Harnessed into her wheeled dog cart, a smile on her face
You have seen some of the videos and photos of dogs who suffer an accident or fall ill to a disease.
Sometimes there are photos of recovery, where a pet owner has tried every type of possible method to help their beloved dog.
For pets that have special needs due to mobility issues, one of the newer and gaining popularity methods, is the dog wheeled cart.
As this tool and method has grown in popularity, the availability of finding a customize cart has also grown. There are some amazing videos, along with first hand stories of recovery, indicating a return to normal life instead of putting a dog down. Such advances in pet care enable older and sicker pets a few more years of joyous life with their devoted owners. Link to a video: Zoey’s Wheels
Mobility issues can be caused by:
- General weakness of the limbs
- Accidental injuries
- Surgery recovery
- Spinal problems
- Neurological issues
We have found that there are not only several “made in the USA” websites that will train your vet or yourself how to measure for a cart, but they continue support in helping ensure the cart, when adjusted, maximizes the support the cart was made for. Many of these manufacturers have staff veterinarians to assist pet owners with training and adapting the carts to a specific dog. Many are using human-grade state of the art methods in constructing and modifying the carts. This, of course, means the carts are not cheap, but will have a better opportunity to really provide the support that will add to the quality of life for the pet.
There are some general guidelines used in deciding if a wheeled dog cart would benefit an injured or special needs dog.
First, the dog needs to be responsive, alert and motivated to continue an active life with humans and other pets.
Other factors include the general health and support available.
The first step should be a consultation with your vet. We recommend you do your own research as to the types of wheeled carts available and get a realistic understanding of the costs and possible outcomes. Some conditions are easily managed, others may lead to chronic problems if they are not addressed in a timely manner. We also recommend, due to the costs involved, that you seek a second opinion. Your regular veterinarian should be able to recommend someone with greater experience or training in this general area.
K9carts.com recommends “If you believe that a wheelchair is the best next step, try the “towel test” to see if the dog has enough strength to support itself by its forelimbs.”
For many of us, budget limitations have already cut deep; therefore, your dog’s medical condition may make it impossible to purchase a custom made cart.
Here are a few alternatives that while carefully working with your vet, might provide an opportunity to still provide you with a cart.
Warning: Be very careful to have done your homework on the exact type of wheeled dog cart your pet needs. Learn how to measure for that specific cart. Ensure your vet is willing to help you if you find a used cart. Be realistic, chances are you will not find the exact one needed. If your vet cannot help you ensure correct fit, look for someone who has a dog using a wheeled cart, ask if they will help you… It usually will take two people to make the adjustments correctly. Incorrect adjustments or wrong sizes might make conditions worse.
1. Have your vet contact the manufactures (list of some we found below) and ask if per chance they have used or returned carts that could be modified.
2. Ask if you can arrange a payment plan with them to purchase or rent a cart.
3. Make it yourself. Here are some links: “Homemade and Do It Yourself Wheelchairs for Dogs, Cats or Other Pets” http://www.handicappedpets.com/homemade-dog-wheelchair
List of websites on this subject we have found:
Edited by: Julie Bradford, Jan Mitchell
Written by Donna
Re-positing of this article is done with the permission of Donna Curtin of the Boston Terrier Network — full of Boston Terrier and canine information, news, and adoptables. Copyright © 2016. Boston Terrier Network