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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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faster pace on walks
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12 December 2010 - 4:50 pm
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Sissy charged a motorcycle in September, she caught it, and ended up with left front amputation.  She's going almost as far on walks as before, and she's lost weight (was overweight before). The only problem I'm having is keeping up with her - of all things!  She seems to be more comfortable galloping than walking, which makes sense to me. But I'm having a tough time in the snow, and frankly, on dry roads, keeping up with her pace. Then, she'll lie down and won't get up unless motivated by something interesting (dog or person or squirrel). Sometimes, she doesn't even want to walk, but runs like the wind once we get going.  The behavior was the same before the amputation, just didn't walk so fast.

Anyone else's dog pick up speed after healing from front leg amputation?

Thanks in advance

The Rainbow Bridge

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12 December 2010 - 9:51 pm
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Gretchen, welcome!

This is very normal for a front legger. We throw our whole body forward to move ahead, and that momentum keeps us balanced a lot easier than going slow. That's not so much the case with rear-leg Tripawds we've found.

When I became a front leg Tripawd, all those lessons I got when I was a puppy, about learning to heel and walk slowly, went out the window. Mom and Dad put on their running shoes and off we went!

Sissy's unwillingness to walk and those breaktimes could be that she is overdoing it from taking too many long walks or having too much extended playtime. You mention she was overweight before. If she still needs to lose weight, it could be hard for her to get around. Just a thought.

But otherwise, yes, this is very normal and there's not a whole lot that can/should be done about the speed part, other than trying to keep up with us. It's just our way of walking after surgery.

Do tell us more about Sissy when you can, she sounds like a real spitfire!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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13 December 2010 - 11:04 am
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Once more, Jerry hit the nail on the head. Dad and I would go on very long walks at a very brisk pace prior to my amputation. However, afterward, I would tire very quickly and while some of that was because of my age, mostly it just took more effort to walk with Dad. He would never take me too far because as I tired, I would stumble so we just saved all the long excursions for rides in the truck. He did take me for rather long walks at Grizzly RV Park while we were doing our June in Yellowstone trip. That was fun and we stopped often to talk to people. He would always tell people my story because he wanted them to know that amputation did not mean a loss of a quality life. He also did not want people to pity me. He told me almost daily how proud he was to be able to walk with me. It embarrassed me, but I totally understand why he did it.

Spirit Cherry

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