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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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4 mths a tripawd and still a furry boat anchor (a very loveable boat anchor!)
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Leicester, NY
Member Since:
23 August 2010
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3 December 2010 - 6:46 am
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I have not posted for a while since there has been little change. Daisy lost her left rear leg due to being hit by a truck on Aug 11th 2010. She was always an active healthy 12 yr.old. and was described as a good candidate for amp.  After 2 mths of off and on physical therapy she still cannot stand up on her own but when we pick her up she can walk about 20 ft on her own before forgetting that her left leg isnt there and plopping down on her left side. Yes that means every time that she needs to go out, be it 3am, we get up and take her out. Never realized just how beautiful a clear cold night sky actually is 🙂 and right now in upstate NY it is very cold.

Like a toddler, She barks when she needs to go out, rolls off her bed and gets stuck or is hungry or thirsty.

We have tried not picking her up and encouraging her to get up on her own but she will lay there for hours and wait. She is not food or toy motivated which makes it more difficult. We are "walking" her 2-3x day for 5-10 minues which is pretty much us supporting her upright in her harness. Hop hop plop hop hop plop

We ordered a cart from eddies wheels but we may need to send it back for an adjustment, her rear right paw keeps getting caught between the wheel and frame because she doesnt carry it under her like a tripawd should but off to the right. We are hoping that with the assistance of the cart she may be able to build up strength in her rear.

We are continuing PT for now (water treadmill, laser therapy, massage) and will post again if we make any progress. The vet at the therpy center doesnt think that there is anything physically wrong other than sore muscles. A few weeks ago she strained her front shoulder and couldnt move at all but now that seems to be better.

Anyone out there with tripawd that just wont or cant get up?

Hope everyone had a great turkey day!!!!!

Daisy earned her wings on Oct 22, 2011 at 14 years old

She is now the official greeter at the rainbow bridge

Everyone is guaranteed a welcome sniff and Dalmatian smile

Mount Pleasant, Ia
Member Since:
27 October 2010
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3 December 2010 - 8:01 am
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Are the floors Daisy is on all carpeted or is she refusing to stand up on hard floors? Cooper never did well on slippery surfaces even with 4 legs which was one reason the vets didnt see him as a perfect candidate for an amp, and I just two days ago got his new dog boots for the few slippery surfaces we have in our house and he walks on them but still hasnt the confidence to try to stand up. where we have tile and laminate we have put out rubber backed carpet runners and he does fine then. Sorry that she is having such a hard time of it and hoping that things get better for her!

Coopsdad/ Kenneth Blackburn

the monkeydogs only THINK they have invaded the tripawd state

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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3 December 2010 - 11:55 am
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We're sorry to hear about Daisy's slow recovery. How is her weight? If the vets have ruled out any physical issues, and she it otherwise fit and trim, she may indeed just be stubborn. A daily regimen of transition exercises – sit, stand, sit, down, repeat – a few times a day may be necessary. We know this may be difficult, especially if she's not motivated by much, but as Dr. Waldman suggests, a little "tough love" can go a long way. Best wishes and please do keep us posted.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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3 December 2010 - 3:34 pm
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Oh!  I'm so sorry about Daisy, too!


I'm no vet but I've done this three-legged business for 12 years.  It sounds medical (maybe neurological) to me.  There is something stopping her from being comfortable from walking.  Have you seen a Neurologists?  Has the vet throroughly examined her that is at the rehab center? (xrays everywhere)

Again, I'm no vet but I do know that a neck problem can affect the shoulder. 


edited to add:


Yes, Comet couldn't walk and could barely get up when she had a neck disc issue.  It's was very hard for her to walk.  They never really determined whether it was a blown disc or an infection to the disc.  So she stays on antibiotics for life because of it.   If it's a neck problem physical therapy could be inflamming it. 

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

3 December 2010 - 3:40 pm
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Hi Daisy and Family,

I'm sorry daisy is still not getting around as well as she should be. I just wanted you to know that your not totally alone. Fortis had his amputation back in February and has never been able to get around without support. I've seen every poop and every pee since his diagnosis.

Fortis suffered an injury shortly after his surgery. With acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, massages, and lots and lots of swimming he has improved but never to the point where he could get around without help to any large extent. He is able to stand, eat, and get water on his own but that hasn't always been the case. I used the transition method describe above (Fortis is very food driven) and found it to be very helpful in strengthening Fortis remaining rear leg. For us, the "tough love" method didn't work and only caused Fortis to attempt things his body could no longer do and thus he would repeatably reinjure himself. I finally just decided to give him the support he needed and make the best of it. I know this will come as a surprise to some but Fortis is very independent and doesn't wait for help. He simply needs it. That said, it has been a wonderful year and I wouldn't change a thing. I know your situation is a bit different but just wanted you to know that your not alone and that I understand. Keep working with Daisy, continue to encourage her and hopefully she will surprise you.  We're certainly hoping that she does. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way.

I couldn't agree with you more, the clear cold night sky is trully beautiful.


Member Since:
1 January 2010
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4 December 2010 - 9:44 am
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Hi Daisy,

We don't have experience with this, but wanted to send some pawsitive thoughts to you and Daisy.  We're sorry to hear that she's having trouble getting around, and hope that you can figure something out for her.


Holly, Zuzu and Susan

Holly joined the world of tripawds on 12/29/2009. She has a big little sister, Zuzu, who idolizes Holly and tries to make all of her toys into tripawds in Holly's honor. And she's enjoying life one hop at a time!

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