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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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Injury to Other Leg :(
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Member Since:
13 October 2011
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3 March 2012 - 4:25 pm
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I am trying not to freak out. Miss Pegz injured her remaining front paw yesterday.


The motion she has been using to navigate (since we have had her) is almost like a sliding of her paw...the way her momentum carries her. And sure enough, she skinned a paw pad pretty bad. I don't think it was one incident or one walk. I think it has been building. Last night and this morning, she was unable to walk at all on her own. Had to carry her up and downstairs and outside for potty.

So we were at the Vet first thing this morning and they bandaged her up pretty solid. She is not happy of course, but the bandage has actually enabled her to go back to hopping on her own a little. She still can't do stairs, but can go to the water bowl and get on and off the chair by herself. She only has to keep it until Wednesday and the Vet said it will heal and develop a callous and she will be fine. But most likely, this will be an on-going danger. I know how lucky I am not to have to deal with cancer...but this is my worst nightmare.

As soon as the bandage comes off, we will be measuring for a Ruff Wear Boot. I wish with all my heart, I had not waited until this happened. That is my advice.

My question is...has anyone else dealt with this? I am dying right now watching my Warrior Princess struggle so hard...wishing I could have been a little bit more forward thinking. 🙁

Rock Hill, SC
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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3 March 2012 - 4:39 pm
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Oh, Karen, my heart hit my stomach when I saw your topic heading.  So sorry she's hurting and I hope with every fiber of my being for a quick recovery.

While reading up on the Musher's Secret, I recall a couple of posts from members that said they didn't know if it really helped much with traction , but that it really helped keep the pads very supple and helped with cracking/drying out.  Maybe worth a shot?

And, don't EVEN go that guilt route.  We all know how much you love Miss Pegz and so does she.  I think after a while of them doing their thing (whatever it is for each individual dog) we are lulled into that sense of security 'if it's worked this long, it must be okay.'  Hindsight is always 20/20.  Hoping she feels better soon!

Hugs, love and many many healing thoughts to you and your girl!


Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...

Leicester, NY
Member Since:
11 February 2011
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3 March 2012 - 4:41 pm
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Poor Pegz! When our Daisy was hit by a truck (the beginning of her tripawdness) one of the other injuries was the pads of 2 feet were cut, one pad was split in two. They take a long time to heal but they filled in and were calloused. You may need to keep a boot on her if she is scrapping it so it can heal. I used epsom salt soaks after the cuts were almost healed over . Not sure if it helped or not but it made me feel better way-confused

Spirit Samson was Spirit Tripawd Daisys four legged "brother" and ruled as the self proclaimed head of the Monkeybutt Federations East Coast Division. Lady Chunky Monkey stayed from Oct 2011 and left for the bridge in Apr 2012. Miss Perdy is left and has some big pawprints to fill.
Do you have what it takes to be a Monkeybutt? Find out more at the Monkeybutt Federation

Member Since:
16 July 2009
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3 March 2012 - 6:04 pm
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We had a similar problem with Codie Rae's rear leg at one point. We experimented with different boots until we found one that worked. For her the Ruff Wear boots did not work because they hit on her dew claw and irritated it. For CR we found the Thera-Paw Boots worked the best (and they sell them individually!). In Codie Rae's case she no longer needs the boot except in special circumstances. It seems she has learned how not to damage her paw. With Miss Pegz, it might take some experimentation to figure it all out.



Member Since:
13 October 2011
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3 March 2012 - 6:04 pm
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OMGosh...Lisa. You just made me feel SO much better. Thank you so much. REALLY...I have been on the verge of throwing up all day.

And Samson...I know you probably did not mean to be funny...but when I read the line "beginning of her tripawdness" just cracked me up. And I needed that.


I CANNOT express how much I love being here...and the value of this community in our lives.


Tripawds rule!

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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3 March 2012 - 6:35 pm
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…I have been on the verge of throwing up all day

Bwahahhahahahahahhahhahaha!  Okay, I KNOW IT'S NOT FUNNY!  But I did laugh because I felt that way so many times about the remaining 3 good legs!  I still catch myself worrying about Rocket's legs and he's 4 legged and has springs for feet!  Having a three legged dog should come with a RX to anti-anxiety meds!    surprised<----Seriously! It should!  SO! Please don't blame yourself! 

Comet developed a "paw pimple" on her good front leg in her last 6 months of life and I still can't understand why she did - she was 3 legged for 12 years!  It would get really big like a fluid filled blister and then burst.  And go away for a bit.

I also had a dog split her pad (years ago on a 4 legged dog) and the vet told me, pad injuries are super painful.  But not to worry.


So, instead of assuming you are the worst Tripawd Mom on earth, go give Miss Pegz a big hug and tell her she'll be okay!   

Sending paw healing wishes to Pegz!


Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Edmond, Oklahoma
Member Since:
7 January 2011
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3 March 2012 - 7:24 pm
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Remember, all of our tripawds (cancer, accident, or mistreatment) are tripawds because we wanted to give them a better life, and giving them a better life means letting them live their lives- and do they ever know how to LIVE.  They are going to have accidents and occasional injuries, but they will recover, and they will continue to live every moment to the fullest. 

Earlier this week, Trapper's mom described Trapper's first night at home as reminiscent of the scene from Bambi where he slides on the ice, legs splaying out all over the place-- we've all witnessed that scene with our tripawds-- her description made me smile. 

Give Miss Pegz a cuddle and then let her run... and slide...  She's a happy girl, and she's lucky to have you as her mom.

Catherine and Spirit Scout

Scout: January 31, 2002 to November 7, 2011

Scout's diagnosis was "poorly differentiated sarcoma"; amputation 1/11/2011.  Scout enjoyed 9 fantastic years on 4 legs and 9 glorious months on 3 legs.  If love alone could have saved you…

knoxville, tn
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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3 March 2012 - 7:44 pm
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scary, scary, SCARY!!!!  glad you got to the vet, and you have a plan, and miss pegz will heal and this will become part of her history.  so, now STOP with the guilt and the 'shoulda, coulda, woulda' stuff...  you are a GREAT tripawd mom, and sometimes this stuff happens - it's called life.  pegz certainly doesn't blame you and she just want's to feel better, and maybe have a few more treats.... we've used the musher's secret on sam's feet - really helps when they are dry and cracky..and it gives major traction ...  take a breath and give pegz a hug!!


charon & spirit gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends


Member Since:
13 October 2011
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3 March 2012 - 8:59 pm
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I cannot tell you how much I love all of you right now.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Member Since:
18 January 2012
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3 March 2012 - 9:43 pm
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We've all been there.  Baby still tries to run through the doorway with Toby when we get home and she often slips.  Once she almost did a split and I was so scared.  She was just sore and got better.  Then she got a blister that became a major skin tear on the good leg.  Oy, we were so busy worrying about the amp wound we didn't even notice the other until it was bad. She's fine now.

I think it's really important to believe that we are all doing the best we can.  Think how lucky our furbabies are to have us as pawrents instead of someone who would just 'put them down' if they got sick. We're doing good!

Lisa - thanks for the musher's secret tip.  I'm going to try it!

Wags and Slobbers

Judy and Baby

3 March 2012 - 10:10 pm
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I used Mushers Seceret on Maggie's paws, for some reason her pads had a tendency to get dry and cracked. A couple years after her amp she suddenly started to slip a lot, and that's when I figured out that her dry pads might be contributing to the slipping. Another thing to do is keep the fur between toes and pads trimmed short. As Mag aged that toe fur seemed to grow wild!
Once Maggie developed a blister pimple thing between the toes on her remaining back leg. The vet lanced and drained it, then wrapped it up with a yellow bandage, it looked like club. It also looked like Tani's favorite toy squirrel (squirrel!). I couldn't help myself.... I said "get squirrel" and Tani attacked Mag's little club foot!!
I did it 3 or 4 times before Mag gave me that "we are not amused" look.

And for those who are trying MS- be sure you rub it in really well, it goes on a little greasy.

Karen and the pugapalooza

Sebastopol, CA
Member Since:
11 June 2011
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3 March 2012 - 11:51 pm
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Oh I'm so sorry - this can be so worrying!! We are with you!

I have two different sizes of boots that you are welcome to if they would fit Miss Pegz. I also use the Pawz rubber booties on Lylee as these are the only ones she will wear (they are like big un-inflated balloons!)

Sending lots of hugs and wags

joanne & lylee

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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4 March 2012 - 9:56 am
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I'm late to this one but I just wanted to reiterate what everyone else said, please do not beat yourself for this, you had no idea it was going to happen! And as you can see it's a pretty common thing.

I would definitely look into a foot covering like Pawz, especially if you aren't sure if Pegz will tolerate booties. They're an inexpensive, low impact way to test what she's willing to put up with. If she will wear them you can move up to a more solid boot. Another one we've found that's good for dogs with hard to fit feet is the Tammy & Teddy's Custom Boot

One thing I'm wondering....I wonder if she is scraping her foot because she's not getting enough momentum to propel herself forward with enough clearance? Maybe something like arthritis is preventing her from doing the tripawd hop in its entirety? Does she seem stiff when she walks? If so, you may want to have her gait evaluated by a rehab therapist to see where her body is stiff and where more doggie massage and gentle stretching can be applied in order to create a more flexible spine and gait. Just a thought.

Hope she heals quickly, and please promise us you'll stop beating yourself up OK? This wasn't your fault.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

4 March 2012 - 10:21 am
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So sorry about Miss Pegz!  I have to say this whole post made me feel a little better.  I worry so much about Josephine and the front leg she has left.  I am so glad I am not the only one!  Also, there were so many new products I didn't know existed till reading this.  I am off to order some mushers secret!  Also I agree with the Pawz things.  When Napoleon had to get stitches in the pad of his foot they were a great inexpensive way to keep the wound clean. 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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4 March 2012 - 10:26 am
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skulze said:

Also, there were so many new products I didn't know existed till reading this.

You're definitely not the only one who thinks about this!

Did you see this post, "Best Traction for Tripawds"? There are lots of good ideas there and a link for ordering Musher's Secret too.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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