Rear leg Tripawd Elvis benefits from canine rehab evaluation thanks to Tripawds Foundation Rehab Grant #154. His free consultation and at-home rehab exercises help Elvis stay strong and fit. Read his story, and learn how you can get a free veterinary rehab evaluation for your dog or cat.
To the Tripawds administrators, support staff, Tripawds community, and donors we wish to give a heartfelt thank you for the Tripawds Organization being such a great resource for pet owners whose pets have lost a limb.
Our beloved Elvis came into our lives somewhat by chance. My wife and I had traveled to Green Bay, WI to pick up some work items. With some remaining time before we had to return home my wife suggested we stop by the humane society and “just look” at some dogs in need of adoption. As we walked around viewing all the different personalities, my wife turned the corner and there was a skinny, scared dog in a corner facing away from viewers. The staff stated he was a stray that had been living on the streets. Upon my wife calling to him, he came right over and we made an instant a connection. What started out to be an outing to run errands turned into an adoption of a beloved family member.
Pre-Tripawd Elvis Has a Ruff Start
The staff had informed us of some of Elvis’ challenges. He wasn’t eating, had bad anxiety and would howl when left alone even briefly. At the time in 2016 they believed him to be a mixed breed dog approximately 1 year old. We now believe him to be 7-8 years old. When we got him home he was the wild west. He chewed things up, helped himself to unguarded food, and messed on the floor. Then, he would howl when we left the room. And, he couldn’t stand to be left alone for a minute, even to allow his family to briefly go into another room.
While I wasn’t completely convinced we had chosen the correct dog for our family, our family continued to work with him making small progress. It soon became clear that all he wanted was companionship and to get outside to run and hike in the woods. As he began to trust us, he started to eat, all his undesirable behaviors faded and he became a well balanced active dog. We rarely left Elvis by himself and he enjoyed playtime and a hike in the woods daily. He loved the outdoor activity.
Becoming the Best Dog
Elvis became quite a celebrity for his uniqueness and sometimes human like behavior. Neighbors, friends and coworkers would comment on how well behaved he was in almost any setting. We began to take him everywhere we could. His love of people, other dogs, cats, animals and small children soon became evident, never showing any aggression. One of his best friends is a miniature horse and he loves to visit the baby chicks at Tractor Supply. People always asked what Elvis was up to. Subsequently, he amazed everyone with all the tricks he would perform. His many human friends follow him on his Facebook page.
After moving to the mountains, Elvis’ outdoor activity only increased. We hiked everyday and he seemed happiest in the woods wearing his backpack and running alongside his pack. He would scamper up the tallest of mountains and then return home for a nap.
Elvis vs. Mast Cell Carcinoma
Sadly Elvis’ seemingly happy life came to an abrupt halt when we observed his rear left leg to have an odd bump developing. It seemed to appear over night when compared to pictures we observed only a month before. Thinking it was a strain we took him to the vet where we received devastating news. Soon to be Tripawd Elvis was diagnosed with Mast Cell Carcinoma. Two days after his diagnosis he was in surgery. This required the leg be amputated, in hopes of isolating the rapid developing cancer. This was March 31st.
After the heart wrenching decision to remove the leg we decided to try and help him live the best life he could in light of his new reality. Doing searches online to try and educate ourselves about special needs dogs, we came across a blessing. The Tripawds website. It was such a help to have tailored information, educational resources and shared experiences of others in the same predicament. We observed in our research the benefits of Physical Therapy for dogs after their surgery. This prompted us to bring him to Best Life Canine Rehab where he was seen by a DVM, CCRT who is veterinarian, certified rehabist and acupuncturist.
Canine Rehab Regimen Helps Tripawd Elvis
Elvis was given a program that consist of: PROM to maintain the motion he has, trigger point releases for numerous trigger points along his spine and shoulders. Transitional exercises were prescribed to promote correct posture and feet placement.
His range of motion work is required daily and his trigger point releases and spinal traction is done 3 times per week. His balance and strengthening are accomplished through his proprioception exercises and transitional work.
Elvis benefited from these interventions in pain reduction, maintaining range of motion, increase in balance and strength, and mitigation of further injury. We hope and believe that these interventions will help Elvis live his best life possible.
What we learned most from his therapy was that we have the ability to help Tripawd Elvis progress through his rehab program. In addition, it can be another means of interacting with him. We learned things we do now will help with his longevity and quality of life.
~ Shawn and Elvis (aka: goodboye)