Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Wheelie good idea?

We're just starting to put together our article on canine carts, the doggie equivalent of a wheelchair for dogs with failing back legs.
Karen's already got some very positive case histories but in the interest of balance we'd also like to know if anyone feels strongly that disabled dogs shouldn't be put in carts. I've certainly heard a few people express this opinion quite forcefully, but I can't remember who they are!
I remember when my old Sal had her stroke and I had to use all sorts of devices to get her moving again I came upon quite a few people who said I should have let her go. She walked again after a few weeks, but what if the damage had been permanent, what would you do if your dog's back legs started to fail?
Email Karen direct on karen@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk or please leave a comment here...


Anonymous said...

I think they're a damn good idea.Why should an animal be put to sleep when its quality of life isnt compromised too much by using a cart?
I can understand that some people would say its cruel because they cannot act as nature intended,but is the same not true for the thousands of disabled people in this world who rely on wheelchairs? If someone has the time and money to make their pets final years become much more enjoyable-then they deserve respect.

denaliwind said...

I think it's a wonderful option - it gives the dog a second chance at life. We'd do the same for humans, why not dogs?
Of course, I suppose if the dog was in constant pain and couldn't even move in the cart because it hurt too much... then perhaps I'd rethink my decision.

barb michelen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Barneyboy said...

About 25 years ago, my late Fathers late Springer was hit by a milk lorry - he broke his back- dog wheelchairs didn't exist then, but Dad made one out with some advice from the vet out of an old shopping trolley, some leather strapping and some sheepskin. The vet said Nicky *might* walk again within 6 months - within 6 weeks he was walking around the house, and within 6 months he was doing the 'Springer Bounce'. The trolley enabled him to get out and about, which no doubt helped his mental state, as well as keeping his internal organs (bladder and bowels) functioning properly. Without his doggie wheels, I doubt he would have made such a good recovery.

However, 'just because we can, doesn't always mean we should,' and I do think that sometimes, perhaps, doggie wheels are simply prolonging a dogs life for the owners benefit not the dogs.

Beverley Cuddy said...

The deleted comment was spam in case you're wondering why the edit!

Wonder why people bother trying to sell us stuff, I'm used to junk email but not junk blogging comments!

Chloe said...

i think its a good idea if the dog is otherwise healthy and can have a good quality of life - have you seent the 3 chihuahuas that were born in the US without front legs now 8 months on, they have wheels at the front!

Mina said...

My old dog's legs did start to fail - CDRM and spondylosis (among other problems). I was looking into a harness/sling for him towards the end - I'd already had a ramp for the car built. Unfortunately he died of an undiagnosed heart problem before the harness came, so we never used it. He didn't completely lose the use of his legs before he died, but I don't think I would have put him in a cart because of his age (he seemed quite an elderly 13). I'd have used the harness/sling until we couldn't keep him clean, but even with a cart he still wouldn't have been able to get in and out of my house to pee on his own and I'm not into getting dog nappies, so we would have let him go then.

Had he been younger when his legs starting going I would have got him a cart and put ramps in the house too!