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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: 6
Member Since:
13 March 2012
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13 July 2016 - 5:31 pm
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My 14 1/2 year old Weim had her amputation to her right front leg nearly 4 1/2 years ago and has done beautifully. She can actually still run faster than me most days! 

Lately, however, she is becoming more unsteady and falls at times. Sometimes when she stands from laying down, she struggles to stand and goes to the bathroom. It always seems to take her by surprise. Is there anything that can be done to stop this, or slow it down? She is certainly slowing down and is a senior dog, but her spirit is still very much alive and I know it is embarrassing to her.

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks, all! This community meant the world to me when Mia had her surgery and we are both so grateful! <3


Forum Posts: 2010
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14 February 2016
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14 July 2016 - 3:29 am
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Not a vet, but could she be having problems with arthritis?  Is she on joint supplements like Dasaquin, or getting any treatment for arthritis?  Otis was still a quad when he was diagnosed with arthritis, but Dasquin and fish oil are wonder drugs in my eyes – the. Improvement was outstanding.

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.


Forum Posts: 19540
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22 February 2013
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14 July 2016 - 9:13 am
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Diagnosed 4 1/2 years ago with osteo!? OMD! MIA IS A SURVIVOR!!!clapA 14 1/2 yr old tripawd…MIRACULOUS!!

That doesn’t diminish how hard it is to watch our dogs as they age and the “disease” of “senioritis” starts to creep in. Certainly not a vet, but as already mentioned, some arthritis meds, maybe Rimadyl also, and maybe something for potential incontinence. Sounds like the peeing is related more towards not being able to get up and get moving fast enough rather a nealth issue. Not unusual for a “woman of her age”!

Give thst amazing miracle girl a big smooch for me, okay?


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: 27829
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14 July 2016 - 10:19 am
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Hi Mendy, welcome. I hope you don’t mind I moved your post here but since this is a great question/s about aging Tripawds, I thought it would be beneficial to share it in this Forum. Also, Dr. Pam often answers questions in other forums so she may answer here as well.

OK, so the good news is YES! There are lots of things you can do to help a senior Tripawd (or any dog) get stronger. The #1 way to do that is through rehabilitation therapy with a qualified practitioner who understands geriatric canine care. If you haven’t already, please have her evaluated by a professional rehab vet. It really is the best way to determine exactly what’s going on and how to resolve it. I hesitate to recommend any specific exercises because at her age you want to be very careful. A rehab vet can put it all together for you in a program that you can do at home.

The best part? Tripawds Foundation will pay for the first rehab vet consult!

Here are some posts that can get you started:



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Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
13 March 2012
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28 July 2016 - 8:39 am
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Thanks everyone! Mia really is a story to be celebrated. She is the toughest and sweetest living being I’ve ever known. She continues to live and LOVE life despite all of her challenges. My vet has asked if I would ever bring her in to the office to calm other soon to be tripawd families to show how resilient and alive they can be. 

I did end up taking her to the vet last week for an unrelated issue and told him about her falling, etc. I had recently upped her fish oil pills and put her on glucosamine and chondroitin and he was happy with that plan. But over the weekend she got really bad… she was unable to stand and I had to carry her around, though she didn’t seem to be phased by it much! Me, on the other hand, cried all weekend, knowing that the end was probably soon. On Monday I called the vet and he asked me to perform a test to determine if it was most likely arthritis or could possibly be degenerative myelopathy. She passed the test, but after reading more about DM, I’m afraid she might be in the early to intermediate stages. Has anyone else had an older pup who has suffered from DM? It’s so hard to tell with a senior tripawd — what is simply just aging, what is caused because she has three legs? These are factors, I’m sure, but I feel the need to be mentally prepared for potential paralysis in the near future. 

Since there is no known treatment for DM, I’m going to continue to treat her as if she has arthritis and take it a day at a time. Thanks again so much for your kind, encouraging and loving words!

Hugs to you all!

<3 Mendy and Mia


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28 July 2016 - 8:56 am
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I just shake my head in awe and amazement everytime I read about your amazing Mia! I love that the vet wants to use her as a “tripawd therapy dog” for stressed out owners faci g the decision! She’s such a Goodwill Ambassador!

My only “advice” is, regardless of what’s going on physically with Mia, continue to stay in the moment…be fully present….let nothing interfere with your time together! You seem to have already mastered the art of being more dog! Good job!!

Right now it sounds Mia is still being Mia…with a little help from ner human! Such a good team! Your commitment to her well being comes shining through. Mia knows she can count on you to always have her best interest at heart as she embraces the twilight of her life.

Just want to send you and Mia love and support!

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: 6646
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28 July 2016 - 11:56 am
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Hi Mendy and Mia heart

My goodness, FOUR AND A HALF years surviving Osteo !!!!

WOW, DOUBLE WOW clapclap

You are giving us all so much hope, I cannot tell you !

Did you do chemo ? 

As for MD, I have no knowledge at all, none of my dogs suffered from it, the only one who reached the ripe age of 15 1/2 (a sweet and gentle german sheperd) had arthritis in his later years but nothing more serious. 

Mendy, you are the greatest Mom, your love for Mia is so beautiful and strong and I’m sure she loves you back just the sameheart

I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be arthritis, have you considered doing hydrotherapy or something similar? 

Sending you a big hug and tummy rubs to that gorgeous baby of yours heart

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

Here and Now

Forum Posts: 12309
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29 July 2016 - 7:17 am
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miasvictory said
Has anyone else had an older pup who has suffered from DM?

Use the Advanced Search above to refine your search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. 

be sure to check common misspellings too…

Search results for ‘myopathy’ (30)

Search results for ‘myelopathy’ (20)

You can also search all blogs here .

Hope this helps!

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