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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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recent amputee advice
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Member Since:
31 July 2013
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31 July 2013 - 5:47 pm
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Hi, I'm Jennifer from Houston.  I have been fostering a sweet 2 year old Pittie mix that was diagnosed with bone cancer.  She's been with me for 3 weeks now and we are very close.  She had surgery on Monday, July 29th to remove one of her rear legs.  During the surgery they decided to also remove a growth by one of her nipples so my poor girl has 2 incisions! Hopefully it was just a growth and nothing to be worried about but we will find out later this week.  Lady is somewhat active, she likes to snuggle me and her toys more than anything else.  I brought her home yesterday evening from the hospital and she allowed me to carry her up and down the 4 steps from my porch to the yard but this morning she decided she could do it all by herself! I'm so proud of her!! She's been laying on her bed in the living room all day dozing off and on, hopefully she isn't in any pain.  I read a lot on your site before the surgery and it definitely helped ease my mind about the surgery.  Any tips on the week after surgery? How much I should limit her activity?

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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31 July 2013 - 6:14 pm
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msridgway said
Any tips on the week after surgery? How much I should limit her activity?

Download Tripawds e-books for the best recovery and care tips. In short, during the first two weeks there is no need for much activity at all, other than eating and doing her doody. Focus on healing, confinement and rest are key. There will be plenty of time for regaining strength later.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
19 July 2013
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31 July 2013 - 6:17 pm
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Hi Jennifer. What a great pet parent to foster a pup....while I am new to this also, my pitbull/sharpei mix had her surgery last Friday, it sounds like your girl is doing great. From what I have read on this site from the pros, I think rest and recuperation is one of the keys to a healthy recovery. Since my girl is older, I don't have trouble with her wanting to do too much, but with your two year old, she might think she can do more than she should the first few weeks. Keep posting about your pitties progress. (She looks so adorable....)

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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31 July 2013 - 6:23 pm
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Trouble, too, was a determined pit bull and would do it her way.  We allowed her to do as she wished within reason. The first two weeks should be recovery time. Lots of rest and short outside time - particularly as hot as it is (I'm only 90 miles from you). Trouble loved laying in the sun. I got her a couple of toddler t-shirts to protect her incision as it healed and let her enjoy being outside. Of course her surgery was at Thanksgiving so the temps were much milder by then.

After her recovery period she will likely be right back to her normal self and never miss a beat. Sending good thoughts to you both for a speedy and uneventful recovery.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Columbia, MO
Member Since:
10 December 2011
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31 July 2013 - 6:30 pm
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Hi Jennifer.  My Daisy came home from surgery with instructions to limit all activity except going out for potty breaks for the first two weeks of recovery.  Really they just need lots of rest so their bodies can heal.  They are learning to carry themselves in a new way so try not to let Lady do too much because she will pay for it later with lots of sore muscles and you also don't want to risk further injury to the surgical sites while they are healing.  That is easier said than done with a young active pup!

As far as the steps--I was determined to use a sling on Daisy for the two steps in/out the backdoor but she would not move an inch with that thing under her.  She hopped right in the door when we got home from her surgery.

Some dogs also go thru what seems like depression.  That's pretty normal so don't worry too much.  Daisy had her crash during week 3 of recovery.

Good luck with Lady's recovery!

Marla and Daisy

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

Member Since:
23 July 2013
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1 August 2013 - 7:14 am
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Hi Jennifer

We have the same surgery day :)   My vet basically said doggie bed rest for the first two weeks.  Food, potty and bed.  It was not a problem at all yesterday ( we just brought Tank home yesterday) but who knows how long that will last.  We are in Tx as well, and considering it will be 102 today I don't think anybody will want to do anything but lay around inside!!!  We were told to keep Tank off the stairs and just keep him in bed.  We have a big journey ahead of us don't we!!!  Tanks sister is a pitbull mix and I am not sure she would be willing to lay in bed :)   Good luck and I will keep updated on how you guys are doing!!!

New Jersey
Member Since:
25 May 2013
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1 August 2013 - 7:29 am
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U fortunately due to your diagnosis you have found us here, but what a wonderful resource you will have. We all understand what you are going thru and will have the advice and shared experiences from others before. We have been thankful for us and Snoop to have come here also. My boy us a it mix etc. coming home R &R is what worked for him. We went out to do our business and ate and rested. We came along well with pain med adjustments as needed. It's major surgery and since you have a young kid there there they may be more rambunctious. Good luck in recoup, will look for your updates


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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1 August 2013 - 9:58 am
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Looks li,e you've already gotten sme great advice so I won't repeat.

Just want to say now very ki d of you to be caring for Lady during this very difficult time for her You dn't have an easy task ahead but we are all here for you.

Keep us posted on how she .....and you... are doing!

You're a good soul and I'm glad she has you in her life.


Sally and Happy Hannah

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!

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