A wheelchair is a medical device, and an investment in your pets health and recovery. When you invest in a wheelchair for your pet, make sure it passes the essential requirements of stability, ease of use, and durability. Is the wheelchair professionally designed? A pet wheelchair is not a DIY project. Please do not entrust your pets recovery to an amateur who constructs a medical device from a YouTube video.
A lot of our time is spent answering questions from pet parents about their injured or old pets. How do you know if your dog or cat needs a wheelchair? And how do you choose a quality product?
“Veterinary paraplegic Carts” have been in design and development with the US patent offices since 1965.
Veterinary professionals and specialists, have worked to perfect the device for decades.
Stability is essential, an unstable device will cause more damage. An unstable wheelchair is detrimental to a patient. Therefore, it is important that the wheelchair provide physical support. Stability on a patients feet, is directly linked to mental well being and confidence. On the practical side a wheel cart for an injured dog or cat should be easy to use and keep clean. If your pet or patient needs additional support while not on the cart, your vet may suggest aids such as elbow braces or dog knee braces.
When do you look for a wheelchair for your pets?
Here are some questions to ask yourself and your vet:
1. Is your dog or cat injured?
2. Are they recovering from an injury, surgery or is it the onset of old age?
3. How long has your pet/ animal lived with the injury or disability?
4. Will the wheelchair help keep them mobile?
5. Do you require one for rehabilitation, or for the rest of your pets life?
A few more factors to consider when you buy a wheelchair for your cat or dog. It should be easy to donate or re sell. Shelters and rescue centers across the world benefit from quality rehabilitation equipment. It helps them to heal injured patients faster, making space for new ones. It is a device that will grow with your pet if you have a young dog or cat. The wheelchair is a part of your daily routine, it must be a device that is easy to maintain.
Problems paraplegic cats & dogs may develop
Paraplegia is defined as “paralysis of the legs and lower body, typically caused by spinal injury or disease.”
Decubital ulcers – bed sores * (explanation below)
Retention of urine, resulting in bladder distention
Disuse atrophy * (explanation below)
Dermatosis * (explanation below)
*Decubital ulcers occur when a bony part of the body, for a human or animal, rests for long periods against a hard surface. “With blood flow restricted, tissue dies and sloughs, or detaches from the body,”
In simple terms, decubital ulcers are “bed sores”. Human and animal patients suffer from bed sores. When a body lies in a position without the ability to move, it creates pressure on a single spot. Animal and human bodies are meant to move to maintain joint and muscle mobility.
*Disuse atrophy is caused by mechanical unloading of muscle and this leads to reduced muscle mass without fiber attrition. Skeletal muscle stem cells (satellite cells) and myonuclei are integrally involved in skeletal muscle responses to environmental changes that induce atrophy
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › pmc › articles › PMC3955994
* Dermatosis A disease of the skin, especially one that does not cause inflammation.