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Post surgery - struggling to find his hop
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Livermore, CA




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18 October 2009
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2 May 2022 - 9:42 pm
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Hi again,

It was me who said my Pug stayed in her bed for 6 weeks after her surgery- it was in your other thread just before you started this one.

Maggie was off all pain meds at the end of two weeks but chose to be a slug for four more weeks. 

As far as that 'sloppy' back leg- it was months before Maggie could stand comfortably for any extended time. I called it the wobbles.  She would stand still and in a few seconds the back leg would start to wobble and she would sit down.  She could stand longer the stronger she got. It will take Gator some time to build up strength in that back leg- and you are way ahead because you are seeing the rehab vet!  I had no idea back then about rehab or doing strengthening exercises. He is not even two weeks out from a HUGE surgery- and he has been resting so of course he tires easily. 

Some of my dogs have been very sensitive to my feelings, including Maggie.  One of the big mistakes I made during her recovery was convince myself that she wasn't going to be able to adapt. I was down, she was down.  I didn't realize until a couple years later just how much my mood and even my body language influenced her. She had developed kidney failure by then and so was very, very picky about what she would eat and I was often very frustrated trying to feed her.  One morning I was stewing about what to feed her- she came hopping into the kitchen, took one look at me and went right out the dog door! 

I know you are doing your best to stay positive around your boy, but just be aware of your mood when you are around him.

What we have seen here is that the older and bigger dogs tend to take a longer recovery path, but they get there.  You are seeing glimmers of the old Gator, he is making progress.  He will recover at his own pace. 

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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8 April 2022
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3 May 2022 - 6:40 am
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Good morning and thank you for the positive vibes.  I am doing what I can to be positive and thankfully I found you all on this site. Couldn’t imagine doing this alone even with how awesome our Vet team is. Just so good to talk with people that have gone through their own journey with this. 
As for meds, he is getting two doses of Gabapentin 600mg and Pregabalin 150mg morning and night. Mid day 2pm ish he gets Deramaxx 50mg and with snacks he takes two doses of CBD Oil.   Post surgery he took three doses of the Gabapentin and Pregabalin.  Aside from the pain meds he takes numerous supplements prescribed from the Vet. He was on raw diet for the majority of his life but now we recently switched to a warmed Meat Loaf supplemented with his special treats of pumpkin and a small handful of berries. He are hoping to reduce weight so we are calorie reduced.  He is a large broad chested dog that has always been clumsy. I have always believed he suffered from near sightedness.  He is such an easy going and relaxed Cane Corso which I think makes him sloppy at times but when on guard which hasn’t happened much you know the power he possess.  He has always been known as my shadow and I think that is why I struggle seeing him not taking much time off his bed. Recovery has been a mental challenge cause I hope I didn’t do this to him for me. 

Again, thank you for all the comments and insights. Today we see the Vet and receive our weekly acupuncture.  Before we have to do a quick road trip and do that work thing.  He has his bed prepped, hotel is prepared with a room right next to the exit and truck is his favourite place to be cause he knows he won’t be left behind.   Have a great day everyone. 

The Rainbow Bridge


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3 May 2022 - 3:00 pm
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His diet sounds fantastic! What other supplements is he on? If you'd like to share that info in Eating Healthy I know others would enjoy learning about his diet as much as I will.

I hope your vet visit went well today! 

The Rainbow Bridge


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3 May 2022 - 3:01 pm
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krun15 said
Some of my dogs have been very sensitive to my feelings, including Maggie. 

  

Our Jerry was like that. If we ever raised our voices in a not-so-happy way, he would hide or go to someone who wasn't obviously upset. That's the first time I understood how much they sense our emotions. Animals are so smart!!!

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7 May 2022 - 8:45 am
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Good morning, we are home from a successful road trip to visit some of field locations. We spend a lot of road time together and is always a great way to enjoy our time.  My set-up of the back seat and Pet Loader stairs made the trip very normal to us.  We are now two weeks from when he came home from surgery. As you all wrote, he is finding confidence on three and his personality is coming back more and more. We have reduced his pain meds to only two doses of the Gabapentin.  Although he still tires quickly he is moving around the house and outside more and more. We still faithfully are using the sling and not yet doing any attempts at walks.  Last night he was cast for a HERO brace by our Vet. 

Up next is Physio with a new Vet on Monday and we continue to await our first chemo appointment in a week and a half. Honestly, it was really hard to believe we would get to this point like you all said would happen but what a sense of relief that he is getting this and it really is becoming more natural to us all.  

Virginia




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7 May 2022 - 11:03 am
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So glad to hear the relief in your "voice" and to know Hator is doing so well.  And he will continue to amaze you as this is still very early in the recov process.

It's hard to be patient and pawsitive when you aren't  seeing progress at first....and then the sparkle starts to come back slowly but surely and it lifts your spirits tremendously.👏

You're  doing a great job and starting  to see it pay off!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


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7 May 2022 - 12:18 pm
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SUPER cool news! Your recovery timeline sounds a lot like Piper's recovery. And you all even go on road trips. Maybe you should plan a Tripawds party meet up!

Very cool about the Hero brace. Those are made by our friend Ben from Go Hero Braces. We have an interview with him you might want to check out.

Everything You Need to Know About Leg Braces for Tripawds

Your patience is wonderful! I think it's great that you've been using the sling so regularly. His stamina will build up over time and even faster now that he will have rehab. I can't wait to hear about your visit on Monday.

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9 May 2022 - 7:55 pm
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Good Evening,  today we had a physio appt.  Although very friendly and seemed very knowledgeable I was underwhelmed by the appointment.  Gator received acupuncture and had his first attempt at the pool treadmill which was not a overly successful attempt, lol.  I guess I am expecting them to get him up and walking, accessing his movement and a list of exercises that they think he needs.  Similar to when I have gone for Physio.

We are getting around about the same but with the harness and sling he is being helped up and down the stairs so we don’t have to sleep downstairs in the living room.   I am thinking that we need to reduce pain meds but will talk to the Vet.   How long is a reasonable length after surgery?  

Next week we see Vet about the plan for Chemo 

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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9 May 2022 - 8:31 pm
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I know you are probably  tired of hearing this, but every dog is different  on every level of this recovery journey.  That includes pain meds.

If I recall, my Hapoy Hannah stayed on pain meds approx three weeks, but at a reduced  rate the third week.  Some dogs don't  need them  mich after two weeks, some need them three, and some need a low dose  even longer. It really is sich an individual   dog by dog case.

With your Vet's guidance,  you can try reducing and if you see any pain signals you can always go back to previous dose a ,vit longer.

FWIW, I can only say that the Rehab Speci I have used did indeed assess the gait, the standing, sitting, etc.  She had him lay down and worked through some range of motion "exercises", showed me ways to build his tummy core muscles.  Even things like going from a sitting to stand position  a couple of repetitions, always making  sure the correct "positions" were in line..

As long as I've been here, I've  never quite understood  the distinction between Physical Therapy versus Rehab Specialist....assuming there is one.  They seemed to be ised interchangeably,, yet, to me, Rehabilitation  is different as it focuses more on muscles, joints, proper gait, etc.

I'm sure Jerry will chime in and add insight and knowledge.  For me, I would try and find another "Rehabilitation"  Specialist.   I'll add that I did try a water treadmill for Frankie one time and he did not like ot at all.  He just couldn't get a fluid effortless gait and tired very, very easily.  I dont think he even made it a minute..  

Glad things are going well overall.  Would love to see his set up in the truck

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


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9 May 2022 - 10:47 pm
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Hmm, a few interesting questions and things here. I'll try to address them with my own thoughts:

  I guess I am expecting them to get him up and walking, accessing his movement and a list of exercises that they think he needs.  Similar to when I have gone for Physio.

Did they specifically give you any kind of plan for him? A good therapist will ask you what your goals are for him, and then evaluate his current state to see where he's at in relation to those goals. They will come up with a plan to meet the goals that are realistic, typically breaking them down into smaller phases and milestones. What Sally described is generally what happens in an effective visit. If you feel that you didn't get one, I would talk to the therapist to find out what their plan is for him. 

I wouldn't expect too much from him at this point, and even a small attempt at water therapy is pretty awesome I think. It's hard work.

We are getting around about the same but with the harness and sling he is being helped up and down the stairs so we don’t have to sleep downstairs in the living room.   I am thinking that we need to reduce pain meds but will talk to the Vet.   How long is a reasonable length after surgery?  

Well that's great! YAY to no more sleeping down stairs. HUGE accomplishment there! smiley_clap

Yes talk to the vet about reducing his pain meds. All dogs are different in the length of time the need them but generally we see about 10-14 days. However keep in mind that some dogs may always find more comfort with a low dose of Gabapentin, and an NSAID. Our Wyatt was on Gaba daily for maintenance when he was a senior, and many adult dogs are after amputation. It just depends on their age, physical state, etc.

Sally:

As long as I've been here, I've  never quite understood  the distinction between Physical Therapy versus Rehab Specialist....assuming there is one.  They seemed to be ised interchangeably,, yet, to me, Rehabilitation  is different as it focuses more on muscles, joints, proper gait, etc.

Overseas, canine rehabilitation is typically called physiotherapy whether a practitioner is working on a human or non-human animal. Here in the states it's called rehabilitation therapy.

I was told by a therapist that this distinction was made early on to differentiate and reduce confusion between human medicine practitioners and animal medicine practitioners. But, they are in fact doing the same thing.

A CCRT or CCRP therapist who received a canine rehab therapy credential here in the states (where these credentials are taught), would still be called a physio overseas. But again, it's the same exercises, practice, etc. 

And it's also my understanding that overseas, the trend is now moving away from physiotherapist to rehab therapist.

Hope this helps clear up any confusion. Thanks for bringing it up!

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13 May 2022 - 7:29 am
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Good Morning All,

I wanted to provide a short update.  We are still struggling to find a good hop unassisted.  Today it will be three weeks since he came home.  We are off all pain meds as of the last two days without any issues.  We went down the street yesterday about one block supported by a sling.  What I think I am seeing is either weakness in the back leg or very weak stomach muscles like I have seen on here.  Every hop he sinks down on the back end rather than just using that leg to bounce forward.  Again, I am no expert on this….and that is why I wished at Physio they had done more and provided me with insight.  I have another appt on the 31st with the other recommended Physio.

We are really trying to bring his weight down….not that he is hugely overweight but could stand to 8-10 lbs to help.  Just worried we are stalled in our progress and this is the best it is going to get.  I have no problem helping him but I see it in his eyes he wants to move better.  I know we are still early in the process just hate the recovery …. Am more and more thinking a wheel chair would help him but trying to be patient to see if we can get along without.  He doesn’t like things on him….hates harness and not sure it is so much the harness but I just can’t find one that fits him well.  I did get the Ruffwear one but thinking of ordering the help ‘em up one.

Any words of Wisdom would be helpful…..we have a long road trip today - headed to our summer cabin to pick up a trailer I need for work next week.  Be nice to get there as they are further along in Spring than we are here.  Nice break to see the water. 

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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13 May 2022 - 8:06 am
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So much of your assessment is spot-on, as well as your observations. And I know it does seem like you were stalled, but I really do think getting to the right physio specialist will make a big difference.

Can he walk in the house on unassisted without a harness? As odd as this may seem, some dogs hate the harness so much that it really does interfere with their gate, especially if the human and dog aren't in perfect sink when walking.

Has he shown any signs of arthritis in any of his checkups? Regardless, and only with Vet approval of course, it may be helpful to put him on a dose of Rimadyl (or something similar).  

He may have some soreness or inflammation from overworking that leg that isn't really detected yet. Also continued with lots of massages all around his neck shoulder back spine area, before each walk and after each walk.

One more thought. When you say he walked a block, I'm assuming that is not all the way around your block but just one straight path down and back. Do you give him any rest stops on this walk?

It's a bummer you didn't get the results and information you needed from that first physio appointment and have to wait for another one with someone else. I know it's hard not to be discouraged, but I really don't think you have any real concerns here.

Just a matter of more patience, staying positive, and getting the right guidance from a good professional.

We would love to see a video if you could do that, that would be helpful.

Have a wonderful little getaway. Just being around the water is relaxing for everyone.

 (((((((Hugs)))))))

PS. And JERRY, Thanks for that very thorough exclamation about Rehabilitation Specialists and physical therapy specialists. You really clarified a lot for me, as always.

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


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13 May 2022 - 11:23 am
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I know it feels like forever and you'll never get him where you think he should be. Sally's thoughtful suggestions were exactly what I would say, especially the part about not being in sync with the harness/sling assistance. Sometimes it's just easier to let it go and allow them to try on their own.

Something that got my attention with your latest update was this:

We are really trying to bring his weight down….not that he is hugely overweight but could stand to 8-10 lbs to help. 

That's awesome it's the center of your efforts right now. Losing the weight will make a HUGE impact on his mobility. I cannot stress that enough. And while 8-10 pounds doesn't seem like a lot to us humans, when you consider that 1 extra pound on a human is the equivalent of 5 extra pounds on a dog, that's a lot of weight that affects how they move and feel. Focus on getting the weight off and you will see a difference, I guarantee it. 

What kind of plan have you made with your vet to help him get the weight down? It can be a real struggle. See our Tripawds Nutrition blog weight loss tips for more ideas that you can discuss with the vet.

A dog stroller will be helpful to allow him to walk a little, rest a little. Forget the wheelchair idea right now. They are more time and commitment to training and maintenance than you want to deal with when he is still in recovery mode (3 weeks believe it or not, is still not a long time for even fit dogs at an ideal weight to get their sea legs back). Wheelchairs are not just a matter of sticking your dog in one and letting them go. Plus, you'll need a good physio to work with to make sure it's the right fit. You've got enough on your plate. Focus on his weight loss and strengthening first, then, if the physio believes he still needs wheels, it's the time to go there. But not yet. 

Hope you have a lovely weekend together!!! 

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13 May 2022 - 8:36 pm
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Thank you both, we just arrived at our summer place. And I will try to get a video of him getting around.  I did set up an account so I could upload some pictures but I have not tried to do it yet….that will be my next accomplishment. 

But for clarity, yes we just went 1/2 block up and 1/2 back.  Not a long distance at all.  Still trying to be very cautious with him.  I will read up on the Nutrition but we are on a caloric reduced diet based on the suggestion of the Vet.  He is eating only cook meals as he was not into the Kibble she tried to put him on…..closer to the raw diet he was previously on.  

We have been using Deramaxx (prescription from a previous vet) until Wednesday evening and went off that and all pain meds.  My Vet also prefers Rimadyl but I guess you need to be off Deramaxx for a period of time before you can switch.  We see the Vet on Tuesday for Acupuncture/Chiro and that is when she would like to make the switch….so we are toughing it out till Tuesday.  Wednesday we see Oncologist.

We will focus on patience and weight loss….and of course quality time.   Thanks so much for your support.  I will try to get videos and pictures this weekend.  

The Rainbow Bridge


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14 May 2022 - 12:25 pm
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So it really sounds like your cautious approach it spot on. You're working with your vet on the weight loss (our Wyatt hated his prescription diet too!), and you've got the pain management under control. YAY! Time is the magic ingredient that blends everything together and makes it work out as you and we hope it will. You guys are getting there. 

I'll bet that when you see the vet on Tuesday they will notice the improvements even more than you, just because you see him every day.

Can't wait to see the photos and videos. Let me know if you'd like any help OK? Tutorials are here (scroll down a little).

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