All pets need to be fit, but for Tripawd cats and dogs, fitness is critical for a good quality of life.
When it comes to our canine amputee members, Tripawd Manni and Tina in Germany are great at showing us exactly what safe Tripawd exercise looks like.
Safe Tripawd Exercise Leads to Great Adventures
As you’ll see in Manni’s Tripawd dog blog, he has enjoyed many fun adventures on three legs. Tina’s dedication to keeping him strong and fit plays a big role in those good times. We asked Tina if she could share Manni’s exercise routines with us and here’s what she says:
Who taught you and Manni the exercises?
“Our physio therapist Ina Seggel holds the classes. In Germany they are not ‘rehab therapists’. They usually do qualifications in different specialties like physio therapy, osteopathy, acupuncture and so on. So one person can theoretically be licensed for one or more specialties, if that makes sense.
We started out with physio therapy very soon after the amp and in addition to the massages and so on the therapist always included exercises from day one for balance.
After about 6-8 weeks we started going to the classes. It’s usually 4-8 dogs with different disabilities and their owners and after a warm-up we start with different obstacle courses. I wrote a blog about that once with a video of one, A Little Practice Makes a Lot of Perfect Balance.
Some of the obstacles come from our regular agility classes, only to be used differently (we call it degility) and some are specifically built by the therapist and her husband, like the suspended bridge and all the balance workouts. There are a lot of great videos at the bottom of this last page. The therapist also offers hydro therapy with a water treadmill. We tried that twice but Manni hates it so we stopped.”
How often would you do these kinds of exercises with him?
“We go to the class once a week (weather permitting) and to physio probably about every three weeks. I always tried to do some of the stuff during our walks with Manni, too. Like getting his front paw on a tree stump and make step sideways, stuff like that.”
What do you think Manni would say about the workouts?
“Manni generally likes everything where he can work. He’s always needed something where he could use his brain, too. We did nose-work classes (we call it man-trailing, or people search) when he was still on four. He has days when he is too motivated and I really have to watch for signs of exhaustion so I don’t let him overdo it, other days he’s a little slower but we let him do things at his own pace.
You could watch his balance and strength become better and better through these classes.
I am a very firm believer in the benefits (and through my own experiences with the importance of rehab after my accident). Even now, with a tumor the size of a tennis ball he still manages stairs.”
Tripawd Trampoline Fun
“This is fun and easy to do and I know there’s many people with trampolines in their yards. The dogs seem to enjoy it too. We use a ramp to get the dogs up there safely and then I gently hop on the trampoline, or swing it slightly. I throw treats that Manni has to get to trying to keep his balance while I move on the trampoline. A harness is important and ideally someone else is there to help getting the dog down the ramp.”
NOTE: This information is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice. All Tripawds physio and rehab therapy exercises should first be approved by your veterinarian and canine rehabilitation therapy team.
Get Your Free Tripawd Rehab Therapy!
Has your Tripawd seen a certified canine rehab practitioner / physio therapist yet? If not, now’s the time to go! The Tripawds Foundation will reimburse the cost of an initial consultation. See the program requirements and schedule your appointment today!
With gratitude always to Angel Maggie Moo, an inspiration for safe Tripawd exercise! Read about Maggie here.