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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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Licking where limb used to be?
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Forum Posts: 53
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15 June 2012
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18 July 2012 - 10:23 pm
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Loa is lying on her dog bed, ardently licking the bed where her front right (amputated) leg would be. I saw her doing this earlier today too.


It doesn’t seem to bother her at all, but it kind of creeps me out 😉 Has anyone else seen this behavior in their dogs?



Columbia, MO
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19 July 2012 - 6:17 am
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Daisy did that for a while shortly after her amp.  I always kind of felt bad, like she was looking for her leg wondering where it went.  She eventually stopped doing it so I think Loa will eventually stop too.

Marla and Daisy

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

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19 July 2012 - 7:21 am
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That’s pretty normal. It can take a while for her nerves to recognize that the leg is gone. Ask any human amputees, they will tell you the same thing, it’s the “ghost limb” sensation. It’ll stop eventually. You can try these Phantom Limb Pain tips to help her feel better.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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19 July 2012 - 8:33 am
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Dakota has always been an anxious/OCD licker. It got worse when the leg went. He licks any and everything. The carpet is his favorite target. I say his name and he stops. But if I’m not with him, he will keep going forever. In fact, last night I walked through the living room (barefoot) and stepped on several places that were wet. It grossed me out.

I take Dakota for his first acupuncture eval and treatment tomorrow. I’m going to mention the OCD stuff and see if there are any suggestions. Of course, I’m hoping acupuncture fixes everything!


From abandoned puppy to Tripawd Warrior Dude, Dakota became one of the 2011 February Furballs due to STS. Our incredibly sweet friend lived with grace and dignity till he impulsively raced over the Bridge on 12-15-12.

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San Diego, CA
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19 July 2012 - 9:43 am
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Abby did that for a long time post-amp. The thing I said most often in the weeks following her amp was, “Abby, stop licking your nubbin.” It did finally stop!

Hope Loa continues to recover well!
Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

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19 July 2012 - 6:21 pm
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Thank you all! We are going to the dog park for the first time since her diagnosis tonight–so excited 🙂

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