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Tripawds pawrents it’s time to go back to school and learn all you can about keeping your amputee canine hero fit and strong on three legs. Thanks to the Fenzi Online Dog Sports Academy and world-renowned canine fitness expert, Dr. Debbie Gross, DPT, MSPT, Diplomat ABPTS, CCRP, now you can learn how to safely and effectively exercise your Tripawd at home with the first ever online Tripawd Conditioning Course!
As we mentioned in last week’s Tripawds Downloads announcement, Dr. Gross is willing to lead a Tripawd-specific online canine conditioning course starting February 1, 2015, IF we can get at least six participants to enroll.
Ready to Get Your Tripawd Fit?
Class spots are guaranteed to fill up fast! Here’s how to guarantee a spot:
- Get on the Fenzi Academy e-mail list located here
- This January, about 4 days before enrollment opens, watch for a newsletter that lists upcoming Fenzi classes. You’ll notice the date and time registration will open for the Tripod Conditioning Course.
- Hurry and register! Some classes are very popular and fill in a matter of minutes or hours.
While many exercises will involve simple household objects like step stools and cushions, some FitPAWS gear will be required. We are announcing this course now so that everyone can gather up their supplies. Here is a short list of supplies to prepare to purchase.
The FitPAWS Balance Pad
The FitPAWS Balance Pad is the best beginning balance training tool for Tripawds because it provides low balance challenges for dogs recovering from amputation surgery or other injuries. It builds strength in remaining limbs and help improves balance, limb awareness and proprioception with weight shifting and stretches.
You can adjust the level of balance difficulty by stacking two or more balance pads on top of one another, or place pads side-by-side to customize for use with larger dogs. Here are its main benefits:
- Unstable surface work helps with proprioception and neurological issues.
- Weight bearing exercises build strength in remaining limbs.
- Weight shifting challenges their balance and builds core muscle strength.
- Obstacle course enhances limb awareness and gait adjustment
Read our full FitPAWS Balance Pad review.
The FitPAWS Peanut
Help your Tripawd stay fit not by walking, but with weight-bearing exercises using a tool like the FitPAWS Peanut. This inflatable peanut-shaped stability ball is specifically designed for advanced canine core conditioning, which Dr. Gross will review in the Tripods Conditioning Course.
Dr. Gross’ Rottie Student Gets Strong on the FitPAWS Peanut
The Peanut is used for core muscle conditioning. The unique shape limits its movement to front/back or side/side, which is important for this type of training. Read the full Tripawds Peanut Review for more information.
The Peanut comes in many different sizes; feel free to email Dr. Gross
to ask about the best size for your Tripawd!
In the coming weeks we hope you’ll consider enrolling in the Tripawds Conditioning Course, it’s gonna be a blast!
Tripawd Wyatt Gets on the FitPAWS Peanut
Loving Life on Three Legs; Canine Fitness and Conditioning for Happy, Healthy Tripawds
Tagged: exercise, fitpaws, video
Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!
Rehabilitation therapists have so much life-changing advice to offer cats and dogs on three legs. And when the rehab vet also happens to be a veterinarian, well that wisdom is priceless! Today we are honored to welcome Dr. Dicki Kennedy, founder of Animal Rehab and Conditioning Center in Greenville, South Carolina, to the Tripawds community.
Thanks to Tripawds members Domino and Cassie, we were introduced to Dr. Kennedy, who also happens to have a Tripawd kitty! Dr. Kennedy spent time with this dynamic duo to share her best physical conditioning tips for three-legged dogs and cats.
In the next couple of months we’ll share her fun rehab session with Domino, but for now, get to know Dr. Kennedy, who has written this informative blog post featuring tips and tricks for nutrition, gear and living life on three legs:
Domino Gets Rehab
“Hello – I am Dr. Dicki Kennedy and I am a rehabilitation veterinarian. I was in general practice when I found that I was not satisfied with the quality of pain management that we were doing as a profession, so I began this long journey of finding different methods to help manage pain in our pets.
I became certified in canine rehabilitation, canine acupuncture, veterinary pain management, canine massage and finally animal chiropractic – one thing led to another and they are all great tools for helping to manage our pet’s pain.
I opened ARCC — Animal Rehab and Conditioning Center last year as part of a dream to help pets live longer, healthier and better lives. At ARCC I have the privilege of helping canine athletes improve their performance, helping aging pets to live a more comfortable and productive life, and to help pets with injuries learn to reuse their body in the way it was meant.
Lifestyle Tips for Tripawd Dogs and Cats
I have some tips for Tripawds:
If your pet is about to receive an amputation, speak to your veterinarian about possible prosthetics after the surgery.
Keep your pet lean.
Make your pet as strong as possible on their remaining limbs and don’t forget their core which includes the abdominal and back muscles.
Working out core muscles.
I recommend glucosamines for everyone no matter how many limbs they are using.
Comfortable bedding – orthopedic bedding is recommended for everyone.
The Big Barker
Ramps are a great addition to most homes – too many pets are jumping out of high SUVS and placing a tremendous amount of weight on their forelimbs let alone the exertion on the rear limbs to jump up into the car.
The OttoStep Dog Loader
Elevated food and water bowls are recommended to keep your pet from placing too much weight on their front legs.
I love flexion and extension exercises followed by massage.
Massage is great Tripawd Therapy
Lots of love, attention and stimulation.
I was told to keep this at about 300 words and we are way over – I still have a lot to say so maybe I will get to post another blog soon.”
Stay tuned for lots more informative tips from Dr. Kennedy about living healthy and strong on three legs!
Until then, check out her blog and download her free e-book, “What Do I Do Now, Doc?”
Tagged: ARCC, recovery, rehab therapy, rehabilitation therapy
Look no further for the best Tripawds pre and post amputation recovery gear, Dieter’s List has you covered!
A while back, Dieter’s pack shared their favorite “Must Have” items for amputation surgery recovery, which we’d like to pass along to you today:
- The Big Barker (7″ of American-made support for your big 4-legged friend – yeah!)
- The Webmaster Harness – I’ve been using Ruffwear stuff for years and this product is outstanding, as are all their other things.
- A soft towel to act as a sling for getting in and out of the car until he can wear the Webmaster
- Random “dog towels” – for whatever spills, accidents, oozing, and/or drooling may be going on
- Grip Trex booties – these I bought for Otto many years ago and he HATED them. I’ve been easing them onto Dieter’s feet for familiarity in case they’d be helpful at the vet’s office down the line
- Inflatable cone – somehow this just seems a teeny bit more dignified than the “cone of shame”
- I’m going to buy Bella’s hot/cold pack for pain management
- The BF showed up on Friday night with 500 sq ft of commercial-grade carpeting in his truck. The whole house, which has stained concrete floors, is now carpeted. I doubt you have as amazing a BF as I do, but now you know the secret.
- A baby gate with a swinging door to cordon off his recovery area (aka the bedroom)
- New toys to destroy as he recovers (Goodwill and Costco are cheap sources of soft toys that destruct gratifyingly easily).
- Elevated Food Bowls – really tall ones since he’s such a tall boy. His current 12″ ones will not be good for his posture on three legs. I can’t remember the brand name, but these are 16″ tall and I ordered them from amazon.com
- Soups, canned fruits, cereal, yogurt, Clif bars and other easy-to-prepare and reasonably healthy foods (oh, ok, except for the 15-pack of mac and cheese) so that I would not have to think about what I was going to eat while I was paying attention to his recovery
- The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. I haven’t started reading it yet, but I’ll review it when I do.
- A good book to read for when I can’t concentrate on work or just want to hang out with him while he’s less mobile.
Do you have other “Must Have” gear for Tripawds that should be on this list? Share your tips with us in the Comments field below!
We often get asked, “Can my dog wear a harness after amputation surgery?”
New Tripawd Wyatt wears the Webmaster
The answer to that is, it depends on which harness you buy, and whether your dog is losing a front or rear leg.
The Get-a-Grip and Pet Support Suit Harnesses
If you’re considering the AST Get-a-Grip Harness or Custom Pet Support Suit, these rugged harnesses are made especially for post-surgery dogs. The unique wrap-around design shouldn’t interfere with amputation stitches in the front or rear, but it’s always good to check with your vet first.
This Wyatt wears a Get-a-Grip Harness
The Webmaster and Convert Harnesses
Although we recommend not using the Ruffwear Webmaster Harness or EzyDog Convert Harness until the surgery has completely healed and stitches or staples are removed, some dogs like Wyatt (pictured in the first photo) can wear them over a body stocking.
Tripawd Eva loves her Webmaster harness.
We have heard of no specific cases where any harness has hampered healing, but we believe direct pressure from the straps might irritate the wound. This may not be the case with rear-leg amputees, whose stitches are usually beyond the harness straps. However please consult your veterinarian with any concerns.
Wyatt runs in the EzyDog Tripawd Convert Harness.
If you find the harness irritates your dog’s incision or don’t want to risk it, try using a soft towel slung under the belly if additional post-op mobility support is required. A reusable canvas shopping bag slit down the sides also makes a handy temporary sling.
One of the best ways you can help your three-legged hero get strong after losing a leg is through canine rehabilitation therapy. A rehab program provides endless life-changing benefits for all dogs but especially three-legged ones.
Tripawd Lucy gets a rehab workout
A qualified canine rehabilitation practitioner can help your Tripawd in many ways, including:
- Locating existing skeletal and muscular weaknesses to reduce the risk of additional damage.
- Diagnosing and fixing a physical problem instead of relying solely on painkillers to hide symptoms.
- Correcting your Tripawd’s gait in order to reduce the physical stress of the “Tripawd Hop.”
Not all doggie rehab centers and practitioners are equal, however. Two of the most important factors a clinic needs in order to provide a safe environment are:
- Rehabilitation staff with the CCRT or CCRP credentials.
- A partnering veterinarian who is also certified in canine rehabilitation.
The most highly trained individuals will have the initials “CCRT” (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist) or “CCRP” (Certified
Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner) after their name, which means they graduated from one of only two accredited courses in the world recognized for outstanding training and education:
When done by qualified practitioners, canine rehab is s0 much fun for you and your dog. If you’re unable to work directly with a clinic, fear not, there’s plenty you can do at home to aid your Tripawd in building strong core muscles and stamina. Here are two beginner level pieces of equipment that will help you get started:
FitPAWS® Balance Pad
FitPAWS Balance Pad for Four and Three-Legged Dogs
The FitPAWS Balance Pad is the perfect beginning balance training tool and provides low balance challenges for dogs recovering from amputation surgery or other injuries. The closed-cell foam construction makes the FitPAWS Balance Pad impervious to water, great for when you need to hose it off between uses or use during under-water therapy. Read our Balance Pad review here.
Getting strong with the K9 FITBone
Instability training develops strength, endurance, proprioception, balance and flexibility with the K9FITbone™. Provides a low–impact, platform to add full–body conditioning and toning for small and large Tripawds. Features sensory bumps for neural stimulation. Balance challenge can be adjusted by adding more or less air to the platform.Read our K9FITbone™ review here.
Loving Life on Three Legs: The Tripawds canine fitness and conditioning handbook
The Tripawds Gear Blog: Best of Gear and Fitness Tips for Three-Legged Dogs
Veterinary Rehab Therapy Benefits for Three Legged Dogs
Tagged: exercise, fitpaws, recovery
Did you know you can get a custom dog harness made exactly to your dog’s unique shape? The Custom Pet Support Suit by Animal Suspension Technologies is our all-time favorite made-to-order mobility harness for dogs.
Here’s why we love it:
We became fans of the Pet Support Suit when we tried it on Tripawds Founder Jerry (see video below). The suit is exactly as described:
- Great for hard-to-fit breeds with long or short torsos, or a very thin belly compared to the chest
- Works for both front and rear leg amputees
- Non-slip fabric won’t rotate
- Complete wrap-around design for total support
- Design allows for male anatomy
- Several points of adjustment
- Adjustable handles for taller people
- Easy to put on and remove
- USA-made to order in about 3-5 business days
Your Custom Pet Support Suit will be tailored with your dog in mind and built to size. Here’s how to get the exact fit for your dog:
First click the image below to view general measurement instructions. The image will open at a larger size in a new window.
Next, confirm your measurements by doing the following:
- Wrap a towel or pillow case around your dog
- Fold the fabric to fit from just behind the front legs to just in front of the rear leg (this is how the suit will fit). Be sure to accommodate for male/female anatomy and space to urinate.
- Measure the folded towel to get the body length from front leg to rear leg.
- Write down the measurements.
Read our original review to learn how the Custom Pet Support Suit can help your three-legged dog. Contact us with questions or
Summer is here and temperatures are soaring. Here’s how to keep your dog cool: The Swamp Cooler dog jacket by Ruffwear.
It sounds crazy, but this dog cooling jacket really works! Here’s how:
The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler’s light color is designed to reflect heat from the sun, and uses natural evaporative cooling to keep your Tripawd cool. Here’s a Ruffwear blog post that explains more about this evaporative cooling technology.
Swamp Cooler jacket keeps Wyatt chill. Note, he’s wearing the previous style. The new style is available when ordering from our Shop.
Just soak the Swamp Cooler in cold water, wring it out, and fasten around your dog. Evaporative cooling then exchanges the dog’s heat as water evaporates from the coat’s reservoir.
Evaporative cooling method
Combined with the evaporative cooling effect, the Swamp Cooler keeps dogs comfortable when temperatures rise.
Yes, you read that right: put a jacket on your dog to keep him cool during summer. But not just any jacket of course, you want the Swamp Cooler by Ruffwear!
Please remember that the Swamp Cooler is not to be used as a safety measure when leaving your dog unattended in a warm environment. Never, ever leave your dog alone in a car or outdoors without supervision in summer heat.
Some folks call it a wobble board, others refer to it as a “buja board” for dogs. Whatever you call it, this wobbly surface is a great tool to build core strength in dogs, especially the three-legged variety!
Tripawd Wyatt balances on the Buja Board
Why Build Strong Core Muscles?
Teach your dog to learn how to balance on a wobble board and you’ll help build one of the most critical aspects of a three-legged dog’s life: strong core muscles. Why is it beneficial to build strong abdominals?
- Helps to prevent spinal issues
- Can target specific limbs for weight-bearing therapy and muscle strengthening rehab.
- Boost confidence on changing surfaces
- Develops better stamina
- Help build better balance
Build or Buy, Wobble Boards are Fun!
You can build a Buja board if you’re crafty, or order a FitPAWS Wobble Board to get started. Watch how Wyatt learned to work on uneven surfaces and see what a fun time you can have with your Tripawd!
Keep in mind wobble board games are an advanced activity; if your Tripawd is new to rehab therapy, you’ll want to start by familiarizing her with uneven surfaces. Have your Tripawd walk on couch cushions placed on the floor, then try a FitPAWS Balance Pad, move up to the Balance Disc, Paw Pods and eventually a Wobble Board.
Wobble Boards Build Strong Core Muscles in Dogs
Loving Life on Three Legs: Canine Fitness and Conditioning for Happy, Healthy Tripawds
Post Op Canine Rehab with the Wobble Board
FitPaws Wobble Board Builds Tripawd Confidence
Online Dog Coach: The Buja Board
Alfies Blog: Wiggling Wobbleboard Fun: Training Core Muscles and Balance
Now is the time to buy a Ruffwear Webmaster harness, K9 Float Coat life jacket and other helpful Ruffwear gear for Tripawds! On June 1 all Ruffwear items will see a slight price increase resulting from Ruffwear’s rise in their cost of materials.
Get a rebate on these Ruffwear items until midnight May 31st!
Rock the Tripawds Nation in a Webmaster
The Webmaster Harness is our all-time best-selling mobility aid for three-legged dogs of all breeds.
Tripawd Tanner Models his Webmaster Harness
There’s no other harness that serves as many purposes or is as comfortable to wear for just a short hike or all day while lounging around the house. It helps you help your dog:
Buy a Webmaster by midnight on May 31 at the normal price of $52.95 (with free ground shipping) and we’ll refund you $5 after your purchase!
Tripawds Swim Safer, Longer with K9 Float Coat
Yes, three-legged dogs can swim, but they swim better, safer and longer with a K9 Float Coat by Ruffwear. Check out all the reasons why a Tripawd swims better in this superior life jacket, including:
- More buoyancy
- Superior safety protection
- Sturdy handle for assisting your dog
- Prevents rolling over in water
Spirit Libby Swims Better in the K9 Float Coat
Get your K9 Float Coat by midnight on May 31 for just $74.95 (with free ground shipping) and we’ll refund you $8 after your purchase!
Dogs Cool off with the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler
Fur is flying in homes everywhere as the weather warms up and summer approaches. Keep your Tripawd (and all dogs) cooler with the Swamp Cooler from Ruffwear. The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler uses evaporative cooling fabric to keep dogs from overheating in the sun. Just dunk it in cool water and place on your dog, she’ll thank you for it!
Wyatt cools off in the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler
The Swamp Cooler is the only jacket your dog will ever wear in the hot summer weather! It’s a must-have this summer!
Get your Swamp Cooler by midnight on May 31 for just $49.95 (with free ground shipping) and we’ll refund you $5 after your purchase!
Remember, all Ruffwear pricing is going up on June 1st so get yours now. We apologize for the increase, it was out of our control.
How to Get Your Rebate
- Place your order for these items in our Tripawds Gear Shop.
- After we receive and process your order, we will credit the card or Paypal account you used to purchase.
*NOTE: The rebate amount will be deducted from any refund for returned products purchased using this promotion. Please measure carefully. If either product purchased under this special offer is returned (not exchanged), a restocking fee will be assessed. Thanks for your understanding.
Tagged: Ruff Wear, savings
Can your three-legged dog swim? If you don’t know, give it a try with the best, safest dog life jacket available, the Ruffwear K9 Float Coat.
Rear-leg Tripawd Wyatt swims safely with Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat
Most canine amputees can swim without a floatation device. But Tripawd dogs swim longer, safer and more confidently when wearing a life jacket. Watch Tripawds Founder Spirit Jerry G. Dawg, swimming with and without a life jacket:
Accept no imitations! The Ruffwear K9 Float Coat is the only
dog floatation device with full under-belly padded cells
that keep even the largest Tripawd upright while swimming.
Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat
Why the Ruffwear K9 Float Coat is the best:
- Prevents dogs from swallowing too much water
- Under-belly padding keeps Tripawds upright
- Provides a buoyant lift when your Tripawd gets tired
- Ergonomic cut provides flexibility
- Sturdy handle helps you offer assistance as needed
The K9 Float coat allows for maximum mobility in and out of the water.
Summer is almost here! Now is the time to see how this life jacket helps your Tripawd in the water. On June 1st, Ruffwear is implementing a slight price increase on all items, so act now!
Tripawd Wyatt loves swimming with a life vest
More Life Jacket Info
K9 Float Coat Helps All Dogs Become Better Swimmers
New Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat Inspires Tripawd Confidence
Why Float Coat Dog Life Jackets Are Pawesome
Tagged: life jacket, Ruff Wear