Core and limb strength is very important, but for dogs who have been through amputation it is absolutely vital.
That strength powers their getting back to a happy and healthy life in a much shorter time. How?
Making the decision as a pet parent to have your pet’s limb amputated is most challenging and deeply emotional. You are committing to a process that requires time, patience and a ton of love. We know your canine companion is worth all sacrifice, and we want to help!
FitPAWS® Canine Conditioning Equipment has been a key part of the journey for many of our canine friends. For instance, meet Wyatt Ray Dawg. Maybe you’ve already been acquainted with this hero at Tripawds.com.
Wyatt lost his right, rear leg due to neglect, but he was rescued by caring veterinary professionals and his new pet “pawrents” Jim Nelson and René Agredano, founders of Tripawds.com. (See his intro on YouTube!)
Jim and René tells what happened next:
“Nearly three years after beginning our work on improving his core muscles and balance capabilities, our tripawd dog Wyatt is stronger than ever. We did it by incorporating daily training games with the FitPAWS® Canine Conditioning Equipment.
“As you can see in the above photo of Wyatt Ray running, his remaining rear limb was extremely weak and his slope was extremely pronounced. That photo was taken less than six months after amputation.
“Today, this photo on the right shows his improvement, almost three years after amputation. His stronger core muscles are better able to support his entire body, his rear leg has gained power and more obvious definition.
“Today he has better spinal alignment and longer endurance that helps him during playtime and walks. Staying strong will also reduce joint stress as he ages.”
So, How Is It Done?
Tripawd dogs need to do with one leg what they used to do with two, whether that be in front or in the rear. That means strengthening those core and limb muscles is essential.
Wyatt trained on the FitPAWS® Peanut to strengthen that rear limb. In this training session watch how his rear and core muscles are worked through strength training and weight shifting.
Spree also trained on the FitPAWS® Peanut. Notice how versatile the tool is as Deanna Rogers PT, CCRP from Good Life Physical Therapy for Animals tries to encourage Spree to learn how to broaden the base of support in her rear legs.
Wyatt improved his body awareness (that is, understanding where his body is in space) and his ability to balance on his FitPAWS® Paw Pods. “Cookie Stretches” are also a great way to improve flexibility and range of motion.
Wyatt is able to train indoors and outdoors on his FitPAWS® Giant Balance Disc. Performing “Sits” and “Downs” are more effective due to the unstable surface.
Another great tool for core muscle strength, better balance, and most of all body awareness is the FitPAWS® Hurdle Set. Set up the set for pole weaving as you see in the following illustration. When your tripawd dog masters the exercise of weaving in and out of the poles, try setting the cones closer together.
Smaller dogs can use the FitPAWS® K9Fitbone, Disc or Balance pad for assisted standing exercises, and balance exercises. Here Gizmo is gaining strong core muscles in his rear on the FitPAWS® Giant Balance Disc and strong core muscles in the front with the Mini Egg (substitute K9Fitbone or Ramp).
Tripawd dog, Sjofn, works on improving her balance and core strength on the FitPAWS® Balance Disc, Giant Balance Disc, and Peanut.
Be sure to visit Tripawds.com for more information from the “Pawrents” who first coined the name “Tripawds®.” Their hard work and dedication will warm your heart!
Are You A Canine Rehab Professional?
Get your copy of Canine Sports Medicine And Rehabilitation, Edited by M. Christine Zink, DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVP & Janet B. Van Dyke, DVM
Provides must-have information for anyone working with the canine athletes or rehabilitation patients!
Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation offers a gold-standard, comprehensive reference on all aspects of sports medicine and rehabilitation for all dogs. Written by an outstanding group of leaders in the field, the book covers topics ranging from biomechanics, exercise physiology, nutrition, and common orthopedic conditions of the canine athlete to in-depth rehabilitation and integrative therapies for all dogs. Each chapter includes case studies and numerous color images to demonstrate the concepts discussed.
Encompassing basic science and integrated veterinary and physical therapy approaches, Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation is a complete resource for veterinarians, physical therapists, veterinary technicians and anyone interested in working with canine athletes or in offering rehabilitation therapy in their practice. You will learn the goal, technique, and progression of exercises that can be done on a FitPAWS® Peanut, Disc, Hurdle set, Rocker Board, and Paw Pods.