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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Advice about front wheels
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Member Since:
19 May 2024
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12 June 2024 - 11:07 pm
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My 12ish year old hound Dory had a front limb amputation for osteosarcoma about 10 weeks ago. She has a PT and is pretty good with her exercises. She walks around the block usually twice a day, sometimes she isn’t up for it. She was very active before the surgery, cross country skiing or hiking up to 6-8 miles a few times a week. She seems pretty depressed with her limitations so I ordered her a front wheel cart from Eddies Wheels. It is being shipped and will be here Tuesday but the PT won’t have time to see her for about 1 1/2 weeks after it comes. I will of course follow the advice in the manual that is supposed to come with it but I am wondering if anyone else has dealt with front wheels and has any advice or experience to share? I am really hopeful that she can explore the world more easily soon!

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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13 June 2024 - 10:18 am
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Leah, that's so awesome Dory is doing pretty well and working with a PT! You are doing great!

Wheels can absolutely open up a dog's world, we've seen it happen with our Wyatt Ray , who used a set of rear wheels for a while when he was older. But please please please don't put her in the wheels until her PT can see her. Try to get on a cancellation list at the clinic. I know it seems like forever until she can get in, but a bad introduction to the wheels could lead to her not ever wanting to use them again. A poor fit could cause pressure sores. Wheels always need to be adjusted to the dog's body, especially front wheels where there a huge danger of tipping over if the setup is off kilter.

We've seen people rush their dog into wheels, and the pet parent ends up wasting their money because the dog hates the wheels due to falling over in them, or just not being used to something so unfamiliar. It's one reason why we are always talking about rehab here, so that this won't happen.

You can do so many things with her to keep her happy and engaged without tiring her body and stressing joints, like interactive brain games . Have you seen our latest post on nosework

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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13 June 2024 - 10:19 am
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Oh, here's a topic with all the details when Meg's mum Clare introduced her to front wheels:


Member Since:
19 May 2024
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13 June 2024 - 10:11 pm
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Thanks so much for the link to Megs story it made me very excited to think about Dory being able to run like that and I got some ideas that will be helpful. My PT doesn’t have a clinic he comes to my house. I live in an area that doesn’t have much help and he is actually a people PT that only works with animals once a week. I think he is helpful but I don’t think he has ever worked with wheels before. He is my only option though. My vet suggested just putting her in the wheels at first ad give her treats so I will try that and see where it goes from there. 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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14 June 2024 - 11:57 am
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You are so welcome Leah! Yes there is definitely hope for better days ahead. If it's any consolation many people who started out as human PTs eventually get credentialed to work with animals, so hopefully yours is on track to do that. It's nice to have any guidance at all when you are rural, I totally get it being up here in Alaska.

Please let us know how things are going! 

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