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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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The good leg doesn't seem so good. Help!
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31 August 2009 - 11:48 pm
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My 7 1/2 year old boxer, Rocky, had his back rt leg amputated 5 months ago.  He was checked last month and he is cancer free and running around like a happy healthy boxer.  3 weeks ago, our cleaning lady used something different on our hard wood floors and he took a couple of spills by the time I could remedy the situation.  The next morning, he would/could not stand all the way on his back leg.  He was scooting it along.  What a heartbreak!!  I called my vet and he suspected a soft tissue strain.  He advised me to put a heat pack, massage and no walks/limited movement for a few days.  On day 3, he was doing much better and jones'ing for a walk.  Vet said short 10 minute walks so I did that.  He seemed to get a little better each day.  Now, he's getting worse again. Ugggghhhh!! He's not crying.  His personality is still great.  He walks and then collapses on the leg.  I am going to take him in to the vet to check. I am nervous but feel in my heart that it is not serious.  I bought a life vest today and put him in the pool.  I made him do about 10-12 minutes of swimming.  I read that the aquatherapy is great for tripods.  I would LOVE to hear if anyone has been through something similar. THanks!

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1 September 2009 - 3:25 am
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I'm sorry to hear that Rocky is having troubles.  

Have you ever hyperextended your knee – after a day or so you think it's fine then  all of a sudden – you turn it the wrong way  – out from under you it goes and your seeing stars.  Sounds kind of like what Rocky is going through but unfortunately muscle and tendon injuries do tend to take a while to heal.   I think the vet has the right idea with the short strengthening walks with the heat packs, massage,  and they hydrotherapy sounds great.   It sounds like you are doing all the right things but this could be one of those things that you need to baby along for a while and could take time to heal. 

Let us know what your vet says. 


Connie & Radar

The Rainbow Bridge

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1 September 2009 - 11:03 am
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Rocky, we are so hoppy you're recovered from your amp and cancer free! Sorry to hear you are hurting from that spill though. Ouch! That souns really painful.

We agree with Connie. Baby your injury with the hot and cold packs, and see how it goes for a couple of weeks. Another thing you might want to try is an acupuncture session.

After my amputation, I once hurt my knee really bad playing frisbee. Nothing helped until I tried acupuncture.

Our Resources Page has some websites where you can find one closest to you.

You're so lucky you have a pool you can swim in. That should help you feel better as long as the water isn't really cold.

At some point, many of us Tripawds will have hurt ourselves by overdoing it or taking a spill, and eventually all of us felt better. It just takes a little time. Stay calm, and try not to push yourself too hard. Maybe you overdid it? Lots of us tend to do that.

Hang in there, and thanks so much for joining us here. We can't wait to hear more about your Tripawd life!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Mesa, AZ
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2 September 2009 - 8:01 pm
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 lorinuzzolilo said:

  I made him do about 10-12 minutes of swimming.  I read that the aquatherapy is great for tripods.  I would LOVE to hear if anyone has been through something similar. THanks!

Hi Lorinuzzililo!  Our dog Chuy fell on the ceramic tile pretty hard one night and the next day would not walk.  I did have x-rays done on his hind legs and they found that he had fractured the femur in his left rear leg.  We scheduled him for FHO surgery (removal of the femur head) as soon as possible and 2 weeks after the surgery started him on aquatherapy.  You can find posts all about him here in these forums. 



Chuy is doing great now!  The swim therapy really helped to build the muscles and ligaments in the left rear leg and also helped him to build stamina and more muscle all over!  We not only swam him at home, we also took him to a professional canine rehab center.  The PT there would swim him for 2-3 minutes and then let him rest, he did this for 1/2 hr.   Now Chuy swims for 5 min. then gets to rest, the total time of 1/2 each session. 

Keep us posted on how Rocky is doing.

Eleanor & Chuy

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