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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We adopted a tripod about 2 months ago. Vet said to run/walk her as normal – 4 month old shepherd puppy so LOTS of energy. 2 months later the remaining back leg has MUCH shorter nails than front 2 feet. Solution? Bootie? Reduce walk/runs? TONS of energy so she needs the exercise but we dont want to hurt her!
Hi Erin, welcome! What’s your dog’s name? She’s a lucky girl to have you for a parent, you are very observant!
We moved your post here since this is more of a mobility question describing an issue that those of us with rear leg Tripawd dogs are familiar with (our Wyatt Ray is one of them, and his nails are also much shorter in the rear). What you are describing is the result of your pup putting so much effort on that one back leg to keep up and move forward (dogs carry their propulsion in the back legs, and with just 50% of it that one leg is working twice as hard). There are so many things you can to do strengthen your dog’s core and lower back muscles in order to take some of the heavy workload away from that leg. Have you seen our e-book Loving Life On Three Legs ? It’s packed full of tips about keeping a Tripawd healthy and injury free for life.
But first, have you taken your pup to a rehab therapist for an evaluation? It doesn’t sound like your vet mentioned it, so I will. We are such big believers in the benefits of rehab therapy for all Tripawds, that the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit . It’s beneficial because these experts can tell us exactly what to expect with our dog’s breed type and mobility issues. Every Tripawd dog is so different but one thing they have in common is that they are more prone to mobility challenges as they age, and injuries are common in dogs who overdo things. We learned this with Wyatt Ray : there are many things we wish we would have cut back on or not allowed him to do when he was younger. Now we know better, thanks to rehab therapists working with us and Wyatt.
One thing you can do for your pup to burn energy is to keep her mind busy. Interactive brain games can be just as satisfying as a good romp in the yard or with other dogs. Plus, they decrease the risk of injury over time. Shepherds are so good at things like nosework, and since it requires minimal physical activity, it’s something they can do for life.
I hope this helps! Let us know if you’d like help finding a therapist near you OK? And keep us posted on how things are going.
22 February 2013
Just want to say welcome and thank you for giving this sweet pupoy such a caring and loving home!!
You have such in depth insight from Jerry I can only say ditto!
We would love to see pictures. Here’s a link adding images
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie 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!
Oh yeah what a difference in her nails. Our Wyatt’s nail differences aren’t nearly that dramatic but it could also be a breed thing.
A lot of people don’t know about rehab, so don’t feel bad, you aren’t alone. Canine rehab therapy is still relatively new in the vet world (‘only’ about 20 years old!). And many vets still say to treat a Tripawd like a normal dog without offering any guidance on exercise. And while yes, Tripawds can do what normal dogs do, it’s much better for their long term health if you know what your own dog is capable and not capable of doing. That’s where a therapist can come in, to advise you on how to help them avoid injury. That’s why we are such big advocates for getting Tripawds parents to see a therapist.
You’re in a great area for care too! Have you seen this place?
And here are a few more: