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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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RikRak's Story - a Love Story!
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Forum Posts: 13
Member Since:
23 June 2020
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23 June 2020 - 4:45 pm
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Hi, Everyone!  I just joined this group today, and I hope to learn from each of you.  Let me tell you about my baby.  RikRak is a border collie/blue heeler.  He turned 7 years old on New Year's Day! In February he had an accident that broke his elbow on his front left leg.  Surgery was performed the night of the accident and the next day the vet realized RikRak suffered nerve damage in both front legs.  We brought him home and treated the broken bone daily. Instead of better, it continued to get worse and worse.  I took him back to the doctor and requested we amputate the leg.  My vet was against it because he didn't think Rik would be able to function at all.  I told him there is no way that I am ready to let him go.   So our doctor consented, although against his own better judgment, and the leg was removed.  Now that that poison was gone RikRak felt like living again.  I knew that he would!!!  He is now taking physical therapy at a fantastic place!  The therapy clinic is about 100 miles from my home, so I take him there bright and early on Monday mornings and pick him up at noon on Fridays.  He is making so much progress.  He isn't yet using the other front foot, but it sure looks like the nerves are slowly regenerating.  He has a wheelchair and is learning to use it at therapy, but I firmly believe my fighter is working hard to kick that thing to the curb and not need it at all!  

I know my story is way too long, but I wanted to introduce RikRak and myself to everyone.  He is worth every bit of fight that it takes to get him better, because he is so very special!  

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 31089
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25 April 2007
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23 June 2020 - 7:22 pm
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Leslye and RikRak, welcome! We are sorry you had to join us but so glad you shared your amazing love story. You have both overcome a lot of obstacles in such a short amount of time. Amazing, and so inspawrational. Your story is not too long at all, but you forgot one thing: pictures! How about some photos? 

Good for you, standing up for your boy shows that you know him best. Seven is so young, especially for a dog who has two of the most resilient and tough breeds in his DNA. Of COURSE he's gonna bounce back!

What a lucky dog to get the therapy he needs. We are big believers in rehab therapy and when we hear how a dog like him who had so much damage to begin with is able to get his mojo back with the right care, well it just rocks our world.

We can't wait to get to know you better, and see your sweet survivor. 


We have these instructions for adding images to the Forums. If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know. It’s pretty easy: 

  1. Upload pics to a photo sharing site like or your own Tripawds blog
  2. Right click and copy the Image URL
  3. Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself if possible) in your post. It should automatically appear.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 21434
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23 June 2020 - 8:19 pm
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WOW!!!  What an amazing  story of RilRak the Tripawd Warrior!  And his Warrior Hooman too!

We do see where surgery  to repair a broken leg often ends up in amputation.  And, as you noted with RikRak, after recovery the sparkle comes back bigger and brighter  than when nursing  that bum leg!

That's  a loooong drive back and forth for you, and a long stay away from home for RikRak.  So curious what kind of therapies they are doing?? So interesting  to find out what's  involved, what the goal is. Obviously  to gain use of the leg is the main focus, but to learn to use the wheelchair properly  is an extra bonus for him.

This is such an inspirational story of hope and determination  and a whole lot of love❤

Looking forward  to follow this amazing  dog's journey.  You are a strong advocate for your boy and know him far better than the Vet!  Good job!


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

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!

Forum Posts: 13
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23 June 2020 - 8:35 pm
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Thank you, both, for your responses to my story!  And I will certainly get pictures of my precious boy posted soon.  My daughter is the computer guru, so I'm sure she can help me out!  

The therapy they are doing on RikRak is hydrotherapy, acupuncture and laser therapy.  We get to bring a TENS unit home every weekend to use on his leg.  We do it in the mornings up at the top of his leg and in the evenings down by the paw.  He clearly feels it at the top and, this past weekend, he had more feeling down low than he has had previously.  He is improving!!!  

Where he tries to walk on his elbow it has caused a pretty raw spot and got kind of deep, so they have put a few stitches in it and that has kind of put his hydrotherapy on hold for a bit.  He is working with a peanut and, the doctor says, really doing well.  

I got his wheelchair from K9 Carts.  They were very kind to us, but I almost wish I would have shopped around more.  I see some that seem less invasive that I think he would enjoy better.  I don't know.  He doesn't like the wheelchair at all, but "will walk for food," so we have lots of treats handy when he's practicing!!  

The Rainbow Bridge

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24 June 2020 - 8:56 am
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All that therapy is so pawesome! He sounds like such a great dog for tolerating so much hands-on work. I love that they are using many different methods on him, they all add up to better chances at a full recovery. How cool that you're seeing a difference! The kind of knowledge you are getting about therapy will benefit him and all your other dogs too.

So it sounds like he has a pretty significant stump left? I wonder if he's a candidate for a prosthetic on that leg? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 3413
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4 July 2020 - 1:33 pm
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Hi Lesley and RikRak,

I saw your post in Dr. Pam's forum, I am so sorry this is happening. Is he walking on his own? Is he dragging on his belly at all?  Does the vet know that the abscess burst?

You said he is gone all week, is that still the case? So when he needs to tinkle does he go out with assistance or does somebody carry him? I remember you saying his remaining front leg had nerve damage so I am wondering how mobile he is at this point? 

Some of this might be mentioned in Dr. Pam's forum to give her a clearer picture of RikRak's journey and his difficulties.

Keeping fingers crossed and sending hugs,

Jackie and Huck sp_hearticon2


Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Phoebe, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

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