Post # 1
We are thinking about going from a one to a two dog family. We currently have a 18lb Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix named Toby. We have a soon to be 6 year old daughter and a soon to be 4 year old daughter. Our youngest daughter is an amputee, and I have been thinking about us possibly adopting a dog who is an amputee as well. It is really surprising how many 3 legged dogs are out there. Darling Husband is hesitant to do this because he is unsure about hip problems (we had a much loved Lab that had hip problems.
What do you think? Would our daughter benefit in any way from having an amputee companion or am I just asking for a bunch of issues with a dog that may have joint problems?
Post # 3
I’ve never had a dog with hip problems so I’m not really sure what kind of burden that is, but perhaps a dog with other special needs will help her too. I don’t think it needs to be an amputee for her to (as she gets older) relate to, and feel comforted by the fact that she’s not the only one with challenges.
Post # 4
@MrsSawyer: The problems with the hips is basically that the dog becomes very stiff and it is painful toward the end of their life. It was very hard for us as our previous dog became unable to do the things he loved. Very sad to see him go downhill.
Post # 5
Dogs with three legs need just as much love and a family- problems later in life or not.
I say go for it , assuming you have the time necessary and money for another doggy!
Post # 6
It’s a very thoughtful thing to do…for the dog and for your child. I think it’s a great idea!
My only advice would be to choose a smaller, lighter dog and don’t let it get overweight. A dog missing a hind leg would probably fare better than one missing a front leg. As it ages, you can buy it some wheels. I’ve known a couple people who have used these.
Post # 7
I don’t know about a dog with 3 legs but I lived with a cat that had 3 legs and she didn’t even seem to care that one was missing. Her owner told me she started with 4 and one day came home with 3. She had her for years and I don’t think there were any problems related to the missing leg. They also had a deaf dog (King Charles Spaniel) who was very friendly.
Post # 8
I think it’s a wonderful idea! To ease your worries maybe you and Darling Husband could go to your vet and talk about the pros and cons of adopting an amputee. I’m sure the vet will be well versed in the potential complications, but also in solutions to helping the dog live a long, pain-free life.
Post # 9
My friend has a dog with three legs and she is great. She is a smaller dog… maybe 30lbs so maybe that will help hip problems down the line? I feel so bad when you pet the side that she is missing her back leg on, she gets so happy b/c she can’t scratch it herself!
I think it would be nice for your daughter to have a pet she relates to. Like previous posters have said the three legged dog will have or not have hip problems later no matter who the owner is, but you could give him or her a really great quality of life prior to that.
Post # 10
Hip dysplasia is genetic, having 3 legs doesn’t increase risk of it, the dog either has it or it doesn’t from birth (though it may not be caught until much later, perhaps never, because depending on the severity it may never negatively effect the dog). Hip dysplasia is where the ball and socket joint of the hip doesn’t fit tightly.
I had a GSD that technically had hip dysplasia, but it was so mild it never affected her. However, you could see it on xrays, therefore she wasn’t fit for breeding or service dog work (she was in the process of service dog training when it was discovered).
Post # 11
What size dog are you looking at with 3 legs?
A lot of 3 legged dogs are 3 legs due to accidents, birth defects, etc. Hip dyplasia is more common in larger breeds (small dogs have knee issues though).
I’ve been through hip dyplasia, and the main issue is people not realizing it until the dog is old. It affects young dogs, and if you find it early enough, you can operate to help elevate the pain. Our 2 year old dog has bi-lateral HD and had surgery on his one leg already to remove the ball, basically making a free floating joint. Once his other hip is done (which will likely be in the next year), he should be able to get around and live a happy, healthy life.
I’d get a 3 legged dog, preferably a smaller breed, or one that is missing just a front leg. That way, if they do have hip issues, it’s easier to work with. They do FHOs (what my dog had) on 3 legged dogs. It’s harder on recovery, but they can do it.
Post # 12
I second (third?) the smaller dog idea, but in general I think it’s a wonderful thing to do! I do think both your daughter and the pup-to-be will benefit from having a companion…and keeping it smaller will be a huge help if there are hip problems so that you can help him or her outside in the event that they need it someday. Good luck!