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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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Stairs are still tricky
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Forum Posts: 38
Member Since:
4 August 2018
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13 September 2018 - 5:24 pm
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Oscar is 5 weeks post op on a rear amp and doing great. He goes up and down 5 stairs to get outside and occasionally will wait for help with a sling to get up them. Will run outside and like to play but these stairs are a challenge. He can get on the couch with or without the step without assistance but at night when it’s time to get upstairs or in the morning to go down (it’s about 13 stairs) he will not go. He has done it by himself maybe 3 times in the past few weeks alone. No amount of treats will get him to even attempt them even if I am by his side. Have a sling and harness but he does not like inside. I have to carry him up and down. PT has not oven me many suggestions so if anyone has any tricks I’m all ears. Man I wish he could talk to me. I don’t know if it hurts (yet he does other stairs) or if he’s just scared (keep in mind he’s a nervous nelly ny nature). I’ve seen stair lifts for dogs but I fear he would be afraid of this too and i think it’s too soon for this option. He’s done so well so far and I just wish I could help him over this hurdle.

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 September 2018 - 5:46 pm
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Ok remind me: do you have a harness like the Ruffwear Webmaster to help him? And are your stairs carpeted or not? Are they open-back stairs? Oh and have you tried bribing him with GREAT treats, like hot dogs, cheese, or whatever rocks his world the most?

Our own Wyatt Ray was pretty hesitant on stairs for at least a few months after his amputation. He does them like a champ now, but it took some doing. Having two of us there (one to bribe, one to assist) was how we got started going up and down stairs with him. Would that be possible with you?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 3525
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13 September 2018 - 8:06 pm
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Get a supper-duper extra special treat that is only for stairs.  That is what I do with Elly when we work on her Separation Anxiety. 

Did he ever fall on the stairs?  My little Pug Maggie, also a rear amp, never could do more than 3 or 4 stairs after her amp.  I attribute it to three things- her small size, the suspicion I have that she either fell or got stuck once, and her stubborn Pug nature.  I didn’t spend too much time on it since I lived in a single story house at the time.

BTW- my current Pug-mix Elly, a rear amp a bit smaller than Maggie, flies up and down the stairs!  She is over 3 years past her amp due to a car accident.

You might try the super treats when he does the 5 step stairs- he should make the connection.  Also do the 5 step stairs just like you try the long stairs- same help, same harness, etc. Work hard on the 5 step stairs to get consistency and build his confidence.  Try feeding him as he climbs if possible.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Forum Posts: 38
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16 September 2018 - 5:32 am
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Thanks for the advice. The stairs have carpet treads, not open backed. and I have the rough wear harness. Maybe I need better treats, I’ll try some hotdogs.. it also made me feel better knowing it took your dog a while. He’s doing so well I need to remind myself that some things will take more time than others. Still adjusting to our new normal.

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 September 2018 - 1:25 pm
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So it sounds like everything is working in your favor, all you need is time. Oh and some crazy tempting treats! 

Have you seen these Tripawds Gear blog posts about stair and ramp training? Maybe some of these tips can help.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 34
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25 September 2018 - 9:15 am
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My dog Kaiserin is about 7 weeks post amputation (rear leg) and is still having trouble going up stairs. Down is ok. I was trying to help her with the body harness but it wasn’t going well. We go to rehab/physio so I asked the therapist. She said to use a sling to really support the back end well still every time you go up (I have a towel with handles for the sling) and not even worry about trying to get her to do it alone yet. I have been doing that and she gets up nicely when I support the back end. What I think this did was actually give her a chance to learn how to navigate the stairs. With the support, she was learning how to co-ordinate her 3 legs for stairs. Without the support she just collapsed after a few stairs. So I recommend rear end support to help with learning!

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