Tag Archives: disabled animals

dog taking a treat from a person's hand

Giving Thanks Series: Mobility For Our Furry Friends

a dog walking with the help of his wheelchairOur pets can be a source of unconditional love and endless joy. It can be heartbreaking when something hinders them from being active and playful. However, just like assistive technology that give humans mobility freedom, there are also devices for pets!

November is all about giving thanks. We wanted to start off our four-part Giving Thanks series by showing some appreciation for our furry friends. Below is an overview of some cool and creative assistive devices that can help our pets live their best lives.

Pet Wheelchairs

In the past, it wasn’t easy to find furry friends with mobility issues the help they needed, but now pet wheelchairs are widely available from a variety of retailers. And it’s all thanks to a pioneering WWII vet turned veterinarian, Lincoln Parkes. In the 1960’s wheelchairs for animals just weren’t available. Parkes, driven by a passion for animals, set about creating a simple device. It was made out of planks of wood and toy wagon wheels. These prototypes for his first dog wheelchairs evolved into the more advanced wheelchairs that we see today. These wheelchairs are now lighter, more comfortable, and more mobile than ever, and available for not only dogs, but cats, goats, pigs and chickens.

cat with a wheelchair

Photo: handidappedpets.com

Pet wheelchairs come in two basic types, rear wheelchairs which have two wheels, and quad wheelchairs, which have four wheels for added support. Wheelchairs are designed to be adjustable for to fit a variety of sizes, but can also be custom made for individual pets. The list of available attachments is growing, with slings for belly and back support, slings for leg and foot support, and even ski attachments for pets that live where it snows.

You don’t have to look very far to find heartwarming stories about pets that have been given a second chance by caring humans that find or build them the wheelchairs they need. Check out these adorable and resilient animals that are making strides in their carts and wheelchairs.

Braces and Splints

white dog wearing a splint on back leg

Photo: handicappedpets.com

Sometimes our pets just need a little extra support for a portion of a limb or a joint. That’s where braces and splints come in. If a pet has a temporary injury or needs long-term support, braces are a great solution. Quality pet braces are made with strong plastics and non-porous foam lining so that bacteria will not be a problem. Pet braces are most often designed for the lower part of an animal’s legs. Though, there are designs that aid the elbow joints as well. Finding the proper brace can be a little complicated but veterinarians are a great resource to help and My Pet’s Brace has made this handy guide for a little more information about the different types of braces.

Prosthetics

Prosthetic limbs are available for dogs and other pets as well and require the most customization and care of the devices. A snug and comfortable fit allows for proper weight distribution so walking can be easy and painless. Prosthetics come in different sizes, shapes, and colors and can even be found in the cheetah leg design similar to those worn by famous athletes such as Aimee Mullins and Kim De Roy for pets that really like to stay on move.

Conclusion

Whether walking on paws, hooves, or wheels, pets can be an amazing source of love, devotion, and just plain fun. For the disability community, sometimes pets are more than just companionship – they actually aid in their owner’s independence. When something happens to our animals, helping them regain mobility freedom and a happy life is the least we can do to repay all they do for us.

Like what you’re reading? Check out our blog for more great articles! And you can view our large selection of wheelchair accessible vehicles here.

Disabled Pet Wheelchair Rat

Is it Safe, or Smart, to Have Wheelchairs for Pets and Animals?

The idea of wheelchairs for pets was designed so that elderly, handicapped, and injured pets can live life to the fullest.  Wheelchairs made for animals give them hope to live sufficient lives, and they give owners another option they might have not been aware of. There are many different products designed to suit your pet’s specific needs.

A wheelchair can enable your animal to run, play, exercise, and lead a healthy life. The product is designed to help animals with hip and leg problems, degenerative myelopathy (MD), hip dysplasia, arthritis, paralysis, slipped disc, soreness, spinal and neurological problems, surgical recovery, and so much more.

When opting for a wheelchair for your pet there are many different angles you need to consider such as your pet’s measurements, weight and lifestyle, activity level, and terrain your pet plays on. The wheelchair is  also designed to allow your pet to urinate and defecate normally and easily.

Wheelchairs are not only restricted to smaller animals, some have been designed for animals weighing over 250 pounds. The variety of pets with different disabilities able to use this type of product are hardly limited. There have been chairs made for canines, felines, goats, bunnies, ferrets, guinea pigs, rats, deer, miniature horses, alpacas, sheep, pigs and other exotic pets. The wheelchairs are designed with your pets comfort first and foremost. There are also additional support systems such as Belly Straps that help animals with additional mid-back/abdomen injuries.

Pneumatic wheel tires are air filled and sealed with a maintenance-free bearing cartridge to give your pet the most comfortable transportation available. Also, they allow your pet the option of maneuvering over multiple types of terrains such as, grass, gravel, sand, pavement, and rocky, or unbalanced terrain. Stirrups are for pets without complete or no use of their hind legs. If the pet doesn’t have completely functional hind legs they can still move their legs back and forth for extra exercise, however if the pet cannot operate their hind legs sufficiently they can rest their hind legs comfortably.

A walking axle allows the pet to have their legs down while operating the wheel chair instead of resting them on the stirrup. A Front Harness keeps the wheelchair moving in sync with your pet, also making his movements more comfortable. There are also chairs made with weight adjustments designed to balance your pets weight. This prevents pressure from being applied to your pets forelimbs, making sure the wheelchair is meeting it’s full potential.