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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Kayla - lack of muscle
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New Zealand
Member Since:
6 November 2011
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12 January 2012 - 8:41 pm
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So it seems that Kaylas issues lately - not being able to do much till shes starts 'dipping down' on her remaining front leg, almost like limping kind of – is due to her growing so big so quick, she is a cross breed but bull Mastiff seems to be the most dominant breed. and her muscles havent caught up with her bones yet, the vet feels it will just take time to build the muscles up while she is still growing and also recommends swimming (which is easier said than done) has anyone else had these issues with a Pup who has grown into a large dog and does anyone have any recommendations/ideas that could help build up those muscles.

not that  any of this seems to be slowing her down much, She is still digging holes and harassing the cats 🙂


Sarah - Kaylas Mum

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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12 January 2012 - 9:04 pm
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Hi Sarah, it's good to hear Kayla is still thriving and doing well overall.

My biggest piece of advice (I probably say it too much!) is to see a canine rehab vet. This type of practitioner can take a full assessment of her strength, her gait and where she is at (and should be at), physically speaking. Have you considered this type of specialist?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

New Zealand
Member Since:
6 November 2011
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12 January 2012 - 9:58 pm
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I would love to if there was one within reasonable driving distance 🙁 we are in the middle of nowhere and only have a small town/rural vet, so the costs involved in seeing a specialist including travel, accommadation and two kids is just too much. Most people here have to just make do as specialist care is only avaiable in the cities. which really stinks as you have to make do with the care avaiable not that our vet clinic has been anything other than brilliant over the last few years.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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14 January 2012 - 1:05 am
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Hi Sarah,

Glad to hear she is doing actually rather well! 

Try not to worry (easier said than done).  I had a puppy that was three legged.  I think sometimes they are just trying to get their footing or perhaps they are resting their weight.   When she did grow up, her muscles in her hind end and thighs were that of a speed

skater!  If the vet isn't worried, then I would try to rest my mind about it.


As far as therapy...We didn't do anything with Comet until she was 11 years old.  (not available that many years ago).   It's great to have that option, if you do but if not - then you just make do without and not worry.   Comet was fine until she aged as a senior and then she needed therapy due to the toll of hopping for all those years.

Good luck! 

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.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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14 January 2012 - 12:56 pm
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Hey Sarah, we totally understand what it's like to live in the middle of nowhere. Back when I had my surgery, it was six hours to the nearest specialty center!

So what I would recommend then is to check out these canine rehab videos, which have some great exercise tips, and also see the Fitness page in our Gear Blog to learn about the types of gear that can help her get strong. I think our Amazon Store also has some fitness/rehab books and videos, but if not you can search for them through our blog. Let us know what you find!

Oh, and Tripawd Maggie also has some great ideas for DIY at-home dog rehab games and activities using a combination of homemade gear and purchased ones. She lives in the middle of nowhere too! These are all great things you and your kids can do with Kayla as a family.

Finally, just remember to take it slow. Kayla is still young and has plenty of time to get strong. We would love to watch her progress, so if you do any of these fitness activities, consider starting a Tripawds dog blog to share how you're doing! OK, I know, like having two kids doesn't keep you busy enough! 😉

Hope this helps.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Portage Lake, Maine
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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14 January 2012 - 4:17 pm
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Hello Sarah,

Maggie's Mom here that Jerry spoke of above.  Yup, I'm in the middle of freakin' no where!  With a little effort on your part and a whole lotta yummy treats and a bit of therapy equipment that Jerry also pointed out, you can have some fun AND do a world of good for your pup!  My advice to you is to start slowly and keep sessions short...working up gradually.  I work Maggie roughly 3 times per week or more based on the winter days and whether we can get out and go for a walk.  Maggie just turned 12 this past week and I feel the fact she can get around as well as she can at her age and being a tripawd, is due to us being diligent on her PT work..

If you have any questions at all that I might be able to help you with, just post here or PM me 🙂


Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13


New Zealand
Member Since:
6 November 2011
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14 January 2012 - 4:59 pm
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thanks guys!!

I have had a quick look through those links will have a decent read when the kids are in bed! The links to maggies excercise are great. I just tried the stretching round for treats and figure 8 round cones and she loves it - i've never seen her so attentive I guess we have been a bit slack teaching her, with the amputation you kinda forget that they are still a 'normal' dog and enjoy the stimulation. The kids had been watching me and when they were playing with the dogs they had Kayla going round in circles on the spot then decided to copy her and i suddenly two dizzy kids and a dizzy dog!!!  I can see this is going to be entertaining.

The vet has recommended swimming - she has only swan a very short distance before and umm didn't do so good 🙂 i guess that just takes practice.

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