TRIPAWDS: Home to 15159 Members and 1683 Blogs.

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.

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:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!


Be More DogNEW! Be More Dog – Learning to Live in The Now

Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

Please consider registering
Forum Scope


Forum Options

Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
2.5 weeks post amputation... are we on track?
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
12 July 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
31 July 2019 - 11:10 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

My girl Maisy (11.5+ 85 pound lab-rot-american bulldog) is about 2.5 weeks post surgery (rear leg amputation). She had a really smooth recovery, but now we are hoping to gain strength and would like to see her getting around easier and more. She is having a little difficulty getting up and with stamina. She seems really stiff and somewhat uncomfortable when she moved, and I worry her remaining back leg might be hurting her (there was some indication that her knee might have minor injury before the amputation of the other leg with the tumor). Her gait seems off at times, like her back leg is tucked under too far.

She just took her first real spill on a slippery floor (there are a few spots we can’t put rugs because of doors, etc.). She didn’t seem to be hurt or that defeated after, but I hate to see that happen…

I also think she is having a little trouble figuring out pooping (thought squatting to pee she has mastered).

We finally got her a vest today (stitches came out Monday), so hoping she will get used to that and allow us to help her more. 

How do I gauge what is normal progression? 


Forum Posts: 18535
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
1 August 2019 - 9:57 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank for the update on Maisy.  Overall, sounds like she’s doing well, especially  for a bit of a “mature” gal.

It “generally” takes about two weeks-ish to recover from the surgery itself,  and about one month to work out all the mobility adjustments  to the new life on three.  I’m  going to assume she hasn overdone ot during these couple of weeks?  Rest, potty breaks and more resr? No jumping  or running? No stairs?

A couple of suggestions.  If at all possible, get her assessed  by a Certified  Rehabilitation  Specialist.   The Tripawd Foundation will even pay for the first visit up to $200 ( that generally covers it).  You will be amazed at how beneficial to Maisy that can be!  The Rehab Specialist  will show you exercises  to do to build her CORE strength  (tummy muscles, etc).  They will assess her gait and see what’s  going on with that knee.  It may be that she will need harness help with getting  up for a while.

As far as the spill on floors that can’t  be covered, a suggestion would be to get PAWZ (very inexpensive) for her to wear at least on that remaining back leg for traction .  They’re sort of like a rubber balloon.  You don’t  want to leave them on too long at a time though.

Another thing that comes to mind is to give her lots and lots of massage before and after getting up.  Go up and down her spine, her shoulder, her neck, etc. Does she show any tension  in any of these areas? It’s  very common for dogs to tweak their muscles  as they adjust  to their new gait.

Ask your Bet about putting her in Rimadyl (or something  comparable). Also ask about a low dose pain meds.  Dogs sometimes  need pain meds beyond the two week mark.

Do check out the Rehab option though.  

Keep us posted.


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!

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 26533
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1 August 2019 - 10:53 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Sally gave you excellent suggestions. Since every dog is different, an expert can evaluate her and let you know the best ways to aid in her strengthening process. And yep, the Tripawds Foundation may pay for your first rehab visit so you’ve got nothing to lose! We hope you’ll take advantage of the program.

Also, just take things slowly. There is no rush to get her back to her new normal, but again, an expert can help you know what steps to take to get her there. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

new hampshire
Forum Posts: 243
Member Since:
26 June 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1 August 2019 - 4:19 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi maisy and mom, i was just thinking about you guys! Thanks for the update! 

It sounds like over all maisy is doing well. Roane took a few weeks to get the hang of her new gate and build up the good leg. I imagine the extra strain on it and learning to hop made it a little sore. I second what Sally and Renee have said above, she might benifit from a little q&a with your vet or a rehab. Is maisy on any meds? Every dog is different but Low dose Rimadyl did wonders for our old girl. Sometimes taking the edge off helps them get the correct range of movement. The vest should be great for helping her up.

Hang in there seasoned girls are stubborn and with you cheering her on i know she will get there.

Hugs to you both!

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
8 August 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11 August 2019 - 6:53 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

In regards to the slippery floor I put yoga mats down for traction and if they do fall it’s softer than tile.  

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 26533
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11 August 2019 - 8:03 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

tabbyscat said
In regards to the slippery floor I put yoga mats down for traction and if they do fall it’s softer than tile.  


Thanks for joining us @tabbyscat! Please consider starting a new topic so we can follow along with your journey.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: benny55, lucythetri
Guest(s) 72
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1075
Members: 10532
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16084
Posts: 225081
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.