How do dogs adjust to an amputation?

Our question this week was:

I may have to remove my dog's rear leg due to cancer. How do they adjust to this? Can they get around easily?

Darlene Hess


Hi – thanks for your email Darlene. Amputation is a relatively common procedure in some dogs with cancer. To answer your question, most dogs with an amputation will learn to get around really well.

Some of this depends on which leg it is, the size and shape of your dog, and the health of the other limbs. For example, many dogs have an easier time with rear leg amputations than front leg amputations. They still adjust but their ability to get around is not quite as good but still pretty darn good.

Obese dogs have a more difficult time. Larger breeds can have a more difficult time. And dogs with arthritis in other legs can have a more difficult time.

We have the following articles about it: Limb Amputation in Dogs and What Is a Limb Amputation?

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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