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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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Bertram (Tripawd Since Day 6) UPDATE
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11 October 2012 - 9:00 pm
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Hello Again!

I would like to give everyone an update on baby Bertram (here is a link to our first post: http://tripawds…..-days-old/) Bert will be 6 months old in 2 days and I am so glad to report that he is happy and healthy!  After his first “amputation”, where his dead leg was clipped off (the best we could do for a 6 day old) he continued to grow and grow, and now weighs 12 pounds! He learned how to walk, and run, and play, and do everything a “normal” puppy can do! As he got older, we kept going back and forth on whether or not to amputate the rest of the leg, as he was doing very well with it intact. That was until during one of his puppy kindergarten classes, he was learning how to go up and down a lowered A frame (a much less steep version of the ones used in agility) The A frame has a grip material on it, and he managed to scrape the end of his stump. Just this minor scrape was to the bone, because of the way he was originally injured, there was only an extremely thin layer of skin covering the bone. It became obvious that the stump was going to cause him issues throughout his active life, and I did not want him stuck on antibiotics every few months. So, I set the date to have the leg properly removed. August 20th was amputation day, Bert was just over 4 months old, and handled surgery like a champ. We amputated mid femur, leaving only a short nub that we covered with muscle. We also opted for a Fentanyl patch that would deliver constant help for the pain for a few days. The night after was the worst, despite having as much pain medication as the vet would allow, he was still very uncomfortable. It took a few more days to get back to normal, and he hasn’t slowed down since! Since then he has graduated puppy kindergarten, visits the dog park once a week, and is getting ready to start puppy obedience. Thanks for taking the time to read our story, and we will keep everyone updated as Bert begins new adventures! smiley


Here are pictures of our journey: (let me know if there are any issues with them)

Eyes Open: http://bertrams…..52_982.jpg

First Meal: http://bertrams…..45_399.jpg

Learning to Play: http://bertrams…..04_625.jpg


Getting Dirty: http://bertrams…..18_444.jpg

Making a Mess: http://bertrams…..14_741.jpg

Being Happy: http://bertrams…..july41.jpg

Last Pic of Stump: http://bertrams…..27_318.jpg

Night After Surgery: http://bertrams…..59_518.jpg

1 Day Post-Op: http://bertrams…..43_305.jpg

2 Days Post-Op: http://bertrams…..14_472.jpg

 (yes, that says “Super Bert”)

Silly Socks: http://bertrams…..024305.jpg

No, having 3 legs does not bother him a bit:


Somewhere over the rainbow... probably swimming in a lake
Forum Posts: 63
Member Since:
18 August 2012
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11 October 2012 - 9:08 pm
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Oh my goodness, that is one cute puppy.

Thanks for taking the time to share Bertram’s story.  I look forward to hearing about his recovery and full life as a baby tripaw. I can only imagine that he will do great.

hugs to you.

-Samdog’s mom

Samdog was a 10 yr old Golden and retired SAR dog. We found a bone mass on 8/17/12, needle biopsy showed sarcoma 8/22/12, amputation on 8/23/12, post-amp biopsy confirmed osteosarcoma on 8/28/12. Sadly, we found lung mets on 11/27/12 and my Spirit Sam earned his wings on 12/2/12.

We didn't know where we were headed and we don't regret a single step along our path. It all happened too fast, but he left a legacy of love that we will always cherish. Good bye my heart.
You can find our story at

11 October 2012 - 9:53 pm
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That is one ridiculously cute puppy! 

I’m glad you came back to update us and share pictures.  It’s good he weathered the surgery so well- youth!!!!


Karen and the pugapalooza

12 October 2012 - 1:10 pm
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Yes, I really do attribute the fast recovery to his age. I have so much respect for people who go through surgeries like this with their older pups!

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 26570
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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12 October 2012 - 8:30 pm
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Love these pics, thank you for sharing and letting us know that he’s doing great!

The pic of him throwing himself into his first meal was my favorite. It’s just so pawesome so see such gusto!

Thank you so much for sharing all of the details of your journey, I know it will help others down the road. Please be sure to keep us posted on how he’s doing.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Sydney, Australia
Forum Posts: 628
Member Since:
13 September 2011
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14 October 2012 - 7:26 pm
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What a cutie!!!! Thank you for sharing those beautiful pics.

Karen and Spirit Magnum

Magnum: 30th May 2002 to 5th May 2012. Lost her back left leg to osteosarcoma on 5th Sep 2011. Lung mets found on 20th Mar 2012 but it was bone mets in the hip that ended her brave battle. Magnum's motto - "Dream as if you'll live for ever, live as if you'll die today" (James Dean). Loyal, loving, courageous and spirited to the end. My beloved heart dog, see her memoirs from Rainbow Bridge ......

San Diego, CA
Forum Posts: 2503
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29 October 2010
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14 October 2012 - 9:15 pm
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OMD, he’s SO adorable. I want to kiss his smoochy face.

Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Forum Posts: 382
Member Since:
22 January 2013
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23 January 2013 - 12:12 pm
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He is so amazingly cute. It sounds like he is a tough little guy.

New Haven, CT
Forum Posts: 1193
Member Since:
27 December 2012
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23 January 2013 - 12:51 pm
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He is sooooo cute!  I love his ‘trouble-making’ photo ops!  What a champ!

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

Bentonville, AR
Forum Posts: 46
Member Since:
28 September 2011
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7 February 2013 - 9:38 am
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Bertram is ADORABLE! He has an awesome story being that he was pretty much born a TRIPaWD. I, like you, could never have let the little guy not at least have the chance to see if he would make it. He was destined to be yours, and vice versa. Crazy to think that the universe and all of us would have missed out on Bertram and his Amazing LIFe. I realize that when it comes to the array of physical challenges which pets can face, that each individual owner decides how they will proceed based on complex variables and constraints. personally though, Inam not letting either myself or any one of my family members(my pack of dogs) go without first putting up a “good fight”. I look forward to reading more about his growth and development and be sure to share tons of pics. He’s too cute!

Maricela and Spirit Bruno

7 February 2013 - 7:02 pm
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Thank you all for your kind words!!!

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