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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30 July 2008
My 9 yr. old lab, Gunner was diagnosed with OS the first of July and had his front leg amputated on July 24th. Yes, it took us some time to make the decision to amputate. Somebody directed me to your website while we were going through that process and I’m so glad that I checked it out. It helped us in making the decision.
After Gunner’s surgery my husband had some concerns about how Gunner was or was not progressing. He seemed so depressed and lethargic and wasn’t interested in his favorite toys. I figured this would be somewhat normal but my husband thought we did the wrong thing by amputating his leg. After reading several posts from other dog parents, you guys really helped out. Even though I read how well other dogs did 2 weeks after surgery, I kept thinking that Gunner may be different because he was always a little timid when it came to trying new things. I thought he would never figure out the stairs or run again. Boy was I wrong! He started going up the stairs by himself 10 days post-op and just started going down by himself the other day. He gets around so well on his 3 legs that I can barely keep up with him when he is off his leash. He seems so happy now and I’m thrilled to have my old Gunner back! Thank you all for the support you have given to a new tripawd parent!
26 July 2008
Thank you for the inspiration. Radar is 14 days post op now and not his old self yet. It will take a bit longer for him I know as he pulled a tendon in his rear leg and that is causing him pain. Hearing the stories of how dogs become their happy selves again really gives us hope.
Connie & Radar
25 April 2007
Linda, thank you so much for letting us know. That is so wonderful to hear about Gunner’s progress.
As you no doubt know by now, all dogs are different in their recovery times and coordination abilities right after surgery. Just like people, we all have our own capabilities.
The big thing we try to emphasize here to pawrents debating the amputation decision, is to never underestimate the determination and resiliency that we dogs have inside us. Yes, there are risks in a scary surgery like this, and some dogs may have underlying physical problems that amputation can complicate. But overall, the majority of Tripawds we’ve seen here have been able to bounce back and live happy, fun lives on three legs.
I think the reason that pawrents doubt their dogs’ ability to cope, is because humans, deep down, know that they would have a difficult time coping with amputation if they had to go through it. They project those feelings onto their dogs. But we dogs are SO much smarter than that! We live in the moment, we have no regrets about losing a leg, we go on with life, happy and playful, because that’s all that matters.
We thank you and your husband from the bottom of our hearts for not losing faith in Gunner, and for sharing your story here so that other pawrents will be inspired as well. Please keep us posted, and consider putting some photos/video up when you get a chance so we can see his progress.
Have a great day! Give Gunner a big hug from us.
2 February 2008
17 July 2008