Last updated Sep. 22 2019 | 2 min read
Amputation Of A Limb : Can Your Dog Live With A Prosthetic?
Is your dog facing the possibility of having one of his limbs amputated due to an accident or a disease? Such a surgery is not uncommon, especially when dog owners have pets that experience a terrible car accident or bone cancer, which typically calls for an amputation process. We call these amputated canines ‘tripods’ which is a lovable description known throughout dog lovers for these animals that have to live with three limbs.
Should You Get Your Dog A Prosthetic?
If you feel upset and confused about making such a big decision for your dog, do not be worried. It is quite understandable to feel at a loss when facing a decision that will clearly change your dog’s life forever. The good news is that he will be okay, the same as new, once the surgery is over.
The first thing you must decide on is whether to have your dog amputated at the leg, shoulder, or the hip. This of course depends on a few factors, such as the reason for the surgery or whether or not the dog will have a prosthetic limb mounted to replace the missing one.
If your dog has cancer which is cause for the amputation, it is typically best to remove the entire leg. However, if there is no medical reason for the surgery and you have a choice of leaving a stump, then this would be the ideal situation for a prosthetic. A stump will help the prosthetic to remain secured tightly.
Having a stump will make attaching the prosthetic replacement limb much easier. If the amputation is done below the knee, a prosthetic will allow your dog to have full function of the leg. The bottom of the stump must be healthy. The surgeon may even add a pad to the bottom or pull excess muscle from the bone to place at the end of the stump. This is for protection, as well as to further aid in the attachment of the prosthetic leg.
If your dog needs to have the leg completely amputated, as with many bone cancer cases, unfortunately there really is no proper way to have a prosthetic installed. And forced replacement would be extremely rigid and quite uncomfortable for your dog. The only option is to leave it alone and allow the animal to get used to life with three limbs, which all dogs can accomplish quite easily and without pain.