Heya! This message reminds me about that puppy GIF:
“Some people might feel sorry for themselves in this situation
Puppy don’t care
Puppy’s got stuff to do
Puppy’s got places to be
Puppy’s got people to bark at and things to sniff.”
Anyway. In general, I’m always pleasantly surprised by how well amputee canines (or canines with injuries that prevent them from using certain limbs) can handle things!
If you google “amputated dog”, you’ll find a ton of examples of very happy, three or even two legged doggies that have no problem with being amputated (and neither do their dog friends - we humans could learn a lot from that).
But that is due to the medical care and technology we humans provide. In the wild, it’s a miracle - and often inpossible - if a wolf survives such a heavy injury like an amputation without medical care. It will most likely die of blood loss.
But assuming they miraculously do survive an amputation (most likely when the amputation wasn’t as severe as a complete leg, but more like just a paw); yes, amputee wolves are hindered and the surviving rates of amputated wolves are lower than physical healthy wolves, logically enough. For example, hunting will be a lot more difficult. Since wolves are very devoted to their family/pack, in most cases other pack members will look after the injured. But an amputee lone wolf will often have a much harder time when it comes to hunting for food.
I never heard of a wolf being brought into captiviy for being an amputee. I’m assuming that in most cases when people find/spot a “freshly” amputated wolf who’s still suffering injuries, they will capture it to take care of it, but that when people spot an amputee wolf that doesn’t suffer any current injuries due to his earlier amptutation, they’ll leave it be.
Also, have a look at this story of a pack of Mexican gray wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) called “Middle Fork Pack”, leaded by a tripawd female ánd a tripawd male! Both wolves their foreleg was so damaged by a cattle ranger’s steel leg-hold trap that they had to be amputated, but nevertheless they’re a very prolific and resilient pack.
Edit: willow-jessica-cosima just let me know that at Israeli Zoo, a three-legged wolf made her way to the head of the pack!
Edit 2: I forgot to talk about the most prevalent consequence of amputations; physical problems caused by amputations that develop at a later stage - blitzkriegloveshock wrote about that here.