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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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Senior Stair Struggles
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Forum Posts: 1
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19 June 2012
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19 June 2012 - 9:42 pm
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Hi! My pup is an 11 year old 80lb lab named Weebles, born with a deformed front leg (it is small and curved and can bear some weight but he doesnt really use it except to leverage sticks for chewing). He has been showing more and more hesitation over the stairs to the bedroom in our home, and tonight had an incident where he fell back down from about the fourth step! He refused to try again, whining and pacing around for about an hour until I caved and lift-shoved him from behind a step or two at a time, awkwardly bumbling both of us up. They are narrow, open backed stairs and fairly steep, so about the worst for him possible, but he has always seemed to do ok with them- he takes them all at once, charging up from the bottom. He doesnt seem capable of stopping mid-way or going one at a time (He jumps his back legs together… is that how most dogs missing a front leg do it?). Anyway, because of how terrible my stairs are, I am unable to go up beside him, so it seems like a harness would be of little use… would anyone have any other advice or suggestions for ways we could potentially over come this? I still hold some hope he will forget this accident and come up on his own tomorrow, I hate to think of him sleeping alone downstairs,sad he has slept in my bed since he was 6 weeks old!

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19 June 2012 - 9:52 pm
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Webles is such a cutie! You are so fortunate to have had him in your life for all these years. We don’t see a lot of Tripawds who have been three-legged for such a long time, so it’s always good to hear about the experiences of older Tripawd heroes, so we know what to expect for the younger pups.

Has he ever had any physical therapy, acupuncture or other types of pain-management treatments? Because it does sound like me that this scary incident is a sign that his age is catching up with him. Front leg Tripawds especially feel the aches and pains as they age, because they put so much force on the heaviest part of their bodies, and neck muscles.

Is there any way you can add traction strips to the steps? We had to do this for ours, and it made all the difference in the world.

For now, you may need to bribe him with his favorite treats, and cheer him on as he tackles each step.

I hope this helps, and that he doesn’t have any more stumbles. Let us know what works for you. And thanks for joining us! Your future posts won’t require moderation.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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San Diego, CA
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19 June 2012 - 10:10 pm
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Oh your sweet Weebles is so cute!

I had a front leg amp, but unfortunately she had cancer so didn’t make it to a stage where age caught up with her. You asked how other front leg tripawds go up stairs, and Abby would do the same – sort of run/hop up them with both back legs hoping up at once. So, I can understand that it would be hard to get him to go slow/stop and rest part way up.

Like Jerry said, adding some traction and favorite treats to coax him up each step might help.
Keep us posted!
Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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19 June 2012 - 11:10 pm
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Welcome Weebles and family!

 

Holy Moly!  This is fantastic you are here!   Weebles and my late Comet are the only two on the forums that has a deformed leg that is still attached and that we have had from the beginning for all the years of their life! (although Comet was 6 month old when I adopted her)  I came here when Comet was about 11 years old too because of mobility issues!  Before that, I never realized there were that many 3-legged dogs!

I’m so sorry about Weebles having mobility issues on the stairs.  We had indoor stairs and yes, she too didn’t really want to make the effort.  Fortunately for us, we could carry her because she was under 40lbs.  She never fell EVER but don’t think I didn’t hold my breath when she came down for the last year of her life.  OMG…did I ever hold my breath. She had a couple of stumbles going up and that threw her off but I was always there to get her back on track or just pick her up.

I know exactly what you mean about running up the stairs…it’s like a rocket booster was attached to her bottom!  She went up faster than anyone!

Treats will help a lot since he has lost his confidence on the stairs. Gotta really build up his confidence again.

My best advice at his age is to get him into water therapy if that is possible. Maybe you have a rehab center that offers water therapy nearby?  It will strengthen his legs and will really help. Is he on any kind of NSAIDS, like Rimadyl, Metacam or Deramaxx?  I found it was necessary in their older age just for mobility.  It really, really helped give Comet mobilty.  It’s great for our older tripawds. 

Would love to see more pics of Weebles!

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.

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