What is a Tripod Dog?
A Tripod Dog is a dog with three legs.
- The loss of a leg/limb can be due to reasons like medical reasons eg: cancer; Accidents eg: leg trauma; or congenital deformities/birth defects.
I’m sharing with you guys our journey with Kobe; our 3 legged Mongrel a.k.a Singapore Special. He was found with his left hind leg severed below its knee; and a huge maggot wound behind his back. The cause of his injuries until today is unclear. Rescuers managed to get him to the vet, and it was determined after a specialist’s assessment that amputation of his hindlimb is essential to improve his quality of life.
However, Kobe recovered quickly from the surgery under the loving care of his foster parents. Shortly after, we took him in and adopted Kobe as part of our family. He has always been such a happy go lucky doggo!
As this is our first experience loving and caring for a 3-legged dog, there are of course many factors you must consider before adopting a pet that may or may not have any special requirements. We did our own research and was mentally prepared to take up a lifetime challenge/responsibility of providing to the best of our ability to ensure Kobe has an enriched life.
Through the months we had Kobe, like any other dog owners out there, we had our fair share of struggles, trials and errors. But through those tough times were lessons that taught us patience to understand the reasons for Kobe’s behaviours and actions. Through these experiences, these are some of the important highlights to take note of:
- Keep tripod doggo slim!
According to the Vet and Therapist; The most common health issue with a three legged pet is that they may develop arthritis earlier than other pets.
Because of his missing hind limb; weight bearing on both his front limbs, can result in increased muscle tension of his biceps and triceps.
Thats because more stress is placed on his remaining joints, hence, more wear and tear in the future. Therefore, it is very important to keep them healthy and slim, so as to not have any additional joint stresses from excess weight. A Balanced diet is the key!
Since maintaining a healthy weight is important, its important to strengthen the core muscles! Using balance discs is one good way of strengthening the stomach’s muscles.
However we should take extra care to not overdo any exercise or prolonged walking. It is important to look out for signs of fatigue – Kobe would suddenly sit halfway during his walks and that meant he had reached his limit for the day.
It is also important to avoid ACL injuries (anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) as it is one of the key ligaments that help stabilise the knee joints) on their remaining limbs!
It is highly recommended to consider consulting a Veterinary rehabilitation therapist for advise on how to protect and strengthen their remaining limbs!
EG: – RehabVet Centre
- Keep our dog’s paw pad clean!
Proper foot care is very important for a three legged dog.
They might develop cracked foot-pads because of the additional weight placed upon each paw. We apply Natural Dog Company Organic Paw Soother Healing Balm for Dogs on Kobe’s paw pad to help keep it moisturised!
We apply it every night before he sleeps after his night walk.
It helps if you shave off your pet’s excessive paw pad fur so that dirt does not get trapped in between their toes and they don’t slip as easy while walking or running around the house!
- Manage Slippery surfaces.
Ensure there are not too many slippery surfaces in the house.
If you have slippery surfaces like wood, tiles or marble, covering these surfaces with rugs or baby foam mats helps especially when they are busy happily running or playing! As 3 legged dogs have less balance, extra care is needed to prevent them from slipping, as they are more prone to injuries.
Lucky us, our floor is made of overlay Vinyl instead of regular tiles.
It would also benefit them by providing raised water/food bowls, to avoid prolonged neck bending while drinking or having their meal!
- Just let them be dogs!
We bring Kobe out on fun walks, swims on beach days and dog parks to allow him to socialise with other people and dog buddies!
Having a 3 legged dog does not stop them from their ability to engage in normal activities a dog would do. Kobe loves to have his daily zoomies around the house with his cat brothers & sisters. He excitedly jumps up and down the sofa whenever he is most happy about something.
Having lost his hind limb a such a young age, he has adapted the use of his remaining hind limb growing up. He behaves like any other normal happy dog would, and probably thinks other dogs are weird for having an extra hind limb.
We are the lucky ones to have Kobe in our lives 🙂
KOBE’S PAWRENTS. (Kendrick & Kimberly)