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Senior Tripawd Diesel Benefits from Free Rehab Evaluation

Senior Tripawd Diesel benefits from at home canine rehab exercises thanks to Tripawds Foundation Rehab Grant #137. The free consultation and prescribed rehab exercises help 10-year old Diesel get strong and stay fit. Read his story, and learn how you can get a free veterinary rehab evaluation for your dog or cat.maggie moo fund for tripawd rehabYes! Tri-kitties qualify for free feline rehab too. See all Tripawds who have received free rehab sessions thanks to your support.

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Canine Rehab Helps Senior Tripawd Diesel

I found after a conversation with someone on the sidewalk who mentioned something about tripawd groups in San Francisco and on social media. I did some searching until I came across @TripawdsCommunity on Instagram. Through messages back and forth with Rene in June on Insta, she mentioned having an evaluation appointment with the opportunity for a $200 reimbursement. After reading more information on the website and talking to other folks in the Tripawds group, I decided we needed to check with the professionals. I researched area Certified Practitioners and decided we would make an appointment at UC Davis, Vet Clinic, Integrative Medicine. This is the best decision I could have made for him, besides fostering and adopting him 1 year ago.

My sweet senior Tripawd just turned 10 years old. He is a mix of Rhodesian Ridgeback and Lab. I fostered and then adopted him 1 year ago. I had been fostering dogs for the last 4 years and with a large number of them during the pandemic as I volunteer at San Francisco Animal Care & Control (SFACC). SFACC is basically the funnel for animals to get adopted or transferred to other appropriate rescues. The team at SFACC does an amazing job! Diesel had been transferred to Grateful Dog Rescue but they didn’t have a foster for him yet, so they asked me if I would since I love the senior dogs. I met him and immediately said YES! Diesel was my 11th foster dog during the pandemic. I had him for 2 months, long enough to decide he and I were a great fit and that I would do whatever he needed to live a great life. So we made it official in December 2021.

Diesel’s Road to Recovery

Diesel’s life before me had been with a couple of guys that took good care of him but he lived on and off on the streets in San Francisco, the exact details are unclear. I know they surrendered him due to him needing a better life than living on the streets at his age and his state of health.

With the records that I found, some at SFACC and by calling around to the different hospitals, I found that Diesel had Spindle Cell Sarcoma. Due to poor healing of the original surgery and wound care challenges, the best option for him was amputation in February 2019. He also had a tibia/fibia fracture when he was 1 1/2 yo so there is a visible scar on his back leg from the surgery. I found a picture of him on Instagram in May 2019 as a Tripawd to verify that timeline.

When I got Diesel, he was 97 lbs. He had several issues of red eyes, diarrhea, and overall lethargy. He would walk about 1/2 block and lay down, for a long time! It took us a long time to get anywhere! I immediately got him on the best senior weight-loss food I could with the consultation of the local pet food store, his stools were still very loose and often. I eventually switch his food to The Honest Kitchen (dehydrated human-grade food) to get healthy non-processed food. He seemed to do better with this food. With the consultation of the local vet, we decided to have him stay on one flavor profile instead of switching it often as recommended. He had been on several different probiotics, pumpkin, and other things to help his stools and the best I could get was soft-serve. I was able to get his weight to 80 – 83 lbs where we have been fairly steady for the last 9 months.

senior tripawd diesel
Getting TENS treatment at UCDavis Vet Rehab

In Good Hands at UC Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital

With the UCDavis Vet Integrative Medicine appointment, he had a full evaluation. A few things extra things were discovered that we have since checked out via ultrasound and ophthalmologist, and everything came back as manageable or watch and re-check in 6 months. Of course, there is a little bit of arthritis and some pain in his spine, as well. Also, his digestive system was not quite right but again manageable and better than it had been when I first got him.

He was prescribed new supplements and herbs, raw ginger, and food adjustments, his digestive system and stools are so much better and more like a typical dog within a week! We are both so happy!! We are on a weight-loss journey too, as the doctor would like to see him at 70lbs, which is totally doable with what we are doing!

The doctor’s assessment was he needs more muscle/strength in his back remaining leg (right side,) all of his muscles were tight and needed massage and a better range of motion. His front leg on the left (loss) side, his elbow would stick out when he stood still which was also not good.

senior tripawd diesel
At Home Reab for Senior Tripawd Diesel

Diesel’s Rehab Regimen

I was sent a link to Physiotec App that has all his massage, stretches, and exercises listed, with videos of how to do them. Also prescribed were sessions of rehab – laser/massage/exercises and acupuncture. He has had 3 sessions so far for rehab & acupuncture to loosen his muscles, help his pain, and increase his range of motion. They started work with hydro exercises and other strengthening exercises on this 3rd session. We have 2 more booked, but I’m sure we will need more.

At home, it is easy for the massage as he says he could get massaged all day! Neck, Thoracolumbar, Tricep, Hamstring, Hip, Shoulder Extension, Bicep stretch, Hip extension, and Hip abduction are his massages and stretches. When it comes to stretching, it is easiest when he is sleepy and he’s relaxed. For the exercises, he will just quit when he’s had enough, even with the best high-value treats. So we combine exercises and mix up the order and number of repetitions, and have to spread it out over the day. We haven’t mastered all of them yet but we’re working on them.

tripawd rehab
Side Crunches, At-home rehab Exercises

Senior Tripawd Rehab Exercises

His exercises include side crunches in the laying down position, cookie crunches standing up (his nose to his side/hip area,) from lying down to standing. We also have him standing on a Balance Pad with his front legs, reversing back off the mat, and moving his back end from side to side with him stationary in the front. Also doing figure 8s around safety cones, both directions, weaving, and stepping over Cavaletti rails. The doctor also said doing stairs and hills are good for him. We are not lacking either of those in San Francisco.

All of the massages and exercises are to be done every day. They have also said that we can pick 3 -4 exercises per day and keep mixing them up. Dr. Ronald B. Koh is his practitioner at the UC Davis Integrative Medicine clinic.

I have found so far his range of motion is so much better and he is such a chill dog that they said he is so relaxed during acupuncture. Unfortunately, I am not able to come in to watch any of it.

I’ve really learned so much from the experience. First, the thought of “better than it was” is still not good enough. Having a healthy dog, inside and out, with strength and organ systems, are extremely important. Also, if you don’t feel your current vet is getting the results that are necessary, it is best to seek a 2nd opinion.

I am lucky to live close to one of the best Veterinary teaching institutions in the United States and I’m glad to have finally taken Diesel there for treatment. I plan to keep senior Tripawd Diesel as strong and healthy as possible while he is with me and on this earth.

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