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Rear Leg Cavapoo Tripawd Charlie Enjoys Benefits of Canine Rehab

Rear leg Cavapoo Tripawd Charlie benefits from canine rehab therapy thanks to Tripawds Foundation Rehab Grant #171. The free consultation and at-home rehab exercises help Charlie stay strong and love life on three legs. Read his story, and learn how you can get a free veterinary rehab evaluation for your dog or cat.

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Meet rear Leg Cavapoo Tripawd Charlie

Charlie is an 8 month old Cavapoo puppy. He sustained an injury at doggy daycare in August 2023. Although I was hopeful that this was just a sprain, after consulting our local veterinary clinic, I found out this was a fracture with displaced bones. Because there were no readily available orthopedic specialists in the area, we needed to travel two hours to Canada in order to have a consult up there. Soon afterwards, Charlie received surgery in an attempt to save his right back limb. Unfortunately, about one week after surgery, when the bandage was removed, it was clear that the pins that had been placed were already coming out of his skin. We were faced with his getting another surgery, which may or may not have helped, or having an amputation. After much thought and discussion, I elected for amputation.

Cavapoo Tripawd Charlie
Cavapoo Tripawd Charlie

As soon as the thought of amputation occurred to me, I went on-line to find resources available. I was quickly able to access the Tripawds site. I am very appreciative to the Tripawds Community for providing multiple ideas and suggestions relating to pre and post surgery. Because of recommendations from that community, I was aware that it was of benefit for Charlie to consult a rehab specialist after amputation. We saw Doctor Eliana Cely (DVM,CCRT) for an initial PT consultation at Village Veterinary Clinic in Hamburg three weeks ago.

She did a thorough examination of Charlie, identified that he was still experiencing some pain and prescribed another non steroidal anti-inflammatory for him. In addition, she identified exercises that I was to do at home twice daily. I also made a commitment to take Charlie back for eight weeks of physical therapy at the clinic.

Cavapoo Tripawd Rehab

Dr. Cely explained that Charlie would benefit from core strengthening. He is a puppy and is quite bouncy, meaning his body moves around loosely. She explained that developing core strength would minimize the possibility of future joint or back injuries.

Cavapoo Tripawd Rehab

Rear Leg Exercises for Cavapoo Tripawd Charlie

Two exercises that I was shown to do with Charlie were to provide moist heat to his lower back followed by massage. In addition, it was recommended that I get a 5 inch stool and practice putting his front legs on the stool, while stretching him gently back and forth. We are also working on having Charlie go up and down a small set of stairs so he can safely get on and off my bed.

Cavapoo Tripawd Rehab

In terms of what I learned most from the experience was the importance of core strengthening in minimizing another injury. Also, Cavapoo Tripawd Charlie and I had previously played catch with various toys and Dr Cely showed me how to do that in a way that would minimize Charlie’s turning quickly. She recommended that I situate Charlie between my legs on the floor and throw the toy with Charlie facing forward.

Doing exercises at home alone with a wiggling puppy has taken some practice. A recommendation from PT was to get a dog lick mat, which I place on the window in front of our “work station”. Charlie gets to lick on peanut butter flavored treats while we do our practice sessions together.

I found out about the Tripawds Community after I went online researching information about amputation in pets. This has been a very important part of Charlie’s recovery and of my coping with the changes he is facing. Cavapoo Tripawd Charlie seems to be doing fine in navigating the world on three paws.

I understand this is a long distance run or hop. I want to support Charlie in being as strong as possible for the journey ahead.

~ Cheryl & Charlie

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