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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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Amputation today, some questions...
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23 October 2008 - 5:03 pm
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Hello all.  I was glad to find this site last night while trying to decide on a course of action for Dax, my 2.5 year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever who snapped his leg yesterday due to an Osteo tumor.  I decided to have the amputation done and start chemo as soon as we can.  He should be back home tomorrow or Saturday.  I’ve already ordered some paw wax (all hardwood) and the harness from here (though I know not to use it until the stiches come out).

Luckily I work from home so being with him while he recovers is not an issue.  I was wondering, however, how long I could be away from him if I needed to run to the store or something.  I’ll put gates up by the steps so he doesn’t even try but can I assume he’ll be knocked out for 60-90 minutes at a time and get stuff done?  I have a crate but he hasn’t used it in years so I don’t know how he’d do in there.

Anyone who can speak on experience on this I’d love to hear from.


The Rainbow Bridge

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24 October 2008 - 7:09 pm
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My people worked from home when I had my surgery so I was a lucky dog too! Don’t worry too much about leaving Dax alone … just watch him closely for the first couple days. Unless you notice him licking or scratching – I did niether – he should be fine on his own for hours at a time.

Just leave some water close to his bed and gate off any stairs.

Thanks for the update!

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24 October 2008 - 9:05 pm
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   I’m not sure if your dog is a front or rear amputee. However I would seriously suggest getting some runners. My entire house is hardwood and Buster would not be able to get around with out them. I’m thinking of ordering the paw wax for our trips to the vet, since he did slip on the way out last time & that concerns me. They do carry most of their weight in the front. Have a speedy recovery…


Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

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27 October 2008 - 12:24 am
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Hi Tony,

Hope Dax is home and doing well in his recovery!  Keep us updated!  I agree with Kim about the runners being very helpful- our barefloored house is now crossed with them, and they make life much easier- pretty cheap at Home Depot or the like.

We’ve found this site to be a great resource, particularly in the early post operative anxiety days (actually, that’s pretty much where we’ve been so far, so I’m sure it will be helpful in many other ways afterwards as well)- so don’t hesitate to write again with any further questions!

Christine & Sophie

29 October 2008 - 4:02 pm
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Thanks all.  Dax is back home and doing pretty well.  I think his appetite is actually more than it was prior to the surgery, which is odd, but I’ll take it.

The first few days were fine but yesterday he started giving short little yelps out of nowhere and then kind of jumping up into a sitting position, shaking a bit.  It scares the crap out of me every time.  Most of the time he’s just lying down, not putting pressure on anything but his belly and he’ll shift his weight and "bam".  I suspect it’s either phantom pain or when he shifts he’s pulling an interior or exterior stich, but I’ve been watching and smelling the incision like a hawk and all looks fine.  At this point I don’t think it’s worth taking him back to the hospital (talked to the vet over the phone as well), but I did up his pain meds w/ vet approval.

Just wondering if any of you guys had similar things happen?  If so, how long did it last?

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