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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31 May 2019
Hello all, we are new to the Tripawd family and have so many questions. Mojo aka Captain Defecto lol (our 9 year old European Doberman) was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma in his left back leg and a mass under his front left leg (armpit) which we had removed two days ago. So far he is moving around great. He gets tired quickly but great for day 3! Stairs are our biggest issue right now. He only has 3 steps to navigate for bathroom breaks which I’m thankful for. I’ve read that there are harness suggestions but with the stitches under his front leg I feel it would hinder the use of those for now. Any other recommendations? I know each dog is different with their healing process but I’m also curious about what his future will entail as far as needing our support. He’s a therapy dog, an advanced trick dog that loves to run with me and he acts like a puppy chasing his 4 year old human brother. Is it realistic to think he might get back to any of that? Unfortunately, his prognosis does not give him much time but we want the best quality of life for him for his remaining days. I’d love to hear your advice ❤️
Hi Mojo and family, welcome! Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.
I’m sorry about the diagnosis, but glad you found us and super happy that Mojo is getting around so well this early on! You will find stories of many Dobies here who did great on three legs, as you’ll see in these Tripawds search results for “Doberman.”
How is he managing on those three steps? Your observation is correct, we don’t recommend using the Ruffwear Webmaster on a front-leg Tripawd until stitches are out, if it can be avoided. For a rear leg Tripawd, it will be harder going up the stairs than going down so don’t be surprised if he take a bit of time to get used to doing the stairs again. Until then, you may want to just try the old grocery bag sling if he appears to need the help.
I’m also curious about what his future will entail as far as needing our support. He’s a therapy dog, an advanced trick dog that loves to run with me and he acts like a puppy chasing his 4 year old human brother. Is it realistic to think he might get back to any of that?
He sounds like he is in excellent shape and has every chance in the world to get back to being active. Trick dog games are totally do-able, with the exception of some that may be tricky for him missing a rear leg. But playing with your son? For sure! Running with you is probably not a good idea, but whatever his day looks like from here on out will depend on a few things, like how good you are about monitoring his activity so he doesn’t overdo things, and taking steps to learn how to keep him in shape. He likely he won’t be as active as he once was, but that’s something that would be totally normal even for a senior dog with four legs. You’re just tailoring his activities a bit earlier now that he’s missing a leg. We call it “the new normal,” but it’s not a bad thing. Read more about it in our Tripawds e-book, Loving Life On Three Legs .
It’s best to take your time to find out what he is capable of doing on three legs. The very best thing you can do to learn about his capabilities is to book an appointment with a canine rehabilitation / physio therapist. These experts can assess him to find out where his strengths and weaknesses are, and show you ways to keep him fit and injury free. The best part is that the Tripawds Foundation may even pay for your first visit! Click on the link for details and holler with any questions.
Meanwhile, just because the prognosis isn’t great, keep in mind that many dogs will outlive that expectation. Our Jerry lived two years after his osteosarcoma diagnosis, we never thought we would be so lucky! So take things one day at a time just like Mojo is, and before you know it you’ll be celebrating his ampuversaries one after another.
18 October 2009
Hello and welcome.
Here is how to make the DIY Shopping Bag Sling that Jerry mentioned.
I’m sorry that cancer led you here, but glad you found us!
What was the mass under the front leg? I think you are right to wait on the harness until those stitches are out.
Do the stairs have good traction for him? I had two short steps for my rear amp Pug Maggie to come up and she would only try when her traction rugs were in place. I would expect Mojo can get back to most of his activities, but I would be cautious about running. My current Tripawd is a little Pug mix who lost her back leg after being hit by a car when she was 7 months old. Since Elly will live her whole life on three I do moderate activities that involve to much pounding on her legs or burst type actions. Even though the prognosis is scary you never know how much time you will get. Maggie, my first Tri, was given 6 to 9 months after her amp for mast cell cancer. She lived almost 4 years! She was a lazy, stubborn 7.5 year old Pug at the time of her surgery so I never had to worry about her overdoing
Back to Elly- we took a tricks class to work on her confidence and give me some ideas for training. She can do lots of tricks but ‘sit up’ or ‘sit pretty’ is hard for her- she doesn’t have any of her femur left. We do an assisted sit pretty but I’m careful that it doesn’t but a strain on her back.
I hope the recovery continues to go well!
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
22 February 2013
Hello Mr. Mojo Captain Defecto😀 You have gotten great advice and insight from Jerry and Karen.
Mojo might slow down a bit once all the hospital meds are out of his system, so it’s important to keep his pain meds consistent to help him stay ahead of the pain.
Prognosis Scmognosis. Nope, we don’t pay much attention to those kinds of things around here. Mojo doesn’t have any timeframe stamped on that cute butt of his. He sure do count days on the calendar. He lives in the moment with no worries about the tomorrows.
Just continue to make eceryday rhe gest day ever and you will be victorious!
Keep us posted and we would love to see pics of Mojo. You can try this link adding images .
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!
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!