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Anxious tripod not walking or standing on own after fall
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Forum Posts: 19
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9 January 2019 - 11:55 pm
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Hi there,

I recently created a separate post about our dog, Boon, who fell/jumped off the couch recently after surgery:

https://tripawd…..ed-advice/

I am writing a new post with regards to his anxiety because it seems like that is now the main issue hampering his mobility, and I am hoping someone out there has had a similar experience and can offer advice and support–we are very concerned. 

Boon initially was in pain due to what we believe to be a neck or spine injury–he was sensitive to touch in these places according to the rehab vet who examined him, and our surgeon and oncologist. He is clearly not paralyzed, but still folds his body when we pick him up and won’t put his feet on the ground (hasn’t stood on his own since Dec 28th). We feel we are now managing the pain of the injury, and any arthritis pain, better with the beginning of a new holistic routine: acupuncture, support with massage, ice for inflammation, increasing gabapentin to 900 mg daily (plus his Rimadyl), cbd oil (just starting this week), etc. His muscles are likely weak and maybe he’s sore, but we don’t believe there is a purely physical reason for him not to stand or walk, so our major concern is his fearfulness and anxiety. It seems as though he is very fearful and as someone mentioned maybe having “anticipatory pain” whenever we get the harness on him to take him to pee. He shakes and seizes up, stiffening his body and making it impossible to set his feet on the ground.

Boon has always been an anxious pup, and we know it takes him a while to get his head around something new or scary. We are trying to stay positive and encouraging, but when I pick him up he is like a deadweight and I feel like I have a disabled dog, even though spinal or neurological issues have been ruled out by our pt vet–he has also, just once, put both back feet in position to pee and did so without me holding his back end up (my husband was still holding the chest support of the harness), so I know it is physically possible for him to do so. 

Boon is a very recent tripod–he had only started really walking and feeling good and strong for about five days, three and half weeks after his surgery. So, his experience of his “new” body was brief and fleeting. I am wondering if anyone has had successful rehab with a tripod dog such as Boon who isn’t walking and hasn’t in a while, especially an anxious dog? We are pulling out all the stops, but our oncologist said the other day that if we don’t see improvement in two weeks we should consider euthanasia. I don’t think I should listen to her timeline, as I know my dog to be a bit of a nervous, slow to come around guy, but I am worried. Any sense of confidence he had in his body as a tripod seems to have evaporated.

Thank you for reading,

K, W, and Boondog

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 January 2019 - 11:45 am
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Ohhh my gosh, I was stunned to read this:

our oncologist said the other day that if we don’t see improvement in two weeks we should consider euthanasia.

I know you are seeing some great vets there, so to read this was a shock and in my opinion, off-base. You are so right, you know your dog better than anyone else who maybe sees him for a few minutes a months, so go with your gut on this and keep trying to get to the issue that’s causing the behavior. You can get there!

This leads me to my suggestion to work with a veterinary behavior expert on Boone’s challenges. Not a trainer, but a board-certified veterinarian behaviorist. In fact, a REALLY great one is so close to you in Dublin CA! I think you should call her. Dr. Meredith Stepita was a guest on this episode of Tripawd Talk Radio and she now has her own practice, Veterinary Behavior Specialists.

You are an AMAZING and WONDERFUL parent to Boon, he is so fortunate to have you looking out for him. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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10 January 2019 - 11:54 am
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This is so perplexing.  I can’t  imagine  your frustration at not being able to figure  this out.

You DO know Boon better than anyone  and this just has to have a “cause”, this a solution.   And his sensitive nature could certainly  be part of the equation.    And no, do not listen to anyone’s “timeline”!!!!!!

Refresh my memory.,eating, drinking, pooping, peeing just fine??  Attitude  is good? Tail wags?  Engaged?  No pain (other than when he sees the harnes😉

Do you have an animal chiropractor in your area? 

Have you tried taking him  outside and just walking away?  Lay him on a blanket,  take the harness off, maybe put a tummy treat a foot or so out of his reach, and walk away.

Is there anyone else who he likes and would be excited  to see who could take him outside?

Muscle weakness, anticipation  of pain, could all be at play, anxiety, could all be at play.  Just seems to me there has to be something  that caused this to begin with..  Grrrr….so frustrating!!

Keep staying  pawsitive and solution  oriented!  We’re  here with uou doing the same!!

Extra higs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Livermore, CA




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10 January 2019 - 6:01 pm
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Hey, you are in Dublin? I’m in Livermore!  Please let me know if I can help you with anything- send me a PM.  I’m retired so am around most of the time. 

On to anxiety- my little Tripawd Elly has severe separation anxiety, at it’s worst in my truck.  It’s what I would call moderate at home- when I leave her there she is not destructive and will eat but spends 85-90% of her time looking out the window waiting for me to come home.

When I first got her and I left home even for an hour she was ridiculously happy to see me when I came in and wouldn’t calm down for 15 to 30 minutes- completely inappropriate reaction for the situation.  The truck was even worse- we started taking a class where she had to wait in the truck for her turn.  The first time I tried it and came to get her she was wildly inconsolable for over 45 minutes.  I couldn’t get her to do anything in the class and she sure wasn’t getting back in the truck! That’s when the severe Sep Anx was diagnosed.

I’ve dealt with a lot of physical issues with my dogs but I have never dealt with such an anxious dog as Elly.  While we are training or doing exercises she immediately responds negatively if she senses any frustration in my voice. If I put a hand on her to help her balance or try and move a leg to get her in a better position I have to do it with a ton of praise or she responds like she is in trouble. 

Not the same as what you are dealing with but I think the root of anxiety is the same.  The dog has uncontrollable anxiety when faced with a certain situation.  I learned that it could be from something that happened or not, but the key piece is that the dog can’t control themselves.  In Elly’s case I think her amp was a contributing factor, she was hit by a car at 7 months old, but I think the biggest contributor is that I was her 4th home at 10 months old.  She had been taken someplace and left with strangers three times!

What I learned to do was to work on desensitizing her to the stimulus that triggered her anxiety.  Since leaving her in the truck was the biggest problem we started there.  At first it was just getting her to calm herself when I parked.  Then I worked on just opening my door for a couple seconds, then closing it again and rewarding her.  I worked up to stepping out of the truck, then right back in.  Then step out and close the door, then get right back in.  It took a year of patient work so that I could leave her for 15 minutes although I had to stay in sight.  In a year and a half I could leave her for 45 minutes with me out of sight some of the time.  She is still wound up when I come back but the big difference is that she can calm herself in just a couple minutes.  Lots of really special treats, lots of praise, lots of patience.

Maybe you can adapt this stagey for Boon.  Start with tiny steps and give lots of praise and treats.  If he can roll from one hip to the other.  Or push off on your hand if you push on one of his legs.  Get him to do simple things that don’t scare him or trigger pain. Start small with short sessions and always end on a positive note. I used a book recommended to my by one of our trainers to develop my training.  It’s pretty specific to Sep Anx but I can find the title and author if you are interested.

I second Jerry’s recommendation on seeing a behaviorist.  I didn’t try with with Elly because she was terrified of everyone we met, and always thought I was going to leave her where ever I took her. 

I hope you can find some answers for Boon very soon and really let me know if I can help.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

 

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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10 January 2019 - 10:16 pm
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Hi again–

Wow, thank you all for the kind supportive words. It’s been a WHIRLWIND of an emotional day. (I hope that by writing this out it helps someone else in the future who may have similar issues with their dog.)

Hope has been shaky and I have not been certain who or what to believe–ie., what was his injury when he fell, how severe was it, how much was his anxiety/behavioral issues making a differential diagnosis, etc. etc. Also not having much in the way of improvement had been making me feel deeply worried, confused, and prone to doom scenarios. I did some research online under “partial paralysis dog” and found the following article: http://robinson…..ussynd.pdf

I was convinced this is what happened to Boon. At first I was relieved, thinking it made sense and that I could have something to wrap my head around, and a sense of a treatment protocol (much of it we already have set out to commit to). Then I was horrified, blaming myself that I had let him on the couch and the only reason he jumped off is because I was calling him to dinner in the other room–basically that I had made my dog paralyzed by my carelessness. My husband was not encouraged by this diagnosis.

Anyway, I went to the rehab appt today and talked with the holistic vet and she doesn’t believe it’s FCE. His neuro response is sound, he can place his feet when someone does it for him, etc. Since my experience taking him out to pee at home has been so traumatic (stiff, collapsing) I was beginning to be convinced he was partially paralyzed and not just only anxious. She set my mind at ease, did a round of acupuncture, and administered the first dose of CBD oil. We waited a half hour and then did some PT.

The pt was VERY encouraging. It was only his second time but the techs said they saw a lot of improvement from the first appointment (when only my husband was present), and one said it was “light years” better–I hope she wasn’t just being hyperbolic. Anyway, they supported him properly and showed me how to help him get more confidence moving, which was exactly what I needed. He will need a lot of work, and I think it will take time and TONS of patience, but today was the first day since the accident two weeks ago that I feel like it’s actually maybe possible he will walk again. Maybe he will get even stronger than before amputation, who knows? I think the analgesic effect of the CBD really helped him today.

Karen–thank you for your story and advice! We are in the Oakland area–not too far from you. The pt said something similar about desensitizing him to the harness and the association with the difficult time at the curb peeing. Like just putting the harness on, giving him a treat, and not going outside, etc. She was super encouraging (even whispered a secret something into Boon’s ear at the end of the treatment session smiley), and I trust with their work and positive encouragement he is going to make some steady strides.

Sally–the PT also did recommend a chiro, who she swears is wonderful and has the “touch” especially for mental issues with pups. We are going to see about getting an appointment with her as part of our sessions when he gets used to going to the building and the people.

Jerry–thank  you–I was surprised by the oncologists words, but I didn’t let them sink in. My first reaction was: you don’t know my dog. My second reaction was: you’ve only seen him for a tiny bit of time. She was compassionate and was definitely encouraging of all we are doing, but she did say she wanted to be an advocate for him and us if his quality of life wasn’t good. She also said she had a very large dog who lost the use of his legs and she didn’t have help and had to make that decision…so, certainly some of her personal experience entered into that comment. That’s not our case, but still–I wish she would have led with something more positive and encouraging.

All in all, I will try to be patient as we continue pt and the rest of the treatment protocol. When Boon got back tonight from session he was as perky as I’ve seen him in a long time. Chewing on a stuffy, alert and extroverted. He even seemed to put a tiny little bit of weight on his single remaining leg going up the stairs…I may have imagined that, but still! I wonder if the CBD might be a miracle drug for him…

Thanks for reading… I hope to continue to post good news and progress.

K, W, and Boon

The Rainbow Bridge



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11 January 2019 - 9:47 am
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Wow what an encouraging PT session! I’m so happy things went well yesterday. And I agree that it doesn’t sound like a FCE. We’ve had a member here whose dog was diagnosed with it, and the symptoms weren’t at all like what Boon is experiencing. So YAY that the PT helped him feel better and here’s to more good sessions ahead! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




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11 January 2019 - 10:53 am
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Have a few happy tears flowing over here!!   This really, really, really is good news!!  

And no, the techs wouldn’t  just be embellishing  his improvent.  In fact, if anything,  the techs I’ve dealt with are probably  a bit more “conservative ” in their  assessments.

My Frankie has had surgeries on each of his two remaining  back legs.  During his recovery, one thing that helped me determine  of he was putting  any “supportive pressure” on the surgery leg was watching his foot/paw.  You can see if Boon is just doing tippy toe position  or actually “bending” his paw in a more flattened position in a way that carries some of his weight..  Does that make sense??

Yes, this will take tons of patience,  determination, fortitude, lots of consistent  work…bit you ARE making improvements!!!!!!!!!  Remember,  every seemingly  “little” improvement  is a HIGE VICTORIOUS  IMPROVEMENT!!!

You are do such a good job!!!!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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19 January 2019 - 10:21 am
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Hi there,

Just wanted to give a quick update which has some really positive news (we all need positive news!):

Boon has had two weeks (4 appointments) of rehab/acupuncture, plus the treatment protocol with all meds, etc. His last rehab appointment he practically tried to run into the building!! He has lost a lot of muscle mass, and I still have to hold him by his chest harness, but I was able to let go of the hip part of the harness and he “walks” (places his feet and moves them, if clumsily) a lot more on his own. A major improvement since the first few times I brought him in I had to completely carry him the entire way–no active motion on his part whatsoever, complete deadweight. At rehab he was very up and active and even went into the water treadmill, though he looked terrified. I think the techs are going to be good at getting him accustomed to it. He even stood for a tiny bit before falling down, and the techs were blown away, one said “I have chills!”  After we brought him home from rehab on Thursday I put him on a soft bed on the floor and went into the kitchen to make his dinner–after a minute I heard a thud and went to check on him: he had actually tried to get up on his own and come into the kitchen! This was HUGE–after weeks of just laying around, and not even trying.

The next day he was pretty sore and kinda cranky. I think at this point it is just continued strength and endurance building, plus more positive confidence building. I feel for the first time since the fall like I am almost at the beginning of that earlier turning point post-op, when he juuuuust started to move on his own and be more like his old self. I need to be patient, but I find myself wanting to say, “I think I have my dog back!”

We still have regular rehab visits 2xweekly until the beginning of March, so fingers crossed he only get stronger and happier.

K, W, and BOON!

Virginia




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19 January 2019 - 11:19 am
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OVER THE MOON HAPPY TO READ THIS!!!!    O.V.E.R.  T.H.E.   M.O.O.N H.A.P..P.Y.😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

Got a few happy tears over here!!

Soooo glad you stayed the course and didn’t  give up  And givi g yp eould jave bee easy to do considering  all the dooms day feedback uou were getting! But you know Boon best and Boon was not about to give up!!

Can’t  stop smiling!!!😁😁😁

Hugs and a scoop of ice cream for Boon!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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