German shepherds are sadly one of the breeds most genetically predisposed to developing degenerative myelopathy, or DM. The disease causes progressive deterioration of the spinal column that begins with hind limb weakness and ultimately leads to paralysis. Our pet of the week Milo, however, is proof that dogs with DM can cope extremely well especially when they are introduced to using a Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair at the early onset of the disease. While dogs at any stage of degenerative myelopathy can benefit from a wheelchair, introducing one sooner rather than later can help maintain strength and activity levels. We are thrilled to share this testimonial and photos of Milo that we received from his family who was so grateful to be celebrating the holidays with their beloved companion.
“We are so glad we purchased Milo’s Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair before it became an absolute necessity. Milo likely has degenerative myelopathy and has gradually lost the use of his right rear leg. In the beginning, we weren’t sure the wheels would work. He rolled sideways to try to shake it off in his first outing, so we read about taking baby steps with lots of rewards. Then, he wouldn’t go potty with it on. But don’t give up, because persistence has paid off. He LOVES going out in the cart, and he learned that he can potty while wheelin’ (and the cart prevents him from urinating on the back of his front lower legs!). It also allows him the chance to exercise! While it’s not always easy getting a big dog in and out of the cart, we love the mobility it gives him. Thank you for this page and for the great resources now available to those of us with physically-challenged pets!”Milo’s Family
In addition to the Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair, other assistive devices that pet owners of dogs with degenerative myelopathy should consider are the Walkin’ Lift Harness and Walkin’ Pet Boots. The harness is ideal for supporting the dog’s rear legs, and it is compatible with the Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair. Pet boots protect the paws against scraping injuries frequently caused by knuckling and dragging.