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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:
2 March 2010
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21 January 2011 - 8:46 pm
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My mom's dog had a successful front leg amputation a year ago.  She has done well until the last month or so.  She has developed arthritis in her remaining front leg.  She has also started walking with her front leg turned in slightly.  I suspect it is a position that might give her some relief from arthritis pain.  She also appears to be carrying her chest lower in front. 

She is on Tramadol for pain which was beneficial when she had stopped eating well.  She was recently examined and her lungs are clear.  YEAH!


Suggestions?  She currently takes chondroitin and Transfer Factor Plus. 

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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21 January 2011 - 9:55 pm
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Welcome!  And congrats on 1 year and clear lungs!  A year of no cancer is terrific!

What's your pups name?  What kind of cancer did she have? 


Arthritis is no fun.  Is she on Rimadyl or something similar.  That will help way better than tramadol.  (arthritis is inflammation so an anti-imflammatory will really help.  Tramadol just blocks the sensory of pain to the brain but doesn't help with inflammation.)


My dog is 12 and was born with a deformed front leg.  She takes Rimadyl every day and has for a year and a half or so.  It helps a lot!  She's not really arthritic but her body has been thru so much by hopping 12 years and she also had both back knees go out when she was a little younger. 


Let us know more about your fur baby!

Good luck!
Comet's mom

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.

Member Since:
20 May 2009
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21 January 2011 - 10:07 pm
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First of all, congratulations on one cancer free year!!

Before we knew that Emily's cancer had moved to her spine we were treating her with Adequan shots.  Ask your vet if these shots might be helpful to your Mom's dog.  Also, some of our members have had good luck with acupuncture and massage.  

Keep us informed.


Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Greater Western Washington area
Member Since:
25 August 2010
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22 January 2011 - 9:12 am
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Hello and a big congrats on 1 year cancer free!

Now, my vet says that the leg will turn in, to compensate for the body having to carry the weight on 1 front leg.  That has already happened with my newfoundland mix.  My vet recommended accupuncture, she says it really provided good relief for her dog that went through this, and that is something I plan to do for my boy too, once we get settled on his metronomics .  I understand that accupunture visits run about maybe $50 for my dogs size.  You would have to check it out for your area.

What kind of cancer did your dog have?  what kind of dog?  How old?   

Much luck,

Elizabeth and Sammy

Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the right front leg 8/23/10,

leg fractured 8/27/10,

leg amputated 8/30/10


I couldn't begin to say how special Sammy is to us.  Living and laughing with and loving this wonderful boy is priceless.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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22 January 2011 - 12:56 pm
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Thanks for asking, we're happy to hear your mom's pup is still cancer free – assuming that's what you meant by clear lungs. What's the dog's name?

Anyway,it is normal for a tripawd'sgait and stance to adjust after amputation to comensate for the weight shift. Is she only taking chondroitin for the arthritis? You might consider a stronger Glucosamine supplement like Dasuquin or Joint Max. We gave Jerry SynFlex Liquid Glucosamine, which we believed helped him when he developed hip issues after his amputation.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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22 January 2011 - 1:41 pm
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Trouble does exactly what you are describing and has been hopping around cancer free for almost 26 months.  She is on Rimadyl for the arthritis, fish oil, and glucosamine which has helped her quite a bit until recently.  Her arthriis is progressing, and she is feeling the effects during the cold damp winter days.  I have ordered Dasuquin for her to take the place of the glucosamine she is currently getting, and are hoping that will take her a bit further.  There will be a point where we will add Adequan to the equation, but are hoping to get a few more months out of what we are currently doing.  Keeping them on the lean side is paramount in keeping the mobile. Less weight is less stress on the remaining limb.

If I had the option of doing accupuncture, I would.  The nearest place for pet accupuncture for us is 2 hours away.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

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