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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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Member Since:
1 July 2022
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6 August 2022 - 1:09 pm
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Hi there,

I’m hoping I can get some advice here on my pup Diesal. He is 12 years old, had a tumour on his front shoulder bone and was removed in May. He was doing great for a few months there, getting around on his own and just recently he’s had significant swelling on his other 3 legs. I have him on a joint medication called extend pet. It helped him incredibly well in the past when he was having issues with his back legs, however, it takes about 4-6 weeks to start working. I’m trying icing and was told cinnamon twice a day will help with inflammation but I’m only on day 3 of trying this. He’s very sore and has to be held up to use the bathroom and at this point can’t stand up on his own. He’s otherwise normal within eating and drinking and very alert not showing any signs of sickness. He was on Gabepentin but I took him off because it was making him sick. I’m waiting for a prescription for Metacam from the vet. 
Hope there may be some holistic treatments I can try to help him immediately. I’ve also been taking him swimming and he moves very well in the water so have been doing a lot of water therapy. 
Thank you for reading any advice would be appreciated! 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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6 August 2022 - 4:37 pm
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Hi Sam and Diesal, welcome. I’m so glad you posted, looks like you joined us back in July. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.

It’s wonderful that Diesal was getting around so well before this episode. I’m sorry that he’s having a setback. This is not uncommon, it happens to a lot of dogs after amputation. Usually it’s the result of too much activity too soon after surgery. Not your fault, it’s a live and learn thing for all of us! Can you try to describe what his activity looks like?

For example: How long are his walks? Does he play with other dogs? And what kind of swimming is he doing? Pool? Lake? Not all swimming is therapeutic, unfortunately. Open water swimming without a floatation jacket and supervision can sometimes cause a dog to get injured too. We didn’t know this when our Jerry lost his leg, we let him swim like crazy too! But a rehab therapist told us the difference between supervised swimming and open water swimming, and it was so educational.

Have you tried massaging him gently on his shoulders, and lower back area, to see where it hurts? You’ll know if he looks back at you when you touch a certain area. Front leg Tripawds often get injured in the neck and shoulders.

If he is in this much pain right now, please let your vet know asap. Hopefully this is a muscle strain that is easily fixed with rest. He may need more than the Metacam to help him get back on track. Pain control for an injury can involve a few approaches. Medication, massage, gentle stretching, maybe even acupuncture all work together to tackle the issue. 

As for holistic remedies, you can try applying an ice pack to the injured area if you can pinpoint it. Here’s a post about using ice therapy:


Right now since it’s the weekend, you can try some of these natural remedies recommended here, but please know they don’t replace conventional medications that work faster and more effectively. 

Did you know that Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit ? It’s so important to learn what activity is good and not good for our Tripawds, so we’ll pay up to $200 for Diesal’s first visit. Please take advantage of the program and keep us posted OK?

Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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6 August 2022 - 9:12 pm
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Hi and welcome to you and Diesal.

Are you dealing with osteosarcoma? 

It sounds like Diesal needs stronger pain control for now.  Gabapentin isn’t the only pain med available so talk to your vet about other options.  Metacam may help with the swelling as it’s a NSAID but if he can’t get up on his own he many need something stronger.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

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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