Mobility Resources for Handicapped Dogs

Most dogs do just fine with the proper equipment to assist in lifting and moving. Particularly with larger dogs, the biggest problem seems to be what to do when they become immobile.

There are several options. A handicapped dog can live a quite full and fulfilling life with proper support! Obtaining slings and lifts, or even a wheelchair to assist with mobility can give you several more years with a beloved pet. One of the happiest times in Hoover's life was when we took him (along with several other dogs) on "vacation" up north to scout property and go to a dog show. At the time his rear was quite weak and he required assistance to walk. I wish I had video of him attempting to run in the sand dunes with me trying to keep up holding up his butt! I bet I looked pretty silly, but he enjoyed himself completely and all it took was a simple sling.

A very self-sufficient dog may at first resist your help - but once they realize they have greater mobility (and more fun) with a cart, sling and assistance, most will go along with the program. Many dogs will make great effort to "help" when lifted and feel embarrassed when they have accidents. Many of these products make it a lot easier to care for older dogs that slowly lose the use of rear ends, became incontinent, or suffer injuries or joint problems. Vets rarely tell you that orthotic appliances are available to dogs that lose limbs or need support (even temporarily) for slipped patellas, hips, and hock joints. With temporary support they can often regain full use of the affected joint because it can heal without additional injury.

Orthotics allow your dog that might normally be on required "crate rest" to do mild exercise without further injuring himself. There are many kinds of orthotics that allows joints to bend and strengthen while healing. They help avoid loss of muscle mass during recovery and are lined with a soft padding to provide skin protection from irritation or abrasions while doing many of his normal activities. Other kinds of braces allow partial immobilization to reduce pain induced. Injuries to support lower limbs of dogs that need to be splinted or braced. The Leg Splints are similar to human splints for lower leg, ankle and foot injuries.

Prosthetics allow dogs who have had their limbs amputated (from cancer or other causes) to regain mobility. They can similarly be used for certain congenital defects. 

I spent a long time finding a reliable distributor of good orthotics and have the links below. One of the more hard to find items  is the drag-bag. This is great for dogs that don't want to use a wheelchair - or for active dogs to use when they are out of their wheelchairs. It prevents raw spots on skin when the dog scoots around and can be fitted with a diaper for incontinent dogs - protecting both the dog and floors.

If you're wondering if a cart will help...here's a wonderful story about a goat that was helped by a cart: Frosty the Snow Goat

Harnesses and Walking Aids

Ruff WearWebmaster – $50 USD – Front support

RuffWear – Doubleback Harness – $125 USD – Front and rear support

Guardian Gear4 in 1 Lift & Lead Harness – $12 USD – Front and rear support

WalkaboutBack Harness – $32 – $75 USD – Rear support (front support also available)

Hartman’s Hip Helper$92 USD – for Medium to Large dogs weak in the rear.

DogphysioCustom Dog Support Harness – Custom made in Europe

Quincy's Dogs Mobility Harness (UK)

Mikki – Helping Hand Harness – £25 – £50 Euro – available in the UK – Rear support

Pet ZoneLift n Aid Mobility Harness – $30 USD – Under belly sling (not padded)

Outward HoundUp & Out Lift Harness – $17 USD – Under belly sling (padded)

Bottom’s Up Leash – $35 USD – Rear support – ( We loop this leash through the Webmaster hole and transformed the webmaster into front and rear support! It is the easiest for us to use of all the harnesses we have.)

Zeloviak Canine Rehabilitation Aids
The Meadows, 25 Ramillies Crescent, Great Wyrley
Walsall, West Midlands WS6 6JG
01 9227 01877
Email : von.zeloviak@btconnect.com

Canadian Animal Rehab Services – Custom made harnesses

Murphey’s Sling – make your own sling, similar to a Bottom’s Up

 

Boots

Ruff WearBark ‘n Boots Grip Trex – $60 USD for 4 – also sold in singles for $15 USD each

We use the Bark ‘n Boots liners ($10 USD for 4)with these for added comfort.

Ruff WearBark ‘n Boots Sky Liner – $50 USD for 4 – also sold in singles for $12.50 USD each

Pro-Active Paws - Double Sided Boots – $21 – $43 Euro for 2

These can be custom made to fit, we use the double sided which are made specifically for dogs that knuckle.

NeoPawsNeoprene High Performance Dog Boots – $26 – $34 USD for 2

We use the boot covers with these when walking in the snow ($6 USD for 2)

MuttluksAll Weather and Fleece Lined - $44 – $56 USD for 4

Gooby – Epik Dog Shoes – $40 USD each

Thera-PawThera-paw Boots – $20 – $22 each

Ultra Pawsmany varieties of boots for indoor and outdoor use – $17 – $75 USD

PAWZRubber dog boots – $12 – $20 USD for package of 12 boots


Mobility Carts – Dog Wheelchairs

Eddie’s Wheels for Pets
140 State St.
Shelburne, MA 01370
888-211-2700
413-625-0033
Fax:413-625-8428

Doggon’ Wheels
115 Commercial Drive Unit A
Bozeman, MT 59715
888-736-4466
406-522-1510

Dewey’s Wheelchairs for Dogs
P. O. Box 1439
Prineville, OR 97754
Phone: Toll free 1-877-312-2122 (8am-4pm PST) ; 1-541-416-2651 (Outside USA & Canada)
Fax: Toll free 1-877-312-2123 (24 hour) ; 1-541-416-2617 (Outside USA & Canada)

Dogs to Go
9330 Ruth Road
Rosharon, TX 77583
281-431-9377

Enabling Pets Custom Carts
Richard Bergin – Richard@Enablingpets.com

K9 Cart Company East
206 E. Pier Street
Oxford Maryland, 21654
866-K9-Carts
866-592-2787

K9 Cart(West)
Pet Mobility Rehab Center
4560 Cedar Hill Road
Langley, WA 98260
1-800-578-6960
1-360-321-2402

Walkin Wheels
HandicappedPets.Com
10 Northern Blvd, Suite 7
Amherst, NH 03031
888-811-7387
Fax:603-584-9349

DogMobile Company
The Dogmobile Company Ltd
Buckton House
1 Main Street
Buckton
Bridlington YO15 1HU
+44 (0) 1262 851632

Dogswheels
50 Barlby Road
London, W10 6AP, UK
+44 (0)20 8964 4057

Exerise Equipment

Physical Therapy for Pets 

With the guidance of the Physical Therapist we have created a home exercise program, please consult your veterinarian before using any equipment with your dog.

Southpaw EnterprisesRocker Board – $210 – $293 USD – for balance training

Balanced Canine Products -  Rehabilitation exercise equipment

Agility Equipment

Weave Poles - You can buy agility weave poles or make your own – 3/4 inch PVC pipe cut in 24″ lengths and 12″ orange traffic cones make inexpensive, easy to store weave poles that are easy to configure in a variety of fun ways. Great to practice figure eight walking.

Agility Jump - You can buy an agility jump online, or make your own from PVC. We use these as “walk overs” with the bar at the lowest setting. In the house, you can use a stack of books and a broom handle for a quick walk over.

Agility Ladder - You can buy an agility ladder online, or make your own from PVC. We use this without legs so it is flat on the ground and easy to walk over.

Caveletti Poles - Rubber cones with holes punched in them and a lengths of wooden poles (i.e. broom handles) or PVC pipe work nicely for Caveletti’s.

Materials – Your local hardware store should have the PVC pipe and connectors needed for construction in the plumbing section, there are also many online sources for parts, jump cups etc.

Yoga Mats – Provide non slip surfaces for exercise areas both indoors and out.

Interlocking Mats – Provide large areas of non slip surface floor covering.

 

Medical Information Sites:

Degenerative Myelopathy - Disease Basics

Chondroitinase Clinical Trial for dogs with severe spinal cord injury

Other Disabled Dog Websites:

Pets with Disabilities adoptions, rescues

Abledogs.net a mailing list for people with disabled dogs

Eddie's Wheels  wheelchairs for dogs & article on Degenerative Myelopathycarts