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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: 11
Member Since:
7 November 2009
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21 September 2010 - 8:16 am
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Rita can go down stairs no problem and she can hop up 2 maybe 3, but going up a flight of stairs is a no go, it's been almost a year since her surgery and still going up flights is not going to happen for her....she runs down them like a pro.  She is a rear leg not a front leg...

Wherever the Wind Takes Me, Dude

Forum Posts: 450
Member Since:
25 July 2009
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21 September 2010 - 11:14 am
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I still get nervous around stairs that don't have backs to them, but otherwise my confidence has built up after a year of being a Tripawd. Games like the Buja board really help Tripawds feel more confident on scary surfaces.

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

Read all about my adventures at my Tripawds Blog

Forum Posts: 12
Member Since:
17 September 2010
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21 September 2010 - 11:56 am
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Guiness is the same as Rita, being a rear leg amp he can go downstairs with the gretest of ease, even 2 days after coming home he sure showed us he wasnt being left ustairs. Going up however is another matter he can manage the 1st few but then seems to get stuck, its 2 early for a harness and i cant really use a towel because of his bruising etc (dont want to make it worse) but he's happy for a gentle carry up them for now.

So i presume that front and rear amps have problems with the reverse of ech other with stairs, rear amps going up and front amps coming down. They should make little stair lifts for dogs like they do for people who have trouble with stairs, because my arms are going to be like Popeyes if Guiness stays like this forever he he 🙂

Guiness and Toni x x

Guiness is my baby we have had 8 wonderful 4 legged years together.

We intend on having many, many more 3 legged ones

Guiness took on a moving car and lost.

Leg amputated 16-09-2010

Pontiac, IL
Forum Posts: 298
Member Since:
13 April 2010
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21 September 2010 - 5:34 pm
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My right rear leg was amputated in April.  I have been going up and down stairs ever since the staples came out.  I am a pro at them.  We live in a 2 story house, with the bedrooms upstairs.  I also have to go down about 5 stairs to get to the back yard to go out and go potty.  I don't have any answers on how or why except I was not going to be left out of bed time.  My pawrents did put down non-slip rugs on the back steps which help a lot.  I probably go up and down 4-5 times a day.


Madison, WI
Forum Posts: 616
Member Since:
5 December 2009
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22 September 2010 - 10:14 am
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It sounds like results can vary, but Gerry gets along with stairs ok.  Sometimes he thinks too much and loses momentum gonig up.  He doesn't have to use them much at our house, so we didn't try using them until well after staple removal, so possibly that is too hard early on (I'm sure I've read about tripawds doing staircases in the first few days – results vary, just don't push anything if you can help it!).  But here's what he/we learned about handling stairs (includes video):

And my past front-legger (Yoda – bone cancer in his case) probably did even better with stairs than Gerry, though it was nerve-wracking how fast he had to go down them to keep his balance.

And, speaking of raised homes with staircases, I was worried about too when I took Gerry with me on vacation to Virginia Beach!  ( ) But it worked out fine for the week we were there.  Even when he was hot and tired.  I did insist on holding onto his Ruffwear harness nearly every time and going up.  He didn't seem to see the point, but occasionally when we got towards the top, it did seem necessary.  Broken record here – results vary, but your tripawd could very well do fine with your stair challenges!

Stairs happen.  Hang in there everybody! 

Gerry has been a tripawd since 12/16/2009.

He was a shelter dog with a mysterious past and an irrepairable knee injury.

Videos and pics of Gerry's pawesomeness can be found at:

Forum Posts: 930
Member Since:
26 November 2008
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22 September 2010 - 12:06 pm
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There are no two ways about it, a Ruff Wear harness would be a great aid for this and so very much more. However, the issue of non-skid surface is probably the most important for the longer term. Since it was not clear if this stair was inside or out (I have often seen such home with outside stairs), I would caution that when considering any non-skid surface, condsider all the conditions of environments and use. Carpeting may be helpful for inside steps, but could get very slick when wet. On ramps, appling strips of any non-skid material across the slope of the ramp may help the overall effectiveness. Just wanted to help you consider all aspects of any solution.

Miss Cherry did have to negotiate two small steps to get outside. So long as she took these steps serious and did not rush, we did not have problems. Until the last weeks, her only real crashes were the result of hurrying and having all three legs slide outward. Patience, patience, patience and they will be able to work out almost anything.

Spirit Cherry's Dad

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