Walking is not impossible for dogs that have partial paraplegia caused by degenerative disc disease, hip dysplasia, congenital defects, or a litany of other health issues. These dogs have the ability to live full lives, but they are often abandoned or euthanized because of their disability.
In truth, many partial paraplegics are mobile without assistance, hopping on their able legs or dragging their paralyzed legs. Most don’t seem to mind the difficulty, as they do not know any different.
However, paralyzed dogs need to get outside. Hopping is hard on joints, and the dog can tire quickly. Dragging disabled limbs leaves animals prone to scrapes and road rash, which can lead to infection when exposed to outside toxins. Ultimately, if a disabled dog is going to go for a walk, the walk should include a dog wheelchair.
Dog wheelchairs come in all shapes and sizes to fit all breeds of dogs. They can be made for front or back legs, and they are made from many different materials such as pvc pipe or aluminum. Many dog owners design and build their own customized wheelchairs for their dogs.
The wheelchair enables the paralyzed dog to go for a substantial walk that will benefit both the dog and the dog owner, but even with this, sometimes disabled dogs don’t get the outdoor options that they should. That is why dog wheelchairs are also used on treadmills to improve dog health, and they are even used on treadmills in water to reduce stress by introducing buoyancy.
A healthy and happy dog is an active dog, and dogs who need but don’t have wheelchairs, are missing out on great opportunity in their life. A wheelchair completes their life without compromise, as the dog is able to essentially do everything healthy, normal dogs do.
The decision to take on a disabled dog is noble, as these dogs deserve a fighting chance at life. Too many have been discarded because they are too much trouble and an inconvenience. Disabled dog owners go the extra mile to ensure their pets have everything. Adding a wheelchair to their arsenal is the perfect way to show the pet that they can live at least semi-regular lives.
Most dogs are able to use their wheelchairs without incident, but terrain is an obvious issue. The wheelchairs also must be adjusted properly. An ill-fitting wheelchair will not be tolerated by an already compromised dog. You’ll know when it’s right because your disabled pet will love it!