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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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Brand New to TriPawds - question about walking!
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Member Since:
26 June 2021
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26 June 2021 - 11:31 am
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My name is Rhea and one week ago, I adopted a 3-legged Morrocan street dog named Bennie, a four year old who is missing her left front leg.  I cannot express how grateful I am to find this site and these forums.  I need all the help I can get as I want to make sure I'm doing the right things for this little hero.  

She knew the sit command (likely from begging on the streets). but still is learning her name and has no concept of come.  It will take time.  For right now, I'm just letting her settle in and providing comfort, food, water, shelter and of course, love. 

I have taken her on daily walks and the challenge is that she plops down and doesn't move whenever she sees a squirrel, rabbit, cat or dog.  Of course, she is likely resting as well so I always offer water.  Thing is, sometimes, I need to get her back up.  For example, she plopped down in the middle of the road and even when physically standing her back up, she becomes like a wet noodle and plops back down to fixate on whatever has distracted her.   She is about 55 lbs and too heavy for me to pick up.  I've stood in the street directing cars to go around us.  Obviously, I am going to ensure we don't have to cross streets for our next walks but she does the same thing on sidewalks and driveways.  A walk around the block can literally take over an hour.

Any tips?   

With gratitude and puppy love,


On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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26 June 2021 - 11:44 am
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Hi Rhea, welcome! Your future posts won't need approval so post away.

Rhea is a lucky girl to find her way to you! That's awesome. She has a great life ahead of her!

What you are describing sounds like maybe a couple of things: 1) she could be totally infatuated by the critters, maybe that she never encountered in Morocco? and 2) she likely is doing too much activity for her current strength and fitness level. 

Rehab therapists tell us that when a dog sits down on a walk, they've already gone too far. Behavior we often interpret as stubbornness (I've done it myself), are usually pain signals that the dog needs to cut back the activity and strengthen up. As a front leg amputee, Rhea is going to need time, and a good exercise program, to help her be the strong doggie she can be. 

This happens a lot to new Tripawd parents. That's why the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit ! Yep, check out the link. Getting her evaluated by a therapist is so important. It will help you get to know her current abilities, and how to help her get stronger for an injury free life. Please do take advantage of the program.

Also, check out Ten Things to Know About Adopting a Tripawd, our book Loving Life On Three Legs and browse around the Tripawds Gear blog for words like "rehab" and "fitness." There's a lot to learn as a new Tripawd parent and we are here to help.

For now, let her rest up and cut those walks way back. Check in with your vet to make sure any pain she's experiencing gets under control with some pain management . Oh, you may also want to check out dog strollers as a way to get her to walk a little, rest a little so she can get out in the world and enjoy more scenery. A Ruffwear Flagline or Webmaster harness is also super helpful for assisting her.

Hope this helps! Keep us posted and feel free to share photos anytime. Here's how adding images works, let me know if you'd like help.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
26 June 2021
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26 June 2021 - 12:36 pm
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Your reply is so helpful - thank you so much!  I'm going to explore all the links and resources you provided and my next purchase will be the rough wear harness so I can offer her assistance when she needs it.   (by the way, her name is Bennie and my name is Rhea - lol)  Thought I'd clarify cause I'll likely be making a lot of posts for help and advice! 

You are amazing! 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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26 June 2021 - 5:06 pm
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bennie3legs said next purchase will be the rough wear harness  

You'll love it! And so will Bennie. Be sure to shop the Tripawds Gear blog for the Ruffwear harness to support your Tripawds community. smiley16

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 June 2021 - 9:07 pm
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Thanknyou so much for giving Bennie such a loving and caring home.  Uou clearly are already devoted to his well being and to helping him de jnto a happu confident  doggy👍

Jerry has shared a wealth of information to help you pajn poi t what's going on with Bennie's "behavior" on walks.  

We look forward to following along on your journey with Bennie.   And we would love to see pictures!  Here a link to help. adding images .


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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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