Free Rehab Session for Senior Tripawd Sunny
Following Sunny’s amputation we knew we would want to take him to see a vet who specializes in rehabilitation. We had another dog who required back surgery and it was amazing what they were able to do with him following his surgery in terms of getting him walking again. We took Sunny to GA Veterinary Rehabilitation, Fitness & Pain Management (GVR) one week following his amputation for the initial exam.
During his initial exam Dr. Bailey looked over Sunny to see how he was adjusting to life as a tripawd. She looked at his gait and examined his joints, spinal alignment, hips, neck, etc. We discussed Sunny’s pain management, came up with an at home plan, discussed what they could do for him at GVR and what our options would be in terms of his treatment. One of the things I really like about GVR is that they look at options from both western and eastern medicine in terms of treating your dog.
Sunny’s at home plan calls for exercising twice a day for 5 to 10 minutes six days a week. Sunny is doing exercises that focus on stretching targeting several areas – hip extensions, hamstring stretch, tricep stretch, bicep stretch, cookie stretch (base of tail/hock) and the cookie stretch (neck) along with exercises that target strengthening to help prevent injury – weight shift, stair lovin’, slow leash walks, and sit/stand. Sunny will skip these exercises if he has a session at GVR. We started these exercises one week post-surgery.
Once Sunny’s incision has healed and all of his sutures have been removed we will begin weekly pool sessions at GVR. This will help Sunny build overall core strength without putting a lot of stress on his remaining legs/joints. We may also mix in some acupuncture as we progress if we think it will be helpful for his hips especially on the side of his remaining leg. We told Dr. Bailey that we are open to anything that they think may be helpful in terms of his recovery and making him comfortable.
The final part of Sunny’s overall plan was to put him on two new homothetic pain medications. Sunny is now taking T-Relief Arnica which helps with soft tissue pain. T-Relief is actually often used as an alternative to NSAIDs (Rimadyl, etc.) which most tripawds come home on following surgery. Dr. Bailey also prescribed Hypericum which can assist with nerve pain. Unfortunately for us Sunny was not a fan of the Hypericum so after two attempts we decided not to give it to him. The pills have to be put directly into your dog’s mouth without food so if you have a stubborn dog this can be a tricky one to give!
Overall we have really enjoyed our experiences with GVR. They truly care about getting your pet back to their full potential and the difference it can make is truly amazing. I was skeptical when we took our first dog there following his surgery, but I’m now a believer!