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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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do i need to cover my floors long-term?
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Forum Posts: 13
Member Since:
19 June 2016
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22 June 2016 - 4:55 pm
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Hi. My beautiful, sweet 10 yo golden retriever, Henry, had surgery last Thursday and is doing pretty well already. We covered our hardwood floors with rugs for him. I was just wondering if the hardwood floors will be a permanent issue for him. If so, I will invest in nicer rugs and runners, so he has a non-slippery (prettier) path all the way around the house. If it’s more likely to be temporary, until he is used to getting along on his 3 legs, I will leave these mismatched rugs where they are, until he doesn’t need them any more. Thank you all for your posts, blogs and encouragement. I imagine I was in good company when I feared that my dog would be the one who could not figure this out.

Here and Now

Forum Posts: 12309
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25 April 2007
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22 June 2016 - 5:01 pm
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Welcome! Your future forum posts will not require approval.

There are various ways to help provide traction , but runners are the best. And while most tripawds will improve their balance and stability over time, better traction means less chance of falls, and injury. Better safe than sorry!

Forum Posts: 244
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27 August 2014
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22 June 2016 - 5:24 pm
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Hi Henry and family! I’ve found my dog is much happier with rugs covering all of the floors in our home. Even though she’s almost 2 years out from her amputation, she is not confident walking on slippery surfaces and sticks to the runners and rugs when she’s hopping around. 

Forum Posts: 2010
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14 February 2016
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22 June 2016 - 5:48 pm
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I agree, you can probably expect to need to keep the traction , but you can always upgrade over time.  I bought one attractive area rug for the room we are sleeping in.  Everything else is indoor/outdoor floor mats from Home Depot.  And yes, I have already had to take some out and hose them off.  I suspect most Tripawd homes are not going to make it as Better Homes and Gardens’ feature homes.

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Forum Posts: 13
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19 June 2016
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22 June 2016 - 5:51 pm
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I’m ordering them now. Thanks!

Green Bay, WI

Forum Posts: 1036
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18 May 2014
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22 June 2016 - 7:04 pm
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I love the line about Tripawds homes probably not making Better Homes and Gardens! My home is surely set up for Nitro’s continued comfort – 2 years now. Runners covering my beautiful tile, and our bed still on the floor! Whatever it takes, right?

Paula and Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

"Be good, mama loves you" free my beautiful Warrior

Forum Posts: 1447
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2 April 2013
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22 June 2016 - 8:26 pm
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And dog hair covering all of that!  lol

Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs


Los Angeles, CA
Forum Posts: 3554
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13 June 2013
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23 June 2016 - 5:00 pm
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We had carpet when SHelby had her amp but now that she has passed and I have hardwood floors, I can see how that would be a challenge as I watch the quadpawd slide on them (that makes me so nervous too). So yeah… runners would be best! 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

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