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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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Preventative chiropractic care or wait for issues? And how to know there's an issue?
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Madison, WI
Member Since:
5 December 2009
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4 December 2010 - 11:24 am
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Got a question for all tripawd pawrents who have taken their pup (and it wouldn't necessarily have to be your tripawd for the purposes of my question) to a chiropractor.  What kind of symptoms prompted you to have them seen?  Do you do just plain check ups or any kind of preventative care from time to time, or is there not much to be done unless your pup is showing problems?

 

I took Gerry once after what was deemed probably a case of phantom limb pain at the park.  That was several months ago and no problems since.  The chiropractor said at the time that Gerry was doing great and didn't recommend any follow up visits.  But I started wondering about how I'll know if Gerry does start needing an adjustment a couple weeks ago.  He was very groany for a while.  That seems to have passed.  I gave him back rubs and he likes that, but it probably had nothing to do with his groaning fading away.

 

So, what can y'all tell me?

Gerry has been a tripawd since 12/16/2009.

He was a shelter dog with a mysterious past and an irrepairable knee injury.

Videos and pics of Gerry's pawesomeness can be found at: http://gerry.tripawds.com

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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4 December 2010 - 12:41 pm
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Great question, thanks for asking! Hopefully others who have had chiro done on their dogs can provide some helpful feedback.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Portage Lake, Maine
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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4 December 2010 - 1:14 pm
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I have had chiropractic done on both my dogs thru the years as they are(were) agility dogs.  Maggie now being a Tripawd, I had her adjusted earlier this summer - she was out in the suspected places per my chiropractor, given the fact she's a Tripawd now.(I cannot remember where exactly she was out but there were numerous places).  I haven't brought her back since that time.

I have had my younger dog adjusted twice in the past month...as she is being worked on by a holistic vet for her shoulder injury.  She was out in her neck two times, just yesterday I was there and she was fine this time.  I suspect due to her being lame earlier on her left front was causing her neck issues...  So that brings me to thinking of our Tripawds....they are torquing their bodies in odd positions to get their balance...so it stands to reason to me, that they would be out and regular adjustments would be 'a good thing' winker

FWIW!

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

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/

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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4 December 2010 - 1:51 pm
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I can only tell you what my doctor who is a D.O. specializing in muscular/skeleton medicine says:

Go when you need to and don't when you don't.   

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

littlemanjake
5
5 December 2010 - 2:14 am
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Isabelle gets regular adjustments. The frequency depends on her activity, usually every 3-4 weeks.  We are so fortunate that her wonderful, integrative vet is only 10 minutes from home. She has all of her medical care, & rehab there. The chiropractic DVM casually checks her whenever she sees her, so she gets small adjustments all the time. I think it is tremendously beneficial, but Isabelle has L-S spine arthritis & when her alignment is off, she is in pain. Her alignment is much more easily disturbed on 3 legs.

western Washington
Member Since:
7 June 2010
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6
6 December 2010 - 12:04 am
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We've been getting our Kona chiropractic care for the last couple of weeks and it's been a blessing.

Kona hurt her remaining back leg and then tweaked her back (bulging disc or nerve pinch, they're not sure) and then she was put on prednosone and tramadol.............the prednosone, we found out too late, takes muscle, and in less than two weeks after being put on the drugs, she lost all function in her back end, including the leg. We've had to go through a horrible withdrawl of both drugs (very bad)  and she's been getting home visit chiropractic (we're very lucky) visits  and she's been improving. Now has bowel and urine control and is getting feeling and maybe more although we know that it will take time...we ordered a rehab cart for her so she get walk with it, even run, and it's also for rehab.

 

Yes, absolutely yes, I'm sold on the benefits of chiropractic for my Kona.

Kona turned 9yrs on April 16, 2010.
Kona was diagnosed Memorial Weekend 2010 with osteosarcoma.
Right rear leg amputated on June 4th. First chemo June 18th 2010
Second chemo July 9th, 2010      Third and final (yea !!!) chemo July 30th, 2010
ONE TOUGH GIRL this Australian Cattledog !

***Kona's journey/fight ended late in the evening of December 22, 2010***

                               We Love you so much Kona….always   

  Bella 9yrs, albino lab/aussie shep/pit?(abandoned in mts as a puppy) deaf & blind (from birth) in one eye limited vision in other.(laid back, ok lazy 73 lbs)

Cotton, 5yrs, albino hound/terrier of somesort/???(abandoned in mts as a puppy) deaf & blind in one eye(from birth), excellent vision in seeing eye. (ball addict…destroyer of Kong balls…yes,etc), high energy 55lbs knots of muscle)

Kona Kai's pup brother and sister as well as her buddy and playmate cat, Shaymous 12yrs (like Seamus), miss her terribly.

Portage Lake, Maine
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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6 December 2010 - 6:00 am
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konakaismom said:

 

Yes, absolutely yes, I'm sold on the benefits of chiropractic for my Kona.


That is absolutely WONDERFUL news!!!  For both Kona and for the praises of alternative health care!!!  Good luck with the continuing rehab on your girl!

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

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/

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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6 December 2010 - 11:18 am
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Yay Kona!

Thanks for the head's up about Prednisone and muscle weakening, we didn't know that was one of the possible side effects. 

We're soooo glad to hear things are looking up, thank you for the update. Kona's story will help others, for sure. Hugs to you both!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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6 December 2010 - 11:22 am
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Calpurnia's Mom wrote this post for us ("Chiropractic Care for Newbies") about her experience with chiropactic care, you may find some answers there too.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
5 April 2009
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10
6 December 2010 - 7:41 pm
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We drive Shelby to the chiropractor every 6 weeks.

Dr Deppe really focuses on her hips and where her spine and rib cage meet.  She says the way Shelby hops and moves puts a lot of torque on her her spine and rib cage area. She also pays close attention to Shelby's shoulder, she wants to make sure that the nerves and the tendons, muscles are working together. She also pays a great deal of attention to her feet and checks each of her toes. She checks from the tip of her tail all the way up her spine making small adjutments as she goes along.

I have seen her adjust Shelby twice where the spine and the base of the skull meet. 

We feel quite comfortable with the way that Dr Deppe works with Shelby and we can see the difference after the adjusts are done.

And she does it all in 20 to 25 minutes.cool

Cleveland, OH
Member Since:
19 June 2010
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11
7 December 2010 - 5:16 pm
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I took Denali to have chiro care.  I first took her because she had a 'bunny hop' instead of a 'tripawd hop'.  Denali and her posse (me and either my parents or boyfriend) would drive up every 3-4 weeks.  We were just pushing her back to 6 weeks for regular maintenance.  The holistic vet did her chiro care, I loved the vet - all future puppies will be going to him!

~~~~ Denali ~~~~

June 9, 2010 OSA suspected

June 17, 2010, July 14, 2010 Clear X-rays – no mets

July 1, 2010 Amputation

July 9, 2010 OSA Confirmed

November 23, 2010 Cancer took you from me - Never forgotten, Always Loved - Forever

Supporting the Fighters, Admiring the Survivors, Honoring the Taken, And never, ever giving up Hope

Dayton, OH
Member Since:
9 January 2011
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12
29 January 2011 - 7:13 pm
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I just posted on the forum "Hopping Along" regarding back or leg injury (leg buckling) and now I've read over the posts on this forum and I'm feeling so hopeful!  My Old English Sheepdog, Sylvia, has been on "strict crate rest" and prednisone for the past three weeks and I've been thinking all this time that there's got to be something better.  From shortly after her amputation, it made sense to me that we should pursue some sort of muscle-strengthening treatment to help her adjust to life on three legs.  But as good as I believe her oncologist and surgeon are, I think they should've been more forthcoming with suggestions for following up amputation.  And, yes, I should have asked more questions.  (I hate when our mistakes or omissions hurt our furry kids, who are depending on us to care for them.) 

Tomorrow a.m. I plan to begin researching alternative treatments and physical therapists for dogs in earnest!  I've sort of browsed the Internet for some in our area (Dayton, OH), and do have the name of a chiropracter that I got from a coworker.  I've had a harder time finding a doggie physical therapist.

Anyway - Thank you all for the great information that you share via these posts!!

 

- Sylvia and dog-mom Karen

Sweet Silly Sylvie, the Old English Sheepdog

Diagnosed with osteosarcoma 11/04/2010 at almost 7 years of age * Left hind leg amputated 11/09/2010 * Chemo on 12/10, 12/17, 01/10, 01/31

Sweet Sylvie's earthly journey ended on Nov. 3, 2011, one day short of a year since her diagnosis and 6 days short of her one-year ampuversary.  Her family celebrates her life as a sheepdog – ever the puppy, ever silly, ever sweet – and are grateful for our 7 years together.

Portage Lake, Maine
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8 December 2009
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30 January 2011 - 7:18 am
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Hi Sylvia,

Don't get mad at yourself...I believe the entire vet community needs to step up to the plate and be more proactive for our Tripawds for AFTER surgery...the LIFE that follows and try to help them better with PT work ideas.  Just telling you to crate your dog and put her on Pred...wow, that surely isn't a long term fix!

If you are interested, if you go to my dog's blog, there are several short video's on some rehab exercises I do with my Tripawd and also there are various blogs on Tripawds with super, duper videos and helpful information!

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

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/

Dayton, OH
Member Since:
9 January 2011
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14
30 January 2011 - 8:51 am
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Hi Maggie's Mom, Tracy - Thanks for the words of encouragement.  After I'd posted yesterday evening, I was so wide-awake that I knew there was no point trying for sleep at that time.  So I started searching for doggie physical therapists and chiropracters in my area and found the only one in Dayton who actually has a website.  Turns out she is the same woman who came to my dog club about a year and a half ago to talk about "Sports Medicine" for canine athletes.  Most of the two-day workshop dealt with strengthening excercises for agility dogs.  I attended because I do agility with Sylvia's brother Charlie and sister Banjo.  I don't know why I'd completely forgotten that, and the fact that the instructor was from here in Dayton.  Anyway - She requires a referral from the vet before she works with an animal, so I can ask about this tomorrow.  I also found the contact information for the chiropracter that my work friend had recommended. 

It is too bad that even the folks that I believe are very good at what they do (Sylvia's oncologist and surgeon) can sometimes be a bit short-sighted.  You've sure hit the nail on the head when you write about preparing our tripawds for LIFE after surgery instead of narrowly focusing on the healing of the surgical site and potential side effects of chemo.  There's so much more!  Altho I wish I'd found the tripawds website earlier in our jouney so I could've been more knowledgeable, at least I now know where to go and am learning what to ask!

Sweet Silly Sylvie, the Old English Sheepdog

Diagnosed with osteosarcoma 11/04/2010 at almost 7 years of age * Left hind leg amputated 11/09/2010 * Chemo on 12/10, 12/17, 01/10, 01/31

Sweet Sylvie's earthly journey ended on Nov. 3, 2011, one day short of a year since her diagnosis and 6 days short of her one-year ampuversary.  Her family celebrates her life as a sheepdog – ever the puppy, ever silly, ever sweet – and are grateful for our 7 years together.

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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30 January 2011 - 9:47 am
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Hey Sylvie & Co., sounds like you're on the right track! 

We've talked to certified canine rehab practitioners and here are some things to keep in mind as you search for chiropractic and PT care.

  • There are lots of practitioners saying they can do physical therapy and chiropractic work, but many are not qualified to do it. It's important to look for PTs that are either a veterinarian themselves, or a certified PT working directly under the supervision of a veterinarian.
  • Always ask the rehab center/vet office who is doing the rehab. If it's a vet technician, go somewhere else.
  • The PT should also be are certified in their field. Always ask if they are. You can start finding ones by checking the Canine Rehabilitation Institute's website directory. They should have the initials "CCRP" (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner") or "CCRT" (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist") after their name.
  • As for chiropractors, a chiropractor should be doing it in a veterinarian's office, and only in a vet office. And they should be a veterinarian as well.

More dogs have been harmed by non-certified physical therapists than helped and end up needing more rehab care later, so be careful in who you use.

Good luck in your search. We hope it helps bring Sylvie back to her old self! Keep us posted OK?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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