Rear leg Tripawd Greyhound Miley benefits from free canine rehab therapy thanks to Tripawds Foundation Rehab Grant #149. The free evaluation and rehab exercises help Miley stay strong and fit. Read her story, and learn how you can get a free veterinary rehab evaluation for your dog or cat.
I have a 10 ½ year old retired racing greyhound, Miley (JA’s Miley Cyrus), that we adopted in the summer of 2015. In late September/early October, after 2-3 weeks of noticeable limping that was initially responding well to pain medication, but then later worsened, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her left rear leg. Since her lungs were clear of metastasis, we decided to amputate the affected leg for the purpose of ridding her of the pain and the source of the cancer.
Tripawd Greyhound Miley’s Amputation Recovery
Prior to making the final decision to amputate, I researched a lot and discovered the Tripawds community online, which provided a wealth of information related to both amputation and cancer options. Miley became a Tripawd Greyhound on 10/31/2022. While she seemed to recover well, we could see that she could definitely benefit from additional therapy. There were times when her remaining leg would sink as if fatigued, and she tired more easily on walks.
Although we have runners all over the house, there are some areas where the flooring is wood or tile and she struggles in those spots. As a result, we booked a consultation with a Canine Rehabilitation Institute certified veterinarian for 1/5/2023. We spent a lot of time talking about Miley and her health issues. Due to a scheduled veterinary conference, we had to delay her rehab start date, but Miley has been going to physical therapy at the rehab center twice a week for the past two weeks. The therapist told us that she would benefit most from underwater treadmill work and conditioning.
Ongoing Canine Rehab Helps Miley
On her scheduled days, I drop her off in the morning and pick her up in the afternoon. She spends her day doing her exercises and enjoying treats and massages. The difference already is amazing. Every other session, her time spent on the treadmill increases incrementally. My husband has noticed and commented on improved muscle tone of her remaining legs and shoulders, and I have observed improved muscle tone of her back along her spine. In addition, the sinking action of her remaining rear leg has decreased.
As a Tripawd Greyhound, Miley’s stamina seems to have improved; however, it’s hot in Florida and she does not care for the heat, so it’s difficult to tell for certain. In addition, she does much better in the house on the wood floors. But most importantly, her confidence has improved tremendously over the past couple weeks. She is much more herself than she was before rehab. We are continuing with the twice per week protocol for the foreseeable future.
If it wasn’t for the Tripawds community, I would not have been aware of this service for dogs, so thank you for being there and having these programs! I learned that a limb amputation is not as horrible as it initially sounds and that a Tripawd Greyhound can adjust well, possibly better than their human guardians.
Miley’s practitioner is Dr. Elizabeth Baird, DVM, CVPP, CCRT and following is a link to the site: Steele Pain Management & Rehabilitation Center in Palm Harbor, Florida.
~ Jennifer and Miley