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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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Distorted remaining leg ? Worried
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Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
17 June 2017
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12 August 2019 - 9:17 pm
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Hi Poppy is a cross shitz/pug and had her right hind leg removed in June 2017 due to cancer. She has done remarkably well aside of not wanting to climb stairs any time after.
Over the last couple of months I have noticed her front right paw sits at an angle when she stands. Kind of turned out to the side. I haven’t noticed her in any pain and with only 3 legs its hard to see if theres a new limp.
Is this her body naturally accomodating and ajusting to the loss of a limb as in helping her balance or should I be worried.
Many thanks in advance.

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 25896
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25 April 2007
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12 August 2019 - 10:53 pm
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Hello Poppy and family. I’m so glad to hear life has been great!

Do you have a photo of the stance you are describing? We aren’t vets but may be able to get you some feedback to talk over with your vet. 

Yes, Tripawds compensate for the missing limb by standing in awkward positions. But sometimes a dog may also be standing that way as a method to hide pain. It’s easy to look for pain signals but anything like this that concerns you should definitely be discussed with your vet. 

When you do talk to the vet, please let us know what they say. We all learn from each other.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Livermore, CA

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12 August 2019 - 11:24 pm
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Hello and welcome.

Sounds like Poppy has done really well!  More than two years as a Tri-Pug mix due to cancer? That’s great, what kind of cancer?

My first TriPug Maggie lost her left rear leg to mast cell cancer and hopped happily along for almost 4 years.  She couldn’t (or wouldn’t) go upstaris after her surgery either.

My quad-Pug Obie often stands with his front legs turned at odd angles- I don’t know why he does it.  He has had both knees repaired but I think he has done the weird front leg thing since I got him at 4 years old (surgeries at 7 and 9 years old).  He doesn’t always do it- does Poppy always stand with her leg turned out?

My current Tripawd is Elly, a Pug mix who lost a rear leg to a car accident.  She has on occasion had a problem with one of her other feet and it is very clear that she is having trouble walking. 

Have you checked her paw pads and between her toes?  Elly sometimes gets stuff caught in her pads or stuck to the fur and will hobble as a result.  Once Maggie had a blister type wound between the toes of her one back foot, not sure how it happened but could have been due to her altered gait.

A picture would be helpful, and even a video of her walking might help us.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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13 August 2019 - 11:26 pm
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Hi And thank you for your replies.

I will try and get a photo of her standing still (not her favorite thing)
I believe it was osteosarcoma. The vet said she got it all and the margins were good. But I am aware that sometimes it may appear elsewhere although hoping not.
After reading your replies I decided to have another and closer look ibetween her nails etc as she is a bit of a licker and nibbler. And being long haired she often comes in with bits of the garden , grass etc caught in her hair. I found what felt like a small matt of hair between two nails. So will get a closer look when she allows me to.

The toes pointing off to the side  instead of front are not there permanently she seems to change position , but when standing that is when it is noticable.

She came to me plus limp when her owner no longer wanted her. To me the limp was noticable even though her then owner tried to play it down. So I am not aware of her full history.

I will get back to you once I know anything for sure. And thank you for your detailed responses.

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