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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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4 December 2021 - 9:03 pm
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NalaBear was a 1.5 yo stray who when found was severely malnourished and was missing her back right foot. The leg bones were exposed and the vet recommended amputation to avoid possible infection. She had her surgery in January 2018. They took her leg up to her hip. 

99% of the time she is perfectly fine and has no issues with being a tripawd. She does get tired faster as she has gotten older. But I am writing because of what we have always assumed to be her phantom leg pain . Randomly she will yelp and sometime curl her nub towards her front. It’s like someone pinched her is the best way I can describe it. These episodes only last for moments and she looks concerned after but quickly goes back to her usual happy pup self. 

I just discovered this site and was wondering if this is just something she will always have to deal with or if there is something I should be doing to help her. They are not really frequency but it seems that they are becoming more frequent. 

Thanks for your help! And give your puppos some extra pets from me (if they are into that) 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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5 December 2021 - 7:14 am
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Hi NalaBearMom, welcome! 

Phantom pain typically happens early in recovery but that's not to say it can't happen later. Human amputees report suffering from it later on so it makes sense that animals would too. 

What you are describing is not uncommon but it needs to be addressed.

Has NalaBear ever been seen by an orthopedic vet or a rehab therapist? It sounds like she is having some unresolved pain and these folks are masters at pinpointing the cause. A good ortho vet can work with a rehab team to help you help her live a pain free life! The best part is the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit so please take advantage of the program.

Here's a post we wrote about our Wyatt's aging on 3 and how we worked with a rehab team to keep him feeling good:


ps please consider registering as a member so your future posts won't need approval.

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