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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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Cotton, a new member of the tripawd community
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Member Since:
21 May 2009
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4 June 2009 - 9:35 pm
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Pit Bull Puppy Cotton Before Amputation

About 18 months ago, I adopted Cotton when he was five months old from Longmont Humane Society. He had been relinquished at 10 weeks of age due to a traumatic fracture of his right radius/ulna. 

About a week after I adopted him I noticed that the leg didn't appear to be normal.  I had worked as a veterinary technician for about 15 years, many of those as an orthopedic surgery technician, so I was familiar with angular deformities. Some time during the original injury or during healing he had bumped the growth plate and it was closing prematurely. He had three major surgeries but still had severe deformity in the limb.  About eight months following the last surgery he went lame again, it was finally decided that enough was enough and that would be best to amputate.

He has been so good natured about the whole thing, so much of his short life has been spent on severe exercise restriction & recovering from surgery. Everyone who meets him loves him so he is a great ambassador for the pit bull breed. The surgery practice has named a room after him & the humane society use his photo in their training ads.

I was very worried about his post surgery recovery as he is a big boy, 86 pounds and stilll growing.  But after talking with tripawd Lily's parents (Clay & Jody), visiting this website and reading your stories, and speaking to some veterinary friends (thanks Amy), and a few tears (!) I felt more at ease about the surgery.

He had surgery yesterday and was wagging his tail for the veterinary staff only a few hours after surgery.  He came home this morning and is doing well.  He has spent most of today sleeping but is doing well with learning to rebalance himself.

Thanks for sharing your stories, they were a great support.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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5 June 2009 - 1:35 am
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Trouble is a pit bull also.  Both the diagnosing and treating vets were concerned about her weight and being a front limb amputee.  We were able to pull 14 pounds off her after surgery.  She looks great now and gets around well.  I suspect Cotton will continue to amaze you with his tennacity.

The first couple weeks are tough.  The first couple days take lots of adjusting for you and him.  When he sleeps, get some rest it will definitely help in those first days.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Member Since:
13 May 2008
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5 June 2009 - 2:16 am
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Hi Cotton!

Welcome to the Tripawds family! Pitbulls are such strong and courageous animals - you will see, you will be 100% in no time!  I also have a pitbull, Selma - but she is not a Tripawd.  My Tripawd, Dee celebrated his 1 year ampuversary last month!

All the best!

Lots of love, hugs and licks

Ansunette & Dee xxx


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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5 June 2009 - 10:32 am
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We have a pitbull (Kona) as well as our tripawd Tazzie.  I think that they are great dogs!  I'm sure that he will recover well.

Pam and Tazzie (and Kona)

Member Since:
28 January 2009
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5 June 2009 - 12:37 pm
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Cotton is the hugest, most handsome goofball around.  We've known him since he was in the shelter, just a tiny baby piglet with a cast.  How excited I was when Clay said we might get to be his foster parents!  How lucky he's been to be with you, E.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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7 June 2009 - 11:22 am
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Three legged pit bull Cotton Longmont Humane Society

Eleanor & Cotton,

Welcome! Thanks for joining us here. Sorry we've taken so long to read your story, my pawrents have been away the last couple of days exploring the Fort Collins area.

We are so glad to hear that he came through surgery like a champ. He looks great! Sounds like things are good, but if you need anything, don't hesitate to ask.

Hope you don't mind that we pilfered these photos off your Facebook page, but we wanted to show the world how gorgeous this boy is. His color is just incredible. He does look like cotton!

We look forward to meeting you really soon, we're trying to arrange a get-together this summer, somewhere between Longmont and Fort Collins. Stay tuned....

Three legged pit bull Cotton Longmont Humane SocietyImage Enlarger

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
21 May 2009
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8 June 2009 - 6:04 am
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Thanks for all your support.  Cotton is doing great, in fact I have to encourage him to take it easy!!! 

Regards,  Ellie & Cotton

PS He is still that goofball!!!  He makes me smile/laugh several times a day.  Smile

Kirkland, WA
Member Since:
2 June 2009
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8 June 2009 - 6:23 am
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Awwww!  What a cutie!!  When I was born my parents had a cocker spaniel named Cotton, so any dog that has that name is instantly fantastic 🙂  Hope he keeps doing well and I'm glad we got to see some pics!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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25 June 2009 - 8:05 pm
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We just got this adorable pic of Cotton and his pal Lily, taken just last week. Cotton is now 3 weeks post amp, and Lily is 5 months. We should crown them king and queen of the Tripawds!

Three legged Colorado dogs Lily and CottonImage Enlarger

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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25 June 2009 - 8:13 pm
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jerry said:

We just got this adorable pic of Cotton and his pal Lily, taken just last week. Cotton is now 3 weeks post amp, and Lily is 5 months. We should crown them king and queen of the Tripawds!

Three legged Colorado dogs Lily and CottonImage Enlarger


OMG, what a precious picture.  They are both too cute, but being the pittie lover I am, Cotton is awesome.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Kirkland, WA
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2 June 2009
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26 June 2009 - 5:24 am
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How adorable!!!  Cotton is so precious he looks like a doll 🙂  I like that they're both smiling and posing.  You go Cotton and Lily!

Member Since:
28 January 2009
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26 June 2009 - 9:46 am
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Shanna,

We've always suspected Lily is part-pit but next to Cotton she is so slim and tiny!  And her ears.... I don't know.  Do you have any guesses?  She also looks like a permanent Harlequin Great Dane puppy.  This picture makes me laugh every time.  

Thanks, if you have any guesses.  

Jody

Member Since:
21 May 2009
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26 June 2009 - 12:06 pm
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Rene, thanks for posting the pic. 

Cotton was very taken with Lily though I think he's a little immature for her tastes!!  That is, he is a goof ball that hides his brains well!!! 

Shanna, I hear you on the pitties, I have a special place for them in my heart. 

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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26 June 2009 - 3:44 pm
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nester said:

Shanna,

We've always suspected Lily is part-pit but next to Cotton she is so slim and tiny!  And her ears…. I don't know.  Do you have any guesses?  She also looks like a permanent Harlequin Great Dane puppy.  This picture makes me laugh every time.  

Thanks, if you have any guesses.  

Jody


Lily is definitely a terrier, just not sure what kind.  Maybe some jack russell with a larger breed?  I was looking at the pics of her on the agility course last night and wondering what breed mix she was.  She's a sweetie for sure.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

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