Greetings from Nora and her ‘crew’!

it’s been a while…again, so we figured an update was due 😊

Nora continues to thrive as a senior pup. Her zest for life has taken zero hits in spite of the normal age related ailments that is to be expected in a senior tripawd.
She still goes to hydrotherapy regularly, and it’s truly been amazing to see her confidence in the pool grow to where she now jumps into the water and swims all on her own. My face hurts from smiling every time we leave the rehab facility. It’s taken some time to get her to actually enjoy the water – so yes- it is possible to do hydrotherapy with a dog that’s not a big fan of water. It needs to be done slowly and carefully in the beginning. Even though she didn’t love her first sessions, she was relaxed and able to take things at her own speed. The benefits we’ve seen to maintaining musculature and ROM with the swimming is absolutely amazing. She also gets stretching and massages by the therapists while in the heated pool.
We also use the Assisi loop daily at home, and we’ve noticed a big improvement in her muscle tension between hydrotherapy sessions.
She also loves massages at home. The rehab therapists showed us how to use an electric blanket on lowest settings for 5 minutes before doing light therapeutic massage.

Last summer, Nora’s cat brother and best friend, George, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of liver cancer. It was devastating. Only 6 months after we had to say goodbye to our oldest cat, Kai. The difference was that George wasn’t sick….at all. The growth was palpated on a routine checkup, meanwhile at home he was eating well and eating paying like a kitten. We followed up with a CT scan and biopsy that confirmed a large growth on his liver.
initially they thought surgery would be curative and George went into surgery where they successfully removed the entire tumor with clear margins. George bounced back from surgery in record time, but further biopsies showed a grim prognosis. Cholageocellular carcinoma. The prognosis was 3-6 months even WITH chemo. Normally that would have given me the answers I needed. I never want to prolong suffering. However, George still wasn’t showing any signs of illness AT ALL. At home he was eating, playing (he’s more active than my 5 year old cats) – no vomiting or diarrhea at all. So I made the choice to fight and we started chemo. 7 months later, he’s still doing great. Acting like his normal self. Handling chemo like a trooper. We know his particular cancer is aggressive and that it most likely will come back, but as long as he has full quality of life and shows no signs of giving up – neither will we. Nora has been George’s chemo buddy. Riding with him in the back seat to and from chemo appointments. George was always her ‘thunder buddy’ and comfort cat during fireworks and thunderstorms, so Nora is returning the favor.

We feel so blessed to have such amazing animals in our family ❤️

Attaching a few videos displaying Nora’s love for food/treats. She is pure joy!

Stem cell and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy.

I know, I know….we’re not very good at updating our blog lately – but better late than never, right?
Nora is doing really well! It’s hard to believe our girl will be 10 years old this summer. She certainly doesn’t act like it.

Last summer we noticed Nora was starting to slow down again – usually a sign that there’s pain or discomfort. We had a full checkup done with our vet, in addition to x-rays. Her arthritis was getting more pronounced.
We took her for a consult with the rehab team at AMC, and decided to try some new therapies to help our sweet girl feel better.
The plan was to do stem cells and also a PRP injection directly to her front leg elbow.
September last year, she went in for the adipose collection to generate the stem cells, and for her PRP injection (done under anesthesia).

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is derived from removing the red blood cells from whole blood and isolating platelets. A sample of blood is taken from a patient and then spun down in a centrifuge. The red blood cells are removed with a pipette and discarded.

The left-over concentrate is called PRP which contains platelets and proteins that can then be used to promote healing and treat areas of inflammation in the body.

Nora was pretty uncomfortable after the procedure – mostly because the adipose collection involves retrieving fatty tissue from her chest which required surgery. It didn’t last long though. The next day she was pretty much back to herself (just some soreness with the incision)

It took a couple of months to see results from the PRP, but it greatly improved her comfort and range of motion in her elbow. Totally worth having to wear an inflatable e collar for a few weeks while the incision healed.

Sadly, shortly after that – our oldest cat, Kai, got sick and was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. We were in shock since it happened so quickly and unexpectedly. He was the picture of health all his life and we were certain he had many more good years ahead of him in spite of being 13 years old.
After the cancer diagnosis he declined rapidly, and we decided it would not be fair to put him through intensive treatment when the prognosis was so poor. Quality of life is more important than quantity. Just because you can prolong life, doesn’t always mean you should… We had to say goodbye to Kai on December 8th. He got to pass peacefully at home, surrounded by love. It literally tore a piece of my heart out, but sometimes letting go is the last act of kindness you can show them. If love could have saved him he’d have lived forever….

Our other cat, George, was struggling without his best friend of 9 years. Those two had been attached at the hip since the day they met.
late January we decided to adopt a new friend for him. Enzo – a rescue cat from Qatar with some injuries that didn’t make him highly adoptable. Just our type 😉 Enzo and George became fast friends, and was joined by another emergency foster cat we took in a few weeks later. Foster turned into foster fail, and then Magnus joined our family as well. What better way to honor Kai than to help other kitties in need. We know he would have approved as he LOVED other cats. Nora loves cats, so she welcomed the new kitties with enthusiasm.

Since the PRP lasts for quite a while, we held off on doing the stem cell injections until February of this year.
Nora had injections to her elbow again, and also around her ruptured disc in her neck. All this was done under anesthesia, and she got a funky haircut to match 😉

The full effect of the stem cells can take up to 90 days. We just had our 60 day checkup yesterday. I can wholeheartedly say we are blown away by what we’ve already seen.
Before treatment, Nora still went on walks but she would only walk for 5 minutes before stopping to rest and sniff around.
Around 30 days after treatment we took her to some hiking trails near our house (her favorite place!) and she walked for almost an hour straight!!! Enthusiastically! She got offended if we tried to pick her up to carry her and give her a few moments rest.
We are so happy we could help Nora feel good again!
We’re still doing hydrotherapy with her, and she loves to swim! Who’d have thought a dog who only begrudgingly takes baths would love swimming??

Here are some video links of Nora on the trails

Much love from Nora and family ❤️


We had considered hydrotherapy in the past. Not sure why we kept kicking that can down the road, but it fell somewhere between ‘Nora is not a huge fan of water’ and we were busy with other vet appointments and treatments for both Nora and our cats. When our vet mentioned it again at Nora’s last checkup we finally got the ball rolling.

We found a veterinary clinic near us in Brooklyn that offered underwater treadmills and made an appointment. THAT was not a success. Due to the pandemic, we were not allowed in, and handing Nora over to strangers to introduce her to something so foreign was not exactly a recèpe for success. In hindsight I don’t think the underwater  treadmill is the best option for a front leg amputee either.

We needed to find a place with a rehab pool for dogs, so we decided on ‘Water 4 Dogs’ in lower Manhattan. The facility is absolutely amazing, and the staff and vets really know what they’re doing and how to help dogs feel at ease, even if they’re not initially crazy about water.
Watching Nora’s first hydrotherapy session is something I’ll never forget! It didn’t take her long to start doggy paddling, and she was supported in the water both by a life vest and by a very skilled and caring rehabber. After her fist swim she was SO energized and happy. She was bouncing like a puppy all the way from the facility to the subway, with a huge smile on her face.

We’ve now had 4 swim sessions. Last session Nora swam all by herself (with a life vest on of course)!!
Water 4 Dogs also gave us natural anti-inflammatory supplements: Curcumin and Boswellia. Regular Rx anti-inflammatory drugs are great when needed, but they really take a toll on a dog’s liver and kidneys and should be used sparingly, so finding out there was a safe natural supplement option was intriguing.

As Nora has gotten older and arthritis has started getting more pronounced in addition to her IVDD, we’ve noticed her activity level has decreased noticeably. The combination of the swimming and the anti-inflammatory supplements have been absolutely incredible though and Nora is back to being as mobile as she was YEARS ago. We can hardly believe our own eyes seeing her back to running around playing with her friends during off leash hours at the local park and wanting to go for longer walks. We always have her stroller with us, so she can hop in when she needs to rest.
The ‘bitch-on-wheels mobile’ is still her favorite mode of transportation.

We are so proud of, and so madly in love with our little Persian Princess.
At age 8 she’s still going strong.
Attaching some links so you can watch her swim (AND run!)

(ST)Rolling with the punches

It’s been a while since we last posted an update.
Nora is doing well, but as she’s getting older we’re noticing that her mobility has taken a hit. Most notably in the last 4 months or so. We had some x-rays done, to see the progression of her arthritis in her front leg, and it’s definitely getting more pronounced.
We have started Adequan injections, which seems to be helping. Tomorrow we are starting hydrotherapy/underwater treadmill sessions as well. Very excited about that, though it remains to be seen how excited Nora will be about it…..! We still do laser treatments and acupuncture regularly, and I think that’s a big part of why she’s remained so mobile for so long.
In order to get her out and about we have had to put our dog stroller to use, and Nora loooooves riding in it. She loves going to the park, but it’s a bit of a walk for her to get there – so with the stroller she can conserve her energy until we get to the park, and then hop out and walk as much or as little as she wants.  She lets us know when she wants to come out or get back into the stroller. If anyone has recommendations for good stroller/bike trailer combos, please send them our way. Having a bike trailer would make her world a little bigger.
She still has no interest in using the doggie wheelchair we got her many years ago. At the time she was still very mobile on her own, so the wheelchair only slowed her down. Our hopes that she would get more interested in using it as she got older did not pan out. And that’s fine! She prefers having us push her around like the little diva she is. Bitch on wheels, the upgrade 😉
She may be less mobile, but definitely still just as sassy as she ever was. We love this girl to the moon and back.

We were way past due for an update

It’s been almost 3 years since we last posted, but better late than never right?
Nora has been doing really well both physically and behaviorally – she’s really become such a well adjusted dog. She’s been pain free for years now, which has been such a blessing. She will be on gabapentin for the rest of her life, and we continue to do laser treatments regularly which has been enough to keep her pain free and happy.
Nora loves relaxing at home with us and her 2 kitty brothers, Kai and George. We’ve also had a steady stream of foster cats that Nora always welcomes, even though they may be a little hissy to begin with 😉

We know she’s anxious for this quarantine to be over so she can go back to running and playing at the park with her dog friends.

Sending lots of love and healing to the entire Tripawds community.
We’ll try to get better with checking in here – in the meantime feel free to visit us on Instagram @vibekexaj