TRIPAWDS: Home to 22798 Members and 2143 Blogs.

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.


Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

Instant post approval.

Private messages to members.

Subscribe to favorite topics.

Live Chat and much more!

Please consider registering
Forum Scope


Forum Options

Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
Stella-Massage for new Tripawd
sp_NewTopic Add Topic

Member Since:
20 October 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
21 October 2023 - 4:10 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hello all -

Thank you so much for this site and the great community that supports it.

Stella, the love of my life (it’s ok…my husband knows the hierarchy), just had her left front leg amputated due to osteosarcoma.  She’s 11.5 year old rottie/American bulldog mix and weighs about 85 lbs. she has mild arthritis in her hips.  We had the surgery on 10/18. she’s doing ok, but I think her remaining front leg is getting sore from relying on it solely.

I’ve tried doing searches on the forums and blogs, but can’t seem to find information on massages or other relief for overuse/ strain on remaining legs. I’m certain that there is much info on it here, but I’m a newbie and can’t seem to find it. Even saw the post from Jerry on how to search but to no avail.  

Stella and I would appreciate any assistance!

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
21 October 2023 - 7:31 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Stella and @ejrohr, welcome! Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away.

I'm sorry about the diagnosis but you've come to the right place for support.

Sounds like Stella is doing alright overall, and she must be a strong doggie if her vet thought she would be a good candidate on three legs. Right now her body is sore and tired though, just over three days from surgery. Remember, this is a big one and it's normal for an older dog to take longer to recover. It's likely not so much her legs that are sore but just overall exhaustion from moving in a whole new way. Try not to let her overdo things, she should only be resting and going out on leash for potty breaks.

Sorry you had trouble finding some posts, I'm happy to help. Here's a link to several posts about massage.


In general, any kind of massage should be done reallllly lightly, like you would on an infant, and never over the incision. A front legger would be really sore in her neck and shoulders.

Let us know how she likes it!

Member Since:
20 October 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
21 October 2023 - 7:44 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you!  We will give her a bit more coddling (but not too much), and gentle neck and shoulder massages (avoiding the incision area).  

We’ll look over the massage section and are so grateful for your help!

Elizabeth & Stella

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
21 October 2023 - 7:49 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Aww you're so welcome. Keep us posted.


Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
21 October 2023 - 9:00 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Love, love, love Stella’s avatar picture.  Such a smoochable face🥰😘

How is Stella doing overall? It is soooo early after this major surgery it’s no surprise her leg is sore.  Right now she just needs to do short leashed potty breaks and back in to rest, rest, rest.  Generally it takes abut two weeks to recover from the surgery itself and about thirty days to master a fluid Tripawd gait.  As Jerry noted muscles are being used in a different way and need time to adapt.

If you have a Rehabilitation Specialist in your area, the Tripawd Foundation will pay for the first consult.  They will show you techniques and exercises, etc to help strengthen her core.

Is she on a good pain management program?  Eating and drinking okay?  Peeing and pooping?   Sometimes appetites are a bit off at first due to meds and pooping may also take a few days too for same reason.

Keep is posted, okay?


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!

Member Since:
20 October 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
22 October 2023 - 7:08 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi and thank you!

Overall Stella is doing well. She’s on good pain meds which she’s having no trouble tolerating. Pooping and peeing like a rock star. Eating and drinking water too. 

I’ll look into a rehab specialist. I’m glad for both your and Jerry’s advice to let her rest. She is particularly fearful about being without her hoomans now so we’ve been letting her follow us around the house. I think we’ll start tag teaming going into different rooms so she doesn’t feel the need to move with us. 

2 weeks of chilling is something I can use too, so that’s the plan!


Elizabeth and Stella 

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: krun15, Katie_3
Guest(s) 98
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1262
Members: 17573
Moderators: 6
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 24
Topics: 18553
Posts: 256209
Administrators: admin, jerry, Tripawds
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.