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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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The Story of Hatteras the Three Legged Wonder Lab
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13 July 2020 - 9:08 am
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Hatteras is a two year old chocolate lab who lives with her family on the southeastern Virginia coast.  Hattie enjoys spending long days on her favorite beaches with her human siblings, and loves nothing more than finding a nice long dock to jump off of. On 5/29/2020 Hattie broke out of our garage to chase a wild rabbit in her front yard, unfortunately she chased it right into the side of a moving vehicle.  I often hear “I’m so sorry your dog was hit by a car” to which I most frequently reply “no she actually hit the car”.  After a long night in the emergency vet we received the call that everything was OK.  She had no broken bones or internal injuries, only a concussion and some bumps and bruises.  To my dismay, the following morning when I went to pick her up she had no use of her front left leg.  The vet informed me that she suspected a brachial plexus aversion or basically nerve damage to the leg and that she did not think Hatteras would ever regain use of the leg.  I was devastated, as her Dockdogs and NADD career would be over as would her strong drive to swim and chase her beloved ball.  I refused to give up her leg and spent a month taking her to acupuncture and electro-stimulation, all to no avail!  Finally on June 24th 2020 I had the leg amputated.  We were all in tears waiting for her to come out of surgery, and assumed things would never get back to normal.  To my surprise, 8 hours later Hattie came walking out of the hospital, on three legs of course, with little to no help from the nurse.  We are now two and half weeks post surgery and have come to find that Tripawd life fits her just fine.  She is still our beautiful, happy Hatteras!  She is already back to chasing her ball, and may even be just a bit faster than she was before.  As of yesterday she was going off the dock again, swimming easily without her floatcoat, and will surely be back to her former glory as competitive diver.  I truly believe that I underestimated her, I will never make that mistake again. 

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The Rainbow Bridge



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13 July 2020 - 11:16 am
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Awww what an awesome story, thank you for sharing Hattie with us! She is a total rock star and so are you for all you do for her. She will definitely continue to amaze and impress you and everyone she meets.

I hope she gets to do her dock diving activities again soon. She’s such a fit dog I’m sure it won’t be long.

One thing you may want to avoid though, is the ball chasing and other “explosive” activities that are hard on her remaining front leg. Experts tell us that those kinds of forces on a Tripawd put a lot of strain on the joints and lead to cartilage breakdown, so you want to be careful about how she plays. If she hasn’t already been to rehab therapy since she’s become a Tripawd, I encourage you to meet with a therapist to discuss helpful and harmful activities for her life on three. The Tripawds Foundation may even pay for your first rehab visit and evaluation as a Tripawd, so please look into the program when you have a sec.

Not sure why your video didn’t post, we’d love to see it. The best way is to upload to YouTube then copy the video URL to share it here.

Thanks again for joining us (sorry you had to!). Can’t wait to follow along with Hattie’s new life on three.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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13 July 2020 - 11:33 am
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Lets try this video again!

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13 July 2020 - 11:55 am
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Jerry, thanks again for the help getting setup, and the warm welcome!

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13 July 2020 - 12:20 pm
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WOAH! Wow she is fast!

You are so welcome, we’re glad you joined us.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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13 July 2020 - 12:51 pm
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Follow her on Instagram at Tripawd_Hattie



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13 July 2020 - 4:01 pm
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Sorry to hear Hattie lost her leg. Since she was an athlete before the amputation she will probably remain an athlete – just doing things a bit differently.

There have been a number of athletic dogs here who continued in competitions such as Bart in field hunting. Here’s Kess, a frisbee dog: https://kessthe…..pawds.com/

Like Jerry said you might have to avoid some things to help Hattie to maintain her front leg as long as possible. Rehab is always great for tripawds.

Hattie sure is speedy!! smiley_clap

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13 July 2020 - 4:03 pm
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Welcome Hattie, and she is a wonder dog. Of course my Beautiful choc lab Brownie was also a wonder dog.. Of course I think all Labs are wonder dogs! Brownie also had Front left leg amputation at age 12. So I know Hattie is going to rock it, and by the looks of the video she already is! Brownie wasn’t that fast on four! lol

Would love to see more videos! She is proof that dogs are happy and do fantastic on three!

Nancy and Angel Brownie

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

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13 July 2020 - 4:07 pm
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Is that video before or after amputation. She is moving so fast I can’t tell.

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

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13 July 2020 - 4:12 pm
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The video was yesterday.  She is currently two and a half weeks post amputation.  Thank you so much for the kind words.  More pics to come! smiley4

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13 July 2020 - 4:15 pm
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13 July 2020 - 4:51 pm
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She is just beautiful! She reminds me of my boy, but he wasn’t the athletic type. lol..He liked to stroll and sniff, sniff. sniff.

I can’t believe how fast she is! I’m amazed she is so fast so soon after surgery. Even if it had been a year post op I would still be amazed.

There is also another member with a  choc lab by the name of lady with front left leg amputation. Her name is Lady.

Thanks for the videos. Brings back wonderful memories. 

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

Virginia




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13 July 2020 - 9:34 pm
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WOW!!!   Sooooo. impressive!!!  Hatteras is a ROCKSTAR DOCK DIVING TRIPAWD CHAMPION!!!   Her speed and balance are off the charts!

Ifuessot’s a little late to say nothing put short leashed potty breaks and back to bed for rest the first two weeks😉  I’ve  got a feeling  she didn’t  follow the recovery  rules!

As such a youngster, you do want to protect her joints as best you can.  Tripawds are prone to arthritis, cruciate issues, etc  This sweet pup looks like she has a lot of happy years ahead  of her with lots of dock diving😎

To anyone who doubts if Tripawds can be happy on three legs, just needs to see this video!!  I can assure you this video will be referenced a lot as an insp to others who fear that their dog can’t live a full life on three!  

Thank you so much for sharing this amazing dog with is.  I keep looking g at the video  and just grin ear to ear at this RockStar😃

Btw does the little dog ever get to chase the ball on land?  It looks like he wants to go dock diving so badly, but decides it may not be a good idea😉

Does Hatteras ever compete?  He will be an instant  celebrity!  He already is to is❤

Hugs

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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14 July 2020 - 6:29 am
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14 July 2020 - 6:44 am
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Thank you guys for the kind words.  Hatteras truly is a happy tripawd.  I am honestly not sure if she even knows she is missing a leg.  She doesn’t let it keep her from doing anything.  Our short leashed potty breaks lasted two days, by day three she was obsessing about her ball, and pawing at her dog door for me to remove the cover.  I had to hide all the tennis balls in the house for the first week.  Thanks everyone for the advice on maintaining the other front leg.  I will definitely discuss it with my vet.  Hattie will be competing again as tripawd diver as soon as this pandemic passes and they start to have events again.  I will be sure to post some videos for her tripawd family!

And as for the little dog, Duncan would rather chase Hattie than the ball.  Apparently, he has a thing for younger womenicon_lol

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