Exercise Rehab for Tripawder Maggie

After a LiveChat on Tripawds.com with Dr. Waldman this month, I’ve gotten Maggie back on track with her PT work.  We’d been slacking off a bit with the better weather now and have just been taking walks.  Dr. Waldman said that walking is NOT rehab and that Tripawds need to have a strong core….so along with some stuff I have gotten from video’s I have by Dr. Chris Zink and Debbie Saunders, I also decided to buy two FitPaws balance cushions after the chat with Dr. Waldman. 

By adding strengthening activity to our Tripawder’s(or any dog!) exercise, it has many benefits:

  • Improved reaction and control of their body
  • Increased trunk and core strength
  • Stabilization of weak areas
  • Improve balance and awareness of the body’s position in space
  • Increase range of motion of joints and lengthening of muscles

Here is Maggie on the FitPaws balance cushions.  I bought two to put side by side so I could get her entire body on the cushions.  I have her do reps. of “sit to stand”; reach for treats to shoulders and hips; walk over cushion; front or rear paw(s) on cushion and reach for treats; and manually rock her front to back and side to side.

And here is Maggie with her front end on the balance disc.  Obviously, she cannot get her whole body on this disc.  By putting her front end on and her reaching for treats high, that puts the weight on her rear end, helping to strengthen it.  This disc is alot harder for her to balance than the cushions.

And this is Maggie doing Figure 8’s around two cones.  The closer you put the cones together, the tougher it is for the dog.  This is another strengthening exercise.

And this is an older video of Maggie doing cavaletti’s…another strengthening exercise.  I made a new video last nite but I can’t get it to load correctly 🙁  Sorry this one is dark – I’ll have to tape her again doing them to get a better video.

After Maggie does a PT work session, I do range of motion stretches with her three legs.  Dr. Waldman also pointed out to be sure to do hip extensions on the remaining rear leg often.  I can only assume due to a rear tripawder not being able to really stretch out and hopping with leg underneath them most of the time. 

Dr. Waldman suggested doing 10-15 reps per day of various standing exercises such as these, on an unstable surface like the FitPaws cushions.  She commented that walking is NOT rehab…core strength is the key for mobility issues.  Tripawder’s should only walk 10-15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times per day.

I hope I am quoting Dr. Waldman correctly!  She was a great help in kicking my butt in gear to getting back to Maggie’s rehab…she said it needs to be done long term.

Hope these video’s are helpful!  Maggie loves to do these ‘tricks’ for treats! 

Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

Author: maggie

Maggie was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma on her left knee. She had amputation done on October 20, 2009. Four days after surgery she had a low grade fever and was off her food for two weeks! Trying times.. I am grateful and so pleased with how she is progressing now.

8 thoughts on “Exercise Rehab for Tripawder Maggie”

  1. Tracy, you and Maggie are great examples! You are surely missing your calling! Tripawds Professional Rehaber !!!

  2. I know….as I’ve said before my dream job IS therapy work with dogs!!! Tripawds would be my specialty!!! 🙂

  3. Hi, Jim (or someone) referred me back here for my lab who just had a rear leg amputation – this is very helpful. Thanks.

  4. I just now came across these videos and I have to say WOW, you and Maggie are just fantastic! I wanted to ask, my Katy is a front-leg amputee, how could I adapt some of Maggie’s PT exercises for her?

  5. Hi Katydid!
    Geez, I posted a reply but it never showed up!? Anyway, these exercises would be great for front amputee’s too! The only exercise that I am doing with Maggie in these video’s that is keying in on her remaining rear leg more is when she’s standing on the balance disc with her front feet. If she were a front amputee, I’d just switch her position to having her rear feet on the disc instead, which would put the weight on her front end. Make sense? I just posted another video on her blog…go see! I highly recommend for all Tripawds! 🙂


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