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Tripawd Airedale Duke Benefits from Free Canine Rehab

Front leg Tripawd Airedale Duke benefits from canine rehab evaluation thanks to Tripawds Foundation Rehab Grant #156. Duke’s free consultation and at-home rehab exercises help him stay strong and fit. Read his story, and learn how you can get a free veterinary rehab evaluation for your dog or cat.

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Yes! 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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Duke is an 8 year old, 85 pound male Airedale of the Oorang variety. We got him as a rescue from Starting Over Airedale Rescue 5 years ago. He is a wonderful, loving, active dog! Over the last 5 years, I’ve done a lot of hiking and other outdoor activities with him.

Tripawd Airedale Duke’s Cancer Diagnosis

In December of 2022, I took him on a hike. He seemed fine throughout the hike. Later that day he began to limp and not put weight on his right front paw. I took him to the vet the next day. After a couple of weeks of rest and meds with no reduction of the swelling on his paw, the vet did a fine needle aspiration and later reported back a cancer diagnosis.

We had to go to Florida to deal with a trailer in a camp ground that was under new ownership. While there, we took him to the University of Florida Veterinary School and got a biopsy indicating a soft tissue sarcoma. Duke had an amputation by Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital at the end of March. Before we knew it, we were coming home with our Tripawd Airedale.

tripawd airedale duke
Canine Rehab for Tripawd Airedale Duke

Duke’s Rehab Therapy Regimen

After recovery, we scheduled initial therapy with Pawsitive Results Animal Rehab Center on June 5th 2023 with Jennifer Trudick, who works under supervision of Kathy Topham. Jennifer did an initial exam, did a massage and had him do a few exercises in the rehab gym room.

tripawd airedale duke

Duke’s rehab plan describes the benefits of each exercise. It doesn’t specify the frequency of these exercises. Duke is hesitant to do new things. I’ve been trying to do a few of the exercises each day. To date I’ve focused on exercises 1,2,3,4,7 and 8.

  1. Biscuits to ribs: is a balancing and core strengthening exercises. Only ask to the left so he can find his balance, open up his rib cage, stretch his intercostal muscles, and stretch his cervical/upper thoracic spine.
  2. Cavaletti course: place items approximately 10″ apart and walk over them 6-10 times per session. This shorter distance will work his top line and core muscles as well as help with controlled gaining vs just hopping along.
  3. Uphill walking: he can do a mild to moderate hill. This will help shift some weight to the hind end training and engaging the hidden muscles to work in balance with the forelimb.
  4. Love in the stairs: hold for 5 seconds and off. Repeat 6-8 times per session. This will elongate the whole spine as well as work on hindend strengthening while finding balance in forelimb.
  5. Sit to stands: as an amputee this will not only work the quad muscles, it will work the core muscles in finding his force to stand from there.
  6. Challenge standing can be done on cushions, a small trampoline, or a suspension bridge. This will help him find his balance, and work his whole body as a unit.
  7. Zig zags: this exercise can be done back and forth 6-10 times per session depending on his tolerance. This helps with gait retraining and finding a new balance back and forth without the missing limb.
  8. Balance board: same concept as challenge standing.
tripawd airedale duke
Build Your Own Balance Board

I’ve been increasing the number of repetitions as Tripawd Airedale Duke becomes more comfortable with each. These exercises are similar to those in your e-books that I purchased. The one thing I learned from this session was that I’ve been doing a number of the things Duke needs based on your web site and e-books. We learned about the Tripawds Community from a Google search.

canine rehab

The attached pictures show Tripawd Airedale Duke doing a number of these exercises. I plan to build a wobble board, but for now I’m taking Duke on floating docks at Silver Lake Village and Portage Lakes State Park. I take him on short walks at many of our excellent Metro Parks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. He gets hill climbing work on these walks. We had our first water treadmill session on June 19th.

hydrotherapy for duke

I’m so grateful that I found the Tripawds website. Unfortunately, most vets do not offer assistance for the times after the amputation.

~ Dennis and Duke

How to Find a Rehab Therapy for Tripawd Dogs and Cats

At Home Front Limb Tripawd Rehab Program

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1 thought on “Tripawd Airedale Duke Benefits from Free Canine Rehab”

  1. To Denis and Duke: Thanks so much for posting this. The pictures were great! Our (previously) 144 pound Newf is just finishing up his two weeks post amp and I’m deciding about rehab. He is very determined and confident but he likes to think things over before he proceeds (some might call this “stubborn”!) so I’m wondering if the rehab people can work on his terms. Also I was looking at Duke navigating the rise and run of those stairs as I consider improvements around the house. Again thanks for the post. It arrived just at the right time for us.


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