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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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What To Do About Stairs?
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Forum Posts: 26
Member Since:
15 April 2008
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22 April 2008 - 1:42 pm
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Hello Tripawd friends! My pawrents are looking for some ideas for stairs that I can do.  The problem is that we have a house that is up on poles. It is raised off of the ground for flooding reasons.  My mom is wondering if I will get stong enough to go up and down a large flight of steps. Going down sounds scarey!! Do you think that we should invest in a permanent ramp? What have you all found to be helpful?

Wags and licks,

Charlie Brown

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 April 2008 - 2:00 pm
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Don't worry Charlie, you will definitely get strong enough to fly up those stairs before you know it!

When I had my amputation I lived on the second floor of our two story house with 21 uncarpeted steps. For the first week or so, my people carried me up and down. Within a couple days I showed them how easy it was for me to go up the stairs without a front leg. But yes, going down was the problem. This may be the opposite for rear leg amputees, but I wouldn't know.

Others suggested using a towel under my belly, but we didn't do that thinking it would irritate my scar. Once my stitches healed, Me people got me the Ruffwear harness. This made it easy for them to help me downstairs. Check it out ...

After a couple months I was taking the steps on my own. I even learned how to lean against the wall for support as I slid/hopped down the stairs. But my harness still comes in handy for going down our wobbly RV steps and steep stairs.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 66
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23 April 2008 - 2:11 pm
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Charlie Brown & family,

My mom and dad thought I might stay confined to our first floor of our two-story house after my amputation.  Boy, did they have lots to learn!  I got tired of seeing everyone going up and down without me and started following them just like the old days.  That's not to say I haven't taken a fall or two at the bottom of the stairs because, like Jerry, I have one front leg missing so going down is the hardest part.  The Roughwear Harness has really helped Mom to get me out of her 4WD truck though, so I'd highly recommend that.

Love,

Barney B  

 

Forum Posts: 170
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23 April 2008 - 4:53 pm
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The Ruffwear harness is the best solution for the stairs issue, ask Rene how to order one. And one step at a time.....

 

Good luck and smooches

Lalla 

 

Forum Posts: 52
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23 April 2008 - 5:23 pm
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If it was me, I might build a ramp if that is an option. However, tripawds on this forum seem to be doing pretty well with the stairs. My main concern would be a tripawd might fall and hurt the one leg in front or back, and then could not get around at all. That seems like too high a price to pay for me.

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23 April 2008 - 10:26 pm
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Charlie, I think the harness is the way to go.  My pawrents ordered me a Ruffwear also and cannot wait for my my staples and my scar to heal so that I can start wearing it.  Great to hear you are doing good!!!  Lots of licks

Kellie

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23 April 2008 - 10:39 pm
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Charlie Brown, I would say that if you can easily build a ramp that would be the safest solution if you want to go in/out without assistance. It may also be better in the long run since dogs on 3 legs get tired faster and it would be easier on him unless you are always going to be accompanied.

I always walked beside my Timber when she was going up more than 2 steps because I was afraid she would fall. She did fine every time never needing any assistance, but that was not a daily task for her. When we did need an extra boost we used a towel because she had a very sensitive belly and hated to be lifted. The towel worked for us, But a Ruffwear harness would be easier to hold!

Tripawds Rule!!!

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 April 2008 - 11:01 pm
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If you do decide to go with a ramp, make sure it has a non-slip surface! Laughing

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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27 April 2008 - 12:55 pm
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Buster's first day home, and unable to navigate the steps as well. Looking for a ramp at the local pet stores but not long enough or sturdy enough, or the surface not slip resistant enough for my peace of mind. Yes, if you can build a ramp.( Not too steep.)... Yes, we all have to look out for their other good legs. Why take a chance???? Wish i was a carpenter , i would try to build  a custom fit ramp myself.... (harness too soon after surgery) besides the new one Jerry tested seems better anyway, waiting for lighter material for my Siberian.

KIM & BUSTER

Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

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27 April 2008 - 7:14 pm
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I just tested the new Ruffwear harness . It has some improvements over the old model. Stay tuned for the product review movie coming soon ...

FYI: My people carried me up and down our stairs for the first few days after surgery until i showed them I could do it. I just needed some time to stop feeling dopey from the pain meds. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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28 April 2008 - 2:30 pm
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I'm not a carpenter either, but it seems like a ramp would not be that hard.  All you should need to do is measure the area, and buy a piece (or pieces) of sturdy plywood that could be placed onto the stairs and secured there.  Then you could just buy some carpeting and staple, nail or screw it to the plywood.  It might not be the most attractive ramp, but it should serve its purpose. 

The only problem I see is that humans do better on stairs than ramps, so the humans would have to be careful going down the ramp.

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 April 2008 - 2:59 pm
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Knut said:

...be careful going down the ramp.


Careful indeed! And if you build a ramp that just covers half the stairway, you'll need to walk your pup up and down taking care to keep them on the ramp side.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Edmonton
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28 April 2008 - 3:13 pm
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I still cannot go up the stairs without help, let alone going down. Inside the house, I am pretty much limited to only the main floor.

It sounds like Charlie's place is the similar to my Mom's place. A neat little ramp was built for me to go the backyard from the deck, or anywhere out of the house.

 

You can see that there is a little gap between the ramp and the railings, that is the part of stairs my Mom takes when she guards me hopping down.

If you need more close-up shots, my Mom can always snapshots and post them here.

Love, Genie.

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1 May 2008 - 7:59 pm
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nice to see this topic, my dog had his front left leg amputated last year and I moved to a downstairs apartment and I hate it and am contemplating moving back upstairs, but I feel really guilty about it, any advice? To make matters worse I feel a tremendous amount of guilt about my dogs leg getting amputated to begin with(I feel responsible) 

 Does anyone's dog constantly go up and down the stairs about 3 times a day? Are there any long term effects of this? I really dont know what to do, I hate living downstairs because I cant take the noise anymore and I know I will feel guilty as all hell for my dog if I move upstairs

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 May 2008 - 11:31 pm
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K12 said:

1. ... I feel a tremendous amount of guilt about my dogs leg getting amputated 

2. ... Does anyone’s dog constantly go up and down the stairs about 3 times a day? Are there any long term effects of this?


1. Do not feel guilty. I'm sure your pup is very grateful for relieving his pain.

2. This all depends on how your tripawd is doing, and what his prognosis is. A harness will certainly help you help him up and down the stairs, but eventually, the sad truth is, mobility will become a problem.

You sound like a good human willing to help your pup up and down so if he's in good shape, Isay go for it. Just get a harness and help him out (every time) so he doesn't injure himself.

If he's anything like me, he'll fly up and down those stairs without thinking what it may do to him. I used to live on the second floor of a house and would go up and down a few times a day. But that was within months after my surgery. I'm happy to just have a few RV steps now.

Thanks for registering and commenting!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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