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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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Excellent rehab center in Utah on the Wasatch Front - highly recommended!
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Member Since:
13 November 2013
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4 August 2014 - 9:05 pm
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I hope this isn't spammy-sounding, but I just had to put something out here regarding our rehab experience.  Dieter had his left rear leg amputated about 9 months ago.  At the time, the orthopedic surgeon said that he wouldn't need rehab; that he'd be fine adjusting on his own.  His oncologist at the time suggested therapy, but there were limited resources available, mainly massage, in Tucson, where we lived.  

We've been living in Utah now for a month, and today Dieter went for his first visit at a dedicated canine rehabilitation center.  Outfitted to the hilt, with a vet that specializes in rehab.  Holy s%*#.  

If you are looking for help with rehab in Utah, I highly recommend Dr. Pam Nichols of the K-9 Rehab Center.  They are co-located with the Animal Care Center in Bountiful, Utah, and Dr. Pam is the Rehab specialist.

Here's what Dieter got today -- cold laser therapy on a knee that was on its way to blowing out, massage, a soak in a hot tub with underwater electric stimulation, a walkabout in a water tank outfitted with a treadmill on the bottom, and more massage.  Rimadyl, and enough Adequan to make me nervous about getting pulled over and having the cops find the two dozen syringes in a brown paper bag.  Some new doggie friends.  And 6 new girlfriends, one of whom is his hot tub buddy.  😉  Syringes, girlfriends and hot tubs...starting to sound sketchy...but then he is a three-legged dog with a stainless steel lower canine tooth (gangsta!).  

I thought he was doing fine; he has full mobility, no hesitation in doing any activities (e.g., jumping in the car), healthy eating and drinking habits, happy socially, ready for anything, etc.  Having three trained people examine him pretty much all at once revealed a problem with his knee that the vet knew was causing him pain, muscle knots in his neck and remaining rear leg (fortunately not in his back), and improper gait due to compensating for the lost leg.  He also needs to lose some weight (more than I would have thought).  All of these things, left untreated, would eventually result in a shorter life than the one he has simply by virtue of being an OS dog.

The technicians and therapists, along with Dr. Pam were all wonderful.  It is abundantly clear that they truly love their jobs.  The environment is full of people, dogs, and people helping dogs.  Dr. Pam is extremely knowledgeable, and took the time to educate me about what was going on with Dieter and how the various treatments would be able to help him in specific, scientific terms.  I'm a skeptic, so I want to see data before I agree to anything (for me or my dogs), and I appreciated her approach.  She called the Colorado State U. veterinary specialists to check on a recommendation for food (n/d; she wasn't sure if there were studies for OS dogs) while we were there, too.

If you're in the area and looking for some help with rehab, considering rehab, or even if rehab isn't on your radar, I would encourage you to give them a call for a consultation.   

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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5 August 2014 - 1:00 pm
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Oh my gosh not spammy at all, we need this kind of information here, thank you so much. This is their website right? Very impressive, they are the only certified rehab center in all of Utah! Dieter is one lucky dawg.

Like we say in "Loving Life on Three Legs," our Tripawds rehab book, it is amazing how much a Tripawd can benefit from seeing a certified rehab therapist, more folks need to do this at least in the early stages to know what they can do to help their dog or cat live a long, healthy, hoppy life on three legs. Thank you for being so proactive for Dieter!

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