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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Senior teacup chihuahua needs traction advice!
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Member Since:
6 April 2019
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3 January 2023 - 10:15 pm
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Hello everyone, we are back again!  Marie is (now) a senior 5lb chihuahua who had her back, left leg amputated about 4 years ago.  The story of how we got here is in my post history, and it was quite unique and tumultuous.  However, being a tripawd has barely slowed her down and she is living a pretty great life post-op!

What I need advice on is traction .  She has had on again/off again issues with our hardwood floors that I’ve tried to mitigate with rugs and carrying her.  Now that she is a senior it is becoming harder for her, and I’ve noticed she has started truly hesitating on any hard surface.  Yet she’ll still go on it or avoid the rugs at times… this can lead to slipping or falling and it’s so sad.  She’s also deaf so she can’t always hear me telling her to stop or stay!

I need advice because of a few factors, and I figured I’d see if anyone else has a unique experience with these things: 

1) Her size.  I cannot find any teacup sized grip socks or shoes?  Her paws and legs are about the size of a small thumb or finger.  Even the tiniest ones come too big.  She’s also pretty feisty and seems to rip the socks off right away.

2) Due to the unique way she lost her leg, I am TERRIFIED of her licking, or worse, EATING any toe grips or paw pads when I’m not home.  Are they easy for dogs to get off?  Do they make tiny sizes of these?  I just don’t know if she can be trusted alone with them… she will work at things until she gets what she wants.

3) Any other advice or things to consider?  I know chihuahuas can have luxaeting patella’s, so I worry about this when she is wobbly too.  And arthritis as a senior.  (Although she was just at the vet and this has never been mentioned.  The vet actually just told us she has good muscle tone in her remaining back leg and stomach, haha.)

Thank you all in advance!  Reading these forums always brings comfort ❤️

New England
Member Since:
11 January 2022
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4 January 2023 - 5:36 am
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I can't provide any recommendation for teacup sized boots/grips, but I can speak to determined dog removal of toe grips.  My tripawd is extremely sensitive about her paws.  We tried toe grips about a year ago (she was still under a year at the time).  First attempt I did not use glue and she pulled them off within 2 hours.  I don't think she ingested any.  I tried a second time with super glue a couple of weeks later and they lasted a few days.  However, when she was determined to remove them, they were coming off.  Since they didn't work for my dog, I was able to return them for a refund.  I was having some success getting her to wear boots, until suddenly they started triggering her anxiety in a big way.  I've abandoned boot training for now, but we'll give it another try in the future.

I know some people who swear by Pawz - those booties that kind of look like balloons?  I think they come in tiny sizes.  I haven't tried them for my dog because I'm concerned she'd ingest them if I couldn't watch her every second.  And they're kind of a pain to get on and off.  One person who uses them has a neat little "tool" to put them on - she cut a piece of PVC pipe that was big enough for her dog's leg to pass through.  She puts the boot over the PVC ring, slides it over the paw, pulls the ring out of the boot and slides it off.

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
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4 January 2023 - 12:18 pm
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Aww what a sweetheart! I'm so glad your old gal is doing so well overall.

Regarding Dr. Buzby's Toe Grips ... it appears they make the grips in an XS for Chihuahua's up to 7 lbs. I would call the company to verify. 

@mishief I'm glad you told me about your girl trying to chew the grips off. Our Wyatt wore them without messing with 'em, even though he was the type of dog who hated his paws being touched. So for Marie, I guess you could give them a try and see what happens. Just be sure to use the glue.

Another option is PawFriction. It's basically gluing sand to your dogs paws, but with medical grade materials. It's ideal for senior dogs who don't get a lot of outdoor activity, which it sounds like Marie doesn't? If so, I'd give that one a try too. As long as you can easily play with her feet, it's relatively quick to apply the grains to her paws. And it's super safe, made by a vet so there's nothing in it that can harm her if she does lick the stuff off.

I would say the other thing is just to make her home very easy to access. Raised feeders, steps to her favorite spot (here's how to train dogs to use stairs), anything so she minimizes jumps and hard landings. 

We would love to see a photo of Marie! Here's how adding images works. Let me know if you'd like help.

Thanks for checking in, it's great to hear from you.

New England
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4 January 2023 - 12:36 pm
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jerry said

@mishief I'm glad you told me about your girl trying to chew the grips off. Our Wyatt wore them without messing with 'em, even though he was the type of dog who hated his paws being touched. So for Marie, I guess you could give them a try and see what happens. Just be sure to use the glue.

Another option is PawFriction. It's basically gluing sand to your dogs paws, but with medical grade materials. It's ideal for senior dogs who don't get a lot of outdoor activity, which it sounds like Marie doesn't? If so, I'd give that one a try too. As long as you can easily play with her feet, it's relatively quick to apply the grains to her paws. And it's super safe, made by a vet so there's nothing in it that can harm her if she does lick the stuff off.

  

The good people at Dr Buzby's told me less than 5% of dogs try to chew or remove the toe grips.  I don't know if that's accurate, but Loki likes to do things her way!  Loki is fairly newly medicated for anxiety and alot of her mouthy behaviors have faded as the meds have kicked in so I'm very tempted to give toe grips another try.  My main hesitation is if I'd be eligible for a refund a second time, knowing my dog tried to eat them the first time.  Maybe I can get a friend to order for me...

Also good to know about the PawFriction!  I'd seen that somewhere and wasn't sure gluing something directly to the paw pad was a good idea.  Something else to keep in mind.  Luckily, traction isn't an issue in my house.  Just when we go out in the world (sadly, my vet's office is the worst for slippery floors).

The Rainbow Bridge



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4 January 2023 - 8:09 pm
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Haha Loki, you are definitely a unique girldog!

About PawFriction....yes we were skeptical first until we met the vet who created the product. It's absolutely safe, but better suited for dogs who don't do much activity outside. Otherwise you need to reapply it quite often.

Isn't that so insane about vet's offices?! I'm glad to see that more are switching to no-slip flooring.

New England
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11 January 2022
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5 January 2023 - 5:45 am
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jerry said
Haha Loki, you are definitely a unique girldog!

About PawFriction....yes we were skeptical first until we met the vet who created the product. It's absolutely safe, but better suited for dogs who don't do much activity outside. Otherwise you need to reapply it quite often.

Isn't that so insane about vet's offices?! I'm glad to see that more are switching to no-slip flooring.

  

The worst part is the flooring is brand new.  They did a major renovation maybe 3 years ago?  Loki has only experienced the new flooring, so I'm not sure if it was better before.  

Livermore, CA




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5 January 2023 - 9:41 am
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Welcome back!

I had a Pug that had some mobility issues due to a brain injury, she was a quad-dog but as she aged she started having issues slipping on our tile floors.  I couldn't routinely use booties or socks on her since she sometimes dragged her feet and the traction would either pull the socks off or make her fall.  I did use Pawz Booties when I took her to the vet but you can only leave them on for short periods since they don't breathe.  Tani was her name and she HATED being carried.  When I did have to pick her up I had to hold her tight as she would try to jump!

Anyway, I tried throw rugs but she still would slip on them, I eventually went to yoga mats which worked best for her.  I had trails of yoga mats all over the tile floors and she was pretty good at staying on them. I used some carpet tape to keep the mats in place since there were two humans walking around on them too.

I think a big part of her issues were caused by limb weakness compounded by her mobility problems.  An exercise program might have helped her build back some strength, but we were also dealing with periodic strokes so I'm not sure how much progress we would have made.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls and Boy

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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