TRIPAWDS: Home to 19108 Members and 1962 Blogs.

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.

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!


Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

Please consider registering
Forum Scope


Forum Options

Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
Cincinnati, OH
Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
17 October 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10 November 2011 - 2:02 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Brutus my 7 yr old newly "tri-curious" baby boy is doing amazing since his front right leg amputation on Oct 6, 2011 due to synovial cell sarcoma. He was extremely mobile right after the surgery and in my vet's opinion his case is truly a success story.  He has managed to figure out how to get up and down off the couch and how to swindle sympathy treats out of people.  He has even mastered going down stairs.  He literally has no hesitation and just goes right down.  HOWEVER, he will not attempt to go up stairs.  I try treats, tough love, support, toys, you name it.  However I always end up having to lift him up each step.  I have even tried a ramp and he still requires me to help him up the ramp.  I know I can't be the first person this has happen to and I know of all places to check, I should check in with the people who have lived it day in and day out and know all the tricks. 


Please help (that was a request from my aching back) me figure out how to get Brutus to go up stairs on his own.



The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 31115
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10 November 2011 - 2:11 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Emily. Welcome!

Oooh that's a tricky one, because generally front leg Tripawds have a harder time going down stairs than going up. How big/small is he?

I know you said you tried the tough love approach, but how long did you try it before you gave in and carried him?

is it possible to leave him downstairs (assuming this is inside your home?) and go upstairs without him. It's logical to assume that eventually if he wants to go up bad enough he will. But all dogs are different.

Search our Forums here for "stairs", you'll find tons of suggestions!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 982
Member Since:
1 February 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10 November 2011 - 2:17 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

We put cookies on the steps and then just walked away... Rio, being a total chow hound, figured it out pretty quickly. Of course, now every time she gets to the top of the stairs, she wants to know where's her treat.

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.

10 November 2011 - 5:50 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Emily,

Welcome to Tripawds.  Sounds like Brutus is doing great.

A little hard for me to give advice- my tri-pug was small and a rear amp.  Did he fall going up or trying to go up?  It does seem odd that he is OK going down and not up.

I will say that I needed quite a bit of tough love for Maggie.  She spent some time with my parents and they carried her a lot.  When she was at my house she acted like she couldn't get up the two stairs into the house, and waited to be picked up.  We had several stand offs where I left her in the back yard until she came in on her own (I did peak at her a few times!).  The first time it took about 40 min, then it got better.  Soon she was doing it just fine on her own.

I ask about Brutus falling because Maggie fell going up a flight of stairs at my parents house (up is harder for rear amps, well usually) and after that she wouldn't try to go up those stairs.  As it turned out up a flight of stairs was really too tough for her and her one back leg, she was only about 12" at the shoulder.  But she could certainly do two or three stairs without a problem.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.  And when you have a chance tell us more about Brutus!


Karen and the pugapalooza

Cincinnati, OH
Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
17 October 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
22 November 2011 - 3:00 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you all so much for your responses.  First let me say that I have found this website to be a truly amazing find both before the amputation and after. So I would like to extend a huge thank you for that.  Second- thank you for your suggestions.  I am going to try the cookies (or rather chicken nuggets as those are his true weakness) on the stairs and the tough love over the Thanksgiving break.  He has not falling going up any of the stairs, but still remains reluctant to do it on his own.  In regards to who is winning the rounds I would say Brutus 4- my back-0. 


I've had Brutus since he was 4 weeks old and he is truly my baby boy.  He is a very independent spirit but loves me unconditionally.  He thinks he's a human and yes I know that I whole heartedly had a hand in creating the stubborn lil monster he is.  But I would have it no other way.  Brutus is roughly 85lbs since his amputation so you can see the dilemma I have in lifting him all the time.  Did anyone have any luck with using a Ruff Gear vest with the handles on it?  Thought about getting that to help him go up the stairs but don't want to waste money on it if he doesn't really need it.  Please share your thoughts on it.



Here and Now

Forum Posts: 12473
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
22 November 2011 - 3:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

emmejane08 said:

I am going to try the cookies (or rather chicken nuggets as those are his true weakness) on the stairs ...

If you haven't already done so, be sure to listen to the podcast from our recent Tripawd Talk Radio interview with Sarah Wilson discussing how to build confidence on stairs after surgery, among many other topics.

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: benny55
Guest(s) 85
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1167
Members: 14127
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 17343
Posts: 242120
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.