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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.


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Amputate or not
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Member Since:
22 February 2013
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22 April 2022 - 8:54 pm
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Welcome home Gator!!

Keep in mind Gator just had MAJOR surgery and, as Jerry said, he's on good pain meds, trying to recover from the surgery,  all while adapting to three.

Generally, not always, but generally  it takes about two weeks to recover from the surgery itself, and about thirty days to adapt to a good gait with balance and the  tripawd flow.. 

You may find, like , many  of is  do, that our dogs hate being assisted  with a sling.   My Happy Hannah would just freeze up..It sounds like Gator doesn't  mind it though.

Sometimes innthe very early recovery  we think what in the world jave I done TO my dog.  Soon it will ve fery clear you did this FOR your Gator.  You'll see, promise!!

Sloooow and easy balanced with good dose of patience will get you celebrating  Gator veing Gator again.


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:
8 April 2022
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23 April 2022 - 12:03 pm
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Thank you, I do read you say don’t compare progress of other dogs.  I watch the YouTube feed showing post surgery. We are far behind what I see there. We are still not mobile on our own. Can stand somewhat while eating but need a sling to walk.  It is discouraging but we are fighting to stay positive.  There is lots of bruising so hoping as the pain subsides it will be easier to concentrate on moving. 

Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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23 April 2022 - 1:32 pm
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I've been following your story and I'm glad Gator is home and recovering.

I know it's hard to not get discouraged. Remind yourself that Gator just went through a HUGE surgery and is only a couple days into recovery.  I think I saw it earlier in this thread but as a reminder- we often see here that older pups take a little longer to get their sea legs.  Even if he was motoring at the vet, remember that he was on good surgery meds and had just started his new gait.  After a few days many new Tripawds 'crash' after dealing with their new way of walking, it's exhausting at first.  And those pain meds can make them a bit wonky.

Are you still using a towel as a sling?  You might try a DIY Sling made out of a cloth shopping bag

When my little Pug Maggie lost a rear leg to mast cell cancer all the vets told me that all dogs adapt just fine to being on three.  Maggie could walk on her own the day of surgery but chose to spend most of the next 6 weeks in her bed.  I was sure I had the only dog that wasn't going to adapt and that I had made a terrible mistake. But Mag got used to her new normal on her own schedule and then hopped happily through life for almost 4 years.

Hang in there with Gator, he will get there. Keep talking with your vet about any concerns- if  you are confident then it's easier to stay positive around your boy.

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

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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23 April 2022 - 1:43 pm
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I can only echo what Karen and Sally both said. All dogs are different in how they recover. Comparing only leads to frustration and disappointment for us. It doesn't help the situation either. I know you want to see him moving around and living his life again and he will get there on his own timeline. Gator is unique, that's why you fell in love with him right? Give him the space and support he needs to get moving again and he can get there!

P.S. now that you've graduated from the Presentation and Diagnosis phase, please start a new topic about his recovery, here. Thanks! See you there!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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