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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: 2
Member Since:
22 October 2019
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23 October 2019 - 12:24 pm
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Hey all, 

I’m new here. So I have an 8 1/2  year old Malamute who is about 114 lbs. He has had chronic infections in one of his back feet for the past 6 months. The vet originally thought it was interdigital abscess, but now it’s looking like it could be cancer or something (some sort of growths). He was at the vet a week ago and the doctor said that amputating the leg might be the only option. I need advice on    whether or not a dog his size and age can handle only three legs. He generally doesn’t really use his affected foot much these days, but he does at times kinda tip-toe limp and uses it to balance himself quite often. He is more of shorter stocky dog and is not very agile but he still acts like a puppy. Help! 

Here and Now

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23 October 2019 - 12:30 pm
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midnightriver423 said
I need advice on whether or not a dog his size and age can handle only three legs…

Welcome and best wishes for your pup! What’s his name?

Search these forums and blogs, and you will find many success stories of much larger dogs Loving Life On Three Legs . Of course, every dog is different. Only you and your orthopedic surgeon can determine if he is a good candidate. There are many factors to consider, but the most important is your dog’s fitness and health other than the injured limb or pending diagnosis dependent upon biopsy results.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

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23 October 2019 - 12:36 pm
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Riot was just over 12 at amputation. We’re almost 5 months out now. He’s a GSD/Malamute mix. He was 112 pounds with his leg. He just finished chemo. He isn’t able to independently go up stairs, but we’re working on it.

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23 October 2019 - 7:17 pm
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Hi. My Brownie is a choc lab. He was 5 weeks before his 12th birthday when cancer took his leg. On his 2nd day home he was hopping on his own. He does everything he did on four, just in a different way. He is happy and inspires me everyday. He did go on a diet after surgery and he gets around much better. It took him about three weeks to get his personality back, but he did!  At first i was not going to amputate due to his age and the front leg. After watching videos of other dogs I knew Brownie could do it too. In three days it will be 8 months since he was diagnosed. I can’t help but think if we did not amputate he may not be here today…

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"


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23 October 2019 - 8:36 pm
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Sounds like your Malamute is already showing you he can handle being a tripawd jjust fine!  Malamute arr sich strong and determined  dogs, and those are traits that are good to have on the tripawd journey.

My Happy Hannah was a “fluffy” 8 1/2 yr old Bull Mastiff and she handled life on three like a champ!!  We’ve had Mastiffs, Great Danes, Newfies…all sorts of larger breed dogs master veing a tripawd snd living ,ife yo rhe fullest!  We say age is just a number around here.  We’be had many members 13, 14, 15 plus get through amputation to live a pain free lfe.

Question, have you had a second opinion  from an Orthopedic Surgeon? They are well versed in evaluating  dogs fot amputation. Additionally,  what kind of diagnostics  did your Vet do on the foot?  Also, you could maybe speak  with an Oncologist to help determine exactly what the issue is with the foot and what follow up treatment  plan they would recommend  if you proceed with amputation. 

Keep us posted and let us know how we can help further.


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!

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24 October 2019 - 8:27 am
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~Warrior ~

A post shared by Marie Kool (@midnightriver) on

Thanks for your insight and inspiration! We definitely have some things to check out before we make a decision. I wanted to get input from people who have made this decision to help me make decisions moving forward.

His name is Warrior.

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