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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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Companion Pets Help Tripods Live A Full Life
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Member Since:
18 June 2022
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24 January 2023 - 8:42 am
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As I've watched my tripod, Trixie and her 'gang' of 3 other rescue dogs flourish over the 6-8 months, it's clear to me that companion dogs are also healers. We can focus on diet, meds, rehab and giving human time and achieve wonders. However we can also add the normality of companion pets to enrich their daily lives and overall wellbeing. They speak doggie language to Trixie in ways I can't. And she loves it!

Trixie has a gang to guard, to play with and to steal bones from! They've learned to 'mouth-wrestle' with Trixie when in play mode. They bark at everything together (**sigh**) and they dig holes for her to then stick her nose in (**double sigh**). They're with her 24/7 and keep her company when I can't and provide a great deal of reassurance and normal doggie behaviour for her to enjoy. She wants to be a regular dog and she can be within the safe environs of her doggie and human pack.

I have to be cautious that they don't knock her remaining front leg which is very fragile, but that just takes a bit of effort to figure out routines that fit their energy levels during the day. In the morning I let the other doggos out first and they race off in a burst of high energy. Trixie and I have a quiet moment and then I fit her support brace before carrying her down the steps and around a few tricky spots to join them.

After a few hours the gang is brought back to their doggy sun lounge and sleep the afternoon away together. In the evening I let the other 3 out for a boisterous run and toilet business before dinner and bedtime - this is when Trixie is left alone for a few minutes and she hates it! Oh the sing song howls of high drama! I always bring one back in early (little Amber) and the reunion is joyful and the 'mouth-wrestling' begins again.

This also helps take a load off my 'emotional mama' shoulders. I'm not the sole provider of entertainment, companionship or a substitute for the stimulation she gets from them spending their days as dogs without mobility restrictions do. Some days I have more time to be with her than other days, yet she's never really alone and I can hear the 'mouth-wrestling' games they play while I get on with my other activities.

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This occurred to me today while I was writing about Mad Max one of Trixie's gang. He'll race off and play with the other doggies but they all come back and give Trixie a little visit. She'll sniff them as if they've brought back the latest issue of the Daily Doggie Gossip Paper.

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They enjoy each other and respond really well to being together inside, then outside and then inside... they act like each move in or out is a whole new adventure worthy of serious greetings and play! She's happy!

https://my-trip.....-his-life/

The Rainbow Bridge


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24 January 2023 - 10:14 pm
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Awww what a happy furmily! Trixie is so fortunate that she has siblings to engage with, who let her be a dog without any limitations. Lucky girl!

We have always been a one dog pack, and I often feel badly about our choice to limit ourselves to one dog. As much as I would love more, we just can't do it, and so I DO have that emotional burden of knowing that we are all our dogs (currently Nellie) have for companionship and entertainment.

It's nice for folks to see that three-legged dogs can play just as well with four-legged family members. Thank you for sharing!

New England
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25 January 2023 - 5:34 am
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I had a similar thought this week! 

Loki, like all tripawds, struggles with certain floor types.  She was doing so good with boots last spring, but something has changed and they really trigger her anxiety.  I've tried a variety of products to help with her traction and she hates all of them.  There are some floors that she seemingly should struggle with, but handles beautifully.  It occurred to me recently that this happens when she has a doggie buddy.  If I have her on tile or laminate by herself, she panics.  With a buddy, she's distracted and does well.  

I've arranged to get her on a floor where she usually has a buddy by herself later this week.  I might also be able to get her on a floor she panicked on last weekend again, but this time I'll bring both dogs (or have my friend bring hers) so Loki has a buddy.

I'm going to have to step way back with the boot training.  I can coach others on taking things slow with their dogs, but struggle to follow my own advice.  She's such a smart little dog, it's hard watching her struggle with something that seems so simple.

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25 January 2023 - 6:46 am
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mischief said
I had a similar thought this week! 

Loki, like all tripawds, struggles with certain floor types.  She was doing so good with boots last spring, but something has changed and they really trigger her anxiety.  I've tried a variety of products to help with her traction and she hates all of them.  There are some floors that she seemingly should struggle with, but handles beautifully.  It occurred to me recently that this happens when she has a doggie buddy.  If I have her on tile or laminate by herself, she panics.  With a buddy, she's distracted and does well.  

I've arranged to get her on a floor where she usually has a buddy by herself later this week.  I might also be able to get her on a floor she panicked on last weekend again, but this time I'll bring both dogs (or have my friend bring hers) so Loki has a buddy.

I'm going to have to step way back with the boot training.  I can coach others on taking things slow with their dogs, but struggle to follow my own advice.  She's such a smart little dog, it's hard watching her struggle with something that seems so simple.

  

Mischief, would trying only one boot also help?

It's interesting how she responds differently when another dog is present. I know with Trixie and her pack she doesn't want to be left behind or left out. I'm hoping when I start wheelchair training this will help motivate her to use it.

New England
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25 January 2023 - 9:52 am
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carolina said

mischief said

I had a similar thought this week! 

Loki, like all tripawds, struggles with certain floor types.  She was doing so good with boots last spring, but something has changed and they really trigger her anxiety.  I've tried a variety of products to help with her traction and she hates all of them.  There are some floors that she seemingly should struggle with, but handles beautifully.  It occurred to me recently that this happens when she has a doggie buddy.  If I have her on tile or laminate by herself, she panics.  With a buddy, she's distracted and does well.  

I've arranged to get her on a floor where she usually has a buddy by herself later this week.  I might also be able to get her on a floor she panicked on last weekend again, but this time I'll bring both dogs (or have my friend bring hers) so Loki has a buddy.

I'm going to have to step way back with the boot training.  I can coach others on taking things slow with their dogs, but struggle to follow my own advice.  She's such a smart little dog, it's hard watching her struggle with something that seems so simple.

  

Mischief, would trying only one boot also help?

It's interesting how she responds differently when another dog is present. I know with Trixie and her pack she doesn't want to be left behind or left out. I'm hoping when I start wheelchair training this will help motivate her to use it.

  

I think I need to go back further to just having positive experiences in the presence of a boot, without wearing it.  Then work on one paw at a time.  Currently, if she has her boots on and I so much as turn my back on her, she starts panting and shaking.  She's okay-ish until that point.  I've also tried socks with a rubberized bottom thinking they might feel better on her paws than boots - softer, less structured.  Nope, same kind of reaction.  She tried to eat Toe Grips.  I haven't tried the Paw Friction stuff that Jerry mentioned recently, but it's on my list.  

I've also wondered if she might be more receptive to a wheelchair vs wearing boots.  I know someone who has one, but I suspect it might be too big for Loki to try out.  I should ask her about it, though.  I live within driving distance of Eddie's Wheels - it'd be a full day trip, but potentially worth it.

Here and Now


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25 January 2023 - 3:01 pm
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mischief said
I've also wondered if she might be more receptive to a wheelchair ...

You'll find many helpful interviews, videos, and articles about wheelchairs in the Tripawds News blog .

For best results consult with a certified canine rehab therapist for proper evaluation, and measurement if wheels are recommended. Visit a CCRT or CCRP and the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first visit! See tri.pet/findrehab for details.

New England
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26 January 2023 - 5:13 am
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admin said

mischief said

I've also wondered if she might be more receptive to a wheelchair ...

You'll find many helpful interviews, videos, and articles about wheelchairs in the Tripawds News blog .

For best results consult with a certified canine rehab therapist for proper evaluation, and measurement if wheels are recommended. Visit a CCRT or CCRP and the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first visit! See tri.pet/findrehab for details.

  

I'm actually friends with a rehab vet - she will be my go to resource if/when we decide to pursue a wheelchair .  

The Rainbow Bridge


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26 January 2023 - 11:09 am
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What a great friend to have! Yay!

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27 January 2023 - 5:29 am
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jerry said
Awww what a happy furmily! Trixie is so fortunate that she has siblings to engage with, who let her be a dog without any limitations. Lucky girl!

We have always been a one dog pack, and I often feel badly about our choice to limit ourselves to one dog. As much as I would love more, we just can't do it, and so I DO have that emotional burden of knowing that we are all our dogs (currently Nellie) have for companionship and entertainment.

It's nice for folks to see that three-legged dogs can play just as well with four-legged family members. Thank you for sharing!

  

What every dog needs first and foremost is a loyal human family! Even one pawrent in a tent makes a dog happy!

For years my work meant I couldn't have a dog. Then I quit and got a new job accepting lower pay so I could have a dog. My hours were still long so I got two so they could keep each other company. Today I'm home full time and able to adopt more animals - they bring me great joy and purpose... and a lot more work!!

But I'm at my limit now, 6 cats and 5 dogs is my maximum! Even this is only possible with the assistance my Dad has given us with building catios and a fenced doggy park on our rural family property. My parents are just as bad, they currently have 3 dogs and 5 cats all rescues! Our lifestyle has progressively changed over the last 7+ years, it's allowed us to enjoy the luxury of more pets!

The Rainbow Bridge


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27 January 2023 - 10:13 am
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I love that rescue runs in the furmily. Sounds like paradise!

Virginia




Member Since:
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28 January 2023 - 11:07 am
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Beautiful ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️ Would love to see pics of all the crew......your the crew of your parents 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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