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  #1  
Old 03-04-2005, 01:33 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Reading, Pa. USA
Bad Hips

My 9 year old Rottweiler, Katie ,has end stage hip dysplasia. She can still bear weight some of the time but the day she goes down and cannot get up is fast approaching. My question is this...What do the other members think of purchasing a wheelchair/cart for her.Does anyone know if they work and how they are tolerated. Am I prolonging her life because she still has some quality to it or are my reasons purely selfish? Any feedback you can give me would be very welcome
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2005, 02:11 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Brighton, CO
Images: 21
Re: Bad Hips

I know someone who bought a cart for her dog. She took pretty well to it. She, however, was only 4 and had an accident that paralyzed her. The issue is that it's awkward, I don't know if they can potty with it on and it depends on the terrain they have to go through. I know that these situations are awful for all involved. Being detached from the situation, I would say yes, it is probably purely selfish. Putting myself in the situation, you have to look at your girl and see if her eyes still reflect happiness. When this day comes is she still bouncy to whatever degree she can be and is she still eating alright. I say take it day by day and see what it brings. I sincerely hope that day is far off in the future for you.
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2005, 02:17 PM
Bruce Lanthier's Avatar
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Location: Southern MD
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Re: Bad Hips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow50k
Am I prolonging her life because she still has some quality to it or are my reasons purely selfish?
I don't want to be harsh but you are prolonging her life because you can't let go, not because she has some quality in it. While just laying there she may be comfortable, she can't just lay around. How would she poop and pee? They can eat laying down but where's the quality of life? I had a dog with bad hips and probably put the decision off for too long. One day he just couldn't get up. His mind was sharp but his body quit. It broke my heart to see him like that. I knew I had waited too long when he just peed where he lay. I tried to hang on to him but all I really did was damage his dignity.
Do some of the things your girl loves to do (if she can), do some of the things that will remind you why you love her so and then say goodbye while she has her dignity. We owe it to them to let them go with their dignity. good luck with your decision.
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2005, 02:26 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Fairport, NY USA
Re: Bad Hips

I agree completely with the responses above, and I would like to add one more thing to think about. Those carts are designed primarily for dogs with paralyzed hindquarters. For a dog with HD, it might cause them great pain to sit in one.
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  #5  
Old 03-04-2005, 04:21 PM
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Location: USA
Re: Bad Hips

I believe that the dogs deserve absolutely to maintain their dignity. They all have a sense of that and it is unkind to take it away from them.
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  #6  
Old 03-04-2005, 08:57 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: Bad Hips

I come from a completely different place than the responses you have already received...so, wanted to share our experience.

Working at an animal hospital and with a pioneering canine rehabilitation clinic, we have seen tremendous success with canine wheelchairs. For dogs with hip dysplasia, it is best to choose a cart that has a soft-saddle support (Doggon-wheels or Dewey's wheels) as the rigid saddles can cause pain to dogs with limited range of motion and dyplastic joints. In over 5 years of fitting carts for dogs with a huge range of disabilities...amputations, dysplasias, paralysis, FCE's, etc....I can assure you...they ALL learn to pee and poop while in the cart! Usually within the first day!! Often the dogs feel independent...and therefore, have an easier time doing their "chores" in the cart then when we are physically assisting them. Is her front end good? Often that is the biggest challenge...because the cart does require that the dog mobilize using the front legs...BUT a properly fitted cart should not distribute additional weight on the front end...it should be completely balanced.

I am a strong believer that dignity and "quality of life" are what you make it! I spent over 3 years in a wheelchair...I never lost a touch of dignity despite being a drooling mess unable to care for myself...and certainly my "quality of life" was different than my peers but my family and I found a way to make my life worth living.

The decision will come from within you...you are the only one who can decide what is right for your girl. I with the complete support of EVERY veterinarian, friend, and professional person who knew my ^Silver^ made the decision to amputate her leg after it broke due to cancer following a TPLO cruciate repair gone horribly wrong. We made this decision knowing full well Silver would never walk again unassisted...as she was left with a severely dyplastic right hip and two bad elbows. We fitted her with a wheelchair, created a prosthetic to attach to her remaining stump...and purchased an all-terrain wagon in which Silver, her LLBean bed and favorite pillow fit perfectly! Despite not being able to support her own weight, she went everywhere with us...including on cart paths in her wagon...to go swimming...to school...even continuing her therapy dog work from her wagon...her life did not end when her mobility ended.

This decision obviously would not have been right for everyone and for every dog...in Silver's eyes it was undeniable that life was worth living....the cancer had claimed her leg but not her life. Silver was my Assistance Dog...caring for my every need for nearly 13 years...I could offer her no greater gift than to do the same in her time of need. And, perhaps, it is easier for our family to see dignity and quality of life even though that life is changed...because of my own brain injury and because we took care of two terminally ill family members in our home for over 8 years.

As I said...you and you alone can make this decision...you know your girl's spirit....and please no need to feel self-ish for sharing the extra effort to try a cart for her.
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  #7  
Old 03-04-2005, 09:48 PM
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Location: USA
Re: Bad Hips

Grace, you are right, that is another point of view. Might I ask how long your special dog lived post amputation?
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2005, 10:29 PM
Bruce Lanthier's Avatar
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Location: Southern MD
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Re: Bad Hips

I don't necessarily disagree with getting a wheelchair but I thought we were talking about an older dog that has had a full life and who's body was saying it is time to go. I didn't listen to my proud boy's body and had to carry him outside to go pee. I'll never forget that.
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When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.
- Henry David Thoreau -
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2005, 10:30 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Santa Cruz, Ca
Re: Bad Hips

rainbow 50K, I say go for it get her the cart! If her front lags are ok Im sure she would rather live than die. I would, how about you?
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  #10  
Old 03-04-2005, 11:03 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Montreal, Quebec
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Re: Bad Hips

I do not think she was trying to make that decsion, I think she was asking if a wheelchair would soot her dog. If she is complety happy and heathy otherwise, and you think her front end could support her, I say go for it.....I know I would
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2005, 02:06 AM
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Location: Fresno, CA
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Re: Bad Hips

Thanks Andria, for posting this. Another perspective, and I know full well how hard it is for you. I think this all depends on the dog, its owner, the amount of dedication involved. For some the odds may be insurmountable...the time to say goodbye sooner. For others...this info may be a God send. Hugs thru leaky eyes from me, and bounces from Miss Blitz, who may send an "accidental" bite just because she loves you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraceAAA
I come from a completely different place than the responses you have already received...so, wanted to share our experience.

Working at an animal hospital and with a pioneering canine rehabilitation clinic, we have seen tremendous success with canine wheelchairs. For dogs with hip dysplasia, it is best to choose a cart that has a soft-saddle support (Doggon-wheels or Dewey's wheels) as the rigid saddles can cause pain to dogs with limited range of motion and dyplastic joints. In over 5 years of fitting carts for dogs with a huge range of disabilities...amputations, dysplasias, paralysis, FCE's, etc....I can assure you...they ALL learn to pee and poop while in the cart! Usually within the first day!! Often the dogs feel independent...and therefore, have an easier time doing their "chores" in the cart then when we are physically assisting them. Is her front end good? Often that is the biggest challenge...because the cart does require that the dog mobilize using the front legs...BUT a properly fitted cart should not distribute additional weight on the front end...it should be completely balanced.

I am a strong believer that dignity and "quality of life" are what you make it! I spent over 3 years in a wheelchair...I never lost a touch of dignity despite being a drooling mess unable to care for myself...and certainly my "quality of life" was different than my peers but my family and I found a way to make my life worth living.

The decision will come from within you...you are the only one who can decide what is right for your girl. I with the complete support of EVERY veterinarian, friend, and professional person who knew my ^Silver^ made the decision to amputate her leg after it broke due to cancer following a TPLO cruciate repair gone horribly wrong. We made this decision knowing full well Silver would never walk again unassisted...as she was left with a severely dyplastic right hip and two bad elbows. We fitted her with a wheelchair, created a prosthetic to attach to her remaining stump...and purchased an all-terrain wagon in which Silver, her LLBean bed and favorite pillow fit perfectly! Despite not being able to support her own weight, she went everywhere with us...including on cart paths in her wagon...to go swimming...to school...even continuing her therapy dog work from her wagon...her life did not end when her mobility ended.

This decision obviously would not have been right for everyone and for every dog...in Silver's eyes it was undeniable that life was worth living....the cancer had claimed her leg but not her life. Silver was my Assistance Dog...caring for my every need for nearly 13 years...I could offer her no greater gift than to do the same in her time of need. And, perhaps, it is easier for our family to see dignity and quality of life even though that life is changed...because of my own brain injury and because we took care of two terminally ill family members in our home for over 8 years.

As I said...you and you alone can make this decision...you know your girl's spirit....and please no need to feel self-ish for sharing the extra effort to try a cart for her.
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  #12  
Old 03-05-2005, 10:14 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Remsen, New York
Re: Bad Hips

I have had two dogs that I put down becuase of bad hips. One was 10 years old, and I promised her that if she got bad I would not put her through pain just to keep her around. I loved that dog. She was my first rottie and was an unbeleivable dog. The other one was a little harder to make that decision. He was 10 months old and had both hip and elbow displacia. Product of backyard breeding. I know because I lived next door to the man that had the parents. I knew what I was getting into when I took him. He was bit in the face by his mother and left to blled to death by the breeder. I could not let that happen and took him in. By the time we made the decision to put him down, you had to pick him up to go out to go to the bathroom. It is never an easy decision. I have a male now that has bad hips. the head of the femur looks like a football instead of being rounded. He is 5years old and still very active. It is going to break my heart when he reaches the point of being in pain all the time, but we take it day by day. Good Luck. Trust yourself. You know and love your dog. You will make the right choice.
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  #13  
Old 03-05-2005, 01:07 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Fairport, NY USA
Re: Bad Hips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Lanthier
I didn't listen to my proud boy's body and had to carry him outside to go pee. I'll never forget that.
I did the same thing with my first dog and I will never forgive myself. He was in such pain and I kept hoping he would feel better if I waited just another day. Please look closely at your dog with both your eyes and your heart. She will tell you when it is time for her to go, and it may not be the time you are ready to accept. 9 years is a good old age for a rott.
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