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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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Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
4 March 2019
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8 April 2019 - 4:02 pm
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Hello everyone! My corgi, Scraper, had his rear leg amputated 4 weeks ago. I’ve reached out to several rehab facilities and they’re all booked throughout April and into May. I’m on the fence on whether or not to do rehab since it is so costly, but I want to do right by him and get him as much help as we can. Has everyone had positive experiences with rehab? Has anyone tried to rehab themselves at home? I’m currently on the waiting list for SAGE and another swim therapy facility. 

In the meantime, what I wanted to find out is… what can I do to help Scraper while we are on these waiting lists? I don’t want him to get hurt while we are on these waiting lists. I notice his remaining hind leg shakes and it worries me that it’s working too hard. I’ve been taking him out for 5-10 minute walks around the block along with rides in his wagon while we walk our other corgi. 

Thanks in advance! 

Livermore, CA

Forum Posts: 3696
Member Since:
18 October 2009
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8 April 2019 - 4:36 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

Why did Scraper need an amputation?

I do my own exercise program at home with my current Tripawd Elly.  She is a little Pug mix who lost a rear leg after being hit by a car at 7 months old.  Elly has big fear issues and is very sensitive so I haven’t tried taking her to a rehab vet but I will as soon as I think she will survive big-grin.

We do all kinds of food puzzles and games which is a great, low impact way to work on strength and balance.  We also do balance exercises and do trick and obedience training all of which make her mind work and help to tire her out.

I did a blog search on Exercise and got these results.

This is a blog search on Rehab.  Some posts are the same as above, but there are some new ones.

You can also consider downloading one of our E-books: Loving Life on Three Legs, The New Canine Tripawds Rehab E book.

Nothing takes the place of working with a pro, but for some of us it just isn’t practical (at least not yet). You can always go to one or two visits then get a program to work on at home.  Some here go back once in a while for a tune up.

My first Tripawd Maggie lost a rear leg to cancer.  Her one back leg would wobble when she got tired- at first it was only a few minutes standing, but as she got stronger she could stand comfortably for a long time.  Back then I didn’t know anything about rehab and pretty much let her do what she wanted.  Good for you for being proactive for Scraper!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 26350
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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9 April 2019 - 9:26 am
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Hey there!

Karen gave you some excellent suggestions for Scraper. I want to add that because we understand the cost of a rehab consult can be high (the first is the most costly), the Tripawds Foundation may pay for your first rehab visit . Check it out, anyone can apply and get reimbursed as long as they visit a CCRT or CCRP practitioner.

Sounds like you are in the Bay Area? If so, you are in a great place for care! The wait will be worth it. Plus once you get into a clinic as a client, you’ll have priority for future appointments. 

I can say that the vast majority of people we talked to have had terrific experiences with rehab and found it to be worth the investment. The ones who did not have the greatest experience have reported that either they were not educated by the practitioner as much as they thought they would be, or that the practitioner was new to canine rehab (some have long histories with human PT, then move over to animals which is obviously a very different kind of bedside  manner that needs to happen).

The best thing you can do from the beginning is to research the practice and who will do the work on Scraper, and make your expectations clear with the team. Let them know what YOU want to get out of it and how much time and money you can invest.

Check out their experiences here in the Tripawds Foundation blog:


I wish we could have done it when Jerry lost his leg, but we didn’t know any better. It would have helped him dramatically, and more so us, because it’s really all about educating pet parents about what Tripawds should and shouldn’t do as far as activity goes.

Not everyone can take their Tripawd to rehab for many reasons, and that’s OK too. But if you’re in a place where you can go eventually, Scraper and you will benefit greatly!

Meanwhile just start slow slow slow with activity. 

Oh here’s a fun Corgi Tripawd blog you may enjoy. Talk about a success story!

Charles Avocado VanGogh, the three-legged corgi

P.S. What was the reason for Scraper’s amputation?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
4 March 2019
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9 April 2019 - 11:57 am
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Hi Karen and Jerry! Thank you for your experiences with me. Scraper had to have his leg amputated due to Histiosytic Sarcoma. 

That is amazing that Tripawds could potentially help with the cost of rehab! I will definitely look into it, it would help out a great deal. 

I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that we will be off the waiting list soon.

I just have to say, Tripawds has really helped ease my worries. When I first found out his diagnosis and that we would have to amputate I really freaked out and tried to google as much as I could and it led me to the Tripawd community. 

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 26350
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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9 April 2019 - 4:43 pm
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Awww thanks for sharing the kind words, that means so much! Just glad we could be there for you.

By the way, our Bay Area friends are having a pawty on 5/11 in Mill Valley, we hope you can make it! See:


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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