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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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Member Since:
27 July 2020
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27 July 2020 - 5:57 pm
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Hi, so i am currently freaking out and crying all of the time. 

My dog started limping several weeks ago, the vet wanted to see if it was just an injury and give her time to rest. Several weeks later, they took an x-ray and it was cancer. She had the leg amputated last Monday (front right leg), so exactly one week ago. Since she was limping for weeks, her recovery was going SO well. She instantly was able to hop around and Saturday she was running and being herself. Yesterday (Sunday, day 5), all of a sudden she started to woggle and then couldn't walk on her hind Legs. I read some forums yesterday about a crash day, and was hoping that's what it was. She was really only on tramadol. 

Today at the vet, he suspects she turned wrong and now has a slipped disc in her lower back that is making her unable to walk. 

She went feom being a rock star, to only have one leg now. We are treating is conservatively, gabapentin, metacam, fish oil, still tramadrol and she received a glucosamine shot Today and many days of bed rest.

Any suggeafions, and feedback or experience ?  I'm praying she comes back from this and that it's just a setback, Bc spine surgery on a 3 legged dog, isn't going to be good. I've also already spent 3 months salary on bills already, the amputation alone was 4600.  

Bless anyone that has anything to help or try. 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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27 July 2020 - 7:00 pm
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Hi there and welcome. I'm so sorry I missed you in the Tripawds Chat earlier. You'll generally find us there in the mornings and early afternoons, Pacific time. But you can always hang out to see if someone shows up, they sometimes do!

What is your dog's name? How old? What kind of cancer? And what was her activity level like on Sunday when she went lame? Sorry, I know I've got a lot of questions. It's just the more we know the more we can help.

I'm so glad you went to see your vet and they're working on treating this. I wouldn't be so quick to jump to a slipped disc. We see this happen a LOT with new Tripawds and usually the injury is a soft tissue injury that heals with time and rest.

Fill us in and share more details. Stay strong and pawsitive, you and your girl can do this!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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27 July 2020 - 7:34 pm
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Hello and welcome.

I'm sorry you are dealing with cancer and sorry you have hit this set back.

My questions- can she move her back legs when she is laying down?  Is she knuckling her back feet? 

It is not unusual for new Tripawds to tweak legs, backs or necks, especially so soon after surgery.  They are moving in new ways and using muscles differently. If she was running around on Saturday just 4 days after surgery she could easily have pulled a muscle.  Usually parents are told to keep their new Tripawds quiet for the first two weeks post surgery so your girl could have over done activity.

Another question- what are your floors like? If they are slippery you should get some throw rugs or yoga mats.  Tripawds need traction to keep their feet underneath them. 

Hopefully you will see some improvement soon with rest and meds.  Keep us posted on her progress.

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

Member Since:
27 July 2020
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27 July 2020 - 9:45 pm
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Her name is Luca, she is about 8.5 years old, we rescued her at 2-2.5 years old. Really her only activity was that she had to had to go out multiple times during the night, so maybe she over did it having to support herself multiple times.  We are still waiting for the results of the biopsy, but they believed it was Osteosacroma and to see if it spread, please god hopefully it didn't. 

I welcome the questions, so no worries, anything that can potentially lead to me helping her. Thank you for responding. 

I'm going to do some heat compresses with some essential oils. 

Also, during her surgery we went out and bought runners for all of the floors that were not rugs. 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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28 July 2020 - 12:36 pm
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I hope she is feeling better today. How is she?

Thanks for sharing more info about Luca. It sounds like you are doing everything right. Stay strong and remember this is not uncommon, many other people have had to nurse their new Tripawd from an injury early on in the recovery process. One week is not a long time after surgery, though I know it seems like forever.

Tramadol isn't the best pain reliever so if you don't see progress this week, you may want to ask your vet about prescribing Methocarbomol, a muscle relaxer. It seems to be underutilized in the vet world, but our vet at Colorado State University really likes it for certain muscle strain situations in our Wyatt Ray (he's had many over the years). It's helped him tremendously.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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