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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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New to tripawds stoping in to say hi
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Member Since:
19 January 2012
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19 January 2012 - 3:50 pm
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My name is Brian and as I type this Colton is at the vets joining the Tripawds ranks. Not really sure what to write here. Our son accidently let Colton out of the yard friday night and he was hit by a car. His left rear ankle was damaged far beyond repair and had to amputated. I'm not to aprehensive about Coltons future after reading alot of the stories here and other research but having him in this situation hurts as much as  if it was my son. We truely are a pack. He is a very strong (physiclly and mentally) to the point the night he was hit and we walked him out to the car (he already hopped on 3 and it was the quickest way to get him to the ER vet) when somone was walking by he still stood in front of my son to block him and bark at the stranger..  I'm babbeling, sry. Like all of you the unknown is far worse then the reallity... Well thanks for sharing your stories and helping us "newbies" learn and cope.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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19 January 2012 - 4:06 pm
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Thanks for sharing Colton's story! Best wishes for his speedy recovery. Please keep us posted.

You'll find lots of recovery and care tips in Jerry's Required Reading List, and for immediate answers to the most common dog amputation questions download the new Tripawds e-book Three Legs and A Spare.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Caledonia MI
Member Since:
13 October 2011
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19 January 2012 - 4:11 pm
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Welcome to the site. It sounds like your dog will be able to handle this well! I still run 4-5 miles with my tripawd 🙂

Levi was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma 7-7-11
Ampuversary 10-14-11
Lung Mets Discovered 1-4-12. Chemo seemed to not be working so we switched to Artemisinin and other supplements. In May, Levi developed a sinus infection and started having seizures. The cancer had moved to his brain. We let him go 6-26-12.

Member Since:
13 June 2011
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19 January 2012 - 4:50 pm
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Welcome Colton and pack! The first few days/weeks after surgery take some adjusting, but after recovery most dogs don't even miss their spare leg. Come here with any questions you might have found the best support group here!

Member Since:
13 October 2011
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19 January 2012 - 5:06 pm
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Welcome to the best family and resource you will ever find! SO sorry about your boy...but he will be fine with a loving family like yours. He will join the ranks of Tripawd Warriors and you will be amazed, astonished and astounded at how significant this will be for you...and how insignificant it will be for him.  🙂

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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19 January 2012 - 5:11 pm
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Welcome Colton and Pack. We love to welcome pups who are here for reasons other than cancer. I know it seems hard and scary and sad right now - but once he gets through the recovery from the surgery, you will be amazed. He will teach your family so much! You won't believe how amazingly awesome it is to be a tripawd pawrent.

So, hang in there and be sure to come here if you have any questions during his recovery. Try to get some rest. Sleep can be in short supply the first few nights (even if he doesn't need you - you will be listening for his every move...) and when you are sleepless it all seems worse. It sounds like he's going to just take the surgery in stride though.

All the best for an easy-peasy recovery!

Jackie, Angel Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

19 January 2012 - 8:25 pm
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Hi Brian and Colton,

Welcome to Tripawds.  Yes, it is quite overwhelming at first, all of us went through the babbling stage!!

I'm sorry to hear about the accident- how is your son doing with all of this?  I ask because we have another new member whos story is very similar to yours, and their son is having some trouble, probably with quilt.  Maybe you guys can compare notes?  The pups name is Ryder, and they post as gagefamily.  Here is the thread introducing Ryder.  He had his amp just a few days ago. Ryder also has a blog.

Colton sounds like a strong pup, after the recovery period I bet he will do just fine.  The first couple weeks after surgery can be rough- so don't get discouraged if Colton has some down time.  Hopefully he will be one of those pups that just sails through.

Admin guy gave you some good links.  If you have any questions or just need some support be sure to ask.


Karen and the pugapalooza

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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19 January 2012 - 9:14 pm
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Welcome Brian and Cutie Colton!

Love your avatar pic!!!! 

So sorry about the accident.  But these things just happen sometimes and the good news, is Colton only had a leg harmed.  That's cause for celebration!  

By the way, how old is Colton?  His size?

I'm sorry you are having to go this and yes the fear is a killer!  That's why we try to help.  In my world, FEAR RULES - we're old friends!.....well, actually we're more like family you don't like! smile

Let us know when he is out of surgery and doing well.  In the meantime, you'll have some great info to go through to bring you up to speed on having a tripawd!   I had one for 12 years (birth defect), so I can tell you with certainty -it's going to great!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

New Zealand
Member Since:
6 November 2011
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19 January 2012 - 9:35 pm
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Hi Colton and family

We were newbies a couple of months ago too and this community has been invaluable to us as we adjust to having a tripawd. It was great to be able to ask all those questions (even the ones that seem a bit silly) you have running though your mind and have so many people reply to help you out.

Hope the surgury goes well and his recovery is nice and uneventful for you all.


Sarah - Kaylas Mum

Member Since:
13 January 2012
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19 January 2012 - 10:17 pm
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Hello Colton and crew we too our newbies to the group and under the same circumstances. My pup Ryder had his suregry on friday and am happy to share how well he is doing. Like your boy he too was hoping around on three legs right after the accident and getting around very well. My son also didn't shut the gate all the way, not sure how many kids you have I have 4 and all of them responded very well to Ryder when he came home except Dylan(who left the gate open). It will be hardest on your son because the guilt will eat him up but IT DOES GET BETTER. Ryder came home on monday and as of wednesday my son still did not even pet him yet. He was very concerned and constantly asked about him but just couldn't bring him self to pet him yet. I am happy to say last night Dylan took Ryder outside all by himself braught him in and sat down next to him to pet him and tell him he was a good boy for doing what Dylan asked, this was a very HUGE step for our family.


I know you are all scared especially after reading some other members stories but most importantly remember every dog heals at different rates and in different ways. My vet said being pups they bounce back faster then older dogs and Ryder was running the day after surgery. I am very happy to answer any questions you may have and help you in any way. Welcome to the best family around 


Corey and Ryder

Leicester, NY
Member Since:
11 February 2011
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20 January 2012 - 3:54 pm
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Welcome Colton and family! Our Daisy was also a TP due to being hit. We wish you a speedy and uneventful recovery!

The Dalmatian Den

Bob,Julie,Samson,Lady and Spirit Daisy

Spirit Samson was Spirit Tripawd Daisys four legged "brother" and ruled as the self proclaimed head of the Monkeybutt Federations East Coast Division. Lady Chunky Monkey stayed from Oct 2011 and left for the bridge in Apr 2012. Miss Perdy is left and has some big pawprints to fill.
Do you have what it takes to be a Monkeybutt? Find out more at the Monkeybutt Federation

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