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Dealing with Crippled dogs: is there hope or not?

Updated on May 3, 2009

The decision of keeping a crippled dog alive or not depends upon various factors. These factors mostly encompass the extent of the injury or condition, the over all well being of the dog and last but not least, the owner's financial situation. These factors are what basically make the difference between sparing a dog from daily pain and suffering or allowing him/her to live a decent life even though crippled.

Dogs are amazing animals. They are strong willed and many are admirable fighters. There are many wonderful stories of dogs surviving even the most unbelievable injuries and conditions. Many make it through leaving veterinarians and owners baffled as they learn an important life lesson: that who has a will has power.

A dog without a leg can live a pretty decent life. Many seem not to be bothered by it all as they hop three legged as if life continues normally day after day. But then, you see that dog that has lost two legs and is still living life at its fullest and you realize how incredible and unpredictable life is after all.

Most dogs therefore, appear to be very reluctant to give up life especially when they have besides them caring, supportive owners. Whether the dog is missing a leg or has a  sustained serious nerve injury making it difficult to get around, it is ultimately all about quality of life. This is something that only owners can assess as they know their dog best and can recognize signs of going on with life or giving up life all together.

Generally, dogs suffering excessively from their crippled bodies, will show lack of interest in life. They may lack that tail wag or they may have lost that special spark in their eyes. They may not be interested in food or they may no longer show enthusiasm upon seeing their owner and being pet. They become a shadow of  what they were and may ultimately give up on life.

However, this may be just a phase. Some dogs may take time to adjust to their new situation. They may be going through a transient phase of adjustment. Usually, in this scenario, the dog show signs of getting a little better day by day. Whereas, in hopeless cases, the dog gets worse by the day. They will show more and more discouraging signs leaving a smaller space for hope as days go by.

Finances, unfortunately can make a big difference between bringing back a crippled dog to life or struggling for help. There are many modern enhancements for dogs with little mobility nowadays. There are sophisticated surgical procedures that may reconstruct dogs as it would never be imagined before, and nowadays, dogs may be even placed on wheel chairs and live happy like an almost  normal dog again. Of course, such surgeries and such equipment come with quite a price tag. 

There may however still be hope for owners struggling with finances. There are several financial institutions that are out there to lend a helping hand to owners and dogs in need.  Here is a list of such financial institutions : Financial institutions for dogs in need of surgery.

While the future of a crippled dog may be bright, unfortunatey, there are those situations with a grim prognosis. These dogs haveunfortunately been crippled in such a way that life remains sour each and every day. Vets have no solutions other than putting the dog at peace and helping him/her transition to a pain free world. Euthanasia in this case, is the most gentle thing to do as heart wrenching as it be.

As seen, indeed the decision of keeping a crippled dog alive depends on several factors. However, it is ultimately up to the dog to tell its owners how he/she feels about the whole being crippled ordeal. Chances are high, that he or she will look forward to living day after day at its fullest often leaving owners wondering if the dog has even ever realized it actually has a disability!


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    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      7 years ago

      I am happy to hear you enjoyed it, this was one of my first hubs here, and I can tell the quality was poor compared to my more modern hubs, but it looks like you got the spiritual message I was trying to portray. I wish your daughter's boxer gets to enjoy some more good days.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Dapples 

      7 years ago from Arizona now

      I enjoyed this hub because it's hopeful in nature and it's comprehensive. I'm going to send it to my daughter who is trying to decide whether the time has come or not for her and the family to part with their beloved three-legged boxer. He's having quite a time these days and can't walk more than a block without having to drag himself. He does okay if he's on medication for pain, but that's not good for him to be on too long. He can't understand why he has to be left home when the family is going hiking. Voting up, awesome and sharing.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I recently adopted a dog that was hit by a car and left unattended. The little guy was rescued and needed a home. I have had him almost two months now, and other than the way he gets around he is the most amazing animal! He plays and makes messes and chews things just like any other dog. My aunt and uncle built him a cart and he loves to go outside, ride in the car and cuddle. I know he is a 10 pound dog with no use of his hind quarters, but he sure doesn't seem to notice.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My dog has three legs. Long story. We found her hit by a car with her leg hanging and we got it amputated and decided to keep her. so anyways shes oregnant i think. and she runs faster than all my dogs. shes lovley and i don't think she even notices that her leg is missing. :)


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