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Senior Tripawd Silly Philly Gets Strong with Rehab Help

Tripawd Lab mix Phillip benefits from free canine rehab evaluation and treatment thanks to Tripawds Foundation Rehab Grant #178. The free consultation, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and at-home rehab exercises help Phillip 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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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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Meet Tripawd Lab Mix Phillip

Phillip, a.k.a., Phil, Philly, Silly Philly, is about ten (10) years old. He’s a mixed breed: Akita and Lab.

Phillip required amputation because he had an aggressive tumor regrow on his paw after having his toe amputated. When we adopted Phil from KC Pet Project in November, 2023, he was not a Tripawd at the time, just had a toe amputated.

Acupuncture for Phillip

The details provided by the rehab team for Phil’s at-home exercise plan included:

  • “sit to stand,” (2-3 times per day)
  • “weight shift” – shifting his weight from leg to leg, right to left – (2 times per day)
  • and slow leash walking to encourage him to move forward (1-2 times per day).

These were the exercises and repetitions we were able to do consistently. These exercises rebuilt his strength for standing, sitting and moving, and to help with his balance. At therapy he receives therapeutic laser treatment, acupuncture, manual therapy (massage and stretching) and underwater treadmill.

tripawd lab mix
Phillip on the Water Treadmill

The one thing we learned the most from this experience was your book was right: “Nothing can prepare you for this.” We took Phil home from the vet on the same day of / hours after the surgery. He had a Fentanyl patch that caused dysphoria, vocally, along with hardcore restlessness. He did not sleep well and neither did we, the humans.

tripawd lab mix laser treatment
Cold Laser Therapy for Phillip

An ice storm and then a lockdown blizzard the next day and throughout the week did not help things, in terms of getting him outside to go potty with one less leg on ice and snow with temperatures dipping into the negative twenties and thirties with wind chill. The cold took our breath away. At first, we carried him outside on his dog bed with towels underneath the bed to help him get off the front porch and then moving around outside, a laborious and awkward process.

Tripawd lab mix Phillip
Sit to Stand Exercises at Home

Only later did we realize and learn how much easier it was to carry him with moving blankets. A friend told us that’s what firefighters use to carry people. They worked like a charm. We couldn’t know how much we loved Phil until we saw him post-surgery, heard him in pain from the side effects of the medication, and got him home. Those first few days were incredibly hard to live through and even harder for Phil.

Link to rehab clinic:

Practitioner: Abby Snyder DVM CCRT cVMA

We heard about Tripawds through the Rosie Fund podcast.

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1 thought on “Senior Tripawd Silly Philly Gets Strong with Rehab Help”

  1. Thank you for sharing! We had somewhat of a similar situation with medication after the surgery. For our 10-year-old Husky, we were sent home with Tremadal, and it caused terrible side effects and restless nights, it was terrible! We finally requested gabapentin and that changed everything. We are looking into physio for our dog’s remaining back leg, as he pulled the Ccl connected to this leg years ago, and it’s in pretty rough shape. We also moved boo-boo around in his dog bed throughout the day hahaha.. When we would cook supper, we moved him so he could watch, and then when we sat down to watch TV we would move him back. Sending warm and healing thoughts to your pup.


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