?GET THEM UPRIGHT!☝️
NOT SURE WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR PARALYZED DOG WHILE SELF ISOLATING DURING COVID-19 ? ??♀️
This will help! ?
These are stressful and uncertain times for everyone?, and if you have a dog that has a condition like degenerative myelopathy (DM) causing paralysis, you may be feeling very unsure or even helpless when it comes to what you can do with your furry friend, on your own. ?
Personally, I have been through DM with my dog Sammie and have worked with others whose dogs have rear weakness/paralysis. This alone is emotionally taxing and now you are self isolating and may have limited access to your vet or rehab professional. ?
To make it more challenging, you may have a cart (dog wheelchair) for your dog but are not able to get your dog out in it right now due to restrictions in place related to Covid-19. ??♂️
❌ Fret not! ?
✅ I have some easy to implement recommendations for you!
☝?GET YOUR DOG UPRIGHT ANYWAY!?
Even if you aren’t able to get your dog out for regular walks in their cart, get them up into their cart at home, on a non slippery surface! There are so many health benefits for your dog to be up in their cart. ?
✅MENTAL HEALTH and SENSE OF WELLBEING
⬆️CIRCULATION and LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE
⬇️RISK of BED SORES
⬆️DIGESTION and BOWEL MOVEMENTS
✅SENSORY/TACTILE STIMULATION with the paws touching the ground
✅STRENGTHENS MUSCLES that are not currently affected by the condition
It’s basically a use it or lose it scenario, or at least slow it down.
With DM, it is a progressive condition ?, HOWEVER, sensory stimulus, encouraging muscles that still have a contraction to work a little, and promoting circulation have all been proven to extend the life span of dogs with DM. ?
✅THINGS TO DO IN THE CART, AT HOME?
✅FEED upright! Raise your dogs water and feed bowls so they can reach them.
✅BRUSH and/or MASSAGE them while they are in the cart.
✅Do BASIC EXERCISES your were taught and/or passive range of motion for the hind legs. Gentle active range of motion for the neck may be appropriate too. This encourages some gentle weight shifting in the front end and keeps the neck strong and mobile.
✅ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES such as puzzles or scent games. These can be done statically, your dog doesn’t need to move around to do them. I place a ottoman in from of the dog and hide a treat under 1 of 3 little cups and she finds the treat (see the picture posted)
✅Prescribed REHAB MODALITIES. You may have a PEMF device or muscle stimulation machine that you are using with your dog. You can do this while they are upright.
?I even had one client whose dog liked to watch TV while in his cart! And another who got so relaxed she fell asleep on her pillow stool. ❤️
✅Non slippery surface and decluttered space
✅May require a pee pad under their hind end Remember, being upright can stimulate the bowels! So you may want a poop bag too.
✅May require a stool or pillow as a head rest
❌ NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG UNATTENDED IN THEIR CART!❌
?Always do exercises within your dog’s capacity. Conditions like DM slowly progress forward so you may notice changes in your dog’s ability to do these things.
✅Every dog is different and how long they are upright is going to depend on a number of factors. These include overall health and strength, as well as progression of their condition. In addition, certain activities may not be appropriate for your dog and these are general recommendations.✅
?Short periods in the cart, for example 10 minutes, can be very advantages.
❌You never want to keep your dog in their cart longer than they want to be in it. ✅If they seem restless, uncomfortable, and/or start to whine, it is time to get them out.
If your dog is used to walking in their cart and you have them primarily standing still doing a game, etc., they will fatigue faster then when out walking. If possible, let them move around little. If not, go for shorter durations (i.e. 10-15 minutes) more often, in the cart.
?Stay safe, stay healthy and stay upright!?