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Our K-9 Cart dog wheelchairs are unlike any other dog wheelchair on the market. Do NOT accept any substitutes!
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The general need for a K9 cart is almost always related to partial or total loss of nerve function to a limb. Other indications include:
amputation or congenital defects resulting in limb loss
rehabilitation therapy to minimize weight bearing following surgery or traumatic injury.
Of course, there are many limited other reasons why your pet may have a special need for a cart. Please contact us to discuss these special needs.The following criteria are also important to consider in evaluating your pet for successful use of our standard two-wheeled cart. Click here for additional information on:
Pain is seldom associated with a need for a K9 Cart dog wheelchair. Pain is nature’s way of reducing use or limiting weight bearing to enhance healing. Increasing the activity level to benefit healing requires advanced understanding found in rehabilitation facilities or specialty veterinary practices. Typically, several weeks of recovery are required after surgery prior to introducing a K-9 Cart dog wheelchair. Pets that are not surgical candidate are encouraged to become mobile in a dog wheelchair as soon as possible to prevent loss of muscle mass and muscle strength.
Strong front limbs are critical to obtaining the maximal benefit from a two-wheeled rear K9 Cart. Be realistic and overly conservative in making your evaluation of your pet in order to prevent disappointment.
The “towel test” serves as a simple means to evaluate forelimb strength. For a small animal, support can be done best by cutting two holes for the rear limbs in a towel or cloth that is long enough for you to walk upright while supporting the rear quarters. Make sure the back is kept level with the ground. For larger animals, two towels are used. One towel is looped under the right groin; the second towel is looped under the left groin. Both towels are joined above the hips at standing level. Again, make sure the back is kept level with the ground.
The towel test will simulate the support system of a two-wheeled cart. Signs of forelimb weakness include:
An important point is that two-wheeled K9 carts can be converted to four-wheeled K9 Carts. However, this conversion is very demanding and a custom orthopedic device such at this is best done after consulting our shop. There is never a charge for measuring and routine fitting. Adding front wheels, however, will reduce the agility of directional movement.
Animals with short-term disability, normal weight, and strong front limbs will need little or no conditioning. This ideal candidate gives all involved a real joy to see the pet running out the door smiling glee. In fact, you may need to find your leash again!
Pets with a long duration of inactivity with weakness due to disuse without neurological deficit will need gradual 5 minute introductions with gradual daily increases.
If reluctance to accept the cart becomes a factor, time must be limited with encouragement. Repeated efforts to force an animal to use a cart may lead to major refusal. So take it slowly. It is interesting to note that the greater the disability in many animals leads to more willingness of the animal to accept the help of the cart.
Age – Older animals may have more disabilities and need a gradual adjustment to their cart. Older dogs will benefit from regular walks to their full ability and mental acceptance of the cart. Multiple short walks are usually preferable to long tiring walks for our senior pets.
Obesity – Overweight pets are a real challenge that must be addressed. Extra weight on your pet can exacerbate orthopedic problems. The owners that are successful in removing excess weight find a remarkable return in active ability. Reductions in food, sometimes by eliminating snacks, in concert with increased activity in a K9 Cart can provide a winning combination.
Cats – Cats require special patience due to their independent attitude toward any new idea as all cat lovers will agree. Short periods of introduction are recommended. Some cats benefit from first learning to wear a harness that can then be attached to the K9 Cart.
The majority of unsuccessful dog wheelchair fittings are the results of poor measurements. If possible, ask a friend to assist you when measuring your pet. Ideally the measurements are taken with the animal standing rather than laying on his/her side. At least one person should assist when taking measurements for a small animal or two people for a larger animal.
Watch a short video to see how easy it is to measure your pet:
Recommended Measuring Materials:
If measuring animal on its side use bottom of footpads with leg in a standing position as floor distance. Do NOT stretch leg straight.
However, the measuring and customization is a bit different for our once hop happy friends. Please download the following instruction booklet to correctly order a K-9 Cart "Bunny Edition"
Please feel to call us with any questions or concerns!
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