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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:
13 February 2018
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13 February 2018 - 1:12 pm
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Hi everyone!

I wanted all of you to meet my first tripawd, Lucy. Lucy is an 11 month old border collie/lab mix rescue from a reservation in South Dakota. When they found her, she was dragging her front right leg creating a lot of sores and scabs on her paw. They still don't know why she wasn't using that leg, but after she was brought to Minnesota she saw a vet and they decided that she should have it amputated. I came across Lucy in an email that notifies me when certain dogs become available for adoption, and as soon as I saw Lucy I knew she was the dog for me. She has quite the personality; she loves making me chase her around the house when it's time for bed because she hates bedtime, but once I get her up to my room she's quick to jump on my bed and cuddle until she goes to sleep on her dog bed. 

I'm new to this site, so I'm looking forward to learning more about what to expect and how to care for my new 3-legged best friend! I'm not sure how to post a picture in here, but Lucy is in my avatar picture. 


Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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13 February 2018 - 1:46 pm
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Welcome Karlie and Lucy! And congratulations on your new pack mate.

Your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

First- Here is how you add photos to forum posts.  Can't wait to see more pics of your beautiful girl!

A couple very important things for Tripawds- traction and core strength!  Be sure any slippery floors in your house are covered with rugs or yoga mats.  And core strength is important to keep Lucy strong and healthy.

My current Tripawd is a little rear amp named Elly, she lost her leg after being hit by a car at 7 months old.  She can do pretty much anything a dog her size and age can do.  We work every day on strength or balance through food puzzles and games, obedience and trick practice, and balance exercises.  We also started doing Nose Work last year and it is a great activity for Tripawds!  I started with Elly because she is skittish and has trust issues and it has really helped boost her confidence.  It is also a great low impact activity that challenges her mind and really wears her out! You don't have to do the formal sport either- we play a search game where she has to find treats I have hidden inside or outside.

One word of caution though- it's great for Tripawds to be on the lean side so you have to account for all the extra food and treats when figuring out daily calorie intake. 

I'm guessing at 11 months old Lucy has lots of energy to burn!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Schofield, WI
Member Since:
13 August 2015
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13 February 2018 - 3:06 pm
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Welcome Lucy and Karlie!  So happy Lucy has found a warm loving home with you!  As Karen said balance and core strengthing exercises are so important to a tripawd.  They have to compensate for having only three so always baby those three she does have.  Limit jumping and fast turns etc to minimize joint impact.  Tripawds can do just about anything but sometimes we have to find the least impact way of doing it.  Looking forward to more pictures and hearing all about this beautiful girl!  We're here to help you in any way we can!

Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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13 February 2018 - 7:42 pm
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I just saw that Lucy has a Blog.

Check out her story and a couple of pics!


Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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