Canine Rehab for Tripawd Moose
Our Tripawd Moose is a big dog with a big personality. He’s a 7 year old Great Dane-English Pointer mix adopted from PetPal in St. Petersburg, FL. He was first picked up as a stray in rural Florida around 4 months old before arriving at his forever home.
In February, we visited his vet, Dr. Stephanie Montor at 4th Street Animal Hospital. This was because his front right wrist looked swollen after rolling over it a few times while playing. X-rays showed he likely had osteosarcoma, though luckily his lungs were clear. We learned the treatment was amputation, which was hard to imagine for such an active dog. Many hospitals were booked out several months or could not handle a dog his size (110 lbs!).
At last, we found Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Care Center, and his orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Matt Oakes, and his oncologist, Dr. Monica Fernandez. They referred us to Tripawds, and the site helped us immensely in our decision to amputate. The many resources also helped us learn what to expect from surgery and how to help him recover.
Ruff Recovery for New Tripawd Moose
His first week of recovery was a huge struggle. He couldn’t figure out how to stand and yelped in pain when we carried him. At that point, we simply hoped he’d learn to stand and walk a little on his own again. Nonetheless, we’d read about the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab program, and scheduled a rehab consult for four weeks later. To our surprise and delight, Tripawd Moose began improving over the month and even discovered it was easier for him to run than walk. He was ready to take on rehab!
In his evaluation with Dr. Mark Brown, CCRP at Tampa Bay K9 Rehabilitation Center, a plan was made for agility, endurance and therapeutic exercises and modalities and twice a week appointments. Moose walks on an underwater treadmill to build up the muscle strength, endurance, and develop coordination of moving with three legs. His floor exercises help to work on his mobility, agility and balance. These include doing laps on Cavaletti rails, and practicing going from standing to laying and adjusting position.
Moose’s Canine Rehab Regimen
He has moist heat application to his hips and low back to address inflammation and tension from the extra load they are carrying. Tripawd Moose also receives laser therapy on these areas, as well as on his shoulder and amputation site to help with pain, healing and scarring. We have already noticed improvements in his ability to move around confidently and securely, and have been able to allow him more freedom in the house, yard and on walks, including transitioning to a collar instead of his harness since we no longer need to hold him up.
We’ve been thoroughly inspired by how Moose has persistently pushed to get back to the things he loves, and we are grateful to be able to get him support with rehab. We wouldn’t have known to consider canine rehab if not for the Tripawds Community, and we genuinely see the difference it makes in his recovery.
~ Rachel & Joe, and Tripawd Moose