Our canine family members can have many medical issues that our human family members have. They may be born with some sort of a disability, they may incur a disease causing them to be disabled, or they may be disabled because of an injury to their bodies.
Some injuries will leave a dog permanently disabled, while other things such as surgery will dictate that it needs some rehabilitation devices in order to heal properly. Pets also get older and just this simple fact can lead to debilitation as well. It's in our best interest to take great care of our four-legged family members and act as their guardians just as they are the guardians, service dogs, and loyal members of our families.
What Are Common Birth Defects in Dogs?
Many dogs are predisposed to having birth defects that may be evident upon birth, shortly thereafter or not for many years. These can be disorders that have been passed down by the dog's parents and it can also be that the condition has been prevalent in certain breeds of dogs throughout the years. The different systems that defects occur in dogs can be congenital and manifest themselves in the eyes, muscles, bones, or the central nervous system.
Several breeds of dogs can have epilepsy, such as the German Shepherd, Keeshond, Miniature Poodle, Beagle, and Collie. Some dog breeds inherit paralysis of the front and/or back legs. This condition is most common in the Irish Setter, with muscle failure in the Fox Terrier and brain swelling in the English Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, and the Chihuahua.
Many dog breeds contract eye abnormalities such as cataracts, glaucoma, and blindness. Other puppies may be born with hearing loss or umbilical hernias where the insides protrude out of the navel at birth.
Fortunately, there are several aids for disabilities of all types that can greatly improve the quality of your dog's life so he can still be happy for many years.
What Type of Items Are Used for Rehabilitation After Surgery?
Dogs can inherit severe arthritis or hip dysplasia where the bones in the hip joint don't align with each other properly. Your canine companion can have the same types of knee and hip surgery to correct some of these items just as a human does--even a total hip replacement. After surgery, you will be told to limit your dog's movements so that the tissue affected can start to heal and the swelling will decrease as well over the course of a few days. Afterward, you will need to help your dog to get up from lying down, to support him to walk, and to help him when he's doing light exercise or going to the bathroom.
You can use a service dog sling that goes around the tummy of your furry friend and it has handles on it for you to help support most of your dog's weight so he doesn't re-injure his leg. Slowly, your dog will be able to do more of what he always did with the help of a sling or a towel for support. This is also a common dog disability aid for dogs that had injuries to their legs in an accident.
What is Degenerative Myelopathy in Canines?
Degenerative Myelopathy in canines is quite often seen by veterinarians. It's caused by arthritis or hip dysplasia, which is more common in dogs as they age and it affects the rear hips as they become weak. If your dog is older, has a history of hip dysplasia or arthritis, and has a hard time standing up, climbing, or walking, these are signs of this disease.
This condition can cause your four-legged family member to wobble as he walks, sink down in the rear end and he may drag his back legs so that he's walking on the tops of the rear feet instead of the bottoms as he should. At the beginning of this condition, you can use double-sided boots to give his back legs more stability if he is dragging them. It will also keep him from causing additional injuries to his paws.
As the condition progresses, you can choose a fully adjustable doggie wheelchair that takes all the weight off your dog's rear legs and suspends them in the air a few inches off the ground. It may look odd and take a short while for your dog to get used to this as canine wheelchairs, but it can restore his vitality and excitement to keep going on walks and playing with you and your family.
A dog wheelchair is also helpful to use if your dog has missing limbs from a birth defect or an accident. Dogs that lose only one limb can get along just fine on three healthy limbs and some that have two limbs missing with one in the front and one in the back may be able to be mobile by themselves. However, the loss of both front or rear limbs can be greatly helped with a doggie wheelchair for your handicapped dog.
How To Maintain Hygiene With A Disabled Dog?
Some dogs may have physical disabilities that make it hard for them to hold their urine or feces in the house. If this is the case, you may want to use incontinence products or diapers, pet suspenders, or male wraps in order to keep your dog clean and dry. If your dog stays moist from urinary or feces leaking it can lead to serious skin infections that can, in turn, be very painful with pus or other fluids leaking from the affected areas.
What Are Travel Aids for Disabled Dogs?
Just because your dog has a disability doesn't mean that he still doesn't want to travel with you and go to the park as well. Some great travel aids include ramps to help him get in a vehicle, seat belts to hold him in place and travel hammocks to take pressure off his limbs while he is in the car to improve quality of life and health problems. There is also a huge variety and many sizes of dog strollers, so your furry friend will still feel mobile and get to enjoy the outdoor air.
What Are Leg Support Products for Pets?
If your pet has a lower extremity that is weakened or has an illness or injury, he may greatly benefit from splints and leg support products. There is a long list of available products to support the entire leg as well as the paw, so that he can still walk as he normally would without the fear of additional injuries. Some of the splints include rear and front splints as well as splints for the hocks and booties for the paws and lower legs. There are also special splints for veterinary care for the specific areas of the carpal and wrist as well.
What Other Adjustments Can You Make At Home for A Disabled Dog or Elderly Dog?
There are some quite simple retrofits and changes you as dog owners can make at your home in order to help your disabled pooch with his mobility. The absolutely worst thing to do is to isolate your disabled pets. He may be a bit more grumpy as he gets older, but that's only because he needs your help as a service dog helps humans, so you should be a service human to your dog.
Disabled dogs need an orthopedic bed that is soft on their joints but also very supportive. This helps them to rest better when sleeping without changing their position over and over. It also gives him support in order to get up from bed more easily. If your dog has always been allowed to get on your bed, furniture and go for rides in the car, then you can get dog ramps made from different materials or even dog stairs, so he can continue to be part of the family and do what he loves.
Dogs that have trouble walking on hard floors in your home will be delighted to have some spongy material to walk on. You can make a trail from the front door and through each room of the house so he can walk on the mats and not slide or slip down as he would on hard flooring. It's also a good idea for pet care to put some non-slip mats in front of your dog's food and water bowls so he can eat without slipping down on the floor.
It's of the utmost importance to help your pet and take your disabled pooch to all of the veterinarian care appointments that are scheduled for him so he can have the best quality of life possible and be a happy pup as well. These are all important items for your dog ownership.