Life is full of curveballs for dogs and dog owners. Sometimes a furry friend has an accident or gets really sick or injured resulting in the loss of a limb. If this ever happens to your pet, keep your spirits up. A dog with three legs can still live an incredibly fun and fulfilling life. With a little love and care, you can make sure your tripod friend has a fun and fulfilling life. Read below to learn more.
A Quick Rundown On Three-Legged Friends
Every dog is unique. And, every three-legged dog is extra unique. Tripod dogs can bring a whole new level of optimism and inspiration to your life with their positivity and upbeat attitude. Some pooches with handi-abilities even go on to be award-winning dogs.
No matter the origin of your tripod or their condition – rescue shelter, birth defect, surgery survivor – they can have a resilience that inspires. Take some of these all-stars as a prime example of that enduring optimism.
Also, consider what the veterinarian, Dr. Jeff Werber, said about pet parents with three-legged pups. “For the most part, in dealing with three-legged pets, I have found that the only one who knows they have a missing limb is you.”1,2
Keep this in mind as you read further about a new or old three-legged dog in your life.
A Tough Choice For Any Animal Owner
No pet owner wants to see their pet in pain. So, choosing to remove a pet’s leg can feel cruel and hurtful. Fortunately, surgery can actually improve a dog’s quality of life if they have a limb that causes them pain or discomfort. In many cases, you can save a pet’s life by making the tough choice to remove a limb.3
Life After Surgery: The Silver Lining
Dogs are incredibly brave in the face of adversity. In fact, many dog owners find that their amputee pets resume walking and adapt to their new stance within a month of a procedure.4,5
Additionally, pet parents report feeling satisfied with their choice to proceed with surgery. Mainly because of their dog’s improved health and ability to get around on three legs afterwards.6
It’s never an easy choice, but there’s a good chance that your dog will surprise you with their adaptability in the face of this new challenge.
Life With A Three-Legged Friend
No matter what kind of three-legged friend you have, there’s lots you can do to make life easier for them. Check out a few of these tips for giving your three-legged pooch every advantage they deserve.
Post-Surgery Care – Take It Easy At First
Go slow in the beginning if you have a new tripod pup. This is a period of adjustment, and they need your support. You can do things like helping them stand by putting a towel under their tummy and lifting. Do whatever it takes to get them back up and moving around again. And be sure to ask your vet if you have any post-surgery care questions.7
Control Weight Gain
Obesity is a concern for any pet parent, but it’s of particular concern for tripod dogs. They have fewer limbs to distribute their weight on. So, additional pounds can become a serious burden and lead to the development of something called elbow hygroma. This is a swelling in a dog’s elbows that may make walking extra difficult.8
You can help avoid this by monitoring your dog’s weight. Stick to a healthy diet, and make sure your pup gets plenty of exercise to keep those pounds down.9
Make Your Home Tripod Friendly
Make adjustments around the house so that your otherly-abled dog can still access their favorite spots. This might include installing some ramps on or around stairs so that your dog doesn’t need to jump to get places.10
You can also give your pup an extra advantage by placing traction pads on slippery surfaces. This will give their paws a little extra grip and help prevent slipping or falling.11
A dog with three legs still wants to play with the best of them. Use this eagerness to build up their strength and balance with tripod friendly activities. You can take them for a swim or encourage them to do doggy push-ups. These kinds of exercise help your pooch stay strong and mobile on three legs.12
Your dog’s energy levels and eagerness to play may not always match their handi-abilities. It’s easier for a dog with three legs to lose their balance and take a tumble. That’s why it’s helpful to avoid things like slippery surfaces or uneven ground as they get their balance.
Don’t let your dog overdo it. You don’t want them to take a spill and lose their courage.13
Stay Positive And Upbeat
Dogs have an uncanny ability to sense our emotions and read our expressions. It’s part of the reason they make such great friends and pets. And, it’s a reason for you to stay positive with a dog that’s adjusting to living with three-legs. You can help keep their spirits up if you remain happy and playful.14
Dog Harnesses And Prosthetics
A dog harness allows you to support your dog by lifting them up slightly as they walk. This can be especially helpful for dogs with missing front limbs. Although, any pup that struggles on three legs might benefit from the help of a harness.15
Custom prosthetics are also available for dogs. This may be a good option for older dogs that are losing strength in some of their other limbs. It can be a great confidence-booster and give your pup a new lease on life.16 This German shepherd is a great example of how a prosthetic can improve a dog’s life.
The Power Of Three Paws
A three-legged dog is completely capable of living a full and happy life. They may need a little extra care from you for certain things like standing up or getting into the car. But, with a little perseverance and some extra loving support, you can have them out walking and playing like any other pup.
Dogs won’t let a missing limb stop them from having a good time. It might take some adjusting, but their optimism will help them overcome any challenge. And, at the end of the day, you may find that they’re the ones inspiring you with all that three paw positivity.