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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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Core Strengthening, when to start?
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Forum Posts: 286
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18 May 2014 - 4:35 pm
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Hey all! Didn’t quite know where to post this. Domino is about 5 days post op now and doing very well! 

I’ve read almost everywhere that core strengthening is key to helping maintain a tripawd. But when should I start? He’s still in the early stages of recovery, so I don’t want to stress or injure him. We’re already doing some simple stretching and extensions while he lays on his side to keep him limber and loose. I’ve heard wonders about FitPaws and I’ve found a Rehab clinic only about 45 mins away that does FitPaws and underwater treadmill. But how soon is too soon? Thanks so much everyone! 

Domino 4 days post op sporting his jerseyImage Enlarger

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

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18 May 2014 - 4:51 pm
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Awesome question and this is the perfect place to ask!

Well, it’s best to have him evaluated by a practitioner first but generally rehab vets have told us they like to start about 10 days out from surgery.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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19 May 2014 - 5:39 am
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Hi Domino, great to see you recovering so well! Good question and I’ll pass on what my wonderful CCPT (Lisa) told me. If you have access to a CCPT schedule an appointment for right after the sutures are removed at 10 to 12 days post op. At this point they will assess Domino’s pain and strength levels and make a plan for rehabilitation. The first couple of weeks post op are stretching exercises and cold laser therapy if they have one to prevent any muscle layers from bunching up during the scarring process. Massage of the incision area and stretching are important during this time. If Domino does not have a lot of core strength then you can start very minimal exercises such as the cavaletti poles and wobble board. You don’t want to do a ton of exercises until those muscle layers have healed (takes about 1.5 months) to prevent any extra pain to your tripaw. Remember, what we are asking them to do is equivalent to us doing hundreds of crunches in a day! Once those muscles are healed then it’s game on for all those great core strengthening exercises !

Keep hoppin! Mandy and Mav

Maverick is a wonderful miniature australian shepard born with a malformation of the front right radius/ulna, amputation performed on 11/4/13 at 6 months old. Follow his story at mavericksjourney.tripawds.com.

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19 May 2014 - 10:52 am
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Excellent insight Mandy, thank you!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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20 May 2014 - 6:51 am
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Thank you guys so much!! Domino gets his staples out on Friday. I’m still on the fence about going to the rehab facility. Its a great place, and fairly close. But it’s not cheap. Do any of you guys have experience doing the strengthening at home vs at a rehab clinic? Thanks again! 

Cassie and Domino

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

Portage Lake, Maine
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20 May 2014 - 7:26 am
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Hi there!

I don’t get on much anymore but this is one topic near and dear to my heart!  My late tripawd, Maggie, did at home PT core work.  I wish I had access to cold laser after her amputation.  I would highly recommend you try it out.  At least at first, so you can get at home exercises to do and also to get the cold laser work, if they have one.  I have been taking my quad pawed, Haley, to cold laser and underwater treadmill session since December for a lumbar/groin injury and I can tell you that they both have helped her so much(we are now backing off on her sessions).  I also do PT exercises at home with her with Fitpaws equipment.  The underwater treadmill work has packed on the muscle!  I have seen video’s of tripawd’s doing treadmill work as well.  It is really beneficial in so many ways….one being no stress on the joints while doing it, so with a tripawd not being able to walk far(at least mine couldn’t) this would be great for them.

Here in Northern Maine, I pay for five treatments and give the sixth one free.  So your rehab place may do the same.  I pay $200 for both laser and treadmill.  I think that is a very decent price.

Tracy & Spirit Maggie

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

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20 May 2014 - 9:16 am
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maggie said
Hi there!

I don’t get on much anymore but this is one topic near and dear to my heart!  My late tripawd, Maggie, did at home PT core work.  I wish I had access to cold laser after her amputation.  I would highly recommend you try it out.  At least at first, so you can get at home exercises to do and also to get the cold laser work, if they have one.  I have been taking my quad pawed, Haley, to cold laser and underwater treadmill session since December for a lumbar/groin injury and I can tell you that they both have helped her so much(we are now backing off on her sessions).  I also do PT exercises at home with her with Fitpaws equipment.  The underwater treadmill work has packed on the muscle!  I have seen video’s of tripawd’s doing treadmill work as well.  It is really beneficial in so many ways….one being no stress on the joints while doing it, so with a tripawd not being able to walk far(at least mine couldn’t) this would be great for them.

Here in Northern Maine, I pay for five treatments and give the sixth one free.  So your rehab place may do the same.  I pay $200 for both laser and treadmill.  I think that is a very decent price.

Tracy & Spirit Maggie

Thank you so much!! This really helps. I talked to the Vet at the Rehab clinic near my house the other day. She has the underwater treadmill, cold laser, fitpaws and hydrotherapy. She said her initial fee is $120 for examination and evaluation. But I don’t know the cost beyond that. I expected that first visit to be higher since he’s a new patient and for the exam. Hopefully after it is something like the package that you purchase. I think I may go for it. Thank you all so much!! 

Cassie and Domino

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 May 2014 - 10:01 am
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Cassie what is the clinic you’re considering? Got a link?

Good rehab vets understand that the cost of ongoing care isn’t cheap. A good one will understand that your goal is to do at-home exercises, and work with you to develop a routine you can do yourself. The initial visit is expensive but follow-ups are usually considerably less. Checking in with one every now and then is always a good idea to ensure you’re doing the exercises correctly and correct any changes in Domino’s stance, gait, etc.

Not sure if I share this with you but do check out our latest show about canine rehab with Mandy and Maverick and their PT:

Veterinary Rehab Therapy Benefits for Three Legged Dogs

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 May 2014 - 10:02 am
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Oh and thank you Tracy for chiming in, you and Maggie are the stellar example of what is possible with dedicated rehab therapy and attention to ongoing care at home!

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

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20 May 2014 - 12:59 pm
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Hi Cassie, that’s a good question about home care. I do highly recommend doing the initial visit first to at least see what their plan will be for Domino. That price is a little high compared to what I pay but the first analysis is always higher since it takes longer for them to assess him. I would talk to them at that first session what a normal cost is and how often they recommend coming. Right after Mav’s surgery we went every 2 weeks to work on his scarring issue and now are going once a month. We do A LOT of at home exercises as prescribed by Lisa to target the area that needs the most work. Just like anywhere else, a good rehab therapist will have clients championing for them (BTW, go LISA!) so you might want to ask for references and you can talk with current clients as well. Once you know the basics of what Domino needs you can do as much work at home as you need to in order to keep things under control financially.

 

Mandy and Mav

Maverick is a wonderful miniature australian shepard born with a malformation of the front right radius/ulna, amputation performed on 11/4/13 at 6 months old. Follow his story at mavericksjourney.tripawds.com.

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20 May 2014 - 7:00 pm
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jerry said
Cassie what is the clinic you’re considering? Got a link?

Good rehab vets understand that the cost of ongoing care isn’t cheap. A good one will understand that your goal is to do at-home exercises, and work with you to develop a routine you can do yourself. The initial visit is expensive but follow-ups are usually considerably less. Checking in with one every now and then is always a good idea to ensure you’re doing the exercises correctly and correct any changes in Domino’s stance, gait, etc.

Not sure if I share this with you but do check out our latest show about canine rehab with Mandy and Maverick and their PT:

Veterinary Rehab Therapy Benefits for Three Legged Dogs

Hey! This is the place I was thinking about going to

ARCC Greenville SC

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28739
Member Since:
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20 May 2014 - 9:11 pm
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Wowwee that looks like a fantastic clinic and rehab vet, you’re so lucky to live near a practitioner like Dr. Kennedy. I’m downloading her e-book and plan on interviewing her, Dr. Kennedy sounds fantastic. I’d go for it if it’s at all possible, looks like she could be a huge help for Domino.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 286
Member Since:
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21 May 2014 - 5:24 am
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jerry said
Wowwee that looks like a fantastic clinic and rehab vet, you’re so lucky to live near a practitioner like Dr. Kennedy. I’m downloading her e-book and plan on interviewing her, Dr. Kennedy sounds fantastic. I’d go for it if it’s at all possible, looks like she could be a huge help for Domino.

Yea, when I spoke to her on the phone last week she seemed fantastic! I also found out that Domino’s surgeon Dr. Dunagin used to work with Dr. Kennedy before she went into rehab therapy! Small world I guess. I think we’re going to make an appointment for a consultation after his neuter. I’ll have to wait for his stitches to come out from that procedure before he can do any underwater work. Thanks again everyone!

Cassie and Domino

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

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