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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24 March 2020
Disclaimer: These exercises were prescribed for my dog by licensed vets and physical therapists. Please check with your dog’s medical professionals before starting/adding any rehab exercises to his/her routine.
Griffin underwent right forelimb amputation on April 2, 2020 due to osteosarcoma. Two weeks after surgery, he was evaluated by a rehab vet at the Animal Medical Center in NYC (where his surgery took place and where he receives his chemotherapy treatments) and prescribed strengthening exercises do to at home. Those exercises can be found in this blog post: Griffin’s Rehab Exercises – April 20, 2020.
Today Griffin was seen by a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner at the Advanced Canine Rehabilitation Center in Warren, NJ. The focus for today was on flexibility, with a lot of time spent massaging and stretching Griffin’s legs, neck, shoulder, and back. He was prescribed these flexibility exercises to continue working on stretching at home.
Treat at the Shoulder: In a standing position, start with a treat by your dog’s nose and lure him to stretch his neck around to take a treat beside his shoulder. Repeat on both sides. [5 reps & hold 5 seconds twice a day]
Treat at the Hip: In a standing position, start with a treat by your dog’s nose and lure him to stretch his neck around to take a treat beside his hip. Repeat on both sides. [5 reps & hold 3-5 seconds twice a day]
Treat under the Chest: In a standing position, start with a treat by your dog’s nose and lure him to stretch his neck around to take a treat under his chest. [5 reps & hold 5 seconds twice a day]
Side Lying Neck Traction: From behind your dog when he is in a side-lying position, place a thumb and finger behind his skull. Your other hand can rest under the chin. Slowly push forwards on the head to elongate the neck. Only push to where the dog is still comfortable (i.e. take up the slack in the neck muscles). Hold this push. Slowly release. [5 reps & hold 10-15 seconds twice a day]
Side Sit-Ups: From a side-lying position, lure your dog to sit up by following a treat moved down the side of his body towards the hips. [5 reps twice a day]
Scapular Glide: With your dog in a side-lying position, place your hands on either side of the scapula (shoulder blade). Slowly and gently glide the scapula forwards towards the head, backwards toward the tail, up towards the spine and down towards the chest. [10 reps once or twice a day]
Front Incline Hip Extension: From a front incline position with your dog’s front feet up on a platform, stool, or stair step, use a treat to lure your dog to stretch forward and upward. Maintain the position for up to a minute. [2 reps & hold 60 seconds twice a day]
Sitting Extension: From a sitting position, lure your dog to extend his neck forward for a treat. [5-10 reps once or twice a day]
Lying Extension: From a down position with both back feet tucked under the body (not side-lying), lure your dog to extend his/her neck forward for a treat, rocking forward on his knees and back again. [5-10 reps once or twice a day]
25 April 2007
Thank you for taking time to share these Stacy! Sounds like you had a great visit and Griffin is gonna get some serious workouts into his day
Hopping over to check out the blog in just a bit.