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.
JUMP TO FORUMS ↓
Join The Tripawds Community
Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:
What does it mean to Be More Dog?
Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.
I am a new tripod owner, having adopted a 2-3 year old redbone coonhound, Wilson, from an animal rescue. Wilson lost his front leg due to (we think) a car accident or trauma of some sort. He gets around great most of the time-- but this weekend we noticed that the pad on his paw (the large one) is peeling away and bleeding slightly. We cleaned it, bandaged it with Neosporin and put a kids sock on it. However, he seems to be in a lot of pain and he is hardly wanting to walk at all at this point. I've been hauling him around with his harness and a wagon 🙁
We are taking Wilson to the vet this afternoon, but I am also curious as to what other tripod owners' experience with this has been. Is this pretty common? Once we get his pad heeled up, what should we be doing to prevent this? We ordered RuffWear booties on Amazon... For those who use these, do you put them on every time you go on a walk? Or just under certain conditions? Also, we take Wilson for 2-3 short (5 min. or so), slow walks a day, but maybe even this is too much for him? He does enjoy the walks as long as he has plenty of breaks, but it seems like this may be causing too much wear and tear to his foot. Sad to think about cutting out exercise... but maybe its necessary.
Since we are new to this, I am curious to hear other owners' experiences and suggestions with this! We had been watching his nails carefully, but I guess we need to pay more attention to his paw pads as well.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts/advice!
Welcome and best wishes for Wilson! You future forum posts will not require moderation. Paw pad damage has been reported by many members here over the years, but we wouldn't call it "pretty common". The issue tends to present itself due to the change in a dog's gait and stance. A certified CCRT or CCRP can recommend various conditioning and strengthening exercises to rebuild strength and ensure proper balance...walks do not build strength, only endurance. In the meantime, moderation and confinement are in order until that pad is healed.
Wyatt only wears his Grip Trex boots boots under certain conditions–in rough desert terrain for instance.
Don't miss these Tripawds gear blog posts with details about how you can use PAWz dog booties to help heal injured pads:
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!
18 October 2009
Hello and welcome!
Wilson is a lucky pup to have found you.
How long ago was his amp surgery? How long have you had him?
I'm on my second rear amp small Tripawd. My first, TriPug Maggie, lost her rear leg to cancer. She would never allow anything on her feet! I was lucky that she never really had many problems. She did develop a sore between her pad and toe on her back foot twice. We never definitively found a cause and since it wasn't chronic I don't think it was due to her gait. She hopped along for almost 4 years.
My current Pug mix, Elly, lost her back leg to a car accident when she was 7 months old. She is now about 3.5 years old and has not had issues with her feet. We do walk almost every day and there is some sidewalk time but I try to limit the hard surfaces. Elly will also not allow anything on her feet at this point.
The reason I asked about the surgery date and how long you have had Wilson is that I adopted Elly 2.5 months post amp so she was healed from the surgery but was not at all strong. When I first started walking her with my other Pug I had her in the stroller a lot. We also started core strengthening and balance exercises which we do routinely now. Another great way to burn energy and work on strength and balance are food puzzles and games. I also work with Elly on obedience and trick training and we have been learning the sport of Nose Work for the last year.
Elly was 10 months old when I got her and full of puppy energy so mixing these activities into our daily routine was critical to keep her busy, happy and challenged without overtaxing her body.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
21 May 2016
Hi Anna and Wilson 🌺🐾
My girl Eurydice had to wear booties because of her gait after surgery but we only wore those when we were out walking on “difficult” ground.
I don’t think wearing booties at all times is a good option but it might be a good option on uneven terrain every time you go out for a walk.
My girl felt so comfortable she would give me her paws to get the booties on every time we were in the forest and before getting out of the car.
Wearing booties should give Wilson the time to heal his paw as he will not be having an impact from hopping directly on it.
As for the duration of your walks, that is what I did with my girl, short 2-3 times a day walks just for peeing/pooping during recovery.
Exercise will definitely increase as your baby recovers, you will be surprised at how fast he can run once recovery is over 🐾🐾🐾💨💨💨💨
Sending you hugs and cuddles 😘😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹
Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-)
Thanks to you both!
Wilson had his amputation before I adopted him last October, but I think he was at least a year out at that time as he spent at least 9 months in foster care and the amputation was never part of that vet record (poor guy had a rough first few years and some health issues to overcome, probably due to neglect, on top of his missing leg).
The vet today did not seem overly concerned... she did prescribe antibiotics, but mostly, he'll just need to take it easy until it heals.
It is helpful to know what others are doing for walks-- Once he is healed up, it sounds like continuing short walks, but trying to keep them on the grass or wearing booties as needed may be the ticket...
The good news is... Wilson's current state did win him some extra pets and treats at the vet's office, which made him a happy boy! I also learned that he is down almost ten pounds since we adopted him and is now at a more ideal weight for a tripod, so I was happy to hear that!