Good for you for taking a three legged dog into your life. Cassidy may not have had to do steps before or was limited to a few. She should get used to them with out any problems. Are the steps carpeted? If not that may be difficult. My dog lost his left front leg eight months ago and was doing steps a fews weeks after surgery. He will not however do the cellar steps that are not carpeted. As far as 45 min. hikes, I would ease her into that, she may not be conditioned to long walks. You will know how far she can go if you start out with about 15 to 20 min walks and move her up as needed. She is very young and should do very well. I can't do the long walks with my dog like we used to because the missing front legs causes a lot of a hopping motion that really tires them out. Everything else is almost like normal. One bit of information that is something my vet stressed to me is to keep them from getting over weight and adding stress to their remaining legs. That just seems like common sence, but you know how we love to give treats to our dogs cause we love them. Good luck with Cassidy, standard poodles are so wonderful, smart and big clowns. She is a lucky girl to have found a good home.
Donna and Luke
I think you are right about the stairs. She was in a ranch house before and may have only gone up and down a couple. We have a large 3 story house and she is a little insecure so follows me everywhere. I've noticed she's getting more confident on the stairs by the minute. We'll try shorter walks for now. Luckily we live on a quiet circular dirt road with a 10-15 minute loop so that will get her used to walks. She lived at the breeder's kennel and ran around a lot but I don't think she ever went for a hike before. In terms of the weight issue, I don't think I've ever seen a fat standard poodle so we should be in good shape there. Does anyone use booties on their dogs? I wondered if it might help protect her paws when we're on rough ground, and especially when we have snow and ice. I would hate for her to get a boo-boo on one of her paws.
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our 9 month old three-legged girl Jaida (was born with a leg deformity and is now about 1 month post-op, had her foreleg removed) lives in a house of many stairs and hardwood floors (poor kid), and she does pretty well. Carpeted stairs are MUCH easier for her than wood ones for sure...she will do wood stairs if needed, but takes them more slowly and is inclined to slip sometimes. She was very hestitant to do any stairs at first, for quite a few weeks after we got her home at 12 weeks, but eventually was motivated enough to try them on her own, simply by us being upstairs.
I've tried booties on Jaida for the hardwood (to reduce slipping), and didn't find them to be much help. But for the winter/rough terrain, I don't see how it could hurt to try them...good prevention if nothing else.
We can take Jaida for about 30-40 min walks (or will be again soon)...but we had to work up to it quite slowly, over the course of several months.
Right now, because we've got young gals, it's all about prevention...doing whatever possible to prevent early degeneration of the joints in her remaining legs. You're better off because she's lost a back leg instead of a front, since the front legs are the ones that carry the most body weight (your pup is carrying about 40% body weight on the remaining back leg, Jaida carries about 60% on her remaining front leg), so that's going to be helpful in the long run. Some tips from our vet:
-avoid letting her jump down from heights much bigger than a step or two (carry is better)
-walk her on grass whenever possible instead of concrete
-feed a good joint/mobility food and/or supplement with glucosamine/chondroitin for joint degeneration prevention (we just started her on Purina JM)
-supplement her diet with fish oil...cod liver oil is a cheap way to do this
-keep her weight on the lean side
-exercise is important for sure, but be mindful not to overdo it. (We find that Jaida is quite good about letting us know when she's tired...good self-regulator). Water exercise i.e. swimming is a great no-impact activity.
Congrats on the new family member!
If you have any slippery floors in your house, you may want to get some mats or rugs or runners. They are helpful for any older dog when standing up or lying down, but especially a 3-legged dog. Some tile floors have pretty good traction, others are quite slick, it depends on how smooth the surface of the tile is.
Is she a front amputee or rear?
We're all single level and easy outdoor flow so I'm hoping she'll find things easy enough but I'll certain.y keep an eye on how she moves.
Thanks heaps folks.
They're hard to find, but harnesses that are like little vests exist, and I wonder if they'd be more secure. I suggest making a raid on local pet stores and seeing what you can find, because it seems to be easier, especially for unusual circumstances, to be able to try stuff on. If you get it from Amazon, say, you can't try it on her.