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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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Car safety and seatbelts for Tripawds
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Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
27 January 2010
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27 January 2010 - 3:34 pm
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Hi, everyone, I’m new to this forum, but very happy to have found it!

My first question (which is what led me here) is about keeping my dog safe when in the car. His amputation was of the left front leg, and I have struggled to find some way to restrain him in the car. I’ve tried a number of seatbelt harnesses, but because of his not having a front left leg, they twist around his body. I worry that their twisting will lead to injury, and I’ve been searching for some option that can fit him properly and work as a seatbelt device. Does anyone have any ideas? I don’t know which is more dangerous, having him loose in the car or having him restrained by a seatbelt harness that twists around his torso.

Thank you so much for any help or suggestions!
Lindsay and Dannan (the Tripawd)

Here and Now


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27 January 2010 - 4:29 pm
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Welcome and thanks for joining Lindsay! We're sorry to hear about Dannan. You'll have to start another topic or a new blog to share his story with the Tripawds community.

How big is Dannan? Do you have room in your vehicle for a crate? Crating him in the car would be the best option. You might also find that the Ruff Wear harness is very helpful for assisting Dannon in and out of the vehicle, as well as up and down stairs. You could then try passing the seat belt through the harness handle. Though I agree it may be better to just leave him loose so he doesn't get tangled up and panic, if you can't use a crate.

Portage Lake, Maine
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27 January 2010 - 4:52 pm
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I use Roadie seatbelt harnesses BUT have yet to use it on Maggie since she’s had amputation(rear leg). To be honest, I fear it will pull her off balance when she stands up, so I have just been leaving her untied. That said though, I could hook her so she couldn’t stand up, now that I think of it……But I like to hook them so it’s long enough they can stand.

Don’t know what this post is worth anything but maybe it’ll help in some way!? 😉

Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

dixiedog
4
28 January 2010 - 12:11 pm
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When our dog Dixie had 4 legs, we had a jeep and I insisted that she wear a seatbelt harness. But she has since grown out of it, lost a leg and we got rid of the Jeep so she just chills in the back seat of my VW Beetle.

I've considered getting one of these so she doesn't fall down into the foot well, and so it will protect my leather.

Travel Dog Car Hammock

That might be a good solution for tripawds!

Here and Now


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28 January 2010 - 12:35 pm
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dixiedog said: I've considered getting one of these …

Travel Dog Car Hammock


Thanks for the idea and FetchDog link! Here are detail pages for two similar back seat hammocks they carry.

[Image Can Not Be Found]Velvet Voyager Back Seat Dog Hammock From: FetchDog.com

[Image Can Not Be Found]Travel Dog Car Hammock From: FetchDog.com

Oakland, CA
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28 January 2010 - 10:07 pm
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We have a hammock (not this same one but similar) for the back seat of the Tripawdmobile. It helps to keep hair and dirt off the seat and keeps the dogs from falling in between the seats but would do nothing for the dogs safety in the event of a crash.

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Regulator of the Oaktown Pack, Sheriff of the Oaktown Pawsse, Founding member and President of the Tripawd Girldogs With 2 Names ROCK Club, and ... Tripawd Girldog Extraordinaire!

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Las Vegas, Nevada
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29 January 2010 - 12:36 pm
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Welcome Lindsay and Dannan!

Great topic!  My vote is no restraints.

Heck, growing up my parents didn't make us wear seatbelts and they cooped us up in a car with the two of them smoking Kool cigarettes, drinking glass bottle Coca-Colas while eating Slim Jims!  

Talk about a deadly combination!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 January 2010 - 1:17 pm
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cometdog said:
Heck, growing up my parents didn't make us wear seatbelts and they cooped us up in a car with the two of them smoking Kool cigarettes, drinking glass bottle Coca-Colas while eating Slim Jims!  

Talk about a deadly combination!


Hah, and don't forget the quick-draw backhand swats too! 😉

What we do like about restraints is, in an accident a dog can get really freaked out and it is very useful to know that the restraint will allow you to grab onto them and clip their leash on when you open the door. When we were in an accident once, I was in the back of our pickup truck (with a camper shell). When we stopped getting tossed around, my pawrents had to get out and open the back of the truck and I nearly bolted out into the street. It was pretty scary. They wished that I had been tied down to something at the time.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 3
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10 February 2010 - 2:11 pm
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Thanks, everyone, for your replies and ideas! Dannan is about 28 lbs, and he’s never been crate trained. I did buy him a crate last week, but we haven’t started getting him used to it yet. We’ll work on it in the house with lots of good treats and an open door for quite a while before we transfer it to the car.

I’ve looked at the RuffWear harness, too. I love the idea of having a harness that works for a front-leg amputee. Maybe the makers of it can help me out with my question about whether the harness twists around the torso.

This is such a great site – I haven’t fully explored it yet, but already I’ve found lots of great stuff! And lots of great wisdom and support, too! 🙂

Here and Now


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10 February 2010 - 3:27 pm
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dannan said:

…Maybe the makers of it can help me out with my question about whether the harness twists around the torso.


Ruff Wear makes the Web Master harness. It was originally designed for search and rescue dogs. While it is not specifically for tripawds, we found it to be a huge help for assisting Jerry after he lost his front left leg. Yes, it does have a tendency to sometimes slip around the chest on front leg amputees. As we mention in the harness FAQs on our order page, however, this is purely aesthetic since it remains perfectly functional and can be easily adjusted.

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