TRIPAWDS: Home to 16188 Members and 1777 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
Boomer will not eat anything
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Ottawa Canada
Forum Posts: 17
Member Since:
30 June 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20 July 2010 - 4:05 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Boomer seems to be going down hill in the past few days. I have tricked her into eating her food by using some cooked salmon or beef for the past 3 days but today she refused to be tricked and would not eat. She actually eat better in the first week after surgery than now. She is scheduled to get her stiches out tomorrow morning . I know it has only been 2 weeks since her Amputation but I don’t understand why she won’t eat anything, this is not at all like Boomer she is a Beagle( need I say more). Ruben my other Beagle is very distraught by what is going on with Boomer, he is her very very best friend and this is hard on him ,poor guy. Did anyone else expereince these eating problems 2 weeks post surgery and has anyone else experienced what the other dogs in the house went through as well ?


Boomer and Ruben’s Dad

Here and Now

Forum Posts: 12324
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20 July 2010 - 4:51 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Is Boomer still on pain meds? If so, her appetite should pick up when weaned off them.

Does she have a fever? This might indicate an infection.

There’s plenty of advice in these forums for stimulating appetite, and the following blog posts may be of help. Make sure Boomer is at least getting lots of water and please consult your vet if this persists.

Tripawds Nutrition Blog :

Get Your Dog Eating After Amputation Surgery

Ice Pups: A Cool Tasty Treat and Appetite Booster

Get Dogs Eating With Honest Kitchen Foods

Tripawds Discussion Forums:

“Stimulate Appetite” Search Results

She refuses to eat!


Scottsburg, IN
Forum Posts: 308
Member Since:
5 February 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20 July 2010 - 5:03 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

We had problems getting Roxy to eat.  Like Boomer, she seemed to do better directly after amputation than she did a few days later.  I know you are upset and worried about the lymph nodes, but Boomer is still with you.  Just be persistent in trying to get her to eat and drink.  And like Admin said, get in touch with the vet if she keeps it up.

Forum Posts: 930
Member Since:
26 November 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20 July 2010 - 5:11 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Boomer, Ruben, and Dad,

I am extremely sorry to hear that Boomer is having appetite difficulties, and I sincerely hope that my experience base can help you through this difficulty. Miss Cherry’s appetite started to deteriorate the second full day after surgery and by day four, she had absolutely no appetite. Her first chemotherapy treatment occurred just hours after the amputation – just after her body temperature warmed back up to “near normal”. Thus, we were actually lucky in that we knew the cause. It was not nausea, or vomiting, but rather the extreme chemical taste from the chemotherapy. We slept together in the guest bed for the first month after surgery, and I could taste the chemicals as I layed close to her at night.

For Cherry, this appetite loss continued through all the chemotherapy treatments, but about four weeks after the last treatment, she regained much of her appetite but it never did really return to normal. Because it was so severe, I was forced to stuff her for about 85% of her calorie intake during this time. I would not expect you to have to go to these extremes and I did have some success that I will share.

First, I too tricked Cherry into eating but with a totally different approach (that was discovered by accident.) Cherry loved to go on truck rides. It helped her spirit tremendously so we went out almost daily. She was so excited during these trips, that she actually ate some biscuits during these trips. These rides made her feel very good – so good that she actually did not mind eating. She regularly would drink vanillaflavored Soy Milk. I resorted to the Soy Milk because it does not sour in the stomach like cow’s milk. I was able to add a Wal-Mart generic version of Ensure to this milk to add protein and calories. However, if I added too much, she did not like the taste and would not take it. Cherry’s breeder sent some Science Diet Hypoallergenic Biscuits to try. This was just after she started to show some interest, but she loved these biscuits as did Magic when his appetite started to deteriorate. Both ordinary Saltine Crackers and Cheerios were taken at times during this period. The Crackers are very good at settling down an upset stomach. I would use a test tube wash bottle to give her chicken broth – also to help settle the stomach. There is also the cottage cheese as well as hard cheese, but both could cause nausea so I did not use them often. Finally, Cherry had many hard cooked eggs, which are an excellent sourse of protein.

These are just some of my methods, but none substitue for cooked chicken and rice. However, since this mixture did not work for us, I resorted to alternatives. Because of the chemotherapy, Cherry’s appetite never did return to normal for any length of time and we were always attempt to find what balanced food worked best. There were four types of kibbles, five canned foods, Natural Balance sausage tubes, seven types of biscuits, and much more to list. So, as you can see, we have many more offerings if necessary. But, unless there is more going on, I would use my favorite trick – offer some treat while they are enjoying something in their life.

Spirit Cherry’s Dad


PS: As so very often happens here, as one writes a reply, someone else is inputing excellent advice. This was the case above with Admin’s reply.

Forum Posts: 524
Member Since:
10 March 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20 July 2010 - 7:02 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

As Miss Cherry’s dad said, the hypoallergenic biscuits were a godsend and some days all Magic would eat….he also would eat different things for a day or two, long enough for me to stock up, then quit eating that.  For a long long time, chicken liver mixed with scrambled eggs and in the beginning a handful of Evo kibble was surefire…until he figured out that in the morning the liver had pills in it.  Tri tip was a staple toward the end and also those cooked chickens you get at the store…I would go get one and bring it home and tear off chunks of the hot meat….it would be cheaper to cook it yourself, but for me at the time this was the way I did it.  It is a real hit and miss affair some of the time!

He was also taking prednisone and I played with that dosage in an attempt to strike a balance between tweaking the appetite and making him pee too much (we had the leaking pee problem in the last month or so)

Good luck!

Wesley Chapel, FL
Forum Posts: 1104
Member Since:
13 September 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20 July 2010 - 7:19 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Well, when all else fails… I see that many other tripawds have tried McDonald’s hambergers and/or fries… It’s not really good for them… but it’s food and they need to get something into their stomachs… Let’s see… also peanut butter, cream cheese, hotdogs, grilled chicken… anything!

Is Boomer at least drinking? If she’s not, then she may be dehydrated… You may have to force her with a syringe, to drink some fluids… like water, or chicken broth. Is she still on pain meds? That might be causing her loss of appetite… Who knows. Many tripawds have struggled with their appetite after surgery and/or chemo…

I hope that the vet can give you some good advice when you go and get Boomer’s stiches out tomorrow… Good luck!!

Angel Jake and Wolfie’s Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… ….. CANCER SUCKS!

Los Angeles
Forum Posts: 842
Member Since:
2 November 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20 July 2010 - 8:26 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

You’ve gotten some great advice here.  I just wanted to add that Mackenzie had a loss of appetite for several days during her recovery. She literally would not eat. I was so worried about her.  What I discovered was that some days she would take a nibble if I hand fed her.  She refused to eat all of her favorite foods.  This went on for days.  I found the Natural Balance food rolls and those seemed to stimulate her appetite for a little bit.  It was a daily experiment changing up the food and the hand feeding seemed to help too.  I also tried putting a fish smell on her food (lfish oil capsule) that seemed to work but only temporarily.  Not eating is the worst during this recovery process because it makes you feel terrible when they don’t eat. But it’s good that she’ll be seeing the vet tomorrow and like everyone said, they can probably tell you if she has something else going on. 

Good luck tomorrow!

Kami (Mackenzie’s Mom)

My sweet golden Mackenzie.  She became my angel on Dec 29, 2010 at the age of 8 1/2  although she was always my angel from the time we brought her home.  She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in Sept 2009 and officially became a tripawd (front leg) on Nov 5, 2009.  She will be forever in my heart and now she's running free with all of our other tripawd heroes.  I love you Mackenzie!

20 July 2010 - 9:32 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

The accumulation of the drugs seemed to catch up with Ruthie after the first week and she started throwing up anything and everything if she tried to eat…so she stopped eating.  Things turned around immediately when she went off the antibiotics.  Hopefully when Boomer gets off the initial drugs, her system will start to recover and her stomach will settle.

Best of luck at the vet tomorrow!

Spirit Ruthie’s Mom


Las Vegas, Nevada
Forum Posts: 4344
Member Since:
14 August 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20 July 2010 - 10:25 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Boomer’s dad,

When you get the stitches out tomorrow make sure you see and talk to the vet.  I’m not sounding the alarm but you should find out if there is something else going on.  When companion dogs get antsy, I tend to worry.  But then again, I worry about everything!

Let us know.


Edited to add: Make a point to run her temp at the vet’s.  Maybe some bloodwork even? 

Have you checked her gums for color?

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Golden Girls
21 July 2010 - 7:05 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Skyler also didn’t want to eat anything, but it wasn’t until almost 3 months after surgery. We thought it was the side effects from chemo that were finally catching up with her. We took her to the vet and found out she had an ulcer. You definately want to ask the vet – since you’re going there anyway to get the stitches out.


Keep us posted, paws crossed and tags wagging!



Portage Lake, Maine
Forum Posts: 1019
Member Since:
8 December 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
21 July 2010 - 7:22 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

My Maggie stopped eating on her own 5 days post-op.  I had to hand feed her(often forcing the first piece) various items…fried eggs, kibble, dry treats, canned food, cooked chicken.  But never her normal food(she’s raw fed w/ Premixes)…she wouldn’t touch it.  Mostly fried eggs and some dry liver treats were the most consistent.  It was a very trying time.  She had a low grade fever for two weeks during this timeframe.  As soon as the fever broke, she went back to eating normally.

Good luck with your pup!  Stay strong as hard as it is…I know!

Tracy, maggie’s Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13


Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: jerry, lucysmom888
Guest(s) 60
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1103
Members: 11506
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16519
Posts: 232330
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.