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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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9 May 2011 - 3:32 pm
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Jewel is 4 days post left from leg amputatin. She is getting around very well and I am anxious to be back sleeping in my own bed on teh 2nd level of our home. What are your experiences with stairs? She went up 4 stairs yesterday when I turned my back, my husband quickly got her and carried her back down. She won't sleep any where but where I am and would love to get her back to where she wants to go too. Should we carry her up and down? I think up is easier then down? Any thoughts are appreicated 🙂

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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9 May 2011 - 3:48 pm
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Search the forums and you'll find plenty of members sharing their dog's experiences on stairs.

Going up will be easier for front-leggers, while going down will be easier on those missing a rear leg. Jerry (missing a front leg) learned to lean against the wall as he hopped and slid down the staris…

We only carried him for a day or so before he showed us he could go down on his own, we just stayed by his side in case he fell. The Ruff Wear harness will certainly help provide support when needed. You can also use a canvas shopping bag slit down the sides to make a handy sling.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

9 May 2011 - 4:08 pm
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Thank you SO much! I love the video too. Ruff Wear harness purchased and tonight is the night we will give it a shot! Again, much appreciated encouragment! 🙂

Mount Pleasant, Ia
Member Since:
27 October 2010
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9 May 2011 - 6:02 pm
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I do recommend using a harness to help up and down the stairs. Cooper got to where he was going up and down just fine , but recently injured his left rear knee, so to me it is well worth the precaution to use the harness and afford that extra bit of support on the stairs. He takes care of himself on level ground. 



Coopsdad/ Kenneth Blackburn

the monkeydogs only THINK they have invaded the tripawd state

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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9 May 2011 - 9:08 pm
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All hope is not lost!  You'll be able to sleep in your own bed soon with Jewel!

My Comet was born with a deformed front leg and she went up and down the stairs for 12 years!  To the day she died she still went down the stairs on her own!  She, too hugged the wall and carefully went down and never not one time in all those years did she fall!  (Mommy fell but not not Comet!)  She liked getting a lift going up toward the last few months of her life.  But she had this weird way of 'rocketing' up them!



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.

9 May 2011 - 9:19 pm
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I think you just have to watch her & see how she manages. Every dog is different. Isabelle was up & down the stairs in the house 5 minutes after she got home. Not my plan, hers. If Jewel is managing, can you confine her upstairs with you while you sleep?

Member Since:
9 March 2010
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10 May 2011 - 8:36 am
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I was so worried about Dante and the stairs! 

He flies up and down them like nobodies business. We have to baby gate the stairs or he will run up and down them all day long. He, for some reason, has a love affair with the stairs. He's never fallen (on the stairs in the house, anyways). He still scares me on them because he goes up and down so quickly, and he has this weird, sideways way of coming down (he's a front legger).  I always worry he will twist his front leg, or face plant all the way down, because of the way he comes down. But so far, he's done just fine. 


On The Road

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10 May 2011 - 8:58 am
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munko said:

We have to baby gate the stairs…

Confinement is the best way to keep recovering pets safe, and there a many styles of pet gates that work well for keeping new tripawds off stairs that are much more appealing than the standard baby gate , which we also used for Jerry.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Wherever the Wind Takes Me, Dude

Member Since:
25 July 2009
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10 May 2011 - 9:37 am
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I'm always tearing up the stairs! It freaks my pawrents out (ok, it freaks out my Mom), but I haven't fallen yet. In fact, one thing I do to avoid steps is I just fly down them from the top and skip a whole bunch at a time! Boy, you should see how upset my Mom gets when I do that! Just goes to show ya that she can't stop me all of the time! WWOOOOOO HOOOO!

Wyatt Ray Dawg . . . The Tripawds Leg-A-Cy Continues!

Read all about my adventures at my Tripawds Blog

Member Since:
30 July 2010
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14 May 2011 - 6:12 pm
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Well I figured I would post Chloe's video as well!

These are outdoor stairs at the beach: wooden and sandy!  This was a couple months after amputation, but she had mastered stairs within the first month.

Best of luck! Take it slow and I'm sure Dante will get the hang of it!

-Chloe's mom

Chloe became a rear amp tripawd on 7-29-10. Another tumor was removed on front leg 2-20-14. Found 3rd tumor on neck 2-2015, but she's still kicking cancer's butt at age 14. Chloe's blog

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