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Senior Lab Tripawd Ryder Benefits from Free Rehab Thanks to Tripawds Foundation

Ten year old Senior Lab Tripawd Ryder benefits from free canine rehab therapy thanks to Tripawds Foundation Rehab Grant #144. The free evaluation and rehab exercises help Ryder stay fit and strong. Read his story, and learn how you can get a free veterinary rehab evaluation for your dog or cat.

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We are Mackenzie and Mark, parents of Senior Lab Tripawd Ryder and located in Hamilton ON, Canada.

Ryder is a 10-year-old black lab. We have had Ryder since he was a puppy. In 2021 we had his front right arm amputated due to a nerve sheath tumor in his armpit area. He recovered amazingly well, and we could not be prouder.

senior lab tripawd

When we were in the process of diagnosing Ryder’s tumor in summer 2021, and were told that amputation was an option, I began doing research online and found the Tripawds website. I followed on social media and read many articles to make sure we were well educated on what to expect and how best to assist Ryder’s recovery and life as a Tripawd.

In November 2022 we visited SOAR (Southern Ontario Animal Rehabilitation) Veterinary Services. Dr. Chelsey Davey completed Ryder’s assessment.

senior lab tripawd

Rehab Exercises for Senior Lab Tripawd Ryder

We were given the following advice/exercises from our rehab assessment for Senior Lab Tripawd Ryder:

  • Ryder was noted to have moderate hyperextension in his carpus (wrist) with pain on flexion and mild signs of arthritis in his knees. The best way to prevent further breakdown of the wrist is to have a custom brace made – we were quoted for two options, ranging from $250-$1200 dollars.
  • Massage: Massage shoulders and back muscles for 10 minutes 2x/day, to help with soreness and stiffness.
  • Thermotherapy: Wrap a soft gel cold pack in a towel and place on wrist for 10 minutes at night and as needed after exercise.
  • Leash walks: Continue leash walks for 10-20 minutes 3-4x/day. Leash walks should be controlled. Short, frequent walks are going to be more appropriate than one long walk to minimize inflammation and maximize the benefit.  
  • Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy could aid in healing and pain control.
senior lab tripawd

We learned that Ryder’s activity should be moderately restricted to prevent injury and further hyperextension. They confirmed he should be kept on non-slip surfaces, to avoid slipping and falling.

senior Tripawd dog Ryder
Senior Tripawd Ryder is getting stronger.

This is something I knew already from reading Tripawds Blogs! Stairs and playing should be limited to his comfort level. We also discussed swimming, and bringing Ryder in for further visits for water therapy when it is too cold to bring him to the beach.

three legged dog in water therapy
Water therapy will help him too.

Our visit was important because we learned that Senior Lab Tripawd Ryder’s wrist has moderate hyperextension and that is something we need to monitor and act on so that it doesn’t get worse. This information is invaluable and has changed the way we are allowing him to move and play. 

Ryder the amputee dog rehab therapy
Ryder grows older gracefully.

~ Mackenzie and Mark, and Ryder (aka: Mackenzie

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4 thoughts on “Senior Lab Tripawd Ryder Benefits from Free Rehab Thanks to Tripawds Foundation”

  1. Hi I was just informed that my 10 year old lab has cancerous tumor in his right front elbow and we were given several options, last was to amputate. This scared me so much, how would a senior dog get along and adjust? He has been so active since we got him as a pup and now I am torn as to what to do. I am all about quality of life vs quantity. Reading your experience about your 10 year old and he he is doing and surviving gave me hope. But now I don’t know if the amputation would be for me to feel good or if we should just gamble on tumor removal and hope for the best. Any thoughts , referrals, etc would be much appreciated.

    • Every dog is different. If otherwise fit and healthy, the vast majority recover quickly and adapt well to life on three legs. Proper rehab helps! Find much more feedback from members with Senior Tripawds in the blogs and Size & Age Matters forum

    • Hi Denise, sorry for my late reply! I was terrified at first too, and when they gave us amputation as an option we did grieve for a little bit. Ryder too was very active and had so much energy. I think we knew we wanted to give him the best chance at a clean bill of health, and amputation was the way to go. It was the option that would remove as much of the tumour and the effected nerves as possible.

      Thank the stars it all went so well and his tumour is completely gone. He’s healthy, happy, and back to having all the energy to play! He’ll be 11 years old in a month and we still go on walks and play. We recently got him a brace to support his front wrist so there is less pressure on it. We have zero regrets, and I would recommend considering it, if you haven’t already! Best of luck.


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