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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Greetings! My mixed puertorrican sato Anderson “Andy” Cooper is having a front left leg amputation tomorrow due to a soft tissue sarcoma. I live in a 2 story house and was wondering if for the first days/week I should carry him up and down the stairs to take him outside to release himself? I’ve been reading that they shouldn’t be tackling stairs so early, but I also have my doubts about carrying him around.
Hi and welcome! I’m in the Tripawds Chat for a bit if you want to talk. Meanwhile, tell us how big or small Andy is? If he is a miniature breed there is no reason why he can’t be carried, but I’m guessing he’s bigger than that?
You are correct, if you can minimize the stair activity that is ideal. Of course we know that not everyone can do that, so you gotta do what you gotta do.
It sounds like the only way for him to go to potty is by using the stairs? That was our situation too, with our 80-pound Jerry. We found that the Ruffwear Webmaster harness was extremely helpful during recovery. We used the top handle to help him outside to potty, three times a day, walking alongside him on his amputation side.
Since Andy is losing a front leg we recommend putting a t-shirt on him first, then the harness over that. This minimizes the risk of the harness straps rubbing the incision area.
Just take it slow and don’t let him do stairs by himself and he should be fine.
I hope this helps. Let us know! Good luck and keep us posted on surgery day!
Thanks for your prompt response!! Andy is 26 pounds so is feasible to carry him. I didn’t realize I will have to also help him to go potty, thanks for the advise.
This is really challenging!! So many things come to mind, I just don’t want to do anything that will hurt his recovery and getting him back to walk again.
Oh good to hear. Don’t worry, not all pups will want help when they actually potty. Some do, some don’t. Just play it by ear, you guys will be fine because you’re doing your homework. Ask any questions, we’re here to help.
18 October 2009
Hello and welcome.
Today is surgery day, I hope all goes well.
All dogs are different in their needs for help after amputation. My little Pug Maggie lost a back leg and never needed help getting around. Granted at first she would only hop a couple times then sit down, but she could balance when she was up. She didn’t need help going potty either- and since she hated anything around her chest or belly I doubt she would have pottied if I tried to help her.
The only thing with boy dogs and peeing is that the ones that have to lift their legs to pee are sometimes a bit confused since they can’t balance. For example my quad-Pug boy Obie will only pee if he lifts his right leg and stands on his left. When his left knee was surgically repaired he would not pee standing on his right leg an instead peed all over himself in his recovery kennel. Hopefully Andy is a bit more flexible in his routine!
Keep us posted on how Andy is doing today.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls