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Wyatt’s Time for Tripawd Rehab Therapy at Colorado State, Part 1

Tripawd rehab therapy isn’t just for new amputee dogs and cats. It’s beneficial for all Tripawds, no matter what stage of life they’re in. Take Tripawds Spokespup Wyatt Ray

Tripawd Wyatt Says “Ouch, that Hurts!”

Tripawd Wyatt Runs in Colorado

Wyatt is eight years old and has lived life on three legs since he was a mischievous eight month old puppy. He has enjoyed all the benefits of what we have learned about Tripawd health, safety and fitness since Spirit Jerry was our pack leader.

For instance, we keep him slim, exercise with him daily and always make sure he gets an annual wellness exam. 

Which is why we were shocked when Wyatt began slowing down this summer.

His reluctance to exercise was obvious when we returned to the Colorado mountains. At 8,700-feet elevation, everything here is a sharp uphill or steep downhill. The terrain is a good workout for any dog but it’s especially tough for Tripawds. Wyatt used to handle his walks like a champ, but when he began refusing to walk as far as usual, we knew something was wrong.

You can see in this video he’s not very energetic on his morning walk. He even sits down part-ways, which was a real sign that he hurt.

Like all cat and dog pain indicators, his were subtle and random. But we didn’t want to wait until they were totally obvious. Because when an animal shows they hurt, that’s when the pain is really bad!

So we took Wyatt to see the Tripawd rehab therapy experts at Colorado State University. Of course they had answers.

The Toll of a Tripawd’s Life on Three Legs

What a lucky dawg. Wyatt was evaluated by the Colorado State Small Animal Orthopedic experts. His team included orthopedic vets Dr. Theresa Wendland and Dr. Felix Duerr, leaders of the CSU Tripawd Prosthetic Study.

Tripawd orthopedic evaluation
Dr. Wendland evaluates Wyatt’s joints and hips.

Here’s what they had to say about Wyatt’s pain indicators:

Orthopedic exam revealed muscle soreness most notable in the left hip flexors and in the caudal shoulder musculature. These findings are most consistent with muscular compensation and pain associated with Wyatt’s adaptive tripod gait.

Discomfort from previously diagnosed hip dysplasia cannot be ruled out as a cause of mild restriction to full hip range of motion.

What a shock to learn that even when you do as much as you can to keep your Tripawd fit and strong, that compromised three-legged gait still takes a serious toll on their body. 

Wyatt’s pain issues would be much worse if he was not fit. Our exercise efforts with him have minimized the toll that life on three legs takes, but it’s still not enough. We regret that we didn’t check in with CSU’s rehab team on an annual basis. That’s going to change. 

Tripawd Orthopedic Evaluation
We must stay on top of changes over time resulting from a Tripawd’s compromised gait.

In addition to rehabilitation therapy and pain management prescription drugs, the CSU ortho vets recommended a full set of x-rays for Wyatt:

“. . . it would be beneficial to perform repeat radiographs of the hips to track progression of degenerative changes secondary to hip dysplasia and to establish a new “baseline” for Wyatt.

After his orthopedic evaluation, it was time for Wyatt’s Tripawd rehab therapy. At his first appointment he went under the care of the CSU Sports Medicine and Rehab Therapy team with therapist Laura Southworth and Sasha Foster, MSPT, CCRT, author of the renowned book “The Healthy Way to Stretch Your Dog: A Physical Therapy Approach.” 

In one session, Laura and Sasha taught us new exercises that will help strengthen Wyatt’s body in ways to help minimize and hopefully prevent more pain in the future.  Stay tuned for Part II of Wyatt’s Tripawd Rehab Therapy experience. You’ll see videos of Wyatt getting his new workout and learn tips to help your Tripawd avoid pain in their daily life.

Watch Wyatt’s Tripawd Rehab Exercises in 
Tripawd Rehab Therapy Exercises for Wyatt, Part II

Recommended Reading

Get Your Tripawd Fit, on Us! Receive $200 toward your first veterinary rehab consultation!

Learn Rehab and Fitness Tips for Tripawd Cats and Dogs

Loving Life on Three Legs, a Tripawd canine fitness and conditioning guidebook


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8 thoughts on “Wyatt’s Time for Tripawd Rehab Therapy at Colorado State, Part 1”

  1. Eight years is a long time and it’s because of you that he’s not had more issues before. I am a firm believer in good, continuous exercise and I am also sure that if Manni hadn’t been as fit as he was before his amp we would have had a lot more problems on three. Exercise always pays off but I do believe it’s crucial for a tripawd.
    The added hip displasia makes things a lot more difficult of course but if anyone can stay on top of this it’s you guys!

    • Well thanks Tina! Manni is so fortunate to have such a health-conscious mom like you. Nobody ever expects to go down the amputation road but if it happens, if the dog or cat is already in good shape it makes quality of life so much better. Kudos to you for being there for him always.

  2. No matter whay Wyatt, you are handsome as ever!! And such a good boy putting up with all the prodding!
    I know it must be a little “disappointing” to find that Wyatt as issues in spite of ALL the unbelievable dedication you jave given him to keep him fit and strong!!!

    The “silver lining” is to know that he has, indeed, benefited from the fitness regiment! As you nited, without all those workouts, etc, he would be in HORRIBLE shape!!!

    Curious…did they suggest any Adequan injections….anything like that? I know he’s alrrady taking plenty of “good” supplements….did they comment on anything additional….or make any observations about what he is currently taking??

    Thanks for keeping us informed and for sharing the great links. How I wish we all had A Colorado State University near us!
    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    PS. Wuatt did get a scoopnof ice cream for being such a good boy, right?? Never mind….I know the answer! 🙂

    • Hey Sally, thanks for the feedback. The vets don’t think he’s ready for any stronger pain medication right now, thankfully. He is on a new Omega 3 that the CSU vets stand behind. I’ll blog about that soon.

      And you are correct about that ice cream! 😉

  3. I’m so sorry Wyatt is starting to feel the effects that years have brought on – Even though you’ve done everything you can to prevent it. I worry about this with my girl Daisy too. Thank you for the information and the resources.

    • Korynn, stay on top of things with Daisy and everything will be fine. Use your worry to take action and you’ll notice a difference in her quality of life. Thanks for reading!

  4. Wow, I didn’t realize he was slowing down the way he was. I am glad you are sharing this information with us. Good information for even my 4 legged dogs 🙂

    Michelle & Angel Sassy


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