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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Worried and Help Needed. My tripawd has a torn ligament on another limb and now he cant walk at all!
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8 April 2013 - 3:45 am
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my precious texas busted his right hind yesterday - hes lost his left hind to osteosarcoma in 2011.

Now he cant walk at all and is on pain meds - fantanyl to cope with the torn ligament. We are not sure how bad the tear is, if its partial or full. 

I am suddenly at lost now cos texas can no longer walk and been pooing and peeing on himself. Hes miserable and so am i.

Any one of you can advice me what should i do?





Columbia, MO
Member Since:
10 December 2011
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8 April 2013 - 5:11 am
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Oh no poor Texas.  My Daisy also has a torn ligament in her right knee.  She is a front amp though.  When she tore it back in October she would not bear weight on it and was trying to walk on two legs.  It was easier I guess because she still had one hind leg to use.

Have you tried using a sling to help him manuever around?  I use a towel under her belly when she needs extra support.  Some on here have taken a canvas shopping bag split down the sides to use as a sling.

At least you have the pain meds.  Do you have any anti-inflammatory pain meds like Rimadyl or Deramaxx?  Have you tried icing his knee to try to get some of the swelling out?

This is really tough.  I wish I could be of more help.  Hopefully you can get into the vet right away today.

Sending you our best.

Marla and Daisy

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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8 April 2013 - 9:18 am
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Just hang in there-----I know there are others on this site who have experienced this and they will be getting back to you as soon as they see this. See if what Marla suggests helps in the meantime. Just wanted to respond to let our know how much we care, even though I couldn't offer specific advice but I know others can!!

So hard, but try and stay calm as I know things can be done.

Sending you support and holding you in our thoughts, Sally and Happy Hannah

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!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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8 April 2013 - 10:15 am
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Oh Texas, I'm so sorry to hear this! You've been such an awesome warrior these last couple of years, I know you can get through this.

How do you guys know it's a torn ligament? What exactly did the vet say? It sounds like you have some good pain medication to hold you over. But I know the incontinence has got to be tough. Is someone around to help him throughout the day with his potty breaks?  A sling would really make a huge difference in that area, just by being able to help him get around for potty time.

This Tripawds Downloads blog post can help you with some ideas:

Conservative Management Alternative to Leg, Knee and Hip Surgeries for Tripawds

When is your next vet appointment? When you go, be sure to ask about a plan of action and ask questions like;

  • what tests can they do to narrow down a diagnosis?
  • What timeframe will the vet give for him to feel better before the next steps are taken?
  • At what point is seeing a specialist a good idea?
  • And finally, get a good plan together for controlling the pain with medication to keep him comfortable.

I hope this helps. Keep us posted OK? I'm sorry we missed you in the chat. You'll generally find people in there throughout the day and into the evenings, in U.S. time between 8 am Eastern and about 11 pm Eastern.

Texas I was looking for a pic of you that I saw on Facebook but I can't find it. Share one here so people see what a handsome pup you are!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
14 June 2012
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8 April 2013 - 11:17 am
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I'm so sorry to hear that Texas is having a hard time.  I'm going through the same thing with Willow, although she is a front left amputee and she has injured her back left leg.  She's can't get around at all right now either.  I've been carrying her when I needs to, and using a sling to support her when she goes to the bathroom.  Can you carry Texas, or is he too big?


Marla is right, there are other pain meds that can be added to the current one to help control the pain, and a sling would probably help.


Can you take Texas to a rehab vet?  The rehab vet will having suggestions about mobility as well as healing.  I was told there is a custom brace to stabilibize the stifle (knee joint), but it is very expensive.  Also, I"m definitely not an expert, but I wonder if a wheelchair might be helpful short term until things start to improve. 


Good luck with everything.  Let us know how things are going.




Rock Hill, SC
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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8 April 2013 - 12:33 pm
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Hi Texas.  So sorry to hear about this complication, but we have had other members face this same challenge:

http://tripawds.....und/ellie/ is a link to a thread from elliesdaddy.  I believe his dog was a front leg amputee who tore the ACL in a back leg.

Also, another member dukez had a dog that had chemo complications in a remaining leg that left the dog walking/running on two legs for some time.  I know it's not exactly the same, but she posted a video of her dog actually running on the two remaining legs and it was incredible.

Good luck!


Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...

New Haven, CT
Member Since:
27 December 2012
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8 April 2013 - 2:01 pm
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AH!  This is a major fear for many of us.  ICE HIM DOWN!  Get that inflammation under control.  Get a sling and help him move about.  Try to remain positive.  Try hard.  Having an "ACL" isn't essential for dogs, but the injury sure makes it nearly impossible (as you're witnessing) to move.  Get him comfy, keep him medicated, limit movement, ice him down, and in time he'll hopefully be able to move a bit on his own.

Oh, I just feel for you.  I envision this happening to us one day and it freaks me out.  We recently went thru an ACL tear with Jackson and I remember how painful and limiting that was - but that was weeks before his amp.  Thinking of how hard it must be to move with that injury - YIKES!  Again, as the swelling goes down and the pain is managed, Texas should be able to move better.  In the meantime....TRY to be positive and let us know how the sling and his progress goes.

I'm thinking of you!

~ Katy

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

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