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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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Our First Official Walk
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Member Since:
11 September 2012
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24 September 2012 - 7:35 am
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I have been having trouble with the videos even though I think I am following the directions.  I hope this works.  This was a big moment for us and I hope it gives some encouragement to those of you a little behind us in this journey. 

Do those of you using the Rough Wear Harness have trouble with it twisting around when they move?  The harness I am using twists around because of the missing limb.  I don't like the idea of having to lift him to put him in his harness but if its more comfortable and stays put then I guess its worth it.  Also another question.  Finn really hates the harness and I am wondering if the incision area is still painful.  How long before I can be sure that it isn't painful to touch or put pressure on?  Is it possible to even know?

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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24 September 2012 - 7:46 am
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Darn, I'm sorry the video didn't work! Not sure what's going on when you add them. Admin is looking at it to see if he can fix it.

As for the harness, yes, it will slip a little after a while on front leg amputees but as you know it's just a matter of re-tightening the front strap occasionally. We still haven't found the perfect harness for front leggers but the Ruff Wear one is definitely the best for them. 

How do you know that he hates it? If he shys away from it you may want to try making getting dressed a more pleasant experience by having treats ready while you put it on. Some dogs see a harness similar to being dominated and it takes some getting used to. And when you put it on, you don't need to lift his entire body to get the front leg through, all you need to do is have him do a sit, then place it over his head and gently lift his front leg to slide it in. Then it's not so much of a big deal. Let us know if this works better for you!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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24 September 2012 - 7:50 am
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Peggy said
I have been having trouble with the videos...

Facebook does not make it easy to embed videos, they really don't want you sharing content outsise of the Faceborg mothership.

We've been fixing your videos by copying the "embed" code found on the Facebook video view page and pasting that into the forum post here using HTML mode (the small "HTML" button).

For videos shared on YouTube or Vimeo, all you have to do s paste the view page URL on a line by itself and the movie will automatically embed in your post.

Hope this helps!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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24 September 2012 - 7:50 am
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Ohhh he looks like he's just loving being outside!

I see now that he's not wearing a Web Master but the Help em Up. You can ignore what I said previously, I do believe the harness you have has to be worn with the rear piece in order for it not to slip around. Ruff Wear's doesn't slip around as much as the one he's wearing in the video and there's no rear piece required to keep it in place.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Boston, MA
Member Since:
31 May 2012
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24 September 2012 - 8:21 am
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Awesome video, had tears in my eyes until the end...did he poop?!  If so, that is AWESOME!!!

Congrats Finn on doing so well!!!

-Kori & Angel Lupe

Diagnosed with possible synovial cell sarcoma of right front elbow 5/31/12. Amputation surgery performed 6/7/12. Final diagnosis of histiocytic cell sarcoma 6/11/12. Her soul and spirit were strong, her body was little girl earned her wings 6/14/12. "If there are labradoodles and goldendoodles, why can't I be a cockadoodle?"-Angel Lupe (June 28, 1997-June14, 2012)

Milwaukee, WI
Member Since:
6 September 2011
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24 September 2012 - 8:35 am
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Finn, you look good and seem to be doing really good.  You could just hear the crisp fall air.  And I also smiled when the video stopped.  It looks like business as usual for you guy.

Harley is an 8 year old Golden Retriever. Amp surgery for an infiltrative lipoma canceled due to two masses in chest. A rescue, he found his forever home on 3/18/07 and left for his eternal home on 1/09/13. His story and medical history are at

Member Since:
11 September 2012
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24 September 2012 - 8:48 am
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You have told me Facebook videos are hard before...Sorry.  I will go figure out YouTube.  I guess I will order a rough wear harness.  Finn LOVES putting his collar on because he knows that means he is going out .  He gets all excited until he sees the harness and then... down goes the head and down goes the body... I have to encourage a coax quite a bit to get him into it.  Sorry about the poop... I tried to cut it out but Oh well :)

Orange County, CA
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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24 September 2012 - 8:58 am
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Good job Finn, you look great!!

Scranton, Pa.
Member Since:
15 September 2012
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24 September 2012 - 2:26 pm
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Good for you Finn!  Your doing great! smiley  Peggy, he reminds me of Dylan.  I am hoping to take him for a nice walk but he won't have stitches out till Thursday.  We'll wait and see how that's going to be.  He chased a squirrel in the yard yesterday-he took off like he had 4 legs (I think he forgot when he saw the squirrel)  I think he feels a little sore today after that.

He just got up and wanted to go out in the yard so right now he's just sitting out there with Zoe, our border collie.

I see how well Finn is doing and I think Dylan will be the same.

I plan on getting the Rough Wear harness for him.  

Loved the video!


My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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24 September 2012 - 6:21 pm
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Great video, Finn.  You look awesome.

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.

Sydney, Australia
Member Since:
13 September 2011
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24 September 2012 - 7:36 pm
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Hee hee. My mum has a photo of me in a similar compromising position. Glad she didn't manage to get it on video. Poor Finn! He is looking good though.

Spirit Magnum

Magnum: 30th May 2002 to 5th May 2012. Lost her back left leg to osteosarcoma on 5th Sep 2011. Lung mets found on 20th Mar 2012 but it was bone mets in the hip that ended her brave battle. Magnum's motto - "Dream as if you'll live for ever, live as if you'll die today" (James Dean). Loyal, loving, courageous and spirited to the end. My beloved heart dog, see her memoirs from Rainbow Bridge ......

Airdrie, Alberta
Member Since:
21 February 2012
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24 September 2012 - 8:07 pm
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AWESOME!!!  clap It amazes me just how resilient animals are smiley

Roxy…Border Collie cross born on approximately October 27th, 2011;

Rescued in January 2012 by Oops a Dazy Rescue & Sanctuary;

Right hind leg amputated on January 20th, 2012 due to a severe spiral fracture;

Adopted on February 21st, 2012 by Teena, a devoted human & Charlee, a purebred BC.

Hugs, tail wags & sloppy kisses

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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24 September 2012 - 8:45 pm
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I couldn't manage to see the vid on my ipad, but it sounds like he's doing well! Great to get them out and about again.

Jackie, Angel 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!

Portage Lake, Maine
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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26 September 2012 - 1:14 pm
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He looks good and happy!!!  My Ruffwear harness doesn't move but Maggie is a rear leg amputee but can't see it would slip as much as the one you are using? 

FWIW, I couldn't use the harness on Maggie for a while until she hurt her to use it as it hit her stitch mark.

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13


Somewhere over the rainbow... probably swimming in a lake
Member Since:
18 August 2012
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26 September 2012 - 6:39 pm
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Nice job, Finn!

It looks like Finn is a right front leg amp?  If I see that correctly, good news about the webmaster harness ...  it buckles on the left side.  Meaning Sam, our 80 lb front right leg amp, doesn't need to be lifted into his harness, it just snaps under behind his left shoulder.  The right side is adjustable, but you don't have a leg to get through the strap.  If you had the right front still intact, he would have to be lifted.

We've also been able to tighten it up enough on his chest that it slides a little, but the back stays where the back should be.  I tighten up the chest strap and we are fine.  Sam seems to really like it, it hardly touches the incision site at all and it means we are going to have an adventure somewhere!  We pickup the harness, he comes running to us, ready to go.

Thanks for posting the video!  Keep it up Finn.

Golden Power!

-Samdog's mom

Samdog was a 10 yr old Golden and retired SAR dog. We found a bone mass on 8/17/12, needle biopsy showed sarcoma 8/22/12, amputation on 8/23/12, post-amp biopsy confirmed osteosarcoma on 8/28/12. Sadly, we found lung mets on 11/27/12 and my Spirit Sam earned his wings on 12/2/12.

We didn't know where we were headed and we don't regret a single step along our path. It all happened too fast, but he left a legacy of love that we will always cherish. Good bye my heart.
You can find our story at

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