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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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Need help! English Mastiff May Need Amputation
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Member Since:
28 May 2022
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28 May 2022 - 8:45 am
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Have a 5 year old English Mastiff (Louie). He had a accident, and ruptured his t3 disc . He has feeling in his hind left  leg. But he just drags it. This happened Wednesday morning. He is the most kind hearted dog. The neurologist has said to us that she thinks he will probably Never use that leg again. We are devastated! We want to help him in anyway we can. Please help us🙏

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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28 May 2022 - 12:31 pm
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Hi Louie and family, welcome. We are so sorry you are facing this situation. So it sounds like your vet is recommending amputation? 

Is he on any pain relief right now?  If so, what kind, how much, and how often?

It's a scary time, but since it only happened on Wednesday it's smart to give this time and seek help from a rehabilitation therapist before moving to amputation so soon. Rehab therapists tell us that when it comes to injuries like this, we should try to be patient for at least 3 months, while working closely with a rehab team before deciding on removing the affected leg. Has your vet or the neurologist recommended rehab therapy?

Your future posts won't need approval so post away.

Member Since:
28 May 2022
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28 May 2022 - 3:43 pm
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We are picking him up from the vet on Tuesday. We drove up to see him today! He was so happy to see us. The Vet is going to go over our options. The Vet also said that his pain in his bad leg is a 3. Saying the scale for pain is 1-15. He has a catheter in now, I'm alittle concerned about him being able to urinate on his own. Ty for touching base with us, it's alittle overwhelming. Just want the best for our Louie aka Big Diesel lol . Have no idea what pain meds he is on or how often. Assuming we will know all on Tuesday. Any ideas for getting our house ready for him would be truly appreciated. Again TY for the response 


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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28 May 2022 - 9:03 pm
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Ist catching up on sweet Louoe.  Looooove Emglish Mastiffs!

To clarify, he has not had amputation  yet, right?  You are asking how to prepare home for him as far as hacing that dragging leg?

Or, how to prepare your home for a tripawd after amputation?

I'm sure these past days have been a stressful time to say the least.  It sounds like Louie is handling  it like a Champ though. .He'll difue out how to pee of he needs to adapt  to three.

Look forward to your feedback.  Give that sweet Mastiff mug a big kiss for me!


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!

Member Since:
28 May 2022
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29 May 2022 - 6:27 am
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Louie does have all his limbs. Once he is home we will sign him up for rehab. He currently is not walking unless assisted. Which is fine, it’s only been less then a week. We have purchased a help themup harness, and boots. I may have overreacted posting on here so early, but thought these folks have been there. Just looking for ideas and support. It’s just a very stressful time. We pick him up Tuesday afternoon. Long road ahead but we will do what it takes to get him in a better there a good way to mobilize that bad leg for moving him around? Hopefully the Vet will answer all of our questions, just thought we would get ahead start on here . The Neurologist wanted to keep him for awhile to make sure we can manage him. He does have a catheter in, so that’s why I was asking about him relieving himself. Have not been told his pain meds or how often he is taking them. Ty for responding , ANY ideas are helpful 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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29 May 2022 - 2:27 pm
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Ah OK got it, so this is a maybe post. No problem by posting here, you didn't over-react. Many people join us in preparation for possible amputation and then happily do not need to amputate. We hope that is the same case for Louie too.

The biggest thing you can do is get no-slip rugs for your home if you have any slippery floors, or in the kitchen. Traction is so important for Tripawds, and for any senior dog or a dog with mobility impairments. 

The harness is a good idea. If he has never worn boots before this may be a tricky thing to introduce him to right now. I would hold off if he's never worn them. The no-slip rugs are a better idea, and more convenient as well as no-stress for you and him. Long-term, Dr. Buzby's Toe Grips are awesome to compliment the rugs in a home with slippery floors.

I don't know about the catheter situation, I'm sorry. Your vet can instruct you but chances are he won't go home until he can urinate on his own. You may want to ask your vet about how to manually express his bladder in case he won't go. Also see this article about how to help a new Tripawd urinate. The concepts are the same for a dog who is in a situation like Louie's.

Keep us posted! We are hoping for no amputation. And let us know if you'd like help finding a rehab therapy center. 

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