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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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Determining stamina
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Forum Posts: 12
Member Since:
17 August 2020
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13 September 2020 - 10:12 am
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Hi all,

I know each dog is different, but how will I know how much stamina Abbie will have? Seeing a therapist is not an option since most of them are a two to three hour drive from my location 😕 What should I be looking for in regards to over taxing. We want to make sure she’s getting adequate amounts of exercise but not strain the remaining legs. She is one month post surgery 

Thanks, Abbie and Jeni

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 September 2020 - 3:09 pm
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Hi Jeni, you ask a great question and Abbie is so lucky to have you thinking about this.

You are right, every dog is different. The thing to ask yourself is, what were her weight, fitness level and activity amounts like pre-surgery? The more fit a dog prior to amputation, the more strength and stamina they can have later after recovery. All dogs will definitely benefit from appropriate exercise that can help build strength and stamina though. 

We have a number of great videos you can watch with experts who talk about this very thing. Here’s a couple of good ones to start:

Do Dogs “Self-Limit” Their Activity? Or Are They in Pain?

How To Prevent Common Injuries in Tripawds

Our e-book, Loving Life On Three Legs , also talks a lot about strength and stamina.

You really want to start reintroducing exercise slowly and carefully. You’ll know you’ve pushed her too hard if she is reluctant to continue playing, sits down on walks, sleeps hard afterward, or shows pain signals common to all dogs.

Here’s a little something we wrote, about things we wish we had known when our Jerry lost his leg:

Tripawd Health Tips to Avoid Injury to Remaining Legs

There is no telling what a dog is capable of without a full assessment by a credentialed canine rehab therapist though. I would love to try to find one closer to you, I can often find a therapist for people when they don’t think anyone is nearby. Message me and I’ll do my best! That way you can take advantage of the Tripawds Foundation program which can pay for your first rehab visit .

If we can’t find one for you, you may also want to check out Dr. Debbie Torica’s course:

Tripawd Fitness Class Gets Your Dog Strong

I hope this helps!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28057
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14 September 2020 - 12:17 pm
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I just wanted to share the private message that Jeni and I shared today, about helping her find a canine rehab therapist close to her. She lives in a very remote and beautiful part of California. And while the closest therapists are about 1.5 – 1.75 hours from her, I also shared some options for long-distance consulting. So if you are a member reading this discussion, please know that there are options and we can help if you can’t find any OK? Here’s the message:

So, here’s what I recommend: get your initial visit at one of the following clinics. Make it clear to them that you live in **** and want to develop a home program, and check-in via video conferencing occasionally. Any good practitioner will work with you and be understanding of your location.

This clinic sounds really good. I especially love that they are Fear Free Certified!

Modesto: Sylvan Veterinary Hospital
https://www.sta…..ausvet.com
Dr. Magnussen is the therapist, I like his background.

Other options:

Turlock: Monte Vista Animal Hospital
http://www.mont…..stavet.com

Tracy: Jules Veterinary Center
https://www.jul…..bilitation

As a last resort, you can download Dr. Torraca’s book on Conditioning and Concerns of the Tripod Dog and consult with her long-distance. Here is her contact info: https://www.wiz…..nsultation

I hope this helps! I’m going to share this in our Forums topic so that people can see there may be options even when they think there isn’t. Feel free to reply over there when you are able, and keep me posted on what works OK? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 12
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14 September 2020 - 10:47 pm
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Thanks so much. Looks like I’ll be making some calls at lunch tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have some good news to share. 🙂

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