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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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Is this part of normal recovery?
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Member Since:
20 December 2010
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26 December 2010 - 9:50 am
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My first post, but this site has been a lifesaver for us. Thank you all for sharing your experiences. Daisy is a 7 year old golden, six days post right rear amputation due to bone cancer. She's still taking Tramadol and Carpofen.She has been doing well, navigating the walkways of carpet we put down, doing her business outside, and beginning to regain an appetite. Last night she seemed to have a harder time getting comfortable--and there was twitching around the amputation site that I hadn't noticed before. This morning she doesn't want to get up and is less steady with her harness than she has been.  Are ups and downs in terms of strength normal? 

Mount Pleasant, Ia
Member Since:
27 October 2010
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26 December 2010 - 12:13 pm
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I cant speak out of any medical experience , but Cooper had several ups and downs the first 2 to 3 weeks after his surgeries. He would have a couple fo days of super ambition and strength and then drop back down for a couple of days. I had to keep reminding myself that he had just undergone a couple of super major surgeries. Hopefully those here with more experience can give a better answer , but I did see ups and downs with Cooper

Coopsdad/ Kenneth Blackburn

the monkeydogs only THINK they have invaded the tripawd state

Montgomery, NY
Member Since:
21 October 2010
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26 December 2010 - 12:20 pm
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I kept Champ pretty confined in a 4' x 4' pen during the first 2 weeks. The only time he came out was to go potty. He did a lot of sleeping. When he came out after, he got tired really easily. It's been 2 months and he's back to normal energy wise but we don't do anything strenous now anyway.

The one thing though, you have to figure that there's a lot more fatigue with 3 legs so the muscles will take some time to get accustomed to the extra work. I know when I was on crutches when I broke my foot, it was exhausting.

Be patient. As long as she has a good appetite I would be happy.

Member Since:
14 April 2010
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26 December 2010 - 12:47 pm
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Welcome to the family. When Gus came home he had a lot more ambition than I thought he would but I think once the drugs from the vet wore off he wasn't so lively. We had to take him off tramadol as he didn't get along with it but i would say about this same time he was fairly slow and really not himself. He had a front left amp but was extremely strong, so strength wasn't much of a problem but he did have ups and downs. Can't say much about the twitching but you have to remember there is alot of trauma in that area but if it is a real concern keep in touch with your vet, they usually want to know how the dogs are progressing. Gus had some trouble ith phantom pain , but if Daisy has that you will know it, they will yelp at the top of their lungs when it first hits and Gabapentin was a big help for that, which I THINK is a medication that helps with nerve pain. Paws up, Spirit Gus and Dan 

My buddy Gus had a left front amputation on April 7, 2010 and lived a great life until July 26,2010

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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26 December 2010 - 2:21 pm
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the recovery roller coaster Daisy is on, sounds pretty normal. Most dogs tend to overdo it at first, and by this time she's likely getting pretty sick of the pain meds. Once off the medication, she should return to her old self. Confinement is also key to a safe quick recovery.

The twitching is just mending nerves, but can often be accompanied by sudden yelps or crying out. For more information about this be sure to review the tips for managing phantom limb pain in dogs in the Tripawds Downloads blog .

You'll find a lot more tips in Jerry's Required Reading List, and for immediate answers to the most common dog amputation questions download the new Tripawds e-book Three Legs and A Spare.

Welcome and thanks for joining, please keep us posted on Daisy's progress.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

western Washington
Member Since:
7 June 2010
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26 December 2010 - 5:51 pm
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Yes, ups and downs normal with the healing process.

Please don't let Daisy remain on Tramadol much longer.  Vets don't seem to know that there is a withdrawl process with this drug and it can be nasty.

I'm also thinking that some of the nerves are waking up in her stump.


hang in there.



Kona turned 9yrs on April 16, 2010.
Kona was diagnosed Memorial Weekend 2010 with osteosarcoma.
Right rear leg amputated on June 4th. First chemo June 18th 2010
Second chemo July 9th, 2010      Third and final (yea !!!) chemo July 30th, 2010
ONE TOUGH GIRL this Australian Cattledog !

***Kona's journey/fight ended late in the evening of December 22, 2010***

                               We Love you so much Kona….always   

  Bella 9yrs, albino lab/aussie shep/pit?(abandoned in mts as a puppy) deaf & blind (from birth) in one eye limited vision in other.(laid back, ok lazy 73 lbs)

Cotton, 5yrs, albino hound/terrier of somesort/???(abandoned in mts as a puppy) deaf & blind in one eye(from birth), excellent vision in seeing eye. (ball addict…destroyer of Kong balls…yes,etc), high energy 55lbs knots of muscle)

Kona Kai's pup brother and sister as well as her buddy and playmate cat, Shaymous 12yrs (like Seamus), miss her terribly.

Member Since:
26 November 2008
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26 December 2010 - 6:11 pm
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Elizabeth and Daisy,

First, let me say how sorry we are to hear of Daisy's diagnosis, but you have found a great community filled with wonderful people who will share their collective experience, provide excellent guidance, and be there for needed support. The first two weeks are the worst and often refered to as two weeks from ####. There will be many ups and downs but it is the worst during these first two weeks. The medications can have strange effects upon our companions. Emily and Cherry's reaction to Tramadol was so bad that they both had to be taken off the medication. However, that is rare and more often than not, it is just the reaction to surgery. Many of our companions attempt to do too much at first - attempting to return to "normal" too quickly, only to over do it. This causes some of the downs that we so often refer to. Just keep Daisy as quiet as possible, provide her with bedding as good as you can, be patient, and always REMAIN AS POSITIVE AS POSSIBLE. Daisy will take her que from you (the leader of her pack) and if you carry on as every thing is well in hand and calm, then she will follow suit. From day to day, things might not constantly improve, but you should see some remarkable progress as you get past these terrible twos.

Sending Pawsitive Thoughts,

Spirit Cherry's Dad

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