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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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Bella 5 month old amputated front left leg
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Forum Posts: 1
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28 November 2020
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28 November 2020 - 2:08 pm
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My 5 month old Bella french bulldog has had to have her front left leg amputated on Thursday due to falling down the stairs absolutely heart breaking for myself and family but I feel it was the right choice.

On Thursday after bringing her home she seemed pretty normal hoping around as she could get the food being scraped into the bin from dinner. Friday day time again in high spirits didn’t expect her to be so playful and hoping around like she did and then Friday night started to go down hill up most of the night with her breathing the only way I can describe it is chesty/ asthma.

Saturday morning( this morning) had to get her up breathing really bad barley ate anything spoke to vets took her to them the nurse said chest sounded clear so it must be coming from the top of the throat but she had a slight temperature so prescribed her antibiotics this afternoon she has not moved, eaten or drunk I’ve had to syringe water into her mouth she has been bringing up clear mucus and has eaten this evening as she smelt the fish and chip so offered her chicken and she ate the lot.

Just so worried about her I don’t know what to do or if this is normal 

The Rainbow Bridge

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28 November 2020 - 2:20 pm
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Hi Bella and Victoria, welcome. We are so sorry you guys had to join our club but hope we can help you feel better.

Did the vet say anything why the throat sounds could be happening? Some dogs develop a slight, temporary noise after being intubated during surgery. For brachycephalic dogs I believe the risk of that happening is even higher, but don’t quote me on it.

It’s a really good sign that she’s eating! Is she on pain killers? I hope so! If so, which ones, how much and how often?

Many Tripawds do slow down after coming home and being bouncy. It’s typical for that to happen, since after a few days the heavy duty surgery meds are out of their system and they’re completely relying on oral pain management . Plus, it’s very exhausting to learn how to get around on three legs and it takes a couple days for their brain catches up with their body.

But, she should still have good pain medication. Some dogs who don’t get enough will give clear pain signals , like being withdrawn and not eating. Or, that can mean they’re getting too much medication. It’s a bit of a dance but by staying in contact with your vet you can work out a dosage schedule that will keep her comfortable. The most important thing, along with making sure her meds are adequate, is to stay ahead of the pain and not fall behind schedule. Otherwise it’s super hard to bring it back under control.

I hope this helps! Stay tuned for feedback from others and keep us posted.

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29 November 2020 - 8:01 pm
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Can only say DITTO to Jerry’s advice AND questions.  So we’ll wait for your update, okay?

Just a remember that she should only be having  SHORT leashed potty breaks and then back to bef for rest.  If you have hardwood floors you’ll need  scatter rugs for traction .   It’s  very easy for  a dog to strain a muscle this early on  during recovery. 

We would loooove to see pics of this precious  pup!  Here’s a link to help.  adding images .

We are here for you and look forward to your reply.


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!

Livermore, CA

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30 November 2020 - 7:34 pm
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Hello and welcome.

I don’t have anything to add to Jerry’s post- it does sound like her pain regimen might need some tweaking.

My current Tripawd is a little Pug mix, she lost a back leg after being hit by a car when she was 7 months old.  Elly is almost 6 now and she can do most anything a dog her size and age can do.

Hopefully you’ve talked to your vet by now and Bella is more comfortable.  The first two weeks should be rest, rest, rest which can be difficult with a youngster! 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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