The word Tripawd is a colloquialism that is rapidly becoming widely used to refer to animal amputees. The defines tripawd as: "(Noun) an animal who has had one leg removed".

The term may have been first coined by Jim Nelson of Eureka, CA in November 2006, when he registered the domain for a website dedicated to his dog Jerry who underwent amputation surgery of the front leg after being diagnosed with canine osteosarcoma. After searching for online resources about caring for a three-legged dog, he discovered common reference to canine amputees as "tripod" dogs.

The distinct spelling of tripawd is meant to be less derogatory and simply refers to the fact that a dog or cat with only three legs (or paws) is literally tri-pawed, or a tripawd.

Dogs are very resilient creatures. They adapt quite well, and quickly, to life on three legs. Tripawds can run, play, and even swim as well as most other four legged dogs. Some tripawds are born with only three legs due to certain birth defects. Others undergo amputation due to an accident, or various forms of cancer, including osteosarcoma.

Since dogs carry 60% of their weight on their front legs, tripawds with a missing front leg often have a more difficult time than those missing a rear leg. Regardless, a dog's hips will compensate for the extra load of a missing leg. This may cause problems with older dogs or those with Hip Dysplasia.

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