View Full Version : "Wheels" for dogs with bad legs.


GazB
01-12-2005, 10:49
Hi all,

Has anyone bought wheels for their dog, to aid it when walking because of it having bad rear legs?

My dog (German Shephard called Max :) ) is having a lot of problems walking because he doesn't have much strength in his rear legs and my mum wants me to look at the "dog wheelchairs" on the internet.

My question is, has anybody else bought these for a dog and do they work well?

I'd really appreciate some feedback.

Thanks in advance,

GazB

dawny1
01-12-2005, 12:28
There's a bloke on our estate who is a Police Dog handler and has a German Shepherd that is now retired and it's back legs are completely paralysed.

I have seen him take the Dog for walks and it has a harness on that lifts the back legs back so they are supported in a sling like thing and wheels take the place of the legs.

Don't know where he got it from cos Ive never spoke to him cos he seems a bit of a grumpy sod!

Maybe your Vet will know.

ratbagtowers
01-12-2005, 13:09
There is a lady on my estate has a german shephard that uses a wheeled contraption when out walking, it looks very good.

When I see her next I'll ask her for some feedback for you.

GazB
01-12-2005, 13:19
Thanks, the vet told us not to bother.. But I found a website that does the wheels, and my mum gave them a ring. The lady she spoke to said 90% of people than ring up have German Shepherds, and over half of them were told the same thing by the vet, but are all VERY happy with the wheels.

I think a couple of hundred is a very small price to pay to give him another few years with us, he's the heart of our family and I don't know what we'd do without him!

twinky1
01-12-2005, 13:22
You could try this site. www.disabledanimalsclub.co.uk

I have 2 rescued GSD's, one had her front leg removed when she was a puppy- she's manages very well but she doesn't know any different.

One of my previous shepherds had back leg problems but found it was more artheritis so Metacam was a good help.

Twinky

Twiglet
01-12-2005, 14:30
Did the vet say not to bother and recommend putting the dog down, or did he say just to not bother using one?

If it was to put the dog down then one of these contraptions would probably be a good idea because as you say the dog could have a good few happy years yet!

The problem is, you say he hasn't got much strength left in his back legs (as opposed to none)? So if you start using one of the wheelchair things the likelihood is he will lose whatever little tone and ability to walk he has left, which may be why the vet said not to bother.

Godzilla
01-12-2005, 15:01
A dog is not your whole life - but it makes your life whole.

viking
01-12-2005, 15:14
They work fine.
THIS (http://www.ragtail.co.uk/photogallery/nelsononwheels.jpg) Is what i made for a dog i had ages ago.

Mo
01-12-2005, 15:19
I'm a dog lover and used to be a dog owner so don't take what I have to say the wrong way.

When a dog becomes unable to get around in this way there is only one kind way to deal with it. I would say ask any vet and I could almost gurantee that they would all be of the same opinion.

A dog needs it's mobility to be, well, a dog and to do dog things.
From a purely practical point a dog needs to **** it's leg. How the hell can it do that when it's been rigged up to a set of wheels.

I find it so upsetting to see an animal connected up to one of those contraptions in such an undignified way and can't help but suspect that it is done for the benefit of the owner and not the dog.


Be kind and do the right thing.

viking
01-12-2005, 15:22
Originally posted by Mo
I'm a dog lover and used to be a dog owner so don't take what I have to say the wrong way.

When a dog becomes unable to get around in this way there is only one kind way to deal with it. I would say ask any vet and I could almost gurantee that they would all be of the same opinion.

A dog needs it's mobility to be, well, a dog and to do dog things.
From a purely practical point a dog needs to **** it's leg. How the hell can it do that when it's been rigged up to a set of wheels.

I find it so upsetting to see an animal connected up to one of those contraptions in such an undignified way and can't help but suspect that it is done for the benefit of the owner and not the dog.


Be kind and do the right thing.

That is totally right and i could not agree more.
We had the same option the other week when our dog got run over and paralised.
It's not an easy decision to make but it is Humane to have them put to sleep.:(

dawny1
01-12-2005, 15:37
We are going through this at the moment as our Boxer who is nearly 13 has cancer. It started in her toe and in May we had the toe removed but now it has spread.

We can't put her through another op, especially as she is so old, not to mention another biopsy last week so it has cost us nearly 2,000 so far, but worth the extra time and comfort we have given her.

There comes a point when enough is enough and as nothing can be done to cure our lovely Maisie, the sweetest natured Dog you could ever meet, we are just making sure she is not in pain until it becomes obvious she is unhappy, then we will have to let her go - something I am dreading so near to Christmas as I have 4 kids. :(

GazB
01-12-2005, 15:58
Originally posted by Mo

Be kind and do the right thing.

That's almost like saying, if a human loses use of his/her legs, then it's only fair to kill them.

I know dogs aren't humans, but I'd sooner kill a human than my dog.

pberry
01-12-2005, 16:06
Originally posted by GazB
That's almost like saying, if a human loses use of his/her legs, then it's only fair to kill them.

I know dogs aren't humans, but I'd sooner kill a human than my dog.

You can't seriously mean that!

GazB
01-12-2005, 16:12
Originally posted by pberry
You can't seriously mean that!

My dog is generally very happy and leads an ideal dogs life (goes to the park 3 times a day, plenty of treats and plenty of love as well as sleep).. Why should his legs put an early end to his life? If it can be helped, why would any decent person say this is cruel?

Like I said, it's like seeing someone in a wheelchair and saying "They should be put out of their misery", when the fact of the matter is.. The person in that wheelchair may be happier than you'll ever be. Just because they're in a wheelchair doesn't mean they can't enjoy life to the full, and as much as anyone else.

Like I said, I know dogs aren't humans.. But the logic is the same. As long as he's not in pain (which he isn't), and something can be done to give him a few more years.. Anyone that says it shouldn't be done is being ridiculous.

unnamed
01-12-2005, 17:28
I'm a dog lover and used to be a dog owner so don't take what I have to say the wrong way.

:o

Strix
01-12-2005, 18:13
Originally posted by GazB
That's almost like saying, if a human loses use of his/her legs, then it's only fair to kill them.

Well, you could be right there - we don't do 'the kindest thing' to people who should be treated with more dignity....

Dog wheels - If you're sure your dog is not actually suffering, I hope you find what you're looking for. Is it worth having a look on ebay? Some are adjustable, and some dogs don't get to use them for very long, so you might be lucky.

You could try some of the links Lotti regularly gives us to her dog forums - to ask the same question

Good luck Gaz :thumbsup:

Edit: we did look at wheels for Brude, but he was determined enough to struggle about on his legs after his op, and this was best encouraged so he could re-build his muscles. We just 'wheelbarrowed' him for a few weeks, but he's considerably smaller than your dog Gaz ;)

mega_monty
01-12-2005, 23:18
Originally posted by GazB
Has anyone bought wheels for their dog, to aid it when walking because of it having bad rear legs?


The only dog I've ever seen fitted with a walking aid was infact a German Shepherd, this was over 10 years ago. Must admit at the time I thought it was a bit cruel and thought it should have been put to sleep, but thats easy to say because it wasn't my own dog and I know how attached you become to them over the years.

medusa
02-12-2005, 00:00
I know that cats are different to dogs, but it's an analogy anyway-

The choice of where to draw the line on euthenasing an animal for whom we care is drawn in a different place for each animal.

My first cat was a sweet girl who was very attached to me- slept on my pillow, walked round the house with me, lived a quiet little life. She got kidney failure and lost mobility, but she wasn't in pain and I carried her round on a cushion for her final week. It was time to for me to say goodbye properly, and it wasn't an imposition to her.

Another of my cats was an old lad that I adopted when he was 14. He was an outdoor cat, and had been abused, and wasn't very comfy being cuddled. 3 weeks before I had him put to sleep, he had to be put in a crush cage and sedated just to have his paw clipped for a blood sample. If you kept him in he got stressed and stroppy, but when he got too weak to jump over fences it wasn't safe for him to be outdoors. So the line was drawn in a totally different place- he wasn't enjoying life any more, he was stressed at being shut in, and I didn't want to put him through any more.

Yet another cat got a tumour under her eye which was removed, knowing that if the cancer returned in the same place we would have to choose between euthenasia or having one eye removed. We had already decided that she wouldn't be the sort of cat to cope without an eye when the cancer returned elsewhere and she died suddenly of organ failure as a result.

In short- I have known dogs who would cope brilliantly with this loss of mobility, and those who wouldn't. The key is for the family to know what they'll be OK with, and not to hold on because they love the animal, to the detriment of the animal's life. The line between love and abuse in this instance is very hazy.

GazB I wish you and your dog the best of everything, and hope that you take the 'right' decision for him, however hard that may be for the humans around.

twinky1
02-12-2005, 00:43
Originally posted by GazB
Thanks, the vet told us not to bother.. But I found a website that does the wheels, and my mum gave them a ring. The lady she spoke to said 90% of people than ring up have German Shepherds, and over half of them were told the same thing by the vet, but are all VERY happy with the wheels.

I think a couple of hundred is a very small price to pay to give him another few years with us, he's the heart of our family and I don't know what we'd do without him!

I agree with you, you have to do the very best you can, money doesn't come in to it,sharing your life with an animal you love is unconditional and priceless.
I don't know if you belive a different approach but one of my dogs went to The Rivos swim gym at Oxspring for water therapy and it was a great help.

Look at the disabled dog sites and you will see the dogs do adapt.

GazB
02-12-2005, 11:09
Thanks for all the positive feedback, I really appreciate it.

As long as Max isn't in pain, I'll look into every option available to keep him with us.

Like I said, he's the heart of the family and I don't know what we'd do without him :(

thomsongirl
02-12-2005, 13:03
These have both been recommended by people whose's dogs have used them. I haven't seen the dogs personally, just pictures from another forum.

http://www.eddieswheels.com/
http://www.dogmobile.uk.com

KATIEB_23
02-12-2005, 14:05
Good Luck, GazB

I really feel for you - when I was 10 our GSD had the same problem, and our vet recommended PTS.
I wish I could have had more time with him :cry: :cry: :cry:

That was 14yrs ago & I've just gone & started sobbing at work - oops :blush:

Plain Talker
02-12-2005, 14:48
In the case of animals, sometimes, as heart-rending as it is, euthanasia is often the kindest choice you can make for them.

I don't wish to open up the "assisted suicide for humans vs the putting an animal down" debate, but, a human being usually has the understanding that "I am ill ,/ injured, and this is why I am 'suffering'" (not the most fantastic choice of words , but I'm sure you get my point!)

An animal has not (normally) got the intelligence to understand the connection between their illness and their pain/ suffering.. all the animal understands is that they are in pain.

It is the hardest decision a loving owner can make for their animal.

Yes, of course, it's going to break your heart to have to have your much loved pet put to sleep, but if there is genuine suffering, surely it's crueller to prolong the suffering?

Whilever the animal is not in pain, or not suffering, then fine, (IMO) don't have them put down....

My dad's old dog was a massive, massive rottie/ alsation cross. (we think there was a bit of donkey in the ancestry, there somewhere too, she was so large)

She was at least as big, if not bigger than a Newfoundland/ Pyreneean mountain dog. (even larger than a St Bernard).

Her back end "went" (age? disc problems? i'm not 100% sure, but it was dam serious), and she collapsed.

Her huge size meant that it was impossible for my disabled dad to lift her to go out and do her business, etc. (and there was no-one else who could assist him to do it)

Even lifting her in and out of a wheelie contraption would have been nigh-on impossible.

She would have had no quality of life. The kindest decision was to have her put to sleep.

We have palliative care. Animals don't.

Our pet animals give us so much love, and all they ask in return is clean water to drink, food, and walkies... is it too much for us to not let them suffer?

Katieb_23, you have my every sympathy... I still miss my old GSD, who we had to have put to sleep in 1985. She was a fantastic, gentle dog; intelligent, faithful and obedient.

However:-

Would I have her back, hale and hearty? In a bl**dy flash, I would!

But would I have her back in her suffering? Not a blooming chance!

PT

KATIEB_23
02-12-2005, 15:12
Thanks PT.
Very wise words.

jenbop
02-12-2005, 15:20
i think its wrong to let your dog suffer.. however you say your dogs quite happy and the only thing wrong with her is her legs, so i think you should try and get her some wheels. i mean if the dog had a choice im sure it would choose wheels rather than death!

one of my neighbours had a german shephrd who had a wheelchair thingie, i think they just made theres, and used it when they took it a walk, it lived for ages with them and always seemed happy.

so i say go for it, let us know if you manage to find a dog wheel chair!

plus -id also like to say, its nice to see how many people care so much about there pets, with all the animal cruelty out there, its quiet heart warming to know that there are people like you!

Mo
03-12-2005, 12:01
Originally posted by GazB
That's almost like saying, if a human loses use of his/her legs, then it's only fair to kill them.



It's nothing like the same thing.

People can live normal and full lives if they are in a wheel chair. For a start they can still fully interact with other members of their species.

A dog can't do that when it is immobile.

You say your dog goes to the park but that is not the same as walking to the park is it and having a romp and sniff around.

Believe me Gaz i do sympathise. I had to have my 'best mate' put to sleep when he was 10 years old because of heart problems and can honestly say that it was a devastating decision to have to make but I knew that I must do it.

I still miss him even now, 8 years after and have not taken the plunge to buy another dog because I can't bear the thought of loss yet again.

GazB
03-12-2005, 12:21
Originally posted by Mo

I still miss him even now, 8 years after and have not taken the plunge to buy another dog because I can't bear the thought of loss yet again.

I put a thread up about that a few months back. Basically saying that when I was younger, I could never understand why my parents didn't want a dog... But now I realise, they've been through the heartache and pain of losing a dog before and they were scared to go through it again.

Back to the point, whilst Max isn't in any pain, I think we should do whatever we can for him. It's not a wheelchair that he can't walk himself in etc, it's basically just a shelf to place his back legs on and 2 wheels in their place, so he can run about, sniff and find sticks at will.

robbie
03-12-2005, 15:38
Had to put my dog down a couple of years ago. His back legs just went. just to look at him was heartbreaking. they kept going every so often and then went for good.

in the end we really had no option

KATIEB_23
03-12-2005, 21:17
Gaz, I was talking to a friend today about dogs & how so many GSD's get problems with their back legs & she said that when she was younger her aunt had a GSD which developed problems, the vet advised euthanasia, but she decided not to & her dog's legs GOT BETTER! Her dog lived happily for 3 more years.
I don't want to give you false hope or anything, but I definitely agree that so long as Max isn't in pain, you're right to do everything you can to hold on to him.
Good Luck, Max is a really beautiful dog xxx

GazB
05-12-2005, 13:56
Thanks for all the feedback, it's really appreciated.

We're going to enquire about steroid injections for his back legs and see how that goes I think.