How To Care for Your Dog After a Limb Amputation

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As we carry on through history, we are finding ways to accept things that society may have hidden in earlier years. From inclusion in schools to more people adopting pets with disabilities, there seems to be a noticeable shift in tolerance and acceptance. Dogs that were once overlooked in shelters for a missing limb are now finding their “fur-ever” homes with families.

In addition to these pups, some of our four-legged canine companions at home are finding themselves with conditions that require a limb removal to improve their quality of life or simply save it. It can be difficult to comprehend what this means for your pup moving forward, but knowing how to care for your dog after a limb amputation will help you both get through it and learn how to live with your new normal.

Coping

In thinking about what life will be like for your dog with only three limbs, consider the alternative. Amputation is a drastic solution to an issue, so if you’re opting to go through with this procedure, it’s obviously for the best. Your dog’s quality of life doesn’t have to change dramatically following a limb removal. There are many ways of coping with your pet’s health diagnosis. For instance, your dog will need physical and emotional support to get through this time. However, after healing and learning new ways of doing old tricks, their quality of life should improve, and they should be back to their old ways.

Reasons

There are many reasons why your pup may need to have a limb amputated. Conditions that are life-threatening or are causing your dog to make more of an effort to maintain the limb should be evaluated. Some reasons that a limb amputation may be necessary include:

  • Irreparable trauma such as getting hit by a car.
  • Infection that will kill your dog if it spreads.
  • Paralysis in which dragging the limb is causing more effort and pain than removing it.
  • Severe or chronic pain that is unnecessarily wearing on your pup.
  • Cancer or a tumor that is weighing your dog down or could spread if not removed.

Limitations

Many dogs find a way to operate and carry on the way they once did fairly quickly after physical recovery. Tri-pawed animals live very fulfilling lives in which they are no longer suffering as they once did. Though the decision to amputate can be very difficult, consider how your dog will feel after. There is a lot of supportive equipment and even pet wheelchairs available for animals who have only two limbs or are finding it difficult to be mobile in their current state. Moving forward with this procedure could add years to your dog’s life.

Once you’ve decided that this option is right for your pup and family, you’ll need to know how to care for your dog after a limb amputation. In all fairness, post-surgery should bring you both relief as the hard part is now over. Recovery is never fun, but imagine a month down the road and get excited at the prospect of a new beginning for your dog and you.

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About Author

Kate Romeo is a writer living in the greater Chicagoland area with a passion for animals. When she's not writing you will likely find her trying out new recipes in the kitchen or cuddling on the sofa with her pets, likely watching a movie she's already seen 100 times.

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