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Canine Cancer Hero Rufio Benefits from Free Rehab Session

Tripawds Community member Jewelzzey is recipient #13 of the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab. Read about how Rufio benefited from his free evaluation below, and see all Tripawds who have received free rehab sessions thanks to your support.

maggie moo fund for tripawd rehab

Reimbursement from the Maggie Moo Fund is only possible with your support.

Rehab Evaluation for Rufio


Rufio is an 11 year old male smooth collie and German shepherd mix that was rescued with 4 legs, 10 years ago. Rufio never gave me any health problems for 10 years and then suddenly one day he started limping and continued to limp for 3 more days. I took him to the vet only to be told the awful news we all know too well – he has Osteosarcoma and needed his leg amputated. After finding the Tripawds website in a sea of tears I made the decision to amputate and begin chemotherapy.

Rufio handles the chemo quite well but I wanted to make sure he was handling the new physical situation just as well. Luckily I saw so many great reviews on the Tripawds website about physical rehabilitation that I decided I’d try an initial visit to make sure we’re on the right path but also to find ways to strengthen him as well!

We chose Canine Rehabilitation & Conditioning Group in Englewood, CO based on recommendations and reviews. Mickie met us early on a Saturday morning and began with an evaluation of Rufio. Due to our financial constraints we had asked to get as much information as we could on at-home treatment. We went over stretches and massages that I could do at home.

Rufio is missing his right front leg so we began with him lying on his right side and working on his left front leg. We helped him gently extend his leg out and then slowly move it forward and hold (shoulder extension). We did this 3 times and held for 10-15 seconds each (or as long as Rufio would allow, he was a little nervous). We also did small circles both directions for several seconds with his ankle joint to help with his arthritis there. We would then extend his leg out again and move it backwards for a bicep stretch. We did both these exercises on his back legs too. We added in a hip extension where we extended his back leg and adjusted the hip back slightly to stretch his hip. We also did a hip abduction where we opened his hips up and held that for 10 seconds as well. These all are meant to alleviate any knots or soreness Rufio has experienced due to his shift in weight to the left side.

rufio hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy for Rufio

We followed this all up with massages of his remaining legs for his hips, biceps and neck (Tripawds tend to hop more and this puts a strain on their neck muscles). Rufio was eager to get up and search for treats so as soon as we finished with all that we went to the underwater treadmill! This part was everyone’s favorite as Rufio got to do some exercise with some relief to his overworked front leg. The underwater treadmill really took a lot of weight off of his one leg and allowed him to get some movement in more comfortably than he would without the buoyancy of the water. He loved it!

Hydrotherapy for Rufio

If there is one thing I learned from this visit is that my dog is much stronger than I imagined and his will to live and be happy goes beyond beating cancer. Seeing him actually enjoying things that also really help him like the treadmill, made my heart happy. I am working on the funds to take him back for at least another session because I know it’s not only something he enjoys but it’s the best thing for him.

Support Tripawds to Keep This Program Going!

Thank you so much for this opportunity and everything Tripawds has done for me and my dog. I could not have survived this time in our lives without the support and encouragement of the site and its members.


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