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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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Member Since:
18 March 2019
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31 March 2019 - 11:23 am
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Jake’s story: Jake is a two-year-old Chihuahua dachshund cross. I was at our Animal Shelter in my town looking at dogs. I wanted a small dog but didn’t see any that really caught my eye that I connected with. As I was leaving someone who knew I was looking for a small dog asked if I would be interested in taking a tripod. I don’t have issues with a “handicap” dog so I said yes, I would be willing to meet him. He had been behind a door so I hadn’t really seen him when I had gone through the room with the smaller dogs. He had bright eyes and was full of life. But I told the shelter people it would be up to you my 14-year-old Minature Poodle, Jeremiah. The shelter people said they had no problem with Jeremiah coming in to meet Jake. As luck would have it Jeremiah was in my car as my friend and I had just finished our walk by the river, which is right next to the animal shelter. Jeremiah met Jake and gave his okay. I also liked the little dog who had bright eyes and was so ready to leave the shelter, so home he came. The little guy lost his leg because his previous owners hadn’t had a hip dislocation and several fractures in his back left leg taken care of.  The leg had healed incorrectly and he was in quite a bit of pain when he was given up to the shelter. His previous owners had moved into a place where they couldn’t keep a dog. That might’ve been a lucky thing for Jake because the leg was in a lot of pain and he didn’t like to put weight on it when he stood and limped oddly when he walked.  So he was put to the back of the line at the shelter and waited six weeks for his amputation. I met him two days after the amputation and he came home with me that day. I have been perusing  the Tripawd site for information to help me out as I learn to help Jake live as a three legged critter.  If he had been mine before the amputation I would have been far more ready to help him out. His biggest drama was when I had to leave him back at thre Shelter to get his staples out. I wanted to bring him in around the time he got them out but they insisted that he come in the morning so they could get to him when time allowed. It was traumatic for him. I know he thought I was bringing him back to stay as when I picked him up he was shaking and didn’t come straight to me like he normally does. Once we got to the car he calmed down and was a happy camper. He got his staples out three days ago and now that he doesn’t have them poking him he zips around the backyard playing with the other dogs I have and periodically chasing my cats. I didn’t know him as a four-legged dog but being on three legs doesn’t seem to have slowed him down.  It took a while to get him on the right pain management but he seems to be doing fine now. I know I have a lot to learn to keep his three legs healthy in and strong.  He’s a good little guy who seems to of fit right into my menagerie of critters. Along with Jeremiah I have a border collie and a “God only knows” bigger dog along with my two cats. All but Jeremiah are rescue animals. Jake gets to go for his first walk down by the river today. It will be far shorter than my other dogs go but my guess is that he will be up to the two mile loop in no time!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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31 March 2019 - 3:02 pm
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I'm so happy you shared his story here! 

For those who want to learn about Jake's recovery, here is the whole scoop:

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
25 March 2019
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2 April 2019 - 4:56 pm
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Hi Jake. My name is Dave and my fur friend 's name is Maggie. She was rescued and do to negligence from her previous owner, had to have her right front leg amputated, It has not slowed her down, although, she does get tired sooner on walks compared to our past dogs. We just modify her walks to be short, but try to take on her at least two walks a day. She is slowly getting used to running in the backyard as well. This site has been a blessing as Maggie is our first Tripaw, 

Glad to see that Jake has found a forever home. Losing a leg does not slow these dogs down and in fact, could teach some humans that life goes on and can be great.

Dave & Maggie.


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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5 April 2019 - 9:20 am
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Just wanted to add a belated WELCOME TO YOUR FUREVER HOME JAKE! ❤ This was DEFINITELY  meant to be!😎

We can't  wait to hear more about Jake, and his great dog pals roo!  And yes, he'll handle that two mile loop, but with lots of rest stops! If a dog sits down, he has already overdone  it.  Dogs love meandering  around aanyway with  lots of "stop and sniff", and more stop and sniff😎

Give that sweet voy an extra hug for us.  And a big pat on the back for you for being such a wonderful  hooman to all your dogs!❤


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:
18 March 2019
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5 April 2019 - 7:15 pm
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Thank you all for a warm welcome! Jake did really well on his first walk last week. I am continuing to be amazed by how well he has adjusted to being a tripod with a new home and new experiences! 

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