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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Some time ago, I posted here looking for hope, information, and support because my partner and I found out that our boy, Bogart had cancer. After several tests, biopsies, and appointments, we made the very difficult decision to amputate his back left leg. To give a recap, Bogart had a nerve sheath tumor on his leg that was in a very difficult spot to remove. We would have been going back often to have surgeries with the strong chance that the tumor would reappear every few years and possibly spread.
The first month or so post-op was very difficult. He was obviously in pain and when we ran out of pain killers, he would have phantom limb pains frequently. The meds and the pain made him not want to eat and just getting him to drink a little bit of water was a huge ordeal. We turned to CBD oil to try and alleviate the pain and get his appetite back while we waited for vet appointments. Fortunately, it worked amazingly and helped him push through the final few weeks of recovery.
Well, that was almost six months ago now, and I can very happily say that Bogart is fully recovered and has adjusted to the tripawd life splendidly. He’s freaking amazing. After he started gaining his weight back and becoming strong again, we got him back into agility training that he loved so much. Bogart is a very driven, intelligent, and strong dog. Before the amputation, we were preparing him to enter his first trials in novice competitions. We were so worried after the diagnosis that he’d never be able to put all of this hard work and his drive and ability to trial. We had to find training locations and an agility association that allowed a tripawd to participate. Bogart was so ready to get back into training and using his body and strength. We found NADAC, which allows tripawds and started reteaching him how to use his body and most importantly for him to not OVERUSE his body. He wants so much to burst out with all of his strength and speed, but we need to be extra careful that he doesn’t injure himself, since he only has three legs now. He definitely doesn’t have the stamina that he once had, so we are extra careful to limit him. If it were up to him, he’d keep going until he falls over.
This weekend, we were able to enter him into his first trial ever. We never got to run with him when he had four legs, so his first experience with all of this was as a tripawd. He was up against a bunch of four-legged pups and to our surprise (well, not too surprised), he ended up taking first in two runs and third in another two. He absolutely killed it. My girlfriend was running with him and I was recording. After the first run and seeing his huge success, I immediately burst into tears. He is so talented and amazing and he works so hard and is so eager to work and please us.
It’s so amazing seeing him power through such an awful situation. While we are so happy that he’s doing great, it’s still really tough to reconcile that we have this amazing dog with so much drive and potential, but he is still so limited in what he’s allowed to do. We understand though, that it’s for his health and safety that he can only compete in a few competitions.
He also still goes to doggy daycare once a week and he’s actually met and befriended another tripawd pup while there! We’ve caught them on the cameras snuggling with each other and following each other around. It completely melted our hearts.
We still take him on hikes, but unfortunately, after the amputation, Bogart has gotten alot more defensive of his backside when it comes to strange dogs around him. So we have to closely monitor his play and our trips to places that might have offleash dogs. We’ve had to adjust, but he still gets to go on hikes and walks around the city, where he gets sooooo much attention for being such a handsome tripawd. People don’t even realize that he’s got three legs alot of the time until we point it out. He moves so fluidly with such strength and purpose that it’s hard to even tell that he’s missing a leg.
This forum gave us so much hope and encouragement when we needed it the most. I wanted to make sure that you guys got an update on Bogart. I also wanted to brag on his behalf about what an amazing young man he is.
Here’s a link to his first ever agility trial run in “tunnelers.”
Here’s another link to our instagram where you can go through and see some of his recovery and his adventures post-op:
Again, thank you so much for the helpful information and hope a half a year ago. We needed information and experience to be shared with us as we went through the most difficult situation we’ve ever had to go through as a dog parents. It was so nice to just have people to talk to about what was happening.
Thanks again so much,
Bogart, Thomas and Heather
22 February 2013
OOOOOOMMMMMMDDDDDD!!! THIS IS AICH A SPECTACULAR UPDATE!!!!
AND THAT VIDEO PF BOGART DOING AGILITY HAD ME FLOWING WITH HAPPY JOYFUL TEARS!!!! It was so beautiful to watch him! Absolutely beautiful on so many levels!!!😁 And hearing the applause he got..yeah, I was applauding right there with ’em!.
Bogart is such an inspiration and is showing everyone how to live life to the fullest in three!! Having such devoted hoomans is an extra bonis!
Thank you so much for this glorious update! Can’t stop grinning!!
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!
PA. cant wait for Jerry to see this. It has to go in our tripawd cideo gallery. Plus, I bet she’ll want to highlight Bogart on Tripawd Tuesday!
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!
Oh my DOG I love this pupdate! Bogart is ROCKIN THE LIFE!!!
It makes our hearts happy knowing that things turned out great. In this crazy busy world, we are furever grateful when people return to let us know how things are going. We know it’s not always great news, but when it is, well what a GIFT to this entire community. So thank YOU!
Would be OK if we shared Bogart’s rockin’ video in a blog post? I would love to feature him in a post about Tripawds and agility. Also, do you have any links you can point us to, maybe resources you used to get him ready for competition?
P.S. You are managing his activity so well. Kudos to you for being conscientious of not allowing him to overuse his body! It can be hard to restrain ourselves from allowing our dogs to go all out when it’s what they really want to do, but you are keeping an eye on the big picture and being the perfect Tripawds parents. Good job!
1 October 2017
OH MY!!!!! I had to wait to read this, I am so glad I came back…. OMD!!!! Thank you so much for the update, I cannot tell you how much it means not just to me, but to everypawdy that has followed Bogart’s story.
He is a super lucky boy to have you guys, and you are super lucky to have such an amazing pup
The video is just incredible, you’re right.. he is strong, smart, happy, and healthy… wooo hoooooo!!!
Sending all of you hugs, please give your gorgeous boy an extra belly rub for me He totally melts my heart
Jackie and Huckleberry
Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry
18 October 2009
WOW! He looks great! Strong and stable and obviously loving the tunnels.
And still sooooo handsome!
If you want to challenge him in another sport, to fill in ‘down time’ when he needs to rest from agility, I highly recommend Nose Work. Easy on the body but a great mental challenge. I bet a dog as driven as Bogart would to great. Not only is it mentally stimulating but also really wears a pup out.
And good for you for knowing Bogart’s limits. It must be really hard to not think about the ‘what ifs’ but really he is such an inspiring dog!
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girl
Thank you all again so much for the kind words!
We are so proud of Bogart and he inspires us every day.
And Jerry, you can absolutely use whatever you’d like if you want to showcase Bogart! We would be more than ecstatic to have him shown off in all of his tripawd glory.
As for links about agility that allows tripawds, we found out about NADAC that has no rules against dogs with this disability. Granted they can only compete in “non contact” sports. So he can’t do jumping, teeters, or dog walks – for good reason. Bogart slipped off of a dog walk (it was very low to the ground, thankfully) during training, and it just about gave us a heart attack. He was fine and just had a little scrape on his one back leg. But after that, we never let him go near a dog walk again.
Link for NADAC that gives you events by state:
Again, I cannot thank you all enough. We will continue to share Bogart’s story as he continues to grow and get healthier and healthier. We have his first check-up coming up at the end of this month where they will x-ray and do bloodwork and things to make sure the cancer hasn’t returned or spread. We will do this every six months for the next few years, then switch to doing it yearly. I will keep you all posted on the results of that.
But for the time being, we know that Bogart will unfortunately have to retire from agility alot sooner than most dogs, despite his drive and willingness to continue, so we are going to enjoy every second we get with him and hope that he continues to inspire us and others!
-Thomas, Heather and Bogart
Aww thanks for the links and the info. We would love to share his with the world, so watch for that in the near future. And yeah, keep us posted and maybe even start a Tripawds blog to show off all his awards with the community. Give him lotsa lovin & smooches from all of us.