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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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Beagle Mobility
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
1 July 2009
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7 September 2009 - 8:50 am
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Hi Everyone, I am excited to be here.  I have a five year old Beagle named Truman (rescue from Katrina) who had his right front leg amputated this past June.  It started with a limp which got better and then progressively worse.  The leg became atrophied and was not much use.  The vet suspected cancer but MRI showed nothing as did exploratory surgery.  Upon advice from the vet we went ahead with the amputation since he felt the leg would never get better.  We were told that he would do fine.  Truman is a small beagle which means he is longer than tall.  He walks with a pronounced “bounce” and seems to hobble.  I have ordered the harness for him but I wonder if anyone has “rehab” advice, has experienced the same problem?  Before the surgery he was so active and now, not.Sad


Here and Now

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7 September 2009 - 9:35 am
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Miriam said:

He walks with a pronounced “bounce” and seems to hobble.

Wlcome Miriam, and thanks for joining!

The Trpawd hop is perfectly normal … and the idea behind our motto here: It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.

What you see as a “hobble” may just be awkwardness when walking slow, because it is much easier for Tripawds to hop with momentum than it is to take slower steps.

The absolute most important rehab advice we can give is to keep Truman fit and trim. Any extra weight is especially difficult when missing a leg … especially a front leg, and especially on longer dogs. They carry up to 70% of their weight on their front legs. It can take a few months for a remaining leg to fully compensate in strength for the missing one. Truman needs regular excercise to build up that strength without over doing it. Take lots of shorter walks, more often, throughout the day. Good ol' play time doesn't count. And if truman likes the water, swimming can be the best exercise of all! Yes, three legged dogs can swim.

Lots of short walks, lots of rest, lots of water, and lots of patience. Best wishes and thanks for asking. We look forward to following Truman's progress.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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7 September 2009 - 6:56 pm
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It took Trouble a while to be really active again, and still she tires easily and has to have frequent rest periods.  They can do anything they ever did, just in shorter spurts.  You will get accustomed to it and Truman will too.  This month marks her 10 month ampuversary.  Truman will prevail.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

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7 September 2009 - 7:09 pm
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Jerry – what do you mean by “Good ol' play time doesn't count.”? Are you saying that is too hard on a tripawd?

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7 September 2009 - 7:54 pm
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Good question Tazzie!

Oh I just meant just that short frequent walks are very important for rehab. It does more good for our muscles than just wrestling around and playing tug-o-war games inside.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 1349
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7 September 2009 - 8:01 pm
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oh, by a good ol' play session, I thought you meant lots of hard chases in the park like Tazzie was doing today. I hadn't thought of slower indoor play, like the kind he gets with Pup the cat. So far he still seems in good spirits despite or because of today's exploits.

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