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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Not sure if this is the right forum but our golden Duke is 11.5 now, right rear amputee since 2 (car accident) and does really well on our runner-laden wood floors. I’ve been considering rebuilding our wood deck with composite material and wondering if anyone has any experience with composite decking being more slippery and harder for tripawds to navigate? We could put down outdoor runners to help Duke but I don’t want to create a situation where he feels less unsure and comfortable outside.
Wow Duke is almost a lifelong Tripawd! How is his mobility otherwise? His avatar photo is so cute!
So yeah we used to have a place with composite decking and although Wyatt Ray could navigate “OK” it would get a bit slippery when he had zoomies or ran out to chase a rabbit or pesky critter. I didn’t like seeing him “ice skating” so we tried a few ideas on him like these traction socks. Which irritated him.
Ultimately though, the best thing for him was to make it so that we didn’t need to mess with his feet before going outside. Trimming the fur between his toes, keeping his nails short and doing our best not to let him bolt out the door helped. An outdoor runner would have been nice but we didn’t live there long enough to install one. I think that is a GREAT idea, especially for a mature guy like Duke.
Let us know what you decide to do, we would love to see photos.
I built a deck out of Trex at my old house after my Pug Maggie had her rear amp. It was covered with an awning for the most part so didn’t really get too wet. Mag was fine on the deck but she wouldn’t go up or down the two steps unless her non-skid mats were there. And I built the steps for her- short, wide steps. She made it to 11 and never really had mobility issues. However her younger quad-Pug sister Tani had life long mobility challenges due to a brain injury. When Tani got to be around 14 her legs really were getting weak and she had some issues slipping on the deck. I put down an outdoor carpet trail to keep her upright.
Here is Mag on the deck on her mat- you can see how shallow the steps were.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
Awwwww… beautiful picture of Maggie!!
We redid our decking with the Trex a couple of years ago and we love it. When it gets wet, it gets slick, but so did our wooden deck and the wood was not nearly as comfortable to sit or lay on. Composite has held up much better than the wood, and I don’t have to worry about any of us getting splinters as it ages. Bo is a quad, but he does not slide around on it like he does with our floors inside. When it rains, if the surface gets wet, I think you would have similar issues regardless of if it is wood or composite.
You could always get the indoor/outdoor rug and fit it to the areas that you like for extra traction . When the weather is nice I bring a bed out with me and put it in the shade on the deck.
We redid our living room with a laminate floor before we had a tripawd. THAT is a nightmare. I ended up getting throw rugs and runners for the downstairs. I would never do it again. It is beautiful, but it is not pet friendly. Mitch slid, Bo slid, and all the kitties do the same if I don’t have proper traction .
Hope this helps.
Jackie and Huck
Sorry for the late response but Duke went through cancer surgery to remove a portion of his tongue and that’s taken a few weeks of my full attention. Good news is they got all clear margins and he is cancer free.
Thanks so much everyone for responding. Duke is my heart doggie and I will do anything to make sure he is comfortable and confident around the house – inside and outside. I’m researching composite decking as there seems to be a 100 brands and will hopefully have our wood deck rebuilt by the end of May. We also plan to get a runner from the sliding door to the deck stairs as well as a large area rug for him to walk on. I will update on progress.
Do your research well, ok? On a totally different note that isn’t pet related, some composite just got better reviews on holding up better and stain resistance.
Check reviews and durability. I passed one up that was more expensive because it stained and cleaning was a bear.
On to more important things… Tongue surgery?! OMD what a time 🤯 Glad you got clear margins, whew!
I hope things calm down for you now. Please give Duke extra belly scratches ❤️
Jackie and Huckleberry ❤️
Woah what a pupdate! I’m so glad that Duke is on the mend! And good job to you for catching that oral cancer so early.
We can’t wait to see the pawgress you make on this project. Good luck!
Duke had a dental cleaning in mid March and his dentist found a small 4mm bump on his tongue. She said it looked like an injury from biting his tongue but the safest way to know is biopsy the mass. Everyone, including the pathologist, was shocked when it turned out to be fibrosarcoma. Luckily it was very tiny, low grade and had zero mitotic figures (no activity). His skull, lungs and lymph nodes were check for spread and there was none. So we decided to have the surgery in order to get clear margins, which his oncologist felt would be curative. At first the plan was to do a hemiglossectomy, which means removing up to half of his tongue. That would have meant that Duke would have to re-learn eating and drinking. Fortunately, when they got him on the operating table and measured the area several times via CT scan it was determined that they could confidently get clear margins by removing a piece the size of a half dollar. His recovery was great and he is now back to completely normal. Histopathology came back with clean margins so they consider him cancer free. Yippeee!!!!
Paws120, do you know where I can find the composite reviews? I assume replacing existing decking with composite isn’t cheap and we don’t want to make a mistake.
No, it’s not cheap. We got lucky and got a close out like sale at Lowe’s. I searched tons of reviews from Lowe’s and Home Depot from verified purchases. My husband and I installed it ourselves. Lot of work but well worth it. I got tired of splintering old wood, loose boards, and staining/sealing which never got us too far. This gets pressure washed a couple times a year and that’s it. Plus it’s much nicer on the feet 😊
Wow I LOVE your vet team! 3-paws up for not waiting to biopsy and taking action, bravo!!! I’m so glad he’s cancer-free. What a crazy place to get a tumor. Yikes!
Glad the vet found the mass so early and that removing is curative!
On the composite deck- one thing to consider is that the composite type decking needs more support underneath since the boards are more flexible than something like redwood. So depending on how much of your deck you are planning on replacing you might need to build or reinforce the underside.
When we built the trex deck at my old house my dad and I did the work so we saved some $. Now you have me thinking about the deck where I live now (I’m back in the house I grew up in). It’s painted redwood and needs to be stripped and repainted. My dad and I actually built it more than 20 years ago. It would save time long term to replace the deck boards…
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
Just want to add how happy I am to hear how well Duke is doing. WOW! What an ordeal!
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!
Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!
Our deck was 15ish years old. Ripping it up was a bear!! We had a whole framing of 2×4 to support the bottom and we reframed what was bad. It was a BIG job but framework under the decking is a must.
It probably cost a little more than 1400.00 to put a new deck up 10 x 24, with 16 in. centers. There is no”give” no matter where you are after 2 years now.
We don’t plan on moving any time soon so this was an investment. I had already blew cash on Restore which was a total sham. We spend a lot of time in the yard so for us this was a good investment and saved us hours of annual labor and stain/sealer.
I hope this helps you some. It was a big project!
Jackie and Huck ❤️