Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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24 April 2020
We are considering adopting a a tripawd puppy. He will be ready to leave momma in about 2 weeks. Our only concern is that our downstairs is all wood floors. We are hesitant to put runners or rugs down because our other dog does not have a good track record with carpet…loves going potty outside…unless there’s a rug in the house🤦♂️
wondering, if the pup was born with 3 legs…might it be easier for him to adapt to wood floors (they have texture and are not completely smooth)? What are you opinions/experiences?
25 April 2007
Hi and welcome! Thanks for thinking about adopting a Tripawd, that’s awesome. What kind of breed type is he?
Many Tripawds can walk on slippery floors, but it’s not the best idea. Imagine trying to ice skate around your home all afternoon–it’s just like that for a three-legged animal to get around on slick flooring.
If your home has slippery floors, covering them with traction is the kindest thing you can do adopting a Tripawd is in your future. You don’t need wall-to-wall carpeting, but at the very least put down rubber-backed throw rugs, carpet runners and stair traction . You can also use things like Dr. Buzby’s Toe Grips at times, but your best bet is to have floor traction available 24/7. These minor Tripawd traction mods ensure your pet doesn’t slip and pull a muscle.
As a young puppy, the little guy will actually have more challenges to adapt to wood floors because he hasn’t developed all of the necessary motor skills necessary for balance and proprioception (awareness of one’s body in space). Younger Tripawds need extra TLC when it comes to mobility, gait training, etc.
I know the floors don’t seem slippery to you, but think of how fur grows inbetween the toes on a dog’s paw: if you don’t trim it super short on a regular basis, that fur is like wearing socks, and socks on wood floors are slippery.
If you are wiling to work with a rehabilitation therapist as he grows (the Tripawds Foundation may pay for your pup’s first rehab visit !), then it’s possible that he could learn to walk on the floors. But honestly, in my opinion (and I’m not a rehab therapist so keep that in mind), I don’t think that asking him to get around on those floors without any traction for him is a great idea. He would likely be more prone to muscle strain from slipping and sliding, joint stress and injuries over time.
Did you ever figure out why your other dog likes to poop on the carpets? Did you have another dog at some point that marked territory inside the house? Have you tried putting new carpets down to see if your dog still marks?
I’m so sorry to be the Debbie Downer, but this is all based on what we’ve seen over the years since we started Tripawds. I would love to see you give this guy a great home so there’s got to be a way to add a no-slip path through your home for him. Let’s put our heads together and try to figure out how.