with such a young tripawd. They are still developing, growing and learning balance etc....and then three legs into the mix!

Ditto what everyone else says. Also adding a thought that Paisley could have a pulled muscle.....strained back...etc.? Did vet eliminate any tummy issues that coud be causing him to "pull up" like that? Maybe a second opinion? A Rehab. specialist? Just throwing some other things out there. She's still very early i to recovery and has a long ways to go for full recovery. Overdoing too early on can reall cause havoc for awhile.

Sorry I couldn't be of any help.. Just know that we are looking forward to more posts and watching her grow up into a strong tripawd!

You take care and try not to worry...this will sort itself out...just have to keep elminating things bit by bit.

((((((hugs))))))))) to you!

Sally and Happy Hannah

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!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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25 August 2013 - 9:09 pm
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Jennifer & Paisley we're so glad you joined us and look forward to hearing more about your pack.

I'm so sorry she's having these issues but glad she checked out OK. What were the recommendations your vet had?

In a bit of shameless promotion my biggest suggestion is to check out our ebook, "Loving Life on Three Legs." In there you'll find all of our best tips we've learned about staying strong. For example, did you know that long walks won't help a Tripawd get strong, but developing strong core muscles will?

Here's a Gear Blog article we wrote about the subject:

Why Longer Walks Won't Strengthen a Tripawd's Leg Muscles

You'll find all sorts of help throughout our community and more suggestions by others are certain to follow, so let us know what works for you and what doesn't. We'll help however we can and have our paws crossed that she gets stronger and stronger so you can get out there and have a ball!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
25 August 2013
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26 August 2013 - 7:34 am
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Thank you all for the ideas, I have called the specialist and am waiting to hear back from them. I have a video of her on our instagram page here is the link: http://instagra.....c5a-VhBox/ She had a fall two weeks before and then was coming down the stairs and stepped wrong and she fell over that's when she broke her leg. We think she may have fractured it from the fall but she was taken to emergency vet then also and they said she was fine. No X-rays were done. Once she broke her leg went back to same emergency vet and the dr said there's no way it was related although we believe it was. She drinks plenty and is on purina pro plan small breed puppy. And we are going to see about starting a joint/bone vitamin. She does fine inside as long as she isn't playing hard. That's why I'm thinking she's overdoing it when this happens.


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 August 2013 - 7:59 pm
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She is sooooooooo cute! 'Had to be love at first site!

To me, the video really shows a very awkward way of usng her back legs......maybe even something more at the hip or pelvis level.......maube even neurological....... maybe even some little blip in ner heart......I have no clue! Be sure and show this to the specialist. I think a trained eye will really pick up some "symptons" that will help them find the solution.

Really look forward to your update and really optimistic that, with the right specialist, your pup's problem will be treated and he can co tinue to enjoy his "puppyhood" full steam ahead!

Even with Paisley's "running challenges" he is absolutely ADORABLE!!


Sally and Happy Hannah

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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