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25 April 2007
Here's our second and final interview with animal rehabilitation specialist Leslie Gallagher McMahon, CCMT, CCRT of Two Hands Four Paws Canine Massage and Rehabilitation. In this video, she works on Jack, a rear leg amputee who became a Tripawd because his leg improperly healed after a surgery that was supposed to save it.
Although Leslie doesn't like the fact that amputation is often performed as a quick fix solution (instead of trying physical therapy first) in some cases like Jack's she feels it's the best way for a dog like him to start leading a normal life again. Here's a video with Leslie working on Jack and sharing her rehabilitation tips that we've summarized for you below:
Rear Leggers versus Front Leggers
Leslie feels that rear leg amputees have it a little bit easier than front leg Tripawds. Although rear leg amputees also have pain resulting from living on three legs, rear leggers seem to recover from surgery a bit faster because it's easier for them to get their balance. Also, because dogs carry sixty percent of their weight on their front legs, they can still use their bodies almost exactly as nature intended them to.
Leslie's Pain Relief Tips
Many pawrents don't know when to use heat and when to use cold on their Tripawd. Leslie suggests:
- Use cold within 48 hours to 3 days after the injury or surgery. Ice reduces swelling and inflammation.
- When an injury is no longer acute, switch back and forth between ice and heat.
- Apply ice for five minutes, heat for 5 minutes, then ice for 5 minutes. Always end with ice.
- Keep a towel between the ice pack and fur
- Test heat before application
We recommend getting two Bella's Pain Relief Packs, which can be used either cold or hot, to allow you to easily rotate between ice and heat.
Big Dog Therapy Tips
For giant breeds, Leslie's favorite therapy is swimming. Try swimming sessions starting at five minutes each, gradually working up to ten minutes. While ideally water should be at 85 degrees, for some dogs like Labs and Golden Retrievers who naturally love to swim, she feels it's fine to allow them to get into a lake or river and do some swimming. Just remember:
- Always use a float coat , like the Ruff Wear Big Eddy or Portage.
- Monitor their heart rate and respiration. Make sure they're not overdoing it.
Two Hands Four Paws Canine Massage and Rehabilitation is the oldest animal wellness center in Los Angeles. Services include canine massage therapy, rehabilitation and swim therapy. Contact Leslie and her staff today to see how they can make your Tripawd feel better than ever!
Please be aware that we are not veterinarians. The information presented here is not meant to be construed as medical advice or guidance, nor should it be substituted for professional veterinary assistance. Always discuss any remedies and treatments you wish to pursue with your veterinarian.
25 April 2007
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