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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: 1
Member Since:
26 July 2012
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26 July 2012 - 7:10 pm
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I am so happy to have found this site. I live in Australia and we adopted a little Jack Russell from the Animal Welfare League. She was rescued from a bad home at 5 months with a badly damaged right back leg. The owner had not sought treatment and it had healed in a terrible position and Tess was just dragging it around.


They took the decision to amputate and on the day that she came up for adoption, we got her! She is an absolute joy, bouncy as a tigger and just so happy she could burst. You cannot help but smile when she is around and she is so loved by  my 2 boys (even the grumpy hubby admits she is a great addition to the family). laughing


She is 14 months now and well settled into our family life (in fact, she is the boss and goes wherever she wants, whenever she wants). At the moment there is no stopping her, she runs upstairs, jumps on our beds, hops from lounge chair to lounge chair, even gets onto the outside dining table to hunt for leftovers when we leave the table!


I know that the day will come though when that little back leg with start to show wear and tear and that is why I want to be prepared and know all the options available to us. 


Her back leg is actually slightly bowed out and she walks on the outside of her paw slightly. The vet said that its likely that her growth plates have grown slightly misaligned because she was young when the amputation happened. He says there is nothing that can be done about it. I asked him if there were options if her only back leg became injured or unusable and he said that there were “wheels” that could be considered. On this site there are wheelchairs for 3 legged dogs but does anybody know what the options are if a dog has no back legs at all?  Only asking so I am prepared, I hope that its many years until I seriously have to consider this :)



Sydney, Australia
Forum Posts: 628
Member Since:
13 September 2011
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26 July 2012 - 8:04 pm
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Hi Ren, it sounds like Tess has found herself a wonderful home.

I’d recommend seeing an animal physio to see what can be done to help Tess protect her 3 legs.  They can help with exercises to help strengthen the right muscles and relieve muscle strain etc.  If you are in Sydney these guys, would be worth seeing.   Their staff consist of a PhD small animal physio and a vet-physio double-degree holder.  If you aren’t in Sydney then I’m sure other capital cities would have some sort of animal physio.  I’m not so sure about outside the capitals though.


It’s good that you are thinking ahead.  It’s always comforting to have a plan B!


Karen and Spirit Magnum

Magnum: 30th May 2002 to 5th May 2012. Lost her back left leg to osteosarcoma on 5th Sep 2011. Lung mets found on 20th Mar 2012 but it was bone mets in the hip that ended her brave battle. Magnum's motto - "Dream as if you'll live for ever, live as if you'll die today" (James Dean). Loyal, loving, courageous and spirited to the end. My beloved heart dog, see her memoirs from Rainbow Bridge ......

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