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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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Sparky- The new Tripawd!
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Member Since:
15 June 2018
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30 June 2018 - 8:10 pm
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So I posted on here before asking about price ranges for amputation surgery. Luckily we found a vet who performed the procedure for about $1,000. Sparky had broken his femur and right side of his hip, he then had surgery to fix it but unfortunately the surgery was unsuccessful and his bone didn't heal correctly causing his leg to be nonfunctional. After consulting with two vets they both recommended amputation as the best option to alleviate Sparky's chronic pain from his nonfunctional leg. It was hard hearing at first, but this site gave me hope that he could be a happy dog with only three legs. Last week his surgery was performed and everything went well. The first day he was very lethargic and his amputation area seemed swollen and bruised. Fast forward to a couple days later and he is back to his happy self again. I am happy that he is more comfortable now and that he is not in pain anymore. I was wondering how soon after surgery can you take your dog on long walks (I was thinking 15-20 min walks)? Also any advice for new tripawd parents is greatly appreciated! 

Here's a picture of him 3 days after surgery! [Image Can Not Be Found]

Member Since:
15 June 2018
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Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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30 June 2018 - 8:48 pm
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Welcome back and congrats on a successful surgery!

We sometimes see here that pups who were in pain before amputation feel so much better post op that they overdo.  Our surgeon said that after Maggie's rear amp surgery she was only allowed short, leashed potty breaks for the first two weeks.  Even though Sparky feels so much better he just did have major surgery and rest is very important.

What pain meds is he on?

You might look through the Required Reading List for post op information.

Traction is hugely important for Tripawds, especially new ones.  Be sure any slippery floors have throw rugs or yoga mats. Raised food and water dishes might help Sparky keep his balance better while eating and drinking, although Maggie would not use them.

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:
22 February 2013
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30 June 2018 - 9:00 pm
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So good to hear back from you!  And especially  good to hear Sparky had the surgery and is on the road to recovery!  Soooo happy to hear this!😂😂

Yeah, Sparky still needs to take ot easy for the next two weeks.  Rest and short potty and more rest. 

Start slowly  after recovery.  Several  shorter walks a day are better than two longer ones.  If Sparky sits down on the walk, he's already overdone it.  I have a feeling Sparky is going to feel so good with that bum leg gone, he's  going to want to play non-stop!  

I kmow money is tight, but if you can have at least one Rehabilitation  session,  yoi can learn a lot of ways to vuild Sparky's core muscles.  Long walks may build endurance,  but it doesn't  do much for proper  strengthening  in a way that supports joints and muscles of a tripawd.

Check  out the Tripawds Foundation   as they will reimburse  you up to $200 towards the first  appointment.   Complimemts of the Maggie Moo Fund .

Try this link for adding images .   Can't  wait to see photos of his cute self!


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!

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