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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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New adoption-slipping everywhere
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Member Since:
15 December 2016
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15 December 2016 - 12:58 am
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We just adopted Gus our Pitt/lab mix. He’s 1 and is four weeks post op after having his leg shattered. We have laminate floors and he is sliding everywhere but otherwise running around great. Covering the house in area rugs is not an option. What works in the house for these guys?  He’s terrified of the floors. Thanks!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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15 December 2016 - 10:20 am
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Hi Gus and family, welcome! Your future posts won’t require moderation so post away.

I can relate to your problem, we had an old house with hardwood floors everywhere so when Jerry lost his leg, we were bummed out. But I’ll be honest: slippery floors are a Tripawd’s worst enemy. Not just because they slide, but because a slip could result in a dislocated hip, neck muscle or other soft tissue injury. We’ve seen it happen many times here. Ultimately it could end up costing you money in vet bills, and Gus’ chances for a long, pain-free future. Also, any slips in the home could make him terrified of slippery floors in other places he visits. So if he travels with you, that’s an issue.

Some people try boots. We think they’re great, as you can see in the Tripawds Gear shop. But in our opinion they’re not a long-term indoor solution. Most people get forgetful about using them, and many dogs just hate ’em.

Others try Dr. Buzby’s Toe Grips. We think they’re a fantastic product, and a better solution than putting on boots every day, but they’re an ongoing purchase you’ll need to keep on hand, and I’ve heard they can be a big ordeal to get on a dog’s nails.

But don’t despair! Is there any way you can get carpet runners and put them along Gus’ favorite paths through the house? Once he sees that there is traction available, he “should” use those rugs as his main path. Most dogs instinctively do that. I’ve purchased runners as low as $10 each at Costco. And while a Tripawd home’s interior decor won’t win any style awards, it will give Gus the confidence he needs to be king of his castle.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
2 April 2013
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15 December 2016 - 10:38 am
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We had carpeting that we just had to pull up and Murphy was definitely not happy!  lol We ordered a large room-sized rug from Wayfair for $129 & hallway runners, but while we waited we had to put some mish-mash rugs down for him.  As we put them down, Murphy hopped from 1 to the other, barking at us, then laid down.  It was pretty comical.  Then when we got the new rugs and put them down, he just couldn’t wait to roll around on them!  He knew we got them for him. 

Several of us can tell you from experience just how scary it is when your dog pulls a muscle.  Murphy did it not that long ago just going outside.  He came back in and laid down, wouldn’t move, and yelped when we tried to do anything.  We were so afraid that it was his cancer returned.  But thankfully pain medication & massage was all he needed.

Many people have used yoga mats that you can get at Five Below for $5, or industrial sized mats you can get at home improvement stores are fairly inexpensive.  You don’t have to spend a ton of money, and Gus will realize that he needs to walk on the path that you put down for him. 


Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs



Member Since:
22 February 2013
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15 December 2016 - 10:40 am
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Yeah,ditto everything Merry said!

And applause to you for adopting sweet Gus!

Non slip runner rugs really, really are probably your best bet. And as Jerry said, dogs tend to gravitate to the rugs. They feel secure and safe with them. The very fact that poor Gus is already fearful of the hardwoods tells me he will welcome those nonslip scatter rugs instantly!! It really is important to do this as soon as possible.

Let us know if they work for Gus! I think you’ll see a very happy and confident boy! A d even if you do want to try some form of botties, please go ahead and get the non slip scatter rugs in the meantime! .any here use yoga matts and find them very effective to. Maybe you could use of combo of mats a dd rugs.


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!

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