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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Amputation Survey Results: Diagnoses, Breeds and Side Effects
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On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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26 May 2010 - 2:12 pm
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The Tripawds crew has been working hard summarizing all of the Amputation and Cancer Care Survey submissions that pawrents have completed so far.

As far as we know, the Amputation and Cancer Care Survey is the first of it's kind to ever address amputation and the Tripawd lifestyle.

We hope that pawrents will be able to see what others have experienced with their own Tripawds, and find the kind of  information they need to make smart decisions for their pup.

Eventually you can download the information as one spreadsheet to draw and share your own conclusions, but first here's some basic data for your review.

Meanwhile, please keep in mind that:

  • We aren't statisticians
  • This is a small, relatively unscientific sampling
  • Some questions were left blank within each survey

Tripawds Amputation and Cancer Care Survey Analysis Part 1:
Locations, Gender, Amputation Reasons and Surgery Side Effects

Where are All the Tripawds?

California Tripawds make up the majority of members, with 16 reponses from the Golden State. Texas and Colorado follow closely, and then the rest are thinly scattered in groups of 3 to 6 per state throughout North America. Overseas members from as far away as Portugal and New Zealand also responded but comprised less than 5 responses.

Reasons for Becoming a Tripawd

Survey responses show that the number of male Tripawds to females is evenly split. But, bone cancer has affected more female pups than males here; 41 females became Tripawds because of bone cancer, versus 32 males.

Most interesting of all, it seems that more male Tripawds are missing a leg because of accidents and abuse (10 total), versus only three females.


  • Cancer = 41
  • Accident = 3
  • Bacterial infection = 1


  • Cancer = 32
  • Accident = 9
  • Birth defect = 2
  • Bacterial infection = 2
  • Abuse = 1

Breeds Most Affected by Bone Cancer and Amputation

Most Tripawds members join the club because they've been diagnosed with bone cancer. According to the Veterinary Cancer Center of Santa Fe, each year over 8,000 dogs are diagnosed with bone cancer in the U.S., and most are large dogs. Our small survey sample backs this up.

Most Common Tripawd Breeds:

  • German Shepherd / German Shepherd Mixes = 10
  • Labrador / Labrador Mixes = 9
  • Golden Retriever = 8
  • Rottweiler = 7

Other Tripawd Breeds:

Alaskan Malamute = 1 (cancer)
All American=9 (4 cancer / 2 accident/injury / 1 birth defect / 1 unknown)
American Bulldog=2 (2 cancer)
Australian Kelpie Mix=1 (cancer)
Australian Shepherd=1 (accident)
Australian Shepherd Mix=1 (bacterial infection)
Belgian Sheepdog=1 (cancer)
Border Collie Cross=1 (cancer)
Boxer=1 (accident)
Boxer Husky Mix=1 (cancer)
Cane Corso=1 (cancer)
Chihuahua=1 (accident)
Deerhound=1 (cancer)
Doberman Mix=3 (3 cancer)
English Mastiff=1 (cancer)
English Shepherd=1 (cancer)
English Springer Spaniel=1 (bacterial infection)
Flat Coated Retriever=2 (2 cancer)
Flat Coated Retriever Mix w/Spaniel=1 (accident)
Great Dane=2 (cancer)
Great Pryenees Mix (Samoyed)=1 (bacterial infection)
Great Pyrenees Mix (Collie)=1 (cancer)
Greyhound=1 (cancer)
Jack Russell=1 (cancer)
Jindo=1 (accident)
Leonberger=1 (cancer)
Pitt Bull=2 (1 cancer / 1 bacterial infection)
Pitt Bull Mix=4 (cancer)
Rat Terrier=1 (accident)
Saint Bernard=1 (cancer)
Siberian Husky=3 (3 cancer)
Siberian Husky Mix w/Lab=1 (cancer)
Standard Poodle=1 (cancer)
Wheaten Terrier=1 (cancer)
Wolfdog=1 (cancer)

Common Post-Amputation Difficulties

While all dogs are different in how they respond to amputation surgery and recovery, the most common amputation surgery side effects are:

Bruising = 31
Emotional Distress=27
Appetite Loss=26
Mobility Problems=21
seroma / Swelling=19
Respiratory Problems=3

Three dogs were lucky enough to experience no symptoms at all!


We hope this has given you some good background information on the Tripawd journey. If you would like us to present the information in a different way, have questions or would like to add your feedback, please do in the Tips and Resources Forum Discussion we started for this post.

Stay tuned for our Downloads Blog post, where you'll be able to download the survey in its entirety.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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26 May 2010 - 2:48 pm
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jerry said:

This is a small, relatively unscientific sampling...


For the record, at the time of this analysis, 94 surveys have been submitted. If you have not already done so, please complete the survey now as we intend to regularly update this information with new findings.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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3 June 2010 - 4:17 pm
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Help us identify trends and discover findings in this extensive survey! A spreadsheet with raw survey results is now available for download. Please report your observations here.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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