Tripawds Community member yourcdw received grant #97 from the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab. Read about how a free evaluation and Tripawd rehab exercises helped three-legged dog Georgia, and learn how you can get a free veterinary rehab evaluation for your dog or cat.
Georgia’s Tripawd Rehab Exercises
Georgia is a 10-year old Sharp-Pei Mix who, as a puppy, experienced trauma to her front right limb. She was abandoned at a shelter where her limb was amputated and she remained for over a year before I adopted her in December 2012.
I stumbled upon the Tripawds Community through Instagram while searching ‘tripod dogs’ and later learned more about the organization through a Zoom conference. Eventually I created my blog under the username ‘YourCDW’ where I recount my experiences with a senior Tripawd.
After learning of the Maggie Moo Fund and Tripawd rehab exercises, I made plans to take Georgia to The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center, but life threw a curveball: Georgia was diagnosed with IVDD. We were able to bring Georgia to her Rehab Consultation after a month of crate rest on February 12, 2021.
Because of COVID-19 we were unable to be physically present for Georgia’s consultation, but had an extended dialogue with her Veterinarian, who spoke with surprise at how well Georgia was recovering from her IVDD injury. We were provided with sources for affordable rehab equipment as well as an exercise plan for Georgia that involves Tripawd rehab exercises 3-4 times a week, with a day of rest between each. The goal for now is to increase muscle mass to stabilize both her spin and hips, as well as reduce overall discomfort. Some of the exercises are included below.
Front Limb Tripawd Rehab Exercises include:
Perch Work: Stand with rear feet on balance disc and side step with front foot around disk.
Side Stepping: Take 5-10 steps sideways on floor. Repeat 3 times switching sides and directions.
Push Ups: Ask dog to stand. Use treat to lure nose towards the floor in front of feet. Slight bend in both shoulder and elbow.
Antebrachial muscle strengthening: Place paw in middle of flipped Bosu ball and slowly rock forwards and backwards.
Core Exercises include:
Balance Cookie Stretches: Stand with front foot on balance disk and rear on separate disk to do cookie stretches to her ribs and back to her hips on both sides.
Stomach Crunches: Lateral (side abs), Vertical (central abs), Diagonal (all abs)
Hind Limb Exercises include:
Sit to Stand: Push up from a sit to a stand without moving rear feet backwards.
Down to Stand: Push up from a down to a stand without moving the paws.
Perch Work: Stand with front foot on balance disk and side step with rear around balance disk.
Backward Walking: Take 5-10 steps backwards 3 times.
Elevated Stand: Place front paw on low elevated surface. Guide head forward and back using a treat at nose to encourage weight shifting.
Although the pandemic made my experience far from typical, I learned a lot from this consultation on how to ensure Georgia lives a happy, healthy senior life. The biggest learning moment for me was how her hind legs ‘fall behind’ as she overcompensates with the front paw; my instinct was to assume the opposite.
~ Curtis and Georgia (ala: yourcdw)
Caring for an aging Tripawd.