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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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Need help with Ruffwear Webmaster Harness - rear leg amputee
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denisem
1
20 August 2011 - 1:41 pm
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I bought the Ruffwear Webmaster Harness through tripods.com based on the positive reviews and the recommendations that it would help with a dog with a rear leg amputated.  I waited anxiously all week for the harness to arrive.  It came today (Saturday) and I fitted it as best I could on my 73 pound Golden Retriever who is missing her right rear leg and getting weaker in the left rear leg.  With the front fittings fully extended, the grab strap sits in the middle of her back, which is of no help to me in lifting her rear. 

I'm sure this is just a fitting issue of some type.  I need to adjust it so that the grab strap is further down her back.  The Ruffwear customer support line won't be back in service until late Monday morning.  Can anyone advise me on how to adjust this for a rear leg amputee?

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 August 2011 - 6:22 pm
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Hi Denise,

Who's "tripods.com"?

hee hee. We're "tripawds.com." 😉

Ok, so it does sound like the harness is indeed fitting the way it's supposed to; the handle is supposed to be in the middle of the dog's back. And while the Webmaster does what it's supposed to do with all Tripawds, as far as helping them get up off the ground, in and out of cars, etc., it does not give pawrents the ability to lift the dog directly from the hips. I'm sorry if it's not meeting all of your expectations, we will try to make this more clear in our product description. If you find that the Webmaster doesn't do anything you need it to do, you can write to us for a return request.

Unfortunately we still haven't found the perfect hip support harness for rear-legged Tripawds, and we have looked everywhere. The problem is because if a Tripawd is missing a rear leg, the hip support harnesses that are out there don't stay on....there is no leg to keep the loops in place. And even when a Tripawd like our Wyatt has a stump, there's still not enough leg to keep leg loops in place.

Now, the bigger question is, why is your dog's remaining rear leg going weak? Are you doing core-strengthening exercises together, and working on flexibility? Also, if she is at all overweight, this will impact her ability to gain strength in that leg. How long has she been an amputee?

We'll try to help any way we can OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Leicester, NY
Forum Posts: 215
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20 August 2011 - 8:15 pm
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My Dal is also a rear leg amputee. She cant get up on her own but when I lift her up with her ruffwear I carry/support her like a suitcaserasberry and she "helps" propel herself along with her remaining rear leg.  I think you have it adjusted correctly but you do have to lift from the torso not the rear. I have ordered every possible sling, harness etc and the ruffwear is the only thing that we can use. Everything else slips off her butt due to the missing leg. Perhaps a belly sling might help? We found that for Daisy, the belly slings are not as stable as the ruffwear...that is when we lift her up she tends to spin because her center of gravity(heavier part of the dog)  is toward the front and the sling is lifting the lighter end (missing leg) behind the center of gravity.

Daisy earned her wings on Oct 22, 2011 at 14 years old

She is now the official greeter at the rainbow bridge

Everyone is guaranteed a welcome sniff and Dalmatian smile

denisem
4
20 August 2011 - 8:21 pm
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Sorry about the misspelling of Tripawds.  My girl is in the latter stages of disseminated histiocytic sarcoma.  Mastinib gave her a good eight months, but eventually the side effects of that (and a similar drug we tried briefly) made her miserable.  Her oncologist and I made the decision to choose quality of life over quantity and stopped the cancer suppressing drugs.   We are way past the point of core strengthening exercises .

I am so disappointed.  I was pinning so much hope on this harness helping me with her.   The very first FAQ regarding the Ruff Wear Web Master at this site claims it works with rear leg amputees.   That’s contrary to my experience.  Even if her left rear leg were stronger, this harness would not have helped me help her move around.

This paragraph should be added to the FAQ on the the harness:   Unfortunately we still haven't found the perfect hip support harness for rear-legged Tripawds, and we have looked everywhere. The problem is because if a Tripawd is missing a rear leg, the hip support harnesses that are out there don't stay on….there is no leg to keep the loops in place. And even when a Tripawd like our Wyatt has a stump, there's still not enough leg to keep leg loops in place.

The Rainbow Bridge



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21 August 2011 - 9:15 am
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Denise,

I am sorry, truly. We will definitely update the FAQ today. When we created that question, we put it there because our demo dawg, Jerry was a front-leg amputee and so people often wondered if it worked with a rear leg amputee. Our answer is still  "yes" because it still works as an assistive device, just not with the ability to lift by the hips.

Did you see the Pet Support Suit ""Get a Grip" Harness? Again, there aren't any hip loops but it works very well for less mobile dogs.

I also have this Walkabout harness that I was going to put in the angel exchange. If you would like to try it, let me know and I can mail it to you. We attempted to use it on our Wyatt (rear legger) to see if we wanted to carry it here, but again, without a second rear leg, it didn't work very well on him so we're not going to carry these. But it's worth a shot if you want it. It's free, just pass it along to another Tripawd in need some day (or send it back to us). Let me know OK? I can't send it this week but can send it in a couple of weeks when I am back home.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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littlemanjake
6
21 August 2011 - 10:33 am
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I'm not a fan of the Ruff Wear harness for rear amputees or any dog needing rear support either. It's a great concept, but you have to be strong enough and tall enough to make it work, even for an assist. My dog wouldn't wear it anyway, but it would have been difficult for me.

I found the Walkabout harness not the best for female dogs, even with two rear legs, but you can count on it getting in the way of elimination for a Tripawd. The fabric is a bit slippery and has a little give. I bought one before Isabelle was a Tripawd to help her up the stairs because of her arthritis... It was more trouble than carrying her. Its been passed around several times since then, but everyone keeps giving it back to me.

I don't use a harness and don't really have any suggestions. I know it's really hard with a 70lb dog. I hope you find something that works.

SoCal
Forum Posts: 49
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10 July 2010
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21 August 2011 - 1:17 pm
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Hi, Denise (and everybody)

Today marks 6 months since my sweet Boomie died.  I have come back to have a peek at the Tripawds site out of wistful nostalgia, but seeing this post, I just have to comment.

Denise, Boomie was a right rear amputee, and he got a lot of good use out of his Help em Up harness.   I have had it offered on the Tripawds Angel Exchange for several weeks with no takers.  Please take a look at it, and feel free to contact me with any questions.  I could have it in the mail to you tomorrow...

Cindy and Boomie

Boomie's leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma on May 15, 2008.  He enjoyed over two and a half years of life after that, one day at a time.  He died on Feb. 21, 2011.

Washington
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21 August 2011 - 1:57 pm
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Rio is a rear-leg amputee as well, and we used the Webmaster for a while. The mid-body lift point wasn't really much help getting the rear end lifted and since she's not that heavy, it was easier for me to just pick her up. I find it easier (now that her amp-site has healed) to just lift her hiney for her when she needs the help.

A friend of mine gave me an Outward Hound Up & Out sling type lifter, but we don't really use it... It works fine, but doesn't stay on when not in use (I think it may be too big for Rio, because it looks like it would just Velcro around the tummy on a larger dog). If none of the products offered above work for you, I too, would be happy to send you this product, just send me a PM.

the Woo

~ ~ Rio ~ ~
Forever in my heart...

April 2000 – January 20, 2012
Diagnosed with Mast Cell Cancer in June 2007. Left rear leg amputated Feb. 8, 2011.
Mets discovered Aug. 31, 2011. Read more of Rio's story here.

denisem
9
23 August 2011 - 7:32 pm
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Thank you all so much for the responses and comments and suggestions for alternate harnesses.  Sorry for the delay in responding - my girl (Belle) took a turn for the worse.  I'm hoping a round of antibiotics will bring her around, but there is a look in her eyes that is scaring me.  But she is eating, so I'm encouraged.  

Jerry and Buglady, thanks for the very kind offers of other harnesses.  I've come to the conclusion that any harness is going to make her uncomfortable and hot.  She doesn't move around much anymore, so I am going to just keep using the towel strap under her back end to get her outside.

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 August 2011 - 7:35 pm
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I'm so sorry Denise, I hope that Belle feels better soon. If there is anything at all we can do to help, please let us know OK?

Lots of hugs and pawsitive energy coming your way...keep us posted.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

littlemanjake
11
23 August 2011 - 7:40 pm
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I'm sorry Belle isn't feeling well. It's always good to see them interested in food. You & Belle will be in our thoughts.

Cynthia & Isabelle

SoCal
Forum Posts: 49
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10 July 2010
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12
24 August 2011 - 12:13 am
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Belle is a beautiful girl.   Adding my good thoughts. 

Cindy and Boomie

Boomie's leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma on May 15, 2008.  He enjoyed over two and a half years of life after that, one day at a time.  He died on Feb. 21, 2011.

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