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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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Member Since:
23 August 2021
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16 September 2021 - 9:52 am
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Hi -  I just adopted Luna a couple of weeks ago.  She's 7 years old and lost half a leg due to an accident when she was just a kitten, so she's grown up and comfortable moving around.   She was checked by a vet pre-adoption and found to be in great health.   For future medical care does anyone has a recommendation for pet insurance that won’t deny coverage due to her foot being amputated years ago?

Thank you.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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16 September 2021 - 10:39 am
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Hi Cory and Luna, welcome! Congratulations on adopting Luna and THANK YOU for adopting an older kitty! That's so wonderful! 

And bravo for looking at pet insurance!

You ask a great question about pet insurance, and we have answers! Here's a couple of links to start, then I'll share my thoughts about our own experience.

Choosing the Best Pet Insurance for Tripawds

Find Your Tripawd’s Best Pet Insurance Company

OK so when it came to our own dog Wyatt Ray , his insurance company, Trupanion, would not cover anything that was directly caused by being a Tripawd. For example, they wouldn't cover rehab therapy for his arthritic hip (he was a rear-leg amputee). I talk about it in the first link I sent you, to our podcast with Embrace and Dr. Kenney. So "Directly" is the key word. Something like an accident or illness that cannot be linked to an altered gait, would likely be covered. But chronic arthritis is a toss up. 

The BEST way to find out what and won't be covered is to request a Medical Record Review (again, discussed in that first link). What this is, after you enroll (yep, you have to take that chance and sign up first, usually), the insurance company's underwriting department will dig through your cat's file to find past medical treatments. Then they come back with a report and tell you what conditions will or will not be covered under their policy. 

Many insurance companies refuse to do medical record reviews because obviously they cost money. I would NOT work with them! Embrace does reviews at no charge, and I believe Trupanion is doing free Medical Record reviews now. I don't know who else is but you can ask around. Some people have told us that the typical customer service sales rep on the phone won't even know what a Medical Review is, so you have to dig deep. But it's the only way to know for sure. Otherwise, you will never be 100% sure something is covered, and you will waste valuable time having your cat insured with a company that may or may not pay up when you need it most. 

I hope this helps. Be sure to post your findings in our Pet Insurance Reviews Discussion here.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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27 January 2022 - 12:04 pm
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Just came across this great article from our pet insurance expert friend, Dr. Doug Kenney DVM:

Top 3 Pet Insurance Complaints From Consumers

Top 3 Complaints 

1) Claims being denied because of a pre-existing condition.

2) Premiums increasing dramatically since policy was bought.

3) Reimbursement delays after a claim is filed.

Based on the evolution of the pet insurance industry during the last decade, I could have easily predicted at least the first 2 complaints.

All is not lost, however, because there are steps you can take to avoid each of these situations even before purchasing your policy. It's always better to try and avoid problems rather than have to deal with them later.


Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
10 June 2023
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26 June 2023 - 7:36 pm
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Nicholas is a tall Newfoundland 144 pounds, who turned 8 in May. Nicholas's tumor appeared on Sunday May 28 and he had xrays at the vets, then two days of oncology evaluations and procedures CT scans etc at Oregon State University on June 6 and 7th, then an amputation by our skilled vet  on June15th. 

 I have had Healthy Paws insurance for him since puppyhood and never had to use it, for 8 years! I had increased it to 90% a couple of years ago. Healthy Paws has been just great, covered everything,  from OSU oncology CT scans to all vet amputation and medication costs. The only thing they don't cover is office visits, which are a minor part of this. They are very quick and clear. and their website is easy to use. Customer service is provided by real people not chats.  It was a great relief to make decisions on what we thought best for our dear Nicky not on finances. They also cover physical therapy so I'm thinking about swimming for him. Anyone with a giant dog should be thinking about insurance from early puppy days  days unless they are more disciplined about keeping a savings account than I am! We never really thought Nicky would need the insurance but I'm so glad I have it.

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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27 June 2023 - 9:32 am
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Suzanne thank you for sharing! I've heard great things about Healthy Paws, so glad to know it's coming through for you and Nicholas.

New England
Member Since:
11 January 2022
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27 June 2023 - 1:31 pm
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I have Healthy Paws and have been very happy with them as well!  I have only met my deductible once, but when I did they reimbursed me within 2 days of submitting a claim.

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