Research Advice Needed for Doggy Wheelchairs - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Research Advice Needed for Doggy Wheelchairs

I need some guidance and advice on behalf of a friend. They have a 120 lb rottweiler fur daughter named Bella who is their dearest heart. She's 5 years old, with some hip dysplasia/hip arthritis issues. She has torn the ligaments in her back left knee this week (ACL), and would require a surgery that would cost them something like 4000 dollars. That is out of their money range, and with her older age (for a big dog) and existing joint problems they are not comfortable with it being the best option anyway. They are looking at non-surgical avenues including self healing (not very promising), and braces and/or 'wheelchair' dog cart.

Their local vets are strongly advising against a dog cart or a brace and are not willing to explore the option, I think because of her size or even because they are not familiar enough with the use of mobility aids for dogs.

They want to seek a second opinion, and do more research. So friends, do any of you have access to vets that would be willing to speak to them who offer these options, promote or work with making mobility aids, or do you know of a dog who uses one of these things? Basically anyone we can talk to for education and real information?


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 10:55 PM
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try going on fb and checking out bruno's story , this might give you some help with this

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Do you have a link?


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 05:22 AM
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I know it is done. Here are a couple of sources, .K9carts.com> .eddieswheels.com
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 07:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for this. I'm sending everything to this family. They both cried their eyes out when the vet told them that Bella would either get the surgery or be put down. Bella isn't a dog to give up or lose spirit and still a puppy at heart, so she's definitely not ready for such a dire prognosis.


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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 08:14 AM
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Hm, the thing I would wonder is if using a cart could actually potentially make the dogs hip issues worse?

Normally if a dog has hip dysplasia, vets will recommend that you work to strengthen the dog's leg muscles with moderate exercise. Apparently having strong muscles to support the hip can slow down the progression of HD.

But if the dog's in a cart, and not able to use it's back legs normally most of the time, I would assume there would be some issues with muscle wasting which may very well effect the dog's hip condition. The surgery for HD on both hips I bet would be more expensive than the surgery to fix the ACL.

They couldn't try to raise the money for the surgery somehow? Will another vet do the surgery for less, or offer a payment plan? I don't think a torn ACL is an emergency, so they'd probably be able to buy some time and wait a little bit to have the surgery done if the extra time would help them be able to save up the money.

I would definitely seek out a second opinion, and maybe even a third. I think that sometimes ACL issues are left alone, but normally only in small dogs? If the tear is only partial than I think sometimes there is a chance it will heal on it's own, but if it's a full tear then surgery is usually considered to be the best option.

Good luck! I really hope they are able to work something out that works for Bella and allows them to keep their baby with them for many years to come.


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 01:43 PM
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all of this. I'm passing everything shared to me on to my friends.

I'll keep you updated.


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 12:37 PM
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It might be possible for them to build a quad dog wheelchair where they can control the amount of support that Bella gets. There's a website for making dog stuff, forget the exact name.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 05:20 PM
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How's Bella doing?

I really hope her family is able to work something out for her that works, no matter what the solution ends up being! 5 years old is still really only middle aged for your average rottweiler. She sounds like she still has a lot of life left in her, despite her hip and recent knee issues.

I wonder if a holistic vet would be more open to trying nonsurgical options? If there is one in Bella's families area, it might be worth a try to talk to them and see what they suggest.


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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Bella's actually feeling better, though of course that's not necessarily a good thing since they have to keep her off her foot as much as possible. They're literally in the process of contacting people from all over the world seeking education on their options. Gotta love the Internet. This is obviously going to be a slow motion process though, since it's a long term thing.


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 01:06 PM
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Any updates on Bella?


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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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As it stands, surgery just will not be a good option for her. They are letting her heal at home with movement and pain/swelling management treatment. As long as she can walk and potty, they'll let her. They are much more hopeful now that they know of the option of braces and doggy wheel chairs. Bella's such a positive spirited happy old puppy, she's a good candidate for anything like that.

They just adopted a third puppy from a rescue too, a little lab/chow looking little thing. Bella's completely fallen in love with her, and relishes her role as teacher and nurse maid. Puppy Therapy.


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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 08:25 PM
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Nice to read such a positive report. Sounds like decisions are being based on what is best for her.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 09:50 AM
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Thats great to hear!! Ive never herd off a doggy wheelchair though. Not something you get over here in the UK i guess.
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