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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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How to teach to walk on a leash
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Member Since:
16 November 2022
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16 November 2022 - 9:15 am
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Hello, everyone.

I have a e legged Chihuahua named Lucy. I was wondering if you had any tips on how to teach a tripawd to walk on a leash? We just adopted, She’s super timid on a leash and gives up easily and wants to be carried. I’m purchasing a sling for when she’s tired, but don’t want to end up carrying her whenever we do go out. Any tips for a first time tripawd owner?

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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16 November 2022 - 10:35 am
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Thank you for joining us here, and adopting Lucy! She is so fortunate to have a mom who asks great questions.

How long ago was her amputation? If it was within the last several months, it could be that she is too tired to walk very far right now. Sitting down on walks or while roughousing with other dogs or kids is a common pain signal, and a sign that she’s walked too far for her abilities at this time. You really don’t want to let her get to that point.

So you’re probably asking, “Well how do I know how far she can go?” right? Well, the best way you can help her strengthen and condition so she doesn’t sit down on walks is to have her evaluated by a canine rehabilitation therapist. The Tripawds Foundation can even pay for your first visit, because it makes such a difference to know exactly what your own Tripawd’s limitations and capabilities are, and how to help them get stronger and stay injury free.

We hope you’ll apply for the program and can’t wait to learn more about Lucy.

New England
Member Since:
11 January 2022
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16 November 2022 - 1:11 pm
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Definitely start with Jerry’s suggestions.  Assuming your dog has fully recovered from surgery and is otherwise in good health, have you considered enrolling in some basic manners classes?  Leash manners should be included in this type of class.  Even if your dog is an adult and has some basic training, classes help promote bonding, give you a “common language” with your dog and help set boundaries and expectations for life in your home.  Just keep in mind your tripawd may need some slight modifications, especially during reps of sits or downs.  When my tripawd and I were doing manners classes, I’d do a couple of regular reps and then throw in a stay before letting my dog break the sit or down.  This helped keep her stamina up.  Any reputable trainer should welcome a tripawd to class and be open to small modifications like this.

Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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16 November 2022 - 2:16 pm
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Welcome and congrats on your new pack member!

How big is Lucy?  How old?  Is she missing a front or rear? Do you know why she lost her leg?

You say she is timid on a leash- what does that look like?

Jerry and mischief gave you some great advice.

I adopted my little Pug mix rear amp when she was 10 months old, she is about 15 pounds and is now almost 8 years old.  When she joined my pack Elly was 2.5 months out from surgery but not at all strong and she had very little endurance….except for the periodic puppy zoomies.  I used a stroller to start with so she could walk a little and then ride and rest while we built up her strength and endurance.  We also started on an exercise program to work on her strength and balance.

I asked about what the ‘timid’ looks like because of how Elly was like on leash.  She was hit by a car at 7 months old and was afraid of any vehicle that passed us while we were walking. She would stop and refuse to move while she watched the vehicle go by and she would not cross a street in front of a car (like at a corner). She would bolt when she heard a loud truck or motorcycle. Although she has/had numerous fear issues she does not like to be picked up or carried so that hasn’t been an issue for us.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls and Boy

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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