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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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Recent amputee struggling with stairs
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Member Since:
21 July 2011
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31 July 2011 - 9:53 am
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I first want to say Thank You Tripawds Members!!  You have been a life saver through this tough time!

Our 11-year-old Rottie had his left rear leg amputated two weeks and a few days ago due to bone cancer.  He has made the most amazing recover, I can't believe it!!  Our only problem is reteaching him stairs. Our house has two half-flights of stairs and he is really struggling to figure out how to go up them; down is not an issue whatsoever.  we are using a harness to help, but are there any other suggestions.  He had no trouble with stairs before.  Maybe he just has to work on figuring out his balance?


Thank you for any suggestions and thank you for this fanatastic website.  I don't know what we would have done without it!!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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31 July 2011 - 12:09 pm
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No, thank you for taking such good care of George. He'll get the hang of the step, and will likely just need more time to build up strength in is his remaining rear leg. Going up is going to be harder on rear leggers, while front leg amputees will have a harder time going down. The harness will help you assist Georgie, but if your stairs are not carpeted he may need some traction. Once he's all healed up, consider doing balance exercises and stretching to strengthen his leg.

Thanks for joining, our future forum posts will not require moderation.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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31 July 2011 - 12:33 pm
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Welcome Georgie and Family!


Sorry you have found yourself here.  It sounds like it's going well so far!  So happy to hear!


Stairs can be intimidating! Including what admin said above, try calming his fears with a treat.  Perhaps have someone helping by holding th harness assisting him and another person at the top with a high value treat to encourage him! 

Good luck!

Sending lots of healing wishes!

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.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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31 July 2011 - 6:07 pm
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George, welcome!

Here's a bunch of Forum Posts about dealing with stairs that may help.

Two weeks isn't a long time. Don't worry, you'll get it! Pretty soon your folks are gonna have a hard time stopping you!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Madison, WI
Member Since:
5 December 2009
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31 July 2011 - 8:01 pm
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Here's a blog post from when Gerry was getting the hang of stairs - also a rear leg amputee: 

Gerry has been a tripawd since 12/16/2009.

He was a shelter dog with a mysterious past and an irrepairable knee injury.

Videos and pics of Gerry's pawesomeness can be found at:

Mount Pleasant, Ia
Member Since:
27 October 2010
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31 July 2011 - 10:15 pm
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Welcome, boy if your boy is a Rottie he is pretty good sized. Our Newfie mix Cooper made a residence on our landing for ALL of 2 weeks after his surgery, and Im not sure it wasnt even closer to a month before we attempted the stairs. He will be 11 in January God willing, and  he I am sure will never be the same on stairs again, but he has been going up and down slowly for 8 months now. Your boy will get the hang of it! Welcome to Tripawds and good luck!

Coopsdad/ Kenneth Blackburn

the monkeydogs only THINK they have invaded the tripawd state

Golden Girls
1 August 2011 - 10:05 am
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Welcome to Tripawds! Skyler was also a rear leg amputee. She really never did get the hang of going up the stairs. At 3 months we still had to help her, but I think part of that was she wasn't always feeling well (she did chemo for 8 weeks) - and was maybe a little spoiled???


Member Since:
21 July 2011
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1 August 2011 - 4:20 pm
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Thanks for all the good info!  I obviously need to be more patient!   We appreciate all the great advice and encouragment!!

Member Since:
16 January 2011
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1 August 2011 - 6:21 pm
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Welcome Georgie and pack -

Glad to see things are going pretty well for you guys and since you are about 2 1/2 weeks into this - it gets a whole lot easier.....

We have stairs too but never had an issue  - Riley avoided them the first week or so (I think it was the pink elephants) then ran up and down them like she had always done - we ended up putting up a doggy gate for about 6 weeks to keep her from hurting herself...She did stumble once about 3 from the bottom but picked herself right up and kept on going...

Just give him another week or two...I bet he will be up and down in no time...

Member Since:
23 July 2011
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1 August 2011 - 7:57 pm
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Can't say I have any new suggestions about how to help your dog with the stairs, but I just wanted to throw in my welcome-- so glad you've found the group, and happy to hear that your dog is recovering well! 🙂

Julie, mom to Spirit Max the Pomeranian,

the bravest poofle dog who ever lived!

Read a tribute to Max!

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