Dogs are man’s best friend, and it is simply heartbreaking when the ability to walk of these constant companions are taken away by disease or traumatic injury. Aids to mobility such as dog carts or wheelchairs can improve their quality of life for however long they are needed. Each case is different, however. Your dog’s disability may require a specific kind of wheelchair. There are many different types, including quad wheelchairs. Below are some facts about when to choose quad wheelchairs for dogs with disabilities.
Quad wheelchairs are designed to assist disabled dogs that have little or no function in any of their legs. They have four wheels and a rigid support frame to hold up the weakened pelvis. It should ideally be adjustable to accommodate dogs within a certain range of weight and size, as dogs can be slightly different from each other in a myriad of ways. While a quad dog wheelchair is designed for a totally paralyzed or quadriplegic dog, it is not always the case.
Accident or trauma
The best-case scenario for a disabled dog is when the paralysis is temporary, due to surgical treatment or some type of traumatic injury, such as a car accident, a disagreement with another dog, or as a hitch in the surgical process. A quad wheelchair can help with mobility while the dog is in rehabilitation or recovery.
Cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM)
Also known as Wobbler syndrome, this condition is a debilitating one caused by compression of the spinal cord, usually affecting large dog breeds. The result is total paralysis of the afflicted dog. A quad wheelchair would be appropriate for this type of disease. In some cases, the effects of CSM may be reversed with surgery to ease the compression. The quad wheelchair thus serves a temporary, but rehabilitative, function.
Canine degenerative myelopathy
Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a progressive disease that afflicts certain dog breeds at around the age of seven. These include boxers, German shepherd dogs, and Pembroke Welsh corgis. If your dog is diagnosed with DM, your best mobility aid investment would be an adjustable quad wheelchair. The early stages of DM involve just the loss of function in the rear legs. However, the paralysis typically spreads to the front legs as well, leaving the sufferer totally paralyzed. An adjustable quad wheelchair can provide mobility to the DM dog throughout the progression of the disease.
A quadriplegic dog can live a relatively normal life for many years, provided you choose the right mobility aid for the dog’s physical needs. An adjustable quad dog wheelchair can improve a disabled dog’s quality of life significantly, even if the condition is just temporary. It is even more important when your dog’s condition is tragically permanent.