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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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New Mom in Waiting
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Forum Posts: 5
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22 December 2011
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22 December 2011 - 8:19 pm
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We are currently trying to adopt a tri dog from a rescue. It's pretty far from where we live so we have to wait until 1/7 to get down there. If she hasn't been adopted yet (and she gets along with our 2 other rescues) then she will be ours to bring home!!!

We want to be prepared but don't want to overdue or overwhelm so any suggestions you could offer would help. She's a year old but I don't know when she had her surgery so I will need to check on that with the shelter. She lost her left front leg due to a car accident and neglect.

I'm a little nervous with the winter months closing in and being a new tri mom. From the little I've seen she seems pretty mobile but we are used to walking our dogs for about 30 minutes at least twice a day and are not sure she can handle that. We've been reading about beds, harnesses and elevated water bowls but really aren't sure what's best for her since we haven't had the chance to meet her yet. She's going to have a long 2 days of car rides just to get her back home, along with a hotel stay and I would like to know any recommendations from people on what they they think we should arrive with to get her home safely, and what we should wait to purchase until we get to know her and her needs a little bit better.

Any tips, suggestions and recommendations are greatly appreciated. We have learned a great deal from the blog already but know there is much more info out there that could be helpful. Thank you!

Here and Now


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22 December 2011 - 9:26 pm
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firsttry said:

Any tips, suggestions and recommendations are greatly appreciated. 

You'll find lots of recovery and care tips in Jerry's Required Reading List, and for immediate answers to the most common dog amputation questions download the new Tripawds e-book Three Legs and A Spare.

Best wishes for welcoming your new pup! Wyatt recently recommended some of the best winter gear for Tripawds in the Gear blog . And if you have hardwood or other slick floors, you'll want to consider putting down runners or looking into other traction solutions for three legged dogs.

Chicago, IL
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22 December 2011 - 10:23 pm
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We didn't have to do anything special for Tate, but we didn't have to deal with snow and ice either.  I'd suggest getting a harness just to have on hand in case you need it.  After that, I'd be inclined to see how it goes.  Unless you are in the mood for shopping, of course.

30 minutes would have been a long walk for Tate but he was never a real long-walk kind of dog in the first place.  We used to regularly walk to my mom's, a little over a half mile away but that was too far for him post-amp and he was only 4 years old.  He'd rather play and could play outside for hours.  But he did take breaks and rest a lot more frequently after his amp. 

Tate was a rear amp, I'm sure a front-amp owner will weigh in.  How big is your future furkid?

Best of luck to you!

http://tate.tripawds.com/
August 16, 2006 to November 28, 2011
TATE ~ Forever in our hearts.

Greater Western Washington area
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23 December 2011 - 6:35 am
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I would suggest a harness too.  Sammy does great getting in the car, but can't get out without me lifting him out with his harness.  He can't do walks, it is just too hard on him.  I don't know about her, you will have to ask lots of questions to the rescue group.  What breed, size is your girl?

I have found with Sammy being a front amp it is too hard on him to lean down to drink or eat, so a lifted water/food tray is a must.

Learn how to doggie massage, the longer they live the more the muscles get corded across the back and need to be massaged into submission!

 

Good luck and bless you for giving her a new life.

 

Elizabeth and Sammy

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

leg fractured 8/27/10,

leg amputated 8/30/10

http://sammyand.....pawds.com/

 

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

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23 December 2011 - 8:00 am
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Thank you all for the help! She is a lab/retriever mix and appears to be on the small side currently weighing in at 31lbs. I should have mentioned that we live in a townhouse so she will be experiencing lots of stairs and steps. Thankfully the stairs are carpeted. We have some hardwood but already use lots of throw rugs due to the other paws in the house. Easy enough to increase those throughout. I figured going down would be the most challenging for her so we will definitely order a harness now and have that ready for when we pick her up. 

I will make sure that we both read up on the recommended info and we'll do some limited shopping to prepare. Great help, thanks!

Chicago, IL
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23 December 2011 - 8:29 am
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Okay, pick her up on 1/7, two day drive brings us to 1/9...that means pictures posted here by 1/10, no later than 1/11.  : )

Seriously, let us know how it goes and please do post pics if you can.

http://tate.tripawds.com/
August 16, 2006 to November 28, 2011
TATE ~ Forever in our hearts.

San Diego, CA
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23 December 2011 - 9:12 am
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Welcome to Tripawds! Please keep us posted on how things go.

A 30 min walk might be too much for a tripawd. Abby was only 15 mo when she had her amp. She is still able to go for an hour at the beach, but that is because it's off leash and flat and she can cruise along at her own pace, then rest and wait for me to catch up. In our neighborhood, which is hilly and she has to be on leash, she can only go for about 20 min, and that usually includes a good break at about the 15 min point. It is harder to walk a tripawd on leash since they need to sort of trot along to keep their momentum going.

You are very sweet to consider her. Hope all goes well.
Jackie, Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

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23 December 2011 - 11:22 am
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Don't worry, pics will be posted by 1/10 😉  Going non-leash could be an issue because I do not have a fenced in backyard. We have some open space with woods (and water) behind us but she is a cat chaser so I'm hesitant to let her off leash. There is a dog park nearby so she can definitely get some quality time in a fenced in area. We will play that part by ear and see how it goes. We could fence in our yard but it would significantly cut off the amount of space the dogs are allowed to use (we have great neighbors). Not many people use their backyards so they get some space to run around in. If she can be properly trained to not run away (or chase cats, deer, squirrels) then she will be much happier. That part is going to be up to both of us but I think we're up to the challenge.

Fingers and paws crossed that she will remain available until January 8th!!!

 

Happy Holidays everyone and don't forget to spoil the pups 😉

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23 December 2011 - 11:26 am
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Oh and I got some updates from the shelter. Her surgery was on November 8th, they get her about 4 weeks post-op. According to them she is no longer post -op, "you would never know she only has 3 legs". She manages a short set of 5 steps with no problems, although bigger staircases have not been tested.

Sounds like she could be a great little sister to my four year old Golden big-grin and a nuisance to her older brother the Cockalier surprised

San Diego, CA
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23 December 2011 - 1:04 pm
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That's great that she's already through the recovery period. You'll get all the good stuff without the "two weeks of hell". 🙂

Hope she gets to come home with you! Let us know!

Jackie

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 December 2011 - 1:09 pm
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What a lucky pup to have found you! You sound like an awesome dog family, congratulations on this possible new addition, we hope everything works out so you can bring her home. Thanks for joining us!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Plainfield, Illinois
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23 December 2011 - 4:41 pm
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My Chili Dawg was a front amp, golden retriever.  He was only a front amp for 3.5 months before his cancer came back, so we didn't experience the winter months, but I had planned on getting him a harness for that time.  We had raised dishes for him before his surgery and they came in handy post amp as well.  A 30 minute walk would have been too long for him, but he was 9.5 years old.  He preferred to play in the back yard and wrestle with his Boxer brother, where he could take breaks when he needed them.  He was able to do steps up and down quite well, even 6 days post-surgery.  He just took them slower going down then he used to, and we have about 14 steps going upstairs. 

I can't wait to see pictures!

 

Jenna & Spirit Chili Dawg

Diagnosed with OSA: 5/2/2011 Ampuversary: 5/11/2011 OSA returned in hip: 8/26/2011
Chili Dawg crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 8/30/2011 & is now pain free. He was my heart dog, and I miss him every day.

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27 December 2011 - 1:45 pm
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Just found out the dog we were trying to get was adopted today by another family. Feeling a mixture of sadness at our loss and happiness for her and her new life. 

I guess I shouldn't have ordered that harness so soon - dang it 🙁

The Rainbow Bridge



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27 December 2011 - 1:54 pm
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Aww I'm sorry, that's always such a heartbreak! But hang onto that harness, there are LOTS of Tripawds needing homes. Have you seen our Rescue Forum or checked our Facebook page? Oh we hope you'll consider adopting another one!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

The Rainbow Bridge



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27 December 2011 - 1:54 pm
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Aww I'm sorry, that's always such a heartbreak! But hang onto that harness, there are LOTS of Tripawds needing homes. Have you seen our Rescue Forum or checked our Facebook page? Oh we hope you'll consider adopting another one!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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