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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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Amputation on 9 week old?
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Member Since:
26 July 2022
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26 July 2022 - 4:39 pm
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Welcome Millie Minaj (Tripod) to the family! She is a 9 week old havanese and has a deformed front left leg and paw. She’s a great addition to the family! She unfortunately fractured it over this weekend. Took to the ER and they are recommending amputating it. Not sure how I feel about that but don’t want her to be in pain. Should we proceed with an amputation at this time?

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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26 July 2022 - 8:17 pm
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Welcome @wolfman and Millie Minaj! Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away.

She is so lucky to find her way to you. I'm sorry that she had the fracture so young! I would wait and talk to a canine rehab therapist before deciding. At her age, she is still developing motor skills and when dogs lose a limb that young, they tend to develop poor gait / posture habits that will cause issues later on down the road. Many therapists suggest waiting until they are fully grown as long as they are not in any pain. Plus, she might be able to use that leg for balance, as our Nellie is doing, or she may be a good candidate for a prosthesis. Between a rehab therapist and getting an opinion from a boarded veterinary orthopedic specialist you'll have more information to decide when and if.

Get her to a rehab therapist and the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit ! See the link for details.

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New England
Member Since:
11 January 2022
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27 July 2022 - 5:50 am
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My dog, Loki, lost her leg at 11 weeks.  This was before she came into my life, so I can't share my experience of going through a very young dog losing a limb.  What I can tell you is Loki's gaiting and posture developed relatively normally.  I can't tell you how many times I've been chatting with a neighbor over my fence and all of a sudden they gasp and go "your dog is missing a leg!" because she gets around and plays very well.  Loki is a rear amputee - that may be a key difference.

Jerry is wise though.  If getting another opinion is an option, I would go for it.  And if amputation can't be avoided, if you can set your pup up for a prosthesis, all the better.  I'm in awe of the incredible options there are for dogs with partial limbs.

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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27 July 2022 - 11:51 am
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Thank you for sharing @mischief! Your experience is so hopeful and helpful!

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