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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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Jester's Story: 12 yr. old Great Dane / Lab, Broken Shoulder
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
31 July 2008
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1 August 2008 - 1:56 am
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Hi, my name is Logan and my Great Dane / Lab cross is having one of his front legs amputated today.  Yesterday, he was kicked by a horse and broke his shoulder bone.  Our choices were to put pins in it, amputate or put him down.  We chose to amputate for many different reasons. We adopted Jester almost 6 years ago from Animal Aide and therefore, we don’t know exactly how old he is…the vet guessed around 12 years old.

I’m really nervous about how he is going to recover because of his age and his size, but I do have faith that he will be fine.  Does anyone have any advice they could share with me?  I’m heading off to university in the fall and I’m planning on spending the rest of the summer spending time with him and helping him recover.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.     🙂

Logan <3 Jester

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26 July 2008
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1 August 2008 - 6:29 am
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Hi Logan,

Sorry to hear about your boy’s painful experience.  I have read a lot of stories about senior dogs coping well with the amputation.  My Radar is a big boy too (93 lbs on the day of his surgery) and is handling the adjustment well.  There are some good threads here about conditioning and recovery that will help you to help your boy.

Let us know how the surgery goes.  Sending Pawsitive vibes your way.

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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1 August 2008 - 8:48 am
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Hi Logan & Jester,

Ouch! We are so sorry to hear about the accident. I’m around horses all day too here at a ranch we’re living at right now. Those horses are crazy!

Anyhow, did you know that dogs can get along just fine without a shoulder bone? We didn’t know that until I got mine removed when I was diagnosed with cancer. I don’t even notice I’m missing it!

We hope the surgery goes great, and are keeping our paws crossed for you. Try not to worry too much, as we dogs are far more resilient than humans realize, until they see us go through something like this with their very own eyes (humans are funny that way!).

I’d suggest the first place to go would be our "Health Tips" page. Then search the blog to hear stories about amazing senior tripawds, like Calpurnia, and Genie, or Finnegan

My biggest pieces of advice in a nutshell;

  • Slip proof your floors with throw rugs or whatever you can find, we tripawds can slip pretty easy when we’re first learning how to walk again
  • Don’t overdo it with the walks or playtime at first; we need some time to recover. It will take a few weeks to get back to any kind of walk more than a couple of minutes long; keep the faith, it will happen.
  • If we don’t have much of an appetite, don’t fret too much as long as we’re going potty. It’s probably the operation drugs in our system.
  • Watch for signs of a seroma , a fluid build up around the incision. It’s not dangerous, but it tends to freak humans out. If you see redness and puffiness, keep an eye on it and if it gets big, call your vet.

 I know there’s other things, but it’s early and I just woke up! I’ll try thinking of more later today. Good luck, and keep us posted OK?



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1 August 2008 - 1:40 pm
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Welcome to the forum!  I & my mum have been on here for a few days now & there’s so much good information.  We have been going through it all together.

I am sorry to hear about his accident but he will do fine once he’s up & about.  I lost my front leg too, only last Friday but I’m already driving my mum nuts by trying to run around with my 1/2 sister hee hee.  I spend most of my time in my crate but she gives me yummy bones to chew on & the crate is right beside her so I’m happy.

I finished my meds yesterday & I feel so much better.  I’m not so sleepy anymore & am more cheerful.

I hope you enjoy this site & that you stick around.  Give your boy a huge, one legged hug from me!

Allira & her mum Smile

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