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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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Considering adopting a st bernard puppy w/ front amputation
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23 October 2015 - 11:28 pm
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hello! My partner and I are considering adopting a st. Bernard mix pup who was born with a deformed front left leg. She recently had it amputated and is on the mend and will be ready for adoption soon. She is only 5 months old and already 40 pounds so we know she will be a big girl. Im wondering if there is naything we should know as we make our final decision.

She us BEAUTIFUL and has the sweetest demeanor and we know she would make a great addition to the family. I just want to make sure that we are right for such a big tripawd. I have done quite a bit of research but still have day to day logistical questions like will she be able to get up the stairs to where our bedroom is? I just want to make sure we are as right for her as she is for us so any advice about daily life from folks with giant tripawds would be much appreciated.

The Rainbow Bridge

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24 October 2015 - 8:04 am
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Hi Grace, welcome. Thanks for considering this sweet pup, she’ll get a great home with you! I’m so glad you’re researching before adopting her, that’s awesome.

Giant breed pups can do great on three legs and do just about anything their counterparts can do, but within limits. It will be your job to make sure doesn’t overdo activity, that she gets the right kind of activity, that she doesn’t get fat, and that is able to receive appropriate pain management if and when necessary. Because of the toll that missing a leg takes on a giant breed dog, they are at greater risk for osteoarthritis, so managing this is part of being a Tripawd pawrent.

Yep, stairs are no problem as long as they have traction , carpet, etc. Do you have other dogs? If so, you’ll need to keep in mind that she won’t be able to keep up on longer walks with them (although a dog stroller is how most people deal with that situation, they’re a great tool and yes you can find them that big!). She won’t be able to do long hikes or that sort of thing — well, she will try, but it’s up to you not to let her because you want to protect  her joints and health. 

The right kind of activity, if you’re wondering, involves core-strengthening and balance games, which we discuss in the Tripawds Gear blog and our book, Loving Life On Three Legs . These types of fitness games are much more fun and appropriate than just long walks, which don’t do as much to help a Tripawd get strong. 

I encourage you to scroll through this forum, Size and Age Matters, to see what life on three legs as a giant breed dog is like. 

Thanks again for joining. Let us know if you adopt her and if you do, be sure to register as a member so your future posts won’t need approval.

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24 October 2015 - 9:45 am
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Oh yes, she can do stairs!  Murphy had his front leg removed due to cancer.  We don’t have stairs at our house, so it’s not a problem, but our groomer does.  So I have seen him go down and up, sometimes very quickly and sneakily, at her house.  The one time he ran down and she followed to get him settled, then he ran back up to me then back down again!  lol  He was just being feisty, which is normal for Murphy laughing


Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs


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