Hearing the recommendation to amputate your dog or cat’s limb is shocking. Most of us are unprepared and not in the best condition to absorb information like this. Vets, however, are well-acquainted with amputation and understand that animals can adapt. They can try to reassure us all they want, but since WE aren’t as familiar with three-legged animals, it’s hard to believe our pet can do fine.
Since veterinarians deliver the amputation recommendation, we want to help them understand our point of view when confronted with this choice. The more veterinarians know what’s in the heads of pet parents faced with this daunting choice, the better these vets can prepare clients for whatever lies ahead.
In this downloadable podcast, we discuss how veterinary staff can help pet parents with dogs and cats that are either facing or have had a limb amputation. We talk about:
The ethical and moral considerations of amputation from the pet parent’s perspective
Tips they can share with clients about “bringing home baby”
The most common pet parent concerns, like pain management, physical activity, the dreaded incision and returning to “a new normal.”
We hope you enjoy the podcast. Consider sharing it with your veterinarian, along with the Tripawds Outreach Brochures available at no cost to anyone who requests them.
When we get a pet cancer diagnosis from the vet, one of the first things many of us do is research the best kind of dog and cat cancer diets. And those of us who have dealt with it in the past want to know how to prevent cancer with nutrition.
We want to know:
What foods can help keep our dog or cat strong through chemotherapy?
Can we use human foods to boost appetite during cancer treatments?
What foods are not safe to feed our dogs and cats undergoing cancer treatment?
And on it goes. Our brains are filled with so many questions we think our heads will explode!
It’s easy to lose sight of what’s fact-based, what’s anecdotal evidence and what’s a little of both. The reality is, there is no one-size-fits-all diet for dogs and cats with cancer. Look for veterinary nutritionists who can develop a cancer fighting diet tailored to your pet’s needs. They’re hard to find, but they’re out there and many will consult long-distance. See: The American College of Veterinary Nutrition.
Whatever you do, talk to your vet about any nutrition changes you’re thinking of making. If your dog or cat is undergoing chemotherapy, you want to make sure your vet is aware of everything you’re doing to fight cancer. This way, if your cancer hero develops something like an upset stomach during treatment, it’s easier to pinpoint the cause.
Nutrition Help for Cats with Cancer
We dream of the day that more veterinary oncologists specialize in feline cancer treatments, especially when it comes to cat cancer nutrition. Currently they are extremely hard to find, and there’s a real lack of resources for cats with cancer. The good news is that with increasing numbers of pet parents becoming better educated consumers of pet health care, the days of “Cat Cancer Vets” are just around the corner. Meanwhile here are some resources that can help you get started learning more:
For the Pooches: The Dog Cancer Vet’s Diet Downloads and Other Nutrition Help
One of the reasons you’ll often hear Dr. Dressler’s name in our community is because he’s one of the best resources for taking a “full spectrum” approach to fighting cancer. His insight and suggestions combine the best of evidence-backed Western medicine and ancient Eastern holistic care.
Dr. Dressler’s Dog Cancer Free Video Library has many free videos jam packed with great insight for canine parents. They’ll help guide you through the maze of reputable treatments versus those that could be a waste of time and money. For example:
Dog Cancer Diet: What to Feed a Dog with Cancer?
Cancer Cachexia and Dog Cancer- When Your Dog Won’t Eat
Feeding Carcinogenic Foods After You Dog has Cancer
If you have a three legged dog or cat, there are many things you can do to avoid injuries and premature joint stress. It’s up to you to take that first step and learn DIY canine rehabilitation therapy for Tripawds.
Call us biased, but our favorite is our Tripawds e-book, Loving Life On Three Legs, which is all about fitness and life after amputation.
Dealing with an amputee dog can be a difficult task, not only for the dog but for us as well. However, it is not impossible. If you are willing to do what’s necessary to make their life as fulfilling as possible then you are already on the right track. I am thrilled you are part of it and I commend your dedication to your dog! My goal is to help you so you can help your dog. I am of the strong opinion that every dog deserves to live the best quality of life for the longest time possible.
In her downloadable course, you’ll learn tips to safely and effectively keep a canine Tripawd lean and strong, all from home in a go-at-your-own-pace online class. The program covers topics like:
Beginning Exercises for Tripods
Forelimb AND hindlimb Amputations and Considerations
Considerations for Allowing the Tripod to Live the Best Quality of Life
Dr. Gross’ program is only $65 to get started. When you consider that a visit to a professional canine rehabilitation therapist costs about twice that (and that she’s one of the very best out there), you’ve got yourself a cost-effective way to do DIY canine rehabilitation therapy for Tripawds.
If you missed our helpful Tripawd Talk Radio show about pet health insurance with veterinarian Dr. Doug Kenney, now’s your chance to listen here or download the podcast. The April 24th episode of Tripawd Talk Radio shares all you need to know about choosing a pet health insurance policy.
In this episode we ask pet health insurance expert Dr. Kenney questions like:
Why he’s so passionate about pet health insurance.
The three most important things people will learn from his revised Pet Health Insurance Guide Toolkit.
Considerations pet parents must make when choosing a plan for their pet, especially when it comes to conditions like cancer.
Insuring older pets and those with health conditions.
How to know you made the right choice of plan and company
When it comes to keeping your Tripawd strong and injury free, Tripawds members have such great insight to share. Take for instance Ingrid, dog mom to greyhounds galore, including one of the sweetest pups to ever join us here, Angel Nixon.
Hoppy Angel Nixon.
Ingrid knows a lot about dogs and keeping them fit. In this forum topic she shares pawesome Tripawd exercise tips about how to stay strong on three legs:
How to Keep Your Tripawd Strong
Rehab vets will agree that Ingrid’s Tripawd exercise tips are spot on. She writes:
“The number one thing you want to condition is the abdominal muscles. Weight shifting exercise is great.
Stand behind her and place your hands on either hip.
Gently sway her hips to one side and then the other. Just enough until you feel her have to compensate for the shift. it is a small movement.
Do 5 times on each side and do this every time you come back in from going outside
Next, add front to back. Stand facing her side that is missing the limb.
Place one hand on her chest and one hand between her tush and her hocks.
Rock front to back. Again very gently and repeat 5 times front and back.
Very quickly, you’ll work up to 10 times in each direction. These take no time and you’ll find most dogs enjoy it once they learn what is expected of them.
And then there are cookie crunches.
Take a high value treat and while she standing, without moving her feet, have her turn her head towards her tail on both sides.
Reward the slightest try. many dogs don’t like doing this at first but it helps a lot.
Once they realize they can do it, they start doing it on their own.
Also practice this while laying down on a firm surface.
Do 3 to 5 in a row on each side. Again, work up to 10. That may take some time.
Finally, walk figure 8’s.
With a dog as large as yours, I’d say make each circle about 10 feet in diameter and then work your way down to 4 or 5 feet. Don’t overdue it but just 1 minutes of this once or twice a day will really help with balance and strength.
A week or two of this and you’ll see some good changes and can start moving on to more advanced work with unstable surfaces.”
Do you have Tripawd dog or cat fitness tips that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them!