Thinking Outside the Box: Unique Ways to Help a Handicapped Pet

Unique uses for handicapped pet products

After working with Vets and Rehab Specialists for over 20 years, we’ve picked up a few unique ways to help animals. Here are a few of our favorite tricks and tips for unconventional uses for a few of our Walkin’ Pets products:

Nemo: A Puppy with a Missing Paw

Unique use of boot for shepherd missing a paw.

After a difficult birth, Nemo, a German Shepherd puppy was born without a back paw. Left with one back leg inches shorter than his other three legs. His owners became concerned that he’d struggle to get around and Nemo wouldn’t be able to keep up with their other dogs. They needed to find a way to support and protect his shorter leg.

As a growing pup, he would quickly outgrow a custom prosthetic. Nemo needed something that would protect his back leg and adjust as he grew. Using the All Weather Boot as a base, the Walkin’ Pets team cut and stacked adhesive backed foam to fit inside Nemo’s boot. Building a durable base for Nemo to stand on. As Nemo grows up, the boot will be adjusted to grow with him. His parents can remove foam from the boot as needed, allowing for the adjustability he would not have had with a custom orthotic.

Other Unconventional Uses for the All Weather Boot:

Dog with prosthetic leg uses boot for added traction
  • Protect a bandaged leg or cast from the elements
  • To cover a prosthetic leg
  • For dogs that drag their back paws: wear the boot upside down, with the rubber sole on top of the foot for traction and extra durability.

A Splint for a Goat

Unique use of splint to help goat

After suffering a knee tendon injury, Jimmy’s owner needed to find a way to support and protect his knee joint. Most knee braces are expensive. And either custom built or made to fit a dog’s anatomy. Jimmy’s mom and his Vet struggled to find a solution that would work. Unsure what to do next, they called Walkin’ Pets for some advice.

Although, goats frequently use the Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair, fitting a goat for a splint was a new challenge. Walkin’ Pets worked closely with Jimmy’s Vet to determine what he needed for support; it was decided to use the Walkin’ Carpal Splint. Although, designed to support the back of a dog’s front leg, by turning the splint backwards and placed over the front of Jimmy’s knee.

Maximus: The Roller-Skating Boxer

Dog knuckling DM skates in wheelchair

Diagnosed with DM in 2016, Maximus loved his Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair, but he didn’t like to have his back legs elevated and in his stirrups. His mom wanted Maximus to continue to exercise, move his back legs and stimulate his paws, but when he dragged his paws his paws would scrape on the ground.

Over time Maximus would tear holes in his boots and scrape his paws. She designed Max the first pair of canine roller skates. Max skated and wheeled his way through life and lived with DM for almost three years.

Learn more about skates for knuckling dogs here.

Increasing the Support of a Soft Leg Wrap

Dog wraps for leg support

Splints are designed to provide rigid leg support. Protecting a pet’s leg and joint. A neoprene wrap is used when lighter support is needed. But what do you do if your dog needs both their range of motion and a firmer support?

A great (and simple!) solution is to build up the support of a Hock or Wrist Hugger. Cut thin strips of an adhesive backed foam and place on either side of where the joint sits while wearing the wrap. Proper support is important, and your Vet or Rehab Specialist can help make sure placement is correct. The best part is, as your pet heals you can remove the foam supports and use the Hugger on its own.

Do you have an interesting tip or trick? Share in the comments below!

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