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best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby CarolC » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:42 pm

https://www.bestfriends.org/guardianang ... 993676BD33 (Soldier in a Doggon cart)

whitedog, I don't know what I'd do for sure. If you really really think it would help for me to come up with an answer to that, I will, but I'm not sure what's right for me would be right for you. I am sitting here writing and thinking and rewriting. Here are links showing a cart company with a facility in Puget Sound and a rental program, maybe these can help.

http://www.k9-carts.com/about-Us-K9-Carts.php K-9 carts location
http://www.k9-carts.com/Pet_Cart_Rental_Programs.php K-9 Carts rental program

:angel:
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby whitedog192 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:43 pm

Thanks for the links. We are in WA, so that Puget Sound rental could be interesting, Carol. I'm always interested to hear what someone would actually choose for themselves/their own dog. Our girl's back legs are getting worse by the hour it seems. Just Sunday we were running a rugged park trail, and today she's having trouble getting out and standing sturdy enough on the back legs just to go to the bathroom. Its quite unsettling to go from running to naught almost overnight. 'Hopefully its just a freak injury. I hope.

Thanks, Bobbie. I'll have to study over your response and links a bit more, as this is all so new to me, and the info. a bit complex at first read. I'll sit down and study over this tomorrow for a better understanding. Thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this.
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby Bobbie » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:43 am

When you say she is getting worse by the hour- was she checked for a back injury? A disk injury will cause rapid (often much faster than that) onset of symptoms. MRI is the gold standard but sometimes disk injuries do show up on Xrays- they have to be looking, though, not xraying hips and knees.

K9carts West (now called Pet Mobility Rehab Center) is the one in Washington, up on Whidbey Island. You could at least go up and look at some carts- call or email and ask them to let you know when they might have a quad cart and front-extension carts that you could see. Seeing one in person makes a huge difference in understanding how everything works.
Bobbie Mayer
"Corgis on Wheels: Understanding and Caring for the Special Needs of Corgis with Degenerative Myelopathy or DIsk Disease available now!
http://www.corgiaid.org/cart/corgisonwheels
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby CarolC » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:53 pm

You asked what would I do...boy...

Decide if dog's problem is neurological first. Why? Because if it gets worse she will lose bladder control.

Get imaging of the spine if I can afford it. Get physical exam from regular vet if I cannot. (Vet will do simple office tests to check feeling/reflexes in hind feet. A physical exam should give a yes/no on whether it's neurological at this point, as prounounced as her symptoms are.)

If imaging or physical exam shows it is not neurological, proceed to get cart.

If physical exam indicates it is neurological, stop everything and put dog on crate rest for a month or more, probably with prednisone. This assumes I cannot afford imaging like an expensive MRI/CT/myelogram and have no way to know if the neurological problem is a disk or a tumor or something else. Dog may or may not improve with rest if it is a disk. Dog probably will not improve if it is a tumor. If the dog does not improve with rest, decide whether I will be able to provide bladder care if she loses bladder control in the future. If yes, proceed to get cart.

I would get her a quad cart, I think I have pretty much decided against a 2-wheel cart where you attach extra front wheels. Bobbie or Nancy may have a clearer idea of this, I am stretching to imagine it. When you put her hindquarters in the 2-wheel cart, the dog normally stands on the 2 front legs and the hindquarters are lifted. With an Eddie's cart, the hind feet are lifted several inches off the ground and put through the leg holes. With a Doggon' or Walkin' Wheels, a harness is put on the hindquarters and the hindquarters are lifted to a standing position (not off the ground) and the harness is fastened to the cart frame. But even if you are not lifting the hind feet off the ground, it is still going to be a stress on the dog trying to support herself on one front leg while you are putting her in the cart, because her weak or limp hind legs are not going to stabilize her front end like they used to do, and your manipulations of her will have her off balance while you clip the harness to one side of the frame, then the other. Her ankle will be wobbling left and right, her knee will be swaying left and right, her shoulder and neck muscles will be straining for balance. She may mess up her ankle, knee, shoulder or neck if you do this 2-3 times a day every day. Then she's in pain and you have a real mobility problem with that last front leg compromised by a "sports injury". A work-around for this problem is if you could have a partner steady her in front so she can be put in the 2-wheel cart safely without hurting herself in the process, then you attach the extra wheels.

I have only tried 2 quad carts, and I liked Doggon’, I would buy it again. I have not tried the K-9 cart, it looks very maneuverable, too. I would measure my doorway and ask them how wide their 4-wheel cart would be for a dog this size to be sure I can get her out the door.

And finally, I would have to use a mechanical lift to get the dog into the cart, that’s what I had to do with my dog because I couldn’t lift him. It was not expensive and I have instructions how to set this up if you need it. I certainly wish you the best whatever you decide.

http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... _heavy_dog
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby whitedog192 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:30 pm

Hi Bobbie and Carol,

Through the process of elimination,we are trying to figure out, with our Vet, the cause of the back leg weakness. We have the best Vet in the world, fortunately- love her!!! The MRI costs about $1,000.00 at WSU; I'm told it often does not render a definite diagnosis in this type case. (So, probably better to use that money on a wheelchair purchase, whatever the cause). However, the xray to check for slipped disc may very well be helpful, Bobbie.

Thanks for the furthur insights into the wheelchair, Carol. I've written to Doggone, and they are willing to customize the front wheels and fork for a more all terrain-type chair, and the front wheel extensions for a 4-wheel chair are removable with their set-up, so I'm leaning towards Doggone right now. It helps to know you had a good experience with them, and would recommend. I was intrigued by Eddies counterbalance system, but just didn't appreciate their customer service...if they can't answer preliminary questions without getting bothered, working with them to customize a chair doesn't sound appealing. Doggone is a bit more expensive, but with a 30-day return policy, and people even willing to customize, (having a machinist do the customized fork, ordering special wheels, etc...) for a chair that will actually work, just seems like a better situation.

I'll keep you posted on the progress of the diagnosis, and the wheelchair situation. Thanks tons for all your help so far.
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby critters » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:44 pm

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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby dwanecart » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:38 am

I hope you were able to find something for your dog.
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby ansolomo » Mon May 03, 2010 9:30 am

Hi White Dog: I am in a very similar situation. My dog Oscar lost his left front leg to osteosarcoma and he has DM, which is affecting the hind legs. On top of that, he now has a luxating left hip (we are scheduled for surgery tomorrow). My rehab vet and I are researching the various cart options and are finding it difficult to figure out the best solution. Eddie's told us that they have NOT had success using counterbalanced rear carts for front leg amputees, and that they would recommend a quad for Oscar. I have the same concerns you describe about mobility with a quad. My vet is waiting to hear back from the orthopedic surgeon at K-9 carts to see what they might be able to do cart-wise for him. The doggon option sounds interesting...I have not looked at that company's carts yet...am going to right now.

I'd love for the two of us to swap info, as it seems we are both in a similar (and extremely rare) situation. I don't know yet what I'm going to do. I may try a Walkin' Wheels for now (b/c I need something that will get here by Wed for the acute post-op period, and they seem to be the only off the shelf company), but I am very doubtful as to whether it's going to work for him. I've got to have something for him, though.....can't figure out how in the world the poor thing is going to go to the bathroom on two legs (both of which are on the right side). Hopefully he will be able to use his back left leg after about a week post-op, but I think he is going to need some kind of support during that week, and Walkin' Wheels seems like the only option (open to suggestions if anyone knows of anything else, though!)

Anyway, if you want to swap info, I can keep you posted on what my rehab vet finds out, and I would love to know what you are doing re: cart. You can email me off-list at dracsolomon@yahoo.com.

Best wishes to you and your pup....I know how tough this is!
Andrea
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby CarolC » Mon May 03, 2010 11:46 am

Image

Andrea, how big is he?

And is there someone who can help you with him or is it just you?
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby ansolomo » Mon May 03, 2010 12:09 pm

Hi Carol: He is about 83 lbs....(post-amputation). He is a big shepherd....was about 100 lbs when young and healthy.

I do have help, so I won't have to lift him on my own.

Update: I've talked to multiple companies now, and NO ONE thinks he can use a rear wheel cart, c/b or not. So now I'm trying to find him a used quad that I can get in time for the immediate post-op recovery period. I may wind up having to postpone the surgery until I can get a cart, although I am loathe to do that.

I do have a help em up harness, so I've wondered whether that might offer him enough support for pottying. I just have a hard time envisioning him being able to pee and poop on two right legs, even with the help em up.

Why do bad things happen to good dogs? So unfair...
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby CarolC » Mon May 03, 2010 7:46 pm

Hi Andrea,

These are 2 videos of a 2-legged dog named Dominic, both legs on one side.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOcLfrGp3-c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXPJJeISuXo

Here is a photo of Roadie, who was another 2-legged dog (before the days of youtube).

http://www.handicapable.net/photos.html

I just wanted you to see them, maybe to help you visualize. I am not sure you can draw any conclusions from them. For example, I do not mean to say your dog will definitely do fine pottying on two legs with you standing here holding him in a harness, you won't know till you try it. :) But perhaps he'll be able to help you by kind of walking with your assistance. I imagine at first it will be a matter of you and him kind of getting coordinated in figuring out how to move together. I'm glad you have help. One person on the front and one on the rear, and him helping, I think you can do it!

You know, I've looked at the Helpemup harness because it looks like a super serious harness for a dog that really needs help, and I needed that with my golden retriever that was going down. I ended up getting the Hartman harness which is similar. The thing that put me off the Helpemup is the little note they have about male dogs. I'm attaching a screenshot of their website. I'm curious if you have this particular model of their harness, because it says you may have to loosen the waist for your male dog to potty, and as far as I was concerned that was going to defeat the whole purpose of a harness on my male dog. If you have the other model I don't think there's a problem. If you have this model, you might want to take him out in it and see if he can manage? :blush:

Have you tried the harness on him and let him get used to wearing it? I did that with my dog before we really needed it.

It's getting a little off the subject but have you thought about male wraps for him? That might be an alternative to a lot of trips outside. You might consider it for a backup plan. :malewrap:

helpemup.JPG

click to enlarge
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby ansolomo » Mon May 03, 2010 8:29 pm

Carol: WOW!! I can't get over the videos of Dominic. That is awe-inspiring :) Thank you for sharing those.

I have the newest version of the help em up, which has a "mobile" and removable hip lift. You can situate it so that it's in the right place so as not to interfere with urinating. The hip lift did not interfere with his ability to urinate, but I couldn't quite figure out how it improved the harness so I ultimately took it off (it just velcros on and off). I should probably put it back on now that we are having hip problems though, come to think of it. (His hips have always been in great shape, so I didn't feel the need to keep it on before). I had the same concern as you about having to loosen or remove the strap for urination (isn't that one of the primary reasons for getting the harness!?), so I called the company and they explained the new "mobile" hip lift feature. Basically the new version of the harness is a combo of the two older versions (the active dog and the total support). Why they don't update their website to reflect this, I have NO idea.

I'll try to take a picture of it soon and post on here (can we post pictures on here?) to show you the mobile hip lift. It's a bit hard to explain in words.

I've been pleased with the help em up. I don't like to leave it on, b/c although the straps are lined I worry about chafing. So I alternate between that and a traditional sling, depending on how much help he is needing at the time. But the help em up literally does allow me to lift him off the ground all by myself. And it's not even difficult! I have picked him up and put him in the back of my car by myself using the harness. Also, he gives me no signs whatsoever that it is uncomfortable for me to lift him that way....whereas other ways we lift him he clearly shows his discomfort and/or anxiety. It is quite remarkable, actually. I never would have been able to lift him on my own without it. It's also nice because I can support him during urination, whereas when I'm using the sling I have to remove it in order for him to urinate (it's just a regular fleece lined sling like they use at the vet hospitals). I'll be relying heavily on the help em up post-op so that will be the next test....but so far it has fit the bill.

I have a lead now on a possible used Eddie's quad (thanks to Leslie going above and beyond) that I might be able to get in time to use for post-op recovery. I'm hopeful that will work out. If not, my ortho surgeon said she thinks I can get by with the help em up. And now that I've seen the video of Dominic I do feel more optimistic. And essentially that is what we're doing now, although he does use his other hind leg SOME now, especially for balance when standing still. So it will be more difficult than the present situation but hopefully manageable.

I have thought about ordering some diapers or wraps for short term (or possibly long term) use. Any recommendations?

Thanks so much for your helpful comments and thanks for posting the videos and picture. I am in love with precious Dominic. What an amazing boy!

Best, Andrea
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby CarolC » Wed May 05, 2010 10:42 am

I really liked the wraps I used for my dog, very easy to use, stayed in place. You're going to laugh, they were from the Tiny Dog Store but my dog was a golden retriever and they have sizes up to 100 lbs. http://www.indogneeto.com/index2.asp?id=3&cid=68 If you want to see a picture of him in his wrap, here is one where he just has the wrap, and here is one later where I sewed handles on the wrap to help get him on his feet--it works because the wrap is wide like a belly harness and does not bunch up. The pads I used were Serenity Ultimate. If you need even greater absorbency there is a thread here telling how Bobbie managed that, I would consider it the "Maximum Absorbency" thread! :wink:

http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... male_wraps

http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... th_handles
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby Cotton » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:08 pm

Carol, in Feb 2006 you posted about a cat wheelchair that allows a cat to lay down. Someone replied and sent you a photo of one and it seemed to help you. I cannot find that photo. Do you have a diagram/photo/plan for it? I am building a wheelchair for my cat with back legs not working right now. Can you help?
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Re: best all-terrain cart for large front leg amputee

Postby CarolC » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:08 pm

Hi Christa,

I can think of a picture of a cat lying down in a wheelchair but it was commercially made. Can you refresh my memory by giving a link to the 2006 post you are referring to? Chances are I still have whatever it was, or can find it. :D

Thanks!

:group:
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