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.
JUMP TO FORUMS ↓
Join The Tripawds Community
Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:
Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.
Kinzi is starting to seem more like herself today on day 4 post-surgery. Some of her little pep in her step is returning which I love to see.
However every time I look away she seems to be getting into trouble! Which isn’t new, but she is mischievous. She once climbed from a chair to a table to get a tupperware container of brownies, broke into the container, and then proceeded to eat the entire batch of brownies. (She was fine. Just had bad gas!) This was before I learned she needed to be crated even if I was gone for 5 minutes.
Today, she booked it to go eat wood chips and try to dig with one front leg when I took her out to pee. She also evaded me picking her up to bring her inside, showing more agility than I think she should have right now. It seems a little early for it to be safe to run, right? She also jumped off the couch when I looked away for a minute. I’m terrified of her hurting her remaining limbs with her dare devil attitude. I feel like a bad dog mom that I wasn’t watching her but my brain is a potato due to all the other stuff going on in our lives right now (moving, pandemic, job insecurity, finances, etc.)
She has real “3 legs and a spare energy.” I’d usually crate her, but she has a hard time getting comfortable in her crate right now. Should I try a baby gate to section off part of a room? I also don’t want to discourage her from figuring out her body.
Thanks in advance.
Ashley you ask great questions! It IS hard to stop an energetic dog from going crazy when they start feeling better. You are on the right track though, and even just being mindful of her activity level means you’re already working on the issue.
So yes, a baby gate or an x-pen is a must during recovery. You won’t discourage her by cordoning her off from the rest of the house, you’re helping her not to get injured. Make it a part of the house where she is still included with the rest of the family, so that she won’t feel left out and anxious.
You can also try interactive brain games to tire her out too. Remember that working a dog’s mind is just as effective, if not more so, than exercising the body.
Is it too soon to run off leash? Well, we say that once stitches come out you can try some short, gentle off-leash play, but if the stitches are still in, then don’t do it.
You’re not a bad dog mom, really. You’re asking great questions which will help her get strong and stay injury-free.
P.S. That’s a great photo of her! Those eyes
Thanks Jerry! And for your quick reply. The stitches are internal and the incision is healing quite nicely, but I’ll keep her leashed for bathroom trips for now. We have a very open concept main living space, but I’ll figure out how to section it off.
Oh yes, her eyes got her adopted 6 years ago. She’s got the most precious face. She’s an expert begger, so I’m sure she’ll be dangerous now.
She has a dog tornado brain game that we played with her today! She loved it so we’ll have to do more brain games with her.
OOoooooh I would love to see her play the game! If you can, video it so others can see how much fun brain games are!
Yeah an x-pen would be ideal in an open floor plan like yours. You can get them for less than $50 and the nice part is they are collapsible so you can take them anywhere.
I highly recommend food puzzles and toys! Not only are they great for recover (as long as your vet approves) but they help with core strength and balance in the long term. Elly plays a game or does tricks or obedience practice almost every day. Just be sure you account for the extra food she gets with the games. My dogs are small so even a few extra snacks a day can lead to weight gain.
My Pug Maggie had internal stitches too which was really nice. I was told by the surgeon that she was only allowed short, leashed potty breaks until we got to two weeks post surgery. It was easy for me as Maggie was quite a slug during recovery, it was all I could do to get her out of bed!
When Pug boy Obie had his knee surgeries I used ex-pens to contain him. Because of his history I couldn’t put him in a crate but I could make a small enclosure to keep him from wandering around or trying to jump on the furniture.
I have a question looking at that picture- (she looks really smart by the way) did they leave part of her arm bone? We don’t see that much here on front amps. Just curious.
I’m glad she is doing so well!
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
22 February 2013
Can only say this: Kinzi is adorable!!!!! Off the charts adorable!!!😀
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!
I agree! She is adorable. I’ll get a video of her playing the dog tornado game next time! I feed her the same amount of food each day, but reserve about 1/5 of her food for games/treats. She’s so food driven that even her regular food is a treat to her haha
Karen– she did get to keep her shoulder and a little nub which I find cute. Based on the location of her MCT on her paw, the surgeon suggested that she keep her shoulder to be more comfortable. He’s confident they got enough leg to take care of it.
It’s definitely strange to look at. She still moves her shoulder and when she runs in her sleep, she moves the nub which is both adorable and sad… though after she heals we are going to teach to give us a “fist bump”
but reserve about 1/5 of her food for games/treats. She’s so food driven that even her regular food is a treat to her
Elly is the same way! My Pug boy is almost 14 and not very active but he actually gets more food at meal time than Elly. She gets the rest of her calories from our games and training.
Have you ever heard of Nose Work? I do it with Elly and it is a great sport for Tripawds since it is easy on the joints but at the same time it challenges the mind. It’s really fun and it has really helped Elly with her confidence, it is also tiring without being stressful. It sounds like a game Kinzie would like, be good at, and it might help funnel some of her energy.
Jerry did a blog post about different Nose games but I can’t find it right now.
We often see the shoulder left but not a piece of the leg (in the front). I’m sure it will be fine but just keep an eye on it since Kinzie is so active. Sometimes a stub in the front gets banged around and gets sores.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls