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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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Member Since:
16 July 2020
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20 July 2020 - 2:14 pm
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We adopted Totem when he was 7 weeks old--some kind of beagle/heeler mix.  Precious puppy.  On July 12 Totem and I were walking our county road working on leash training.  He was doing great.  Suddenly I heard a thundering noise coming from behind us.  Two of our neighbor's dogs, a lab and a labradoodle, without any hesitation, pounced on Totem viciously.  I was screaming; Totem was screaming.  Fortunately Totem had slipped out of his leash so I was able to pick up the leash from the ground and begin swinging it at the two large dogs.  They backed away enough for me to scoop Totem from the road.  I began carrying my screaming puppy home in my arms.  When I finally set him down inside our fenced yard I could see his hind leg was injured.   The vet met us that Sunday morning and showed us the X-ray of his femur broken in 3 places.

The leg was amputated the next morning.  The whole attack was traumatic, but for Totem to lose a leg so young just when he was beginning to enjoy being out in the world broke my heart. 

Now, 8 days later he is home and recovering on schedule.  So far no infections, he is eating well, peeing and pooping, sleeping all night.  We are so grateful.

I am so glad to find this site because this is all so new to us.  I am 74 and my husband is 82.  We put our former precious dog, Tunia, to sleep 3 years ago and didn't really think we would get another dog, but I guess sheltering at home got to us.  Totem has won our hearts.  We are so looking forward to our happy puppy rebounding and getting a new lease on life.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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20 July 2020 - 3:11 pm
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Ohhh what a story! Thank you so much for sharing Totem with all of us. I'm so sorry about that accident. That is crazy that a Lab and 'doodle would attack, those two breeds are usually so tame. They must not be living in the best situation is my guess? Thankfully Totem is on the mend and doing so well. And kudos to you for finding your way here, and giving him a chance at a long, healthy and happy life on three. I'm sure Tunia is watching over all of you, so proud of her favorite people and new earthly sidekick!

Be sure to share photos of Totem when you get a chance. His avatar is adorable.

This is how adding images to the Forums works.

  1. Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog!
  2. Right click and copy the Image URL or just copy the image if you’re on a phone
  3. Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself) in your post. It should automatically appear.

If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know, I'm happy to help.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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20 July 2020 - 5:10 pm
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Oh gosh!  So many mixed emotions  as I was reading  Totem's story so far.  Happy he was adopted  by  two hoomans who clearly adore home.  Then so upset to hear what happened  to thos weet pup!  So sorry!  Then to know Tunia needed to head to The Rainbow  ridge a few years ago.  I k ow that broke your heart.  Hopefully  the Happy memories  have helped to push the sadness away.

But it made me smile to know Tunia sent you this adorable puppy to bring you joy and fun and lots more Happy memories  to come

And it makes me  smile to know you and your husband were willing  to open your hearts to  a puppy who needed to know love and joy and happiness!  Totem definitely  hit the Puppy Lottery!

Yes, amputation  was definitely  the best option.  Often people  will try and save a leg with multiple  surgeries,  months of confinement  and it ends up being  amputated  anyway.

Jist sooooo delighted  you brought this dog I to you life.  And I know Tunia is too!  I'm  also in my "mature" years and I know I could  never be fulfilled  or happy without a dog in my life!

I hope the owners of those dogs paid for Totem's surgery  and follow up bills.

Look forward to following  Totem's journey AND seeing pictures!!

Hugs

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

PS.  Let us know if you have any questions about reco, etc.  Spu ds like he's doing really well.....and so are you!!  Good job!!

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!

Livermore, CA




Member Since:
18 October 2009
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20 July 2020 - 7:10 pm
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Hello and welcome to you and Totem.

I'm sorry to hear how he was injured- hopefully being a youngster will help him overcome any trauma.

I think you said in another post that Totem is about 4 months old?

My current Tripawd is a little Pug mix named Elly who lost her right back leg when she was 7 months old after being hit by a car.  I adopted her when she was 10 months old but still full of puppy energy!  Elly is now about 5.5 years old and coming up on her 5 year ampuversary.  Elly can do pretty much anything a dog her size and age can do but because she will spend most all her life on three I do limit some activities.  We don't do long walks and I we don't play games that encourage 'burst' type movements.  I also have steps or stools next to all the furniture she is allowed to access.  We spend time on core strength, leg strength and balance everyday utilizing trick or obedience training, food games and puzzles and balance and strength exercises- we don't do the same thing every day.  These activities challenge her mind, tire her out a bit, and most importantly are fun for her!

Sounds like his recovery is going very well!

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:
16 July 2020
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23 July 2020 - 10:34 am
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Thanks for all the support.  It is 10 days post surgery and today the stitches came out!  However, the vet said to keep the cone on for 5 more days.  Ugh.  

Doc assured me once again that Totem is doing well and should be able to do most anything he would have done prior to his attack.  I asked if he'd be able to take walks with me and he said sure he will.  The vet's positive attitude is really reassuring.

So, I'm wondering when to reintroduce him to walking on a leash just around our property?

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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23 July 2020 - 11:53 am
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I like your Vet's attitude.....and he's right!!  

Generally when the stitches come put os when you can let your dog increase leashed walks, slowly resume activities,  a couple of short daily walks are mich better than one long one at first.

As far as your specific question, yes, you can go ahead and walk him around the yard, or a small area on your property on a leash for a little bit. Obviously  he doesn't  have to wear the cone while on leash and while  you are watching  him.

Rem, step j to uojr strong  confident  fun pack leader role when taking  out on the leash....even if it's just around your yard.

You're  doing a great job!!  He's a lucky boy to have you watch over him with such care❤

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!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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23 July 2020 - 12:18 pm
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That's awesome news the stitches are out! Bet it feels good to move forward.

I would say the walking can be introduced a little at a time, even with the cone. Just a few minutes at a time, like 5, tops, and gradually increase. As Sally mentioned, shorter, more frequent walks throughout the day are better than one or two long ones.

Be sure to check out the Tripawds Gear blog and our e-book, Loving Life On Three Legs , for lots of tips about helping to raise Totem as a fit, healthy Tripawd!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
29 March 2020
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23 July 2020 - 7:24 pm
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Hi There!  Totem is lucky to have both of you!  You'll see how resilient he is.  My dog, Jake, lost his front leg to cancer 3 months ago.  He is doing amazingly well, can do flights of stairs, walks, etc.  He is so happy.  He swims, etc and is the same Jake as before becoming a tripawd except he can't walk so far in one session.  So we bought a carriage to go on longer walks.   Good luck.  It seems Totem is in wonderful handssmiley4

Raleigh, NC
Member Since:
29 April 2013
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6 September 2020 - 1:12 pm
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I will be commenting on your most recent post but just wanted to let you know I'm getting caught up on your history.   

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