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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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Stair issues again.
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Forum Posts: 38
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4 August 2018
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31 December 2018 - 6:15 am
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Hi everyone, having a dilemma with the stairs, again. So my Oscar is 4 months post op from a rear leg amp and doing great. He goes down stairs no problem and up the stairs going outside ( about 5 steps. we have been working on the stairs inside the house (about 13, with carpeted stair treads) He can go up them if I get him to the bottom step and give him a nudge up the first step but he really does not want to go up them. When its time to go up for the night he goes to the couch instead and when he finally comes to the stairs he just stares away from them maybe thinking they will disappear if he doesn’t look at them😂 he won’t even take treats from my hand when I put them right in front of his mouth (so not food motivated-the little stinker). So to get yo the point, do I carry him up the stairs or make him walk up. I don’t want to baby him (well maybe I do a little) but if he’s really doesn’t want to go up, I’m at a loss. I don’t think its painful but he’s not talking-boy how just this once I wish he could tell me what’s going on.

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31 December 2018 - 10:50 am
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I wonder if you had a way to help him so that you could “do it together”.  I just purchased a Ruffwear harness for my senior quad pup. Most days he does ok, but sometimes not. We always try to make it a point to be there when he is on the stairs because he has had a couple of close calls. Anyhow, the Ruffwear harness has a handle. 

If he is staying away from the stairs he may be nervous about using them. This may be an option to help his confidence and your ability to help him in case his back end is not feeling strong enough.

It might also be good to look into a rehab specialist to see if maybe some core strengthening exercises might help.


Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog


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31 December 2018 - 12:08 pm
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Some good suggestions from Jackie.

Just want to add that, for rear leggers, going UP stairs IS jard for many.  They are using that one leg to push off and propel them up to the next step.  That  requires a lot of strength for one remaining  leg.

In many cases like my Happy Hannah, they are never able to master going UP.   That’s  not true for all dogs  and harnesses and core strength building can certainly help. but it’s  true for many rear leggers.

So I would pursue the harness route for now.  And this is just me, but I don’t  think helping him (or carryng him) up the stairs is babying him at all!   I just think he can’t  do it…or not at this point anyway.


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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31 December 2018 - 1:38 pm
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Yep, ditto what Jackie and Sally have suggested. Start with the harness to help guide him up the steps. It is true that for rear-leg amputees it’s a ton of work going up any steps but especially that many. And if you can carry him up the steps I agree that it isn’t babying him. 

Don’t forget, you can have him evaluated by a rehabilitation therapist and the Tripawds Foundation may pay for your first visit! So do take advantage of it, that way you can learn how to help him get strong and stay that way. It’s a worthwhile effort guaranteed.

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