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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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Scared and worried
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
18 December 2018
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18 December 2018 - 5:36 pm
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Hi, my first time doing something like this but don’t know what to do, my wee dog she is 12, mixed breed, jack russel terrier mixed, she weighs 8kg also got attacked by another dog and unfortunately has had to get her rear leg removed. 

She can’t move and if she does she cries, any time we have taken her outside for the bathroom it’s just utter heartbreak watching her.

I need some advice and someone to tell me if she is going to be okay. We’re all devastated as a family. I may not have done this the correct way but I just need help. 

If anyone could help I would be so happy.


The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 26207
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18 December 2018 - 6:36 pm
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Hi Korin and family, welcome. We are so sorry you had to join our club. What a terrible accident! But at least your dog survived and before you know it she will be on her own three paws and enjoying life again.

My first question to you is, when was the amputation? And what kind of pain medication is she taking? 

If she doesn’t have adequate pain medication that could be causing the symptoms you are describing. Have you talked to your vet about what’s happening? That is my first recommendation. Oftentimes animals need more pain medicine than they are given when they leave the hospital. It’s up to us to advocate for them. You can do it!

In the meantime, be sure to check out Jerry’s Required Reading List for some good articles that describe life on three legs. 

By the way, what is your dog’s name? And it sounds like you might be outside the United States? We have lots of members around the world so maybe there’s even on near you.

Hang in there!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 18246
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18 December 2018 - 7:34 pm
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Jist went to add mh support.  As soon as you can, reply to Jerry’s questions and then we can better help you, okay?

Did she come home with a Fentynal patch?

In addition  to dealing with recovering  from MAJOR surgery, her muscles are probably EXTREMELY  tight from the attack, especially if she was shaken and tossed around.

We’ll watch for your post.  Uou’ll get through this and so will she! Terriers are tough!!


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!

Livermore, CA

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18 December 2018 - 8:44 pm
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Hello and welcome.

I’m sorry to hear about your pup’s attack,  I’ve been owned by small dogs for years and that is always a fear.

I second what Jerry asked- how long since surgery and what pain meds is she on?

I’ve had two rear amp small dogs.  My first, Maggie, was a Pug who lost her left rear leg to mast cell cancer.  She was about the size of your girl, about 17.5 lbs, just under 8 kg. It took her a bit to get used to being on three but once she did she was her happy, stubborn self for almost 4 years.

Now I have a little Pug mix, Elly.  She lost her right rear leg after being hit by a car at 7 months old.  Elly is a little smaller than your girl, now 15.5 pounds or 7 kg.  Elly is just about 4 now and does just fine.

Did your girl have any other injuries from the attack?  From your description it sounds like she doesn’t have enough pain meds right now. Once you get the pain under control she should recover fine.  It usually takes two to three weeks for pups to get back to almost normal, then a little more time to build strength and endurance.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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