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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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Member Since:
9 December 2021
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18 December 2021 - 5:30 pm
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Hi all! This is my first time doing anything besides reading things others have posted. I’m Teddi. My (almost) 11yo OES, Sully, had his front right leg amputated on Wednesday. He’s doing really well so far! I just have some questions about him getting around. He’s doing a great job, but he trips and stumbles or falls from time to time. Should I be helping him more closely to prevent this, or letting him learn? This evening, he cried out just a bit when he fell the one time- seemed to hurt his remaining front paw a tiny bit. He’s fine now, I’m just not sure how much to let him find his own balance vs how much to help.

Thank you all for sharing your expertise and experiences! 

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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18 December 2021 - 8:24 pm
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Hi Teddi and Sully, welcome! We are so glad you decided to post. By OES do you mean Old English Sheep dog?

It's great he's doing well. The stumbling is probably because he's just a few days out from surgery. His body is still adjusting to the new gait and it's very common for front leg amputees to have balance issues. It could also be that he's feeling so good he's trying to do too much, too soon. Right now he should only be going for leashed potty walks to the yard. If he's doing more than that he could be getting too tired right now. Keep activity turned way way down until at least when stitches come out.

As for how much to help him, I would say that you can try using a sling and see if he lets you assist. If not, just make sure your floors have traction and it's easy for him to get to his feeding dishes and to potty (you can spot him as he walks outside to make sure ge is safe).

Also, keep in mind that the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit . It's a great way to learn about how to help Sully get strong and stay that way.

Let us know how he is doing when you can!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
9 December 2021
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18 December 2021 - 8:43 pm
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Thank you so much for your response! This is super helpful. These stumbling incidences are on potty breaks. While leashed he sometimes gets a few steps ahead of me trying to go, then stumbles, I think from an uneven part of the ground, etc. So I’m hoping the stumbles just from trying to adjust and find his new balance. Thanks for the reassurance! We have purchased the yoga mat roll we saw recommended on this site, and cut pieces for traction all around the house, which are working great! So many valuable resources here already. 😊

I’ll check out the rehab link you provided right now- thank you again! 

edited to add- yes, by OES I meant Old English Sheepdog. 

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