Tripawd Viva the Tripawd Puerto Rican Street Dog
We adopted Viva, a Puerto Rican street dog from The Puerto Rico Dog Fund in March 2022. She is now 10.5 months old.
She came to us about 2 months post amputation for a fractured femur sustained in a fall in her foster home. We had been told that having a tripawd was no big deal and that she would easily bounce back and have a very normal activity level and quality of life. Six days after we brought her home she was admitted to the ICU at the ER where she stayed for the next week. She was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia (IMT), and her platelet count was zero for most of her stay. She nearly died. We were devastated and confused.
The recovery from that, and the med regime, took months to get her through and she was not herself for most of that time. We still don’t know what caused the IMT but a leading contender is the antibiotic she was prescribed post-amputation. Her hospitalization was $8,000. We received some assistance from the rescue we adopted her from but still covered a huge bill for this little puppy we had just adopted but already loved.
During her recovery, we were so focused on her disease, that we didn’t think much about her adjustment to having 3 legs. She was low energy and often uncomfortable but we didn’t really know what was normal for her since she was so new to us and has such a complicated history. Once she was weaned from most her meds, we started to notice she was really struggling to get up and down, and her attempts would often be accompanied by yelps or cries. I can’t describe how awful it felt to see her like this after nursing her through her illness. We took her to our regular vet for an Xray and ultrasound in late June and found out that sadly, she also had a lower spinal cord injury, cause unknown. The therapist prescribed ongoingphysical therapy exercises.
Canine Rehab for Tripawd Viva
We scheduled with Healing Arts and saw Dr. Lyn Bedsaul. The process was 2 fold: an hour Zoom interview and full vet record review and then an in office appointment and treatment. Viva was great. After her examination, she walked on the underwater treatment, and received laser treatment.
We also started her exercises:
- Sit to stand
- High Five (she is NOT getting this one)
- Assisted up
All exercises help her work on her balance and core strength. Hence, she’ll take the pressure off her lower spine. We will likely keep her in PT for the next few months. She is already doing so much better. Tripawd Viva is taking an anti inflammatory med that she couldn’t start until weened off all of the IMT drugs and for the first time since we adopted her in March, she is acting like a normal puppy. As a result, she runs, plays, wrestles with our old lady dog and is so much happier. We are so grateful.
~ Brittany, and Tripawd Viva