TRIPAWDS: Home to 16006 Members and 1767 Blogs.

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.

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!


Be More DogNEW! Be More Dog – Learning to Live in The Now

Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

Please consider registering
Forum Scope


Forum Options

Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
How long is recovery?
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 46
Member Since:
16 July 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6 August 2020 - 6:13 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Good morning.  Totem is 3-1/2 weeks out from surgery, and from all appearances is “back to normal” in that he is running around, playing with toys and shows no signs of pain or fatigue.  But, it has only been 3-1/2 weeks.  We have yet to leave him alone in the backyard–if we leave we crate him and never for more than an hour or so.  Before the amputation we would play fetch with him in a long ceramic tile hallway that is only partially covered with an area rug and he loved it.  We have not attempted that since the surgery.  

I’m trying to get an idea of how fragile he still is, how careful we need to be with him?   Should tripawds never run and scurry around on tile floors or do they recover their sense of sure footedness with time?  I do fear a sprain on any of his 3 legs.  Since he is only 4 months old how does that effect his recovery?  I suspect that recovery from the actual surgery is easier for a young dog, but gaining confidence and sure footedness may be slower.

I don’t think many in this group have had this experience with a puppy, but I’d be interested in your thoughts.


Forum Posts: 19514
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6 August 2020 - 10:38 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Totem is such a tripawd RockStar!  And you are wonderful  caregivers for him!

As far as being let out in the yard when you have to leave, he should be just fine.

Based on my experience  with Tripawds, they do gain  more sure footedness and confidence.  My tripawds have been adults and large (70lbs, 125 lbs).  I have relatively small living areas (hardwoods)and, with the exception of a nonslip scatter rug here and there, traction   has not been an issue for them.  But theirs is a very specific situation and not meant to be compared  to other dogs and their living enviornment..

Could you put another non slip rug down the tiled area?  Playing fetch sou ds like one of his greatest  Joy!     Maybe if you could place the one rug you have on the end of the hallway where he would catch up with the fetch toy… the place where he would slow down and turn around when he first catches the toy and heads back up the hallway.  Probably  not making any sense at all.

Overall though, your pup isn’t “fragile”.and, for the most part, can thoroughly  enjoy his puppy hood.  The jumping high up and landing  hard, sudden hard stops after running, need to be avoided when  possible.   

Just my 2 cents worth…


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: 27803
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6 August 2020 - 11:47 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I’m trying to get an idea of how fragile he still is, how careful we need to be with him?   Should tripawds never run and scurry around on tile floors or do they recover their sense of sure footedness with time?  I do fear a sprain on any of his 3 legs. 

Each dog is so unique in this journey. I can tell you that we were super careful with Jerry and wouldn’t let him do any kind of typical dog play until he was at least 2 months out of surgery. But he was eight at the time. Wyatt Ray was eight months when he lost his leg and his bounce-back was totally different. 

The best way to assess is to get Totem to a canine rehabilitation therapist. I know we’re like broken records about that, but it’s only because while we can share our experience with our own Tripawds, yours is a unique little guy and a therapist can get a hands-on feel to tell you where he is at in recovery and how to help him avoid future physical injuries.

For now, yes, he can do fun puppy things, but within reason. Shorten the play sessions, require time-out breaks, and just monitor so that he’s not constantly bouncing off the walls and putting himself at risk. Dogs will go and go and go until they collapse, that’s not what you want to have happen. Watch him carefully but allow him to be Totem, and make that rehab appointment so you can learn more about his needs.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: Stacy, leslye, sigurd08
Guest(s) 93
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1098
Members: 11340
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16453
Posts: 231323
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.