Down, but not out

By Connie Orcutt • Published: March 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

Like people, dogs don’t have to miss out on a good life because of a paralyzing injury.

They may be down in the back, but hounds without working hind limbs are often face-lickin’ happy up front. In fact, owners can learn to give the specialized care paraplegic pups needfor a good quality of life.

Many paraplegic dogs get around well with a mobility cart or harness for the back end, and there are lots of choices available. These dogs usually can’t empty their bladders, so owners must express urine several times daily. Keeping the dog and his soft bedding clean are top priorities, because a partly lame dog can’t groom himself fully. Sores can form at pressure points, so owners should look out for lesions. Finally, light physical therapy and massage work wonders to soothe stiff muscles.

Paraplegic dogs may be down, but don’t count them out.