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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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Recovery post op and physical therapy for hind leg
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Member Since:
13 July 2017
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13 July 2017 - 7:52 pm
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Hi everyone. My dog Daisy had her back leg removed 8 days ago due to a coyote attack. She is turning 13 in October and is a large beautiful mutt who's been my best friend for 12 years. 

After her attack, I brought her immediately to the emergency vet who stitched up the attack wounds, but had to wait 4 days to find a surgeon who would remove her leg due to the holiday. I ended up taking her about 4 hours away to a great surgeon who was able to perform the surgery. 

Months ago, Daisy tore her ACL and my vet and I decided to give her pain management instead of surgery due to her age- so much for keeping her out of surgery :/ but because of the already torn acl, the surgeon and I decided that amputation was a safer route than trying to repair the acl and the femur break in one shot. 

Now, my big issue is her recovery. She has not wanted to stand up at all since the accident. I have a harness on her and a sling under her belly to help her, and she just won't put weight on her legs. I don't know what to do. 

When she's laying down, she'll use her front paws to pull herself a few feet. But if I use the sling to lift up her hind end, she just makes herself limp on the front. 

She gets her staples out on Monday, and I plan on finding somewhere to try swimming with her, but I'd love any advice as to what to try before then. 

Multiple vets have told me that they think it's mostly mental at this point and that I need to keep trying, so I do every 4-5 hours. 

She HAS started to recover in other ways, she's no longer screaming in pain when I go near her hindend and she's been pulling with her front feet more and more. Also her spirits are much brighter since coming home. I move her out on our porch in rainy weather and into our lawn on nice days- she's loves being outside. 

Sorry for the novel. I know you all understand how much I love Daisy and why I'll do whatever I can. 

Thank you!!


On The Road

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24 September 2009
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13 July 2017 - 10:35 pm
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Hi and welcome! I wanted to get your post approved so others can see it, but I'm on my phone now so I'll comment when I'm on my laptop. Thanks for your patience!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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14 July 2017 - 11:41 am
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My goodness! Daiay, and you, have veen through a lot this past week or so!! WOW!!

I know it's hard to be patient, but this is still so very early in recovery from MAJOR surgery!! Larger AND SENIOR dogs DO need extra recovery time, especially when it comes to mobility!

She had to "adjust" to three legs virtually overnight. Plus, her muscles may be extra sore and stuff from the initial "confrontation" to begin with.

Any hint of arthritis? If you "pinch" her toes (not too hard) does she react?

My very unprofessional opinion is this is not "mental"at all! A rehab consult will help clarify that for you. If there's nothing neurologic going on, she'll get through this.

You may try gentle massaging all over..neck..shoulders...spine..see if she shows any tension anywhere. Also very gentle leg stretching along with massage before she tries to stand.

You do have non slip scatter rugs or yoga matts if you have hardwoods or vinyls, right?

My Happy Hannah did not like a sling at all and basically would not move.

What pain meds is she on now? 🙂 Dose and frequency? Eating, drinking, pooping, peeing okay?

Hang in there!!! She's a big gal and"mature"...and recovery takes a bit longer!


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!

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