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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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Rearleg Tripawd - Maintaining Joint Health
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
30 December 2018
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30 December 2018 - 11:16 am
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We rescued a Treeing Walker Coonhound (63 lbs) – he lost his leg to a gun “accident”.  He’s healthy, active and happy.  He moves great…loves his walks, pulls when he picks up a scent, likes an occasional game of chase with other dogs.  In fact when he sprints, you would not even know he’s a tri.

Vet guesses that he’s 5 or 6.  Luckily we have not had any issues yet but want to make sure we maintain his joint health.  We watch his weight, he gets fish oils supplement and do our best to make sure the pads on his lone rear paw are not split or cracking.

One thing we noticed is that during walks, he likes to move a little faster than a fast walking pace.  He moves at a very light jog for a human.  Does a faster walking pace relieve stress on his rear hip joint?  It seems to be more comfortable for him.  I’d like to know if it’s helpful to maintain a faster pace for his joint health otherwise we want to teach him to match his handler’s pace.

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30 December 2018 - 11:31 am
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jeffshieh said
…we want to teach him to match his handler’s pace.

There’s a reason we say, “It’s better to hop on three legs than limp on four.” way-cool

All Tripawds will adjust their gait to compensate for the missing limb. They must throw their leg forward and hop along at a swifter pace to stride comfortably. Your handlers may just need to invest in new running shoes.

Just keep in mind that walks and running do not build strength, only endurance. It is important to work in core strengthening exercises and balance work to keep Tripawds fit and strong. There are various starter exercises you can do at home, and you’ll find many tips in Loving Life On Three Legs . But the best recommendation is to consult with a certified canine rehab therapist for evaluation and specific exercises for your dog. Visit a CCRT or CCRP and the Tripawds Foundation can even pay for your first consult from the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab.

Sounds like your pup is in great shape! Does he have a name? Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

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