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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Dragging foot after amputation
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Member Since:
13 October 2017
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13 October 2017 - 5:07 pm
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Hello Everyone,

Hoping to find some advice about our pup Cody. He is a nine year old Sheppard Boxer mix, 65 lbs. He just had his rear left leg amputated on Monday. We are still unsure of his exact diagnosis. He had a wound that would not heal for months. Initial biopsy came back negative, so it might have just been persistent infection. He was using the leg right up until amputation. It has been over four days now since the surgery and he has had consistent improvement. The first day he was at the vet so we could not observe him. The second day, once he was home, he did not want to move at all. Yesterday he started standing on his own to drink and eat. Today he is wanting to stand a lot and move around a little. Our concern is that he is that he is dragging his back leg and curling his foot under and putting weight on the top of his foot. We're concerned that he'll hurt his one good back leg and that will be a disaster. Are there any tips anyone has for helping him learn to flip his foot around?  We have mostly hardwood floors, but got some carpet runners to help. We try to help him while we are home, but will have to leave him most of the day Monday when we go to work and don't want him to drag around and hurt himself then.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  This is much harder than we thought it would be!


On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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13 October 2017 - 5:57 pm
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cody9 said
Are there any tips anyone has for helping...

Yes! Please consider seeing a certified rehab vet/tech for a professional evaluation, recommended treatment plan, and exercises you can do at home – specifically for Cody. Vist a CCRT or CCRP and the Tripawds Foundation will even pay for your first consultation from the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab.

Loving Life On Three Legs is also filled with professional tips, articles, podcasts and how-to videos for exercises, core conditioning, massage, stretching and more.

Best wishes, please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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13 October 2017 - 11:07 pm
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Hello and welcome.

In my experience knuckling a foot is a sign of neurological issue- maybe a back issue.  It is not a common 'side effect' from amputation.

Did Cody knuckle his feet before surgery at all?  Has he fallen since the surgery?  What is his activity level like?  At this point in recovery he should be resting most of the time.  Our surgeon told us that only short, leashed, potty breaks were allowed for the first two weeks after surgery.

Have you talked with your vet?  In my opinion you need to find the reason for the knuckling, it's not a learned behavior.

My quad pug Tani had a brain injury (from birth we think) and knuckled her feet to some extent.  I used to massage her feet and flex her joints.  The idea is that it helped the brain reconnect with the feet.  I don't know if it helped, but it certainly did not hurt.

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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