Tripawds Community member mnelectra is recipient #66 of the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab. Read on for details about the benefits of free canine rehabilitation for front leg Tripawd Min Pin Taz and learn how you can get a free rehab consultation for your dog or cat.
Free Canine Rehab Consult for Taz
Taz is a Miniature Pinscher who will be 12 years old on December 5th. I got him on February 13, 2008 when he was a tiny 10 week old pup. He was a gift from my mother in law who wanted to see me smile again, and help to heal my broken heart from the passing of my 12 year old Min Pin, Peewee.
Taz came into my life and I can honestly say that he’s my best friend and soul dog. I love him with all of my heart and soul. We have a bond that surpasses friendship, as we have been through so much together in the last 11+ years.
Taz was diagnosed with Soft Tissue Sarcoma in April 2018 after I noticed a large lump on his lower left ankle. His regular vet removed it, thinking that it was a lipoma. However, when it popped out still encapsulated, she knew something wasn’t right, so we sent it off to the lab. Results came back as cancerous and we learned that the Sarcoma had not been fully excised. We had 2 separate consults for next steps. I decided against radiation, and armed myself with information to take a holistic approach. Unfortunately, that only helped us for 5 months before the STS came back. This time, it was aggressive and growing very quickly. We went back to the oncologist and surgery was scheduled to amputate his left front leg in early October 2018.
I found the Tripawds Community while researching amputations and recovery. I found a lot of great information here and have always sat back as a reader, behind the scenes. Tazzy’s oncologist felt that since he was in such great shape, he would fully bounce back and get used to life on 3 legs. As a Tripawd Min Pin, he had some challenges during recovery and as time went on, it seemed like he would never be the same again. He would tire and get out of breath quickly. What worried me the most, was that he started to hunch over and hold his head down. He began to skip on his back leg this past July, so I cut back on walks. Then suddenly, his back legs fully went out under him in September. I came back to the Tripawds Community to see if anyone else had experienced this. I brought him in for an appt. with a Neurologist and learned that Taz was having an IVDD episode due to his spine. I was told the amputation likely exasperated our current situation. She recommend crate rest and a visit with Physical Therapy as well as Acupuncture.
Money is tight for me, but I was incentivized by Tripawds with the Maggie Moo fund, and I am willing to do anything I can to help my Tazzy. Through Tripawds, I found Caroline Adrian, PT, PhD, CCRP who is a recommended therapist near us at VCA: Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado.
I made an appt. to consult with her and was very impressed with our visit! She helped me understand that Taz has been over compensating with his remaining 3 legs this past year which has contributed greatly to his posture, his weakness and spine problems. I was shown exercises to help strengthen and help better his posture. We work on elongating his neck by him sitting in front of me while I hold a treat directly in front of him. He has to stretch his neck just enough to get the treat. We hold that position for 30 seconds and he is rewarded. We repeat this 8-10 times, at least 2-3 times a day. We do the same elongating stretch for his back and spine. I stand up holding him and I put his spine against my chest. The goal is to help him relax and drop his weight slowly by stretching and having his legs drop. (My hands are always under him and holding his rump so he doesn’t hurt himself.)
We also learned that the shoulder blade of his good leg is stiff and rigid from him using that 1 limb in front, to put weight on. Caroline gave me exercises to work that shoulder blade by moving it up, down, back and forth- holding it for 15-20 seconds in each direction to loosen it up. We do this 3 times a week, several times a day. We were advised to hold up his good front leg, extending it out in front of him and hold for 20 seconds, times 10. We do this 3 times a week.
I’m excited to see the progress Tripawd Min Pin Taz has made because I did purchase a PT package and we are going 2 times a week. I thank the Tripawds Community for encouraging us to see a PT and I’m grateful for this opportunity. If I had known 1 year ago that we would be where we are today, I would have started PT immediately after his surgery!
~ Lisa and Taz (aka: mnelectra)