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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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Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
17 July 2021
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17 July 2021 - 9:52 am
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Hello! Just introducing myself. I’m Nash (she/her) and I own two tripawds! 

My first tripawd: I adopted a 1.5yr old chihuahua, who was born without one of his front legs, about seven years ago. His name is Winslow. We’ve had some serious learning curves because his rib cage is malformed, so harnesses don’t fit easily and he had some additional congenital health issues. Soon, we must endure knee surgery on his back leg, which will be tough, but ultimately worth it. He is a clown and a dramatic goof - a good boy who is socialized, smart, and is always on a diet. 

My second tripawd: I foster for a greyhound rescue. In March, they got a call from the university that they had a patient recovering from a full amputation (he broke his leg badly on his last race) and they wanted an experienced foster home for special needs dogs. Unfortunately, there was a post operative infection and he needed to be isolated, during which time he kind of lost heart and stopped eating. He lost 20lbs. The hospital called me to come get him because they were worried he would die of starvation in there, but he still had a lot of medical recovery to do, and was in a position of needing to learn how to walk and move AND learn how to be retired, all with absolutely no muscle left. The recovery was hard, very hard, and required a lot of home cooked meals. By the end of it, which was about three months, we had gone through too much together and he had bonded with my little chihuahua, so we had our first foster fail. His retired name is Hoyt (we don’t use his racing name) and he is now a giant! He’s massive, about 80# (up from 61#!) and turned out to be an XXL greyhound. He is well mannered and gentle, great with cats and other dogs, honestly a decent guard dog, and will steal all the bread. 

I can share what I know about the differences between ownership experiences of dogs with birth defects versus amputations, which a special bit of knowledge about chihuahuas/small breeds and racing greyhounds. 

My other pets are also special needs, so I am used to lots of medical responsibilities, but I also know how HARD it is to adapt to at first. I do have a pet Instagram if anyone wants to see a diary of amputation recovery etc, but I am not a serious social media person so it’s not a giant account with a million followers. (Although I think tripawds follows us!) 

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 30563
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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17 July 2021 - 10:47 am
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Welcome! I'm so glad you decided to post here, we appreciate it so much. It's the collective knowledge of Tripawd parents that helps others when they need it most, and keeps us all learning about how to create the best lives ever for them. You are pretty pawesome for adopting limb-different doggies, thank you! I especially love that you have a Greyhound and a Chihuahua! OMD post pics, we'd love to see them! You can embed your IG pics or here's how adding images works. Maybe even start a Tripawds blog and store them there! Either way we are glad you joined us, and look forward to following along with Winslow and Hoyt smiley4

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 21152
Member Since:
22 February 2013
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17 July 2021 - 10:57 am
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OMD!!!  What a story of hope and perseverance  and soooo much love!!!!  Cannot thank you enough  for giving Winslow and Hoyt such a loving home.  The care and devotion  you jave shown these two is just beautiful. 

A Chihuahua  and a Greyt  Geyhound....what a pair!  Would love to see photos.  I'm not on I Instagram, so hopefully you can ppst some pics here.

And thank you again for bein a true Earth Angel for Winslow and Hoyt


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!

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 30563
Member Since:
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17 July 2021 - 1:56 pm
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They are soooo adorable! What a sweet pair of Tripawds, you're such a lucky dog parent!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Read my story here.

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