Dogs are our constant companions, and nothing is more distressing than when our lively pets lose their mobility by accident or disease. Mobility aids such as dog wheelchairs can help them regain some of the quality of life they have lost. However, many different types of dog wheelchairs are available, and you have to choose the best one for your pet’s condition. Here are some things you need to know about quad wheelchairs, and when they can benefit your disabled dog the most.
What is it?
A quad wheelchair has four wheels designed to support a disabled dog with little or no ability to support itself using its own legs. The ideal quad wheelchair should be adjustable to accommodate dogs within a certain range of weight and size, and rigid enough o give pelvic support. In most cases, a quad wheelchair is only appropriate for dogs that are totally paralyzed or quadriplegic, but not always.
A diagnosis of degenerative myelopathy or DM often comes to a dog at the age of seven or thereabouts, and most likely to affect certain breeds of dog such as German shepherd dogs, boxers, and Pembroke Welsh corgis. If your dog has DM, an adjustable quad wheelchair would be a good choice for you, even though the early stages only require rear support at first. Dogs with DM experience progressive weakness in their rear limbs, and eventually become completely paralyzed.
Wobbler syndrome, or cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM) is a debilitating disease that affects large dogs and results from spinal cord compression at the neck. It results in total paralysis, which makes a Wobbler syndrome dog a good candidate for a quad wheelchair. In some cases, a dog with this disease may be a candidate for surgery to relieve the compression of the spinal cord. If your dog is such a candidate, a quad wheelchair can provide rehabilitative benefits as well.
Some dogs suffer from temporary paralysis due to a traumatic incident, and may require the use of a quad wheelchair during recovery and rehabilitation for supported mobility. These include dogs that lost the use of their limbs after being by a car, attacked by another dog, or as a side effect of surgery.
Mobility is an important aspect for any dog, and can elevate their quality of life. A quad dog wheelchair can be of immense benefit for any dog with a progressive degenerative disease, temporary paralysis, and permanent quadriplegia.