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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I was wondering if I could get some input from everyone. I recently adopted a 5ish year old tripod doggy (back amputate) who had been in a no-kill shelter for 4-5 month. The surgery to remove his leg happened back in early February and over-all he has made a decent recovery. But like all shelter animals he wasn’t getting the exercise and attention he really needed despite their best efforts, so he never really built up any real muscles or stamina he needs to get around well now. His balance is also not especially great either, since he basically just sat around for 3 months.
I’ve got appointments scheduled with our vet to look into puppy re-hab and I’ve ordered several training toys to work on his balance. However I am very concerned with over-working him. He’s a very large dog and very energetic, obviously trained well at some point and wants to be out doing things. Currently I’m taking him out on short 5-10 min walks about every 3-4 hours depending on how he seems to be doing. He clearly wants to be doing more, but if I let him he’ll tire himself out and flop down mid-walk, which tells me we’ve gone too far.
Is the 5-10 min walk at the 3-4 hour interval OK? Or should I do slightly longer walks at larger intervals? I really don’t want to run the risk of him pushing too hard especially after he had such limited exercise for so long.
Any input would be appreciated!
You are pawesome for adopting her! What kind of breed type is she? What a lucky dog to find her way to you!
All the questions you are asking are SPOT ON and your intuition is great! Yes, anytime a dog sits down on a walk they have gone too far and you should cut back the walks until they get stronger. Also, shorter more frequent walks are better than a couple of long ones. If you are able to break up her walks throughout the day that is ideal, no more than probably 10 minutes right now.
Has she been evaluated by a canine rehabilitation therapist yet? I would definitely do that before you start doing any strengthening activities with her. You want to make sure you know what to work on and what to avoid to help her get strong. Our Tripawds e-book Loving Life On Three Legs has lots of tips about rehab therapy, and the Tripawds Gear blog has lots of tips as well, just search for “exercise” and “rehabilitation” for starters.
Be sure to post some photos (here is how adding images works in our forums). We can’t wait to learn all about her!
Awesome! Good to hear my caution isn’t just paranoia, especially since Tiki just wants to go go go. I think he would run all day if we let him, even if he was hurting.
He’s some sort of Akita mix, probably American judging by his size and bone structure.
We have an appointment Tuesday with our Vet (was the earliest we could get him in) to do the basic assessment and then the Rehabilitation Specialist later in the week. I’ll look into applying for the help with the therapy, thank you!
I think we’re ok on most gear, I did some pretty thorough research before we picked him up and the Tripawd website lists were a huge help (especially with the harness). I just need to find a treat he truly goes crazy for that’s still healthy and figure out what toys he’s actually interested in. Thus far he doesn’t care about the toys and isn’t too enthused about any of the treats we’ve tried.
Ohhhhh what a teddy bear! He is adorable!!
Sounds like you are set! You are a great Mom to him and he’s gonna have a long healthy life thanks to you. Do let us know how the evaluation goes ok? Just make sure your therapists are CCRT or CCRP credentialed so you get Tiki the best therapy and can qualify for the reimbursement. Holler with any questions.