Mexican Street Dog Pumpkin Benefits from Free Canine Rehab
Oh dear Pumpkin, our crazy girl who we found and fell in love with on the streets of Mexico, sent to the local vet to have your injured leg repaired, brought home to the U.S. 6 weeks later, learned how truly loca and un-cageable a gal from the streets can be, and all this only for you to contort out of the cracked car window and injure your other back leg. This time beyond repair. Well ‘aint no missing leg gonna slow you down. Our girl can run and jump with the best of them and often wins the Wrestlemania with baby sis Booty. Although it does seem your Parkour career may not pan out.
In the 60 hours between receiving a call mid-surgery that Pumpkin’s leg was a goner and picking our “modified” Princess up from the vet, Tripawds.com made it’s way into my Google search results and held my hand through a very trying experience. From the Helpline volunteer to the podcasts and articles and community posts – what an amazing resource. I also learned about Tripawd Rehab and why it’s not actually nuts as many would have had me believe. “You’re going to take your DAWG to rehab?”
Tripawd Mexican Street Dog Pumpkin Meets Dr. Kris
Pumpkin, my fiancé, and I finally made our way to AquaDog Rehab to meet Dr. Kris. Frank was a bit hesitant but by the end of the session was asking how frequently we should bring Pumpkin in and was ready to schedule our next appointment! I came in with a list of questions about Pumpkin which were expertly answered from her “lazy leg” tendency to the S shape we’ve noticed developing in her frame. We went through 3 different activities during our visit.
Pumpkin’s At-home Rehab Routine
First, was the “Mount Up/Reach for the Treat” activity in which Dr. Kris lured Pumpkin onto a step with a treat and had her reach for it for several seconds before letting her rest and repeat. Our instructions were to weave this into our daily routine for 5-10 reps per day. The goal is to help with her balance on her singular rear leg, help with core strength, and stretch out all 3 leg muscles in a way she wouldn’t naturally do. It was also suggested that we could periodically raise the height of the step we ask her to mount up on to increase the challenge.
Second, was a similar task in which Pumpkin’s hind leg was on a stability disc making it more challenging for her to keep her balance. It was recommended that we could do this at home with a pillow or anything that did not create a solid platform for her hind leg. She’ll have to work that Lazy Leg to get those treats!
For the 3rd activity, into the dunk tank she went! Pumpkin was not a fan of this new aquatic environment. Dr. Kris had to use some “tough love” to get our girls’ feet unstuck. The water levels rose and it was sink or swim time! Once Pumpy realized she was able to move in this tank on the treadmill beneath her without the sky falling down, she was off and slowly moving. While Pumpkin can sprint extremely well, Dr. Kris explained that the water makes it more difficult to keep your balance when moving slowly and that this was the main benefit for a Tripawd walking in the aqua tank.
Core Strength Essential for Tripawds
Dr. Kris explained to us that core strength is essential for a Tripawd as well as spine health. She recommended Pumpkin see a chiropractor. This will help keep her spine aligned as she adjusts her posture and movements for life on 3 paws. We also learned that dogs have poor “rear-end awareness” and a Tripawd can benefit from changing this behavior. Lastly, we received more solid advice for Pumpkin. It’s best if we try to walk her mid-road to avoid lots of sniffing which will put pressure on her front limbs. This also is the reason behind elevated food bowls not only for Tripawds but for all pups.
Pumpkin spent her early life as a Mexican street dog. As a result, she is thought to be 1.5 years old (as suggested by 3 vets). As for her breed, we only know that she is 100% Mexican street dog hailing from Tulum. However, it looks as if she has some terrier in her mix. We visited Dr. Kristine Conway, D.V.M., C.C.R.T. at Aqua Dog and Cat Rehab in Flanders, NJ and are looking forward to returning and learning more from her!
~ Amanda and Pumpkin (aka: pumpkinspeeps)