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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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Nemo newly (almost) adopted Tripawd
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Member Since:
3 May 2018
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9 May 2018 - 11:05 pm
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Hi All, 

Early next week, we will be adopting Nemo.  Nemo is a tiny little black and white Chihuahua and (we think) Jack Russel mix.  He is a rescue puppy without a back ground.  Even birth day is unknown.  He is believed to be between 12-16 weeks.  Last weight was 2.82 pounds last Friday 5/4 at this 10 day post op check up (Left front amputee). He is currently in foster care, but I have been very lucky to be part of his foster care as well, as my co-worker is the one who is fostering and we see and spend time with him every day!  Needless to say, we are super excited to adopt him and welcome him in our home permanently.

We have spent the last few weeks prepping for him to come home. I have been reading some of the forums here and have joined as a member and can't wait to share more stories, ask more questions, and getting to understand the tripawd way of life.

We have discovered that he has a girth of less than 10 inches.  We don't know how big he is going to get. Through reading and researching here, I have come to realize that a regular harness don't work very well since he doesn't have two front legs to hold the harness in place.  Just as importantly, we shouldn't use a collar and leash together as well. I have been trying to research the best harness to use for a little one his size.  However, I am not able to find anything small enough for him. I would like to get him out and about.  Puppy socializing or small walks.  Learning leash manners, and maybe even puppy classes. Does anyone have any idea what I can do for this little guy?  

Highly looking forward to becoming part of the Tripawd Community. big-grin


On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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10 May 2018 - 11:18 am
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Hi Julie, welcome! Nemo is a lucky dog to have you for a parent, sounds like he is in for a wonderful life!

Have you seen Ruffwear's High and Light harness? It comes in sizes smaller than the Front Range, and goes down to a 9" girth. Ruffwear dog harnesses are pretty darn houdini-proof and quite comfy. I would give it a go, and soon, because the harness is discontinued.

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Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
3 May 2018
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10 May 2018 - 6:36 pm
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Thank you so very much.... we did see those.... just placed to order and can’t wait for it to come in!:) big-grin

Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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10 May 2018 - 7:42 pm
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Hi and welcome.

Nemo is a lucky boy!

My Tripawd Elly is a little Pug mix who lost a rear leg at 7 months old after being hit by a car. She is now about 3.5 years old and weighs about 15.5 pounds.  I use the RuffWear Webmaster harness for her and I love it for her.  I have/had 3 Pugs who each wore a webmaster for some amount of time.  Maggie was my first Tripawd, her little sis Tani had mobility issues as she aged, and the Pug boy I have now, Obie, has had both knees repaired.  I have found that all four of my small dogs are in between Ruffwear sizes for the Webmaster.  I have made modifications to make them fit although that voids the warranty.

Elly has piebald markings- she is white with black.  And she is about 25% chi. 

And I say YES to puppy classes, walks (when he is healed) and socialization.  I took Elly to many classes and we have become obsessed with the sport of Nose Work.  We also do lots of food puzzles and games, do training on obedience and tricks, and do balance and core strength exercises.  It is important, especially with puppy energy, to challenge the mind and get good, safe exercise.

Here is a pic of Elly in her harness:

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I can't wait to see more pictures of Nemo when you get him home!

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

Member Since:
3 May 2018
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10 May 2018 - 10:30 pm
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Oh my gosh Elly is too cute and looks like she love the harness. 🙂  It is so hard to keep him mellow with all the puppy energy. He is already running after things.  Granted, that usually tuckers him out and he goes down for a good nap... 

I am not new to puppies, but I am new to the tripawd world and needless to say nervous. I am really looking forward to learning lot and supporting Nemo the best I can; and others once I get a better grip on what I'm doing. 🙂 

I already have a ton of videos and pictures that I will gladly share once I can figure out how to get them attached or start a blog... *LOL*

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